Generation IV Nuclear Reactors – The Future of Nuclear?

Does nuclear energy have a place in the mix for Australia’s electricity supply?

Tony Irwin at the AIE Sydney seminar at 5:30 for 6 pm on Tues 11 July 2017 at  HWL Ebswoth Lawyers, Level 14, Australia Square, George Street, Sydney.

Register here

Last year the Royal Commission into the Nuclear Fuel Cycle in South Australia “looked closely at reactor safety and the major accidents associated with nuclear power plants. While acknowledging the severe consequences of such accidents, the Commission has found sufficient evidence of safe operation and improvements such that nuclear power should not be discounted as an energy option on the basis of safety. “The Commission found it would not be commercially viable to develop a nuclear power plant in South Australia beyond 2030 under current market rules. However, there will in coming decades be a need to significantly reduce carbon emissions and as a result to decarbonise Australia’s electricity sector. Nuclear power, as a low-carbon energy source comparable with other renewable technologies, may be required as part of a lower-carbon electricity system.”

In May this year, NSW Deputy Premier John Barilaro put nuclear energy on the agenda, arguing it would help secure the state’s power supply in the future. He was reported to be addressing the NSW Nationals party’s annual conference in Broken Hill where he would make the case for a nuclear debate.

So are Generation IV Nuclear Reactors the answer?

The Generation IV International Forum (GIF) has the goal of developing the next generation of nuclear reactors that will excel in safety, sustainability, economics and proliferation resistance. In June 2016, Australian became the 14th member of GIF. In this talk, Tony Irwin will review the Gen IV technologies, assess their status and examine the contribution that Australia, and particularly the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO), will bring to GIF.

About Tony Irwin
Tony Irwin is a Chartered Engineer, Fellow of the Australian Institute of Energy, Chair of Engineers Australia Sydney Division Nuclear Engineering Panel and Technical Director of SMR Nuclear Technology Pty Ltd. Tony worked for British Energy in the UK for more than thirty years commissioning and operating 8 nuclear power reactors.

In 1999 he moved permanently to Australia and joined the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO) where he managed fuel strategies and provided advice on nuclear issues. He was subsequently appointed as Reactor Manager for the commissioning and operation of ANSTO’s new OPAL research reactor. Tony is now a Consultant.

Tony is an Honorary Associate Professor and principal lecturer for the ANU Master of Nuclear Science Course Reactor and Fuel Cycle modules.