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Nuclear industry to push for Australia to adopt ‘clean, affordable power’ via The Guardian

The nuclear industry will lobby for nuclear energy in Australia, saying the prime minister, Malcolm Turnbull, should embrace the technology as a way to slash greenhouse gas emissions.

The Australian Nuclear Association (ANA) will accompany Danny Roderick, chief executive of the leading US nuclear technology firm Westinghouse, to talk to government ministers and business leaders in Canberra and Sydney next week.

Roderick said nuclear power could help produce “clean, reliable, affordable electricity for more people”.

“We’d like to help Australia explore ways to create jobs and economic opportunity that are also good for the environment,” he said.

[…]

Research conducted by the University of New South Wales last year found that it was feasible to transition to 100% renewable energy without the need for nuclear power.

Separate analysis conducted by the federal government in 2013 put the cost of 100% renewable energy to be between $219bn and $332bn by 2050.

Jim Green, an anti-nuclear campaigner at Friends of the Earth, said it was unlikely that nuclear would ever be feasible in Australia.

“Nuclear is expensive and it’s getting more expensive as time goes on,” he said. “The start-up costs would be spectacular. Once you involve the employment of thousands of specialist scientists and technicians, land acquisition and a new regulatory system you’d almost certainly need government subsidies.

“There is no reality to this. There’s no technology that is vaguely acceptable to Australia available at a cost of $5.5bn a reactor.

“We don’t need a bridge from fossil fuels to renewables, we just need renewables. It’s viable and affordable. There is a lot of rhetoric around a nuclear renaissance, but not much else.”

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