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  1. Hi there. I was the one that was chatting to Cameron about the nuclear debate, and he pointed me to your show. I’ll hopefully be catching up on the “back-episodes” in the coming weeks…

    There’s certainly a lot more real debate (read: not political point-scoring) required about the use of nuclear energy as a means to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions, matched with a serious look at how it compares with alternatives.

    WWF’s Clean Energy Future report:

    http://wwf.org.au/ourwork/climatechange/cleanenergyfuture/

    outlines WWF’s vision. The report probably needs some work to make it punter friendly (lots of technical language in there), but the basic gist (as I understand it) is that although wind and solar are not capable of meeting our energy needs yet, combined with gas-fired power and energy use reduction it can go a long way.

    I do hope that we can work with TPN, and your show, to look at our energy options, both for Australia and internationally, although I’m just the lowly website administrator – so I still need to work out who’s best to talk to you and see what we can do πŸ˜‰

    In the meantime, Worldchanging.com recently posted this:

    http://www.worldchanging.com/archives/004300.html

    I’d be interested in your thoughts.

    P.S. We are now known as WWF (not spelled out – our full name is actually different to what you mentioned in your post) – there’s a lot of confusion over our name already with so many different spellings, we’re trying to simplify things by just using WWF.

  2. Grant:

    Thank you for the links; I will go and check them out.

    I apologize for using an incorrect name – I was trying to prevent confusion for my American listeners/readers since the World Wrestling Federation is also known as WWF and they spend a lot more money in marketing that your WWF does. (Also, as a long time government employee, I get tied up in alphabet soup on a regular basis. I once sat in a brief that used the abbreviation IA three times on s single slide and each instance had a completely different meaning.)

    I plan to download the reports and read them over the next few days. It would be very interesting to engage in a discussion with people that have open minds. Though I am pretty confident of the conclusions I have reached so far; I learn something new every day. Life is a learning experience when you pay attention.

  3. Grant:

    I could not resist the Worldchangin.com discussion on the prospects for nuclear fission to make a growing contribution to the world’s energy needs. I posted a comment over there, but in case anyone does not want to wade through the long and useful debate, here are my thoughts:

    Wow – long debate with often well intentioned folks exchanging a lot of both information and opinion.

    I freely admit that my fascination and support for nuclear fission power partially stems from a desire to help the world maintain and even expand access to a lifestyle that requires a large amount of reliable, low cost, controllable energy. My observation of the world over almost half a century indicates to me that trying to move in the reverse direction would be painful, cause a lot of bloodshed, and increase human misery.

    I am also fascinated by the potential that nuclear fission energy has to make that comfortable lifestyle that is dependent on plenty of “energy slaves” (to use a term I have not seen in print since the optimistic days of the 1960s) available to a far larger portion of the earth’s inhabitants. Not only can fission be far more available, but it CAN be done even while achieving a lower environmental impact than human activity currently has. Fission is very, very new and we are just now starting up the ‘S’ curve of technology development for systems that capture its potential.

    Advocacy of a simpler time might work for some of you, but after I take a few days off for a nice hike in the woods, a bike or kayak trip, or a sail on the ocean, I remember just how nice it is to live in a clean, comfortable home with electric lights, hot water, fresh fruit and vegetables, Internet, transportation that allows freedom of movement, and many of the other comforts of modern living.

    I also recognize during my “low energy” trips that I depend on modern materials for my bike, kayak, hiking boots, hiking poles, knapsack, sails, boat hull, diesel auxiliary, dehydrated food, lightweight propane stove, bicycle tires, pump, etc. I also burn up a lot of energy getting to and from the locations where I spend my idyllic days. In other words, I think I am more aware of what makes the world go around than Bernard (from Brave New World) was.

    It would be selfish of me to take up too much space in this already lengthy debate. I have been writing about energy – especially atomic energy – off and on for nearly 15 years. You can find some of my thoughts at Atomic Insights – http://www.atomicinsights.com, on the Atomic Insights Blog – http://www.atomicinsights.blogspot.com and now on The Atomic Show podcast – https://atomicinsights.com/category/podcast.

  4. Thanks Rod. No dramas about the name – it happens an awful lot! The wrestlers are now known as WWE, but nobody seems to know that πŸ˜‰

    Glad you had a chance to check out the Worldchanging posts. Let me know when you’ve had a chance to look through the reports, and I’ll see what I can do to find someone here who has the requisite knowledge and open mind to chat.

    Regards, Grant

  5. Grant:

    I have skimmed through the Clean Energy Future report, reading some sections in considerable detail. I almost get the feeling that fission had never been discovered and if it had, that it had never been used to generate electricity or heat. There were only 3 minor mentions of the word “nuclear”, none of “atomic” and only one (in the definitions section) of “uranium”.

    Not that I want to pick a fight, but could it possibly be that the sponsors of the study, which include the Australian Gas Association, the Australian Wind Energy Association and the Renewable Energy Generators of Australia had something to do with the possible energy sources considered? Perhaps none of them mentioned the “elephant in the room.”

    Nuclear fission is clean enough to run inside a seal submarine. It has been used in various applications for more than 50 years. Australia has the world’s largest reserves of uranium. Isn’t it a bit disingenuous to simply ignore the topic in a study of energy futures?

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