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the nuclear debate « Previous | |Next »
June 20, 2006

I'm on the road in Brisbane and I might not be able to post today because of meetings. This Moir cartoon captures the debate on nuclear power in Australia:

Alan Moir

Though it is true that other countries can no longer get by without nuclear energy, Australia could. It has vast eastern coal seams, large and still to be discovered north-western gas, the wet southern brown coal, wind, sun, substantial geothermal sources. Australia's energy choices are wide and reasonable, and this natural advantage indicates that nuclear energy may never get a cost edge in energy-exceptional Australia.

But what we continue to hear about is Australia having 40 per cent of the world's uranium, emerging technologies that could substantially alter costs and choice, lower fuel costs, more easily recycled waste, the rebirth of Australian nuclear industry and bringing new skills and jobs.

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 6:37 AM | | Comments (6)


Almost all of the arguments I have seen in favour of nuclear energy have been stated with reference to the potential economic benefits rather than in terms of whether nuclear energy is a credible and safe energy source.

Robert over at View from Benambra is an exception.

the message is also 'clean and green' in that it is the solution to global warming. That message is usually spun with little reference to the economics of nuclear power.

Hey Gary,Dont know where your going with this issue again ?.For mine the nuclear enery debate in Oz is nothing more than the softening up of the public, to dump the rest of the worlds nuclear waste.It has been decided in the corridors of Washington and London,Australia is where the waste is going, end of story.Australian state governments will scream "not in our back yard"The greens will be in terminal meltdown etc,it has been decided and is (unless we have an armed insurection)inevitable.
At the end of the day (and yes scream when you like)Washington and London still has a huge influence on Australia ,sure they don't run our day to day economy per se,however they help run our foriegn policy and have done since the place was settled.I mean after all isnt Indonesia running our immigration policy?
Sooner or later the lobbyists running this farce called the "Nuclear Debate"will be calling in their markers,we will then see who has been on the payroll.I think there are going to be some surprises on both sides of the political fence.
There is no place for emotion in this debate,the world unless wiser heads prevail is in terminal decay.Lodgic dictates Australia is one of the few places on the planet to safely or otherwise store the waste.And store it here they will.To deny this even at this early juncture is the talk of fools.

I'm just trying to find out what people think the debate is about and where they think that it has go to.

yes it is is about Australia being a waste disposal site.Washington clearly indicated that.

But it is also about uranium enrichment--Australia going beyond being a quarry to build up a nuclear power industry. That uranium enrichment plant is most likely to be at Roxby Downs in SA.

I personally dont have a problem with Australia developing a nuclear industry. I think it is being raised an attempted wedge, so has selfish political origins. I also think that a decentralised energy system is more resilient to disruption and failure, but have no problem with a mature nuclear industry being part of it.

i think your website is great. It has helped me a bit on my project about nuclear energy at school,
thanks Elise