Prime Minister Kevin Rudd has no right to block nuclear power development in Australia, because he is condemning future Australians to a dark age, Craig Isherwood said today.
“Rudd is betraying future Australians, by bequeathing them a legacy of backward technology,” the Citizens Electoral Council leader said.
“At a time when whole sections of the world are shaking off anti-nuclear superstition and recognising nuclear power is the solution to their energy needs, Rudd is holding Australia back.
“In nuclear terms, Australia is a colonial plantation—we export the raw fuel for paper money; others get the power. In the year 2008-09 Australia exported over 10,000 tonnes of uranium oxide concentrate—15 per cent of the world demand—with a value of over A$1 billion. This amount of uranium would generate $12 billion of electricity at a wholesale price of $30 per megawatt hour.”
Mr Isherwood compared Australia to the rest of the world:
“There are 435 nuclear reactors operational in 30 nations around the world, producing 2601 billion kilowatt hours of electricity a year.
“There are 40 nations now either building, planning to build, or have proposed to build another 488 reactors—South Korea is planning to export 80 reactors over the next 20 years.
“Australia is fortunate to hold by far the world’s largest reserves of both uranium and thorium. We have more than 1.2 million tonnes of known recoverable uranium resources—23 per cent of the world’s total, and an estimated 489,000 tonnes of thorium resources—19 per cent of the world’s total.
“If we move towards breeder reactor technology and thorium-fuelled reactors, Australia alone has enough nuclear resources to power the entire world for at least tens of thousands of years. And we’ll no doubt make the breakthrough to fusion power well before then.”
Mr Isherwood then pointed out the economics of power generation from a scientific basis:
“Nuclear power takes advantage of the enormous energy contained within an atom. It would take two million grams of oil or three million grams of coal to equal the power contained in just one gram of uranium fuel. Even the quantity of uranium ore, depending on the grade, is still a small fraction of the mass of coal producing the equivalent power.
“Nuclear power can only be cheaper given this scientific principle of energy density. It leaves the diffuse and erratic wind and solar power as a pathetic flap in the wind.
“With so much power, nuclear is ideal for desalination. We could create new rivers and green our deserts.
“However, the most exciting opportunity is the ‘isotope economy’ where we use science to incorporate the 3,000 odd isotopes on the Periodic Table into our economy—we can separate, exquisitely fine tune subatomic processes and generate various species of atoms as raw materials for industrial production. This will lead to all sorts or further discoveries—the possibilities are very exciting.”
Mr Isherwood concluded, “Join our fight for a prosperous future and oppose the Luddite Rudd’s path to economic ruin.”
Saturday, 20 February 2010, 11:22 am
Press Release: Citizens Electoral Council of Australia