Once upon a time I often repeated the slogan ‘think globally, act locally’. It is perhaps this concept that Bob Hawke was promoting when he suggested last night that Australia become a dumping ground for the world’s nuclear waste.
According to ABC Online he said,
“Australia has the geologically safest places in the world for the storage of waste.”
“What Australia should do, in my judgement, as an act of economic sanity and environmental responsibility, say we will take the world’s nuclear waste.”
I reckon it is a good idea – but would like to see a feasibility study. Now which environment group will be the first to condemn it?
It makes sense, we produce it and we take it back.
Why not get Tim Flannery’s opinion on it? And whats-his-name, member for Bow…Kingsford, Peter Garrett.
Helen M says
As someone living alongside that big, empty, safe back yard where it could be stashed, I fully support taking the world’s spent uranium fuel for disposal. At a price. It has to go somewhere, preferably safe. And what a magnificent contribution Australia would be making to supporting ‘green’ power and reducing carbon emissions.
The Finnish approach, click on
for operational details and cost estimate of disposal
Australia’s geology is subject to groundwater, Synroc technology has been developed to encapsulate waste
This is what I think – I posted it on my blog.
Maybe Hazel was the Brains Behind the Throne
I say this because of this statement that Australia should take the world’s nuclear waste for disposal.
At first glance it would seem heroic that Australia would want to endanger its population for the good of the world and get rich in the process however it does not suffer a moments examination.
1. If the plan went ahead then Australian waters would then have a vastly increased traffic of ships carrying the waste which increases the chance of an accidental spill. How can we ensure that all countries seal the waste for transport? Some nuclear countries are notorious for poor storage – some leave it on the banks of a river.
2. Which port would be used for the imports? I am sure the residents of this port will love nuclear waste coming in and being trans shipped through their city.
3. What route would the waste take? How much weapons grade material would be sent? How big an army would be needed to safeguard this honey pot of terrorist weapons for the entire length of it travel?
3. The Swedes are spending 12 billion dollars to do a pretty good job of disposing of their waste. So lets start at this and work up. Who will invest 12 billion or more dollars probably closer to 25 billions dollars to build a proper waste disposal facility even if we knew how to do it. We can’t use Yucca Mountain as model as this is a total fizzer and not one kilo of waste has been stored there yet. Most of Australia is subject to ground water how do we ensure that this radioactivity does not get into our water?
4. If we are going to do a good job of disposing of the waste and not just cover it in sand in the middle of the desert then how much do we charge for the waste disposal? Would other countries be prepared to pay the enormous cost of safeguarding this waste for its large journey to the waste repository and then the on-going storage cost.. Right now to artificially lower the cost of nuclear power most waste is just stored on site. This is cheap however it is creating a growing problem. If this waste dump went ahead then the nuclear power industry would then have to account for the cost of disposing of the waste, something that might push the cost over that of wind and solar. I do not think most nuclear power operators would want to spend the money to store the waste in our dump. They much prefer to just put out of sight and put a ‘Somebody Else’s Problem Field’ around it.
So apart from these minor objections it is a great idea Bob. I wonder if Hazel would take you back and stop you from making such an ass of yourself in the future.
Davey Gam Esq. says
Who is Bob Hawke? Is he the chap who won the America’s Cup? Or was that Tim Flannery?
We could start by securing our own small but ever increasing amount of waste in a proper storage facility.
As for the global nuclear situation, like it or not it is happening. Do we deal with it or do we just worry?
The estimated cost of decommissioning the UK’s reactors will be 70 billion pounds.
Each reactor only has a life of 40 years.
When I lived in the UK it was impossible to live further than 60 miles from a reactor.I did NOT feel secure.
A low level waste dump would present a minor threat but taking high level waste,moving it half way round the world and then dumping it in our outback sounds a pretty dim idea to me .Mr Hawke is misguided to say the least.
We have dirty hands selling this poison in the first place, nukes are all very well if nothing goes wrong, but given the state of the world, proliferation is NOT a good idea. What happens if society is affected by a major epidemic and social cohesion breaks down ? who looks after the plants and the dumps ?
Although on the surface nuclear looks like a fix for global warming, we would be daft to invest in it big time.With our climate , we should go for solar , the cost of this technology could be really cheap if we actually had a govt with vision who encouraged us to install it , but as they are in the pocket of the fossil fuel industry this is NOT going to happen any time soon . My worry is that we will go nuclear because of vested interests- ( a society with solar panels which are independent of the main power companies is not in the interest of big business) and then we will be in major trouble further down the track.
dorothy pollard says
I agree with the previous writers..Yes, it would be crazy to create a vast waste dump in Australia… apart from the already mentioned, underground water, enormous cost, safety at sea, piracy etd. There is also the madness of investing in a non renewable resource, yet again..When uranium runs out and the uranium based alternatives that have not worked so far or proved too dangerous. We will be in a very bad situation having wasted precious years and resources on a dead end and lead others up the same path.