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

A Billion Miles Under Nuclear Energy (Updated)

And the winner is…Cassini-Huygens, in triple overtime.

The spaceship conceived in 1982 and launched fifteen years later, will crash into Saturn on September 15, after a mission of 19 years and 355 days, powered by the audacity and technical prowess of scientists and engineers from 17 different countries, and 72 pounds of plutonium.

The mission was so successful that it was extended three times; it was intended to last only until 2008.

Since April, the ship has been continuing to orbit Saturn, swinging through the 1,500-mile gap between the planet and its rings, an area not previously explored. This is a good maneuver for a spaceship nearing the end of its mission, since colliding with a rock could end things early.

Cassini will dive a little deeper and plunge toward Saturn’s surface, where it will transmit data until it burns up in the planet’s atmosphere. The radio signal will arrive here early Friday morning, Eastern time. A NASA video explains.

In the years since Cassini has launc…

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?

Missing the Point about Pennsylvania’s Nuclear Plants

A group that includes oil and gas companies in Pennsylvania released a study on Monday that argues that twenty years ago, planners underestimated the value of nuclear plants in the electricity market. According to the group, that means the state should now let the plants close.


The question confronting the state now isn’t what the companies that owned the reactors at the time of de-regulation got or didn’t get. It’s not a question of whether they were profitable in the '80s, '90s and '00s. It’s about now. Business works by looking at the present and making projections about the future.

Is losing the nuclear plants what’s best for the state going forward?

Pennsylvania needs clean air. It needs jobs. And it needs protection against over-reliance on a single fuel source.

What the reactors need is recognition of all the value they provide. The electricity market is depressed, and if electricity is treated as a simple commodity, with no regard for its benefit to clean air o…