Australasian Science: Australia's authority on science since 1938

Nuclear Energy Has a Future in Australia

By John Söderbaum

Australia has compelling reasons to debate the use of nuclear energy as a power source.

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

Despite community uncertainty about some aspects of the use of nuclear-generated energy, there are strong environmental reasons to adopt this technology to achieve the nation’s greenhouse gas emissions reduction targets. These are backed by current official modelling that suggests nuclear energy is cost-competitive.

Thus, Australia has pressing climate change reasons, as well as economic, social and public health reasons to broaden and deepen the public and political debate on nuclear energy and seriously consider whether it offers a transformational opportunity to achieve our objectives, including declared clean energy targets.

Key issues for debate include technology evaluation, systems economics, attraction of capital, reduction of emissions, management of health and safety and radioactive waste disposal.

The Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering (ATSE) has long supported the position that Australia must include nuclear generation on its “menu” of energy options. In July 2013 it organised a conference in Sydney titled “Nuclear Energy for Australia?”

The aim of the conference was not to promote nuclear energy. Rather, it sought to inform and stimulate responsible debate on the issues – political, technical, environmental and economic – that surround the topic of nuclear energy and which are of vital interest to the...

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