nuclear power

The appointment of nuclear power advocate Alan Finkel as Australia's next Chief Scientist led to speculation that the federal government might be softening up Australians for the introduction of nuclear power.

But that speculation is likely misplaced. Finkel is not the first Chief Scientist to support nuclear power. It goes with the turf: boys like toys and Chief Scientists like nuclear power. Finkel's comments were actually quite nuanced and at least as supportive of renewables as nuclear power.

The radioactive exposure tour — the RadTour — organised by Friends of the Earth and the Anti-uranium and Clean Energy collective (ACE), was on again this year from June 27 till July 8. Twenty-five people travelled from Melbourne through south and western NSW then onto South Australia.

Green Left Weekly's Rachel Evans caught up with the RadTour at Lucas Heights and spoke to Dr Jim Green from Friends of the Earth.

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How has the campaign to make Australia nuclear free been going?

Burn The World
AC4
March 2013
Ny Våg / Deathwish / Shock
www.ac4official.bandcamp.com

Swedish hardcore punks AC4 blast nuclear policy on their new album, Burn the World. Green Left's Mat Ward spoke to frontman Dennis Lyxzén and main songwriter Karl Backman.

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For anyone who knows the science, it’s settled — fossil fuels need to be banished fast from our energy mix. But how do we achieve it? Can we rely on renewable sources such as wind and solar? Or must humanity turn to nuclear power?

That’s a controversy that has bubbled away for years among people who all accept the dangers of global warming. Now, from the energy sector in China, there’s hard new evidence bearing on this debate.

The experience in China shows that as a way of quickly replacing greenhouse-polluting fuels, renewable energy wins against nuclear, hands down.

The largest anti-nuclear protests in German history were held on March 26. About 250,000 people marched in Germany’s four largest cities.

Under the slogan “Fukushima Warns: Pull the Plug on all Nuclear Power Plants”, more than 120,000 took to the streets of Berlin, 50,000 in Hamburg, 40,000 in Koeln and upward of 40,000 marched in Muenchen.

In state elections held the next day, the German Greens won a historic victory in Baden-Wuerttemberg. They will form Germany’s first-ever Green-led government.

They also tripled their vote in elections in Rheinland-Pfalz.

More than 50,000 German anti-nuclear protesters defied 17,000 police over the weekend of November 6 and 7and blockaded a train carrying spent nuclear fuel rods from France to Germany.

On November 8, the fuel rods finally reached the small north German village of Dannenberg. From there, they were trucked a further 20 kilometres to an interim nuclear storage facility in the town of Gorleben.

Anti-nuclear activists drove more than 600 tractors, blockading roads and the railway in the largest ever demonstration over the transportation of spent nuclear fuel rods in Germany.

On March 4, the first IQ² debate was held in Melbourne on the topic “Should Australia embrace nuclear power?”.On March 4, the first IQ² debate was held in Melbourne on the topic "Should Australia embrace nuclear power?".

Arguing the pro-nuclear case, Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation chair Ziggy Switzkowski and Erica Smyth, chair of uranium mining company Toro Energy were joined by NASA climate scientist James Hansen.

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