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Today my aim is to persuade you all into thinking positively about the political

issue that arises the minute the sentence Nuclear Power is spoken of. Im a
strong believer of diversity and adaptability and making a move towards
Nuclear Energy is I believe the key to both of these
In late September it was reported in the media that the Abbott government,
headed by industry minister Ian McFarlane has said that despite past polls
showing a 50 per cent support among Australians for a nuclear power industry,
the government would not pursue it as an option. I do find this absurd.
Let me enlighten you all as to why.

As of the 23rd of April this year, it is reported that there are 435 nuclear power
reactors in operation with their sole purpose to create electricity across 31
countries around the world. Australia has a grand total contribution to this
number of 0 and so the question needs to be asked why?

Of the 196 countries in this world, Australia sits on 31% of all Uranium supply,
so the question needs to be asked why is it we dont use it?

Did you know that Nuclear energy has been in use for over 50 years and to
this day and continually into the future will never produce carbon emissions?

What Im sure you didnt know that Australia is one of the few developed
countries not using nuclear power and the only G20 nation without it. So once
again we have to ask the question why is this the case?
Two reasons: fear and politics. Safety is the issue cited most often by opponents
of nuclear power in Australia, but here is a fact for you all. There has been just
one fatal, and please note fatal nuclear accident in almost 60 years of
electricity generation worldwide. That accident was the one I am sure you can
all name in an instance, Chernobyl. According to the report handed down in
2000 by the United Nations Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation, 28
workers died in the first three months after the incident, 19 died between 1987
and 2004 of various causes not necessarily associated with radiation exposure
and another 106 suffered ongoing health impairment. The accident happened
because of poor design and human error. In 1979 there was a Three Mile Island
incident in Pennsylvania that resulted in no release of radioactivity and no
negative health effects. If we date back a few years a review by Japan's
reconstruction agency revealed that the stress and physical burden of
evacuation, not radiation, was the biggest factor of ill health after the 2011
Fukushima incident. The death toll due to radiation exposure remains at zero.
The nuclear safety record is impressive and nuclear is in fact the safest means
of electricity generation. Meanwhile, coal mining, oil and gas explosions and
dam failures kill thousands of innocent people.

For people to form an accurate position on where they stand with nuclear
energy use in Australia I believe it is important to briefly understand how a
reactor operates and how human error was the cause for devastation in
Chernobyl and whilst nuclear energy has a dramatic impact if not used
appropriately, it is ridiculous to bracket it as unusable because of unsafe
operations that were displayed in 1986. Which mind you is nearly 3 decades ago
and Im sure each and every one of us can agree technology has vastly
improved in this time

for those of you who have no interest whatsoever in science, Im sure you will
adore the idea very soon. Nuclear energy is created via the addition of a
neutron into uranium that is placed in tall metal rods. These rods are lowered
into water and with the addition of the neutron, the uranium becomes unstable
and off mass amounts of heat. This heat is used to turn the water into steam
which then powers your everyday steam turbine creating useable efficient
energy for widespread use. Now how cool is that? What people dont know is
that inside the chambers of a generator are containment rods that absorb the
reaction in the event of a disaster. In Chernobyl scientists were investigating low
energy creation when they left these containment rods out of the chamber too
long, they then warped, and were no longer able to be used and so a core
meltdown took place. All because of human error that can always be avoided.

A lot of bias is placed on nuclear energy because of the past, but as just proven,
nuclear energy is not only reliable and efficient, but it is safe if used correctly.
Nuclear power in Australia also brings thousands of jobs with new areas of
expertise required in the construction of the power plants, but also the
operation of them giving physicists of the modern era a place in Australia to

Another highly talked about area is the increasing rise in price of fossil fuels.
Although over the years Australia has rarely been depleted of coal and oil, these
are not a source of renewable energy like uranium is and so will one day run out
costing the country millions of dollars as they are currently our main source of

Uranium is incredibly cheap compared to its competitors. Measured in British

thermal units which is the amount of energy required to heat a pound of water
by one degree Fahrenheit it is seen that Nuclear energy is the way of the future.
Coal: ~$3.2/mmBTU
Gas: ~$2.8/mmBTU
Oil: ~$16.8/mmBTU
Nuclear: ~$0.5/mmBTU

Nuclear generators take up to 10 years to build, we need to plan for our future
now before it is too late. One thing Australia does have Is free land, and yes a
lot of it is native land owned by original custodians but what we have is what
many countries running Nuclear energy dont have, and that is possible places
to build such infrastructure away from main water sources and residential

Personally I would like to finish by saying I although we are all part of the world
we live in and each historical and scientifical achievement by any country is one
I am very proud of, I am sick of listening to all the work America, China, the UK
etc. are doing before us. They are all at the pinnacle of technological work and
we are made to sit back in awe of what they are doing. I want people before us
to be able to say, Australia are the frontrunners of efficient, productive use of
Nuclear Energy.

And that will be saying something