Did you know that South Australia is considering to store “high-level radioactive ‘waste’” beneath its soil for hundreds of years to come? Society as a whole is quite unaware of this, and in a matter of fact the topic as a whole has received next to no media coverage. By committing to this, South Australia has the opportunity to contribute to international, and domestic security by providing the solution to the nuclear waste issue. Many arguments have been formed for and against the storage of nuclear waste, yet, society seems to be unaware that creating, utilising, testing and storing nuclear elements is far less detrimental to the environment than the fossil fuels we exploit each and every day. Hence, I will argue as to why I believe South Australia should pursue the nuclear option. To begin, South Australia’s unemployment rate. Unemployment in SA currently sits above the ‘national average’ of 5.5%. An increasing trend is evident, from 2011 through to 2017. Once the unemployment rate for Adelaide passes the 800-fresh hold, Adelaide’s average rises above the ‘national average’. The state has a lower unemployment rate than Victoria, Queensland, and Tasmania, but a higher than New South Wales, and Western Australia. With the recent closures of car manufactures in South Australia, many ‘highly’ skilled and trained personals have been left jobless. If SA were to pursue the nuclear option, opportunities in fields such as engineering, trade, labour, and management/computing jobs would be created. This alone could see thousands of South Australians being re-employed, and can benefit SA’s goal to becoming a more ‘economically advanced state’ in the near future.
If the Nuclear Waste Depository site was put into fruition, as a state, we would see numerous economic benefits. Think about how beneficial “$5 billion a year over 30 years, and $2 billion a year for the following 40 years” be for the state. This economically speaking would give SA the opportunity to become one of the wealthiest states in Australia, and a true economic powerhouse in the Australian economy. If the dumb were to be implemented soon, over the next century, South Australia could receive a possible $445 billion in payments for the storage of the nuclear waste. Think about the opportunities that $445 billion would create for your children and grandchildren. What about country diminishing events like Fukushima? “We’ve had 15,500 reactor years of operation, and only three accidents anyone can name”, said doctoral candidate Ben Heard.
Unlike Fukushima though, and nearly the rest of the western world, South Australia sits in the centre of the Australian plate meaning earth quakes are an oddity and when occurring, quite minuscule. This reason alone is a driving factoring into the interest of making South Australia the nuclear waste dump of the world. Maybe tectonic plates don’t mean much to you and you’re more worried about the radiation emission. Believe it or not, the proposed designs and safety precautions for the nuclear waste site have been extremely impressive, with numerous measures put in place to reduce the spread of radioactive particles to an absolute minimum. The ‘high level storage facility’ which would be implemented if South Australia were to follow through with the nuclear option, depicts the high levels of security and added measures to keep the radiation at a next to no effect level. The high-level storage will see most ‘at risk’ nuclear waste (most dangerous) stored at a near 1km below surface level. Believe it or not, living within the radius of the nuclear waste dump, would in fact expose you to less radiation than living within the radius of a suburban power station according to; Radiology Investigation Australia.
With all considered, South Australia must pursue the option of a nuclear waste dump in the imminent future as it will be highly effective in the development of SA’s economic advancements. The two-key bi-products of this decision will be, a lower unemployment rate, and an increase in the states wealth and economic value. There is absolutely no reason for SA to not pursue the option of a nuclear waste dump, and the people of SA should have no reason to be against it. Imagine the wealth, and jobs one decision could make.
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