Australian news, and some related international items

Professor John Quiggin dismisses the CANDU nuclear reactor at the #NuclearCommissionSAust

COMMISSIONER: You dismiss the CANDU reactor?scrutiny-Royal-Commission CHAIN
PROF QUIGGIN: I can’t see that there are going to be any significant number. There are none under construction right now, to the best of my knowledge. So I can’t see how by 2025 we would have any scope……..


Prof Quiggan: “……..I think we’ll go back to carbon pricing and we’ll go down essentially a renewable (indistinct) perhaps already well-established industry. With popular acceptance – there’s obviously a little bit of objection to wind but broad 40 popular acceptance and essentially all we need is the price signal and some policy certainty and that’s the path we’ll take……..

 Social licence is part of it but I think that focuses too narrowly on the kind of what might be called the 35 NIMBY objections of people who don’t want nuclear power stations next door. Processes simply like setting up a regulatory framework are very complicated. If we look at – even assuming that there was general popular goodwill out there, we still have to have the procedure of selecting sites.
That’s something that hasn’t been done in the Western world for many decades. All the existing 40 power plants being built in the US are being built on brownfield sites next to existing nuclear power stations. So we have to have a procedure of some kind to select locations and design procedures, finding the people to do it, setting up all the things that need to be 45 thought about with a nuclear power station. That’s inevitably going to take a great deal of time, even assuming popular goodwill, which of course is a pretty heroic assumption…….
I think the majority view will be that renewables can do the job and should do the job. I think it will be hard to persuade a large proportion of the population that nuclear is superior to 10 renewables ………

if we look at the US nuclear renaissance program they were starting in 20 2002, hoping to have plants online by 2012, and a lot of them instead will be lucky to get four plants online by 2020. That’s without any significant element of protest. There hasn’t, as far as I’m aware, been any public protests of any significance at the nuclear power plants that are under construction in the US. Obviously concerns have been expressed about the regulation process but there 25 haven’t been activist protestors. Nonetheless, a process that was supposed to take 10 years has taken 20……….
 French nuclear power plants have become more and more expensive. The Flamanville plant is way overdue among other things, and this certainly is obviously going to be an issue in the Australian context. ……..
COMMISSIONER: You dismiss the CANDU reactor?
PROF QUIGGIN: I can’t see that there are going to be any significant number. There are none under construction right now, to the best of my knowledge. So I can’t see how by 2025 we would have any scope……..
We’ve seen substantial cutbacks in the renewable sector. Simply by bringing back to where it was two 15 or three years ago, we could substantially accelerate the process of transition. ……….
Obviously, the first thing to do would be change the pricing structures. If we are relying substantially on solar power, for example, we want to tell people to 10 heat their hot water up in the day time and not at night time when there’s excess power. Looking at pricing policies more generally as part of the story, we can look at storage, we can look at gas peaking, and, finally, we can look at expanding the (indistinct) so that we spread the load more generally……
– if we look at nuclear as an economic option, we’ve only really seen one well established success in the 1970s, one potential success, China now. We may see some others but everywhere else either the economics 35 has been bad or, as we’ve seen in the Soviet Union, the economics look good until you took account of the failure to put in the necessary safety procedures. ..

September 25, 2015 - Posted by | NUCLEAR ROYAL COMMISSION 2016

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