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Nuclear energy: the debate Australia has to have

anuevents 22 July 2014 51

ABC 666’s Genevieve Jacobs will talk with three of the nation’s most compelling experts on an issue we cannot continue to ignore.

The world is hungry for low cost, low emissions energy, but in Australia nuclear energy is still off the agenda. Will other low emissions technology be enough? Why do we keep avoiding the nuclear power option? How dangerous is nuclear energy? How long before our entire region is powered by nuclear energy, leaving us as the odd one out?

These and other pressing issues will be addressed at the fifth STA Topical Science Forum. Make sure you don’t miss it.

Where: Theatre, lower ground floor, National Library of Australia, Parkes Place, Canberra
When: Monday 28 July 1-2.30pm
Register: here.

Read the speaker biographies here.

This Inspiring Australia initiative is supported by the Australian Government through the Department of Industry, in partnership with Science & Technology Australia and Research Training at The Australian National University.


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justin heywood justin heywood 10:06 am 25 Jul 14

Hosinator said :

The good old base load argument…[/quote

Ah, the good old hand-waving solution.

Some of the solutions you propose for replacing base load capacity might reasonably contribute to the solution – indeed some (for example hydro storage) are already in use here on a small scale. But many others are theoretical and untried – some may indeed work and prove useful, some undoubtedly won’t.

But to discuss these alternative technologies as though they are ready to supply our base load ignores the fact that they are untried, particularly at the scale required to reliably supply base load to the country when needed and for as long as needed.

You are also assuming that these alternative technologies (untried at the required scale) will be cheaper than nuclear and have a smaller environmental footprint than nuclear. These are unknowns.

The search for an alternative to fossil fuels has been going on for decades. In the 70s those apposing coal-fired power claimed that solar and wind were the alternatives. The reality has emerged that they are not a replacement for base load. Now new alternative technologies are being proposed as solutions, even though they are always ‘just around the corner’ (or just require ‘another 5 years research’ to channel the SGU). Mostly they are not practical alternatives, they are ideas.

All this time nuclear energy has been available to us, a proven technology that Australia is uniquely placed to take up . But has never been considered in this country – and not for any scientific reason (and this was my point), but for the for the simple reason that the subject has always been too hot politically.

Whatever the solution, implementing it will take courage and leadership from both the political left and right, virtues sadly lacking in our political class. I suspect we’ll still be arguing about it when it’s all too late.

dungfungus dungfungus 9:31 am 25 Jul 14

Hosinator said :

HiddenDragon said :

Hosinator said :

HiddenDragon said :

Much better that we stick with what we’ve got for baseload until (how ever long that might take) there are reliable, affordable, renewable alternatives.

justin heywood said :

Anyone with a functioning brain can see that our coal and petroleum based power sources are rapidly wrecking the environment, and that workable existing alternatives (e.g. solar, wind) cannot fill the gap. But the most likely possible solution, nuclear energy, is not even seriously considered, mostly for political and ideological reasons.

The green/left would like us to believe that somehow, somewhere, a perfect solution to this problem exists – that 7 billion people can continue to live our lifestyle with no effect on the environment. We can’t of course, but that’s not their problem, for they never have to compromise.

Both these posts see power generation as being centralised. It doesn’t have to be. The future of power generation (and it’s already here, Germany is a good example) is decentralised power generation. Think solar panels but on a every residential, commercial building, schools, stadiums, toilet blocks, you name it, you can cover it in solar panels.

Long hauling power from hundreds of kilometres away is simply madness when you can generate it on your own roof and if you generate too much, share it with a neighbour.

By centralising power we only serve the power companies and their lobbyists. Legislative change in favour of decentralised power is not that difficult. Have a look at the city of Freiburg in Germany and what they have achieved. In comparison, Australia is living in the dark ages and will continue to do so if we don’t change our way of thinking and operating.

Are the Germans using solar for baseload as well? If so, how does it work?

The good old baseload argument. Electricity supplied from any source needs to provide reliable and continuous power, with flexibility of output to match daily and seasonal fluctuations in demand.
Can this be done with renewables, yes. In the easiest sense you need a range of renewables, wind, wave, solar, geothermal etc. Then you need storage, these can be grouped into the following:

*mechanical – flywheels, pumped hydro
*thermal – ice storage, hot water, molten salts
*electrochemical – batteries, high-temperature batteries, flow cells and fuel cells
*direct – capacitors and superconducting magnetic energy storage

In a decentralised model, more than likely batteries could be used. It raises a more important topic, if I go back to what I said above.

