Australian news, and some related international items

Nuclear off table as states seek power fix

Alex Mitchel, AAP December 5, 2022 Prime Minister Anthony Albanese and Environment Minister Tanya Plibersek were quick to shoot their Labor colleague down, each pointing out nuclear energy wouldn’t work out financially.

The discussion comes as Australia desperately seeks a fix for soaring power bills, the PM labelling talk around nuclear energy as a distraction.

“I have a great deal of respect for ‘Mali’, but everyone’s entitled to get things wrong,” he told FiveAA radio.

“Every five years or so we have economic analysis of whether nuclear power stacks up and every time it’s rejected.”

Ms Plibersek was similarly strong, saying nuclear power was “slow to build and really expensive”.

“All this nonsense about small-scale nuclear reactors in every suburb, I don’t know if there’s people up your street who want a nuclear reactor in the local park … I really don’t think that’s the case,” she told Seven.

Adelaide is expected to build at least eight submarines under the AUKUS arrangement, which Mr Malinauskas said would show safety concerns around nuclear energy were misplaced.

“In respect of my position on nuclear power for civil consumption, or use, I’ve always thought the ideological opposition that exists in some quarters to nuclear power is ill-founded,” he told News Corp.

“Nuclear power is a source of baseload energy with zero carbon emissions. For someone like myself, who is dedicated to a decarbonisation effort, we should be open-minded to those technologies and it would be foolhardy to have a different approach.”

The PM will meet with state premiers at national cabinet on Wednesday, with a cap on coal and gas prices expected to be a priority agenda item in an attempt to get power bills down.

It is important that the price of gas is reasonable and can make a profit, but the idea that you have super profits being made at the same time as businesses going out of business … is not on,” Mr Albanese said.

“We will act before Christmas and I don’t think there is a premier or chief minister who will sit back and say ‘yep this is all ok’ as prices continue to rise.”

Deputy Liberal leader Sussan Ley said Labor’s “messy” power fix was coming too late.

You can’t just clumsily wade in and put price caps in place when you don’t understand the commercial realities, the investment horizons of the companies that are onshore producing the gas, as well as the international agreements they’ve made,” she told 2GB.

“We have the state governments saying, ‘well this looks like a good idea, but the Commonwealth, you will have to stump up billions of dollars in compensation because we’re certainly not going to’.”


December 9, 2022 - Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, politics

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