Royal Commission hears that nuclear is a poor solution to Climate Change
COMMISSIONER: We had it put to us that nuclear power generation might be the saviour in terms of climate change. Would you add that to your economic analysis of light-water reactors in terms of accepting their development?
PROFESSOR SOKOLSKI: I think I would not, and I’ll tell you why. This is a topic which has been debated very extensively here in the States and as a result, the folks promoting nuclear power and the folks who are against nuclear power have gotten focused on very, very detailed analytical models. The best, or I should say the one used the most, is put out by an auditing firm called McKenzie. This model has been used by Greenpeace analysts and the largest 25 merchant utility utilising nuclear power, Epsilon, and they both use this model and they both agree that it’s a good model, and this model tells you that you should do about ten other things first if you’re serious about reducing carbon before you buy a new power reactor. That strikes me as very, very interesting and as positive.
More recently, I think you can read an article that was put out by Chris Buckley in the New York Times, and he makes the case that others do, that China must go with nuclear to reduce its carbon footprint. But he repeats the claim by the government of China that at most by 2030 if every one of the 35 reactors they built was built on time, which will be a remarkable achievement, they will only have 10 per cent of their electricity generation supplied by nuclear. The rest will likely be fossil fuels. I think this tells you how far you can go with nuclear. First, not very and second, there are quicker ways to reduce carbon that are cheaper.
Mostly it has to do with management of consumption which is a fancy word or phrase for turning the lights off more regularly and the second thing is doing natural gas substitutions for coal. Those are your quickest, cheapest ways to most dramatically reduce carbon and that is the project probably of the next 45 three decades. That is where you will make your advances. Also grid……to me http://nuclearrc.sa.gov.au/app/uploads/mp/files/videos/files/151125-topic-16-day-3-transcript.v1.pdf
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