Australia Nationals launch push for nuclear energy in Australia

10:25  23 june  2021
10:25  23 june  2021 Source:   dailymail.co.uk

China: an EPR nuclear reactor under

 China: an EPR nuclear reactor under © supplied by the China, nuclear point , EP Q EU is going to the Taishan nuclear power plant in southern China? CNN reported a possible radioactive leak on the site, which has two French technology EPR reactors, built by EDF . The US media would build on a letter sent by Framatome, a subsidiary of EDF, the US Department of Energy, to advance this information.

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The federal government is reportedly considering a move to lift the ban on nuclear energy to help reduce carbon emissions while providing reliable power.

According to The Australian, ministers from both the Liberal and National parties have discussed taking the policy to the next election, which is due by May.

The policy could provide the Coalition a pathway towards finally ending its internal fight over climate change which has been the nation's thorniest political issue in recent years and reared its head again this week when coal-supporter Barnaby Joyce reclaimed Nationals leadership.

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This is because it provides a way to reach net zero emissions while increasing jobs in regional areas and the resources industry, giving coal-miners an alternative when the coal-fired power stations gradually close down as they become less viable.

'If you want zero emissions, nuclear power does it,' Mr Joyce said in February.

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One of his key supporters, Queensland Senator Matt Canavan, even told Sky News earlier this year that there was a 'very good' chance nuclear reactors would be built in Australia within two decades.

However, Scott Morrison has said nuclear power is only an option if the Labor Party provides bi-partisan support - and there is slim chance of that occurring.

Labor is divided on nuclear with Hunter MP Joel Fitzgibbon insisting it provides 'reliable and affordable energy to households and industry alike' while the Left of the party, and the Greens, say it is dangerous and prefer solar and wind.

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They also say nuclear power is too expensive, because large plants can cost around $40billion to build, and damaging to the environment because radioactive nuclear waste has to be buried underground.

Rob Parker, the founder of the Nuclear for Climate Australia Project, told Daily Mail Australia that nuclear power, which produces no carbon emissions, is needed for a low-carbon economy and urged politicians to stop treating it as a 'political football'.

Australia has about a third of the world's uranium - the element needed to produce nuclear energy in reactors - and accounts for about 10 per cent of the world's exports with only Canada and Kazakhstan producing more.

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That amount is enough to power 97 per cent of Australia's electricity needs, but nuclear energy has been banned since 1998 under a policy that puts Australia at odds with most developed nations.

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The US has 94 nuclear reactors, France has 56, China has 49, Russia has 38, Canada has 19 and the UK has 15. France produces 70 per cent of its energy needs from nuclear power.

Nuclear campaigner Mr Parker said the federal government needs to remove the nuclear ban if it wants to achieve net zero emissions while maintaining reliable power.

What is nuclear energy?

Nuclear energy comes from splitting atoms in a reactor to heat water into steam, turn a turbine and generate electricity.

Ninety-four nuclear reactors in 28 US states generate nearly 20 percent of America's electricity, all without carbon emissions because reactors use uranium, not fossil fuels.

These plants are always on: well-operated to avoid interruptions and built to withstand extreme weather, supporting the grid 24/7.

Source: Nuclear Energy Institute

'If you want a proven way to get low carbon then nuclear energy has already proven itself,' he told Daily Mail Australia.

'No nation anywhere has achieved ultra low carbon by relying on wind and solar alone.'

Mr Parker also said nuclear power was more sustainable than solar and wind because reactors last for 80 years while solar panels and wind turbines need to be replaced every 10 to 15 years.

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  Facing the issue Good morning, early birds. Mask rules have ramped up in New South Wales after a COVID-19 cluster across its eastern suburbs yesterday increased to nine, and Nationals leader Michael McCormack could today be facing a leadership challenge by Barnaby Joyce. It's the news you need to know, with Chris Woods.NSW Health has now identified 25 priority exposure sites spanning Barangaroo, Bondi Junction, Drummoyne, Fairy Meadow, Newtown, North Ryde, Northmead, Redfern, Shellharbour, Sydney, Tempe, and Vaucluse, as well as dozens of other casual contact venues and public transport routes.

He said 18 large reactors or 60 smaller ones across 15 sites - which have to be near the sea for access to cooling water - could provide 75 per cent of the nation's electricity needs while solar, wind and pumped hydro could meet the rest.

Disasters at Chernobyl in the Soviet Union in 1986 and Fukushima in Japan in 2011 have increased wariness about nuclear power - but Mr Parker said it could be managed safely.

'In western reactors you cannot have an uncontrolled explosion because they do not contain suitably high levels of uranium enrichment,' he said.

'They get bloody hot but they can't go boom.'

He also said the amount of nuclear waste produced in the process was 'really quite small' and could either be buried 500 metres underground or burnt and then stored.

Mr Parker urged politicians to move away from 'scare campaigns' and seriously consider nuclear power as an option.

'The message is already moving fairly well in terms of Coalition politicians. In terms of Labor they are using the nuclear issue as part of their political gamesmanship.

'Let's not make it an electoral football and get the politicians to fight about something else like they do in Canada, the UK and elsewhere,' he said.

A parliamentary inquiry in 2019 found that nuclear energy should be on the table for consideration as part of our future energy mix - but only if the Australian public agrees.

The report by the Standing Committee on Environment and Energy recommended a partial lift of the moratorium on nuclear energy to ban Generations I, II and III reactors while allowing Generations III+ and IV.

Labor claims power produced by nuclear energy would be three times more expensive than 'cleaner and safer' renewable energy and could lead to nuclear disasters.

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China has 100-plus new nuclear missile silos under construction, satellite images show: report .
In what experts say may signal plans to significantly expand its nuclear capabilities, China has begun constructing more than 100 new missile silos in a desert area in the western part of the country, according to a report. Work at 119 sites was clearly visible and resembled existing missile-launch facilities, according to satellite images obtained by the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies in Monterey, California, The Washington Post reported Wednesday. The sites were not the only areas in China where launch facilities were under construction, one nuclear watcher told the newspaper.

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