Nuclear cleanest option, study

A new study has found that nuclear energy is the world's only currently available 'clean' power capable of producing base-load electricity.

A new study commissioned by the Australian Uranium Association (AUA) has found that nuclear energy is the world’s only currently available ‘clean’ power capable of producing base-load electricity.

The study by Professor Manfred Lenzen of the University of Sydney’s Centre for Integrated Sustainability Analysis found that nuclear energy has the potential to avoid 180 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions globally until 2100.

“This study debunks many of the myths put forward in the energy debate, such as the claims that nuclear power is a highly subsidised, high-cost energy technology with a limited future,” AUA executive director Michael Angwin said.

“It establishes the opposite is true, and that is good news for Australia’s uranium exports.”

As the world moves more and more towards nuclear power, Australia is at risk of falling too far behind other producers if it does not advance its uranium industry in the near future, AUA communications director Simon Clarke told MINING DAILY.

“There is some urgency in expanding uranium production capacity in Australia,” Clarke said.

“There is an opportunity there that Australia needs to move quickly to make the most of.”

Clarke said that the study is not meant to be a guide as to whether Australia should adopt nuclear power, but rather an indication as to the state of all technologies.

“The report is a snapshot of where the various electrical generation technologies are at this point in time,” he said.

Lenzen’s study found that all of the electricity producing technologies, including wind, solar, hydro and fossil fuels, have positive and negative aspects.

According to Clarke, this means that governments need to consider all energy producing possibilities.

“It is prudent for policy makers to look at all technologies that are available when they come to consider the best approach to secure their electricity supplies,” he said.

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