Nuclear Issues in Australia and Beyond; One Perspective

canberra_skeptics 27 April 2012 88

A Canberra Skeptics Lecture
Date: Monday, 14 May 2012
Time: 6.00-7.30pm
Venue: Lecture Theatre, CSIRO Discovery Centre, Clunies Ross Street, Acton, ACT 2601
Speaker: Professor Dr George Dracoulis, FAA

Members Free/Non-Members Gold Coin Donation

Nuclear issues in Australia have had a conflicted history. We are a country with significant uranium resources but no nuclear power. This talk will cover selected aspects of uranium production, nuclear fission, the scale of present and future nuclear power world-wide, life-cycle greenhouse gas emissions from competing technologies, and the demand and comparative cost of electricity generation in Australia. In the year following the dramatic events at Fukushima and at the 25th anniversary of Chernobyl, there are numerous topics that underlie the debate. These include politics, risk, public perception and public acceptance.

George Dracoulis has been a member of Department of Nuclear Physics at the Australian National University since 1973, and was Head from 1992 to July 2009. He was appointed Professor Emeritus in 2010. During 2006 he was a member of the Prime Minister’s task force that reviewed the prospects for uranium mining, processing and nuclear energy in Australia and he has been involved in public engagement on nuclear policy issues, here and abroad.

Dinner will follow the lecture (venue tbc). To RSVP for dinner please email: mail@canberraskeptics.org.au

For further information about Canberra Skeptics please visit our website: http://www.canberraskeptics.org.au


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88 Responses to Nuclear Issues in Australia and Beyond; One Perspective
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CraigT CraigT 7:34 am 05 Jan 14

Here’s an update for all skeptics’ assessment of the risks associated with nuclear: Fukushima is going China Syndrome:
http://www.infowars.com/massive-hydrovolcanic-explosion-inevitable-at-fukushima/
http://www.eutimes.net/2014/01/underground-nuclear-explosion-at-crippled-japan-atomic-plant-shocks-world/
http://rt.com/news/fukushima-steam-nuclear-reactor-064/
http://www.washingtonsblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/WHOI-Cesium.jpg

…and who is paying for this? The nuke industry? Of course not, this cost of nuclear power has been externalised at taxpayers’ expense, affecting people well beyond Japan now.

I am particularly interested in how they deal with the dodgy situation in the rooted cooling pool on top of reactor 4. Because if that catches fire, half of Japan has to be evacuated.

Diggety Diggety 1:51 pm 05 Jan 14

It is actually banned under federal law.

One of the newest energy technologies known to man is illegal in a supposedly ‘modern’ nation.

IrishPete IrishPete 3:11 pm 05 Jan 14

CraigT said :

Here’s an update for all skeptics’ assessment of the risks associated with nuclear: Fukushima is going China Syndrome:
http://www.infowars.com/massive-hydrovolcanic-explosion-inevitable-at-fukushima/
http://www.eutimes.net/2014/01/underground-nuclear-explosion-at-crippled-japan-atomic-plant-shocks-world/
http://rt.com/news/fukushima-steam-nuclear-reactor-064/
http://www.washingtonsblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/WHOI-Cesium.jpg

…and who is paying for this? The nuke industry? Of course not, this cost of nuclear power has been externalised at taxpayers’ expense, affecting people well beyond Japan now.

I am particularly interested in how they deal with the dodgy situation in the rooted cooling pool on top of reactor 4. Because if that catches fire, half of Japan has to be evacuated.

Hear hear.

And this http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-cumbria-21298117 – that’s well over 100 billion Australian dollars for one nuclear power station.

IP

c_c™ c_c™ 4:55 pm 05 Jan 14

CraigT said :

Here’s an update for all skeptics’ assessment of the risks associated with nuclear: Fukushima is going China Syndrome:
http://www.infowars.com/massive-hydrovolcanic-explosion-inevitable-at-fukushima/
http://www.eutimes.net/2014/01/underground-nuclear-explosion-at-crippled-japan-atomic-plant-shocks-world/
http://rt.com/news/fukushima-steam-nuclear-reactor-064/
http://www.washingtonsblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/WHOI-Cesium.jpg

…and who is paying for this? The nuke industry? Of course not, this cost of nuclear power has been externalised at taxpayers’ expense, affecting people well beyond Japan now.

