Tuesday, February 22nd, 2011
Calls for Australia to embrace a low-carbon nuclear energy future are escalating, with two South Australian environmentalists shining a light on the issue and calling for a change in Australia’s energy policy. Professor Barry Brook of the University of Adelaide, and Ben Heard, Director of Adelaide-based consultancy ThinkClimate, announced today that they will deliver presentations to raise the profile of nuclear power as a solution to climate change.

Earlier this month an update by the federal government's top climate change adviser Professor Ross Garnaut revealed nuclear power is a proven source of clean energy and that there is evidence overseas that the cost of nuclear power is falling. This was in contrast to the Greens' nuclear spokesman Senator Scott Ludlam who says the government should not only rule out nuclear power but also uranium mining, which he said threatened mine workers, local communities and water courses.

So who is right and why is nuclear power such a hot topic in 2011?

TIA CEO, Steve Adcock commented today on the huge swing towards cleantech initiatives in South Australia and how this has ignited interest in the nuclear power debate. “Cleantech issues have become increasingly important to South Australian technology companies who aim to reduce their carbon footprint,” stated Mr Adcock.

“Parallel issues such as the benefits of nuclear power are therefore of extreme interest to the South Australian technology industry from a business sustainability point of view,” added Mr Adcock.

For TIA member Ben Heard, supporting nuclear power is something new. “I was a long time opponent of nuclear power, believing it to be costly, dirty and dangerous. But my work exposed me every day to the massive scale of the climate crisis, and it demanded a rethink on nuclear power,” said Mr Heard.

“I challenged all my preconceptions, and what I learned astonished me. Nuclear is not just acceptable. It’s a vastly preferable way to deliver energy, and the only solution that can be rolled out at a meaningful national scale,” explained Mr Heard.

Professor Barry Brook is a prominent nuclear advocate, and also holds the position of Director of Climate Science at the University’s Environment Institute. For Professor Brook, current 3rd generation nuclear power is a critical stepping stone to the introduction of generation 4 technology, which provides the promise of inexhaustible, clean and sustainable energy for the whole world.

“For too long Australia been an energy production backwater, satisfied with old-style technology based on burning cheap coal and natural gas,” said Professor Brook.

“But as societal concerns over pollution, climate change, price of electricity and future energy security rise, nuclear energy – the only proven and most cost-effective baseload low-carbon energy source – is now looking like a really sensible option. And rightly so. If we are really serious about addressing Australia’s future clean energy needs, we need to rationally consider all the alternatives, nuclear and renewable,” Professor Brook added.

For these two environmentalists, the obstacle to nuclear power in Australia isn’t scientific or economic, it’s social and political. “I think a lot of Australians are beginning to suspect that we have been misled on nuclear power by the traditional environmental movement,” said Mr Heard.

“However shifting position from anti nuclear to pro-nuclear is a big ask! That’s why I’ve created this presentation. It’s to show people that nuclear makes sense for the environment, and that it’s ok to change your mind,” Mr Heard went on to say.
“Nuclear power is employed by over 30 countries worldwide, with several nations pursuing nuclear power for the first time. But in Australia, with some of the highest per capita greenhouse gas emissions in the world, we are stuck debating about whether or not to open a debate! This has to change, and change quickly.”

“Public understanding of the technology is now absolutely crucial” Brook adds. “Only that way will a groundswell of support for nuclear power emerge, and in doing so give politicians and other key decision makers the confidence to put this critical issue firmly on the policy planning agenda.”

Those interested in attending this stimulating and controversial seminar (Powering a Cleaner Australia) can book online at the TIA website via www.tia.asn.au / events. Powering a Cleaner Australia will be staged at the Education Development Centre, Milner Street Hindmarsh, Tuesday 8th March, (off Port Road) from 4.00pm to 6.00pm for a nominal attendance fee of $10.00.

Contact Profile

Technology Industry Association

The Technology Industry Association (TIA) is the peak body in South Australia representing the $7.5 billion technology industry. TIA is a non-profit, member based organisation that delivers tailored networking events, professional development courses, business advice and lobbying opportunities. Facilitating the technology industry to thrive both domestically and internationally is of prime concern to TIA. The activities of this industry have a flow on impact to the economic prosperity of South Australia in terms of employment, future growth and social well being. In this sense TIA serves not only the technology industry but also the wider community who benefit from having a home grown flourishing high tech industry. Currently the technology industry employs around 30,000 people in 1,200 companies and generates $1.3 billion in export revenue. TIA is committed to enabling this dynamic industry to increase in size and has a mandate to ensure it lobbies government, other industry bodies and institutions. If you're a registered business, trade association or government entity then you're eligible to join TIA. You don't need to operate within the technology sector to benefit from membership and you wont be alone! Many TIA members are service providers or government departments who simply want to find out more about this dynamic industry
Steve Adcock, CEO, TIA
P: 0882725222
M: 0411017184
W: www.tia.asn.au

Prof Barry Brook

P: 8303 03745
M: 0420 958 400


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