So now the IAEA is on the act. Although actually, promoting nuclear power IS the IAEA’s act. From October 7-11, the IAEA will hold the “International Conference on Climate Change and the Role of Nuclear Power” in its hometown of Vienna, Austria. In its breathy and enthusiastic introduction to the conference, the agency describes its “statutory objective” as being “to accelerate and enlarge the contribution of atomic energy to peace, health and prosperity throughout the world.” Peace, health and prosperity? Nuclear power has arguably never contributed any one of these. In the current economic climate it never will. It’s brazen hubris of course, but it comes from a place of desperation. Climate change is finally in the headlines. The nuclear power industry wants to be, too. Instead, it’s in the obituary column. That’s where Dr. Jim Green of Friends of the Earth Australia, decided to assign the SMR in his excellent article which we reproduce this week. He called it an obituary, but arguably, SMRs have not yet even been born, so we called them “dead on non-arrival” in our headline. Among the presentations at the IAEA conference, will most certainly be a flurry of enthusiastic expositions on the golden future of the so-called Small Modular Reactor. Again, it’s the fancy footwork with words that makes this notion sound palatable. Small? Good. Modular? Sounds simple to assemble. Good again. Like Lego, an image Dr. M.V. Ramana even used in a recent slide presentation on the fallacies of the SMR. The word “nuclear” is carefully omitted from the name. Why? Because we’ve been here before and it didn’t work out so well then, either.
Beyond Nuclear 6th April 2019 read more »