Australasian Science: Australia's authority on science since 1938

The Call for Nuclear Energy to Stop Biodiversity Loss

By Australian Science Media Centre

Adelaide ecologists Prof Barry Brook and Prof Corey Bradshaw have called for the promotion of nuclear power to mitigate climate change and protect biodiversity in an open letter published in Conservation Biology.

The full text of this article can be purchased from Informit.

“It is obviously correct to say that we need to move rapidly away from our present heavy dependence on fossil fuels. By far the most cost-effective change is to improve the efficiency of turning energy into the services it provides: lighting, heating, cooling, motive power and electronic devices. Wind and solar are the best alternatives for supplying the energy we need.

“It is only possible to argue that nuclear energy makes sense by discounting the huge future costs of decommissioning and waste management; the International Energy Agency concedes that we will already incur costs of hundreds of billions of dollars for existing reactors, now providing 11% of world energy.

“Promoting nuclear also requires ignoring the risk of weapons proliferation, the risk of accidents like Fukushima, and the appalling consequences if reactors ever become military targets in wartime.

“Nuclear energy should be seen as the least attractive of the low-carbon energy alternatives.”

Professor Ian Lowe is Emeritus Professor of Science, Technology and Society at Griffith University.

*****

“While photovoltaic and wind energy have made remarkable progress in the decrease of electricity cost per peak watt, at larger scale the cost per dispatchable watt limits their economic usefulness. This is already seen in Germany, where the price per...

The full text of this article can be purchased from Informit.