Saturday, October 3, 2009

Let nuclear turn the windmills of your mind, Mike


Letter to the Editor #12 "Sunday Mail" (Adelaide) 3 Oct 2009; Readers' "SUNDAY ROAST" column, (370 words) by Allan Taylor

Premier Mike Rann has his vision for the future of South Australia. He says SA must become the center for renewable energy and climate change research. There is a State Office of Sustainability and Climate Change and an Adelaide University department of Climate Change headed by the admirable Prof. Barry Brook.

What do we get? Useless and ugly wind mills desecrating our beautiful landscape.

Federal Labor has recently passed their "Renewable Energy Target" bill which sets a target of 20% electricity being derived from renewable sources by 2020. Prof. Brook says this is impossible and advocates developing nuclear power, as does Ziggy Switkowski of the Australian Nuclear and Science Technology Association.

To be a prosperous and vibrant State we must have abundant and reasonably priced electricity. Prof. Brook says there is no evidence that the existing wind farms in SA have reduced green house gas emissions.

Utility companies have their work cut out meeting the daily and unexpected peak electricity demands using conventional power stations burning coal and natural gas. Such power stations must still be kept on standby if and when an erratic dribble of electricity comes from wind or solar sources. Last summer's heat wave caused rolling power blackouts throughout the State due to excessive demand.

The small, unpredictable, intermittent and variable electricity produced by wind farms serves only to destabilize the national grid and has no environmental benefit. Let's forget about renewable energy. It is not necessary and very costly.

The alternative is to go nuclear. Adelaide could become the center for the nuclear power industry. The universities must teach nuclear sciences and technology and so train the scientists and technicians required.

The Olympic Dam copper/uranium mine expansion will require an additional 650 MW of power, to make it the largest uranium mine in the world. This is best supplied by a nuclear power plant. We could pioneer the use of small nuclear power plants to revitalize the Outback. The present use of diesel generators and remote solar plants is unsatisfactory and unreliable.

We could even build nuclear powered submarines and electrify our city rail system. The mind boggles at the possibilities when you have abundant electricity.

With Premier Rann all you will get is more obsolete wind mills, more power blackouts, and a stagnant dismal economy.