Desperate Gillard deceives: Nuclear not “economically efficient”

Posted on Wed 12/01/2010 by

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Andrew BoltBy Andrew Bolt

The Gillard mentioned in the title is Julia Gillard, the current Prime Minister of Australia. She is the party leader of the Australian Labor Party. As part of their Labor manifesto, or whatever it’s called, they are diametrically opposed to anything that even mentions the word ‘nuclear’, and while ever they remain in Government, or even in Opposition, anything nuclear will be totally banned here in Australia. However, there are now calls coming from within her own Party for Nuclear Electrical Power Generation to be placed on the table as an option, if this CO2 induced Climate Change/Global Warming madness is to be pursued at every turning. Knowing full well the backlash that will inevitably result from her own members saying that ‘nuclear electrical power’ should be an option, she has sought to hose down what is coming from her own people to appease her supporters. At the end of this post I include a link to some detailed costing structures as a comparison…..TonyfromOz.

This deceitful rubbish, from a woman wasting millions on solar and wind power, and another $100 million a year on clean coal research:

JULIA Gillard has played down a push by senior Labor MPs for an inquiry into nuclear power, saying it’s not an economically efficient source of energy…

The Prime Minister said today that she welcomed the debate on nuclear power, but warned that those arguing for its consideration in Australia’s future energy mix faced a “tough argument”…

Ms Gillard said that in Australia ”nuclear power doesn’t stack up as an economically efficient source of power”.

Nuclear is more expensive than coal-fired power, but it’s a fraction of the cost – and infinitely more reliable – than solar and wind, as shown in this graph.


Just how deceitful is Gillard’s response?  Martin Nicholson, Tom Biegler and Barry Brook conducted a meta-review of 25 peer-reviewed studies of electricity generating technologies published in Energy and say nothing beats nuclear if you want to slash the emissions now caused by coal-fired power. Just compare:

It might come as a surprise to some that wind, solar photovoltaic and engineered geothermal systems (EGS), also known as hot rocks, did not qualify to be fit-for-service for baseload. Wind and solar PV need either extensive gas backup or large-scale energy storage for baseload operation…

The wind/storage solution could only compete at a carbon price above $350 a tonne of carbon dioxide (to make it competitive with coal-fired power), well above anything being contemplated. EGS is a possible future baseload technology, but it is still too early to estimate performance and costs with the degree of reliability we required…

Leaving aside nuclear for the moment (as it is presently banned in Australia), the cheapest solution is combined cycle gas turbine (natural gas) with carbon capture and storage, which needs a carbon price of just over $30. To justify building either of the coal technologies (PF or IGCC) with carbon capture and storage for new plants would require a carbon price over $40. Retrofitting existing coal plants with carbon capture and storage might have different costs.

The problem is, carbon capture and storage may only make sense if you take a short-term view of emission reductions. While it can deliver the probable reduction targets until 2030, the current technology will not deliver the tougher emission targets recommended for 2050…

The only renewable technology that met our fit-for-service criteria was solar thermal with heat storage and gas backup for cloudy days… (U)sing solar thermal power to replace coal would require a carbon price over $150.

The standout technology, from a cost perspective, is nuclear power. From the eight nuclear cost studies we reviewed (all published in the past decade, and adjusted to 2009 dollars), the median cost of electricity from current technology nuclear plants was just above new coal plants with no carbon price. Having the lowest carbon emissions of all the fit-for-service technologies, nuclear remains the cheapest solution at any carbon price. Importantly, it is the only fit-for-service baseload technology that can deliver the 2050 emission reduction targets.

In 2006, Ziggy Switkowski presented the Umpner Report to the Howard Government on nuclear power, and it reached the same conclusion. The graph above is drawn from that Report.

Is Gillard irresponsibly ill-informed, or just telling convenient untruths?

TonyfromOz adds…..

For detailed costing structures and a comparison with those flavour of the month renewable power sources, take the link to this Post.

Nuclear Electrical Power Generation – Why The Fuss? (Part Eight)

Andrew Bolt is a journalist and columnist writing for The Herald Sun in Melbourne Victoria Australia.

Read more excellent articles from Andrew Bolt’s Blog

Andrew Bolt’s columns appear in Melbourne’s Herald Sun, Sydney’s Daily Telegraph and Adelaide’s Advertiser. He runs the most-read political blog in Australia and is a regular commentator on Channel 9′s Today show and ABC TV’s Insiders. He will be heard from Monday to Friday at 8am on the breakfast show of new radio station MTR 1377, and his book Still Not Sorry remains very widely read.

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