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Now is the time to re open the Nuclear Power debate in New Zealand

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posted on Mar, 29 2008 @ 02:44 AM

But is it time to move on from the knee-jerk rejection of nuclear power in New Zealand?

Landscape painter Grahame Sydney doesn't hesitate. His answer is an emphatic "yes". Faced with the intrusion of 178 whirling-winged steel towers on the sweeping Central Otago vistas that define his canvases, Sydney has no doubt which is the lesser evil - a single nuclear power station or a nationwide "assault" of wind turbines


I must admit that environmentalists that oppose Nuclear Power drive me around the bender . Wind and Solar Power give me a break they could be used to power isolated settlements and in the case of Solar Power hot water systems . Aside from the fact no one wants or would want wind turbines or Solar Panels on there property you would need an awful lot of panels/Turbines to even power one of our city's .

Hydro Power is to depended on rain fall a dry spell can lead to threats of rolling black outs. So that only really leaves Coal Power and Nuclear Power. Coal Power isnt environmentally friendly and we should save our Coal reserves for export. That only leaves Nuclear Power which I am an unashamed supporter of.

If the Nuclear Power debate was reopened in NZ the anti Nuclear crowd would lose out in the face of rising energy and fuel costs and the lack of viable alternatives that fit the environmentally friendly bill.

[edit on 29-3-2008 by xpert11]

posted on Mar, 29 2008 @ 07:32 AM
Funny you should say this. I was involved with submissions against nuclear power to the Royal Commission on nuclear power in 1975.

For what it is worth, I now believe nuclear technology has moved beyond the primitive problems it had back then. I have kept abreast of developments in nuclear power.

For example nuclear fuel rods used to be all uranium. Now they have uranium pellets spaced by boron pellets inside zirconium tubes.

When the nuclear reaction gets too hot the Boron pellets expand physically pushing the uranium pellets further apart. This simple heat expansion kills the nuclear reaction and acts as a fail safe device. Early nuclear reactors were not fail safe.

There are also advances in disposal of nuclear waste and even ways to reduce dangerous long life radio nucleides to safer non radioactive elements like lead.

The best nuclear technology however eschews Uranium altogether and burns Thorium. Accelerator Driven Systems invented by Carlos Rubbia can actually burn dangerous Plutonium waste to harmless elements and produce electricity whilst doing so.

Normally these ADS systems burn Thorium. They have the advantage that they need a constant bombardment of protons to work. Cut off the protons and the nuclear reaction stops like an on/off switch.

Prime minister Helen Clark about a year ago refused to even consider ADS systems because of her anti nuclear prejudices.

I don't believe we could get any progress without a change of government. If you're serious Xpert11 you need to sell the idea to the National party.

[edit on 29-3-2008 by sy.gunson]

posted on Mar, 29 2008 @ 10:00 AM
reply to post by xpert11

Up here, we are in the process of licensing 80 or more nuclear reactors in the US. I believe we have about 24 plants now in operation. The last one was built in the late 1970s. That process will no doubt have to be repeated because you can be sure the Republicans have queered the paper work process. They will have given all the advantages to Halliburton and GE leaving not much for taxpayers but to PAY for the new plants - green tax credits to new owners - then to PAY for the electricity produced - about double the cost of coal fired - and finally the taxpayers will get to PAY for the disposal of spent fuel. Wow! Hey, that’s what an MBA for president can do for you!

[edit on 3/29/2008 by donwhite]

posted on Mar, 29 2008 @ 05:58 PM
Sy.gunson good post. I don't think the National Party has the guts to tackle the Nuclear Power issue . They don't even have the spine to bring back the RNZAF combat wing or question why NZ doesn't have a combat role in Afghanistan. Key is all style and no substance . Even thou she was taking a pot shot at National I think Clark my have been right she said that at least ACT stand for something.

posted on Mar, 29 2008 @ 06:54 PM
Xpert11 I agree totally 100% with everything you say about National being spineless and standing for nothing.

At the same time I am sick and tired of Labour. The irony of Defence Minister Phil Goff's nephew getting killed in an ambush in Afghanistan was that he did not die immediately and had we deployed Skyhawks there as ground support, Goff's nephew would be alive today.

The Skyhawks are not a totally useless aircraft and still have potential uses. Clark and co haven't a clue. Key is fixated on saying and doing nothing. Both positions are corrupt. National will say nothing until elected and then spring surprises which they never sought a mandate for.

Still Labour never sought a mandate on removing Skyhawks either.

Re nuke power plants in USA, I would actually like to see nuclear power given another chance because at least it negates the need for coal fired power plants.

I'd much prefer to see ADS Thorium plants given priority. India and Norway are very keen about ADS.

posted on Mar, 29 2008 @ 08:11 PM
Sy.gunson I have to say that you are spot on. Although I don't think the Skyhawks will ever be in a flyable condition again.
If anybody else was wondering about what exactly ADS Thorium is about then check out below.

Decades ago, many countries abandoned the idea of using thorium as a replacement for uranium. But long-term proponents have always believed the thorium fuel cycle could make nuclear energy as safe and sustainable as possible.

But now there are new concerns pushing the thorium debate that revolve around secure uranium supplies and nuclear proliferation – these are encouraging research and development around the world. And then there are nations like India, which has said it aims to base its future nuclear industry on the fuel source.


Nuclear Power has matured as a technology and as I have already noted it is only viable large scale environmentally friendly means of generating electricity.

posted on Mar, 30 2008 @ 12:24 AM
Gosh now you're teaching me.

I wasn't aware that conventional nuclear reactors could be retrofitted to use Thorium ?

Pity that the States does not at least design some from the outset for Thorium.

Re the Skyhawks they have been cocooned to prevent corrosion and Have another 15 years of flying in them if required. Singapore was a few years ago producing spares for the long out of production Skyhawk.

Personally I'd like to see Eurofighter Typhoon here as Singapore also operates it. Typhoon is the only jet fighter capable of 6G manouveres at supersonic speeds and is a helluva nimble dogfighter, with BVR missiles too.

I'd lay money on a bet that China builds a naval base in Fiji soon.

posted on Mar, 30 2008 @ 01:42 AM

Originally posted by sy.gunson
I wasn't aware that conventional nuclear reactors could be retrofitted to use Thorium ?

Well in fairness I should point out that I hadn't heard of Thorium before so after a Google search I just concluded that Thorium was a development of Nuclear Technology. See your inbox for my reply to off topic matters .

Cheers xpert11.

[edit on 30-3-2008 by xpert11]

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