Antinuclear

Australian news, and some related international items

Nuclear power unaffordable for Australia

Faced with overwhelming evidence against nuclear power, vested interests have seized on the climate crisis as a last-gasp attempt to put it back on the agenda. But doing so would squander the resources necessary to implement meaningful climate change solutions.

The question: should nuclear energy power our future?, Sydney Morning Herald, 29 Nov 10 “……  Stephen Campbell Nuclear power has no future in Australia. This is commonsense for the environment and the economy. Let’s start with finance. In November last year economists at Citigroup issued a critique called, “New nuclear – the economics say no”. The report said ”three of the risks faced by developers – construction, power price, and operational – are so large and variable that individually they could each bring even the largest utility companyto its knees”.

They concluded it was unlikely any private company would take on the risks.

Cold hard cash probably explains why only two plants were under construction in Europe at the end of last year.

Both were delayed by years and over budget. In the case of Olkiluoto Island in Finland, four years into construction, it had already been delayed by three years.

Costs had doubled.

Finland’s Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority found the reactor’s concrete base to be too porous and prone to corrosion.

Safety fears have always been at the core of the nuclear issue. Only this month, tens of thousands of people in Germany and France protested against the most radioactive shipment of nuclear waste in history, amounting to the equivalent of 11 Chernobyl disasters.

After half a century of nuclear power, no country has come close to developing a method to safely isolate waste – it remains deadly for hundreds of thousands of years.

Faced with overwhelming evidence against nuclear power, vested interests have seized on the climate crisis as a last-gasp attempt to put it back on the agenda. But doing so would squander the resources necessary to implement meaningful climate change solutions.

Even if it were desirable, starting a nuclear industry in Australia would take a decade or more and billions upon billions of taxpayer dollars.

Australia’s geography and climate gives us an almost unparalleled opportunity to be a world leader in proven and safe renewable technologies like solar, wind and wave.

Unfortunately, other countries are leaving us behind.

China will make enough wind turbines every six weeks to replace Australia’s entire wind-power supply.

Let’s leave the nuclear debate in the past where it belongs. Now is the time to urgently invest in clean and safe renewable energy.

Stephen Campbell is head of campaigns at Greenpeace Australia Pacific.

November 29, 2010 - Posted by | General News, uranium | , , , , ,

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