Jay, close the door to nuclear
South Australia is blessed with more sunlight than most parts of the world.
Over 30 percent of the state's power is already generated by renewable energy.
Public opinion, if social media is anything to go by, is firmly in favour of expanding the state's renewable energy sector and rejecting unsustainable alternatives, including nuclear.
Despite this, the South Australian State Government, seemingly lured by the potential revenue a nuclear waste dump would provide, has initiated a Royal Commission into the Nuclear Fuel Cycle.
Worryingly, the government appointed former military man Rear Admiral the Honourable Kevin Scarce AC CSC RAN (Rtd) to the position of Royal Commissioner, casting immediate doubt on the independence of any recommendations made. Rear Admiral Scarce has previoulsy revealed publicly his support for development of the nuclear industry.
Dangerous and expensive
The Fukushima disaster in Japan is just one of dozens of nuclear accidents in recent times and precipitated a global rethink on the nuclear industry with respect to safety. As Dave Sweeney from the Australian Conservation Council wrote in The Guardian back in February:
"The 2011 Fukushima nuclear meltdowns have seen popular acceptance of nuclear power recede – in Japan over 50 reactors remain mothballed or idle, while conservative politicians in Germany are leading the charge to end nuclear power supply by 2022. The sector is flatlining in the US and even France is looking to cut the atom’s share of the French energy sector by 25% over the next decade. China, and to a lesser extent India, remain the only bright spots in the pro-nuclear firmament but even these are contested and eclipsed by plans for growth in renewables."
With countries at the forefront of the nuclear industry questioning the industy's future, why is the Weatherill Government courting an industry that has the potential to put our people and our environment at risk?
You can help us convince Premier Weatherill to abandon any plans for a nuclear waste dump and an expanded nuclear industry in South Australia. Send the Premier our letter (below) adding your details to the form top right.
Thanks for standing up for a clean and safe South Australia!
I am extremely concerned that South Australians are being dragged into accepting a significant increase in the state's involvement in the nuclear cycle.
It appears the current threat posed by uranium mining to the health of workers, communities and the environment is to be compounded by the storage of high grade nuclear waste.
Even uranium enrichment and nuclear power are under active consideration by the Royal Commission established by your government.
I note with alarm the comments made by Commissioner Kevin Scarce in favour of controversial nuclear technologies.
While I consider the Royal Commission to be an unnecessary and expensive investigation of issues that the public rightly considered settled, the Commission should try to conduct itself in an impartial manner.
I strongly urge you to change course on these matters. Our current role as an exporter of uranium, including to India which is not a signatory to the nuclear weapons Non-Proliferation Treaty, makes us complicit in the destabilisation of our region.
Storage of nuclear waste would encourage the environmental irresponsibility of other countries and, most likely, impose a toxic burden on the traditional lands of the Aboriginal people.
The huge amounts "invested" in this unpopular industry would be taken away from renewable energy projects and research.
We can do so much better than this.