Tuesday, 11 August 2009

Why no Aussie nuclear option?

A climate change bill is to be discussed (disputed?) next week in Australia’s parliament. 

As Peter Hartcher reports, Rudd’s Climate Change Bill contains two main provisions: 

One is to require that all power companies get at least 20 per cent of their energy from renewable sources - solar, wind or tide - by 2020. The Opposition supports Rudd in this aim.

The other is the controversial one - an emissions trading scheme. This is simply a way of rationing carbon output. It would it raise the price of carbon-based energy, encouraging Australia to use less oil and coal and more renewable energy. The great weaning will have begun. 

What I don’t get is: why is there no discussion in Australia of the nuclear option? We have huge reserves of uranium.  Nuclear energy is clean of carbon, safe and proven.   There are safe ways to dispose of the waste – deep geological storage.  We’re quite happy to sell the stuff, but not to use it ourselves.   Isn’t that just hypocrisy?