Nuclear Power for Australia

 
  allan Chief Commissioner

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-08-03/parliamentary-enquiry-to-examine-nuclear-power-in-australia/11380666


The moratorium remains, but the subject is open for discussion.

I have no problem with the discussion! Truth is that I do not have a problem with nuclear power, except for its cost.

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  RTT_Rules Dr Beeching

Location: Dubai UAE
The rapid growth of RE and loss of other generation has pushed power prices up to that for nuclear, so cost is no longer a road block.
  Aaron Minister for Railways

Location: University of Adelaide SA
If cost is such an impediment to nuclear and RE is so cheap the truth is we do not need legislation prohibiting nuclear, the economics will make it prohibitive.

The truth is, we have legislative barriers in place because the economics are not what the Greens and the crazier proponents of RE will have you believe they are.

I posted some economic numbers in the other thread in regards to the ‘brand new’ still not fully constructed, presumably current state of art Coopers Gap wind turbine installation. The builder/operator’s own numbers show this to be a smeg investment compared to what nuclear would be.
  RTT_Rules Dr Beeching

Location: Dubai UAE
There are numerous studies on how much wind and solar a typical grid can absorb before it starts adding costs.

For SA to achieve +90% RE supply, it will need a 1GW power line into NSW and most of the SNOWy 2.0 capacity. This will obviously leave little left to replace NSW and Vic coal and the cost will be similar to today's power prices.

Tas 1000MW wind farm will enable its gas generation to be closed and just 1 coal turbine in Vic to be shut down.

The upgrade of NSW Bayswater and new CCGT gas plant plus dregs of Snowy 2.0 will enable Liddel to close.

The new Qld Gap wind farm basically supply Winvenhoe pumped hydro, which previously used overnight cheap coal.

Beyond these projects things get more complicated to continue further closures. Complicated = cost.
  Mr. Lane Chief Commissioner

Going nuclear is as much a strategic decision as it is an economic one: if Australia eventually wants nuclear submarines and/or weapons then building a nuclear power industry could be a stepping stone in that direction.

The truth is, we need nuclear for or power generation needs, we have enough coal, if we are willing to use it.
  Aaron Minister for Railways

Location: University of Adelaide SA
Nuclear power plants are not a prerequisite to have nuclear power in our submarines - a strategic pursuit I would fully support.

If nuclear armament were a goal - a pursuit I am absolutely never going to support, nor would nearly any sane person. Then today a domestic nuclear power reactor would be a pretty lousy choice of enabling technology. Quicker, cheaper and cleaner routes to weapons grade material are available through accelerators. Remember the international ‘surprise’ at how quickly the DPRK got from probably barely being able to operate a reactor to detonating a nuclear device? I think (and clearly I am not a person with CIA type information at my fingertips) what DPRK actually did was build a cyclotron, along with the importation of materials - the ‘reactor’ being a ruse.

Domestically Australia needs nuclear reactors for two reasons: electrical energy and medical isotopes - neither of these need to lead (and indeed could be specifically designed to not lead) to proliferation. As indeed referenced by the list of nations with nuclear reactors being much larger than the list of nations with nuclear weapons.
  Mr. Lane Chief Commissioner

Nuclear power plants are not a prerequisite to have nuclear power in our submarines - a strategic pursuit I would fully support.

If nuclear armament were a goal - a pursuit I am absolutely never going to support, nor would nearly any sane person. Then today a domestic nuclear power reactor would be a pretty lousy choice of enabling technology. Quicker, cheaper and cleaner routes to weapons grade material are available through accelerators. Remember the international ‘surprise’ at how quickly the DPRK got from probably barely being able to operate a reactor to detonating a nuclear device? I think (and clearly I am not a person with CIA type information at my fingertips) what DPRK actually did was build a cyclotron, along with the importation of materials - the ‘reactor’ being a ruse.

Domestically Australia needs nuclear reactors for two reasons: electrical energy and medical isotopes - neither of these need to lead (and indeed could be specifically designed to not lead) to proliferation. As indeed referenced by the list of nations with nuclear reactors being much larger than the list of nations with nuclear weapons.
Aaron
I didn't say they were a prerequisite, only a potential stepping stone. It is generally the case that countries that pursuit nuclear propulsion of their submarines generally also have a domestic nuclear industry. Actually I can't think of one that doesn't.

Supporting nuclear weapons is not a matter of sanity or insanity. Whilst I currently do not support their acquisition, "absolutely never" is a long time and these decisions should be driven by strategic needs. Nuclear weapons have their place and we don't know that in 50 years time the west will be protected by the US nuclear umbrella.

