Nuclear threat from Japan's tsumami should be a warning
Nuclear power assumes that the Earth is stable, and so are other nations. Renewable energy plants are the future. Nuclear is not meant to be. We would have everything to risk, and little to gain. We have plenty of potential for renewable energy sources in
Beyond Zero Emissions, a NGO in Melbourne , already have a renewable energy plan for Australia to be 100% renewable by 10 years time. It would cost about $8 a week. Many experts have given their time pro-bono, however, it has been ignored by our government. All the technology is existing. However, our leaders would rather protect their political sponsors, and the "big end" of town. The public are just the masses, to be fed cake and pay for parliamentary privileges and bear the burden of mismanagement.
Why go down the dangerous route to the future when we can go the safe way? Those who think otherwise have some vested interest in big power, big monopolies and "big Australia".
Technology is not the "solution" to energy crisis, or protecting ourselves from natural disasters. Japan would have state of the art warning systems, but it didn't prevent their present disaster.
Disasters can not be prevented. But through proper warnings and disaster-after recovery procedures, the effects can be minimized.
"Nuclear energy is proven to be a safe, reliable, cost effective..." as we are told. Uranium is a commodity that can be sold and profited from, not renewable energy. Unit 2 of Three Mile Island Nuclear Power station experienced a partial reactor meltdown on March 28, 1979. It was the biggest nuclear disaster in US history. The two main ones are simple - human error and the failure of a rather minor valve in the reactor.
The Titanic was assumed to be "unsinkable" due to its techno-sophistication, and human confidence in technological achievements.
Japan's tsunami disaster should put an end to any further confidence in nuclear reactors being "safe". After the reactor properly shut down due to the earthquake, the tsunami caused flooding in the power backup and ruined the diesel generators preventing powering the cooling pumps. We can't assume that our planet is ever stable, and that reactors won't be bombed by hostile forces
The sinking of the Titanic, the meltdown of the Chernobyl reactor in 1986, — all forced engineers to address what came to be seen as deadly flaws.
Nuclear power has been promoted as the answer to both climate change and energy insecurity. It is neither. As a response to global warming, it is too slow, too expensive and too limited. And in an age of terrorist threats, it is more of a security risk than a solution.
Mainland China has 13 nuclear power reactors in operation, more than 25 under construction, and more about to start construction soon. Additional reactors are planned, including some of the world's most advanced, to give more than a ten-fold increase in nuclear capacity to at least 80 GWe by 2020, 200 GWe by 2030, and 400 GWe by 2050.
China is rapidly becoming self-sufficient in reactor design and construction, as well as other aspects of the fuel cycle.
Current nuclear needs lots of water for cooling. Water is scarce in Australia, the second driest continent. In France during their heat waves, some of the nuclear plants couldn't operate because the water got too hot. Australia gets very hot a lot, and parts of the country are continuing to break heat records! Those difficulties are possibly not insuperable, but certainly add to the risk.
Taking our politically-decided population growth into account, we would need upwards of one hundred reactors to fully cater to Australia in the future. Reactors need to be established close to the coast - also where 80% of Australia's population lives - so we can't decide to put them somewhere in the dessert and forget about them!
Our ever expanding human population is growing faster then it can be kept warm, fed and healthy. What we need to do is to ban nuclear power and curb human population growth.
For all the precautions, you just cannot predict where a safe place for nuclear reactor is going to be. It's like saying the Titanic was unsinkable.