Nuclear’s New Dawn: Australians Get Serious About Serious Power Generation

Australians fed up with crushing power bills are talking about a nuclear powered future, like there’s no tomorrow. Having recognised that climate alarmists will never relent in their crusade against carbon dioxide gas – being a proxy for eradicating cheap, reliable and affordable coal-fired power – anyone interested in a future where hot showers and cold beer aren’t long forgotten luxuries, is advocating for nuclear power – like their lives depended upon it.

Coal-fired power is responsible for around 85% of the electricity that shoots around its Eastern Grid (a grid that connects Queensland, NSW, Victoria, Tasmania and South Australia). And, despite concerted efforts to destroy that system, coal-fired power will be powering Australians for decades to come. However, that doesn’t mean that it’s not under threat by RE rent seekers and zealots and a raft of suicidal policies, not least the Federal government’s Large-Scale RET.

Which brings us to nuclear power.

As the only stand-alone power generation source that does not generate carbon dioxide gas emissions during that process, nuclear power is the perfect foil to climate alarmists fretting about CO2 gas and the weather. We’ll leave the stoush about CO2 to others.

That Australia does not have any nuclear power plants astonishes the French, Americans, Canadians, Japanese and Chinese; just to name a few of the 30 countries where you will find nearly 450 nuclear reactors currently operating – their combined output accounts for over 11% of global electricity production – with another 15 countries currently building 60 reactors among them.

The reason that sensible Australians are screaming out for nuclear power plants is not just the ability to utilise this country’s abundant resources, it’s also about slashing power prices, that – thanks to massively subsidised and chaotically intermittent wind and solar – are now among the highest in the world: wind and solar capital, South Australia suffers the world’s highest.

We’ll take a look at the power prices enjoyed by those fortunate souls living in countries with substantial nuclear power generation assets in a moment.

But first, here’s Queensland Liberal National MP Keith Pitt explaining why it’s time to get serious about serious power generation.

‘Idealists’ who don’t want nuclear energy also ‘want lower power prices’
Sky News
Peta Credlin and Keith Pitt
9 October 2019

Member for Hinkler Keith Pitt says the “idealists” who want nothing to do with potential nuclear energy production in Australia are also the ones who “don’t want their power prices to increase.”

Speaking with Sky News host Peta Credlin, Mr Hinkler said the potential for nuclear energy production in Australia should be addressed and considered after the inquiry into the topic commenced on Wednesday.

Mr Pitt said he has observed a broad-ranging public opinion on the issue, saying, “We’ve got…people who say there’s only one solution – that’s to cover the entire country in solar panels and wind turbines”.

Conversely, there are those people who are “incredibly technically competent, qualified and experienced [who are] saying we’ve just got to get out of the way” and be open to the potential of nuclear energy in Australia.

“If you look at he technical arguments…[nuclear reactors] also give the opportunity for a huge boost to the local economy,” he said.

“We quite simply need to look at every option and what’s in the best interests of the country”.

 

Transcript

Peta Credlin: All right. Well, today the inquiry into nuclear energy gets underway, following calls for a committee to look at whether nuclear energy was feasible for Australia, suitable and politically palatable, I’d have to say.

Joining me now is the federal member for Hinkler, a very strong nuclear energy advocate, Keith Pitt. Keith, great to have you on the show. You kicked off day one of the inquiry today into nuclear energy, its feasibility for Australia. You’re a former electrical engineer. I like to remind people before we start our interviews, how did the first day go?

Keith Pitt: We’ve had a couple of public inquiries in capital cities. In Sydney today, I don’t think it could have been more broad-ranging, to be frank. We’ve got everything from people who say there’s only one solution and that’s to cover the entire country with solar panels and wind turbines, right through to those who, I’ve got to say, are incredibly technically competent, qualified, and experienced, saying we’ve just got to get out of the way.

So for those who are out there, the idealists that say nuclear’s too dear, too dangerous, too hard, too difficult, or why do you need the prohibition? It becomes purposeless. So I’m technology-agnostic. I just want cheaper prices for the people I represent. I want a reliable supply. And right now we know we simply are not getting that. South Australia, that great experiment, demonstrates exactly what happens.

