I was born in rural England and grew up surrounded by rivers, forests and bucolic vistas. I spent several years of my life in cities, studying and working but always felt I didn't belong in urban environments. As soon as we were able my family moved back to the country and the kids grew up in some amazing places including the Warrumbungle National Park in New South Wales.
I now live in Tasmania surrounded by beautiful forests, beaches, mountains and farmlands.
My family thrives in the natural world and both children also live in a rural situation with their families. We truly appreciate the beauty of our earth, and we feel a responsibility to protect it.
As a young woman, in England in the 60s, I was anti-nuclear. I joined marches to ban the bomb and to prevent nuclear power plants from being built. I emigrated to Australia in 1969, met and married an Australian, had a couple of kids and didn't think much more about nuclear power. It wasn't until my son, Barry was appointed Chair of Climate Change at Adelaide University, South Australia that I began to think about possible solutions to the necessary decarbonisation of the electricity supply.
I went on the journey with Barry and his blog www.bravenewclimate.com and gradually realized that the renewable energies I had favoured were simply not going to be able to power a modern economy and a growing world population. I was depressed about the future and very worried about the type of planet we would leave to our children and grandchildren.
Hope revived as I learned more and more about modern nuclear power and the possibilities of new fast reactor technology and small modular reactors. Fear of nuclear power and radiation was replaced with knowledge and understanding. I read that France had replaced all its oil fired generation with nuclear power within 10 years and that they had the lowest CO2 output of any first world country. Here was the solution I had been seeking.
Since "seeing the light," I have spent much time and energy on explaining the advantages and possibilities of becoming a nuclear powered planet and diminishing the unwarranted fears that many have about this wonderful technology.
Nuclear power is not the bogey that anti-nuclear groups have led us to believe. It has the lowest death rate per kilowatt hour of any generating technology including wind and solar.
Modern reactor technology has advanced so that we can re-use waste stockpiles and old warheads to produce clean electricity for hundreds of years without mining more uranium.
New nuclear power plant designs can shut down safely using the laws of physics, without the need for back up generators or an operator present. We have been misled by fearmongers.
Research and knowledge are very powerful. We all owe it to our kids and grandkids to become pro-active in supporting the technology that can save this beautiful planet for future generations.