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"Nuclear Energy after Fukushima" Business Lunch with The Hon Martin Ferguson AM MP, Minister for Energy & Resources and Ziggy Switkowski, Former Chair, Australian Nuclear Science & Technology Organisation, 29 June 2011
MAJOR BUSINESS LUNCH
The Hon Martin Ferguson AM MP, Minister for Energy & Resources and Ziggy Switkowski, Former Chair, Australian Nuclear Science & Technology Organisation addressed a major business lunch for 450 business executives where they discussed “Nuclear Energy after Fukushima” with Carson Scott, Sky News Business Channel.
Presently, nuclear energy provides for approximately 14% of the world's electricity, including: France (78%), Japan- pre-Fukushima (30%), Belgium (54%), USA (20%), Germany (28%)…. YET IN AUSTRALIA, the nuclear option (despite uranium being in plentiful supply), has been sidelined as part of the mix for alternative clean energy solutions. Australian community attitudes remain polarized with concerns about reactor location, spent fuel management and the creation of long-lived radioactive waste.
As the world’s eyes focus on Japan for developments in the Fukushima story, many are beginning to discuss nuclear power in more questioning terms than previously. What will be the impact of nuclear energy in the world going forward, including Australia? Will the issue of Japan’s natural disaster affect existing nuclear power supply and defer future nuclear power plants? What impact will this have on other energy alternatives.
With over ten years in Parliament and as the former President of the ACTU, The Hon Martin Ferguson AM MP shared with us his thoughts for the future of nuclear energy after Fukishima, Martin was first elected to the Federal Parliament in 1996 and has held a number of senior Shadow Ministries. Following the Australian Labor Party’s win in 2007, Martin was been appointed as Minister for Resources and Energy and Minister for Tourism.
There are few Australians better-placed to provide guidance on Australia’s nuclear engagement than Dr Ziggy Switkowski who is the former Chair of the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation. He is also a non-executive director of Suncorp, Tabcorp, Oil Search and Lynas, Chair of Opera Australia and is a former chief executive of Telstra, Optus and Kodak (Australia). In 2006, Ziggy chaired the Prime Minister’s Review of Uranium Mining, Processing and Nuclear Energy which returned nuclear power to the country’s strategic debate.
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