“Electricity supplied from any source needs to provide reliable and continuous power, with flexibility of output to match daily and seasonal fluctuations in demand.”

To reduce our reliance on baseload or centralised power we need to look at two other changes in our habits or to legislation. These include better building practices, energy passive homes and buildings, insulation, reducing our reliance on artificial heating and cooling and thirdly more efficient electrical appliances, lighting, fridges, TVs etc.
When you combine all three, renewable energy, energy passive buildings and efficient electrical products, the argument for baseload falls away.

It’s about consumption, if you reduce consumption you reduce the need for baseload. For example the average home in the UK uses over 200kW/hrs of electricity annualy, in Germany new homes are legislated to draw no more than 75kW/hrs of electricity and they are considering revising this down to 35kW/hrs.

But back to answering your questions specifically about Germany and their baseload.

This is a statement from their Renewable Energy Agency:
Clearly, on many days in the year, no traditional base load power plants – those that run year-round – will be needed at all. This will be the case if the feed-in from renewables is particularly high and consumption particularly low. The traditional base load power plants will have to be shut down completely at these times. If the residual load then increases again, i.e. if electricity generation from renewable energies drops, and/or the demand for electricity rises, power plants which can provide regular energy fast from a standstill will be needed. But that is exactly what base load power plants cannot achieve. Nuclear power plants for example have a technically mandated minimum down time of approx. 15 to 24 hours, and it takes up to 2 days to get them up and running again.

What you have really presented is a case for retention of coal fired generated electricity supplemented by renewables.
The ACT Government won’t even consider hybrid flywheel trams so what hope is there of them grasping the newer technologies you have alluded to.
The only “short notice baseload” power available can only be from emergency diesel generators of the types installed at hospitals and the like.

HenryBG HenryBG 9:22 am 25 Jul 14

HiddenDragon said :

Are the Germans using solar for baseload as well? If so, how does it work?

“Baseload” is the excuse given for old-fashioned and now obsolete power plants that inefficiently cannot vary supply to meet demand.

Germany is busy doing away with them and replacing them with power plants that produce power on demand.
This is their “Energiewende”, and Australia’s failure to cotton on is part of the reason we suffer decades of retardation in comparison with 1st-world countries who are implementing modern power-generating technologies and systems.

justin heywood said :

…”Why do we keep avoiding the nuclear option” asks the OP.

I’ll tell you why. Opposition to nuclear energy is an article of faith for the green left. For most it’s not based on a careful consideration of the science or a reasonable consideration of how it compares with existing power sources.

Wrong.
Support for nuclear energy is an article of faith for the Murdoch-lackey Tea Party. For all of them, it’s not based on careful consideration of the science or a reasonable consideration of how it compares with existing power sources.

Nuclear exists nowhere without massive government subsidy, and nowhere is nuclear able to obtain insurance or permanently deal with the waste it generates.

Who’s paying for Fukushima? The taxpayer.
Who’s paying for Chernobyl? The taxpayer.

Nuclear is simply a phenomenally expensive and dangerous 1950’s technology used to boil water. It’s been tried and it has failed. It is simply not a viable option for generating power.

http://blog.cleanenergy.org/files/2009/04/lazard2009_levelizedcostofenergy.pdf
Shows you that Nuclear can only be made to appear comparably economic with coal (just) by excluding many of the costs and subsidies it relies on.

Nuclear is a dead duck, and it is amusing to see this “let’s have a debate” PR being emitted on a regular annual cycle, together with the doofuses who fall for it and out themselves as unthinking supporters of this nutty right-wing industry wholly designed to redistribute vast wads of money from the taxpayer to the handful of dodgy corporations that stand to gain from it.

Hosinator Hosinator 10:44 pm 24 Jul 14

HiddenDragon said :

Hosinator said :

HiddenDragon said :

Much better that we stick with what we’ve got for baseload until (how ever long that might take) there are reliable, affordable, renewable alternatives.

justin heywood said :

Anyone with a functioning brain can see that our coal and petroleum based power sources are rapidly wrecking the environment, and that workable existing alternatives (e.g. solar, wind) cannot fill the gap. But the most likely possible solution, nuclear energy, is not even seriously considered, mostly for political and ideological reasons.

