Australia to Become Recipient for Newest Nuclear Technology Soon, Adelaide Scientist Says

While Germany, Switzerland and other European countries, along with Japan, of course, want to stop relying on nuclear power, Australia is likely to become world’s most advanced nuclear technology owner, says Professor Barry Brook, a University of Adelaide scientist.

Brook lead the Environment Institute, and thinks that Australia will be the first country to adopt the IFT (Integral Fast Reactor), as he considers that the technology, which has not been thoroughly investigated for financial reasons, is “a wasted opportunity for Australia and for the rest of the world.”

“Integral Fast Reactors are much more efficient at extracting energy from uranium, can use existing nuclear waste for fuel, produce far smaller volumes of waste that does not require long-term geological isolation, and can be operated at low cost and high reliability. They are also inherently safer than past nuclear reactors due to passive systems based on the laws of physics,” Professor Brook said on Monday, in the eve of World Environment Day.

However, until the IFR technology gets implemented, it will have to prove itself as safe and fuel-efficient. Brook thinks that by 2030 Australia will build the country’s first 3 GWe (gigawatt electrical) power plant and will connect it to the power grid, while a much more distant prediction says that by 2100 they will have installed more than 100 GWe across the country, totally replacing oil and gas.

You may ask yourself who Prof. Brook is, and where does the boldness in his statements come from. Well, he was the first Australian appointed to the international selection committee of the Global Energy Prize, so he’s a trusted authority in the matter. I guess nuclear power’s not dead, anyway.

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  • kurt

    curious, how does IFT compare with Thorium ?

    IFT nuclear is likely still inherently hazardous from the mining, processing, transportation, storage and security viewpoints. Brook asserts “smaller volumes of waste that require long term geological storage” and higher reliability and safety due to “passive systems that rely on the laws of physics.”

    great, as long as earthquakes/tsunamis/bombs never hit. we all know how well that’s worked out.

    so why bother with nuclear tech? it is inherently dangerous and costly and competing alternatives are bounding ahead without the safety issues. The nuke plant mindset is so 50’s!

    • Ovidiu Sandru

      Yeah, Kurt, I agree, but until solar/wind/geothermal/whatever is developed so to cover ALL of our needs, plus expansion, nuclear is the cleanest thing available. It does less harm to the environment than coal if handled properly and fewer people die of nuclear disasters than they do of collapsing mines. I know, this is one side of the story, reality should be better than this, but it sadly isn’t.