Nuclear power must be included in Australias energy mix – Dr Ziggy

first_imgAustralia has no choice but to consider nuclear power as part of its future energy mix, leading nuclear industry advocate, Dr Ziggy Switkowski, said in Adelaide today. Even if there happened to be “supersonic” progress in the development of renewable energy sources, and the successful rollout of energy productivity and carbon capture technologies, nuclear power will have to be considered if Australia is to meet its carbon reduction targets, he said. Switkowski, the Chairman of the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation, was in Adelaide to present the 34th annual Essington Lewis Memorial Lecture – organised by the Australian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy (Adelaide branch).The free lecture – named in honour of the one of the founding fathers of the Australian resources sector, and former Chief Executive and Chairman of BHP – is entitled “Is the climate right for nuclear power?”“I am concerned that the exclusion of nuclear power from our national conversation and energy debate represents a triumph of political pragmatism over good policy,” Switkowski said today. “When it comes to the generation of base load electricity – the 80% of electricity that must be available round the clock to power our refrigerators, washing machines, plasma TVs, traffic lights, air conditioners, etcetera – the options in front of us include the use of coal, gas, oil, hydroelectricity and nuclear energy,” he said.“If fossil fuels are excluded because they are “dirty”, and the risks to hydroelectricity from water scarcity considered, then the only presently available clean option for base load electricity is nuclear power.”Dr Switkowski said that, as well as being virtually carbon neutral, nuclear power offers several compelling arguments for deployment in Australia, including its proven 24/7 base load capacity, the country’s plentiful reserves of uranium, and generating costs that compare favourably with coal and gas fired power generation.“Deep greenhouse gas emission reductions will almost certainly prove beyond the capability of existing technologies and renewable energy platforms to deliver in the time allowed,” he said. “Our lights will start to go out as investment in clean base load energy generation stalls in an uncertain regulatory environment and the nuclear alternative is not validated. In a carbon-constrained future, nuclear-powered economies will exploit their cost advantages for clean energy in competing with Australian products newly burdened by embedded carbon costs.”Dr Switkowski said 31 countries representing two-thirds of humanity currently use nuclear power to produce some of their electricity. Globally, 15% of electricity is nuclear-generated, 23% within the OECD, and 31% of the European Union.“The current nuclear community is expected to grow to 50 countries by 2020. From our region, these already include China, Taiwan, India, Pakistan, Japan, South Korea and may extend to Indonesia, Vietnam and Thailand,” he said.“Given the presence of nuclear powered aircraft carriers, submarines and ice breakers, Australia’s region is nuclear enabled today. An increasing number of countries around the world are turning to nuclear power to meet growing demand for energy, reduce GHG emissions and diversify their energy mix from a single platform or dominant fuel supplier.”last_img read more

Irish nanny due in Boston court today over baby death

first_imgAN IRISH NANNY accused of the assault and battery of a 1-year-old child who later died is due to appear before a Boston court today.Aisling McCarthy Brady, 34, who is originally from Cavan but has been living in Boston for several years, will attend a pretrial hearing later today in connection with the death of baby Rehma Sabir.It will be her first appearance before Cambridge District court since 22 January when she pleaded not guilty to the charges.McCarthy Brady has been held on $500,000 bail since she was arrested in January.Police were called to a house in Boston where she worked as a nanny on the afternoon of 14 January. There, they found the baby in her care to be breathing but unconscious.Rehma Sabir was discovered to have a brain haemorrhage and cerebral swelling, as well as “multiple” healing bone fractures. The baby was pronounced brain dead on 16 January and subsequently died.It is alleged that McCarthy Brady was the only person who had contact with the baby during the period when she sustained the injuries.Middlesex District Attorney Gerry Leone has said the case is “extremely troubling”.“Children are our most vulnerable victims and where, as here, the offender has been entrusted with the case of a child who depends on them, the allegations are all the more egregious,” he said.Read: Post-mortem takes place on child Irish nanny is accused of assaulting >last_img read more