Does nuclear energy have a future in Australia?

In my Economics Explored episode on decarbonisation, I quoted Bill Gates from his latest book regarding the one-sentence case for nuclear energy:

…it’s the only carbon-free energy source that can reliably deliver power day and night, through every season, almost anywhere on earth, that has been proven to work on a large scale.

One of my Adept Economics crew members Ben Scott has recently undertaken a research project on the potential for nuclear energy in Australia, and he’s posted a short summary on the Adept website:

Does nuclear energy have a future in Australia?

Ben concludes his summary article by noting:

Nuclear reactors are a prospect worth investigating and potentially developing in Australia. Technological advancements in SMRs [Small Modular Reactors] that offer enhanced safety, more efficient construction processes, and employability opportunities for former coal-fired power plant workers mean that nuclear energy is becoming more appealing, especially in the Australian context.

Ben’s research was supported by the Australian National Internships Program, which arranged for Ben to be placed in Senator Matt Canavan’s office. Senator Canavan has argued that Australia must keep nuclear power ‘on the table’, which is fair enough. Politically, it’s going to be an uphill battle arguing for nuclear power in Australia I suspect, but we ought to start having a national conversation about it.

1955 Atoms for Peace stamp from US Postal Service.

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