No More Lip Service: The Time for Safe, Reliable & Affordable Nuclear is Right Now

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Australia’s Renewable Energy Target directs more than $7 billion a year in subsidies to wind and solar and is doing precisely what it was designed to do: namely, destroying Australia’s reliable and affordable power supplies.

At the political level, the scramble is now on to keep coal-fired power plants up and running, wait for it, with government subsidies to the owners of those reliable plants to counteract the effect of the colossal subsidies being doled out to hopelessly unreliable wind and solar. Go figure!

Meanwhile, Australia, which holds the world’s largest uranium reserves, maintains its ludicrous ban on nuclear power generation. Australia’s energy policy is nothing short of treasonous.

Australia’s politics is bereft of leadership and there’s no better example thereof than the failure to advance nuclear power in this country. Notwithstanding the unfolding power pricing and supply calamity – driven by chaotically intermittent and heavily subsidised wind and solar – its new Labor Prime Minister, Anthony Albanese, more Elmer Fudd than Bob Hawke, refuses to even discuss the prospect of nuclear power generation, and is left to waffle about mythical battery storage and pie-in-the-sky ‘green’ hydrogen schemes somehow saving his country from the consequence of attempting to rely upon the perpetually unreliable.

The Labor/Green Alliance will always run the anti-nuke mantra – they’re far too invested (literally and figuratively) in the mythical ‘transition’ to an all wind and sun-powered future.

One glaring and obvious reason for the implosion of the Morrison led Liberal/National Coalition was that Morrison and his left-leaning bedwetters from the leafy and well-healed suburbs of Australia’s major cities went all-out by signing and to a net-zero carbon dioxide emissions target without committing Australia to nuclear power generation.

Died in the wool Liberal voters watched on, bewildered as Morrison blundered to his inevitable defeat. Anyone talking about reducing carbon dioxide emissions in the electricity generation sector and not talking about nuclear power generation, simply can’t be taken seriously; Morrison wasn’t.

His successor in title, Peter Dutton is at least contemplating the idea; albeit with his rear end parked firmly on the fence. His party’s Coalition partner, the Nationals are all in. However, if Dutton wants a shot at returning the Liberal/National Coalition to Federal government he needs to firmly reject his predecessor’s fence-sitting approach to energy and stop giving mere lip service to nuclear power. The electorate is ready for it, and for as long as that-zero carbon oxide gas emissions targets are on foot, it stands as the only antidote to the current madness that has overtaken energy policy in this country, and elsewhere.

Peter Dutton presses button on the nuclear energy debate
The Australian
Greg Brown
2 August 2022

Peter Dutton will consider backing nuclear energy ahead of the next election as he attempts to unite the Coalition behind an ­energy policy that will raise ambitions on lowering emissions but retain product differentiation from the Labor government.

After the Coalition’s joint ­partyroom meeting in Canberra on Tuesday, the Opposition Leader said there would be an ­internal party review to “examine the potential for advanced and next-generation nuclear technologies to contribute to Australia’s energy security and reduce power prices”.

The review, to be led by opposition energy spokesman Ted O’Brien, will report to the Coalition policy committee chaired by Marise Payne.

Nuclear energy generation has been prohibited by the federal government since 1998, with legislation needing to be passed to allow the technology to be used for electricity.

Mr Dutton said it was “high time that Australia had an honest and informed debate on the benefits and costs of nuclear energy”.

“The current energy crisis has shown the importance of getting more dispatchable power into the grid,” Mr Dutton said.

“The average wholesale electricity price in the second quarter this year was three times higher than the same time a year ago – a situation described by the Australian Energy Market Operator as ‘unprecedented’.

“While renewables will play an important growing role in Australia’s energy mix, they need to be balanced by sufficient investment in dispatchable generation.”

Mr Dutton said Australian households were vulnerable over energy security given that 60 per cent of the capacity of coal-fired powered generators was expected to leave the market by 2030.

“If we are serious about reducing emissions, while at the same time maintaining a strong economy and protecting our traditional industries, all tech­nologies need to be on the table,” he said.

“Nuclear energy is a mature, proven technology. It can provide the reliable, emissions-free, base-load electricity Australia needs.”

With the Coalition divided on the way forward on climate change, MPs believe backing ­nuclear can be a way to unite city-based Liberals pushing for more ambition and Nationals MPs against higher emissions targets.

A report by the CSIRO ­released in July warned the prospect of ­nuclear generation being realised in Australia this decade was low “given the technology’s commercial immaturity and high cost”.

“Future cost reductions are possible but depend on its successful commercial deployment overseas,” the CSIRO report said.

[Note to the CSIRO: That would be why nuclear-powered France enjoys power prices almost half those suffered in wind and solar power Denmark and Germany (see below) and doesn’t suffer power rationing and blackouts when the sun sets and/or calm weather sets in]

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Energy Minister Chris Bowen said the government’s proposal would see “the most expensive form of energy” be put into the system.

“The answer to dealing with rising power prices is the same as the answer to reducing emissions: that is more renewable energy,” Mr Bowen told parliament’s question time.

“Clean energy is cheap energy. We know the sun doesn’t send a bill, and the wind doesn’t send an invoice.”

[Note to Bowen: see the graphic above, and ask a wind and solar ‚powered‘ South Australian about their most recent power bill.]

Minerals Council of Australia chief executive Tania Constable said nuclear energy could play a role in “building Australia’s economic performance and prosperity on the path to net-zero emissions by 2050”.

“Over the longer term, nuclear energy can play a key role – along with other zero-emissions energy sources like renewables and carbon capture and storage – in helping Australia meet its comm­itments under the Paris Agree­ment,” Ms Constable said.

“The opposition’s announcement to continue the examination of this important tech­nology is a sensible contribution to this ongoing debate.”
The Australian

No more lip service, the time for nuclear is right now.

via STOP THESE THINGS

August 7, 2022, by stopthesethings