From The Conversation… (3/11/23)
Is nuclear the answer to Australia’s climate crisis?
In Australia’s race to net zero emissions, nuclear power has surged back into the news. Opposition leader Peter Dutton argues nuclear is “the only feasible and proven technology” for cutting emissions. Energy Minister Chris Bowen insists Mr Dutton is promoting “the most expensive form of energy”.
Is nuclear a pragmatic and wise choice blocked by ideologues? Or is Mr Bowen right that promoting nuclear power is about as sensible as chasing “unicorns”?
For someone who has not kept up with developments in nuclear energy, its prospects may seem to hinge on safety. Yet by any hard-nosed accounting, the risks from modern nuclear plants are orders of magnitude lower than those of fossil fuels.