Letter to the Editor: Dutton’s reactors too expensive

DEAR News Of The Area,

AT long last, Mr Dutton has revealed (ABC TV, 19 June) that his nuclear proposals are not commercially supported by private enterprise companies.

Instead, the Opposition has opted for a socialistic approach, whereby taxpayers cough up 100 percent of the cost for seven wholly government-owned and controlled nuclear reactors

Judging by recent overseas experience, those construction costs will be insanely expensive.

For instance, Mr Dutton indicated a preference for Westinghouse AP1000 reactors, but failed to mention the huge costs and construction delays of the most recent US build: Georgia’s Vogtle Units 3 and 4 AP1000 reactors.

They took 15 years to build at a cost of more than US $35 billion (AU $53.7 billion), double the projected timeline and cost.

This equates to US$15,766/kW of planned capacity (AU $24,180/kW): compared to solar PV at AU $1505/kW for solar PV and wind power at AU $5545/kW (fixed) and AU $6856/kW (floating).

The only other Westinghouse AP1000 nuclear project in USA was the two-unit V.C. Summer nuclear project in South Carolina, which went bankrupt in 2017 after years of mismanagement and corruption, and after construction costs blew out from US $9.8 billion to $25 billion (AU $37.5 billion).

Will Dutton’s nuclear reactors be a similar financial disaster for Australia?

Kenneth HIGGS,
Raymond Terrace.

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