Online Opinion has another article suspicious of nuclear waste dumps in Australia, and suspicious of the political process to get one. I wrote the following comment in reply.
Shock! Horror! An industrial process has dangerous waste by products!? Wow. This is somehow news?
Solar PV uses the “heavy metal cadmium, which is both a carcinogen and a genotoxin, meaning that it can cause inheritable mutations.”
“Many of the solar panels that now adorn European and American rooftops have left behind a legacy of toxic pollution in Chinese villages and farmlands.
The Post article describes how Luoyang Zhonggui, a major Chinese polysilicon manufacturer, is dumping toxic factory waste directly on to the lands of neighboring villages, killing crops and poisoning residents. Other polysilicon factories in the country have similar problems, either because they have not installed effective pollution control equipment or they are not operating these systems to full capacity.”
But FOE LOVE Solar PV! Surely, following the same logic, we should ban Solar PV the way they’ve banned nuclear because there are some waste products?
The bottom line? I’d rather LIVE in a high level radioactive waste bunker than live in a quaint Chinese village next to a Solar PV factory. Why? Because the high level waste bunker would be over-engineered to the nth degree for safety because everyone is so utterly paranoid about the word ‘radiation’, (newsflash: people are radioactive!), while the Chinese solar manufacturers are just dumping cadmium in the river or neighbour’s farm.
The project of civilisation has wastes. We know how to deal with it. Let’s build the fastest way to wean off fossil fuels, which is nuclear, and get over the fact that there will be a tiny amount of waste. (Approximately 1 golf ball per human lifespan, cradle to grave!)