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Nuclear power a costly relic, US economist warns commission via The Australian

Vermont Law School senior fellow for economic analysis Mark Cooper has called on South Australia’s Nuclear Fuel Cycle Royal Commission to ­reject nuclear­ power on the grounds that natural gas-fired generation is more cost-competitive.

The former Fulbright fellow’s submission to the royal commission argues that the rapid development of renewable energy technology renders nuclear power a 20th-century “relic” that will be outdated before a reactor can be built in Australia.

“Nuclear power is an inferior resource that has no place in a least-cost portfolio to meet the need for electricity in a low-carbon environment,” he says. “Before a new nuclear reactor could be brought online, efficiency, ­renewables, other distributed resources and the deployment of the physical and institutional infrastructure to build an intelligent electricity system should well be on their way towards creating a new 21st-century system.”

Nuclear reactors can take up to 15 years to build before becoming operational.


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