Peta Credlin: If we are serious about lowering emissions, and we can put that debate about whether it is the right move for our economy and whether or not man makes a huge contribution to emissions. Put that to one side. If we are all on the page that emissions have to come down, and that’s of the mantra from the left. If you are really in that camp, then what’s your argument against nuclear, because it’s baseload power, it’s zero emissions, not low emissions, it’s zero emissions, and of course, we’ve got abundant uranium.

Keith Pitt: Well, I think this is the difference between realists and idealists. If you look at the technical arguments, well, quite simply all the things that you get are through an existing steam turbine-driven generator, which is run by coal, for example, or hydro, in terms of voltage control and frequency regulation and stuff that you need, can be provided through nuclear reactors that generate steam.

They also give the opportunity for a huge boost to the local economy, for example. But the idealists tell us that it doesn’t matter that we don’t have a waste disposal plan for solar panels, which contain cadmium and lead and heavy metals and a lot of other chemicals. It doesn’t matter how much carbon dioxide you might produce to produce those said panels or wind turbines or the fact they get replaced every 10 to 20 years.

I mean, it’s like trying to find a solution to a jigsaw puzzle with your eyes closed, your hands behind your back and someone’s pinched half the pieces. We quite simply have to look at every single option and what’s in the best interests of the country.

Peta Credlin: And you tell me, I’m pretty cynical with these things. Is this inquiry about really charting a course forward for a sensible debate in Australia about nuclear, or is this just something that was thrown at you because you and a couple other of your colleagues were noisy in the party room? This is a minor win for you and the inquiry will sit on the shelf like all the others.

Keith Pitt: Well, we’ve said for a long time now, we want to have a conversation with the Australian people. And there was some Morgan poll research out in recent days which indicated that they’ve really changed their views. There’s 51% support, much stronger amongst men and than it is amongst women, in that most recent Morgan poll. And in fact, I think if there was an education programme, people would quite simply change their mind.

The younger generation, the evidence they’ve put forward is they’re much more concerned about climate change and the the world might catch on fire, than they are about the risk of nuclear energy. And if that’s the solution, well, they’re happy to go with it. But I mean, we’ve seen such broad-ranging views. The idealists who want nothing to do with it, also don’t want their power price to increase. Those at the other end of the spectrum are happy for us quite simply to get out of the way.

So it’s a complex issue. But we have the states who have got off scot free so far. They’ve been able to do what I think are just ridiculous things with their generation and transmission system, and rely on other states for reliability and security, and I think that’s got to stop.

Peta Credlin: In a little while, I’m going to talk to a submarine expert who’s been banging the drum about the capability we should have, and he would argue we don’t have, for new submarine acquisitions, the development in Australia, obviously in the sustainment. And one of the issues today from the Chief of Navy, he has weighed in with an open mind about the current build of submarines migrating to nuclear.

As you know, they are a French submarine that is currently produced in France as a nuclear version retrofitted to make it a conventional sub for Australia. Now I’m not asking you to be an expert on nuclear subs, but one of the arguments against a nuclear submarine industry and the country is that we don’t have nuclear expertise, and often that comes hand-in-glove with nuclear energy expertise.

Perhaps one of the arguments that’s really pushed the left and others against nuclear defence assets is the fact they don’t want it to be used for nuclear energy. Do you see there’s any correlation in that argument, or do you see that this is something we should support?

Keith Pitt: Well, the current inquiry’s certainly not looking at defence capability into the future, but my understanding is the last boat under the current contract will be delivered in 2055, which is a very long way away. So we do have to keep open mind on what the best opportunities are for our country.

My understanding is it could take 10 to 12 years at a minimum to train the Naval personnel to operate that type of boat, one which is nuclear-powered. And I think if there’s an opportunity to do that in the future, well, the sooner we start, the sooner we get the outcome, is the reality.

So I think we always have to keep an open mind, as a federal parliamentarian. We should never rub out anything absolutely. And certainly the submissions we are getting is there’s been substantial changes around SMR technology.

There is a company called New Scale which has its books open right now, they’re taking orders. And if we are to look at this type of technology, well, it certainly helps the economy. It builds our education sector much more strongly. We can look at manufacturing. It opens up a $10 billion resource in Queensland in terms of mining. So I think it’s up to us to make those decisions.

