Politics

Talking nuclear and ‘the smoke and mirrors game of shadows’

Noel Wauchope checks the “nuclear” info in an interview between former CEO of Australia’s Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANTSO), Dr Adrian (Adi) Paterson, and pro-nuclear fanatic and Sky News host Chris Kenny.

PATERSON: It is not utterly sorted out in Germany. There are nonetheless folks attempting to cease the [nuclear] restarts, who’re in numerous elements of the political construction there.

Fact test

The German Government maintains its coverage of closing down all nuclear reactors. It is just “some people” who’re attempting to cease the coverage. Even Paterson is compelled to confess that the German shutdown will proceed.

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PATERSON: I’m nonetheless uncertain whether or not they’ll truly change on an equipment.

CHRIS KENNY: When it involves the science and the engineering, in the event that they’ve began to decommission these nuclear energy vegetation, is it very tough to reverse that scenario?… Have they gone too far down the decommissioning path?

(Paterson avoids the query. It entails many elements, together with that Germany has paid large compensation to nuclear firms. There are authorized and regulatory hurdles. We’re nonetheless at the hours of darkness concerning the technical issues of restarting them. It has hardly ever been accomplished — Japan’s expertise illustrates the issues, together with technical. His reply digresses to an odd assault on the USA’s nuclear regulators.)

Fact test

The regulators rescinded the approval that might have let South Florida nuclear reactors function for a complete of 80 years. It was based mostly on issues about flooding dangers – in view of rising local weather change – and the protection elements of ageing reactor elements.

PATERSON: Then you see a rustic like France reworking itself by agreeing to construct an entire raft of recent vegetation… It’s a distinction of two totally different fashions — one which is admittedly critical about doing one thing and others the place it’s a sort of smoke and mirrors recreation of shadows.

Fact test

Well, there aren’t actually many info to test right here. Yes, France’s President Emmanuel Macron is promising to develop a fleet of recent nuclear reactors. But that is within the context of France’s nuclear firm having to be totally nationalised as a result of it’s an financial basket case and having terrible troubles, not understanding what to do with its accumulating radioactive trash.

(Chris Kenny waxes ecstatically about France because the ”power saviour of Europe” – ”so wise” – and regrets that ”Australia is making no progress”. That’s Paterson’s cue to go on together with his dream for Australia…)

PATERSON: To convert our uranium… enrich it… fabricate gas… and we might add ten instances the worth of the $608 million that we at present get yearly from promoting it — so we might flip that into  $6 billion.

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Fact test

Globally, nuclear energy is simply not financial. It wants large subsidies from governments. 

PATERSON: We’re dwelling in a bizarre scenario the place the historical past of nuclear is way more necessary than the longer term that it might present for us.

CHRIS KENNY: It is insanity.

Fact test

Well, there are not any info right here to check as such, however I’d recommend that historical past is necessary.

Nuclear energy’s historical past of comparatively uncommon – however drastic – accidents, alongside security points and persevering with waste issues (coupled with financial failure), ought to certainly be a consideration in future planning.

Adi Paterson’s fantastic nuclear dream utterly ignores these historic and persevering with issues and appears surprisingly incongruent with the present scenario of hazard to nuclear reactors within the Ukraine battle scenario. Not a point out of terrorism threat, or of nuclear weapons proliferation.

And trendy renewable power applied sciences are simply ignored by Paterson, dismissed as“a kind of smoke and mirrors game of shadows”.

Read extra by Noel Wauchope at antinuclear.internet and nuclear-news.internet and comply with her on Twitter @ChristinaMac1.

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