The green/left would like us to believe that somehow, somewhere, a perfect solution to this problem exists – that 7 billion people can continue to live our lifestyle with no effect on the environment. We can’t of course, but that’s not their problem, for they never have to compromise.

Both these posts see power generation as being centralised. It doesn’t have to be. The future of power generation (and it’s already here, Germany is a good example) is decentralised power generation. Think solar panels but on a every residential, commercial building, schools, stadiums, toilet blocks, you name it, you can cover it in solar panels.

Long hauling power from hundreds of kilometres away is simply madness when you can generate it on your own roof and if you generate too much, share it with a neighbour.

By centralising power we only serve the power companies and their lobbyists. Legislative change in favour of decentralised power is not that difficult. Have a look at the city of Freiburg in Germany and what they have achieved. In comparison, Australia is living in the dark ages and will continue to do so if we don’t change our way of thinking and operating.

Are the Germans using solar for baseload as well? If so, how does it work?

The good old baseload argument. Electricity supplied from any source needs to provide reliable and continuous power, with flexibility of output to match daily and seasonal fluctuations in demand.
Can this be done with renewables, yes. In the easiest sense you need a range of renewables, wind, wave, solar, geothermal etc. Then you need storage, these can be grouped into the following:

*mechanical – flywheels, pumped hydro
*thermal – ice storage, hot water, molten salts
*electrochemical – batteries, high-temperature batteries, flow cells and fuel cells
*direct – capacitors and superconducting magnetic energy storage

In a decentralised model, more than likely batteries could be used. It raises a more important topic, if I go back to what I said above.

“Electricity supplied from any source needs to provide reliable and continuous power, with flexibility of output to match daily and seasonal fluctuations in demand.”

To reduce our reliance on baseload or centralised power we need to look at two other changes in our habits or to legislation. These include better building practices, energy passive homes and buildings, insulation, reducing our reliance on artificial heating and cooling and thirdly more efficient electrical appliances, lighting, fridges, TVs etc.
When you combine all three, renewable energy, energy passive buildings and efficient electrical products, the argument for baseload falls away.

It’s about consumption, if you reduce consumption you reduce the need for baseload. For example the average home in the UK uses over 200kW/hrs of electricity annualy, in Germany new homes are legislated to draw no more than 75kW/hrs of electricity and they are considering revising this down to 35kW/hrs.

But back to answering your questions specifically about Germany and their baseload.

This is a statement from their Renewable Energy Agency:
Clearly, on many days in the year, no traditional base load power plants – those that run year-round – will be needed at all. This will be the case if the feed-in from renewables is particularly high and consumption particularly low. The traditional base load power plants will have to be shut down completely at these times. If the residual load then increases again, i.e. if electricity generation from renewable energies drops, and/or the demand for electricity rises, power plants which can provide regular energy fast from a standstill will be needed. But that is exactly what base load power plants cannot achieve. Nuclear power plants for example have a technically mandated minimum down time of approx. 15 to 24 hours, and it takes up to 2 days to get them up and running again.

Pork Hunt Pork Hunt 8:08 pm 24 Jul 14

OpenYourMind said :

The 1950s called and it wants its “so cheap you can’t bill for it” energy back. This is 2014, Nuclear isn’t even in the race. In fact, it doesn’t even have a race entry. Nuclear is mind bogglingly expensive. It simply will not happen in Australia and people proposing it are simply wasting their breath.

Even if we were stupid enough to decide to build a plant and it somehow magically escaped rampant opposition and political bounce arounds, it would take an absolute minimum of 10 years to build and probably closer to 20. In that time frame, solar will be practically free and potentially battery storage will have improved by a factor of up to 10.

Why so long to build a nuclear reactor? Are they built by Streeton Drive road menders?

OpenYourMind OpenYourMind 6:15 pm 24 Jul 14

The 1950s called and it wants its “so cheap you can’t bill for it” energy back. This is 2014, Nuclear isn’t even in the race. In fact, it doesn’t even have a race entry. Nuclear is mind bogglingly expensive. It simply will not happen in Australia and people proposing it are simply wasting their breath.

Even if we were stupid enough to decide to build a plant and it somehow magically escaped rampant opposition and political bounce arounds, it would take an absolute minimum of 10 years to build and probably closer to 20. In that time frame, solar will be practically free and potentially battery storage will have improved by a factor of up to 10.

