World needs to go nuclear to fight climate change, say scientists

January 16th, 2009 - 3:42 pm ICT by ANI  

Canberra, Jan 16 (ANI): In a new analysis, scientists have said that the world will have to adopt nuclear power to tackle climate change, as it is the only reliable, proven source of electricity with a minimal carbon footprint.

According to a report in news.com.au, the analysis was done by scientists and engineers from the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering.

The academy has issued a report calling for nuclear power to be on the table, and have predicted that 15 per cent of Australias electricity will come from nuclear reactors by 2050.

The problem with coal and gas-fired power is that it emits carbon pollution, which causes climate change, according to the reports lead author John Burgess.

But, renewable energy, often touted as the solution, is either not baseload power or not proven, he added.

We need power that runs for 24 hours a day, as opposed to just when the sun shines or the wind blows, Dr Burgess said. Nuclear power is an existing technology which is operating quite safely, he added.

The report said that Australia was well placed to go nuclear because of an abundance both of uranium reserves and remote sites for dumping waste.

Australia would probably have a generation 3 plus” style of nuclear reactor, which is safer and more fuel-efficient than current plants, it added.

A plant would produce between two and 10 cubic metres of waste a year, a small amount compared to some other technologies, the report said.

As for public hostility to nuclear power, Dr Burgess said that it could fade as concerns about climate change grew.

The Academys report, which looked at the best ways for Australia to generate electricity in a climate-friendly way, said a technological revolution was needed.

Emissions trading was a good start, but would not do enough to encourage low-emission technologies. It said that 6 billion dollars should be spent by 2020 on researching greener electricity generation.

New technologies must be deployed on a massive scale, and there should be relentless” work on energy efficiency programs, the report said. (ANI)

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