Australian news, and some related international items

Australia’s nuclear lobby never gives up

Despite the resounding defeat of the shonky South Australian Nuclear Fuel Chain Royal Commission last year, a few zealous lobbyists continue to put across the incorrect story  that expansion of the nuclear industry in that State is  a viable option.

They organised a symposium.

Cambridge Dictionary describes a symposium as : an occasion at which people who have great knowledge of a particular subject meet in order to discuss a matter of interest

That’s interesting, as the communique from this symposium did not name the experts who were present.  I am suspecting that their “great knowledge” was on how to spin pro nuclear propaganda.

The meeting was co-ordinated by the pro nuclear physicist Professor Ken Baldwin. He apparently still believes in the goal of the NFCRC. He had this to say on the NFCRC goals

A further step could be to immediately establish a nuclear regulatory framework, in parallel with community consultation. This would reduce the lead time for nuclear to perhaps ten years if there is public acceptance

The symposium sounded so important, held at the ANU, hosted by The Australian National University (ANU) Energy Change Institute in collaboration with Engineers Australia, the Australian Academy of Science and the Australian Academy of Technology and Engineering.

It all sounds so awfully academic and gee-whiz important. Apart from Mr Baldwin, no other experts were named. Anyway, surprise surprise. They concluded that  Nuclear options need to be in the energy mix.  I’d just like to know –  how many scientists actually were present? Who put up the arguments for nuclear? What were those arguments?

April 28, 2017 - Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, spinbuster


  1. Found this on the internet (have deleted useless info)
    The Nuclear Fuel Cycle Symposium

    Opening and welcome, Professor Ken Baldwin, Director, Energy Change Institute

    Summary of NFCRC report, Rear Admiral the Honorable Kevin Scarce AC CSC RAN (Rtd) – Commissioner

    All panel discussions and audience Q&A will be moderated by ANU Science Communicator and Physicist, Dr Phillip Dooley.

    Mining & fuel processing
    Dr Erica Smyth, Deputy Chair, ANSTO Board
    Andy Lloyd, Principal, Lloyd Mine Consulting
    Tony Irwin, Chairman of Engineers Australia Sydney Nuclear Engineering Panel, and ANU Energy Change Institute

    Nuclear power
    Professor Ian Lowe, School of Science, Griffith University
    Mr Ben Heard, Executive Director and Founder, Bright New World
    Dr Adi Paterson, CEO ANSTO

    Waste storage
    Dr Carl-Magnus Larsson, CEO ARPANSA
    Dr Therese Donlevy, Strategic Projects Officer, Nuclear Operations, ANSTO
    Dr Vanessa Guthrie, Chair, Minerals Council of Australia

    International context
    John Carlson, Lowy Institute
    Steven McIntosh, ANSTO
    Jasmin Craufurd-Hill, Women In Nuclear Australia

    Economic impact and human capacity
    Emeritus Professor Sue Richardson, National Institute of Labour Studies, Flinders University
    Professor Mike Young, University of Adelaide
    Dr Roderick Campbell, Director of Research, The Australia Institute

    Social licence to operate
    Associate Professor Maria Rost Rublee, School of Social Sciences, Monash University
    Professor Peta Ashworth, Chair in Sustainable Energy Futures, UQ
    Dr Ian Duncan, Independent Advisory Panel, National Radioactive Waste Management Project
    What next? Professor Ken Baldwin, Director, Energy Change Institute


    Comment by Dennis Matthews | April 28, 2017 | Reply


    Recently, some organisations with impressive sounding names held a symposium at the Australian National University.

    The symposium of engineers and scientists was on the nuclear fuel cycle comprised of “mining and fuel processing, nuclear power and waste storage”. The fact that this is a linear process rather than a cycle doesn’t seem to have bothered the participants. The nuclear spin cycle however is real.

    The symposium appears to have regurgitated pro-nuclear submissions made to the SA Royal Commission on the nuclear industry and ended up generally agreeing, “that a social licence to operate will not be achieved quickly”. This is an understatement. It has been six decades since Australia got involved in the nuclear industry and sent uranium mined in South Australia and the Northern Territory to the UK for processing and for making nuclear weapons, which were then “tested” in South Australia.

    The symposium ended up recommending, “that expertise in the humanities and social sciences be engaged to study the evolution and determining factors for public opinion on nuclear issues in Australia.” Hopefully, these experts will teach the scientists and engineers how to be objective and how to tell the difference between a cycle and spin.


    Comment by Dennis Matthews | April 28, 2017 | Reply

    • I think that you might be optimistic about those “experts in the humanities and social sciences”. I think that the nuclear lobby will be very selective about which experts it chooses to pay for their advice.


      Comment by Christina MacPherson | April 28, 2017 | Reply

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