John Howard says ‘we are marching towards nuclear’

From the very beginning ADVANCE has been right to call for the establishment of an Australian nuclear industry, and now even former Prime Minister John Howard has jumped on board.

Listen up ScoMo!

In a speech to the American Australians Association this week, Mr Howard said, the AUKUS pact to build nuclear-powered submarines makes it “inevitable” that Australia will develop a civil nuclear industry.

He said “that’s not something that will be a feature of Australian politics in the next few months, but I don’t think there is any doubt that we will have a nuclear power industry, and so we should. It makes sense, I think the world is changing on that issue and I think public opinion is changing.”

“We are marching towards a nuclear industry and I don’t think that something should be resisted,” he told the AAA/Northrop Grumman policy discussion on AUKUS at the Sydney Opera House.

“Now a lot of people will disagree with me on that, but I think we are marching towards it, and I don’t think it’s going to be debated and resolved in the next couple of years, but I’d be surprised in 10 years time if the debate weren’t all over and we were a long way down the path towards it.”

Good on you, John!

We’d be surprised too…unless, of course, the Australian people elect a Labor-Greens coalition government on May 21.

Afterall, public opinion polls show most Australians support nuclear power. According to figures from late last year, almost two-thirds of voters either support nuclear or agree that it should be considered as part of Australia’s future energy mix. Only a quarter of voters are firmly against the idea.

The most popular Prime Minister since John Howard himself, Tony Abbott, fully supports nuclear power. In fact, only a few months ago, Abbott urged PM Scott Morrison to promise nuclear power as a major point of difference to Labor with an election coming up.

You haven’t heard any such constructive policy advice from the likes of Kevin Rudd, Julia Gillard and Malcolm Turnbull, have we?

Then there’s the cold hard facts about nuclear power.

  • Australia is a complete pariah when it comes to our refusal to legalise nuclear energy. For instance, when it comes to the top energy consuming countries, Australia is the only one that still has a nuclear power prohibition.
  • Australia has more uranium than any other country on Earth with 30 percent of the world’s uranium deposits.
  • Australia exports enough uranium every year to generate 290 terawatt hours of power – more than Australia’s entire annual energy needs.
  • Nuclear is more fuel dense. To produce the energy needs for one person over his entire lifetime, one would need 17,000 cubic feet of natural gas, 120 gallons of oil, one tonne of coal or only one golf ball worth of uranium.
  • Nuclear requires far less land per unit of energy. For instance, the land required to produce Australia’s annual electricity generation with nuclear power would be 150 square kilometres compared with 8000 square kilometres with solar, 14,000 square kilometres with hydro and 33,000 square kilometres with wind.
  • Nuclear technology is now small, cheap and lasts longer. In the United Kingdom, renowned manufacturing company Rolls Royce has begun producing small modular nuclear reactors.
  • The baseload capacity of nuclear power supersedes that of other forms of energy. For example, wind and solar only produce power about one-third of the time due to changes in weather conditions. Meanwhile nuclear generation produces power about 93 per cent of the time.
  • Nuclear waste is not an issue. In fact, the waste from a reactor supplying a person’s energy needs for a year would be about the size of a brick. New technologies are emerging that allow the power stations to produce further power from the waste, a key feature of using thorium instead of uranium.
  • Removing the ban on nuclear power in Australia only takes a flick of the pen. As the Minerals Council says, the “nuclear ban can be reversed with a single amendment to the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (Commonwealth). The removal of four words – ‘a nuclear power plant’ – in Section 140A(1)(b) would allow nuclear industries to be considered for development in Australia.”

Get on with it, ScoMo!

Listen to former PM’s John Howard and Tony Abbott.

It’s just common sense and you know it…