Australia currently provides about 12% of the worlds Uranium. The first mine was built in 1906 at Uranium Hill, and then Mount Painter in South Australia in the 1930s. Following the Japanese Fukushima nuclear disaster in early 2011, many countries are scaling back their nuclear power production, with some setting deadlines for a complete shutdown of all nuclear power reactors. It is expected that this may impact on demand for Australian Uranium. State governments have now approved mine development in Western Australia and Queensland.
Despite the clear environmental benefits Uranium mining and its use has remained a point of controversy. China has new energy targets in place which will require clean fuel. Wether or not Australia is a player in that game will depend on how the industry progresses in the next few years. Even Hawke has been weighing in on the debate.
We heard recently that the Japanese confirm that not one death has been caused by radiation from Fukushima. There may be some longer-term issues coming, but lets not forget the level of smog in China at present.
How are we to venture forward in this world?
The two day packed technical program will shed some light on the industry at the moment. The event boasts some very interesting keynote presentations by renowned Australian speakers, a variety of networking functions, a trade exhibition and more.
The speakers include:
- John Borshoff - Uranium History and Its Bearing on Future Discovery and Exploitation
- Professor Barry Brook - Nuclear Power Prospects for Global Decarbonization
- Ben Heard - High Energy, Low Pollution: Why We Must Bring Forward the Actinide Age
- Dr Carl-Magnus Larsson - Health and Environmental Implications of the Accident at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station
- The Honourable Bill Marmion – Ministerial Opening Address
- Daniel Zavattiero - Uranium – the Opportunity for Australia