Antinuclear

Australian news, and some related international items

Greig Myer’s fine submission to Inquiry into the prerequisites for nuclear energy in Australia

Submission 25 Greig Myer   Hopefully this will be the final time that our elected representatives waste time and money on a form of energy that has no public support in pretty much every country on the planet. This has been indicated time and again when the general public has been allowed to have a referendum on the issue. Historically the Australian government has sensibly recognised this in its general moratorium on nuclear power. I will rely on others providing the facts backing up the following broad statements:

There remains no proven long term safe storage facility for nuclear waste anywhere in the world. All facilities to date have experienced increasing leakage risks or actual leakage as time has gone on. The waste also requires ongoing management far beyond the average extent of human planning ability and is based on the assumption of an extraordinarily long stability of government and human affairs that have historically never persisted.

This remains the most basic and fundamental reason that nuclear power should not be considered.

The health and safety risks of nuclear power are massive and exist end to end. From mining uranium, to operating the facility, to dismantling it and storing the waste, at all points humans and the natural environment are exposed to very real risk of radiation exposure, and that is assuming things are operating well.

Nuclear power is currently the most expensive form of electricity generation available, as well as the most dangerous and the most polluting. The estimated costs of generating nuclear power never include the dismantlement of the reactor at the end of its life as well as the multi-generational cost of storage of the waste. These costs must be included in an assessment of nuclear power.

If experts are to be sought to provide an overview of nuclear power then some should be sourced from Germany which is closing down all its nuclear power, and Japan that is currently dealing with the reality of nuclear power when it goes wrong.

Australia as a major supplier of uranium is an enabler of the nuclear waste problem that is going to plague the world for generations. Just because an industry provides profit or jobs does not make it a conscionable activity. Australia could make a major contribution to ensuring that nuclear waste is at least somewhat reduced by shutting down its uranium producing mines. –

Some nuclear proponents raise the red herring of carbon emissions as a reason for nuclear power. Carbon dioxide is only one form of pollution that humanity has to deal with it as a result of its activities. Replacing one form of pollution with a far more toxic alternative is not progress.

There is urgent need for focus on the long-term stabilisation of Australia’s energy grid and this would be a much more appropriate focus for a Parliamentary Inquiry. Solar and wind power are cheap and whatever problems they have they are insignificant compared to the extreme risks that exist with nuclear power

Electric cars are coming and they provide a real opportunity to provide the grid stabilisation that is needed, if the Australian Government provides the appropriate guidelines (universal plug for all cars, all charging to be done between 10am and 2pm??). It is time to focus on the future and leave nuclear power in the past where it belongs. It has had 50 years to prove itself and it has failed comprehensively. 

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September 7, 2019 - Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Submissions Federal 19

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