Australian news, and some related international items

Labor wants Liberal Coalition to come clean on planned sites for nuclear reactors

Labor pressures Coalition to rule out nuclear ‘fantasies’ or name sites for reactors Mark Butler says almost all proposed reactor sites since 1968 were near residential communities, Guardian, Sarah Martin and Amy Remeikis, 5 Sep 2019 Labor will pressure the government over its “flirtation” with nuclear energy by releasing parliamentary library research that shows almost 150 sites across the country have been proposed for reactors or dumps in the past 50 years.Calling on the prime minister, Scott Morrison, to either rule out nuclear or reveal where reactors would be located, Labor’s shadow energy minister, Mark Butler, said the government should instead direct its efforts to developing a “coherent energy policy”.

“Instead of indulging the policy fantasies of his restive backbench, Mr Morrison should reject the nuclear option or be upfront with Australians about exactly where he wants to build nuclear reactors,” Butler said. “Mr Morrison should forget nuclear energy and focus instead on practical ways of dealing with his government’s energy crisis.”

The list of locations that have been considered for nuclear activities includes about 40 locations for possible nuclear dump sites and almost 100 that have been examined as possible sites for nuclear reactors.

Labor MPs are expected to follow up the release of the information with localised campaigns highlighting the potential threat of nuclear facilities in the listed locations.

The parliamentary library research notes that some of the sites are highly speculative and have never been subject to a formal proposal, while others have been withdrawn or formally excluded as potential locations.

But Butler said that almost all of the proposed reactor sites since 1968 were near residential communities, noting that some locations – such as Townsville – had been proposed twice.

A study by the progressive thinktank Australia Institute in 2007 identified Townsville as one of 17 suitable sites for nuclear power plants across the country, based on key criteria such as electricity infrastructure, demand, transport, and water access.


Labor’s anti-nuclear push comes as parliament’s standing committee on environment and energy prepares to conduct an inquiry into the “prerequisites for nuclear energy in Australia” with a report due later this year.

The committee was set up by the energy minister, Angus Taylor, after several conservative MPs publicly agitated for the inquiry.

The chair of the committee, Liberal MP Ted O’Brien, said the inquiry would determine if nuclear energy was “feasible, suitable and palatable”…….

September 5, 2019 - Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, politics

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