Sunday, 9 September 2007

APEC - Nuclear Related Fallout

When nuclear power was promoted as an option to address the challenges associated with emissions linked to climate change; there was an almost immediate dismissal from various New Zealand politicians - including Helen Clark herself:

"not something we are going to endorse".

But now there seems to be a bit of a backlash happening over in New Zealand that I find very intriguing.

This Editorial from the NZ Herald is one example.
That nuclear power poses risks is indisputable. But those risks need to be assessed in context of the certain - not potential - environmental havoc that is being wrought by the use of fossil fuels to generate energy. In the US, more than 600 coal-fired power plants produce 36 per cent of that country's - and almost 10 per cent of the world's - emissions of carbon dioxide, the primary greenhouse gas responsible for climate change. China is building a new coal-fired power station every week.

It may well be that nuclear power is not viable here [New Zealand] on practical or political grounds, though the likelihood is that we will fail to meet our emissions-reduction targets without a change in energy strategy. But we do ourselves and the world no favours by refusing out of hand to endorse or explore the nuclear option. When the biosphere collapses, it won't spare this country just because we remained philosophically pure.
Here's another story in the same paper from Fran O'Sullivan. O'Sullivan points out the sad irony of New Zealand's spirited charge for climate change action and subsequent advocacy for, and endorsement of, Kyoto in the context of current day, hefty fines for failing to meet those very same Kyoto targets. And then telling the world there's no place for nuclear power in the international struggle to cut fossil fuel emissions? Anyway, a good read.

In this editorial from the Hawke's Bay Today, Louis Pierard goes so far as to advocate New Zealand's consideration of a domestic nuclear power programme / plant.

Beyond the media, the Kiwiblog is taking a similar position. I also note that many comments [I only read about the first 20 or so, I assume from other Kiwis] reflect - how do I say this - opposition to, or concern regarding, the stated or implied position of the aforementioned political leaders. [Thanks to NEI for the tip on this blogger.]

1 comment:

  1. GNEP coverage


    Australia's nuclear ambitions