Australia’s Self-Inflicted Energy Crisis Screaming Out for Nuclear Powered Solution

Scott Morrison: a first rate, second rate man.


Few issues demonstrate how childish the level of political discourse is in Australia than nuclear power. Its mere mention drives the loony-left into apoplexy and moderates into hiding.

Australia holds the world’s largest uranium reserves and, despite its limited three mines policy, is the world’s third-largest uranium exporter.

So, it generally surprises other members of the first world that Australia not only doesn’t benefit itself from nuclear power generation, but acted years ago to ban it.

Try getting an Australian politician to explain why Australia, as a major uranium exporter, is the only G20 Nation without nuclear power, going so far as to legislate to prohibit the processing of uranium and its use as a fuel for power generation.

The Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act and the Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Act, specifically prohibit nuclear fuel fabrication, power, enrichment or reprocessing facilities.

So far, so ridiculous.

Sure enough, coal-fired plant will continue to power Australians for the foreseeable future. But, for as long as politicians on both sides of the fence remain wedded to the concept that carbon dioxide gas is ‘pollution’, responsible for killing the planet (rather than greening it), energy sources that emit CO2 will have plenty of ill-informed enemies.

A week or so into the Federal election campaign, our current PM, Scott Morrison almost (almost) put nuclear power generation on the table as a topic for adult discussion.

No sooner had he done so, than he was forced to retreat as if he had uttered some unspeakable heresy, proving him to be as spineless and unprincipled as Australians have come to expect from the recent crop of Liberal (here, notionally ‘conservative’) MPs.

The debate (if that’s what it might be called?) has been left to a few Liberal backbenchers (Liberal candidate, Warren Mundine has been promoting nuclear for years) and the Australian Conservatives, headed up by former Liberal Senator, Cory Bernardi.

Bernardi’s views are a healthy amalgam of common sense and public-spirited principle, a rare and endangered species in Australian political discourse, these days.

Here’s Senator Bernardi being interviewed by 2GB’s Luke Grant.

Cory Bernardi says PM got his ‘hopes up’ on nuclear power
Luke Grant
19 April 2019

Senator Cory Bernardi has backed nuclear power after the Prime Minister said he is not considering the energy alternative.

Nuclear power plants are illegal in Australia but experts say it could be the answer to Australia’s energy concerns.

Senator Cory Bernardi had introduced a bill last year to remove a ban on nuclear energy.

He tells Luke Grant he was hopeful when he heard Scott Morrison had been open to the idea.

“The Prime Minister got my hopes up when he said nuclear energy might be a part of the mix if it stacks up on its own two feet.

“But within 48 hours all the usual suspects come out and monster him into a position which is basically ‘oh no it’s not on the table’.

“Any idea that’s not driven by the left is outrageous and terrible and awful.”



Luke Grant: I wanted to get the thoughts of a leading Australian politician on that, so we’ve sought out Senator Cory Bernardi, the leader of the Australian Conservatives. And I’m delighted to say he’s on the line. All the best for Easter, Cory.

Cory Bernardi: Thank you. And to you too, Luke. And to all your listeners. A very important day in the calendar for many Christians in this country.

Luke Grant: Indeed. I want to come to the Australian Conservatives in a moment, but you and I have talked before about nuclear energy production in Australia, and once again, yesterday or the day before, the PM uttered the word nuclear, and there’s releases all over the place about, “Oh, look at this, nuclear endorsement. Our communities are under threat,” led by Tony Burke the shadow minister for the environment, who’s come out and said, amongst other things, “We know nuclear is not an option in this country.”

We can’t even have the conversation, Cory.

Cory Bernardi: It’s crazy. I have to say the prime minister got my hopes up when he said nuclear energy might be part of the mix if it stacks up on its own two feet. I was very hopeful about that, that he would support our bill to remove the moratorium. But within 48 hours all the usual suspects come out and monster him into a position which is basically, “Oh, no, it’s not on the table.”

This is the big problem, you’re not having a sensible or rational debate about it unless it’s led by the left. And this is where we’ve come. Any idea that’s not driven by the left is outrageous and terrible and awful. And the case in point, in South Australia we had a Labor government who were happy to explore the nuclear cycle, fuel cycle, none of the unions complained, none of the normal lefty environmentalists all went crazy at all, because it was a left-leaning government proposed it. And it only fell to bits when a left-leaning liberal leader, he’s now the premier here, actually pulled out of it. It had bipartisan support until it became, “Ooh, maybe I can make some political mileage out of it.”

