Public Forum - Investigating the costs and benefits of nuclear power

Building off a two-day, international workshop, this public forum aims to cut through the misinformation that has often characterised the public debate in many countries about nuclear power, and to identify what is really at stake when considering this controversial energy source.


Much of the public discussion to date has focused on one or two key aspects of nuclear power, while ignoring others.  What is needed is a comprehensive analysis which systematically addresses the specifics of nuclear power. 

Focusing on the specifics of nuclear power generation, the forum will consider a number of major issues, the initial cost of construction, including liability in the event of an accident, crises like Chernobyl and Fukushima, the relationship between nuclear power generation and weapons, nuclear waste disposal, health implications of radiation exposure, and nuclear power and climate change.

The forum, chaired by Professor Veronica Taylor, Dean of the ANU College of Asia and the Pacific, brings together Australian specialists and world-leading experts to discuss the issue in-depth, including:

Tim Mousseau is a Professor of Biological Sciences at the University of South Carolina. His research is concerned with the ecology and evolution of animals and plants with special interests in how adaptations to changing environments evolve in natural populations and the evolution of adaptive maternal effects.  He has studied the impacts of radioactive fallout on natural populations of birds, insects, plants and microbes from the Chernobyl disaster for over ten years and from Fukushima for more than two years.


Ken Baldwin is Professor and the Director of the Energy Change Institute at the Australian National University, where he is also Deputy Director of the Research School of Physics and Engineering. Since 2011 he has been a member of the Project Steering Committee for the Australian Energy Technology Assessment (AETA) produced by the Bureau of Resources and Energy Economics (BREE) in the Department of Resources, Energy and Tourism. 


Mely Caballero-Anthony is Associate Professor and Head of the Centre for Non-Traditional Security (NTS) Studies at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS), Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. Until May 2012, she served as Director of External Relations at the ASEAN Secretariat. She also currently serves in the UN Secretary-General’s Advisory Board on Disarmament Matters and Security and is a member of the World Economic Forum (WEF) Global Agenda Council on Conflict Prevention.

Richard Tanter is Senior Research Associate at the Nautilus Institute for Security and Sustainability and Honorary Professorial Fellow in the School of Political and Social Studies at the University of Melbourne. From 1989-2003 he was Professor of International Relations in the School of Environmental and Social Studies at Kyoto Seika University in Japan.  Richard has worked on peace, security, energy and environment issues in East and Southeast Asia as analyst, policy advocate and activist.

This public forum is supported by the Japan Institute and the Pan-Asia Institute at the ANU College of Asia and the Pacific.

Updated:  27 November 2018/Responsible Officer:  JI Management Group/Page Contact:  Japan Institute