9 replies on “Blog”

To Barry Brook:
Dear Barry,
I just saw your interview on One + One on ABC 24,
and I just had to tell you I thought it was excellent. I thought it was balanced – you said it would be better if we could do power by renewables, but that isn’t likely to happen soon. I was very interested to hear that people living up mountains get higher radiation doses – I wasn’t aware of that. And I agree with your assessment that the major problem with nuclear power at the moment is the fear factor. I wish you well.


Hi Barry
I saw you on one plus one and beleive you have only good intensions.
But there are questions that I feel are never properly addresed, so maybe you can help me understand this whole bebate better.
The first question is probably the most common and I have not looked on your FAQ yet as I am short of time and rushing this email.
Q1 Is there any safe and long term way of storing the waist until the material has broken down to a safe level of radiation, and if not what is the best time frame that we can safely store it for now?
Q2 How much dose it cost to store radio active waist, that is the cost of its containment, transporting and security of the site. Please give an example of the yearly cost?
Q3 What happens when a power plant comes to the end of its useable life. Can it be shut down and dismantled and the site be safe to reuse, and if not how long is the site un-useable and how much would it cost per year to secure the site


Robert, you should explore this website. Start here:

In brief, Q1 – we should recycle the fuel instead. Q2 we should recycle the fuel, but the cost is already paid by utilities in the US at a rate of 0.1c/kWh. Unfortunately, the opening of the repository has been blocked, repeatedly. So… we should recycle the fuel. Q3. Dozens of plants have already been decommissioned, at an average cost of $400-800/kW, which is trivial given the amount of earning produced in a typical 40 to 60 year life span.


Hi Barry,
I also just saw your interview on one plus one and was very impressed. I agree that the situation in Japan will only feed the sceptics. I only wish the Politicians would listen to logic.
Can you explain why people living in the mountains are exposed to more radiation? Also, what is your opinion on the new carbon tax?


Paul, the principal reason is exposure to more cosmic rays, since the atmosphere is thinner (a lesser version of the aeroplane effect). The secondary reason is that mountainous areas are often underpinned by more radioactive rocks such as upthrust granites and various igneous formations.

If Australia does not introduce nuclear power, I don’t see a carbon tax as being effective — at most the influence on carbon reductions will be marginal and unfortunately drive a short-term retreat to natural gas — until its prices rise.


Dear Barry,
Commonsense is not common. I was most impressed by your sincerity and I fear you are confronting prejudice arising from fear which is fueled by lack of knowledge. Your interview and site go a long way to help. The fact that you attract negative responses is proof that you are being successful in educating and challenging ignorance. I hope you get the exposure you have earned and that the world benefits from your efforts.
All those who make a positive contributions to civilisation, face these challenges. Wear the attacks as a badge of courage and a medal of honour.


Hi Barry
M concern is still with waste products. Even with recycling in IFR, waste products will still be generated that need storing for dozens of years? … or even longer? How can we ever be sure they are not going to be used in dangerous ways in times of political turmoil? I don’t consider myself paranoid, but we just can’t predict what the future can throw up. Who pays for the storage? Private companies that might not even exist into the future or absolve themselves of responsibility? (many companies have this sort of track record) The taxpayer will have to pick up the bill for long-term storage which basically amounts to a huge subsidy. Use the subsidy now to diversify energy generation into some renewables. With investment comes efficiencies and the process speeds up with time…and no dangerous waste generation. (I know that sounds simple) I mean it isn’t really a solution for Britain to have 50+ years worth of spent fuel rods (3000 cubic metres of HLW by 2030) to be stored under water and then transported to another location to be buried in a mountain (as they have done in Sweden, at the cost of billions of dollars) Such a low tech solution in a supposedly high tech industry and its fingers crossed that it isn’t misused in the future.


Hi Barry
I too saw you on ABC24 and was pleased to see a rational discussion on the use of Nuclear Power. I too am a believer that we need to make more use of Nuclear Power to a greater degree than we do today, albeit for different but related reasons to yours.
I am, according to your site a recycled sceptic in regards to AGW.
We do need however to clean the planet and Fossil Fuels are a finite resource anyway.
Have you read the book The Chilling Stars by any chance?


Best of luck with the home/work/blog balance.

Things certainly became fast and furious following Fukishima. You deserved the rest and reappraisal.


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