It’s very frustrating, because if you are concerned about climate change and you’re concerned about carbon dioxide emissions, I’m not, but if you are, then nuclear is your answer to base load energy. If you’re concerned about a reliable base load in electricity, which I am, that is affordable and economic, then nuclear is your answer. And it has a swathe of potential flow and effects, including desalinated water that could irrigate vast swathes of our desperate water-thirsty land. And it’s just crazy we can’t even contemplate it.

Luke Grant: And just, if you wouldn’t mind quickly reminding our listeners of the bill you had in the Senate. What did it call for?

Cory Bernardi: Well, the bill was basically to remove the blanket prohibition on nuclear energy. Right now you just can’t even entertain the fact. Now, it didn’t mean that you didn’t have to get environmental approvals or it didn’t have to add up economically, or that you needed community consensus on it, it merely said, “If someone can get through all those regulatory hurdles, they’re entitled to do it.” And it’s just madness that we’re not prepared to do it while other countries around the world are.

And I can tell you this, even the nuclear scientist from Lucas Heights says that the new generation of nuclear reactors are inherently fail-safe. You have to defy the laws of physics to have a problem with them. And I think that’s a pretty good assurance.

Luke Grant: How are the Conservatives, your party, tracking in other states, apart from yours, South Australia, in places like New South Wales and Queensland, you know, I’ve said for a long time yours is a party of common sense, and listeners that mightn’t have heard you recently hearing you today I think would nod in agreement. How do you actually cut through in these big states?

Cory Bernardi: Yeah, it’s really challenging. The first thing we start with is great candidates. And we do have amazing candidates, Lyle Shelton in Queensland, Sophie York is our lead candidate in New South Wales, Kevin Bailey in Victoria, and we can go right around the country, they’re very special. Our policy mix is straightforward, it’s absolutely common sense.

One of the difficulties of course is that we don’t get headlines for having common sense. You’ve got to be a bit more extremist or a bit shrill or be a bit desperate. But it is about the future of the country. And I’m not going to compromise the integrity of a platform or what I think is in the best interest of this country simply to get some cheap headlines.

I hope the Australian people recognise that and they’re not going to be seduced by the $50,000,000 spend or the glib statements that are designed just to attract attention, because they’re not solutions for Australia. We have them. We can make any government better. And we’re asking people to vote Conservatives in the Senate.

Luke Grant: Because you’re not competing in the lower house, are you?

Cory Bernardi: No, we’re not. And the reason is quite simple. The blue team or the red team are going to form government, and that’s up to many people, but the question is, who do you trust to make that government better, to keep them to account, and to put them through the filter of common sense? You can’t choose a personality cult because you don’t know what they stand for. You can’t choose big spenders because they’ll outspend your money as well as their own. You need some common sense. And that’s where the Australian Conservatives fit in.

Luke Grant: Good to talk. Thank you for letting us interrupt your Good Friday.

Cory Bernardi: No, thanks very much, Luke. All the best to you.

Luke Grant: And to you. Senator Cory Bernardi.


Indeed, it does. Sadly, it’s rare breed anywhere else …

6 thoughts on “Australia’s Self-Inflicted Energy Crisis Screaming Out for Nuclear Powered Solution

  1. STT please explain to the uneducated readers here how you intend to run Nuclear reactors on yellow cake. Also your plan for the siting of the at least six new base load nuclear power stations so they will feed into the East coast transmission system or do you only back the siting of one Nuclear power station near Sydney or Melbourne. I suggest one of your latest stories about transmission loses in transmission lines would make interesting reading. The old saying about having all your eggs in one basket comes to mind when talking about $10,000,000,000 ++ Nuclear power stations and the complexity for their efficient placement around the country with having rolling reserve on hand. But as with all the complexities of an efficient reliable cheap electricity generating system that all disappeared when Keating forced the states into a power station fire sale, who really cares now.

    1. The locations are not the issue, they aren’t in France, or in any of the 60 other countries adult enough to benefit from nuclear power. We will squander more than $70bn on subsidies to wind and solar and in a decade will have nothing but rusting hulks and toxic panels to show for it. For the same money we could have had 7, 2000MW nuclear plants that would serve us for 50 years, or more.

      1. add…
        and as I read Australia has a lot of mining ongoing already…..
        so that cannot be a problem…..
        The newly started Korean reaktor 1.4GW costs USD 30 billions
        just saying

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