Australian news, and some related international items

Philip White shows folly of nuclear activities for Victoria: Submission No.112

Submission 112 Philip White to Victorian govt INQUIRY INTO NUCLEAR PROHIBITION

A very brief summary of conclusions that can be drawn from the attached submission with respect

to each of your  inquiry’s terms of reference are as follows:

(1)investigate the potential for Victoria to contribute to global low carbon  dioxide energy production through enabling exploration and production of uranium and thorium The notion that nuclear energy is low carbon is superficial. A deeper analysis shows that nuclear energy is an obstacle to realisation of a low carbon economy (refer “c. environmental

impacts” in the attached submission).  Hence the idea that uranium and thorium exploration and production could make a useful contribution to global low  carbon

dioxide energy production is mistaken.  

(2) identify economic, environmental and social benefits for Victoria, including those related to medicine, scientific research, exploration and mining.

Nuclear energy related facilities tend to create host communities which are economically dependent

on these  facilities and which are therefore under huge pressure to overlook the safety and environmental risks associated  with these facilities (refer “b. health and safety” in the attached submission). The safest approach is not to build  these facilities in the first place.  (I assume the phrase “including those related to medicine, scientific research, exploration and mining” is not meant to exclude nuclear power plants and other aspects of the  nuclear fuel cycle.)  It is doubtful whether exploration and mining could generate significant 

economic benefits given that the long‐term  prospects for nuclear energy are so uncertain. Refer

The World Nuclear Industry Status Report 2019:‐Climate‐Changeand‐the‐Nuclear‐Power‐Option.html  

(3) identify opportunities for Victoria to participate in the nuclear fuel cycle The attached submission provides many reasons why it would be unwise for

Victoria to participate in the nuclear  fuel cycle.

(4) identify any barriers to participation, including limitations caused by federal or local laws

 and regulations. 

There are many legitimate barriers to nuclear fuel cycle activities, including safety, environmental protection, non‐ proliferation concerns and lack of public acceptance, but ultimately the barrier that is most likely to

stick is that  nuclear energy is not economically viable (refer “d. energy affordability and reliability and  economic feasibility” in  the attached submission- below).

Submission to the Inquiry into the Prerequisites for Nuclear Energy in Australia …….

For reasons outlined below, nuclear energy is not and will not in the foreseeable future be a desirable option to supply Australia’s energy needs. The specific terms of reference are addressed below, with particular attention to issues and perspectives that proponents of nuclear energy are inclined to neglect or downplay:

a. waste management, transport and storage ………

b. health and safety ……

c. environmental impacts …….

d. energy affordability and reliability, and e. economic feasibility …….

f. community engagement and i. national consensus ……..

g. workforce capability …….

h. security implications ……

j. any other relevant matter

Based on the above analysis, it would be unwise for Australia to embark on a nuclear energy program and it is very sensible to declare this in the clearest possible terms. In this regard, I am encouraged to see in the Terms of Reference for this inquiry the statement that “Australia’s bipartisan moratorium on nuclear energy will remain in place.”


February 11, 2020 - Posted by | politics, Victoria

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