[ASC-media] Nuclear Power Safe and Economical - International Nuclear Power Specialist

Cathy Reade creade at squirrel.com.au
Sun Nov 19 06:49:28 CET 2006

Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering

MEDIA RELEASE                                            

Embargoed: 21 November 2006


nuclear power safe and economical FOR Australia FOR A RANGE OF USES 


An international scientist and adviser on nuclear energy has said that
nuclear power is safe and economical for Australia and could provide a range
of uses beyond electricity generation.


Dr Bertrand Barré, Scientific Advisor for the AREVA Group and former
Director of Reactor Engineering at the Atomic Energy Commission in France,
made his comments on the day the Federal Government's nuclear energy task
force is handing down its review. 


"Australia has the scientific, technological and institutional background to
develop nuclear power in a safe and economical way," said Dr Barré,
Professor Emeritus of nuclear engineering at the Institut National des
Sciences et Techniques Nucléaires.


Dr Barré, former President of the French Nuclear Energy Society and the
European Nuclear Society, and Chairman of the International Nuclear
Societies Council, made his comments in his address “Nuclear Power in a
Context of Sustainable Development” at New Technology for Infrastructure -
The World of Tomorrow, the annual symposium of the Australian Academy of
Technological Sciences and Engineering. 


Dr Barré has warned that nuclear power is not the solution to the
energy/environment dilemma, but there is no solution without it.


“Now is the time to consider the nuclear power option in a country which,
through its uranium production and reserves, is already a major player in
that field,” he said.


Dr Barré explained that Australia’s emissions of CO2 are not sustainable,
with the average Australian consuming one and a half times the energy of a
European, and emitting almost three times as much CO2 as the average


“There are three ways to resolve the energy/environment dilemma, and none is
sufficient by itself.  First, one must increase energy efficiency and
conserve more energy.  Then we must decrease carbon emitting source like
coal, oil and gas, which means increasing the share of nuclear and renewable
energies.  Finally, wherever and whenever reasonably possible, one should
capture and store CO2.”


“It also makes a lot of sense for Australia to generate part of its
electricity from nuclear power and export the saved coal, as Russia does for
natural gas,” he added.


Dr Barré looked to a future for a nuclear Australia that uses its nuclear
energy for options other than electricity generation.


“Australia should get prepared for possibly even more serious periods of
water scarcity. Nuclear desalination or nuclear co-generation of electricity
and water might prove very valuable,” he said.


“In a country which is endowed with huge coal reserves but which will have
to import more and more crude oil on a tighter and tighter market,
coal-to-liquid conversion is definitely worth developing with nuclear
reactors,” he said.


Dr Barré noted that there is a growing broad international consensus that
the preferred way to dispose of high level radioactive waste is by
geological storage, with some degree of reversibility built in.  


“Progress in the field of geological storage of high level radioactive waste
has been very significant over the last two decades.”


New Technology for Infrastructure - The World of Tomorrow involves key,
visionary, international contributors as well as some of the most perceptive
researchers, entrepreneurs, and industry leaders in Australia to identify
the most cost-effective and sound technologies to help shape Australia’s
infrastructure needs in energy, water, health, transport and communications.


Other speakers on the topic of infrastructure for energy include:

Lord Ron Oxburgh, former Chair of Shell and one of the world's most
outspoken senior executives on the issues of global warming and climate
change is making the keynote address on the topic “Technology and the Energy

Dr Louis Wibberley, Manager Energy & Technology, CSIRO Energy Technology
addressing “Systematic Overview of Energy Possibilities” and

Dr Peter Cook, CEO, CRC for Greenhouse Gas Technologies talking on
“Capturing and Geologically Storing CO2”

The event is to be opened by The Hon Malcolm Turnbull, Parliamentary
Secretary with special responsibility for water policy

Media kits and materials will be available at the media room at the Canberra
Room on the Third Floor or from Cathy Reade on 02 92289175, 0413 575 934 or
creade at squirrel.com.au


The ATSE wishes to thank the sponsors for this event, including Arup
Australia; Cisco; Cochlear Limited; CSIRO Energy Technology; CSIRO ICT
Centre; CSIRO Publishing; Department of Transport and Regional Services;
Leighton Holdings; Macquarie Bank; NICTA; ResMed Foundation; Transurban
Group; University of NSW - Malcolm Chaikin Foundation; University of
Newcastle; University of Newcastle – TUNRA; University of Sydney; UTS;
Victoria University


ATSE is an independent body of eminent Australian engineers and scientists
established to promote the application of scientific and engineering
knowledge to practical purposes




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