HiddenDragon HiddenDragon 5:58 pm 24 Jul 14

dungfungus said :

HiddenDragon said :

Hosinator said :

HiddenDragon said :

Much better that we stick with what we’ve got for baseload until (how ever long that might take) there are reliable, affordable, renewable alternatives.

justin heywood said :

Anyone with a functioning brain can see that our coal and petroleum based power sources are rapidly wrecking the environment, and that workable existing alternatives (e.g. solar, wind) cannot fill the gap. But the most likely possible solution, nuclear energy, is not even seriously considered, mostly for political and ideological reasons.

The green/left would like us to believe that somehow, somewhere, a perfect solution to this problem exists – that 7 billion people can continue to live our lifestyle with no effect on the environment. We can’t of course, but that’s not their problem, for they never have to compromise.

Both these posts see power generation as being centralised. It doesn’t have to be. The future of power generation (and it’s already here, Germany is a good example) is decentralised power generation. Think solar panels but on a every residential, commercial building, schools, stadiums, toilet blocks, you name it, you can cover it in solar panels.

Long hauling power from hundreds of kilometres away is simply madness when you can generate it on your own roof and if you generate too much, share it with a neighbour.

By centralising power we only serve the power companies and their lobbyists. Legislative change in favour of decentralised power is not that difficult. Have a look at the city of Freiburg in Germany and what they have achieved. In comparison, Australia is living in the dark ages and will continue to do so if we don’t change our way of thinking and operating.

Are the Germans using solar for baseload as well? If so, how does it work?

Don’t hold your breath waiting for an answer.
As far as I know they buy electricity generated from nuclear power in France and coal in Poland when the wind isn’t blowing and the sun isn’t shining.

I assumed it would be along those lines. The recent Four Corners, which was predictably pro-renewables (complete with cameo appearance by our Simon and his solar panels) suggested that molten salt is one of the few (if not the only) currently workable technologies for storing solar-generated energy and re-converting it back into electricity when the sun isn’t shining. It’s still fairly new and – as reported – rather expensive at this stage.

dungfungus dungfungus 12:27 pm 24 Jul 14

HiddenDragon said :

Hosinator said :

HiddenDragon said :

Much better that we stick with what we’ve got for baseload until (how ever long that might take) there are reliable, affordable, renewable alternatives.

justin heywood said :

Anyone with a functioning brain can see that our coal and petroleum based power sources are rapidly wrecking the environment, and that workable existing alternatives (e.g. solar, wind) cannot fill the gap. But the most likely possible solution, nuclear energy, is not even seriously considered, mostly for political and ideological reasons.

The green/left would like us to believe that somehow, somewhere, a perfect solution to this problem exists – that 7 billion people can continue to live our lifestyle with no effect on the environment. We can’t of course, but that’s not their problem, for they never have to compromise.

Both these posts see power generation as being centralised. It doesn’t have to be. The future of power generation (and it’s already here, Germany is a good example) is decentralised power generation. Think solar panels but on a every residential, commercial building, schools, stadiums, toilet blocks, you name it, you can cover it in solar panels.

Long hauling power from hundreds of kilometres away is simply madness when you can generate it on your own roof and if you generate too much, share it with a neighbour.

By centralising power we only serve the power companies and their lobbyists. Legislative change in favour of decentralised power is not that difficult. Have a look at the city of Freiburg in Germany and what they have achieved. In comparison, Australia is living in the dark ages and will continue to do so if we don’t change our way of thinking and operating.

Are the Germans using solar for baseload as well? If so, how does it work?

Don’t hold your breath waiting for an answer.
As far as I know they buy electricity generated from nuclear power in France and coal in Poland when the wind isn’t blowing and the sun isn’t shining.

HiddenDragon HiddenDragon 11:40 am 24 Jul 14

Hosinator said :

HiddenDragon said :

Much better that we stick with what we’ve got for baseload until (how ever long that might take) there are reliable, affordable, renewable alternatives.

justin heywood said :

Anyone with a functioning brain can see that our coal and petroleum based power sources are rapidly wrecking the environment, and that workable existing alternatives (e.g. solar, wind) cannot fill the gap. But the most likely possible solution, nuclear energy, is not even seriously considered, mostly for political and ideological reasons.

