Friday, April 20, 2007

Dear ALP: Keep the 'no more uranium mines' policy

The ALP are currently on the verge of changing their current 'no new uranium mines' policy. A party vote is expected in the next couple of days. I have sent an email to give voice to my protest but - I have a blog - I can do more, and I might inspire others to do same.

Open e-letter to Senator Stephens of the Australian Labor Party:

Senator Ursula Stephens

Dear Senator,

As your classic swinging voter, I want to voice my extreme disapproval of the proposed move away from the current ALP 'no new mines' policy, and I want you to know that I will be actively campaigning against uranium mining on my blog, Global Warming Watch.

My objections are based upon the following reasons:
  • India is not a sig. to the nuclear non-proliferation treaty.
  • Our uranium may end up as plutonium in Iran, Pakistan, or a resources-hungry China in the near future.
  • Once Iran develops their nuclear capabilities, we can expect the rest of the middle-east to. Australia should not be party to this proliferation.
  • Much of the world, and Australia, has left it way too late to build nuclear power stations in order to combat global warming. Most experts say we have a window of 10 years to make deep cuts to our GHG emissions in to avoid hitting the global warming tipping points that are expected to push us into run-away climate change. If we start building now, most nuclear power stations will only be three-quarters complete in then years and would have generated hundred of thousands of tonnes of GHG in their construction.
  • Homer glowing uraniumUranium mining, processing, transportation, and the storage of spent uranium all involve processes that generate carbon dioxide. It is not as green some people say. Until you are glowing like Homer, that is.
  • The mining and processing of uranium that is proposed in Australia requires using a lot of water, water we currently don't seem to have enough of. In addition, prevention of contamination of the water-table and aquifers cannot be guaranteed.
  • Nuclear power stations cost a fortune to decommission.
  • The cost of nuclear power does not survive the free-market without government subsidy. How is this a long term energy solution?
  • There still is no solution to the nuclear waste problem.
  • A 'dirty-bomb' is the holy grail of terrorist groups - if we can't stop individuals in our Army from covertly selling weapons to criminal elements sympathetic to these terrorists, especially during the so called 'war-on-terror', what hope do we have of stopping uranium and derivatives from being subjected to same. Put another way, if a rocket launcher is worth $5,000 on this black market, how much is an ounce of uranium worth?
These reasons are off the top of my head, so may not be finessed as yet. But you can be sure they will be further explored, as my campaign develops, should the ALP persist with abandoning their no new mines policy.

Despite these objections, I am prepared to reconsider once we develop a way to detoxify spent uranium rods, say, within an individual's lifetime, and I would be happy to support any political party prepared to spend money researching this.

Kind regards,

Global Warming Watch

I will keep readers posted. Thanks to Don Henry, Executive Director of the Australian Conservation Foundation for his email alerting me. You can make donations to the ACF here.

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Anonymous said...

I haven't made my mind up on uranium mining but a 'no new uranium mines' policy that allows existing mines to increase output (and from my understanding that's the ALP's position) doesn't seem sensible either. Why is 3 uranium mines a good number?

Wadard said...

Good question David. I was resisting the issue of whether we need them at all. Three (actually I heard - maybe incorrectly - it is four now) is politically good because that is what we have now, and tactically it is easier to stop the next one than to aim to close them all down.