The United States has decided to transfer nuclear submarine technology to Australia. France is not alone in protesting the move.
CNN reported on the 18th (local time) that civic groups in Australia and neighboring New Zealand are also concerned.
France summoned the ambassadors of the United States and Australia when the three Anglo-Saxon alliance was launched on the 17th, unhappy with the $90 billion diesel submarine project ordered by Australia.
Anti-nuclear activists in Australia and a significant number of citizens are outraged. Their fear is that U.S. nuclear submarine technology will be a Trojan horse for the entry of the nuclear industry in Australia.
For decades, Australia has rejected nuclear energy. New Zealand, Australia’s closest ally, is also concerned.
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern reportedly warned Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison that nuclear submarines are not welcome in New Zealand waters.
Since 1984, New Zealand has been a nuclear-free zone.
Nuclear power plants generate 10% of the world’s electricity.
Six countries in the world currently possess nuclear submarines. China, Russia, India, the United States, and the United Kingdom.
Moreover, all of these countries produce a large amount of nuclear energy. Approximately 70% of France’s electricity is generated using nuclear energy.
International Energy Agency (IEA) estimates that nuclear power is second only to hydropower in terms of generating low-carbon electricity globally.
Globally, only about 440 nuclear reactors generate about 10 percent of the world’s electricity.
According to General Electric (GE) Hitachi Nuclear Energy, an enriched uranium the size of a pencil eraser weighs as much as 3 barrels of oil and 1 ton of coal.
Uranium mining produces virtually no greenhouse gases or emissions. It is known, however, that enrichment leads to high carbon emissions.
The mining of uranium has caused severe environmental damage to many areas, so many organizations oppose nuclear plants because of their waste issue.
For governments around the world trying to reduce carbon emissions, nuclear power appears to be an irresistible temptation.
In particular, nuclear power plants are in the spotlight due to their virtually carbon-free emissions and the fact that they offer electricity on-demand.
U.S. coal-fired plants are operating at 40% of their operating capacity, wind plants at 35%, and nuclear plants at 92.5%.