Australian news, and some related international items

After Fukushima: Nuclear power’s deepening crisis -it’s never appropriate for Australia

Independent Australia By Dave Sweeney | 12 March 2019 Eight years ago the world held its breath as the Fukushima nuclear crisis unfolded in Japan. Today the lands are littered and the seas awash with the consequences of radioactive waste responses and the economic, human and environmental costs are severe and continuing.

Fukushima was directly fuelled by Australian uranium and in its aftermath, this contested trade remains hard hit, as is the wider global nuclear power sector. Globally, reactors are in recession and the promises of the promoters look increasingly hollow.

The nuclear industry is in crisis everywhere.

In contrast, worldwide renewable power generation has doubled over the past decade and costs continue to fall dramatically.

A record amount of new renewable power capacity has been installed worldwide every year over the past decade. Renewables accounted for over 26 per cent of global electricity generation in 2017, while the nuclear contribution languishes at ten per cent. Around our shared planet, over ten million people are employed in renewable energy industries and the trajectory is only going one way.

In January, Australia’s Climate Council, comprising leading climate scientists and policy experts, issued a policy statement concluding that:

‘Nuclear power stations are not appropriate for Australia — and probably never will be.

According to the Climate Council:

‘Nuclear power stations are highly controversial, can’t be built under existing law in any Australian state or territory, are a more expensive source of power than renewable energy, and present significant challenges in terms of the storage and transport of nuclear waste, and use of water.’

This view was reinforced by Federal Labor, at its national conference in December, when it committed to

“prohibit the establishment of nuclear power plants and all other stages of the nuclear fuel cycle in Australia.”   

At this time, Shadow Energy Minister Mark Butler was scathing of nuclear advocates, telling ABC Radio:

“This is not a technology that has any opportunity for Australia, it is extraordinarily expensive power as well… we want to focus on renewable energy which is going to bring down emissions, bring down power prices, and power thousands and thousands of jobs.”

China ‒ long seen as the saviour for the industry ‒ has not approved a new reactor construction site for more than two years and is instead prioritising renewable energy. The number of countries phasing out nuclear power now includes Germany, Switzerland, Spain, Belgium, Taiwan and South Korea.

The British nuclear power industry is in free-fall …….

Nuclear lobbyists used to claim nuclear power would be too cheap to meter. Now, it’s too expensive to matter…….,12459

March 12, 2019 - Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, politics

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