Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Change from 'No Nuclear' to 'Safe Nuclear'

I would support an anti-nuclear movement that stood for 'safe nuclear' rather than 'no nuclear'.  The time has come for the anti-nuclear movement to move with the times and stop being the disruptive force of the past.

What I find most unfortunate about the whole anti-nuclear movement is that, even with the best intentions, it has effectively prevented the timely development of safer reactor technologies over the past 37 years. In my view it has proved the old adage that 'The road to Hell is paved with good intentions'.

Whose to say what reactor technology would be in use now if the research had been allowed to proceed at pace? Is it possible that the Fukushima reactors could have been Molten Salt Reactors or Liquid Fluoride Thorium Reactors, in which the reactor core cannot melt down, and would safely shutdown without human or mechanical intervention?

What would the global energy vista be like if many of the world's economies were self-sufficient for baseload power?  Could we have avoided a Gulf War?  Would petrol (gas) prices be so high? The world-wide implications of this are staggering.

Fortunately, despite the anti-nuclear movement, research has progressed and we have three very promising reactor designs that need commercialization - The Integral Fast Breeder Reactor (IFR), the Molten Salt Reactor (MSR) and the Liquid Fluoride Thorium Reactor (LFTR).

If the anti-nuclear movement would only stop disrupting the emergence of these technologies, and work with the industry and scientists to make sure these reactor designs live up to their promise, we can see a truly safe, clean nuclear industry - together.

I think this is what most people really want.