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Mining and the Greens

Discussion in 'Politics' started by Scotty, Sep 14, 2010.

  1. Scotty David Codey (61)

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    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/nat...labor-on-uranium/story-fn59niix-1225921514002

    The Greens (along with Labor) are not going to stop any likely Nuclear power plant in this country (one solution to reducing CO2 emissions and powering our country), they are also determined to stop any new nuclear mines in this country! The Greens don't like farming, don't like mining and would probably outlaw farting. How are we supposed to live?!
  2. Scotty David Codey (61)

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  3. Blue Andrew Slack (58)

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    Hug a tree and drink some wheatgrass juice. I am told it cures all ills.
  4. Moses Simon Poidevin (60)

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    So they're pro Nuclear energy but anti Uranium mining?

    Is Uranium mining included in the MRRT?
  5. Jnor Peter Fenwicke (45)

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    Whatever the case between the parties and the cases for and against it, nuclear power is not gonna happen in this country. It's political suicide once it gets beyond vague and grandiose statements, we live in a nation of NIMBYs and very short election cycles.

    And I'm pretty sure uranium isn't in the MRRT
  6. Moses Simon Poidevin (60)

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    How could it not be? As much as I'm against taxing a single industry, I'm more opposed to taxing certain segments of a single industry.
  7. Jnor Peter Fenwicke (45)

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    I believe it was on the agenda originally but was removed later on and it eventually became almost solely iron ore focussed. But my memory is a bit hazy on it and while I should get some facts to back it up, I should also be doing uni work so there you go.
  8. Scotty David Codey (61)

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    Uranium isn't in the MRRT. It is all Iron and Coal.

    If we are going to have a resources tax, then it should apply to all non renewable resources. Everything that comes out of the ground. If the theory behind it is that we need to get a greater proportion of the money for the future, because once these minerals are mined they aren't coming back, then it should be applied to all, not just the super profit ones. This should include quarries. I know it will drive building prices up, but it will also ensure a shift to more renewable building products such as timber in houses.

    At the moment the premise for the tax is being overwhelmed by the real reason which is a money grab to cover excessive spending.
  9. The_Brown_Hornet Michael Lynagh (62)

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    Uranium is not in the MRRT as far as I know. It's time we had a proper adult debate in Australia about nuclear power. I used to be vehemently against it, but have gradually turned around over the years to the point that I am now in favour of it.

    We have shitloads (a technical term) of Uranium and one of the largest uranium mines in the world, exporting a huge amount of it overseas. It would crazy and hypocritical of us to not make use of it. We also have one of the most geologically stable land masses in the world, making storage of the waste products actually fairly viable.


    With the development of new reactor technologies (Gen IV and V), this stuff is getting safer and safer. The green technologies, such as wind and solar are just not going to get us there, especially when it comes to base load power. We currently rely on coal for this and if we are dinkum about getting rid of it, then nuclear has to be at least considered.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Generation_IV_reactor

    Thorium looks like being the next big thing in nukes, and is a lot safer than uranium. Guess who has a large amount of that particular material sitting under the ground? Australia.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thorium_fuel_cycle

    Some things to ponder:

    - The US Naval fleet relies on floating reactors on many of their ships/subs. They've proven to be very safe.
    - Sweden and France produce upwards of 70% of their power through nukes (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nuclear_power_in_Sweden and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nuclear_power_in_France)
    - Denmark is routinely put up as the green power capital of the world and fair enough, they use a lot of wind energy. But guess where nearly half of it comes from: coal.
  10. Scotty David Codey (61)

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    Prior to the election the Labor party flatly ruled out the use of nuclear power, however the Coalition raised it as an option that needed to be discussed.
  11. The_Brown_Hornet Michael Lynagh (62)

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    The state ALP over here wanted to ban uranium mining altogether and went to the election with it. They lost, fortunately.
  12. Gnostic Mark Ella (57)

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    I have never seen a thorough analysis on the energy inputs required to mine Uranium, process it to fuel grade, treat the waste and then store it with the associated contruction and then maintenance on the storage facility and containment vessels essentially for ever. The energy inputs are huge just from a cursory look, these must be taken into account when calling Uranium a "clean" fuel just because its direct use has no carbon output.


