Scientists Push for Nuclear Power in Australia

From SBS

A group of scientists and engineers has called on Australian political leaders to consider the introduction of nuclear power as an effective way of combating climate change.

The call has come from the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering. The Academy’s concerns have been backed by a number of scientists and engineers from countries across Europe.

As Darren Mara reports, many of them argue that fears over potential mishaps from nuclear power have been vastly overstated.

The President of the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering, Professor Allan Finkel, says he believes there has been a lot of unnecessary scaremongering around nuclear energy.

He says this has particularly been the case since the accident at the Fukushima reactor in Japan in 2011.

Dr Finkel says there were no deaths from nuclear radiation after the earthquake and tsunami and he believes the risk of radiation-linked cancers was near zero.

He believes nuclear technology is safe and could prove to be more effective than solar and wind power in reducing carbon emissions.

“In Australia, nuclear power would need to be eminently safe with minimal low grade waste and strict management of raw material at every stage. We would need a vigorous regulatory system and we would need to adopt internationally proven standard reactor designs. Perhaps we could even use small modular reactors of 300 megawats or less which are the sort that have been used in ships and submarines for nearly 60 years with an excellent safety record.”

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