Letter to the Editor: Dutton’s nuclear push

DEAR News Of The Area,

I HAVE read with interest your correspondents’ comments on the proposed nuclear power initiative championed by the Federal Opposition.

They all seem quite focused on the legitimacy of the Coalition implementing the plan.

Mr Dutton states our first nuclear power plant can be operating by the mid 2030s.

Australia’s truly independent experts in the field from the CSIRO say that the unveiling date is more likely to be closer to 2040, but only if the work starts soon.

Putting aside the massive costs, social disruption, discord, and division this intention will create, I ask your readers to consider what Australia will be like in 2040?

Peter Dutton will be 70 years of age and no doubt very much enjoying his generous Federal Parliamentary pension.

He will certainly not be around to publicly account for or justify the mess this proposal may lead us to in terms of taxpayer debt, the safe storage of nuclear waste and the estimated huge per kilowatt cost of nuclear power to the consumer.

For this so-called necessary initiative, we will be billions of dollars in debt for decades (the plan is for the nuclear power plants to be owned by taxpayers), for a contribution to our energy needs provided by all these nuclear power plants of an estimated mere four percent of total national electricity supply.

The small modular reactors this plan is partly relying upon have not even been invented yet, and there are none currently producing nuclear power anywhere in the world, a carbon copy, spin doctor creation remarkably like the often-touted ‘carbon capture technology’.

They are both half-baked thought bubbles, con jobs without supporting science and ones that are entirely unaligned with either feasibility or reality.

By 2040 it is highly likely that advances in renewable energy generation, power storage in batteries and pumped hydro, and yet to be invented technological developments in generating power from clean, green renewable energy systems, such as ‘green hydrogen’, solar and wind, will continue to grow and increasingly dominate electricity markets, providing ever cheaper forms of power that don’t burn fossil fuels and are least damaging to our planet.

There will be an abundance of cheap electricity and we simply will not need that extra four percent nuclear power.

I cannot help but feel this nuclear energy push is little more than a white elephant charade, with the real intention being to undermine, and possibly even destroy confidence in the economic investment planning and accelerating adoption of the rapidly growing sustainable energy industry, and to allow the coal and gas giants to continue to quietly peddle and profit from their enormously destructive and dirty industries.

This nuclear energy proposal is the standard political dodge, kicking the can of important energy reform a little further down the road for someone else to pick up later, a ruse that conservatives often expertly adopt to benefit existing interests.

Our country, indeed, our world, cannot afford to wait.

Your sincerely,
Martin SMITH,

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