Skip to main content

Australia Nuclear Update

From the Sydney Morning Herald:
Prime Minister John Howard backed nuclear power for Australia provided it was economically feasible.

"I am of the view that we certainly should not turn our face against it as Mr Beazley has done. I can't understand why he did that," he told Southern Cross Radio in Melbourne.

"I am not saying that we should have it tomorrow. What I am saying is that if the economics of energy lead us to embracing nuclear power than we should be willing to do so."
For more coverage, click here and here.

Technorati tags: , , , , , , ,


Matthew66 said…
As an expat Australian, I am glad that the Australian community is having this debate. I fear that as long as the coal burning power industry does not have to pay for the isolation of all hazardous waste from the environment, then nuclear energy will not be cost competitive with coal in Australia. In Australia, coal is plentiful and located very close to where it is needed for power generation, typically a coal mine and a power station are co-located, so there are no transportation costs.

I really get tired of Senator Lyn Allison saying that nuclear power is expensive and dangerous. In the USA and UK in the 70's and 80's there were huge construction cost overruns, but I don't believe that has been repeated in many other countries. If the GE and Westinghouse experience in Asia is anything to go by, NPPs can be built on schedule and on budget. Compared to the number of people killed by inhaling fumes from coal fired power stations, coal mining and exploding gas mains, claims that nuclear power is "dangerous" are refuted by the empirical evidence.

The Australian Democrats, the Greens and the Australian Labor Party have a long standing prejudice against nuclear power that is not, in my opinion, supported by scientific evidence.
Starvid, Sweden said…
Australia has got one of the highest per capita CO2 emissions in the world, and due to the prolomged severe drought they need even more power for desalinzation.

Going nuclear is the only responsible and realistic option.
Robert Merkel said…
That said, while Australia retains its current policies with respect to carbon emissions it's unlikely any nuclear plants will be built in the near future. When you've got enormous reserves of coal located near the major cities, and there's no serious attempt to reduce carbon emissions, Australia is about the most difficult place in the world for nuclear to compete economically. In Victoria, where I live, the "pool price" wholesale electricity is about 0.028 AUD per kilowatt hour, or about 2.07 us cents per kilowatt hour.

Without some changes to the market, it may be kind of difficult for new nuclear build to be feasible. As I understand it, it's difficult getting *any* new plants built at those kind of prices ;)

Popular posts from this blog

Sneak Peek

There's an invisible force powering and propelling our way of life.
It's all around us. You can't feel it. Smell it. Or taste it.
But it's there all the same. And if you look close enough, you can see all the amazing and wondrous things it does.
It not only powers our cities and towns.
And all the high-tech things we love.
It gives us the power to invent.
To explore.
To discover.
To create advanced technologies.
This invisible force creates jobs out of thin air.
It adds billions to our economy.
It's on even when we're not.
And stays on no matter what Mother Nature throws at it.
This invisible force takes us to the outer reaches of outer space.
And to the very depths of our oceans.
It brings us together. And it makes us better.
And most importantly, it has the power to do all this in our lifetime while barely leaving a trace.
Some people might say it's kind of unbelievable.
They wonder, what is this new power that does all these extraordinary things?

A Design Team Pictures the Future of Nuclear Energy

For more than 100 years, the shape and location of human settlements has been defined in large part by energy and water. Cities grew up near natural resources like hydropower, and near water for agricultural, industrial and household use.

So what would the world look like with a new generation of small nuclear reactors that could provide abundant, clean energy for electricity, water pumping and desalination and industrial processes?

Hard to say with precision, but Third Way, the non-partisan think tank, asked the design team at the Washington, D.C. office of Gensler & Associates, an architecture and interior design firm that specializes in sustainable projects like a complex that houses the NFL’s Dallas Cowboys. The talented designers saw a blooming desert and a cozy arctic village, an old urban mill re-purposed as an energy producer, a data center that integrates solar panels on its sprawling flat roofs, a naval base and a humming transit hub.

In the converted mill, high temperat…

Seeing the Light on Nuclear Energy

If you think that there is plenty of electricity, that the air is clean enough and that nuclear power is a just one among many options for meeting human needs, then you are probably over-focused on the United States or Western Europe. Even then, you’d be wrong.

That’s the idea at the heart of a new book, “Seeing the Light: The Case for Nuclear Power in the 21st Century,” by Scott L. Montgomery, a geoscientist and energy expert, and Thomas Graham Jr., a retired ambassador and arms control expert.

Billions of people live in energy poverty, they write, and even those who don’t, those who live in places where there is always an electric outlet or a light switch handy, we need to unmake the last 200 years of energy history, and move to non-carbon sources. Energy is integral to our lives but the authors cite a World Health Organization estimate that more than 6.5 million people die each year from air pollution.  In addition, they say, the global climate is heading for ruinous instability. E…