Monday, October 5, 2009

If I were the president of Australia

Readers will realize immediately that the substance of this blog article is no doubt meaningless, for the obvious reason that there is no such thing as a president of Australia, since the country is neither a republic in the French sense nor a union of states like the USA. But allow me to continue my meaningless daydream...

I would set out to convince my compatriots (that's to say, my electors) that the nation's future must be 100% nuclear, in practically all domains (except the production of weapons): mining, processing, energy production and the safe disposal of nuclear waste. I would immediately seek to obtain the people's consensus on two essential questions:

• General democratic acceptance, through a referendum, of the overall project: a 100% nuclear future for Australia.

• The immediate nationalization of every aspect of this future industry. Existing uranium mining sites would be simply repossessed in the name of the Australian Republic, with nominal (minimal) compensation paid to shareholders.

In other words, no greedy capitalists would ever become excessively rich through this project, since all revenues would be poured back into the country, to develop its dilapidated civil infrastructure and defense system. The entire nuclear domain would be declared—through an article attached to the Constitution of the Republic of Australia—as "out of bounds" to foreign investors and run-of-the-mill capitalists.

The first step in this giant project would consist of Australia establishing an in-depth partnership with her sister republic, France, aimed at acquiring (basically for free, or almost) all the existing French Areva know-how in domains such as nuclear engineering and the disposal of nuclear wastes... as it is being performed today at La Hague in Normandy. France would assist Australia in the construction of reactors for the production of electricity, and in the total changeover of Australia's navy to nuclear propulsion. Together, the two nations would become world pioneers in every imaginable aspect of the waste-disposal problem, including security in particular. Their research center and processing installations concerning this activity would be set up in the Northern Territory of Australia, in a geologically stable zone.



In the immediate future, Australia and France would establish an indefinite moratorium on sales of uranium to certain undesirable customers throughout the world. Meanwhile, Australia would authorize France to install various military bases on Australian territory. This latter tactic would reflect the fact that Australia, through its grand nuclear project, might become a desirable piece of cake for ruthless neighbors. Naturally, the in-depth partnership with France would bring about a huge geopolitical shift at the level of Australia's traditional links with English-speaking nations, while drawing Australia closer to the operational heart of Europe.

Seriously, I believe that a handful of imaginative and courageous Australian political figures (whom I don't need to name) would not be totally shocked by my daydreaming. On the contrary...

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