Nuclear Energy for Australia?   

Nuclear energy was sold to the public in the fifties with the promise of abundance, being too cheap to meter and that it would change the world for the better.

In the 2000’s nuclear energy is being sold as the clean, green, cheap answer to climate change. The anti nuclear movement supports renewable energy that is clean green and getting more economical.

NUCLEAR REACTORS   

We don’t have nuclear reactors in Australia. We don’t generate nuclear energy. This is because of a 1999 environment law (The Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999) that explicitly prohibits them. We need to be aware of the nuclear lobby’s attempts to amend it and permit nuclear reactors. They’ve failed so far. The ALP won’t support it and Morrison wants bipartisan support despite right wing demands.

NUCLEAR POWERED SUBS IN AUSTRALIA

Under the new AUKUS partnership announced in September 2021

Australia’s nuclear culture has suddenly changed with the Morrison Government’s decision to have nuclear powered submarines. New military nuclear co-operation with the U.S. The Murdoch Press immediately degenerated into endless articles and letters demanding a push for nuclear power. There are a few pro nuclear environmentalists, a small handful who see that climate change could be “solved overnight” with nuclear power.

NUCLEAR POWER’S ECONOMIC CRISIS  

Last year, 256 gigawatts of new renewable capacity were installed around the world (that’s four times greater than Australia’s total capacity) compared to just 0.4 gigawatts of nuclear power. 2 GW of nuclear power added in 2020 compared to 135 GW of renewables. The fact is that nuclear power is economically uncompetitive compared to renewable energy.

However this doesn’t stop the nuclear lobby in Australia e.g. Minerals Council of Australia, Australian Nuclear Association, from falsely claiming that small modular reactors (SMRs) are Australia’s “least cost low carbon energy option”

The number of countries phasing out nuclear power is steadily growing and now includes: Germany, Belgium, Taiwan, Spain, Switzerland & South Korea. Nuclear power is  growing in a few countries, but barely.China s said to be the industry’s shining light but nuclear growth is paltry compared to their renewable growth.

FAILED HISTORY OF SMALL MODULAR REACTORS

Small modular reactors (SMRs) are heavily promoted but the few construction projects  have disasterous cost overruns and multi-year delays. Russia’s floating smr nuclear power plant had a six fold cost increase and was 9 years behind schedule. It has high cost electricity, even more than their large reactors.Of the 30 “advanced” smr reactors in progress few have progressed. Private sector funding is scant and taxpayer funding limited.

NUCLEAR WASTE AND WASTE DUMPS ON FIRST NATIONS LAND

Resources Minister Keith Pitt formally declared land near Kimba in regional SA as the site for a national radioactive waste dump and store.

The Barngarla People are the Traditional Custodians over much of the Eyre Peninsula, including the proposed site for a National Radioactive Waste Management Facility (NRWMF). The Barngarla have been actively excluded from the federal ‘consultation’ process. They are opposed to the plan and are shaping up to take legal action to challenge the siting decision. They have a crowd funder to support their legal challenge to fight the imposition of a nuclear waste dump on their country. Please support if you can and share with your networks.

The Australian Conservation Foundation (ACF) see the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANTSO) Intermediate Level Solid Waste Storage Facility at Lucas Heights as a long-term solution for storing nuclear waste.

ANTI NUCLEAR CAMPAIGNING

Next event is commemorating FUKUSHIMA DISASTER Friday 11th March

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