Nuclear plans no help for coal power workers: MEU

Mining and Energy Union

Nuclear power stations will not provide a pathway into new employment for workers in the coal-fired power industry and the current debate is a distraction from securing new jobs in regions affected by energy transition, the Mining and Energy Union said today.

With Peter Dutton’s Coalition announcing seven coal power stations as sites for nuclear power stations, the MEU said workers and communities needed viable new industries sooner than could be provided by nuclear.

“We are at a critical moment where workers are facing closures in the next few years.

“Even if nuclear energy was a popular option, according to the CSIRO, the earliest a large-scale nuclear plant could commence operations is no sooner than 2040.

“The clock is ticking; we need to be focusing our efforts on delivering an orderly transition for the thousands of workers and their communities who are staring down the barrel of the energy transition now.”

  • Eraring Power Station in Lake Macquarie is set to close in 2027.
  • Callide B Power Station in Central Queensland and Yallourn Power Station in the Latrobe Valley are set to close in 2028.
  • Bayswater Power Station in the Hunter Valley and Vales Point Power Station in Lake Macquarie are set to close in 2033.
  • Loy Yang A Power Station in Victoria is set to close in 2035.
  • Collie Power Station in Western Australia is set to close in 2027.
  • Muja Power Station in Western Australia is set to close in 2029.

“Power stations in the proposed sites for nuclear would be long closed before the plants would become operational, and if no support is provided, those workers and communities will have already packed up their lives and moved on.

“Now is not the time for distractions. We need to be acting to deliver an orderly transition that focuses on jobs, economic activity in affected regions and positive social outcomes for affected workers while we still have the chance.

“We are also disappointed the Coalition has announced this policy with no consultation with these coal power regions about whether they want a nuclear future.”

/Public Release.