Mr Ben Heard

Mr Ben Heard
  • Biography/ Background

    I am a PhD candidate, examining the potential role of advanced nuclear energy systems for the decarbonisation of electricity and energy in Australia. I have delivered units covering climate science, climate adaptation, energy assessment and global sustainability challenges through several units of the Master of Sustainability at the University of Adelaide.  

    I am the founder and executive director of environmental non-governmental organisation Bright New World. Our goals are uniting a stable climate, rich natural world and human development with a focus on the beneficial application of nuclear technologies.

    Prior to moving to a climate change specialisation, I worked in stakeholder consultation and risk communication, interfacing between organisations and stakeholders over highly controversial and contentious issues, including contaminated land, native and plantation forestry, and irrigation land use reform. This role engendered a practical understanding of how the varying perceptions of different hazards inform critical, risk-based decision making as much or more than quantifiable data. 

    In 2011 I founded Decarbonise SA to advocate the use of nuclear power as a solution to climate change. I have since written on nuclear power for various print and online media, appear regularly on radio and publicly presented this work to audiences across Australia including a televised debate victory. I was the lead author of Zero Carbon Options, a comparative study of nuclear and renewable energy options for Australia. 

  • Qualifications

    Bachelor of Applied Science, Occupational Therapy, University of South Australia

    Masters of Corporate Environmental and Sustainability Management, Monash University

  • Awards & Achievements

    Honourary Member, Leaders Institute of South Australia (2016)

    ‘Top Reviewer 2015’ for exceptional contribution through their reviews to the quality of papers in Energy Research and Social Science

    2015 United Uranium Scholarship from ANSTO

    2015 Publication Medal from The Royal Society of South Australia for "Beyond wind: Furthering clean energy directions in South Australia", Transactions of the Royal Society of South Australia, Volume 139, Issue 1, 2015 with co-authors C. Bradshaw and B. Brook

    Best Oral Presentation at the 2014 International Youth Nuclear Congress in Burgos, Spain for Worlds Without Nuclear: Findings of a systematic review of 100 % renewable literature.

    In 2012 I co-wrote and published the report Zero Carbon Options: An economic mix for an environmental outcome. Nearly $10,000 was crowd-funded to support the graphic design and printing of the report, as well as launch of the report with an international panel. 

  • Research Interests

    My research is examining the need for nuclear power for rapid decarbonisation of the Australia economy, with a potential focus on advanced nuclear power systems. The research will initially evaluate the evidence relating to proposed non-nuclear decarbonisation pathways, both in Australia and internationally, to provide an informed basis for modelling new decarbonisation pathways including nuclear power

  • Publications

    Heard, B.P., et al., Burden of proof: A comprehensive review of the feasibility of 100% renewable-electricity systems. Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, 2017. 76: p. 1122-1133.

    Heard, B. P., and Brook, B. W. (2017Closing the Cycle: How South Australia and Asia Can Benefit from Re-inventing Used Nuclear Fuel ManagementAsia & the Pacific Policy Studies4166175. doi: 10.1002/app5.164.

    Heard, B. & Brook, B. (2014), ‘Nuclear waste is safe to store in our suburbs, not just the bush’, A Year in the Life of Australia, The Conversation

    Heard, B. & Brook, B. (2011), ‘21st Century Nuclear’ , SA Mines and Energy Journal, October 2011- October 2012 (a series of six articles)Ben Heard, Corey Bradshaw and Barry Brook

    Beyond wind: Furthering development of clean energy in South Australia, for publication in Transactions of the Royal Society of South Australia, Vol 138 (2), the Special Edition on Climate Change in South Australia  

    Heather Bailey, Ben Heard and Julian Morison 

    Developing the Carbon Neutral Investment Model for Local Government 

    Ben Heard and James Brown

    Zero Carbon Options: An economic mix for an environmental outcome

  • Community Engagement


    I sit on the Advisory Board for Terrestrial Energy, a Canadian company that is developing the Integral Molten Salt Reactor (IMSR). This is a non-executive, unpaid position.

    I was a member of the Independent Advisory Panel for the siting of the disposal facility for Australia's low and intermediate level radioactive waste. 

    Through the NGO Bright New World I maintain a schedule of public speaking on matters of climate change, sustainability and nuclear power to community, governmental, educational and business organisations. This has recently included UN Youth, industry conferences, unions and several branches of various political parties.

    I am a member of the Friends of Brownhill Creek.

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Entry last updated: Wednesday, 14 Feb 2018