Nuclear energy
Will Shakel is a 17-year-old vocal nuclear energy advocate.

The Brisbane Teenager Campaigning For Nuclear Energy In Australia

Meet Will Shackel, the 17-year-old Brisbane teenager behind the “Nuclear for Australia”, Australia’s first youth-led campaign for nuclear energy.

Shackel’s fascination with nuclear energy began after he did an assignment on energy sources in Grade 4. This initial spark ignited a passion that carried him through to a Year 10 commerce assignment, setting him apart in a country where nuclear energy is seldom explored in education.

Concerned by the pressing challenges of climate change and the need for sustainable energy solutions, Shackel sought insights from experts around the world, including figures like Dr. Geraldine Thomas, Robert Parker, Prof. Stephen Wilson, Dr. Adi Paterson, Dr. Dave Collins, and Dr. David Carland.

The research led to his unwavering belief that nuclear energy could be a viable solution for Australia and his generation.

Shackel launched “Nuclear for Australia” across social media platforms in January this year. It began with a petition aimed at legalising nuclear energy in Australia which has accumulated over 10,000 signatures.

May 2023 marked a significant milestone for the campaign. Shackel, on behalf of “Nuclear for Australia,” penned a letter to the Prime Minister, urging the reconsideration of the nuclear energy ban. As a result, he was invited to appear solo in a Senate Committee live in Canberra, where he passionately advocated for lifting the ban on nuclear energy. This move garnered national media attention and TV appearances.

We should just have all options on the table because there is huge, huge risk presented by our current approach, just relying on a renewable century centric approach to reach net zero. It’s hugely, hugely risky. And if it fails, then it fails in my generation.

Will Shackel

On today’s episode of The Briefing, Will Shackel joins Katrina Blowers, to explain what’s he thinks should be next for Australia’s relationship to nuclear.