Peta Credlin: Keith Pitt, thanks very much for your time tonight.
Sky News

The tired old line tossed about by the anti-nuke crowd (read wind and solar subsidy seekers) is that nuclear power is simply too expensive, and that wind and solar are far, far cheaper. The facts suggest otherwise.

In nuclear powered France (the French get almost 75% of their power from nuclear plant), average retail power prices are around half those suffered in Australia’s wind and solar capital, South Australia.

Americans plugged into nuclear power from the beginning.

The USA, the world’s largest nuclear power generator, has 99 nuclear power reactors in 30 states, operated by 30 different power companies, and in 2016 they produced 805 TWh. Since 2001 these plants have achieved an average capacity factor of over 90%, generating up to 807 TWh per year and accounting for about 20% of total electricity generated.

Is it any surprise then, that average retail prices across the US are 1/3 of those in wind and sun powered SA?

The state of Pennsylvania sent a delegation to Australia in December 2017 attempting to lure Australian industries there, with a sales pitch primarily based on cheap power, reliably delivered. Something Australian businesses no longer take for granted, here.

Pennsylvania is one of USA’s biggest nuclear power generators, with almost 40% of its power generated by nuclear plant.

According to the Energy Information Administration, commercial users in Pennsylvania are paying 8.85 cents per KWh, equating to US$88.50 per MWh. Industrial users are paying 6.67 cents per KWh, equating to US$66.70. Depending on the State they’re in, Australian commercial users are paying upwards of A$0.35 per KWh, or A$350 per MWh hour.

So, those claiming that nuclear power is expensive, need to try another angle.

Australia is destroying itself with an ideological obsession with the wind and sun. Which means that there’s no time like right now for leaders to step up and deliver a nuclear powered future.

Who knows, it could even work?: just like in the USA, France, China, India, South Korea, Sweden, Russia, Slovakia, Ukraine, Belgium, Hungary, the UAE, the UK, etc, etc…

We could go on to name all 30, but we’ve made our point. The sooner Australia’s gets with the program and features on that growing list, the better.

Taking serious power, seriously: China caps another nuclear plant.

About stopthesethings

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

Comments

  1. Here in the UK our long-promised nuclear future is evaporating before our eyes, with all but one of our 15 reactors due to close by 2030, and only one under construction. Hinkley Point C1 only started construction last year, yet already the commissioning date has been delayed by over a year. Given that the construction of the prototype EPRs started in 2005 & 2007 and are currently due to be commissioned no earlier than 2020 & 2023, realistically HPC1 is unlikely to be producing power till the 2030s.

    Meanwhile, with the size of subsidies for nuclear appearing to grow ever greater than those for renewables, the government is becoming increasingly reluctant to use HPC’s subsidy scheme for any others, and is having to explore more-creative ways of accounting for them, causing further delays.

  2. Peter Pronczak says:

    Back in June 2019 a local media article about nuclear plants being argued between Hinkler MP Keith Pitt and Labor’s Queensland Senator Murray Watt mentioned regional earthquake instability.

    Something not many people are aware of is that in about 2009 a French satellite doing a (I think it was a 4 year) study along the west coast of the Americas had the satellite life extended for a further 2 years when another group of researchers noticed anomalies in the data. What was evident was up to weeks prior to geological disturbance there was recognisable change in the ionosphere over the area.
    An Italian scientist studying the same phenomenon tried to warn the Japanese government of the Fukushima tsunami that flooded the backup diesel fuel with water that caused the nuclear reactor meltdown. Unfortunately no-one believed his warning.
    President Barack Obama was asked to implement a satellite early warning plan particularly because of the San Andreas Fault running through California but he refused.
    This is a current list of magnitude 1.5 or greater earthquakes:

    32 earthquakes in the past 24 hours
    236 earthquakes in the past 7 days
    1,266 earthquakes in the past 30 days
    19,512 earthquakes in the past 365 days

    Ref: https://earthquaketrack.com/p/united-states/california/recent

    The Pacific Rim is well known to be geologically unstable. Emeritus Professor Lance Endersbee wrote an excellent easily understandable book, A Voyage of Discovery, on Earth sciences. He along with Dr J J Bradfield designed 18 water diversion projects around AU with the largest known as the Bradfield Scheme to divert water from the Gulf all the way down the Murray-Darling system. Had it been built, QLD/NSW droughts would have been a thing of the past and with cheap nuclear energy, floods could be controlled.
    We have an eastern electricity grid so why not a pipeline grid? The evaporation/seepage problem of water supply was cheaply solved when Richard Pratt paid for the first rolled-up soft plastic piping to line open channel systems.

