Crikey readers were understandably stirred by our question of Australia's nuclear potential -- the topic tends to be divisive after all. While some readers show interest in the technology, the vast majority feel that nuclear plants would do little good for the country even if we somehow got them running. Elsewhere, readers discussed Australia's fraught position on China and the US.
Wayne Robinson writes: Nuclear power isn’t a near zero carbon dioxide emissions source. The uranium has to be mined, processed and concentrated to nuclear power plant level, all of which require energy probably obtained by burning fossil fuels. And then to construct the power plants, large amounts of steel and concrete are needed (probably more than other power plants), both of which lead to considerable CO2 emissions (manufacturing cement accounts for around 10% of all CO2 emissions). And then there’s the CO2 emissions involved in decommissioning the nuclear power plant at the end of its lifespan. And safely storing the nuclear waste for tens of thousands of years.
Robert Smith writes: We don’t even know how to manage the small amount of waste produced by the small reactor in NSW after many years of debate. How can we accomplish all the steps required to achieve nuclear energy?