Nuclear power: crossing the ideological divide

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Nick Spencer

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Nick Spencer

1 March 2023

5:30 AM

Europe is in the midst of an energy crisis. The abject failure of renewables to meet basic power requirements combined with the abandonment of reliable energy sources has made a recipe for disaster and it looks as if Australia is destined to follow suit.

Australia has shut down almost all of its coal-fired power stations with the remaining 24 set to be retired in the coming years. Albanese’s government has set an emissions reduction target of 43 per cent by the end of the decade and plans to boost the share of renewables in the national electricity market to 82 per cent in the same time frame.

These commitments are all a part of our national commitment to achieve Net Zero emissions by 2050, a reckless political move designed by politicians for politicians so they can virtue signal with their friends at extravagant dinner parties and leave the majority of Australians to deal with skyrocketing power bills and crippling energy shortages.

You don’t have to be a tinfoil hat-wearing climate change sceptic to take issue with these policies. They are entirely based in ideology with absolutely no regard for practical outcomes.

Don’t get me wrong. The problem isn’t Australia’s energy transition itself. It’s that we’re transitioning away from reliable sources of energy to impotent alternatives that we can safely conclude will struggle to keep the lights on in an unrealistic time frame.

So my solution to this mess?

Mr Albanese, I’d like to introduce you to nuclear power, the energy alternative that our politicians seem to roll their eyes at. Nuclear energy is the golden solution to the world’s looming energy crisis and ticks all the boxes on our hunt for the perfect power source. Not only is it affordable, secure, and cheap but it bridges the divide between the two sides of politics, both of which one could argue have been extraordinarily childish in approaching this issue.

As Former Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said when addressing climate change, ‘An issue of physics has been turned in Australia and the United States into an issue of identity or values or belief.’

I couldn’t agree more.

Both sides of the political spectrum must tuck their ideological differences to bed and confront this topic with sheer objectivity. Collectively, we must consult engineering and economics as opposed to identity politics to impartially identify the energy source that can efficiently power our industries and heat our homes whilst producing the least amount of externalities. In that case, we have a radioactive winner.

Contrary to what its critics spout, nuclear power is not only a clean source of energy, but is in fact cleaner than most renewables. A typical 1,000-megawatt nuclear facility needs a little more than 1 square mile to operate whilst wind farms on average require 360 times that and solar photovoltaic plants 75 times that to produce the same amount of electricity.

It is also an entirely emissions-free energy source whose implementation is already saving the planet. According to the Nuclear Energy Institute (NEI), the United States avoided more than 471 million metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions in 2020 because of its nuclear power plants that account for just 18.9 per cent of total electricity generation. That’s the equivalent of removing 100 million cars from the road! In America, nuclear energy alone has offset more than all renewables combined. Nuclear power generation worldwide annually avoids over 2 billion tonnes of C02 emissions.

It really makes you wonder, doesn’t it?

If the green zealots who constantly take to the streets because of their supposed concern for the earth really did care about saving the planet and its people, you’d think they’d pounce at the chance to adopt an energy source that not only emits zero carbon but also safeguards vital industries and the employment opportunities they offer.

You would expect the environmental puritans who claim to cherish science and objectivity so much to accept the countless studies conducted that crown nuclear as the cleanest, most reliable, and economically viable alternative to fossil fuels as fact.

Yet no… Quite the opposite has taken place. Just ask environmentalist Zion Lights. Zion was a leading spokesperson for Extinction Rebellion who, after consulting numerous reports on the matter, particularly those done by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), concluded that renewables simply aren’t a realistic solution to the energy dilemma and that the world should instead embrace nuclear power. As a result, Zion was hounded out of the movement and is all the better for it.

These radical organisations and movements push for so-called green ‘solutions’ that have no regard for sensible economics and whose leaders automatically reject any nuance offered to the energy debate.

As Zion recalled, ‘When you join the environmental movement it is just completely standard that you’re anti-nuclear. It’s like taking communion at church.’

Then there’s the sheer reality that renewables are a feeble source of energy, a laughably undeniable fact at this point. They may be endorsed by countless Australian politicians but they are incapable of passing the pub test.

Not only are renewables unreliable due to their sporadic ability to generate power, they are simply far too expensive. Nations with the largest amounts of renewable energy generation, such as Germany and Denmark, face the highest energy prices in the Western world. Keep in mind, this is after the effects of the endless subsidies their governments spoon-feed them with to prop them up in the marketplace.

Nobody should be surprised. Did anyone actually believe that we’d be able to power industrial economies with sunbeams and sea breezes? The jury is in.

The only thing legally preventing Australia’s adoption of nuclear power are four words – ‘a nuclear power plant’ – that exist in the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999. Removing these four words would introduce Australia to the most formidable energy source it has ever seen and let’s face it, who better is there to lead the atomic charge? We are the only G20 nation where its use for power is banned by Federal Law despite possessing around 40 per cent of the world’s uranium reserves and being its third largest global exporter.

It goes without saying that the Australian people would like to utilise their own resources to keep energy prices low and bolster the industries inside their own nation all while saving the planet. Instead, we export all of our uranium offshore to make some quick cash.

If Australia does indeed want to pioneer itself as one of the nations leading the charge towards Net Zero emissions, nuclear energy is the best way of getting there.

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Published by Nelle

I am interested in writing short stories for my pleasure and my family's but although I have published four family books I will not go down that path again but still want what I write out there so I will see how this goes

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