Australia's nuclear future?
This article was adapted from an article in The Australian Financial Review 14th January 2010 by Prof Leslie Kemeny (Australian foundation member of the International Nuclear Academy) titled "Our nuclear intransigence must change"


Before the climate conference in Copenhagen in December of 2009, the International Energy Agency released a major report that, in short stated: "Nuclear power is the technology which must be accelerated, promoted and relied upon if the world is to stabilise carbon dioxide emissions at an acceptable level.:"

Another report titled "G20 Low Carbon Competitiveness" published by the E3G, a European environmental group, placed Australia as the "lowest ranked" major industrialised country in terms of its ability to generate wealth for its community in a carbon-restrained world. France, a country reliant on nuclear energy, was the highest ranked country with three times as much GDP per ton of carbon dioxide emission as Australia.

In fact, of the top 25 industrialised nations attending Copenhagen, Australia, we are told, was the only country not to have factored in nuclear power as a means of reducing our reliance on chemical combustion.

The report continues to state that the G20 countries have "ensured their future energy security and their carbon pollution reduction by investing in nuclear fission." Professor Kemeny continues: "The Australian government is not following due process in any of these areas. Indeed, its whole emissions trading scheme focus over the past two years has been the creation of a "service industry" to tax energy users and to promote and subsidise the acceptance of such second-rate and risky energy technologies as "clean coal" and "renewable" energy.

Professor Kemeny refers to Spain as an example of a country that has adopted a renewable energy policy that has helped in producing a 19% unemployment rate as 2.2 jobs are lost for every green job created through misallocation of capital. Despite a $67 million subsidy Spain's solar industry remains a minor component of the available energy and leaves Spain: "unable to comply with its ratified commitment to the Kyoto protocol."

South Korea is mentioned as a country that was 85% reliant on imported fossil fuels but its planned nuclear power stations will eliminate all reliance on fossil fuel by 2050. Professor Kemeny suggests that from the point of view of global warming , it is desirable to have five nuclear power stations operating by 2020 and to produce 25 gigawatts of nuclear power by 2050.


What is a watt a measure of?

A watt is measured in

How many watts is a gigawatt
How many joules is a petajoule .
A petajoule is 1015 joules. How many petajoules is one gigawatt?
What is a gigawatt hour(GWh)?
A power station produces 100 MW every hour. If it operates at maximum efficiency all year, what is the annual output in GWh?
How many petajoules per year are produced by a 25 gigawatt power station?
What does the term "clean coal" imply?

After reading the statement below from, on 15 Jan 2010, 11.00 am.

There are a number of processes that have been used for many years in coal-fired power stations that improve the efficiency and environmental acceptability of coal extraction, preparation and use, and many more are under development.These processes are collectively known as 'clean coal technologies'. Designation of a technology as a 'clean coal' technology does not imply that it reduces emissions to zero or near zero. Clean coal technologies reduce emissions of several pollutants, reduce waste and increase the amount of energy gained from each tonne of coal. They include various chemical and physical treatments applied pre- or post-combustion. They may be broadly divided into processes relating either to combustion efficiency or pollution control.

What is the difference between coal and clean coal?

Is the term misleading? Explain.

Why is Canberra reluctant to implement nuclear energy?
Do people still fear the word nuclear? What do pressure groups such as Greenpeace and political parties such as The Greens, say about nuclear power?
Is nuclear energy a safe source of power when you consider the number of accidents and the number of power stations in use?
Why does Prof Kemeny suggest that renewable energy sources are not the immediate alternative to fossil fuel that is required in order to have an impact on green house gas emission?
Continue with China's coal demand and the environment