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16 Comments

  1. Great presentation. I have never seen Google Earth used in that manner; very interesting. The area difference between the uranium and coal mines is a powerful comparison to have, but I think it’d do better to superimpose the two on each other to make the difference clearer.

    I would like to start seeing more about how to practically address the over regulation and social stigma of nuclear power. Ben Heard’s presentation is great, but people are reluctant to do anything that will make them a black sheep, unless they are just that strong-willed, or someone with clout stands behind them.

    A mass public advertising campaign is needed that addresses very clearly that nuclear power is treated unfairly]and that this is the source of its economic problems; radiation needs to be addressed upfront as well as nuclear waste; the anti-nuclear groups and politicians need to have their motives exposed; and the people watching these advertisements need to feel like they can be apart of something by agreeing with nuclear.

    1. Here are some Google Maps links to some of the locations mentioned in Mr. Heard’s talk.

      Loy Yang power plant and mine:
      https://www.google.com/maps/@-38.2496657,146.5791827,8044m/data=!3m1!1e3

      Beverley Uranium Mine:
      https://www.google.com/maps/@-30.1924234,139.5952089,9031m/data=!3m1!1e3

      Connecticut Yankee spent fuel pad:
      https://www.google.com/maps/@41.481065,-72.4857009,973m/data=!3m1!1e3

      Putting these links on different tabs, and setting them to the same scale shows how big the coal mine is. From the information I have, the Beverley uranium mine is an in-situ mine. They pump some chemicals under ground, which dissolves the uranium ore, and the ore solution is then extracted. The impact above ground is much reduced compared to open pit mining.

      At the Connecticut Yankee link, I can’t even tell where the power plant used to be.

    2. Hi Benjamin,

      I want to share some observations.

      Just recently, our Foreign Minister, Julie Bishop, reopened public discussion of nuclear in Australia.

      The response has been pretty strong and not what most people thought.

      Stakeholders have been coming out of the woodwork in support. Ross Garnaut, our pre-eminient economist and architect of our carbon pricing scheme. Nigel McBride of Business SA telling the Government to at least get of the way. Grant King, CEO of our largest energy retailer, Origin Energy. Rear-Admiral Kevin Scarce, former Governor of South Australia, saying he is sick of politicians voicing their support to him then doing nothing about it. The Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering. Engineers Australia. A Labor MP (her party is opposed). Prof Frank Jotzo of ANU, who’s work I recently critiqued, even had kind words to say.

      I have been Tweeting this as it happens, calling it “the rise of nuclear courage in Australia”. I knew this would happen. We just had to get the ball rolling. It seems people are ok with being black sheep or… perhaps they are looking around and realising that 7 in 10 of the sheep are actually black too…

  2. Rod – thanks for posting this video promptly. It’s on Ben’s DecarboniseSA.com site as well.

    I encourage everyone who wants more good, solid pro-nuclear videos made to go support Gordon via his Patreon account: http://www.patreon.com/thorium. I just signed on. Give Gordon the best Christmas present ever – support his work! And don’t forget to support Rod as well.

  3. I wanna point out that the thing that Ben did to enable this: he put a video camera on a tripod and captured himself speaking.

    Video cameras are getting out of style. We all love recording stuff on iPhones so household video cameras are not as common.

    But that just means 1080p solid-State (SDHC) cameras can be picked up dirt cheap 2nd hand. (Or new.)

    If you have an important talk try and capture it. Wear a tiny recording device. I’ll mail you one if u don’t have one. (an iPhone app for recording multi track audio will do… No dedicated hardware required)

    Worry about HOW you can get me the data AFTER the event. For now just capture the thing.

    This was a talk that was going to be live and then gone. We can all get much more value out of it now. All starts with a video camera and decent audio capture.

  4. Another important point about Ontario is that it is usually a net exporter of electricity. From the web app that Mr. Heard used in the presentation, Ontario is currently exporting over 1400 MW net to the other Canadian provinces and some US states. From the information, Ontario is currently exporting power to Michigan and New York.

    http://live.gridwatch.ca/home-page.html

    Nuclear-heavy France is also a net exporter of clean power to its European neighbors.

    1. There was a recent report highlighting and lauding the success Ontario had in getting off coal. But this report was commissioned by the anti-nuclear David Suzuki foundation. So in all their praise for Ontario’s remarkable accomplishment, there is no mention of the largest and most important factor which made it possible, and indeed the word “nuclear” appears nowhere in the entire report.

      pdf copy here: http://tinyurl.com/l8gnobv

    2. If I’m not mistaken, France is in the top 3 of the world net exporters of electricity (and Canada is number one).

        1. Yes, France was until September at 52829 against 34659 for Canada.

          But last year was 48462 for France against 51984 for Canada. I think Canada probably exports most in winter, when the electricity has more value, and France a lot in Summer when the demand is lower than what the nuclear plants will produce, so the large gap will likely be strongly reduced in the last remaining months. However even in December France is still usually a net exporter over the month, just by a much smaller amount.
          This year is bit exceptional, low demand in France, unusually warm weather, and Belgium has had troubles with it’s own nuclear plant and imports a lot. The missing 3rd country is Brazil, it’s not an OECD country (yeah, just an abnormally), so I don’t have the latest numbers, but the 2012 data from EIA is 51 TWh of export.
          Therefore it’s likely that for 2014 France will beat both Canada and Brazil and end as world’s n°1 electricity exporter.

  5. As a follow-up to this, Ben’s remarks were misrepresented by Giles Parkinson (a long-time Australian anti-nuke and editor of Reneweconomy).

    Here’s Ben observing the mischaracterisation, and also wondering if Giles didn’t notice all the video cameras?

    Ben has asked Giles to clarify. I’ve asked Giles to clarify. We’ve done so via the comment section of Reneweconomy and also on Twitter.

    Yes, it would be much easier to attack straw-man Ben Heard than real-life Ben Heard. Straw-man Ben Heard does give rambling incoherent speeches. Straw-man Ben Heard is a bit of a nutter.

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