Australian opposition leader allows party to set nuclear policy

Australian opposition leader Peter Dutton has opened the door for the Liberal Nations to put nuclear energy on the table for future policy. The proposal was previously dismissed as the “most expensive form of energy” by Energy Minister Chris Bowen.

An internal process to explore the potential for “advanced, next-generation nuclear technology” was undertaken, chaired by Ted O’Brien, Shadow Minister for Climate Change and Energy, and submitted a report to the Union Policy Committee. I’ll submit it. O’Brien has long advocated nuclear energy.

“The time has come for Australia to have a frank and informed discussion about the benefits and costs of nuclear energy,” Dutton said in a statement.

“The current energy crisis demonstrates the importance of putting more dispatchable electricity into the grid. Average wholesale electricity prices in the second quarter of this year were three times higher than in the same period last year. has been described as ‘unprecedented’ by Australian energy market operators. ”

Dutton said renewable energy sources are playing a role in Australia’s energy mix but need to be balanced against investments in dispatchable energy generators. He said about 60% of Australia’s coal-fired power plants could shut down by 2030, putting homes and businesses at risk of blackouts.

“Nuclear energy is a mature and proven technology. It can provide the reliable, emissions-free baseload electricity Australia needs. To do so would cost the world an additional US$1.6 trillion.”

Opposition leaders also pointed to existing nuclear research, already underway at Sydney’s Lucas Heights, as a further development, as well as plans to increase nuclear power in the UK.

Climate change countermeasures in pipelines

His position comes as the Federal Labor government, with the support of the left-wing Australian Green Party, pushes into law a stringent emission reduction target.

The focus of the 2022 Climate Change Bill is to set a 43% emission reduction target by 2030. This is up from the previous target of 26-28% under Morrison.

The implication of the bill is that the federal government will overhaul its energy grid to be primarily supported by renewable energy sources, including wind, solar and hydro, and potentially backed up by batteries and gas. . About 64.67% of Australia’s energy grid is currently powered by coal-fired power plants.

But Energy Minister Bowen is reluctant to support coal and nuclear power.

“Nuclear is the most expensive form of energy. We are facing a cost of living crisis and energy prices are through the roof. [the opposition’s] A big bright idea? Get the most expensive form of energy we can think of. ”

Daniel Y. Teng


Daniel Y. Teng is based in Sydney. His focus is on national politics such as federal politics, the COVID-19 response and Australia-China relations. Any tips? Please contact [email protected]