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What about nuclear?


Nuclear reactors are not a viable solution for Australia’s energy needs, instead, Nuclear is a distraction from real action on the climate crisis and phasing out coal by 2030 in line with the climate science. This is because:

Nuclear will take too long to build

  • Experts say it could take 25 years to build nuclear reactors in Australia. This will mean no reduction in climate pollution in this crucial decade.

  • There is a ban on nuclear reactors and the federal level and there are state bans in Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria. The time frame to lift the bans federally and in each state, and set up a regulatory system for nuclear reactors means reactors will not reduce climate pollution this decade.

  • Former Chief Scientist Dr Alan Finkel: “By time you change the legislation, start investing, building the workforce, find the right nuclear technology, go through all the regulatory hurdles that will be required for both environmental considerations and social licence, it’s hard to see any nuclear in Australia in, say, less than 20 years.

Nuclear will cost too much

  • These are four major latest-generation reactors completed or near completion in Finland, the United States, the United Kingdom and France: Olkiluoto 3, Flamanville 3, Hinkley Point C, and Vogtle. Cost overruns at these recent reactors average over 300%, with more increases to come.

There is no long term solution for nuclear reactive waste

  • First Nations communities, particularly in remote areas, have borne the brunt of the harm caused by nuclear activities in Australia. First Nations communities continue to protest and take legal action against radioactive waste burial on country. There are communities who are still unable to access their land due to radioactive waste.

  • In 2019 Queensland LNP Senator Matt Canavan said that as the resources minister he struggled to find a home for low and intermediate-level radioactive waste from the sole nuclear reactor at Lucas Heights in Sydney's south-west that is used for the production of nuclear medicine. He said, “Obviously, if we can't find a long-term solution for that level of waste it's pretty hard to fathom that we could go beyond that for the production of nuclear energy that does produce a larger amount and more waste of a higher category to manage."



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