Inaugural Kevin McCann Lecture on Energy and Resources Law: Dr Ziggy Switkowski

29 September 2010

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Nuclear Power, Climate Change and Energy

With climate change continuing as a critical global issue, and energy security becoming a global priority, there has been renewed interest in the use of nuclear reactors for the production of electricity with near zero greenhouse gas emissions.

The civilian nuclear power industry is now more than 50 years old and 440 reactors now provide some electricity to two thirds of the global population in 31 countries. Several other countries are considering introducing nuclear power and outside of hydroelectricity and the burning of fossil fuels, no other technology can deliver baseload electricity reliably and cost effectively.

For the time being, Australia has rejected deployment of nuclear energy. Community attitudes remain polarised with concerns about reactor location, spent fuel management and the creation of longlived radioactive waste.

The government's long term energy strategy requires success with carbon capture and storage, supercharged growth in renewables, and moderating demand through conservation - a risky set of expectations.

This lecture will trace the growing importance of nuclear technology around the world, examine the concerns with its use, and conclude that nuclear power cannot be excluded if Australia is to meet its energy and climate change targets.

About the Speaker
Dr Ziggy Switkowski is the Chair of the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation. He is a non-executive director of Suncorp, Tabcorp and Healthscope, and Chair of Opera Australia and a former chief executive of Telstra, Optus and Kodak (Australia).

In 2006 he chaired the Prime Minister's Review of Uranium Mining, Processing and Nuclear Energy which returned nuclear power to the country's strategic debate.

He has a PhD in nuclear physics from the University of Melbourne and is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering.

Time: 6-7.30pm (registration and refreshments from 5.30pm)

Location: Foyer, Level 2. Sydney Law School, New Law Building (F10), Eastern Avenue, University of Sydney

Cost: Free however registration is essential

Contact: Event Coordinator

Phone: 9351 0238

Email: 244a38792e3f325c200b0d363b032355321d2e503860080c