Australian news, and some related international items

Jessica Wysser- Submission to Senate – Nuclear power a dangerous distraction from real climate action

To SenateCommittee on Environment and Other Legislation Amendment (Removing Nuclear Energy Prohibitions) Bill 2022 Submission 65

The ban on nuclear power in Australia must remain in place. I support the ban and ask the Senate
Standing Committees to support the continuation of this ban. I am concerned that further nuclear promotion risks delaying the action Australia needs to address the challenges, and maximise the opportunities, of meaningful climate action.

Nuclear power plants are vulnerable to threats which are being exacerbated by climate
change. These include dwindling and warming water sources, sea-level rise, storm damage,
drought, and jelly-fish swarms. Nuclear engineer David Lochbaum states: “You need to solve
global warming for nuclear plants to survive.” Australia does not want or need a nuclear
reactor under these conditions as the country is already affected by climate change and we
can see that it is progressively worsening.

Nuclear power programs have provided cover for numerous weapons programs and an
expansion of nuclear power would worsen the situation. Former US Vice President Al Gore
neatly summarised the problem: “For eight years in the White House, every weaponsproliferation problem we dealt with was connected to a civilian reactor program.

And if we ever got to the point where we wanted to use nuclear reactors to back out a lot of coal … then
we’d have to put them in so many places we’d run that proliferation risk right off the
reasonability scale.”

Nuclear reactors are pre-deployed military or terrorist targets. The
current situation in Ukraine illustrates the risks: electricity supply necessary for reactor
cooling has been repeatedly disrupted by military strikes, posing serious risks of nuclear core
meltdowns. Prior to Russia’s recent attack on Ukraine, there have been numerous military
attacks on nuclear plants. Examples include Israel’s destruction of a research reactor in Iraq in
1981; the United States’ destruction of two smaller research reactors in Iraq in 1991;
attempted military strikes by Iraq and Iran on each other’s nuclear facilities during the 1980 –
88 war; Iraq’s attempted missile strikes on Israel’s nuclear facilities in 1991; and Israel’s
bombing of a suspected nuclear reactor in Syria in 2007.

Having a nuclear reactor opens the country up to the possibility of making Australia a target. Australians would never want or desire this.

Australia needs effective climate action now but nuclear power would slow the transition to a
low-carbon economy. It would increase electricity costs and unnecessarily introduce the
challenges and risks associated with high-level nuclear waste management and the potential
for catastrophic accidents, with profound intergenerational implications for Australians.
Nuclear power is dangerous, expensive, slow and unwanted. Our energy future is renewable
not radioactive.
Thank you for this opportunity to comment.
For the only planet we have


March 20, 2023 - Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, politics

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