Australia’s nuclear energy future in the spotlight

Engineers will meet in Melbourne today to discuss the future of nuclear power in Australia.

The Nuclear Forum convention – hosted by Engineers Australia – will be opened with a keynote address from CEO of ANSTO Adi Paterson.

Tony Irwin, chair of Engineers Australia’s Nuclear Energy Panel said it’s time to look at nuclear energy free of misconceptions based on old knowledge and technologies.

“The improvements in the nuclear energy sector over the past few decades have been phenomenal, with newer model reactors being more economically competitive and dramatically safer,” Irwin said.

“In particular, small modular reactors with their natural safety based on passive safety systems using gravity, natural circulation and pressurised tanks, represent a game-changer that is particularly suitable for Australian conditions.”

Irwin said wind and solar energy are subject to supply issues, whereas nuclear power offers low emissions and constant reliable supply.

"If Australia is going to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions from electricity generation, then the option of nuclear power has to be seriously considered,” he said.

The forum will also hear from the World Nuclear Association’s and Ben Heard from Think Climate Consulting.

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