Wrong reaction: Coalition’s nuclear dream offers no clarity on technology, cost, timing, or waste

Australian Conservation Foundation

In response to Opposition leader Peter Dutton’s announcement of his proposed nuclear reactor sites, the Australian Conservation Foundation’s nuclear analyst Dave Sweeney said:

“The Opposition leader has named seven places where he wants nuclear reactors to be built, but he hasn’t been clear about the technology he wants to use, the cost to taxpayers, the timing, or what would happen to the radioactive waste that stays toxic for thousands of years.

“Mr Dutton wants Australians to believe there will be nuclear reactors operating in a decade should he win the next election. Tell him he’s dreaming.

“There is no bipartisan support and there are deep community, legal and political obstacles facing the Coalition in every Australian jurisdiction.

“It’s clear the Opposition leader hasn’t given up on his dream of small modular reactors. Mr Dutton was vague about whether he is promoting big reactors or small reactors, which are not in commercial deployment anywhere in the world.

“Going nuclear would delay the transition away from coal and gas, increase household electricity bills, introduce the possibility of catastrophic accidents and create multi-generational risks associated with the management of high-level radioactive waste – almost certainly with a disproportionate burden on First Nations communities.

“Extensive modelling, including from CSIRO, shows nuclear is far-and-away the most expensive energy option. Taxpayers and households would bear the cost.

“Nuclear is a dangerous distraction to effective climate action. Australia is blessed with plentiful clean energy resources. Our energy future is renewable, not radioactive.”

A detailed new critique of nuclear energy, released today by ACF, shows:

  • Australian taxpayers would foot a massive bill for what is the slowest, most expensive form of power generation.
  • Australia’s leading insurance companies will not cover damage from a nuclear disaster.

/Public Release.