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Public Talk – Presenter Dr. John Patterson retired nuclear, radiation and medical physicist

6 April @ 6:30 pm - 8:00 pm

Energy and alternatives

This event will occur at the Plympton Community Centre, with virtual attendance also (using Zoom communications software)


Dr John Patterson is a retired nuclear, radiation and medical physicist, who has worked overseas, and at the University of Adelaide and RAH Cancer Care Centre.  His hobbies are understanding our electricity prices, and also the contributions of Sir William and Sir Lawrence Bragg to X-ray structural analysis.

Although there is now general agreement that renewables are the cheapest form of electrical energy, John argues reliance on 100% renewables is impossible because they are inherently variable and unreliable and require alternative forms of energy as backup.  Storage methods for energy, such as pumped hydro, batteries and hydrogen, currently only provide backup for short periods and are expensive.  Backup is currently 50% provided by gas

The tripling of our prices since 2000 is mainly due to our having to pay world parity prices for gas used at Torrens Island, and the very high cost of transmission lines from wind and solar sites to the city, and major connectors to Victoria and NSW. High electricity prices in Australia have placed local manufacturing at a severe disadvantage. The Grattan Institute recently reported it did not expect our gas prices to come down.

John focuses on our increasing electricity prices and provides information on other possible back-up solutions for renewable energy and argues that nuclear energy should be considered. John believes nuclear energy is the backup solution we need and will eventually have to come to terms with as coal and gas are phased out due to international pressure.  He foresees Small Modular Reactors as being available from 2026, providing cheaper and longer lasting backup than large batteries.


The views of presenters are their personal views, and the BCSA does not necessarily endorse any views expressed.


To be a virtual attendee, register in advance for this meeting here:

Register in advance to attend meeting virtually

After registering, you will receive an email containing information about joining the meeting.


If you plan to attend in person, please note that meeting strict adherence to COVID-19 restrictions is important.  If you have not received a designated job to help organize the meeting you will not be admitted to the Hall until 6.15 pm. Unfortunately we are limited to two hours occupation of the Hall so there will be no refreshments.  Please sign in and provide your contact details (for insurance and contact tracing) and please use hand sanitizer.

At the Plympton Community Centre34 Long Street, Plympton.

(200 metres E of Marion Rd, and 300 metres N of Anzac Highway).

Bus from the city via Anzac Highway. Routes: 245, 248, 262, 263, 265, M44, N262.

Closest stop is Stop 9, then approximately 350 metre walk along Long Street.

Bus from the city via Marion Road. Routes 100, 101, H20.
Closest stop is Stop 10 (east side is approximately 100 metres south of Long street). Stop 10 (west side is on the other side of Moringie Ave. approx. 100 metres north of Long Street). Then approx.250 metre walk along Long Street.

Entry by donation (minimum of $2).

Bookings not required

At the start of each meeting a ten-minute presentation on a ‘Butterfly of the Month’  will be given by a BCSA committee member.

Printable (PDF) 2021 public talks schedule

If an advertised speaker is not available, we will try to provide an alternative speaker of similar interest.

The views of presenters are their personal views, and the BCSA does not necessarily endorse any views expressed.



6 April
6:30 pm - 8:00 pm


Gerry Butler
0407 972 149


Plympton Community Centre
34 Long Street
Plympton, South Australia 5038 Australia
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