[ASC-media] Media Alert: Exploring Australia’s nuclear future

CRC for Contamination Assessment and Remediation of the Environment (via SciNews) releases at scinews.com.au
Wed Mar 18 14:10:30 PDT 2015

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Exploring Australia’s nuclear future

March 17, 2015

A national workshop to explore the opportunities and drawbacks for an Australian nuclear energy industry will be held at the Adelaide Hilton on 16 June 2015.

In the context of a growing global dialogue about the need to transition to low-carbon energy sources, there have been calls for Australia, as owner of the world’s largest uranium reserves, to factor nuclear power into its future energy mix. At the same time the experiences at Fukushima and numerous other nuclear accidents since Chernobyl have left the world cautious.

The workshop is intended to explore the pros and cons around peaceful use of nuclear power by Australia, and the policy issues involved, says its host, Professor Ravi Naidu, the managing director of the Cooperative Research Centre for Contamination Assessment and Remediation of the Environment (CRC CARE).

“As Australia’s leading research partnership committed to a clean environment, we want to ensure that the development of new energy sources does not result in new forms of industrial contamination – and that these are well understood, anticipated and planned for,” Prof. Naidu said.“We also want to broaden the national discussion about sources of clean energy.”

Currently Australia’s electricity is supplied by coal (74%), gas (15%) and renewables (11%), but that mix could change significantly as global pressure to decrease carbon emissions grows.

Recent advances in nuclear technology have led to a new generation of reactors which are more fuel efficient and safer, according to the World Nuclear Association. This has led to calls for Australian governments to explore the peaceful nuclear energy option. However these still have significant waste disposal issues which need a permanent and secure solution.

“Australia’s political leadership is bound to consider nuclear energy as one option for meeting the nation’s growing energy demands. This one-day workshop brings together both supporters and critics of nuclear energy to discuss its pros and cons in the Australian context,” Prof Naidu said.

The workshop will cover three sessions: the case against nuclear energy in Australia; the case for nuclear energy in Australia; and risk and waste management. Expert speakers will present a range of thought-provoking topics, including: Comparing the reliability and economics of renewable and nuclear energy; Future prospects and opportunities for uranium mining in Australia; and Nuclear safety and lessons learnt from nuclear incidents. The day will close with a panel discussion involving speakers from each of the three sessions.

It will provide an opportunity to air views on all sides in the nuclear debate, and will explore new avenues to understand public attitudes to nuclear energy.

To register and view the draft program, visit: 

More information:
Prof. Ravi Naidu, Managing Director, CRC CARE, +61 (0)8 8302 5041 or 0407 720 257
Prashant Srivastava , workshop co-ordinator, +61 (0)8 8302 6821 and 0422 176 366) or email Prashant.Srivastava at crccare.com
Adam Barclay, Communications Manager, CRC CARE, +61 (0)8 8302 3925 or +61 429 779 228 www.crccare.com

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