Why are SOME Australian scientists jumping on the thorium nuclear bandwagon?

a-cat-CANImmediately after the Lima Climate Summit, there has been a spate of pro nuclear articles appearing in the media and across the Internet.   In a surprising number of articles, the pro nuclear advocates are scientists, working in prestigious universities in UK, USA, and in Australia , too.

In Australia, this is orchestrated by Barry Brook, who purports to be a climate scientist, but whose agenda is clearly to promote nuclear power.

How is it that reputable scientists now fall for the propaganda for “new” small nuclear reactors – thorium reactors, which require plutonium and/or enriched uranium to function.  These thorium nuclear designs are not new – they were designed and abandoned in USA decades ago.  To have them in Australia would pretty well necessitate having the entire nuclear chain around our necks. They need plutonium to start with –  so we’d have to import plutonium, or set up nuclear reactors to produce it.  Similarly we’d have to set up uranium enrichment plants.  We would need radioactive waste dumps, because, contrary to the thorium pushers’ propaganda, these reactors do produce highly toxic and long lasting radioactive wastes.

So – how come Australian and other scientists are now jumping on the nuclear thorium bandwagon? Some are simply paid by nuclear interests –  like Stefan  Simons and Pamela Sykes, in South Australia.   Yes the nuclear industry has bought quite  a few scientists internationally.

But it’s not that simple.  Part of our Australian cultural cringe is that scientists are impressed by other scientists – feel that they should go along with the current tide, even if they haven’t done their homework on the issue. After all, they’re scientists, not economists or health experts, and there’s  a prevailing cringing attitude that “hard scientists” i.e nuclear physicists “know best”.

Fortunately, Australia does have some scientists who do  see the whole picture, and are not swayed by the present propaganda  about nuclear power fixing climate change.


3 Responses to “Why are SOME Australian scientists jumping on the thorium nuclear bandwagon?”

  1. Brett Stokes Says:

    MEDIA RELEASE – 1230am 1st January 2015.

    As of this day, 1st Jan 2015, Chris Daniels is no longer the Director of UniSA’s Barbara Hardy Institute, says Adelaide mathematician and anti-nuclear activist Brett Stokes.

    Daniels made this known in an email to Stokes two days ago, responding to an Open Letter sent one week ago by Stokes, to Daniels.

    Daniels is moving to another position within UniSA.

    In his Open Letter to Daniels, Stokes had called on Daniels to renounce pro nuclear lies which Daniels was supporting by being a signatory to a recent “Open Letter To Environmentalists” by Barry Brook and Corey Bradshaw who are known nuclear advocates.

    Stokes has expressed his interest in the suddenly vacated position of Director of the Barbara Hardy Institute which is named after its patron, the veteran solar energy activist Barbara Hardy.

    “I have relevant experience including co-authorship of the Australian Solar Radiation Data Handbook (3rd edition) and associated papers,” says Stokes.

    Stokes also says that he can provide an informed and eloquent voice for anti nuclear pro renewables lobbying and public education in South Australia where nuclear advocates claim to have “behind the scenes influence” and the State government supports uranium mining companies through the Olympic Dam Task Force and funding of the Brook/Bradshaw position at Adelaide Uni’s The Environment Institute where Bradshaw recently replaced Brook as Chair of Climate Change.

  2. Brett Stokes Says:

    “it may be offline for a year or more” LOL
    Barry Brook, March 2011:
    “The risk of meltdown is extremely small, and the death toll from any such accident, even if it occurred, will be zero. There will be no breach of containment and no release of radioactivity beyond, at the very most, some venting of mildly radioactive steam to relieve pressure. Those spreading FUD [fear, uncertainty and doubt] at the moment will be the ones left with egg on their faces. I am happy to be quoted forever after on the above if I am wrong … but I won’t be. The only reactor that has a small probability of being ‘finished’ is unit one. And I doubt that, but it may be offline for a year or more.”


  3. Brett Stokes Says:

    23 December 2014

    an open letter to Chris Daniels

    Chris – I love your book about magpies. I have heard you speak well, live and on the radio. But now I find your name attached to a recent article by Barry Brook, the infamous nuclear advocacy fraudster who disgraced Adelaide University and Australia with his ludicrous predictions during March 2011.

    Please consider making a clear public renunciation of Brook and his pro nuclear mendacity.

    You bring discredit and shame upon yourself, if you maintain support for the lies that Brook promotes: the lie that nuclear is low carbon, the lie that nuclear is affordable, the lie that radioactive poisons are safe, the lie that there is an actual real solution to the problem of nuclear waste, the lie that nuclear is “24/7”, the lie that renewables are somehow unable to meet our needs, the lie that disasters like Chernobyl and Fukushima are acceptable, the lie that nuclear proliferation is okay.

    I wish you well and I ask you to read the following which I wrote recently:

    The Long Shadow.

    In just three months, it will be four years since the start of the 311 tragedy, four years since the sad deaths of my twin grandsons who were in utero in Sweden when the fallout hit and expecting mothers were given no warning.

    The long shadow of those events is again brightened by the birth today of my grand daughter, a sister for my two year old grandson.

    The long shadow of the tragic loss of my grandsons – my world has been transformed as I deal with the corruption and complexities of radioactive poisons politics.

    Today, while my daughter in law was busy giving birth in Dubai, I visited the tranquil Himeji Gardens in Adelaide – I love the Japanese culture of nature and peace.

    The long shadow of the explosive meltdowns at Fukushima in March 2011, clearly the source of the radioactive poisons that killed my grandsons, driving me to confront and challenge the corrupt.

    The long shadow of the atomic bomb mushroom clouds and the fallout that filled the world when I was a child, still poisoning and threatening all of us and our children.

    In these years of Fukushima fallout and increasing resistance to planet raping child murdering business as usual, hope comes from the many initiatives that clarify the call to action.

    DeNuclearise or we are doomed.

    Stop poisoning the precious air and water of our planet, the life support system for us and our children.

    The long shadow of extinction of the human species – see the shadow, do not look away, please.

    to Professor Chris B. Daniels, Director, Barbara Hardy Institute, University of South Australia, Australia. chris.daniels@unisa.edu.au

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