Weapons grade fuel is generally derived from one of two methods: separation of weapons grade uranium isotope in centrifuges built for that particular purpose or by enriching the spent fuel and isolating the plutonium that is bred in reactors. Plutonium is a better fuel for making bombs. A nuclear power industry also gives you a plausible front.

What people do underestimate is all of the supporting industry and structures that need to be built up around a nuclear power industry. Building an industry just for 12 submarines is hardly viable. Building an industry for submarines, power and the option to go nuclear makes for a much more sensible investment.

If its just power, we have no need, we can generate enough power with our practically endless coal reserves and have virtually zero effective impact on climate change. It's only politics that has made coal unviable.
  Aaron Minister for Railways

Location: University of Adelaide SA
Supporting nuclear weapons is not a matter of sanity or insanity. Whilst I currently do not support their acquisition, "absolutely never" is a long time and these decisions should be driven by strategic needs. Nuclear weapons have their place and we don't know that in 50 years time the west will be protected by the US nuclear umbrella.
Mr. Lane
Absolutely never is not a long time, it is never, absolutely so, my position of this will never change, not tomorrow, not in 50 years, not in 150 years should I live so long. So you are supposing we should have them as a second strike option? Should a nuclear power lob a warhead into one of our cities, exactly what will 'sending one back' achieve? An additional strike from the aggressor? Then what? Unless we can amass a stock larger than our attacker, or we can otherwise be part of the 'mutually assured destruction' what is the point? You're just needlessly creating a target for ourselves.


Weapons grade fuel is generally derived from one of two methods: separation of weapons grade uranium isotope in centrifuges built for that particular purpose or by enriching the spent fuel and isolating the plutonium that is bred in reactors. Plutonium is a better fuel for making bombs. A nuclear power industry also gives you a plausible front.
Mr. Lane
Weapons grade fuel? I think you mixing your nomers. Weapons grade uranium >85% U235 is generally achieved via a centrifuge, both other methods SILEX would be one, CHEMEX used in France would be another, also exist.

Plutonium is the better material, and I doubt that many Uranium warheads will be produced into the future, but Plutonium isn't sourced from spent fuel. Plutonium is sourced from a NPP but undertaking rapid fuel/defuel cycles in order to 'catch' the Pu239 before it undergoes fission. In a nuclear reactor Plutonium is the fuel, when the fuel is 'spent' most of the Pu doesn't exist either - which is largely why it's regarded as spent.

As I mentioned, a better source of Pu239 in the future (and today) is an accelerator, you don't need to fuel/defuel your reactor on short time scales, you can actually just let your reactor run, and just load some left over U238 (which is cheap)  into an accelerator, no mess, no fuss, high speed, high purity.

If its just power, we have no need, we can generate enough power with our practically endless coal reserves and have virtually zero effective impact on climate change. It's only politics that has made coal unviable.
Mr. Lane
I am pretty sure that's not true. Our coal supply is finite, and burning it all will most certainly have a non trivial effect on climate. I am not convinced it will do much damage to continue burning it in the shorter term as we head to Thorium based energy - which in this country is near inexhaustable. Uranium is somewhat less abundant, especially U235.
  Carnot Chief Commissioner

Meanwhile, in Indonesia:
https://www.reuters.com/article/us-indonesia-nuclearpower/pal-indonesia-thorcon-sign-deal-to-build-12-billion-nuclear-reactor-idUSKCN1UD0D0

I'm fast becoming convinced that if tech like this works well at this price, we should buy a few of these if we're serious about reducing fossil fuel emissions and maintaining energy security.
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
Bring it on the sooner the better.
  michaelgm Chief Commissioner

Bring it on the sooner the better.
bevans
Suspect public opinion is or has shifted in line with the above.
But, have heard people, one was on Q&A last night, whinging about emission from a nuclear plant during the construction phase, FFS.
  Carnot Chief Commissioner

Bring it on the sooner the better.
Suspect public opinion is or has shifted in line with the above.
But, have heard people, one was on Q&A last night, whinging about emission from a nuclear plant during the construction phase, FFS.
michaelgm
Nimbyism will be a big barrier too....
  Dangersdan707 Chief Commissioner

Location: On a Thing with Internet
Epic take by the Betoota Advocate on this
Nation That Somehow smeg Up An Online census Now Keen On Giving Nuclear Power a Whirl

I doubt the title will be available as the censor will do its job. To quote ‘giving Australia 25 opportunities for a Chernobyl style smeg up’





https://m.betootaadvocate.com/uncategorized/nation-that-somehow-smeg-up-an-online-census-now-keen-on-giving-nuclear-power-a-whirl/

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