    With all the bush-fires in QLD/NSW it would be interesting to know if any were started by wind turbines – but I don’t think the RE industry would want the public to know.
    Fire fighters had to work overtime to ‘rescue’ a new solar array on agricultural land in the Fraser Coast region just outside the Hinkler electorate.

  3. Reblogged this on Climate- Science.press.

  4. Another great Peta Credlin interview.

    On a further point, and apologies for any duplication STT.

    Thank you to the Cape Bridgewater resident who sent through the article below.

    Quite simply, words fail me.

    The Ballarat Courier

    OCTOBER 19 2019 – 6:00PM
    ‘Stockyard Hill church demolished as wind farm continues construction’

    A historic abandoned church in Stockyard Hill has been demolished to make space for the massive Stockyard Hill Wind Farm.

    The site has now become part of the site office, with truck parking.

    Minutes from the project’s community reference group in July 2018 indicate Goldwind, the company building the wind farm, bought the Stockyard Hill Road block in 2009.

    Publicly accessible real estate information reveals the site sold for $686,657 in January 2009.

    There was no heritage overlay over the site, Heritage Victoria confirmed.

    Information from the State Library of Victoria indicates it was the Presbyterian St Andrew’s Church, with a distinctive parapet.

    A foundation stone recovered from the site reveals it was opened on October 21, 1902.

    The site has now become part of the site office, with truck parking.

    Minutes from the project’s community reference group in July 2018 indicate Goldwind, the company building the wind farm, bought the Stockyard Hill Road block in 2009.

    Publicly accessible real estate information reveals the site sold for $686,657 in January 2009.

    There was no heritage overlay over the site, Heritage Victoria confirmed.

    Information from the State Library of Victoria indicates it was the Presbyterian St Andrew’s Church, with a distinctive parapet.

    A foundation stone recovered from the site reveals it was opened on October 21, 1902.

    “The site area where the Church was located was considered as part of the Amended Planning Permit for the Stockyard Hill Wind Farm that was approved in 2017,” a spokesperson from Goldwind said in a statement.

    “The Building Permit which forms the ‘Demolition Permit’ for the Church was approved by the Pyrenees Shire Council.”

    Documents from the Presbyterian Church of Victoria’s 2016 general assembly notes the Stockyard Hill congregation had not met since 1997, and the church was first sold in 2000.

    “It is therefore overdue and necessary for the dissolution of the congregation to be dealt with by the General Assembly and the presbytery,” a petition to the assembly reads.

    Goldwind has committed to establishing a memorial on the grounds.

    “In the coming months, the operations and maintenance facility for the wind farm will be built on the site location where the Church was removed,” the spokesperson said.

    “It’s intended for a memorial to be constructed alongside the operations and maintenance facility to recognise the history of the site.”

    Some nearby residents have expressed frustration at the loss of community heritage, while others pointed out the building had been unused for several years.

    Robina Tayler lived in the area for many years, and now lives in Beaufort.

    She said she remembered going to Sunday School at the church.

    “Our family lived on the east side of the church, we had property surrounding the church,” she said, adding her relatives donated the land for the church.

    “The last time the church was used was for a wedding in 1997.

    “To be perfectly honest, if anything was to be done with it, before it was sold privately, if something could have been done it would have been wonderful, but it didn’t happen.”

    The church was an important part of life in the district for several years – Ms Tayler said there was also a hall and a tennis court.

    “In the ’50s and ’60s, it was massive – a lot of soldier settler farms, and a lot of kids growing up, the church was always full,” she said.

    “There’s a lot of good history about it, but nothing stays the same.”

    The spokesperson added construction was well under way.

    “The Stockyard Hill Wind Farm project is progressing with 52 Goldwind wind turbines having commenced installation with 30 turbines fully installed, access tracks constructed and all concrete foundations for wind turbines aimed to be completed shortly,” the spokesperson said.

    “The project is aimed to commence first energy generation early next year.”

    End quote…

    Link below.

    https://www.thecourier.com.au/story/6444871/abandoned-church-demolished-for-wind-farm/

  5. Reblogged this on ajmarciniak.

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