nuclear power in Australia

From Crikey: If a government wanted to figure out how best to defend the country, it wouldn’t hold an inquiry into the air force. It would hold an inquiry into … defence. So if a government wanted to figure out how to plan for responsible energy consumption in an age of climate change you’d assume it would hold an inquiry into energy consumption. Instead, the Australian government holds an inquiry into … nuclear energy.

The above really says it all. The Liberal government has decided that they want to get nuclear reactors regardless of what the citizens want. Surprisingly the Switkowski report was not very positive towards nuclear power. It concluded that producing 1/3 of Australia’s electricity requirements would require 25 nuclear power plants, and that they would have to be built close to population centers, and mainly on the east cost. I guess that means about 8 reactors for Melbourne and about 10 for Sydney! It has been suggested that the federal government could force nuclear power on the states even if the state governments don’t want it!

For those reactors to be economically viable a carbon tax is required (this means taxing all energy sources on the amount of carbon that they release into the atmosphere). The Liberal government has been opposing such a tax but now the report they commissioned recommends it.

The Victorian branch of the Liberal party seems to support such things. I have been walking past the office of Ted Baillieu (the leader of the Victorian Liberal party) on my way to work. He has a sign in his office window opposing wind power so I guess he’ll be supporting nuclear power.

It’s something to keep in mind at the election on Saturday. I’ll be handing out how to vote cards for the Greens.

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