Antinuclear

Australian news, and some related international items

Resource rich Western Australia doesn’t need uranium mining, just as it doesn’t need asbestos mining

Sweeney,-DaveWA is and will remain a resource rich state and this can continue without uranium mining. Many years ago WA turned off the toxic tap on asbestos mining as the industry damaged lives and lost its social licence.

Uranium is the asbestos of the 21st century — a known carcinogen that poses a direct hazard to people and the environment for thousands of years. On a good day uranium becomes high level radioactive waste, on a bad day it fuels Fukushimas and on a very bad day promotes the spread of nuclear weapons.

WA Should Leave Its Uranium In The Ground http://newmatilda.com/2013/03/06/wa-should-leave-its-uranium-ground New Matilda, 6 March 13,  The uranium industry promises big and delivers little. So why is the WA Liberal Government set to greenlight the state’s first uranium mine? Voters in the upcoming state election should be wary, writes Dave Sweeney

There is a lot of talk about debt in the current WA state election campaign.

Labor talks of the growing level of state debt and the burden on taxpayers while the Coalition maintains that it is necessary to borrow in order to build. Debt is an obligation, a liability, something that is owed — now and into the future.

But neither major party is talking about another form of debt — one that would effectively forever shackle West Australian communities and our unique environment and lifestyle.

In 2012 the state Legislative Council moved to bring WA into line with the regulatory practice required at the controversial Ranger uranium mine in Kakadu and passed a resolution calling for mines wastes from any future West Australian uranium mine to be isolated from people and the wider environment for 10,000 years. The resolution provides industry guidance but is not yet a mandated requirement. Critics of the uranium trade believe that this is essential.

Unsurprisingly the industry’s promotional body, the Australian Uranium Association, is lobbying to avoid any effective industry constraints……

WA is and will remain a resource rich state and this can continue without uranium mining. Many years ago WA turned off the toxic tap on asbestos mining as the industry damaged lives and lost its social licence. Uranium is the asbestos of the 21st century — a known carcinogen that poses a direct hazard to people and the environment for thousands of years. On a good day uranium becomes high level radioactive waste, on a bad day it fuels Fukushimas and on a very bad day promotes the spread of nuclear weapons.

This is neither desirable nor necessary, because as well as minerals, WA is blessed with extensive renewable energy resources. Renewable energy is the world’s fastest growing energy sector and already generates more global electricity every day than nuclear does.

Leaving uranium where it does least harm — in the ground — and building on the WA’s manufacturing skills base to be a renewable energy leader would grow local jobs that last and keep the lights and air-con on, and the Geiger counter off. This is a far better legacy than a glowing and growing radioactive debt.

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March 6, 2013 - Posted by | General News

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