Renewable Energy way ahead of nuclear – Rebecca Keane’s Submission to #NuclearCommissionSAust
http://nuclearrc.sa.gov.au/app/uploads/2015/09/Rebecca-Keane-23-07-2015.pdf I am astonished that South Australia is even being considered as a site for nuclear power plants and/or radioactive waste dumps. Australia’s rapid and widespread progress in the harnessing of our virtually unlimited solar energy resource is evident in the fact that currently 1.4 million households have rooftop solar installations!. The huge potential for expansion in this field negates any need for the pursuit of such a highly dangerous enterprise as nuclear power generation.
Solar thermal energy supply, where solar energy is stored as heat is also highly efficient and offers
tremendous opportunities in this country. Moreover, our nation’s geographical conditions are extremely favourable to the massive development of other renewable sources such as wind, hydro and wave power. Wind energy is emerging as a highly cost-effective resource and vertical axis wind turbines are particularly effective and create no noise issues.
The West Australian coast is subject to the world’s strongest wind system (The Roaring Forties) with the energy released each year from the pounding of the waves influenced by this system, equating to five times Australia’s annual total energy usage2. Over 85% of Australians live in close proximity to the
A combination of the utilisation ofrenewable intermittent sources such as solar, wind
and wave energy with back-up hydro and gas-driven turbines is recognized by experts throughout the world as being highly comparable in terms of both adequacy and reliability of supply, to existing coal-driven technology. Over 24,000 people are employed in Australia’s renewable energy industries compared to 10,000 in coalmining for the domestic market 3
There is a huge opportunity for boosting employment in Australia in the manufacture, installation and maintenance of equipment for renewable energy generation. By comparison nuclear power plants are
relatively low labour intensive operations.
If we were to establish a radioactive dump here for worldwide waste as is being considered we would be letting other nations off the hook in terms of exploring and exploiting safe energy options-out of sight, out of mind.
At the community consultation session I attended at Uni SA, Mawson Lakes (19 May2015), Kevin Scarce branded Finland’s nuclear industry as ‘world’s best practice’. In 2008, only three years prior to the Fukushima disaster, the International Energy Agency said the same about Japan’s nuclear technology branding it as ‘state of the art’ and a model for all others to follow I do not think this would bring any comfort
to the 54,530 children of the Fukushima region (and their families) who have now
been discovered to have potentially cancerous thyroid abnormalities5
. The plant
1 Professor M. Diesendorf, University ofNew South Wales, radio interview with Rod Quinn ABC
Local, 17 July 2015
2 C Smith, The Science Show, ABC Radio National, 24 June 2015
3 Professor M. Diesendorf, University ofNew South Wales, radio interview with Rod Quinn ABC
Local, 17 July 2015
4 Energy Policies o/1.E.A.Countries, Japan 2008 Review,
https://www.iea.orglpublications/freepublications/publication/Japan2008.pdf, accessed 1 July 2015
5 C Perrow, Fukushima Forever, The World Post, http://www.huffmgtonpost.com/charlesperrow/
fukushima-forever b 3941589.html, accessed 1 July 2015
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