The nuclear deterrent

The Howard government is pushing nuclear power under the caring wing of reducing our CO2 emissions. It is indeed wonderful that the Howard gov't has realised the importance of climate change to Australia. However, if we start building nuclear power plants, due to our lower total energy use, the power provided is too lumpy (a single new nuclear power plant would dramatically upset the power market).

We also refused to sign the kyoto protocol because China and India weren't doing anything.

Emissions are going to strongly increase in China and India because they are rapidly industrialising, with all the demands that brings. And they still don't have a high car penetration level. Australia's emissions are set for a much more gentle rise.

So here is a simple plan that would address these issues, assuming the government's policy and claims are true. We should get China and India to switch to nuclear power and hydrogen cars as soon as possible. Retooling Australia to use Hydrogen powered cars would be expensive and have a high environmental cost compared to the benefits, but China and India, due to their relatively low penetration of cars (about 8 per thousand, compared to 50% in the USA) -- although increasing at a staggering rate -- could switch (and assuming they are aiming for 50% penetration, 98% of the cars would be nuclear powered without destroying a single car.

So let's send over lots of Uranium and Ziggy to help them get started, and leave Australia nuclear free.

Oh, you're worried about nuclear weapons? Given the AWB scandal, could our asian neighbours trust us with nuclear power any more?