Risk vs Due Diligence: Why a Finnish community lobbied for a backyard reactor

May 18, 2015

I was recently part of a panel discussion on electrical energy security and the role of nuclear energy in Australia for the Electrical Energy Society of Australia.

The panel consisted of five industry experts covering topics on energy security, nuclear energy, and risk and policy determination. A question and answer session followed the presentations.

The opening address was by Senator Sean Edwards (Liberal Senator for South Australia) in light of the South Australian government’s decision on 8th February 2015, to establish a Royal Commission into the life cycle of nuclear fuel.

My presentation titled 'Risk vs Due Diligence: Why a Finnish Community lobbied for a backyard reactor' was a personal insight into the way the Finns have established and embraced the nuclear industry over the last 40 years. It also explains why communities now put their hand up for new nuclear facilities.

Finns do not discuss the level of risk of the nuclear facilities. They show it is safe by demonstrating that all reasonable practicable precautions are in place. Safety is not compromised for on-time and to budget delivery of new nuclear power facilities. For example, the Olkiluoto 3 nuclear power unit is 9 years behind schedule as a result of some safety concerns. There is a robust and stringent governance framework that does not allow short cuts to compromise safety.

The presentations were filmed and can be viewed here.

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