Rational Reaction: Australian Unions Back Nuclear Powered Future

That Australia, an energy superpower, could back never-reliable wind and solar over ever-reliable, astonishes the sane and rational. Especially as the Lucky Country’s known uranium resources are the world’s largest – almost one-third of the world total. Notwithstanding that glorious abundance, Australia banned nuclear power generation a generation ago. There are no nuclear power plants in Australia.

However, slowly but surely, a groundswell of support for nuclear power is emerging.

The new-found love affair with nuclear has a fair bit to do with the fact that it is the only stand-alone power generation source that does not emit carbon dioxide gas during the generation process.

For as long as climate alarmists keep fretting about carbon dioxide gas incinerating the planet and everything on it, nuclear power must, necessarily, form part of their mantra. If it doesn’t, you know your antagonist is not serious about CO2.

One very significant recent shift in thinking on nuclear power is among those that run Union-backed Industry Superannuation Funds (compulsory worker saving schemes).

Those Funds collectively control hundreds of $millions, and are always on the lookout for safe and easy returns.

Over the last decade or so, Union Super Funds have thrown serious money at outfits like IFM Investors (run by Labor/Union heavies, Greg Combet and Garry Weaven) which in turn poured hundreds of $millions into wind power outfit, Pacific Hydro, with mixed results: Pacific Hydro’s Ponzi Scheme Implodes: Wind Power Outfit Loses $700 Million of Mum & Dad Retirement Savings

Those in charge of the Union slush funds are starting to talk some common sense on energy policy, probably because even the most faithful, climate fear-mongers have worked out that wind and solar can and will never work.

It appears that the those in charge of Union Super Funds have come to the conclusion that the great wind and solar rush will inevitably end in tears and, accordingly, it’s time to lay off their bets. Whatever the cause, with the serious money, political muscle and might of these financial juggernauts behind nuclear, STT thinks it’s a pretty safe bet.

Super industry gets behind nuclear power
The Australian
Graham Lloyd
26 June 2019

Australia’s union-backed superannuation industry has made the case for nuclear energy and ­demolished repeated claims wind and solar are the cheapest long-term option for reliable power.

A major report says backing up a renewable energy system for 1½ days would require about 100 Snowy Mountain 2.0 pumped-hydro schemes at a total cost of $700 billion. This was the same as building 100 to 150 nuclear reactors, which could provide well over half of Australia’s current primary energy needs.

Using Tesla batteries to achieve the same 1½ days’ backup would cost $6.5 trillion, which could build about 1000 nuclear reactors, the report said.

“The key takeout is that intermittent technologies may not provide the best means of delivering all primary energy,” the report said. “It is also doubtful whether they are the best means of providing all electricity at current levels of demand.”

The superannuation industry report is based on meeting a carbon-neutral objective by 2050.

It said the best way to do this was to set a final destination and work back from there.

“The question should not be ‘renewables or coal’. The focus should be on the best strategy to reduce atmospheric greenhouse emissions,” the report said.

“Australia carries a much ­higher level of risk than most first-world countries by not having the ability to incorporate nuclear ­energy into its mix.”

The report challenged repeated claims that renewable energy ­projects were the cheapest option to replace Australia’s ageing coal fleet.

“An energy technology that is lowest cost per unit is not necessarily the best choice if it cannot meet capacity and reliability ­requirements,” it said.

The report said the common practice of relying heavily on estimates of levelised cost and market tests applied to developments in isolation could be misleading.

“Worse, it may cause serious economic damage to the national economy if narrowly defined economic gains lock in long-term inefficiencies.”

The superannuation industry report said it was “difficult to see how these problems can be ­resolved without some nuclear in the mix and the principles of ­optimality, fairness and merit would suggest it should not be ­discounted.”

In the short run, the report said, there was considerable scope for increasing the use of solar and wind because of the large ­buffering potential of existing fossil fuel plants.

But it was difficult to see what would happen if solar and wind went beyond 50 per cent of electricity or about 10 per cent of primary energy.

“It is possible that beyond about 50 per cent of electricity, some solar and wind may become stranded assets,” the report said.

“This would begin to raise serious questions about the trajectory of the energy system.”

It said the most important ­options to consider were solar, wind, nuclear in various forms, coal and combined-cycle gas ­generation and carbon capture and storage.

Energy Policy Institute of Australia executive director Robert Pritchard said genuine technology neutrality was fundamental to continued ­investments in the energy ­sector.

“The investment process in Australia has been undermined by the lack of it,” Mr Pritchard said. “This in turn has led to a destabilisation of the power system itself.”
The Australian

Union Super Funds place their bets on nuclear powered future.

About stopthesethings

We are a group of citizens concerned about the rapid spread of industrial wind power generation installations across Australia.

Comments

  1. linda pahl says:

    yes yes
    get rid of noisy windfarms in my backyard

  2. Take a look at the information regarding anti- nuclear activist, Helen Caldicott.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Helen_Caldicott

    Anyone old enough to remember her activism, which had major impacts in North America, knows that she courageously spoke out against nuclear weapon proliferation. That made sense to many people but she also had major impacts on the fear levels associated with nuclear energy. Sorting out fact from fiction became very difficult once even physicians supported her work.
    Serious work to educate people will be needed to undo this.
    The irony to me, is that physicians are refusing to intervene on behalf of their patients reporting harm from noise, low frequency noise modulations and infrasound radiation from industrial wind turbines! Instead, they’re misdiagnosing, prescribing pharmaceuticals to prevent the symptoms being reported and in so doing causing risk of side effects and iatrogenic disease to the innocent men, women and children in rural regions where these turbines have been sited too close to their homes. In Ontario, there are doctors who have even advised people to leave their homes rather than speak up on their behalf to the government and the wind industry!

  3. Reblogged this on ajmarciniak.

  4. Peter Pronczak says:

    The AU ALP/NLP major political parties have locked horns over nuclear energy, yet they apparently know SFA about the current state of the technology’s development.

    It’s being called a ‘debate’ with statements that a plant has to be near water – presumably for cooling – and they can’t be anywhere near unstable earthquake prone land.
    These people are dictating our future with no idea of what modern engineering is capable of.

    Quite right STT, “There are no nuclear power plants in Australia.” But, Lucas Heights with its recent ‘accident of worker’s over exposure’ is still a nuclear processing plant.

    As to the pollies, maybe they shouldn’t have a driver’s license or even be on the road; such ignorance can only be considered as stupidity. There’s no dispute, cars are downright dangerous.

  5. Reblogged this on Climate- Science.

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