Antinuclear

Australian news, and some related international items

Small Modular Nuclear Reactors included in Morrison govt’s energy plan?

New nuclear technologies to be examined in planning Australia’s energy mix, The government is looking at incorporating ‘emerging nuclear

Small modular reactors ‘have potential’, investment roadmap discussion paper says, Guardian, Katharine Murphy Political editor @murpharoo, Thu 21 May 2020 

The Morrison government has flagged examining “emerging nuclear technologies” as part of Australia’s energy mix in the future in a new discussion paper kicking off the process of developing its much-vaunted technology investment roadmap.

Facing sustained pressure to adopt a 2050 target of net zero emissions, pressure it is continuing to resist, the government plans instead to develop the roadmap as the cornerstone of the Coalition’s mid-century emissions reduction strategy.

The new framework will identify the government’s investment priorities in emissions-reducing technologies for 2022, 2030 and 2050, although the paper makes clear the government will only countenance “incentivising voluntary emissions reductions on a broad scale” – not schemes that penalise polluters.

The discussion paper to be released on Thursday floats a range of potential technologies for future deployment, including small modular nuclear reactors. It says emerging nuclear technologies “have potential but require R&D and identified deployment pathways”.

While clearly flagging that prospect, the paper also notes that engineering, cost and environmental challenges, “alongside social acceptability of nuclear power in Australia, will be key determinants of any future As well as championing the prospects for hydrogen, the paper also flags the importance of negative emission technologies, including carbon capture and storage, as well as soil carbon and tree planting.

This week the government has signalled its intention to use the existing $2.5bn emissions reduction fund to support CCS projects – a move championed by Australia’s oil and gas industries. The new paper says the geo-sequestration of carbon dioxide “represents a significant opportunity for abatement in export gas” – nominating the Gorgon project as a case in point. Growth in emissions in Australia is largely driven by fugitive emissions from the booming LNG export sector.

The paper does acknowledge that solar and wind – renewable technologies – are now “projected to be cheaper than new thermal generation over all time horizons to 2050”. But it adds a caveat, contending that “the cost of firming is still a major issue, and will require much more work”……. https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2020/may/21/new-nuclear-technologies-to-be-examined-in-planning-australias-energy-mix

May 21, 2020 - Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, politics, technology

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