    It is also very interesting the Uranium is not in the MRRT and puts a whole new light on Marius Kloppers (BHP CEO for the uninformed) supporting a Carbon Tax, given that BHP is a big player in Uranium in Oz and is probably looking to get bigger.
  13. The_Brown_Hornet Michael Lynagh (62)

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    Quite right Gnostic, but the energy inputs and pollution from brown coal are very high also. It's very difficult to make coal burning much cleaner than it is, unless you burn it in place, as in underground coal gasification or coal seam gas (which would make exports harder). Don't forget that uranium can also be re-processed and that is the idea behind the IFR.

    BHP are a massively diversified miner and have stakes in nearly every bulk and base metal on the periodic table. Kloppers is absolutely right to say that any carbon tax must be revenue neutral. If we are to go down that path, then using it as a money raising scheme or some sort of punitive punishment for energy intensive industries would be very damaging for our economy.
  14. Spewn Alex Ross (28)

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    What? Without farting? Use of flatus tubes feeding into some type of piping into the interior.
  15. Sully John Eales (66)

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    Hornet I was under the impression that no one had ever built a Gen 4 reactor and it was all theory? If this is true shouldn't we wait to see if it works?
  16. The_Brown_Hornet Michael Lynagh (62)

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    Gen III is the current one, yes. I guess my point is that Gen IV and V reactors are in the design stage and it would be worth persuing them, as the promise is great. However, re-processing is already done and my understanding is that France do this with their fuel.
  17. Baldric Jim Clark (26)

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    I always thought that the French had the right approach to mining and Greens!
  18. Gnostic Mark Ella (57)

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    There is a serious ethical issue that Oz mines Uranium but has no facility to deal with the long term waste generated.

    Whilst I agree that the Gen IV and V reactors are interesting Sully makes a valid point that until they are actually tested they are just a nice theory. The point I was trying to make is that there is a very large amount of mis-information put out by both the pro- and anti- nuclear lobby groups, not the least of which is that Nuclear is a "Clean" fuel and carbon neutral. That is far from the case. As with most things those who argue it must be one or the other fail to see that diversified generation sources would make best use of our resources and provide stability in base load.

    Of interest was an article in today's Terrorgraph (NSW) that implied business would be leaving NSW for Victoria because Electricity is cheaper in Vic. That is very ironic given that Victorian coal is very dirty and inefficient compared with the Black thermal coal used in NSW and furthermore NSW exports electricity to Vic to meet their base load.
  19. Scotty David Codey (61)

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    I don't know of many base load options apart from natural gas, coal and nuclear. The only other used to an reasonable extent in Oz is hydro. Origin is trying to get a big hydro plant going in PNG with support from the Qld government, but it is unlikely to get off the ground if they can't claim Australian green input credits as PNG don't even have the ability to use all the power that would come out of it (it would generate something like twice the power used in PNG at this point in time).

    Geothermal is still a good 5-10 years away, and wind and solar aren't baseloads.

    By Gnostic's definition, none of the sources are actually clean, as they of course have 'embodied' carbon (ie in their manufacture and construction). I don't know how they all rate in this scale though.
  20. The_Brown_Hornet Michael Lynagh (62)

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    I agree Gnostic that there needs to be more investigation done, which is why I'm calling for an adult debate about Nukes in this country. We just treat this issue like it's radioactive itself and run away from it.

    As far as base load power goes, coal, nukes and natural gas are the three most cost effective options at present. Wave power is also promising and would be good for base load, as the tides are perpetual. There is a company over here called Carnegie Wave Energy who does this (disclosure: I am a shareholder). Hydro is fine if you have enough water, which we don't in the South but perhaps do in the North.

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