As most world leaders have, albeit reluctantly, come to realise, the future of energy requirements on this fragile planet of ours, does not lie in the further utilisation of fossil fuels (coal, oil, and gas). All reputable scientists are in accord that the emissions from these fuel sources are having an enormous impact on our environment and this must be slowed, stopped and eventually reversed, if we are to leave our Earth in a useable condition for our children and their children. Apart from a few ignorant and pompous leaders, there is general unanimity on this.
Those are the main nuclear disasters that most of us are aware of, but how many times have nuclear power plants around the world come close to disaster, that we’ve never heard about? Are we really considering an option as potentially devastating as nuclear power to replace an equally devastating destroyer of our planet, as fossil fuels? As a species, are we really that dumb? No, nuclear power is not and should not be considered as an option to replace fossil fuels. There are many viable, alternative, renewable, sources of energy in the world. Why would we want to put our people and our planet at such great risk of illness and death? It’s utter madness and yet we calmly discuss this as a viable alternative. When will leaders learn to stop looking at the short-term and consider the science and the long-term sustainability and viability of a decision?
If we look solely at the disaster that is the Fukushima nuclear plant in Japan, alarm bells ring and “all bets are off”. The concerns about the safety of ALL three nuclear power plants in Japan are well documented and give me great fears for my own grandchildren and my country of Australia. Every leak of radioactivity into the atmosphere has a cumulative effect on the health of the people and the flora & fauna of this planet and especially that of our children who inherit what we have created and destroyed.
Former Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard
Former Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard was roundly abused and pilloried by many for spending a trillion dollars striving to bring Australia into a clean, renewable energy age. She had stated; that in Australia nuclear power didn’t stack up as an economically efficient source of power. What her critics fail to see, is the incalculable cost when something goes horribly wrong, as it already has in power plants designed to withstand earthquakes up to a magnitude of 9 on the Richter Scale. The point is clear, “once in a lifetime” events do occur and protection against nature’s forces cannot be fully guaranteed by engineers. Nuclear fusion is unsafe, as witnessed at Fukushima.
It would be insanity, with Australia’s access and ability to develop solar and wind power, to even consider the installation of nuclear energy in our land. There will be more clean energy sources available in the future. Surely the natural disasters that are striking our planet yearly, many of which are climate change driven, show us we need to allow out governments the right to heavily tax high polluting industry and spend those taxes investing in clean energy sources. I would far prefer my hip pocket affected than my grandchildren dying of leukemia due to radiation release into the atmosphere.
The legacy of Fukushima will be with us for generations to come. I, therefore cringe, when I hear Liberal Party stalwarts such as Tony Abbott and others extolling the benefits of nuclear power for Australia. I have read he wanted to bring Australia into the nuclear fusion power age. Many countries, with colder climates than ours, the Netherlands, Germany, and Spain, are decommissioning their nuclear reactors.
I am against nuclear fusion.
Even the indigenous Australians in their wisdom and knowledge of the environment, long before uranium was found in the ground in minable quantities in this country, fully understood what land was “bad land” and should not be disturbed. They knew the underground water from the uranium-rich areas was “bad” and described it as “hot” water even though it was not hotter in temperature than other underground water. They had an awe-inspiring understanding of its radioactive power.
In Australia, we have the opportunity to use nature for power. Reg and I can live, if we chose to forgo the computer, fully on solar power. We could even carry enough solar cells with us to power up the PC if we were prepared to spend the money on this. Many large motor-homes already are fully self-sufficient, with a non-polluting power source enough to even run washing machines. If a motor-home can do it, the country can do it too.
With all the alternatives at our fingertips, why go nuclear when the outcome of a “once-in-a-lifetime” disaster, is so bad?
I’ll leave you with one final thought: The half-life of spent uranium fuel is 159,200 years. Do we really want to gamble our planet and our species on something that takes over 300,000 years to totally dissipate, if it is inadvertently released? Maybe I’m just a worry-wart, but I think not. To me, reliance on nuclear power is insane.