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NUCLEAR POWER AND THE FUTURE
‘With all the debate on uranium, nuclear power and the threat of nuclear weapons and waste storage, could there be an answer that appeases all sides of the argument?
Our supposed chosen representatives should be doing more homework themselves rather than relying as usual on their highly paid experts. As many options are being overlooked and open and educated debate seems to be off the agenda’, said Mark Aldridge Independent Candidate for the Legislative Council ‘I do not put myself forward as an expert by any means, but my research leads me to believe there are answers to appease all sides of the argument’ he said.
‘Firstly we could create huge employment and income in this country by processing all our minerals on shore, particularly uranium and there are many modern safe designs. One in particular is pebble bed fuel for high temp gas cooled nuclear designs. This fuel is safe to handle once processed and is used in the latest designs of nuclear power generation.
When sold overseas this fuel would promote the use of these safer designed plants at the same time being useless to those with nuclear weapon ambitions. This will appease the green arguments at the same time fulfilling federal labors ambitions of expanded mining and job creation.
By utilizing these same designs for our power generation if in fact nuclear power is to be adopted, we could utilize this safer technology and in fact supply all our fuel requirements. If this situation were to be embraced we could locate these plants inland as they do not rely on vast amounts of our precious water to effect their cooling. A rather big plus, add this to their ability to double as water desalination plants, our long-term future would be more than secure.
‘The technology and industries required to effect this situation could also embrace spent fuel recycling which has had proven success overseas in regards to the same fuel being proposed here. This could address waste storage issues, another global problem that could also be addressed by this technology as that HTPBR (high temp pebble bed reactors) could also be utilized to overcome many other important issues facing Australians future including the production of hydrogen based synthetic fuels. Further research into the modern recycling of spent fuel and isotope separation, in particular the latest breakthroughs in laser and plasma based methods (ALVIS and SILEX). These offer a range of industrial applications for future advanced technology industries included precious metals like palladium, rhodium and ruthenium.
There are many other advanced ideas to supply our future needs and Australians should lead the way rather than adopt old age technology, so let the debate begin, green clean and profitable might just be the future of nuclear power, rather than what the decades of fear and smear campaign have led us to believe.
Mark M Aldridge
Independent Candidate for the Legislative Council 2009