Nuclear power is not renewable: it's dangerous and unclean

Nuclear power is not renewable: it's dangerous and unclean

We must choose between poisoning our planet by burning fossil fuels, or switching to more expensive renewable energy sources. Nuclear power is temporary, unsafe, and unclean.

It's important to understand that generating power using uranium in nuclear reactors produces non-renewable energy.

It's no substitute for renewable energy, and is a poor substitute for coal, because there is not very much uranium available to mine.

As Adrian Milton points out (Letters, October 4), 90 per cent of ''megatons to megawatts'' fuel has been used. The yet-to-be-mined uranium is not enough to supply our needs for long, but it would increase the intractable problem of dealing with nuclear waste.

Cuthbert Douglas (Letters, October 4) is wrong to claim that nuclear waste is manageable above ground.

After the loss of electric power at Japan's Fukushima Daiichi plant halted the continuous supply of water to the spent fuel rods in the pool at the No.4 reactor (which was shut down at the the time), the water boiled away, the zirconium alloy cladding the fuel rods melted, burned, and released high level radioactive waste into the atmosphere.


I hope they don't have power outages at Lucas Heights, in Sydney, where our nuclear waste is stored in a similar pool.

The reason that high-level radioactive waste is left above ground is that it is too expensive to properly bury it, for example, using Ringwood's Synroc, which would then be buried two to three kilometres deep in granite covered with one kilometre of infill. Nuclear power is unsafe. Even mining uranium is more unsafe than mining coal.

Douglas tells us about Canadian uranium deposits that must be mined by remote control. We don't have mutant moose in Australia, but ecotoxicological studies in ecosystems surrounding and downstream of the Ranger uranium mine in Kakadu have detected mutations in fauna (see the Uranium Research Group's submission to the World Heritage Committee).

Bruce A. Peterson, Kambah

Cuthbert Douglas alerts us to the presence of highly radioactive uranium deposits in Canada and implies that they are not dangerous because there is no evidence of mutant moose.

Is he not aware of the giant lumberjack Paul Bunyan, who dug the Grand Canyon by dragging his axe behind him and built Mt Hood by piling rocks on his campfire to put it out?

Then he dug the Great Lakes so his companion, the Blue Bull, could drink.

Surely these giants were mutants that arose when their respective parents wandered too close to a radioactive deposit?

Peter Snowdon, Aranda

We need wetlands

To improve water quality for recreation, appearance and smell in our urban lakes, we must cut the amount of nutrients that enter stormwater.

The best way is to build urban wetlands, like those at Lyneham and O'Connor, which will soak up nutrients and faecal bacteria.

These clean the water and reduce blue-green algae. They are also scenic and an amenity for residents.

Similar wetlands are needed in Tuggeranong, and will be helpful in Belconnen if Lake Ginninderra is to remain usable for recreation.

The recent Lake Burley Griffin report advocated these wetlands to improve water quality. What they cost I leave others to argue, but their long-term value will be great for Canberra.

Ian Falconer, vice-president, ACT region, Conservation Council

Rate rise is unfair

There are many investors from Canberra and interstate who buy more than one house and/or apartment in the ACT.

There are also many Canberrans who can afford to upgrade to larger homes.

All of these people presently pay stamp duty for each purchase.

How is it ''fair'' to make it easier for investors and others to increase their material wealth by abolishing stamp duty, while requiring the wider community to make up for lost government revenue through the imposition of increased rates?

Yes, the investors will pay higher rates for their properties but they'll simply recoup that by charging higher rent to their tenants.

Katy Gallagher or Andrew Barr: please explain what's fair.

Bill Bowron, Farrer

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