MCA Endorses Coalition’s Nuclear Policy for Australia’s Energy Future

The Coalition’s nuclear policy, announced today, provides a crucial pathway for Australia’s industries to reduce emissions cost-effectively while maintaining access to reliable baseload power.

Building a diverse energy mix that meets both environmental and economic goals is essential for keeping vital industries competitive amidst significant cost pressures and ambitious emissions targets.

High future demand for reliable and clean energy means that all energy types, including nuclear power will be indispensable in meeting Australia’s future energy needs.

A technology neutral approach to energy solutions is necessary to tackle the substantial challenge of decarbonising the economy while maintaining its competitiveness and productivity.

Australia’s strong global reputation for non-proliferation and its world-class uranium industry, which includes almost a third of global uranium reserves and supplies around 10 per cent of global uranium used for zero-emissions electricity, positions it well to lead in nuclear energy development.

Nuclear energy stands out as a reliable, zero-emissions, 24/7 baseload energy source that can deliver long-term stability and support for Australia’s miners, manufacturers and communities.

Nuclear energy complements renewables energy generation to deliver industrial heat requirements also for maintaining Australia’s credibility with trading partners to attract the investment needed to unlock the country’s mineral wealth.

It is time to move beyond outdated anti-nuclear sentiments.

Many G20 nations either rely on nuclear energy or are actively developing new reactors.

Australia must look at the sensible option, as demonstrated by the United States, which has recently identified 120 locations for new reactors without succumbing to fearmongering and misinformation.

Nuclear plants have a lifespan of 60 to 100 years, far exceeding some current assumptions of just 30 years.

This longer time frame provides substantial benefits for consumers, offering affordable, clean, and reliable power for decades.

It allows for a cost-effective transition to net zero by leveraging existing transmission and storage infrastructure, serving as a partner to traditional renewables, not a replacement.

Given expanding electricity demand coming from EVs and other electrified processes, converting several traditional power generating sites across Australia from fossil fuels to nuclear is a sensible option for both the country and the economic future of those communities.

Large industrialised nations worldwide recognise that achieving net zero with wind and solar alone is improbable without nuclear and hydroelectricity given the scale of the transition and additional electricity demand.

The Federal Government’s forthcoming changes to the EPBC Act present an opportunity for Parliament to act in the national interest and amend legislation to remove the current ban on nuclear energy.

Lifting the ban on nuclear energy will empower businesses and energy users to reduce emissions without compromising competitiveness.

The time is now to trust the science and remove political constraints.

The Australian government needs to take the nuclear option seriously, as the rest of the world is, and lift the ban so Australian families and businesses can enjoy cheap, clean, reliable electricity for decades to come.

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