Geoff Russell’s recent article on IFR has provoked (in the comments section) a sustained (quite fascinating) discussion on the pros and cons of ‘going nuclear’ in Australia. One of the topics that’s come up is whether there should be a transition from Generation III+ (e.g. ESBWR, AP-1000) to Generation IV (e.g. IFR, LFTR) nuclear power. This Gen III stepping stone is obviously already a reality in many places (e.g., China, Finland, France); but what about countries, like Australia, that currently don’t have any nuclear power?
Is Gen III a necessary transition, given that commercial-scale Gen IV is at least 5 to 7 years off [if we get really serious about it]. Or, would support for Gen III give the impression that Gen IV is just a Trojan horse? [if so, can this be avoided?]
Useful background reading for this thread, which summarises my views, can be found here: A sketch plan for a zero-carbon Australia. Some of these ideas have already been chewed over on the Climbing Mount Improbable thread.
Note: This is not intended to be a discussion about whether or not Australia should have nuclear power — that is a different topic. This thread is for discussion of the currently hypothetical situation where Australia has decided to adopt nuclear power as part of its move to a zero carbon economy. In this context, how should we proceed?