Atomic Show #172 – Decarbonise South Australia
On August 13, 2011, I spoke with Ben Heard of Decarbonise SA and Barry Brook of Brave New Climate. These two Australians are both working hard to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases in a land where the idea of reducing the consumption of carbon and hydrocarbon fuels trends on the interests of some very powerful and wealthy people.
Ben grew up assuming that nuclear energy was bad, but after a logical process of evaluating all available options, changed his mind. He is now running a campaign that he calls Decarbonise SA. Since his home state of South Australia has only 1.5 million residents, his goal could be achieved in less than a decade with the construction of 3 large nuclear plants – or 30 small modular reactors like the B&W mPowerTM.
Barry (or should I say, Dr. Brook?) is a scientist who focuses on the earth’s climate, never opposed the use of nuclear energy, but did not immediately recognize just how effective a weapon it could be in what he considers to be an extremely important battle to keep the Earth as hospitable as it has been for humans for the past tens of thousands of years.
I think you will enjoy the conversation. I apologize for any sound issues – from my point of view it is almost magical that I could speak to two people in separate locations in a time zone that is 13.5 hours farther along in the day than my own. The fact that I could do it with essentially no lag and at no cost is even more incredible. Thank you, Skype.
Disclosure: I work for B&W on the mPower reactor project.
Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 58:36 — 26.9MB)
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Please lead you guests to talk more than you do. I know what you think already. I really want you to ask open ended questions and listen. Respond to get your guest so that I can really understand his position.
There is another Australian pro-nuclear group currently active: http://nucleus92.com/
We are currently ramping up our activity in preperation for our public outreach and recruitment drive.
Yet another great show, with great guests and very inspiring content.
BNC has been the starting point of many of my researches, particularly during the initial phase of the Fukushima Dai-ichi situation, and I am very thankful to Barry for all he’s been doing through the years.
Decarbonise SA was born just a month prior to Futuro Nucleare, and I’ve been in touch with Ben already, he provided inspiration in the startup phase.
Let’s ride the climate change wave, and push nuclear forward as the only cheap and clean energy source there is, because it is!
Ben Heard takes money from the uranium industry as a consultant for General Atomics / Heathgate, the company that operates the Beverley uranium mine in South Australia. He rarely if ever discloses that financial interest. Heard’s claim to be an environmentalist sits extremely uncomfortably with his willingness to take on consulting work for GA/Heathgate, a company that i) supported police brutality against environmentalists at Beverley (and the capsicum-spraying of the 11-year-old grand-daughter of an Adnyamathana Elder), ii) has been caught spying on environmentalists, iii) has a sub-standard environmental record and iv) is heavily involved the military-industrial complex. Recently Heard has resorted to blatant deceit with his dishonest claim that Friends of the Earth tried to shut down a pro-nuclear public meeting in Adelaide.
A critique of Heard’s propaganda is posted at
Brook’s propaganda is thoroughly debunked here:
Brook famously said as nuclear fuel meltdown was in full-swing at Fukushima: “The risk of meltdown is extremely small, and the death toll from any such accident, even if it occurred, will be zero. There will be no breach of containment and no release of radioactivity beyond, at the very most, some venting of mildly radioactive steam to relieve pressure. Those spreading FUD [fear, uncertainty and doubt] at the moment will be the ones left with egg on their faces. I am happy to be quoted forever after on the above if I am wrong… but I won’t be. The only reactor that has a small probability of being ‘finished’ is FD unit 1. And I doubt that, but it may be offline for a year or more.”
I very nearly makes this post as spam since it is either an exact duplicate of a post I saw on an Australian discussion board or so close that the differences are not material. However, I thought it would be worth a full debunking by readers here.
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