Why vs Why: Nuclear Power

Why vs Why: Nuclear Power

Language: English

Pages: 94


Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

Why vs Why: Nuclear Power

“I think it’s a terrific idea…It’s a series of small but perfectly formed books…it’s a very civil little series of books… a good way of presenting these sort of issues.”

- James Valentine, ABC

"...a balanced approach to controversial issues..."

- Carlene Ellwood, The Sunday Tasmanian

"...the perfect physical embodiment of the gay marriage debate..."

- Andy Noonan, Sydney Star Observer


The two positions are presented in an easy to read 2-books-in-1 format. Both authors discuss the seven key reasons why we should say yes/no to Nuclear Power and further investigate the evidence behind each of these reasons through their seven chapters. Importantly, this book leaves no issue hanging. On top of their seven key arguments, each author gives a punchy rebuttal to their opponent’s specific arguments.


Prof. Barry W. Brook presents a focused and thought-provoking argument for nuclear power. A life-time dedicated to the subject of climate change, Brook sees nuclear power as the only realistic answer to the need for a developing world to power itself and to deal with atmospheric CO2 levels. He challenges other green energies; citing the many technical challenges to harnessing renewable energy sources, declaring them as grossly uneconomic, unreliable, and presenting geographical and storage issues. He concludes that nuclear power is the most pragmatic solution within the real-world, physical, social and economic constraints.

Prof. Barry W. Brook holds a number of awards for research excellence and runs a popular climate science and energy options blog at http://bravenewclimate.com, his focus is on statistical modelling, systems analysis for sustainable energy and synergies between human impacts on the biosphere.


In Why vs Why™ Nuclear Power, Australian environmental expert Prof. Ian Lowe notes how he changed from being cautiously in favour of nuclear power and doing research supporting it as a young physicist to being solidly against it.

Ian argues that nuclear waste issues have not been resolved and nuclear power would require massive development budgets, so there are more appropriate solutions. He says that “advocating nuclear power as the response to climate change is like promoting smoking as a cure for obesity.”

Ian Lowe, Emeritus Professor and President of the Australian Conservation Foundation, has been a referee for the International Governmental Panel on Climate change and attended the Geneva, Kyoto and Copenhagen conferences of the Framework Convention on Climate Change.

Why Why vs Why?

The Why vs Why™ series aims simply to foster debate and informed discussion by equipping the public with all the key issues and answers thrashed out by opposing expert advocates, but presented by in an impartial way. Each book is an easy-to-read, pocket-sized presentation of everything the public needs to know about big issues. The Why vs Why™ is a useful social tool to inform a wide audience.

Are you interested in hearing both sides of the big issues? Why not check out the rest of the Why vs Why series?

Why vs Why: Gay Marriage

Why vs Why: Big Australia

Piracy: Leakages From Modernity

The Noonday Demon: An Atlas of Depression

Off the Road

Individuation and Narcissism: The Psychology of Self in Jung and Kohut
















called the electricity “baseload”. Some claim that this baseload demand is higher than it needs to be because utilities inflate our night-time use by charging cheap (“off peak”) night-time rates to encourage more use during those times. They do that because some power stations (including coal and nuclear) are fairly cheap to run. So keeping them humming 24 hours a day will maximise profits. Some critical demand, however, never goes away: for example, the power demands from hospitals, police

accidents such as Chernobyl. Professor Lowe contends that expanding commercial nuclear power would automatically increase the risk of spreading nuclear weapons. Firstly, this has never been true in the past. Furthermore, the products of “pyroprocessing” from fast reactors cannot be used directly for bombs, while reprocessing plutonium in integral fast reactors will drastically reduce the chances of it ever being diverted to weapons. Those opposed to nuclear energy claim it would leave a

16. “Reactor Safety Study”, Nuclear Regulatory Commission Document WASH-1400, NUREG 75/014 (1975). 17. http://www.ne.doe.gov/pdfFiles/AP1000_Plant_Description.pdf 18. http://www.aps.org/units/fps/newsletters/2002/april/a1ap02.html 19. http://www.world-nuclear.org/reference/pdf/wigg-radiation.pdf 20. http://www.unscear.org/docs/reports/annexc.pdf 21. http://www.ornl.gov/info/ornlreview/rev26-34/text/colmain.html 22. http://www.nyindianpoint.org/images/Full%20Report.pdf

station must burn about four million tonnes of coal a year.6 (The amount varies with the grade of coal.) Most of today’s operating nuclear power stations are called “thermal reactors”, or “light water reactors” (LWRs). They use ordinary water (“light” water) as a coolant to take heat away from the reactor core. The water also acts as a “moderator”, slowing down subatomic particles, called neutrons, which shoot out of the atom’s nucleus when a chain reaction is underway. These neutrons are

concentrated form of energy which will last for millions of years once the awesome potential of fast reactors and liquid fluoride thorium reactors is fulfilled. This offers humanity’s best hope of an equitable energy future, with the resources to solve the really tough environmental problems of this century and beyond. Finally, it is worth considering where we can make the greatest carbon and energy gains before tackling complex and politically laden proliferation issues. The 40 nations with

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