No-Brainer: Safe, Reliable & Affordable Nuclear Only Way To Avoid ‘Transition’ to Dark Ages

STT promotes nuclear power because it works, the very reason that the wind and solar cult detest it.

Despite the usual hackneyed hysteria whipped up by renewable energy rent-seekers, nuclear power generation is now front and centre; the obvious long-term solution to Australia’s self-inflicted subsidised renewable energy debacle.

For now, 80% of the electricity that circulates around Australia’s Eastern Grid, will continue to be generated by coal-fired plants. But, with the Labor/Green Alliance in charge – continually ranting and raving about the perceived perils of carbon dioxide gas, our reliable generation system will be treated as public enemy, number one. And Australia’s reliable and affordable power supply will remain under threat.

Enter nuclear power, as the only stand-alone generation source that does not emit carbon dioxide gas during that process.

Any climate warrior jumping up and down about man-made CO2 (they never seem to worry about the naturally occurring stuff) and not pushing nuclear power with equal passion can’t be taken seriously.

Dr David Gillespie is a Nationals MP, and one of a growing number in this country taking nuclear power seriously. David is no orphan when he reckons that Small Modular Reactors provide Australia with the fastest entry point to safe, reliable and affordable nuclear power. In laying out the future for SMRs, David could have directed attention to the here and now: 200 small nuclear reactors are presently powering 160 ships and submarines all around the world, and have been for decades.

Over to David.

Nuclear energy is a win-win for us and the planet
The Australian
David Gillespie
23 November 2022

Small modular reactors of less than 300MW capacity do not require the grid expansion that is planned under the Australian Energy Market Operator’s Integrated System Plan, which maps out the details of the nation’s energy transition to a decarbonised grid.

It is a huge, complicated, expensive process when any grid is dominated by renewables and introduces huge reliability risk and rising costs.

SMRs could be installed into our current grid as a “plug and play” replacement for retiring coal and gas plants, saving billions of dollars. They would also deliver increased grid-generating capacity and inertia, stability, reliability and reduced costs to consumers. Like all nuclear generation, SMRs have incredibly low carbon emissions, as good or better than wind and solar. Our economy will not be dependent on the weather or on solar panels and wind turbines, 95 per cent of which are made offshore.

Having a civil nuclear industry would increase our sovereign independence with additional long-term benefits to the AUKUS initiatives.

To arrive at full life-cycle cost comparisons between a renewables-predominant system to one with nuclear, you must also account for the very short lifespan of solar panels, wind turbines and batteries, which will need replacement four times over the 60 to 80-year lifespan of well-maintained modern nuclear plants.

The new Generation III+ SMRs have a design life of 60 years, but this can be extended to 80 years with midlife refurbishments, as Canada has done. SMRs by design have a 90 per cent reduced geographical footprint compared with conventional nuclear plants, and have 50 per cent less material intensity. They are constructed off site using the economies of series production, not as bespoke builds, and have passive safety systems in place so that “Fukushimas” and “Chernobyls” can’t ever happen.

SMRs reflect 70 years of continuous evolution in design just like that of cars, trains, jets, computers and iPhones. They are scheduled to appear on grids in Ontario, Canada, in 2028 and 2030 in the US, not some far distant decade.

Evolution of Generation IV micro-modular reactors, ideal for remote sites, islands or mines, is also proceeding apace.

Digital cloud providers and ­industrial complexes are already turning to SMRs to secure their industrial facilities and cloud data systems. Britain, France, Estonia, Poland, the Czech Republic, Sweden, Romania and Japan have announced plans for new SMRs.

Through further innovation, all of these countries have worked out how to recycle spent fuel as well as harvest valuable medical isotopes. Gen IV plants also have the ability to burn spent fuel, reducing the amount of waste fuel, while deep geological repository is an internationally established safe method of final storage. The Australian-developed and deployed Synroc process reduces the final volume of that storage even further.

Modern nuclear is cost-competitive when designs are 100 per cent complete and approved, with skilled project management and supply chains in place, before the first sod is turned. Second, it’s important to build nuclear plants as part of a series – this is at the heart of SMR design. The UAE has demonstrated how building in a series can be done in the space of 10 years and has just deployed three large reactors with a fourth to follow.

Australia is a modern advanced country that already has a nuclear capability and excellent regulatory framework. We need to wake up and stop ignoring the obvious.

We should embrace this latest generation of nuclear technology and remove the legislative prohibitions at state and federal levels.

Australia can be reassured SMRs are incredibly safe, they are as clean as wind and solar and, with the right energy mix of renewables, will deliver affordable, reliable electricity for everyone.

Dr David Gillespie is a Nationals MP, a former gastroenterologist physician and chair of the Parliamentary Friends of Nuclear Industries.
The Australian

6 thoughts on “No-Brainer: Safe, Reliable & Affordable Nuclear Only Way To Avoid ‘Transition’ to Dark Ages

  1. I think we need to rebrand “nuclear” power to something that doesn’t carry that stigma. We could call it “blue” energy like the sky! BLUE is light as a feather on the environment. BLUE saves all wildlife. BLUE is crystal clean as the oceans.

  2. Good news. Some sense at last.
    Read nuclear PhD engineer Robert Zubrin’s book MERCHANTS OF DESPAIR to find the nazi origins of the “green” movement, and much more.
    Read climatologist Dr. Tim Ball’s (RIP) lovely little booklet for the layman HUMAN CAUSED GLOBAL WARMING, THE BIGGEST DECEPTION IN HISTORY, to find the truth behind the climate fraud. Only 121 well illustrated pages. His website, dedicated to truth in science:

  3. In the politics of the energy industry gas is a bitter opponent of nuclear because gas lives on the back of intermittent RE by filling the inevitable gaps in supply. Nuclear energy could play that role to compete with gas so we suspect the gas interests may fund anti-nuclear PR.

    As to the comparative costs of different sources of power, a working group has convened with membership from climate and energy realists to do a serious review of the CSIRO studies that purport to show that wind and solar are the cheapest sources. Parallel to that study the group will collate the best international studies to remind people that coal and nuclear are the cheapest sources when firming of RE is properly costed.

  4. We don’t have to depend on buying SMR’s from China. I believe that GE-Hitachi units are going to build in Canada!

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