The green/left would like us to believe that somehow, somewhere, a perfect solution to this problem exists – that 7 billion people can continue to live our lifestyle with no effect on the environment. We can’t of course, but that’s not their problem, for they never have to compromise.

Both these posts see power generation as being centralised. It doesn’t have to be. The future of power generation (and it’s already here, Germany is a good example) is decentralised power generation. Think solar panels but on a every residential, commercial building, schools, stadiums, toilet blocks, you name it, you can cover it in solar panels.

Long hauling power from hundreds of kilometres away is simply madness when you can generate it on your own roof and if you generate too much, share it with a neighbour.

By centralising power we only serve the power companies and their lobbyists. Legislative change in favour of decentralised power is not that difficult. Have a look at the city of Freiburg in Germany and what they have achieved. In comparison, Australia is living in the dark ages and will continue to do so if we don’t change our way of thinking and operating.

Are the Germans using solar for baseload as well? If so, how does it work?

pajs pajs 10:26 am 24 Jul 14

I’d be happy to see nuclear power in Australia, so long as the industry paid for their own insurance and the costs of decomissioning, clean-up and waste disposal. The tax-payer should not be on the hook for these.

Aside from that, if they can find a nice coastal location to give them access to the water they need (powering their own sea water desal) and a sensible run to the grid, then let them rip.

The fundamental problem I see with nuclear in Australia is the cost, compared to alternative zero or low emission generation technologies. I can’t see it being financially viable unless propped up with massive subsidies and cost/risk shifts to government and the tax payer.

dungfungus dungfungus 9:21 am 24 Jul 14

Diggety said :

Those that have doubts regarding waste, decommissioning, safety, technology etc should definitely go to the debate.

There doesn’t seem to be any problems with decommissioning a coal powered power station and the open cut coal mines that supply their fuel can be revegetated (it is a condition of the mining/extraction lease in fact).
I am not up to speed on nuclear power station decommissioning and if we are going to have a fair-dinkum debate we should also look at the problems of decommissioning wind and solar factories (let’s not use that fraudulent “farm” word anymore).

chewy14 chewy14 7:36 am 24 Jul 14

justin heywood said :

chewy14 said :

Although I generally agree with your comment with regards to nuclear, if you want to make a political argument about it, I’m assuming you think a lot of people on the Right don’t have functioning brains? I believe there’s a few of them high up in our government.

Yes, though if it’s not a political issue, what is it? It’s certainly not a scientific one.

As to your second comment about the ‘brains of the Right’. Abbott is a Rhodes scholar. I don’t for a moment think he doubts the science of climate change. It’s political, and in my opinion shameful.

But is denying the problem because of politics any worse than opposing the only practical solution because of politics?

No, and it’s disgraceful that some people put politics before science. If the risks of nuclear technology can be managed and if the economics stack up, then why wouldn’t we use it.

Diggety Diggety 1:00 am 24 Jul 14

Those that have doubts regarding waste, decommissioning, safety, technology etc should definitely go to the debate.

Hosinator Hosinator 12:12 am 24 Jul 14

HiddenDragon said :

Much better that we stick with what we’ve got for baseload until (how ever long that might take) there are reliable, affordable, renewable alternatives.

justin heywood said :

Anyone with a functioning brain can see that our coal and petroleum based power sources are rapidly wrecking the environment, and that workable existing alternatives (e.g. solar, wind) cannot fill the gap. But the most likely possible solution, nuclear energy, is not even seriously considered, mostly for political and ideological reasons.

The green/left would like us to believe that somehow, somewhere, a perfect solution to this problem exists – that 7 billion people can continue to live our lifestyle with no effect on the environment. We can’t of course, but that’s not their problem, for they never have to compromise.

Both these posts see power generation as being centralised. It doesn’t have to be. The future of power generation (and it’s already here, Germany is a good example) is decentralised power generation. Think solar panels but on a every residential, commercial building, schools, stadiums, toilet blocks, you name it, you can cover it in solar panels.

Long hauling power from hundreds of kilometres away is simply madness when you can generate it on your own roof and if you generate too much, share it with a neighbour.

