Should Australia Adopt Nuclear Energy As A Means Of Sustainable Power Generation?

Should Australia Adopt Nuclear Energy As A Means Of Sustainable Power Generation?

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Should Australia adopt nuclear energy as a means of sustainable power generation? What are the benefits and risks of such a move in terms of environmental, economic, and social factors in Australia?

Australia has one of the world’s largest greenhouse gas emission footprints compared to its population on earth. As of 2006, Australia 's emissions were the highest of any OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development) nation with 26.7 tonnes per person per year of equivalent carbon dioxide (Garnaut 2008). In comparison, the United States had just 20.6 tonnes per person per year of equivalent carbon dioxide in 2006 (Garnaut 2008). The largest contributor to Australia 's emission footprint is the energy sector, accounting for 45.5% of emissions between 2005 and 2006 (Garnaut 2008). Further breaking this number down, we observe that ~79% of our electrical generation is done via coal (Garnaut 2008). Coal is a major cause of greenhouse gasses though cost effectiveness has ensured it has remained and for the foreseeable future will remain an important part of our energy policy. In this essay, the potential of nuclear energy to supplement at least a portion of our coal-fired plants will be examined with environmental, economic, social considerations being made to determine if nuclear power can reduce our emission footprint. The major focus will be on uranium based reactors, and to assess the potential of nuclear, it will also be compared to other renewable energy sources, for instance solar and wind. All information and figures used in this investigation were collected from reputable sources such as peer-reviewed journals, and intergovernmental organisation reports. References were carefully chosen that provide a non-biased i...

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...short term. Wind is an industry that is well developed in Australia, and our industry has become skilled in the manufacturing and deployment of new turbines. Not only is it cheaper, but Australia 's public is far more in support of the continued development of wind and solar, particularly with the recent nuclear disaster in Japan. The dangers associated with nuclear energy must be weighed against the benefits, and although the problem of high greenhouse gas emissions would be solved by its introduction, the potential effects on our people and economy do not balance out, particularly with the opportunities associated with other renewable energy sources. In conclusion, the evidence suggests that Australia should not adopt nuclear energy to form a part of our future energy policy as it is not in the best interest of the nation, nor is it what the Australian public wants.

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