“It is futile to wait until the political climate is “right” for nuclear power. We make it right.”
My engagement with South Australia’s political leadership has, so far, been quite limited. But it has been very consistent. The message that keeps coming back from the political class about nuclear power in South Australia can be summed up thusly: The only thing wrong with nuclear power is that it is an electoral liability. Not finance. Not environmental impact. Not health concerns. Not reliability. Electoral liability.
I think there are two basic responses to this realisation. Both are true and valid. But only one is empowering.
The first is to bemoan the state of our short-term political system, where leadership and vision come a distant second to the safest route to either winning or maintaining office. There is nothing untrue about that notion; spend any time on it though, and your agency will be sapped to zero.
The other response is to twig to the fact that nothing is standing in the way of South Australia fixing this problem, and leading the world in clean electricity generation, than the word of South Australians. That’s us. It is futile to wait until the political climate is “right” for nuclear power. We make it right by bringing the vision to our fellow citizens, getting them on board, and telling our political leaders that there is now safe space to talk about it. Those of us who have done the time looking at the climate crisis and the energy options available to us will know that once you start talking honestly and openly about nuclear power, it speaks very nicely for itself.
So that’s our current priority challenge; build the conversation on nuclear power at the citizen level in South Australia, and create safe space for conversation at the political level. It’s the first step in taking nuclear power from electoral liability to electoral possibility, and then electoral certainty.