By centralising power we only serve the power companies and their lobbyists. Legislative change in favour of decentralised power is not that difficult. Have a look at the city of Freiburg in Germany and what they have achieved. In comparison, Australia is living in the dark ages and will continue to do so if we don’t change our way of thinking and operating.

dungfungus dungfungus 10:32 pm 23 Jul 14

John Moulis said :

The question remains as it was asked in 1945 after Hiroshima, in 1976/77 during the nuclear debate, today and into the future: What do you do with the waste and how do you stop it being harmful? Until we have an answer to that question, the nuclear option should stay off the agenda.

Getting rid of the waste is a no brainer. Most of Australia is wasteland that is uninhabited. In reality it could be dropped from an aircraft and no one would stumble on it in a thousand years but it could be buried in very stable geological conditions a few feet down to make people feel OK.
I think Bob Hawke wanted to do something like this but it was so simple the bureaucrats couldn’t understand that sort of concept.
It’s a bit like hitting the flush button on the cistern in the bathroom – it’s out of site/out of mind but we know it is being taken care of and it isn’t harming the environment.

justin heywood justin heywood 10:29 pm 23 Jul 14

chewy14 said :

Although I generally agree with your comment with regards to nuclear, if you want to make a political argument about it, I’m assuming you think a lot of people on the Right don’t have functioning brains? I believe there’s a few of them high up in our government.

Yes, though if it’s not a political issue, what is it? It’s certainly not a scientific one.

As to your second comment about the ‘brains of the Right’. Abbott is a Rhodes scholar. I don’t for a moment think he doubts the science of climate change. It’s political, and in my opinion shameful.

But is denying the problem because of politics any worse than opposing the only practical solution because of politics?

chewy14 chewy14 8:54 pm 23 Jul 14

justin heywood said :

…”Why do we keep avoiding the nuclear option” asks the OP.

I’ll tell you why. Opposition to nuclear energy is an article of faith for the green left. For most it’s not based on a careful consideration of the science or a reasonable consideration of how it compares with existing power sources.

Anyone with a functioning brain can see that our coal and petroleum based power sources are rapidly wrecking the environment, and that workable existing alternatives (e.g. solar, wind) cannot fill the gap. But the most likely possible solution, nuclear energy, is not even seriously considered, mostly for political and ideological reasons.

The green/left would like us to believe that somehow, somewhere, a perfect solution to this problem exists – that 7 billion people can continue to live our lifestyle with no effect on the environment. We can’t of course, but that’s not their problem, for they never have to compromise.

For me, the alternatives are either to continue with existing technologies with a certainty of environmental disaster, or choose a nuclear alternative with some attendant risk but a reasonable possibility of using improved science to mitigate the dangers.

Although I generally agree with your comment with regards to nuclear, if you want to make a political argument about it, I’m assuming you think a lot of people on the Right don’t have functioning brains? I believe there’s a few of them high up in our government.

justin heywood justin heywood 6:58 pm 23 Jul 14

…”Why do we keep avoiding the nuclear option” asks the OP.

I’ll tell you why. Opposition to nuclear energy is an article of faith for the green left. For most it’s not based on a careful consideration of the science or a reasonable consideration of how it compares with existing power sources.

Anyone with a functioning brain can see that our coal and petroleum based power sources are rapidly wrecking the environment, and that workable existing alternatives (e.g. solar, wind) cannot fill the gap. But the most likely possible solution, nuclear energy, is not even seriously considered, mostly for political and ideological reasons.

The green/left would like us to believe that somehow, somewhere, a perfect solution to this problem exists – that 7 billion people can continue to live our lifestyle with no effect on the environment. We can’t of course, but that’s not their problem, for they never have to compromise.

For me, the alternatives are either to continue with existing technologies with a certainty of environmental disaster, or choose a nuclear alternative with some attendant risk but a reasonable possibility of using improved science to mitigate the dangers.

HiddenDragon HiddenDragon 5:34 pm 23 Jul 14

Reported “clean-up” costs of tens of billions of pounds for UK reactors are terrifying, and suggestions that the same problems will not occur with the current generation of reactors seem too good to be true. Much better that we stick with what we’ve got for baseload until (how ever long that might take) there are reliable, affordable, renewable alternatives.

John Moulis John Moulis 4:58 pm 23 Jul 14

The question remains as it was asked in 1945 after Hiroshima, in 1976/77 during the nuclear debate, today and into the future: What do you do with the waste and how do you stop it being harmful? Until we have an answer to that question, the nuclear option should stay off the agenda.

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