Letter to the Editor: Nuclear – Cheaper than renewables?

DEAR News Of The Area,

IN Letters to the Editor, 30 May 2024, Kennith Higgs, Raymond Terrace, quoted the CSIRO GENCOST Report to discredit the Federal Opposition’s strong support for nuclear energy.

GENCOST is inaccurate.

It has been widely criticised for claiming that renewables are cheaper than nuclear as a source of reliable energy.
GENCOST uses data plate capacity to attribute capital costs to generation technology.

Data plate capacity is a measure of the amount of electricity generated under perfect wind and solar conditions 24/7.

On average, wind and solar rarely achieve more than one third of that capacity.

Therefore, the GENCOST figures for wind turbines and grid solar must be multiplied by three to convert the data plate capital cost to a realistic generation capital cost.

Additionally, turbines and grid solar only last for 20 years whereas nuclear plants can be safely operated beyond 70 years.

So, renewable infrastructure costs must be multiplied again by at least three to put any price comparison on an ‘apples for apples’ basis with nuclear.

What does this mean for Australia’s energy future?

The turbines, grid solar and batteries currently in use, or under construction, will all need to be replaced by 2050.

Australian taxpayers will need to find the hundreds of billions of dollars again by 2050, and then again by 2070.

If we start building large scale nuclear concurrently, we can avoid these massive replacement costs and achieve cheap 24/7 energy.

Australia needs to legalise nuclear power (the norm in developed nations) and start building large-scale nuclear power plants.

This will provide us with cheap and clean electricity for what we demand now and into the future, without the vast environmental destruction and obscene costs.

Now is the time to start building large-scale nuclear power stations for 2050.

Tea Gardens.

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