Nuclear Politics

Australia / Study Says Nuclear Is A Realistic Option

By David Dalton
26 June 2019

Study Says Nuclear Is A Realistic Option
The Opal research reactor near Sydney is the only operational reactor in Australia. Photo courtesy Ansto.
Nuclear power should be considered as a realistic option to confront Australia’s deepening energy crisis, according to a study from Industry SuperFunds.

The report, ‘Fixing the Energy Crisis,’ said investment in nuclear energy should not be sidelined simply because of its controversial nature.

It said that an early step would be to ensure that Australia has the technical capacity to engage with nuclear energy. “One important step would be to build some capacity to operate a nuclear facility,” it concluded.

“There is no single simple solution to Australia’s energy trilemma right now,” said Industry SuperFunds Australia chief economist Stephen Anthony. “There is no reason to exclude any of the major technological contenders – solar, wind, combined-cycle gas, pumped and even nuclear – from the current or future energy mix,” he said.

The report comes as some members of the ruling coalition are pushing for an inquiry into the viability of nuclear energy and the federal energy and environment ministers have left the door open to lifting Australia’s ban on nuclear power as part of a review of environmental regulations.

A recent survey suggested that Australians are slightly more inclined to support nuclear power plants than oppose them, but a majority do not want to live near one.

The only nuclear reactor in operation in Australia is the Opal reactor at Lucas Heights, which is used for research and the production of radioisotopes.

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