Australian news, and some related international items

Chasing unicorns’: NSW Liberal minister rejects federal opposition push for nuclear power. 

Matt Kean’s comments come after Peter Dutton indicated support for nuclear energy could be part of future Coalition policy , Guardian,  Michael McGowan, @mmcgowan, Wed 8 Jun 2022

The new leader of the opposition, Peter Dutton, has indicated that support for nuclear energy could be a part of the Coalition’s future policy platform, while former Nationals leader Barnaby Joyce has backed calls to overturn the moratorium.

“I don’t think we should rule things out simply because it’s unfashionable to talk about them,” Dutton said on Monday.

But amid a reduction in new nuclear projects globally, Kean poured cold water on the push by his Coalition colleagues in Canberra on Wednesday, saying pursuing nuclear energy generation in Australia was currently a “fantasy”……

Kean referred to the UK government’s underwriting of the construction of the Hinkley Point C station to the tune of about $300 a megawatt-hour, which he said was “three times more expensive than the current electricity bills at the height that we’re paying right now”.

He said the cost and timeline of new nuclear energy meant it was not realistic to consider it as an option.

  • “Not only that, they started the build of [Hinkley Point C station] in around 2008,” he said. “It’s now 2022 and it still hasn’t been turned on, so we can’t wait 20 years to chase some fantasy, which is large-scale nuclear.

“What we need to do is focus on things that are going to lower household bills today and set us up for more prosperity in the future.”…………..

 many small nuclear reactor proposals overseas have been beset by problems , and Kean said that two of the firms pushing the use of the technology – Rolls-Royce and US firm NuScale – wouldn’t have prototypes ready for construction until the next decade.

“So people talking about nuclear as an asset to our energy challenges right now are literally chasing unicorns,” Kean said.

…………… right now, we are focusing on the things that we know work [and] that we know are going to drive down household bills and that’s why we’ve got our energy roadmap here in NSW to roll out solar, wind [and] pumped hydro storage with transmission lines. Because we know that that’s the best way to lower household bills to keep the lights on and to deliver clean, reliable electricity.”


June 9, 2022 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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