Going nuclear rather then "clean coal"

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Going nuclear rather then "clean coal"

Postby HVPA_research » Wed Oct 14, 2009 1:02 am

Going fission. The Age, October 13, 2009
Is nuclear power the only way to meet Australia's future energy needs and cut carbon emissions? Geoff Strong and Ian Munro report.
THE 500 environmentalists who last month tried to shut down Hazelwood, Victoria's second-biggest power station, have inadvertently illuminated a distinctly Australian problem.
If asked, most Australians would profess to wanting to lower greenhouse gas emissions, now among the highest per person in the world. They would also want to retain living standards, supported by an economy that has slipped largely unscathed through the global financial crisis. And most would want this without resorting to a largely greenhouse-free energy source that has gained favour in many other advanced or growing economies: nuclear power.

HEAD of ANSTO Ziggy Switkowski believes that in its opposition to nuclear power Australia is alone among developed countries committed to deep greenhouse reductions. ''Australia stands alone in claiming that we are different, that we have a whole range of alternatives that in combination will get us to our target. It is ambitious but the numbers just don't work,'' he says. ''[We must] provide for the next generation of baseload electricity generation with clean energy. The only way to do that is with nuclear power. There is no other alternative.

CSIRO's Lincoln Paterson says he is no advocate for the nuclear industry, but even accounting for the Chernobyl tragedy, nuclear is relatively low risk considering 6000 or so people die annually from coal mining in China.
''There is a risk with nuclear, but there's a pretty horrendous risk if we do nothing,'' Paterson says. ''I've flown in and out of Bangladesh and there are 160 million people within 10 metres of sea level, and you start wondering what's going to happen to them.
''Wind by itself can't do it. Carbon capture and storage by itself can't do it. Nuclear by itself can't do it. It's going to require all of those technologies to make a contribution, and that's going to depend on where you are in the world and what the particular attributes of your country are.''
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