A nuclear power debate in Australia

Foreign Minister Julie Bishop has said needs to consider nuclear power in the future, and unlike NZ this has led to a rational discussion rather than hysteria!

The SMH reports:

Calls for fresh talks about nuclear power have had a warmer response than expected, with economists and even a Labor MP taking up Julie Bishop’s offer for a “sensible debate” about all potential energy sources.

The foreign minister, who will depart for Lima, Peru, for fresh United Nations climate talks in days, said it is an “obvious conclusion” that to bring down emissions had to embrace nuclear energy.

Environment Minister Greg Hunt said on Sunday that although nuclear power was not Coalition policy, he was supportive of a debate but any shift would require bipartisan support.

Economist Ross Garnaut told Fairfax Media that Ms Bishop’s suggestion that should look at all sources of low emissions energy on their merits was a welcome one because avoiding dangerous climate change would require contributions from many sources.

“To arbitrarily limit the sources of low-emissions energy that we are prepared to consider may be to increase the cost of avoiding dangerous climate change and therefore to reduce the chances of our meeting the objectives that have been agreed by the community,” he said. …

The Labor MP Alannah MacTiernan said she’d been anti-uranium mining until her “conversion” in 2010.  She said while she didn’t think nuclear would ever be necessary in Australia, she was keen to see uranium mining expand in her home state of Western Australia.

“Nuclear has nowhere near the risks of spewing into the atmosphere,” she said. 

Good to see starting to have a discussion on this. If you are worried about climate change, you should not dismiss nuclear power as an alternative to coal.

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