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"...public opinion deserves to be respected as well as despised" G.W.F. Hegel, 'Philosophy of Right'

spruiking nuclear power « Previous | |Next »
May 19, 2006

The cartoon is about Tony Blair's new either or moral imperative that nuclear power save us from climate change. Blair has become a spruiker for nuclear power and willing to continue government-funded R&D, and huge subsidies to fund the cost, uranium enrichment and security systems, as well as insurance from accidents.

Martin Rowson

But it applies to the other nuclear-power-can save-the-day spruikers, doesn't it? The ones who ignore the way that energy efficiency, renewables and co-generation reduce green- house gas emissions, provide greater employment and cost less. They reduce the energy debate to coal versus nuclear.

One of the spruikers is Australia's Prime Minister John Howard . Acknowledging that Australia is the holder of the world's largest-known uranium reserves he adds that 'Australia will eventually build a nuclear power industry, and that day could be closer than some people would have thought a short while ago'. He wants Australia to get into the urnanium processing business (value adding) and for Australia to become a nuclear power.

What is notable about Howard's new foudn enthusiams for all things nuclear is the silence on figuring out what to do with the radioactive waste -- even though that is a question that has dogged the nuclear industry for decades.

Another spruiker, the chief one, is President Bush . His message is that America needs domestic sources of clean, affordable electricity. To maintain our economic leadership and strengthen our energy security, America must start building nuclear power plants. Going nuclear is being pushed by US state-- in the form of a global nuclear energy partnership.

Why? Why not solar? Isn't renewable energy the only sustainable and relatively cheap energy option for Australia?
I guess the nuclear energy boys think in terms of massive scale, national grids and centralized power. So how does nuclear power deal with greenhouse emissions from transport, commercial buildings and industrial processes?

What is interesting is how the nuclear industry has gone from being an energy pariah, and the most expensive and dangerous form of energy to becoming the world's solution to climate change --its happened in less than 3 years. John Howard may have signed up to Bush's global nuclear energy partnership but the waste (spend fuel rods) and the exorbitant cost still count against this form of energy.

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 7:31 PM | | Comments (0)