I am particularly interested in how they deal with the dodgy situation in the rooted cooling pool on top of reactor 4. Because if that catches fire, half of Japan has to be evacuated.

Very authoritative and intelligent sources there… not.

ScienceRules ScienceRules 7:27 pm 05 Jan 14

Am I the only one who finds it strange that we’re commenting on an event that was held almost two years ago?

Also CraigT, way to set the bar for conspiracy laden crazy early on in the piece mate. Kudos.

Comic_and_Gamer_Nerd Comic_and_Gamer_Nerd 7:54 pm 05 Jan 14

Only the smallest brain half wits fear nuclear energy.

poetix poetix 10:32 pm 05 Jan 14

Twenty months later, and I’m still annoyed that they spell sceptics with a ‘k’.

Let’s look at the big picture, people.

Comic_and_Gamer_Nerd Comic_and_Gamer_Nerd 8:13 am 06 Jan 14

ScienceRules said :

Am I the only one who finds it strange that we’re commenting on an event that was held almost two years ago?

Also CraigT, way to set the bar for conspiracy laden crazy early on in the piece mate. Kudos.

Haha I just realised it was a link to Alex jones. Explains a lot about Craigts other posts then.

IrishPete IrishPete 8:46 am 06 Jan 14

I didn’t notice the date of the event, just the new post. Oops.

As for small brains and nuclear energy? Well, that’s an intelligent, rational argument. Perhaps I could counter that only men with small penises don’t fear nuclear energy.

In fact, you’d have to be stupid not to fear it – even its supporters don’t handle uranium without some protective gear.

IP

Thumper Thumper 8:48 am 06 Jan 14

poetix said :

Twenty months later, and I’m still annoyed that they spell sceptics with a ‘k’.

Let’s look at the big picture, people.

Sckeptics?

Just to be safe…

IrishPete IrishPete 10:06 am 06 Jan 14

Thumper said :

poetix said :

Twenty months later, and I’m still annoyed that they spell sceptics with a ‘k’.

Let’s look at the big picture, people.

Sckeptics?

Just to be safe…

Sckepticks.

MrLinus MrLinus 10:26 am 06 Jan 14

IrishPete said :

I didn’t notice the date of the event, just the new post. Oops.

As for small brains and nuclear energy? Well, that’s an intelligent, rational argument. Perhaps I could counter that only men with small penises don’t fear nuclear energy.

In fact, you’d have to be stupid not to fear it – even its supporters don’t handle uranium without some protective gear.

IP

Riiiiiight so people handle uranium with protective gear so it must be dangerous. .. Do people go around handling electricity without a care in the world? ??

Diggety Diggety 11:26 am 06 Jan 14

IrishPete said :

I didn’t notice the date of the event, just the new post. Oops.

As for small brains and nuclear energy? Well, that’s an intelligent, rational argument. Perhaps I could counter that only men with small penises don’t fear nuclear energy.

In fact, you’d have to be stupid not to fear it – even its supporters don’t handle uranium without some protective gear.

IP

They wear PPE because they understand it, not fear it.

IrishPete IrishPete 12:24 pm 06 Jan 14

MrLinus said :

IrishPete said :

I didn’t notice the date of the event, just the new post. Oops.

As for small brains and nuclear energy? Well, that’s an intelligent, rational argument. Perhaps I could counter that only men with small penises don’t fear nuclear energy.

In fact, you’d have to be stupid not to fear it – even its supporters don’t handle uranium without some protective gear.

IP

Riiiiiight so people handle uranium with protective gear so it must be dangerous. .. Do people go around handling electricity without a care in the world? ??

sorry, are you saying electricity isn’t dangerous? that electricians don’t fear?

IrishPete IrishPete 12:26 pm 06 Jan 14

Diggety said :

IrishPete said :

I didn’t notice the date of the event, just the new post. Oops.

As for small brains and nuclear energy? Well, that’s an intelligent, rational argument. Perhaps I could counter that only men with small penises don’t fear nuclear energy.

In fact, you’d have to be stupid not to fear it – even its supporters don’t handle uranium without some protective gear.

IP

They wear PPE because they understand it, not fear it.

so it isn’t dangerous? I wear PPE when fighting fires because I have enough brains to fear fire and being burnt. Perhaps I fear it because i understand it, but you don’t have to understand it to reasonably fear it.

