SA Mines and Energy Journal : November-December 2011
OCTOBER/NOVEMBER 2011 SA MINES & ENERGY JOURNAL could mean an extra 65 million tonnes of CO2-e in South Australia alone dumped in the atmosphere -- together with all the rest of the pollution -- from our baseload power. Instead, greenhouse emissions and toxic pollution could have been slashed and an efficient and economical energy supply secured sooner. Hesitation in the name of Generation IV nuclear is a luxury that flies in the face of an urgent response to climate change. But urgent development of Generation IV is still vital. By consuming 100 per cent of the fuel plus the depleted uranium from the enrichment process instead of just 1 per cent of the fuel, new generation nuclear provides over 100 times more energy than Generation III+. The 100 fold difference between the nuclear technologies delivers not a mere 0.9 per cent variance, but a 99 per cent+ change for the better from our current system. So while Generation III+ does a 99 per cent job of solving the problems, Generation IV nuclear opens up incredible opportunities to solve even bigger problems and do even more wonderful things. So bring on Generation IV. But the de-carbonisation of Australia's energy supply has already been delayed for too long. Generation III+ nuclear is an excellent solution that can be deployed immediately - it's time to get on with it. 31 NUCLEAR SERIES • Provide clean, safe, low cost and limitless energy globally, accelerating reductions in poverty • Power water supply and food production for a future population of 9 billion people • Power solutions to draw down carbon dioxide from the atmosphere • Provide abundant energy to assist in decarbonising transport Generation IV nuclear technology will: From left, Tom Blees, Shanti Blees, Barry Brook, Charles Till, Chad Pope, John Sackett and a PhD student pictured in front of the Experimental Breeder Reactor in Idaho, which became the Integral Fast Reactor Prototype (Generation IV). The development team was led by Charles Till.