Christian Kerr writes:

It doesn’t really matter what Martin Ferguson, Anthony Albanese, Bill Shorten, Mike Rann, Peter Beattie, Alan Carpenter or any other Labor figure with an opinion on uranium mining or processing – let alone nuclear energy – might think. Some backbenchers already have the perfect response to the Prime Minister’s nuclear wedge.

Yes, Labor is divided on the issue. Yes, the three mines policy is and always has been an idiotic compromise. But the backbenchers interjecting “Where’s the reactor going to be? Where’s the reactor going to be?” as Acting PM Peter Costello took the first dixer of the day on the subject have got a very good point.

How many years has the debate over the location of a low level nuclear repository been going on? Imagine what the reactor row will be like. It’s a good question. Which electorate will the reactor be in? Which electorate will its waste be stored in? Which electorates will it be transported through?

That’s the where. But there’s also the when. “It’s not a credible response to global warming, because it’s going to take too long to come into effect,” Dr Richard Corkish from the University of New South Wales said on the 7:30 Report last night. “By the time you start building power stations – even soon – it’s a long time into the future before they’re actually constructed.”

It’s nice to see a nuclear debate which features science instead of superstition and scaremongering – but will it last if the wedge doesn’t work? Kim Beazley even speculated in the Opposition Party Room meeting this morning that this is one issue the Government might wedge itself over.