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Name: Antony Loewenstein
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Tuesday, January 10, 2006

The nuclear debate

The nuclear debate is hotting up. After years of rightful neglect, powerful forces are attempting to place nuclear power as a serious remedy for environmental and financial gain. It is an option that should be rejected, in my view, not least because of the health and environmental concerns.

Signature magazine - a monthly online publication published in Sydney and Melbourne - this month examines the ways in which the political and business elite is pushing the nuclear option onto an unsuspecting public:

"But in all the debate about debates, one thing seems to have been largely overlooked: a domestic nuclear power industry is probably not on the cards in Australia. Nuclear reactors are illegal under current Federal law and even the aggressively pro-uranium Federal Minister for Resources Ian Macfarlane has publicly ruled out the possibility for at least another 20 years.

"Signature thinks any debate - if it is to be relevant to the Australian public - should really be about the only stage in the nuclear fuel cycle that Australia presently engages in: uranium mining and export."


Blogger Wombat said...

Having worked at Australia's only nuclear reator facility myself, I cannot fathom how any plans to install a nuclear power reactor in Australia could ever eventuate.

Even if all parties were in agreement, the tender process, environmental impact studies, safety studies etc etc, would span decades and probably lose steam once the costs skyrocketed.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006 10:05:00 am  
Blogger Wilbourne said...

I have a strange faith that scientists will develop a better energy alternative than anything we have now, or perhaps it's just wishful thinking.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006 11:58:00 am  
Blogger Wombat said...

I wouldn't be surprised if there were such alternatives already. One should not underestimate the power of the oil companies to control the playing field.

Here is a pearl from teh Boston Globe last week:

"To support its December rate-increase request, the Connecticut utility Yankee Gas Services said it needs more money because too many of its customers have lowered their bills by heeding calls to conserve energy. And a November report commissioned by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce included the proposal that Congress replenish the federal Highway Trust Fund by imposing a special tax on gas-saving hybrid cars (in that those cars consume less fuel than regular cars and therefore pay less in gasoline tax)." [Connecticut Post, 12-10-05] [Boston Globe-AP, 11-26-05]

Can you believe that. A tax on hybrid cars!!! Don't you just love the US of A?

Tuesday, January 10, 2006 12:24:00 pm  

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