This week saw a rather surprising bid by SA Senator Day (Family First) to repeal the irrelevant and irrational ARPANS Section 10 which forbids the mere consideration of nuclear power plants, fuel manufacturing, and so on – industries which are operated safely in dozens of countries and employ hundreds of thousands of skilled workers.
For those who are interested, the Hansard record is here. One curious claim that was advanced was that the amendment “would fundamentally change energy policy” – as if nuclear plants would consequently spring up at the stroke of a pen? Well, since we need around fifteen of them to get halfway towards total electricity sector decarbonisation, as long as they’re modern, safely operated and properly regulated, what of it?
Unsurprisingly, those stridently opposed relied heavily on the latest offering from the World Nuclear Industry Status Report (which is, more or less, to the actual nuclear industry as the Australian Vaccination Network’s Living Wisdom is to the science of immunology).
The major parties also refused to pass the amendment. With the Nuclear Fuel Cycle Royal Commission not concluding till next year, I expect this is small comfort for the Greens.
Personally, I was far more interested to read this perspective from the Member for Grey (SA’s largest rural seat) regarding his visit to Germany.