What’s wrong with nuclear power?

I promised to prepare a brief response guide on this topic for Jenny Game, the Greens candidate in my electorate for the looming Australian federal elections, then thought, it may be useful for other people. So, here you go:

The Australian Greens are opposed to nuclear power, weapons and mining.

These three links for those who want reading matter:

A Friends of the Earth report.

A submission to an Australian Senate inquiry.

A top nuclear expert’s views.

Dot points for some of the reasons:

  • Lag time: the construction of a nuclear power station takes of the order of 10 years, if there are no construction overruns (as is often the case). We don’t have 10 years.
  • With the amount of concrete and steel needed, the embodied energy and carbon footprint of a nuclear power station are enormous, and take many years to pay off.
  • After 70 years, there is still no solution for the long term safe disposal of nuclear waste.
  • Nuclear power is very expensive. All existing nuclear plants operate only because of large state subsidies.
  • The problem of decommissioning nuclear power plants has never been solved, and is now acute in countries like the UK with plants approaching the end of their productive life. This is a piece of real estate that is forever removed from human use.
  • Nuclear power plants are natural targets for terrorists.
  • Raw material for nuclear weapons is made in nuclear power stations. This alone is a reason for getting rid of them.
  • They have a very slow response to changes in demand.
  • Anything human-made is at risk of malfunction. The relevant figure is probability of occurrence of a disaster, multiplied by its effects. The effects are so horrendous that any non-zero probability makes them unacceptable.
  • Renewables are far cheaper, safer and more flexible in use.

The pic shows an aftermath of Fukushima.

About Dr Bob Rich

I am a professional grandfather. My main motivation is to transform society to create a sustainable world in which my grandchildren and their grandchildren in perpetuity can have a life, and a life worth living. This means reversing environmental idiocy that's now threatening us with extinction, and replacing culture of greed and conflict with one of compassion and cooperation.
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1 Response to What’s wrong with nuclear power?

  1. Dear Dr Bob Rich,

    I concur with you that nuclear power is a BIG NO! NO!

    By the way, I have just published a new post combining poetry, visual art and science in an innovative way.

    Please come and let me know what you make of my latest foray at https://soundeagle.wordpress.com/2021/08/25/snowflakes-tell-me-why-you-are/

    Thank you in anticipation.

    Yours sincerely,


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