Australian news, and some related international items

Environment House – Submission to Senate – Nuclear power unwanted, will delay climate action, is expensive and dangerous

Submission No 12.Australia needs effective climate action. Any action to introduce nuclear power would slow
the transition to a low-carbon economy. It would increase electricity costs and unnecessarily
introduce the challenges and risks associated with high-level nuclear waste management
and the potential for catastrophic accidents, with profound intergenerational implications
for Australians.

Nuclear is also the most expensive energy option. Since 2010, the cost of wind and solar PV
has decreased by 70‒90% while nuclear costs have increased by 33%. Nuclear power is the
one energy source with a ‘negative learning curve’ ‒ it has become more expensive over
time, with profound intergenerational implications for Australians.

We have better options to generate energy. The increasing take up rate for the installation
of solar PV systems in Australia on homes and businesses already shows that renewable
energies have the capacity to contribute significantly to energy generation and these are
very popular with the Australian people.

Introducing nuclear power is a slow process. It can take decades to build. Also, nuclear is
dangerous. Either through human error, disaster, or as a military target the catastrophic
consequences of a nuclear disaster would permanently pollute.

Most importantly, there is no proven solution for managing high-level nuclear waste
produced in power reactors.

Nuclear power plants are vulnerable to threats which are being exacerbated by climate
change. These include dwindling and warming water sources, sea-level rise, storm damage,
drought, and jelly-fish swarms.

Nuclear is unwanted by the general public. There is long standing popular opposition to
nuclear power in Australia because of the issues above as well as the unsolved problem of
nuclear waste and the link to nuclear weapons.

Alternatives like renewables, storage and energy efficiency are faster, cheaper and easier to
deploy and enjoy much more public support.

Nuclear power could not in any way facilitate Australia’s energy transition ‒ it could only
delay the transition and make it more expensive and contentious. Nuclear power would
unnecessarily introduce risks of catastrophic nuclear accidents and military or terrorist
attacks. It would inevitably bequeath future generations with streams of high-,
intermediate- and low-level nuclear waste.

We urge all politicians and political parties to focus on the transition to a low-carbon
economy and to reject nuclear power because it is too slow, too expensive and too
dangerous. Instead, we need to hasten the transition to a low-carbon economy with a focus
on renewable energies.
Jo Bower


February 24, 2023 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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