Saturday 28 April 2007

The Hon John Howard MP is out to sell the Australian public on Nuclear, in fact, in his mind, he's already sold it. "What, we don't need a referendum?

Election time is looming and Climate Change is looming... hmm.

In a last ditch effort to rebound from the Federal Governments non-Kyoto attitude, Howard roars we're fair dinkum about Climate Change.
"If you really care about Climate Change you'll have to get serious about nuclear".

It's more like, "If you're serious about climate change, you know nuclear is too late". We need to mitigate CO2 within 10 years not after.

Howard says there's no need for a referendum - - Australia, your chicken is ready!

Frankly, who's going to buy the old model when the new one is so much better.

It will take at least 10 years to build a nuclear power station in Australia. At which time solar will eat in and overtake the market devalue and/or make nuclear redundant. You will decide on your electrcity bill - buy clean electricity or I don't care I just want the cheapest. tick. and don't be suprised if the cheaper is solar... and left with a turkey that lays radioactive eggs.

One thing for sure, as we continue to research down the clean coal road - as soon as solar is cheap enough - coal will be too dirty to bother with.

We need to become leaders in green renewable technology because that is what will sell in the future - and the future is now in preparation.

In the sixties it was music and studios, today it is water and renewables. Look out mobile phone here comes solar panels.

NuclearThe secret other 'half-life' of Nuclear.

Apparently Nuclear is bad news for everything but one thing; Global Warming. Nuclear doesn't produce any CO2, that's it, right.

Well that's half right!

The other part of the story is it does produce CO2 in every stage except in the nuclear process... but to get to the other 'half-life', we have to dig a bit deeper.

- to be determined by an impartial body -

Please excuse the un-scientific report and settle for a short description.

The main CO2 activity is the digging up and processing of uranium. The first thing to qualify is there's high grade uranium and low grade uranium...
when the high grade runs out we are left with low grade. The lower the grade the more digging and processing until we reach a pollution level equal to that of natural gas.

The downside is you have thousands of years of nuclear waste. The good news is Solar and Renewables are within 10 years, "so we don't need no nuclear waste for thousands of years thank you". Something needs to be said about oil - it wouldn't make sense to burn it all.

Australia has plenty of gas and may as well use that, it's cheap, plentiful, and it's not radioactive. Australia has plenty of sun wind ocean and hot rocks.

How much CO2 is too much? How do we compare 100 years of coal and thousands of years with nuclear. it does respect a challenge - to be determined by an impartial body.

"Uranium is clearly a finite resource, with exploration having to look deeper for new deposits. It will be increasingly constrained in the future by the environmental costs of mining lower grade ores."

"Overseas, some base-load power stations are nuclear. They produce little pollution during normal operation, but much pollution (including carbon dioxide emissions) from mining, enrichment, plant construction and decommissioning, reprocessing and waste management. They also increase the risks of proliferation of nuclear weapons and have the capacity for rare but catastrophic accidents."
Mark Diesendorf


Does nuclear energy produce CO2 ?

Proponents of nuclear power always say that one of the big benefits of nuclear power is that it produces no Carbon dioxide (CO2).

This is completely untrue, as a moment's consideration will demonstrate that fossil fuels, especially oil in the form of gasoline and diesel, are essential to every stage of the nuclear cycle, and CO2 is given off whenever these are used.


The anti-nuclear case rests on 10 points:

1.    Electricity Produced by NP is not CO2 free
2.    Conventional NP offers an insignificant contribution to world energy needs
3.    Fast Breeder technology means uncontrollable nuclear weapons proliferation
4.    NP possession now implies Nuclear War later
5.    NP is not economic - and is not insured
6.    Routine discharges cause cancer
7.    Nuclear Power Stations are vulnerable to terrorist attack
8.    The waste problem is not solved
9.    Nuclear power stations are vulnerable to flooding as sea levels rise
10.   NP would suck funding away from the real longterm solutions which are energy efficiency and renewable energy.


Nuclear vs. Coal: CO2 emissions

The journal "The Nuclear Energy Option" by Professor Bernard Cohen estimates that approximately 15 tonnes of CO2 is produced every minute by large coal burning power stations, where as an equivalent amount of energy can be produced in a nuclear power plant emitting almost five millionths the amount of CO2.

However, similar to coal fired power plants, there are other sources of pollution that must be taken into account when it comes to nuclear energy. Emissions that must be taken into account include those associated with the construction of the plant, mining and processing of the fuel, routine operation of the plant (fuel delivery etc.), the disposal of used fuel and other waste bi-products, and also the decommissioning of the plant.


So the Nuclear Power solution will be a greenhouse emitter in a relatively short time frame and the benefits just aren't there once high grade uranium runs out and/or especially when solar becomes competitive on price.

We are then left with nuclear waste - which to date - there is no safe way to store the waste - no solution. We must then take into account - if a solution is found - burying the nuclear waste requires more energy and more CO2 emissions.

In the bigger picture, Nuclear does not represent any significant CO2 savings.

Why not just continue using coal (we only contribute <2% of the worlds CO2 emissions anyway) and make Australia the Best Nuclear Free Country in the World, it would be great for the Tourism Industry - not that I have anything too do with Tourism, see here.

We have the sun to fuel us, the wind in our nuclear free air to breathe, renewable soil to feed us, what more could we want?

Mr Macfarlane says money will need to be spent to educate the public about the value of nuclear power.

Macfarlane outlines Govt's nuclear industry plans

Federal Industry and Resources Minister Ian Macfarlane has detailed the Government's nuclear plans for Australia, which he says are designed to help lower greenhouse gas emissions.

Prime Minister John Howard will today reveal more details about the proposals in a speech to the Victorian Liberal Party conference.


Nuclear power a feasible solution to climate change: PM

NuclearSaturday, April 28, 2007
He says Australia's only feasible options are clean coal technology and nuclear power.

"Part of the solution must be to admit the use, in years to come, of nuclear power," he said.

He is planning to invest in research for a nuclear power industry and change legislative bans.


Greens will go to election as Australia's "nuclear-free" party

Rudd strengthened, while PM's nuclear grenade could back-fire

Mud-slinging backfires on Howard

Rudd defends uranium u-turn

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