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Nuclear a fool's gold for climate change.

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25 November 2005

Nuclear a fool's gold for climate change

Senator Milne, 22nd November 2005

Australia must not follow Blair

British Prime Minister Tony Blair's plans to expand nuclear power are deeply troubling, particularly coming on the eve of international climate talks, Australian Greens climate change spokesperson Christine Milne said today.

"Nuclear and uranium mining interests are talking up nuclear power as a solution to climate change but it nothing more than fool's gold," Senator Milne said in Hobart.

"Most of the energy that goes into the full life cycle of nuclear fuel - from mining and milling uranium oxide to decommissioning power stations - is drawn from fossil fuels, the major source of greenhouse gas pollution.

"Nuclear power plants take a very long time to build and are not profitable without public subsidies. In the UK, electricity users have had to subsidise British nuclear power plants at a cost of about $A3 billion per year.

"Mr Blair is fast losing credibility on climate change. His announcement bodes ill for the conference of parties to the climate change convention which begins in Montreal later this month.

"The Australian government, which has been advocating more uranium exports for nuclear power, can take no comfort from Mr Blair's plans.

"Instead of backing old, polluting fuel sources Australia needs to improve energy efficiency and renewable energy. Ratifying the Kyoto Protocol and introducing national targets and caps would be a positive contribution for Australia."

Senator Milne will attend the talks in Montreal.

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