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Nuclear Australia September 28, 2005

Posted by BiB in Uncategorized.

I’ve got a deadline looming so now seems the perfect time to pretend the work isn’t there and write something here instead. I’ve been scouring my regular reads, hoping something would inspire, would grab my attention and be the launchpad for a 2000-word rant about something or other. Well, alas, today I – and my sources – are less than inspired, but this, about Australia being a potential repository for the world’s nuclear waste, invited a smile because it reminds me of an equally controversial plan thought up by my very own father. When I was but a young slip of a thing in London, I had a little gaggle of Australian friends, people I’d met on my travels, and on one occasion, said Antipodeans dropped in with me to my parents’ place only to be told by my father NOT that Australia should put all that space to the good use of the world’s nuclear industries BUT that Australia should open up all that space for… a good chunk of the world population. There’s something almost sweetly naive in my father’s simple, one-size-fits-all logic. There are too many people in, say, Bangladesh, so pack ’em off to Australia, as well as half of China, India, Brazil and the South East of England too, no doubt. My Australian gaggle smiled politely, realising they were talking to an ideological dinosaur who’d never travelled further than Boulogne-sur-Mer. Might there be a reason why people have chosen to live in the South East of England, say, and not at the North Pole or in the Australian outback (in any great numbers)? Water, say? Climate, say?

On the nuclear theme, I’ve got a feeling I haven’t worked out yet why I need to be against nuclear energy. I know security concerns must be paramount, both as regards the technology getting into the wrong hands and Chernobyl-style accidents, but that’s not an argument against. Then again, there is an obvious dilemma here in that if nuclear energy’s profile becomes solid and respectable, how can it be justifiable to stop any nation that wants to using it? Will it be decided only we with a cultural/democratic heritage in Greece have the right to make use of it? This one’s got legs…



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