IP

MrLinus MrLinus 1:04 pm 06 Jan 14

IrishPete said :

MrLinus said :

IrishPete said :

I didn’t notice the date of the event, just the new post. Oops.

As for small brains and nuclear energy? Well, that’s an intelligent, rational argument. Perhaps I could counter that only men with small penises don’t fear nuclear energy.

In fact, you’d have to be stupid not to fear it – even its supporters don’t handle uranium without some protective gear.

IP

Riiiiiight so people handle uranium with protective gear so it must be dangerous. .. Do people go around handling electricity without a care in the world? ??

sorry, are you saying electricity isn’t dangerous? that electricians don’t fear?

Might have to dumb it down a little. I was trying to point out that people use protective gear when handling any energy source. Your argument regarding uranium being dangerous simply because those who handle it have to wear protective gear is a fairly stupid one.

Diggety Diggety 1:18 pm 06 Jan 14

IrishPete said :

Diggety said :

IrishPete said :

I didn’t notice the date of the event, just the new post. Oops.

As for small brains and nuclear energy? Well, that’s an intelligent, rational argument. Perhaps I could counter that only men with small penises don’t fear nuclear energy.

In fact, you’d have to be stupid not to fear it – even its supporters don’t handle uranium without some protective gear.

IP

They wear PPE because they understand it, not fear it.

so it isn’t dangerous?

IP

Depends on which stage of the fuel cycle. For example, depleted uranium can be handled with no protective gear at all. Nevertheless, I’m able to scare the bejesus out of people who dont understand it.

In fact, onec can scare the average greens voter by simply mentioning ‘uranium’.

justsomeaussie justsomeaussie 1:36 pm 06 Jan 14

The history lesson here is that uranium was chosen because it produced plutonian which is very useable in nuclear weapons. The cold war drove the R&D and the offshoot was nuclear power.

Sadly due to this linkage the research on other forms of nuclear technology (such as Thorium) has been left behind due to its high cost. Thorium can be used in a reactor where it can eat its own waste and it’s impossible to meltdown as if there is a failure in the system it simply cools down whereas a uranium reactor requires active cooling (which can fail like in Fukushima). Additionally it’s much harder (but not impossible) to produce plutonium in a thorium reactor. However the R&D simply isn’t there yet and only small thorium reactors are being build (by China and India).

All things being equal nuclear technology (including meltdowns) could be far safer than pumping 10 tons of coal dust into the atmosphere everyday instead of producing 10 years of nuclear waste a year (which you can move and store). For all the alarm and calamity that a meltdown causes those impacted are largely small when considering what global sea rises could cause.

The greenest technology that exists today that can produce baseload power is still nuclear. Solar and wind contrary to what many believe isn’t as green as it’s marketed as the silicon in solar and concrete in wind power is pretty horrible to the environment too. But certainly on my house there is solar because it is a great way to distribute the power supply and reduce household costs (just not baseload power).

Interestingly there is a negative affect caused by the boom in solar power and that is that during the day other baseload power generators must be reduced to counter the increased in solar power entering the grid. Due to their relative ease in changing the amount of power they use this means that gas power plants reduce in power whereas coal (the far far worse polluter) keeps going.

If you think of it with solar you have a power generator going from maximum to minimum generation every day meaning that the other generators must do the same which causes a huge inefficiency.

So at the moment solar energy is actually making the problem worse. (it would be far better to have gas and solar/wind, not coal and solar/wind)

As always the truth lies in the middle.

    johnboy johnboy 1:42 pm 06 Jan 14

    Reactor design was also driven by what could be crammed into a submarine which is not ideal for civilian use.

Comic_and_Gamer_Nerd Comic_and_Gamer_Nerd 2:27 pm 06 Jan 14

IrishPete said :

I didn’t notice the date of the event, just the new post. Oops.

As for small brains and nuclear energy? Well, that’s an intelligent, rational argument. Perhaps I could counter that only men with small penises don’t fear nuclear energy.

In fact, you’d have to be stupid not to fear it – even its supporters don’t handle uranium without some protective gear.

IP

Having a small donger has no effect on rational thought.

Being a mental midget will cause irrational fear and thoughts every time though.

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