Saving the Environment or Centralized Control of a Monopoly in Power (Electricity)? Pan Chemistry, Gareth Lewis 03/03/15 “………Political terms versus environmental time-lines This section raises an important point with environmental issues or challenges: the short duration of political terms (often three to six years) limits the amount that can be done in the field of environmental protection. This means that global problems, such as air pollution and global warming that have no geographic boundaries and are likely to be long-term challenges may not be attempted. Even ‘smaller’ challenges like preserving the Great Barrier Reef and ensuring the viability of water supply and usage along the River Murray cannot be addressed in any one political term (nor have they been): there’s just insufficient time and funds to do so. Additionally, the political fallout from such ventures may not ensure the duration of the political term (a political paradox). A case could easily be argued that such issues should be written into Federal politics and once initiated they should go ahead regardless of the social and political climate.
The proposed nuclear industry and global radioactive nuclear waste dump in South Australia is similarly a complex issue and will affect many generations to come. However, given the comparatively simple challenge of managing water supply and usage along the Murray River how likely is it that a proposed nuclear industry would be managed efficiently? I am not being overly ‘emotive’ here, I’m simply saying this: any proposed nuclear industry will ‘outlive’ a Royal Commission, a State and Federal Government and all of us! So; very careful consideration is needed, not only for the current generation of Australians, but for future generations who will not have a say in the decision making process that will determine the cleanliness and viability of ‘their’ environment………
Is the notion of establishing a nuclear industry in South Australia really about centralized control in the creation and distribution of energy (electricity)?
A skeptic could easily argue that the use of nuclear energy has nothing at all to do with ‘saving the environment:’ but that it’s really about centralized control in the production and sale of electricity in a monopoly system. After all, it’s easy to control a centralized supply and demand system, and it’s exactly what we have in place today in the world-wide production and sale of fossil fuels.
This notion of ‘centralized control’ is a whole topic in itself and is beyond the scope of the original question: ‘should a nuclear industry (uranium mining, sale of uranium and storage of global radioactive nuclear waste) be established in South Australia. My personal opinion (emphasis) and answer to this question at this time is no. I believe we have sufficient solar energy and land mass in Australia to develop and perfect the solar cell industry and such technology could then be licensed and sold overseas. Besides, the success of this approach has been clearly demonstrated in other countries, many of which have far less sunshine and land mass than Australia.
Additionally, the inherent risks of initiating what may be an untethered proliferation of nuclear (fission) power plants has also been demonstrated in the past at Chernobyl and Fukushima, with close calls in Long Island. However, what has not been demonstrated (thankfully) is what could happen to our environment (groundwater and surrounds) if global radioactive nuclear waste was compromised in transit or in storage by man-made or natural means. It remains to be seen whether the proposed Royal Commission will make the ‘right recommendation’ to the government in South Australia that will benefit and protect not only the current generation, but also of many future generations of Australians: so; fingers crossed :-\ http://www.gareth-panchem.com/347345675?pagenum=2