Australian news, and some related international items

Tony Abbott – the mad monk and Ziggy Switkowski are spruiking nuclear power – again!

Abbott’s election advice to Morrison: it’s time to hit the nuclear switch      JOE KELLYPOLITICAL REPORTER @joekellyoz  15 Sep 18 

Tony Abbott has called on the Morrison government to sharpen the political contest with Labor ahead of the election by moving to lift the prohibition on nuclear power, as Bill Shorten leaves the door open to reviving the now “dead” national energy guarantee.

The former chair of the Aus­tralian Nuclear Science and Tech­nology Organisation and current chair of NBN Co, Ziggy ­Swit­kowski, told The Weekend Australian yesterday it was sensible to clear the regulatory pathway for the next generation of small ­nuclear reactors.

A revived debate over nuclear power was also backed by North Queensland MP Warren Entsch, a supporter of the NEG, who said all elements of energy policy should be on the table.

Speaking on 2GB radio in Sydney yesterday, Mr Abbott said there was “absolutely no reason why, when it’s economic, we shouldn’t have nuclear power generation in ­Australia”.

“One of the things that we could easily do is go into the parliament (and) seek to change the law here. When you’re seeking a third term, when you’re defending a one-seat majority, when you’ve got a few self-inflicted wounds, when you’ve got the unions and GetUp and the Greens as well as Labor against you, you’ve got to be prepared to create a contest.”

The push to revive the nuclear debate follows Scott Morrison declaring the NEG dead, while opposition energy spokesman Mark Butler this week held out the prospect of Labor moving to revive the policy in government following engagement with industry.

Dr Switkowski said the future for nuclear power was “likely to be defined by the arrival of small modular reactors (SMRs) of a 100MW scale” that could provide power for up to 100,000 people.

“They will be affordable, low-risk and an investment that business will find attractive,” he said. “That is likely to happen later in the 2020s, but will have special relevance to Australia where we have towns and industries and mines and desalination plants, all of (which) could be served by one of these SMRs.

“The opportunities for … large reactors have now largely disappeared … It is, however, very sensible to clear away the regulatory obstacles to developing business plans and evaluating technologies in order to have an option in the 2020s to adopt these SMRs.”

Mr Entsch told The Weekend Australian a fresh discussion on lifting the 1998 prohibition on nuclear power “made sense”, saying technological improvements made it possible to build smaller and safer reactors. “The reality is that nuclear power … is clean and green,” he said. “There is zero emissions. If they made a decision to do it, there wouldn’t be an ­objection from me.”

LNP MP Luke Howarth, in the Queensland seat of ­Petrie, said the nation “should be having the discussion about how to build a ­nuclear industry” because it would help drive the “jobs of the future”.

Others rejected the push to revive the debate. South Australian Liberal MP Tony Pasin said: “Whilst I respect the view of Mr Abbott, in my view our government’s policy agenda needs to be focused on proposals which will put serious downward pressure on energy ­prices over the course of the immediate term.”

September 14, 2018 - Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, politics

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: