Five big nuclear issues for 2016 — and Australia’s role in them


Five big nuclear issues for 2016 — and Australia’s role in them. In short the issues are:




Nuclear Weapons. We can’t go on pretending that Australia is  a disarmament hero when we continue to host America’s secret Pine Gap site, rely on the “nuclear umbrella”, and enthusiastically support USA’s every militaristic move – e.g. by surveillance flights near China coast.

  1. Indigenous rights. This is such a big one. When is mainstream Australia going to wake up to the fact that we can’t just leave it to the Aborigines to resist the nuclear empire?  Are we going to sit back and let the nuclear/mining industries take over heritage Aboriginal land – as in Western Australia right now.
  2. Renewable energy. The dinosaur energy industries, and especially nuclear, prevail on the Australian Government to stifle 21st Century renewables –  and this, in the country that has the best potential for renewables, and the greatest likelihood of climate disasters. Are we going to stay an international climate pariah?  And anyway, despite the government, it’s all happening in solar and wind here.
  3. Australia as the world’s nuclear waste dump. The shonky South Australian Nuclear Fuel Cycle Royal Commission has from the outset aimed for Australia as the global nuclear toilet. The pretense that this is just a little South Australian State matter cannot go on. It’s a National matter, and our media is a disgrace for not having covered this throughout 2015.  It will be an election issue, too, and Labor will be put on the spot.
  4. The propaganda war. Gotta restrain my rage here, but Australia, like the rest of the world, will be hearing plenty about how “nuclear fixes climate change” and how “radiation is not bad for you, after all”.  That’ll be a test of our journalists – will they toe the corporate line? (Well we know that THE AUSTRALIAN will)


As an Australian, this one is hard for me – so many countries, so many issues.

CHINA We are always being told that China is the big player, and will set off the wonderful new version of the “nuclear renaissance .”  That remains to be seen. Safety issuesRenewable energy successes, Public opposition –  it’s not all roses for the global nuke lobby.

CLIMATE CHANGE.  Nagging facts persist about nuclear lobby’s claim to fix climate change. A lot of people are realising that the Breakthrough Energy Coalition,

the Breakthrough Institute and The Third Way are front groups for the nuclear lobby. Their propaganda will continue, but might not be effective.

IONISING RADIATION. Nuclear propaganda about this is a scary development. USA is still a leader in opinion about nuclear issues, despite its own failing industry. It would make life so much easier for the nuclear industry if radiation safeguards could be relaxed –  if we all found out that ionising radiation is OK after all. heck! there’s “hormesis” – telling us that radiation is good for us!  The lobby’s grip on the Nuclear Regulation Authority, the EPA, The Department of Energy –  is  a worry.


FUKUSHIMA. Off the agenda for the mainstream media, but still in crisis, as even PM Shinzo Abe has recently admitted.

UK. The saga of the Hinkley C Nuclear Project drags on – ever more expensive, ever more dodgy.

POLITICS UK. Labor leader Jeremy Corbyn throws a spanner in the discussion on rebuilding and actually using the Trident nuclear weapons system.  USA – Bernie Sanders is making anti nuclear weapons noises. Even Hillary Clinton airs doubts on this. Then there’s Donald Trump etc – it doesn’t bear thinking what might happen if that lot got in.

I know that there’s more –  India’s nuclear ambitionsNorth Korea’s inflammatory statements – it’s all too much.

On the positive side – RENEWABLE ENERGY grows apace. The Paris Climate Agreement showed a global good will to act.



Christina Macpherson
Antinuclear Australia