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Ziggy Switkowski, Chair, Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation, 9 November 2010


Ziggy Switkowski addressed a CEO Boardroom event for 15 senior business executives where he discussed ‘When will Australia be ready for nuclear power?’. This CEO boardroom event was generously hosted by Russell Reynolds Associates.

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.

Presently, nuclear energy provides for approximately 16% of the world's electricity, including: France (76%), Japan (25%), 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, which may be short-sighted as no other clean energy technology (such as solar and wind) can currently deliver base load electricity reliably and cost effectively.

Australian community attitudes remain polarized with concerns about reactor location, spent fuel management and the creation of long-lived radioactive waste.
PERHAPS IT IS TIME to re-open the debate!

There are few Australians better-placed to provide guidance on Australia’ nuclear engagement than DR ZIGGY SWITKOWSKI who is the Chair of the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organization. He is also a non-executive director of Suncorp, Tabcorp, Healthscope, 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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