Atomic RE-Action: Wind & Solar’s Proven Unreliability Makes Nuclear Obvious Choice For Clean Energy Future

One’s always there when you need it, the other’s, well …


Chaotically intermittent and heavily subsidised wind and solar are central to Australia’s self-inflicted power pricing and supply calamity. But, as the adage has it, out of every crisis comes an opportunity. And for uranium rich Australia that opportunity is nuclear power.

Whacked with a legislative ban over 20 years ago, nuclear power has been rendered taboo by the hard-Green-left in Australia. However, slowly but surely, there are a growing number of proles who are prepared to drop the ‘N’ word in polite conversation, and politicians with the temerity to shout it from the rooftops.

One of them is South Australia’s Cory Bernadi, who was a Liberal Senator that defected to start his own political party, the Australian Conservatives. That political venture didn’t take off at the last Federal election, and the party was ultimately wound up. However, his passion for reliable and affordable electricity hasn’t waned.

Nuclear energy is hardly an option — it’s a must
The Australian
Cory Bernardi
27 February 2020

Arguably the worst government contract in Australia’s history was entered into for shameless polit­ical expediency.

In an attempt to prop up the re-election prospects of former Liberal­ minister Christopher Pyne, the Turnbull government inked a deal that undermined our defence capabil­ity while also guaranteeing an ­explosion in defence spending.

This egregious combination of pork-barrelling, budget blowouts, dumb defence decisions and ministeria­l incompetence is not a rarity in modern politics but it has never been seen on the scale of the decision to award Australia’s new submarine contract to the French defence contractors.

Only the vainglorious could believe that redesigning a nuclear submarine to use diesel power would deliver the outcomes Aust­ralia needs from its future submarine fleet. In fact, it’s difficult to see how any diesel-powered submarines could really fulfil our national requirements. They are ideal for shallow-water stealth missions but lack the long-term surveillance and strategic capability of the nuclear vessels.

However, the diesel v nuclear option wasn’t even a consideration because of a more enduring political stupidity than ministerial boondoggles. The decision to prohibit the development of a nuclear industry in Australia, on the basis of multi-decade alarmist claptrap, has cost this country dearly.

While not wishing to appease climate-change catastrophists, the only viable response to their demands for carbon dioxide abate­ment while maintaining our standard of living is nuclear power. That this successful, safe and proven option is not counten­anced by the green lobby demonstrates how its alarmism is as fake as its save-the-world rhetoric.

An Australian nuclear industry would serve our country in myriad ways. Most obviously, it would open up the opportunity for emissions-free baseload power using one of our most abundant res­ources. In coastal areas, the cooling process could be coupled to a desalinatio­n plant that would provide almost limitless fresh water for irrigation or potable use.

The irrigation potential of such a process could transform vast swaths of our arid regions, enab­ling­ higher-value crops to ­replace dryland farming commodities.

There are 440 nuclear power reactors worldwide, generating about 10 per cent of the world’s electricity. They are the second largest source of low-carbon power, operational in 30 countries worldwide but exporting electric­ity to many more.

Many of these countries depend on Australia’s mined uranium to operate but it is an advantage our political class denies to its own citizenry.

Australia’s known uranium resource­s are the world’s largest and comprise about a quarter of our energy exports, yet we are unabl­e to use them for domes­tic benefit, with the single exemption of a multipurpose reactor located in the Sydney suburb of Lucas Heights.

While Australia’s 20-megawatt Open Pool Australian Lightwater reactor is used primarily for medical, scientific and research purposes, its suburban locale ­demonstrates how the green-­inspired fictional horror of a ­nuclear industry is more political expediency than lived reality.

However, it is this fictionalised nuclear horror story that has seen successive governments unprepared to embrace the unbridled potential that nuclear offers. Our leading scientists have told me that modern nuclear technology is safer than most comparable ­options, irrespective of the claimed climate benefits.

Nuclear critics often cite the storage and processing of waste as a deal-breaker for nuclear power, but they conveniently ignore the capacity of countries with less political and geological stability than Australia to manage and profit from the exact same process.

Few turn away from prestigious French wines or France’s lucrative tourism industry because that country generates 75 per cent of its power through nuclear fission, while also storing and processing nuclear waste.

The same can be said of many other countries where governments have had the temerity to take on the hypocritical green lobby and its regressive anti-human stance. Unfortunately, this political cowardice doesn’t just affect our power potential. It now has had a demonstrable impact on our national­ defence capability as regards the Turnbull submarine contract.

Rather than acknowledge the respective benefits that nuclear and diesel submarines offer, we have embraced the worst of both worlds by requisitioning a nuclear sub powered by diesel engines simply because political cowardice won’t support the development of a nuclear industry here.

If it weren’t for this political intransigen­ce, we could be ready to build German or Japanese-­designed diesel submarines in Australia while strengthening our relationship with the US through commissioning its nuclear boats for our domestic use.

The end result will be billions in wasted dollars, decades of delay and a shameful compromising of our national defence capability.

Australia’s determination not to embrace the economic, defence­, environmental and research­ potential that a nuclear industry offers marks the greatest political failure of the past two decades. It has cost our nation ­significant global investment and scientific advances through collabor­ation on new nuclear technologies.

Nowhere is this better demonstrated than the worst defence contract in the history of the natio­n. If it does nothing else in the national interest, the Morrison government would be wise to tear up the existing submarine contract and push the parliament to end the moratorium on a nuclea­r industry in Australia.
The Australian

Oh, and which one’s safer?

About stopthesethings

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

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