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Is mercury from a broken CFL dangerous - DOC


									NUCLEAR                                                      Australia’s uranium and nuclear power
Nuclear power today
                                                             Australia is rich in this energy-producing mineral and it
Nuclear generation began 50 years ago and now                is believed that some 30 per cent of the world’s uranium
generates as much global electricity as was produced         deposits are located here. Uranium has been mined
then by all sources. Some two-thirds of world population     here since the 1930s. By February 2006, we had
lives in nations where nuclear power plants are an           become a major uranium exporter, producing about 22
integral part of electricity production and industrial       per cent of the world’s uranium. There are three
infrastructures. Half the world's people live in countries   operating uranium mines in Australia, Ranger in NT,
where new nuclear power reactors are in planning or          Olympic Dam and Beverley in South Australia. A fourth
under construction. Thus, a rapid expansion of global        was expected to start operation in 2009: Honeymoon, in
nuclear power would require no fundamental change -          South Australia, but a new mine on the Four Mile
simply an acceleration of existing strategies.               deposit close to Beverley may be in production before
Today nearly 440 nuclear reactors produce electricity        Among the world’s uranium-exporting countries,
around the world. More than 15 countries rely on             Australia and Canada have some of the strictest
nuclear power for 25% or more of their electricity. In       conditions relating to the use of their uranium. These
Europe and Japan, the nuclear share of electricity is        safeguards (inspections and accounting procedures)
over 30%. In the U.S., nuclear power creates 20% of          ensure that exported uranium is used for peaceful
electricity.                                                 purposes only and is not diverted for military purposes
                                                             or used in a way which adds to the proliferation of
Around the world, scientists in more than 50 countries       nuclear weapons.
use nearly 300 research reactors to investigate nuclear
technologies and to produce radioisotopes for medical        Government legislation in Victoria and New South
diagnosis and cancer therapy. Meanwhile, on the              Wales has restricted the further development of nuclear
world's oceans, nuclear reactors have powered over           energy in these two states. In Victoria, the Nuclear
400 ships without harm to crews or the environment.          Activities (Prohibitions) Act 1983 prohibits the
                                                             construction or operation of any nuclear reactor, and
In the Cold War's aftermath, a key activity is the           further amendments to other Victorian Acts have
removal of nuclear material from weapons and its             reinforced this policy. The New South Wales
conversion to fuel for civil nuclear power.                  Government passed similar legislation, the Uranium
                                                             Mining and Nuclear Facilities (Prohibitions) Act 1986.

Strong nuclear policies                                      Towards the end of 2008 the West Australian
                                                             Government formally lifted the state's ban on uranium
Many countries have a strong commitment to nuclear           mining and sought legal advice on overturning an
power. Among these are China, India, the United              exclusion clause written into 1475 existing mining
States, Russia and Japan, which together represent           leases issued since 2002.
half of world population. Other nations - such as
Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Finland, South Korea, South
                                                             In July 2008, Canadian and Japanese mining giants
Africa, Ukraine and several other countries in Central
                                                             Cameco and Mitsubishi made a $500 million bet on this
and Eastern Europe - are acting to increase the role of
                                                             change of government when they agreed to buy Rio
nuclear power in their economies. Key developing
                                                             Tinto's vast Kintyre uranium deposit in the. Kintyre is
nations without nuclear power - such as Indonesia,
                                                             the state's third-biggest uranium deposit, with an
Egypt and Vietnam - are considering this option.
                                                             estimated 36,000-tonne resource, behind BHP Billiton's
                                                             Yeelirrie with about 52,000 tonnes and Energy &
                                                             Minerals Australia's Mulga Rock deposit, 250km east of
                                                             Kalgoorlie, with 46,000 tonnes.
               Useful references

News articles 2008: Western Australia lifts its ban
on uranium mines,25197,24

Uranium mining in Australia

Anti-Nuclear Alliance of Western Australia

The nuclear debate

Nuclear energy in Australia

Australian research - nuclear reactors

International Atomic Energy Agency
Nuclear Energy Institute
World Nuclear Association
The ABCs of nuclear science
School of Physics, University of Melbourne
What is nuclear energy?
The atomic age and the making of nuclear power
Frequently asked questions about nuclear energy
EnergyQuest – The energy story: nuclear energy –
fission and fusion

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