Johnny-come-lately Howard has quietened his skepticism of global warming but considers the best solution for Australia’s carbon emissions to be nuclear power stations. The NIMBY factor in locating a nuclear facility in Australia is impossibly huge, as I would expect it to be anywhere else, but since Australia has only one reactor, claimed to be used for for making radiomedical isotopes, resistance to any more nuke plants will be staunch.
Construction of a nuclear power plant in Australia would be impeded by decades of rabid protest and interference from those living in the proposed nuke site areas. Planning for a nuke plant would come to a sudden halt as soon as the proposed location was announced.
As per usual with our shrewd Prime Miniature, there’s more to his arguments than what’s on the face of them. Howard knows full well that it’s not ever going to be politically possible to build nuke plants in Australia. So what’s he really after? I’d put a wager on Howard’s actual aim being broadening of uranium mining and increasing yellowcake exports, establishment of uranium enrichment facilities and perhaps even acceptance from client states of spent fuel for reprocessing or disposal.
Bob Brown’s suggestion to stop exporting coal from Australia is an idea slightly ahead of its time. World demand for coal will disappear all by itself when carbon trading schemes are adopted globally. When the polluter has to pay for the right to pollute, corporate money will flow like a tsunami into alternative energy generation research and development. Brown might have been wiser to work on better funding of alternative energy R&D rather than suggesting closing down one of Australia’s biggest and oldest cash-cows.
Of course, Howard will ‘suddenly’ find that Australians will not accept nuke power stations. He will pretend to be somewhat dissatisfied when he gets what he really wants- just a tiny bit more uranium mining and a tick of uranium enrichment… which should please his mates in the mining industry to no end.
I’m a little tired of the Howard red-herring diet plan, how about you?
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