Australia's Rust Belt - 9/21/15
South Australia is often considered Australia’s rust belt. It’s at least somewhat different from America’s rust belt in that sixty percent of it is desert. As reported by Bloomberg, South Australia is also wrestling with the highest unemployment rate in the country and a steady outflow of people to other states.
In twenty seventeen, General Motors will close its Holden factory, ending more than fifty years of auto making in the Adelaide suburb of Elizabeth, where one in three are already out of work. South Australia benefited little from a ten-year mining boom in the mineral rich states around it. Instead, it suffered the side effects of rising wages and a stronger Australian dollar, which weakened its export sector.
Left with few choices, the state’s policymakers are considering turning South Australia into a major recipient of nuclear waste. The International Energy Agency has estimated that nuclear generation capacity could rise sixty percent by twenty forty and that the cumulative amount of spent nuclear fuel generated, including high level radioactive waste, could more than double over the period to more than seven hundred thousand metric tons.