GR Hot News Nuclear

Is pro-nuclear the best option for our make-or-break century?

Presented as part of World Environment Day 2012Environment Institute members Professors Barry Brook and Corey Bradshaw (along with Ben Heard of and Geoff Russell [regular BNC commenter]) are taking part in an event on nuclear power and environmentalism, held by the Town of Walkerville on Saturday 9th June 2012.

We’ll come complete with some entertaining show pieces, including a geiger counter and various ‘radioactive’ samples – it should make for a highly entertaining and informative afternoon!

More details:

Mayor Heather Wright (Town of Walkerville) invites you to take part in a public conversation on the pro-nuclear power debate. Four scientific professionals and commentators offer four perspectives on a subject that still divides public opinion. Whether you are ‘for’ ‘against’ or ‘undecided’, this is your chance to hear why all these experts agree that nuclear power is not only the safest energy source but also the one with the lowest environmental footprint.

When: Saturday 9th June 2012
Time: 2pm – 4pm
Where: Walkerville Town Hall, 66 Walkerville Terrace, Gilberton SA

Tickets to this event are free, however registration by Monday 4th June are essential as seating is limited. To register go to: To submit questions before the event, please email Sonia DeNicola,

By Barry Brook

Barry Brook is an ARC Laureate Fellow and Chair of Environmental Sustainability at the University of Tasmania. He researches global change, ecology and energy.

9 replies on “Is pro-nuclear the best option for our make-or-break century?”

I give you my best wishes and know you will do an excellent job. It serves well to remember that most people have a basic flaw which is only human. They like to believe they are superior at least to some others. This one flaw may be the downfall of our current civilization. The inability to win over the anti nuclear crowd is a clear example of this flaw. Being right is more important than doing right. And I have also witnessed that science has become to many scientists their own type of religion. The way to reach others is to avoid appearing arrogant or somehow full of oneself. If you already know this let it be a reminder and share it so that the message we want to communicate reaches people.


I hope you get a good audience but expect plenty of heckling from the anti-nuclear body keen to preach about the catastrophe in Fukushima. I also hope Mayor Heather Wright isn’t a relative of Matthew. :) – I look forward to hearing the feedback.


I understand some form of protest is to be expected? Where the protesters will probably claim that you’re stifling free speech or something.


Well, I just hope they are polite in their objections, rather than trying to disrupt or shout down what is intended to be an evidence-based, science-based and knowledge-disseminating discussion.


Bunch of my hippy mates are going to the protest. The facebook event can be found here:

They will probably try to disrupt the event, though most of them are fairly passive folk, I can’t account for those I don’t know.

I posted this to the facebook event page, but the event creator keeps deleting my posts:


Your statement in the descriptor is misleading:

“you are invited to attend a traditional NeoHippie response to the voodoo science behind plans for a nuclear reactor in Walkerville.”

No one’s actually planning to build a nuclear reactor in Walkerville.

And Barry Barry W. Brook is no a “rabid advocate of uranium mining and nuclear power”. You’re misrepresenting him and clearly haven’t been reading his blog – Brook is markedly pro “what works” and his definition of what works is based on real world figures from countries already running high renewable percentages and high nuclear percentages of electricity production. Brook’s general approach is renewables where it makes sense to do so, and Gen III & Gen IV nuclear power to provide quality base-line electricity supply.

Gen IV nuclear power is capable of ‘burning’ the current stock piles of nuclear waste and producing a spent fuel that is less radioactive than the ground your sitting on in 300 – 400 years. There are buildings in Europe that have been occupied on a continual basis for longer than that.

To say nuclear power is unsafe because of the Chernobyl, Three Mile Island accidents is like saying air travel in unsafe because of the Hindenburg disaster: they were all old technology plants that aren’t built any more.

And in order for Japan to have “100% nuclear free” electricity, they now face a summer electricity supply shortage of up to 20% and are planning on bringing some of their reactors back online

Germany has shut down all of it’s reactors too, and now faces escalating electricity prices and the need to burn more fossil fuels to back up unreliable solar & wind.

Burning coal has put more radioactivity in to the environment than nuclear power ever has:

I used to be a rabid anti-nuke, until I started doing my own research. Japan and France have been running a lot of nuclear reactors for a good couple decades, mostly incident free.

Read the data, read the published articles, and stop misrepresenting people.

The unavoidable fact remains: If Greenpeace and FoE had got out of the way 30 – 40 years ago, the whole world would be using more nuclear power, like France and Japan have been, and we wouldn’t be in this climate mess we’re in right now.


I posted this to DecarboniseSA too


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