Australia may go nuclear by 2030June 6, 2012
Nuclear energy identified as a way to reach sustainability goals
Australia has taken an aggressive stance on carbon emissions and alternative energy. The country has shown serious interest in reducing its levels of CO2 emissions in recent years, hoping to modify its impact on the environment by adopting new forms of energy and breaking away from fossil-fuels. Though the country has shown interest in various forms of alternative energy, such as hydrogen fuel, wind and solar energy, nuclear may be the dominant form of power for the country’s future. According to Professor Barry Brook of the University of Adelaide’s Environment Institute, nuclear power may, in fact, be the only form of energy in the country by 2030.
Nuclear power gains popularity despite safety risks
Like others around the world, Australia has adopted ambitious sustainability goals. The problem is, however, that the country may have difficulty meeting these goals with its current energy focus. Professor Brook notes that this ongoing issue may spur the country’s leaders to put more emphasis on nuclear energy, which has proven to be a powerful form of power for the countries that have used it in the past. Nuclear energy may be a source of clean and renewable energy, but it does pose series safety risks, which have been growing in attention since last year’s Fukushima disaster.
Australian government focusing on IFR nuclear technology
Brook notes that the Australian government is becoming increasingly interested in Integral Fast Reactor (IFR) nuclear technology. This technology is more efficient at extracting energy from uranium and can use nuclear waste as a fuel source. IFR technology can also be operated at lower costs than other types of nuclear energy technology, making it alluring in a financial sense.
Government must see other alternative energies as viable in order to move away from nuclear energy
Though IFR technology boasts of several benefits, nuclear energy is still considered a dangerous form of power. Professor Brook suggests that to convince the government that nuclear energy is not an option; it must be shown that other forms of alternative energy are viable options and can help the country reach its sustainability goals in short order.