<a href="https://www.greenlifestylemag.com.au/blogs/leon#">The Business of Green</a>

The Business of Green

Money matters in the green world, by Leon Gettler.

Is nuclear the answer to climate change?

nuclear power plant

Credit: Wikimedia

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The nuclear debate is back. Just as we thought the world was moving to embrace renewables, the nuclear alternative has re-emerged on the agenda.

Former treasurer Peter Costello has recently come out urging Australia to embrace nuclear energy in the battle against climate change.

"When Australia's environmental movement allows itself to admit this is an option we will know that they are really serious about reducing greenhouse emissions," Costello writes. "It can be done on today's technology. France is doing it, and Japan and Britain and the US. Our activists will not find it easy to change a lifetime of loathing for nuclear energy."

Then Business Spectator comes out quoting an Australian Bureau of Agricultural & Resource Economics (ABARE) report saying Australia’s uranium sales would put it at the forefront of the battle against greenhouse gases, providing nearly 13 per cent of the global market for uranium and amounting to a global abatement contribution from the worldwide industry of more than three billion tonnes of greenhouse gases a year.

Still, there are problems with this stance. For a start, nuclear fuel is radioactive and toxic.

Secondly, no-one yet knows how to store it safely. ANU professor Geoff Davies writes in the Canberra Times that it is completely unnecessary (the best way to reduce greenhouse gases is more efficient energy usage), dangerous and expensive.

It is also dangerous and insufficient because it only generates electricity which accounts for one third of our energy usage.

So what’s your take? Is nuclear the answer to beating climate change? Or are there better solutions?