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Time To Talk Nuclear Power

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Newly appointed Chair of the Standing Committee for Environment and Energy Ted O’Brien, has tabled a report in the House of Representatives regarding Nuclear power.

Ted O’Brien is a Liberal Member for Fairfax, which covers parts of the Sunshine Coast in QLD. He has been appointed by Opposition Leader Peter Dutton.

His tabled report, named ‘Not with your approval: a way for nuclear technology in Australia.’

The committee has reached a number of conclusions in this report.

Mr O’Brien outlined the committee’s response in his speech in Parliament.

The transition to reliable, affordable baseload power with low emissions is to be considered with all types of technology to be considered. There are 3 recommendations that the committee wants looked at.

The first, nuclear energy to be considered in Australia’s future energy mix. No need to race ahead. With 0 emission baseload technology counts for 11% of the world’s electricity generation, it should be put on the table for fair, considered future mix, post 2030.

The 2nd recommendation, is a body of work to be undertaken, including economic assessment, technological assessment, and a readiness assessment. Assessments have never before been done in an Australian context as well as a two-way program engaging the Australian public.

The third recommendation is a partial and conditional lift of the moratorium on nuclear energy. The partial to stay for old nuclear technology, and a lift for the new and emerging technologies such as generational 3 and generational 4, which are small modular reactors and conditional, subject to a positive technological assessment and prior informed consent of local communities that may be impacted by the building of nuclear power plants or waste centres.

To summarise, a definite no to old nuclear technology, such as Chernobyl and Fukushima, but a conditional yes to new and emerging technologies.

30 countries have already adopted new nuclear technologies with 5 more countries joining up.

Mr O’Brien has said that this needs bipartisan support and the conversation needs to happen.

The report has been tabled and will be debated at the next sitting date.

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