The ‘smoking gun’ series on Atomic Insights provides links to articles that describe a direct anti-nuclear statement from someone who is openly supporting a competitive energy source. This afternoon, I received an anonymous tip with a link to an article in The Australian dated July 30, 2007 and titled Nuclear threatens our jobs: union. Here is the smoking gun part of the article:
Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union mining division boss Tony Maher warned yesterday that nuclear power would jeopardise job security for coal miners and power workers.
As his union launched an advertising campaign attacking the Howard Government’s greenhouse policy, Mr Maher said: “The real threat to coal miners’ job security and power workers’ job security is 25 nuclear reactors in Australia.
“That’s the harsh reality. A solar farm down the road is not going to close down a coal-fired power station. But 25 nuclear reactors will,” he told the Ten Network’s Meet The Press program.
I have a different analysis to offer. The nuclear industry’s need for employees who are willing to work hard and follow strict safety rules makes it likely that most, if not all coal mine and power workers would be able to find good jobs in a growing nuclear industry. If the union members take a hard look they will find that many of the jobs that the industry will create are terrific blue collar jobs that are often held by union workers.
The real potential losers in a growing nuclear industry are the capitalists that control equipment and land that is far less adaptable for new uses than human minds and hands. I started to use the word “own” instead of control in the previous sentence, but the fact is that a good deal of the capital equipment in the fossil fuel industry is heavily leveraged against future earning potential. If nuclear power was growing and taking market share, it would also pose a significant financial threat for the lenders who financed that equipment, land, and mineral rights.