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ANSTO for nukes and dumps: major carbon mitigation strategies for Australia appear to be carbon capture and sequestration; and adoption of nuclear power

Posted by gmarkets on 3 September, 2007

An ANSTO submission to the Owen Inquiry into Electricity Supply in NSW outlined the advantages of nuclear power, including efficiency, costs and low levels of carbon emissions. Advantages for all: Globally:

1. The relatively low sensitivity of nuclear power to movements in the price of its raw material offered stability in electricity prices.

2. The much greater energy efficiency of uranium enabled much greater security of supply.

3. CO2 levels are rising rapidly and if we want to stabilise these levels the time for decisions is very short.

Benefits at home: For Australia:

1. Australia’s carbon emissions to the atmosphere on a per capita basis were the highest in the world, and were predominantly produced by stationary energy conversion (fossil fuel power stations).

2. The fuel mix for electricity production in Australia was dominated by coal, which explained the high level of carbon dioxide emissions per unit of electricity produced.

3. Given this situation, the two major carbon mitigation strategies for Australia appear to be carbon capture and sequestration and the adoption of nuclear power:

a) The current state of large scale commercial deployment and use of the carbon capture and sequestration technologies was restricted to the Sleipner plant in the North Sea, and further major research and development effort was essential to prove the economic and technical viability of this option.

b) Nuclear power was demonstrated to operate at the scale required, and the examination of this option for Australia was essential.

4. Further strategies involving conservation and efficiency and the appropriate use of renewable power sources, especially wind, must be developed in addition to the base load carbon mitigation strategies.

5. Nuclear power was broadly competitive in cost terms with other energy sources.

Reference: The Nuclear Power Alternative For NSW, ANSTO Submission, Owen Inquiry into Electricity Supply in NSW, Dr ian Smith, Executive Director, June 2007. Contact: Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation, New Illawarra Road, Lucas heights (PMB 1, Menai NSW 2234) Phone: +61 2 9717 3702 Fax: +61 2 9543 6907 Website: http://www.ansto.gov.au

Erisk Net, 28/7/2007

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