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Dutton releases proposed Coalition Nuclear Plant Sites

by | Jun 19, 2024 | Politics | 0 comments

The federal election battle lines have been drawn following Wednesday morning’s announcement of the Coalition’s proposed sites for nuclear power plants.

Opposition Leader Peter Dutton announced a coalition government will build 7 plants at existing coal-fired power stations at Loy Yang Power Station in Victoria’s Gippsland area, Callide and Tarong in Queensland, Mount Piper at Lithgow in central west NSW and Liddell in NSW’s Hunter region.

Mr Dutton says they want to utilise the existing assets that they’ve got, and the poles and wires that are used at the moment on the coal-fired power station sites … to distribute the energy generated from the latest generation nuclear reactors.

However, Federal Treasurer Jim Chalmers slammed the plan at the Energy Nation Forum in Sydney this morning saying the Coalitions’ plan will cost Australians more money.

The nuclear power plants will form part of an “energy mix” that also includes gas and renewables, which the opposition claims will help provide a round-the-clock source of baseload power.

“It allows us to put enough nuclear into the system such that it provides the firming power and such that it brings downward pressure on prices,” Mr Dutton said.

But even if the opposition wins government, according to their plan, it will take another 10 to 12 years from an official decision for nuclear electricity to enter the grid with the first two nuclear plants expected to be completed between 2035 and 2037.

This means Australia could still reach net-zero emissions by 2050, Mr Dutton said.

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has slammed the plan and says it overlooks Australia’s renewable energy potential.

“It’ll be a taxpayer funded nuclear fantasy,” he told ABC radio.

“Here in Australia, we have the best solar resources in the world.

“This makes no economic sense, as well as leaving us in a position of energy insecurity because of the time that it will take to roll out a nuclear reactor.”

The latest edition of the benchmark GenCost report, released by the CSIRO and the Australian Energy Market Operator in May, found the cost of building a large-scale nuclear power plant would be at least $8.5 billion.

Mr Dutton said he will have more to say about his plan’s cost “in due course”.

The coalition is also attempting to assuage health concerns by insisting modern nuclear power plants are “incredibly safe”.

Australian Associated Press

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