Different nuclear points of view from New Zealand
Stuff.co.nz published a story dated 8 September 2005 titled Energy minister says no to nuclear power. The occasion for the minister’s rejection was a response to a presentation by Murray Jackson, the chief executive of Genesis at a climate change conference that made a strong statement that nuclear power should be on the list of options for power generation in that remote island nation.
Unfortunately for New Zealand, Mr. Jackson apparently justified his stance by referring to fission as a stepping stone for fusion.
Murray Jackson, chief executive of Genesis, told a climate change conference yesterday that if New Zealand did not “get on board” with nuclear technology, it would not be ready when fusion reactors were available.
The rest of his comments were less controversial for me and mentioned things like the fact that nuclear power is sustainable, clean, and improving.
By referring to fusion, however, Mr. Jackson gave David Parker, New Zealand’s Energy Minister, a perfect reason to disagree.
Mr Parker said nuclear fusion to produce energy was still a dream.
“It’s not there. Billions of dollars have been spent internationally on fusion research and it’s still a nut that hasn’t been cracked,” he said.
“We have lots of choices which are technically feasible and cheaper.”
He’s right on that count. However, I have to question the following statement:
“The advice I have is unambiguous – nuclear energy, quite apart from its environmental problems, is far more expensive for New Zealand than our alternatives,” he said.
Apparently, he is only listening with one ear if he believes that there is no conflicting advice. All of the people that are now recognizing the potential economy of a nuclear option must be talking to the deaf ear.