14 September 2015
Nuke power too expensive, too inflexible: energy expert
Leading energy expert Dr Mark Diesendorf will be in Adelaide today to give evidence before the Nuclear Fuel Cycle Royal Commission.
"Nuclear power is simply not a practical option for South Australia. It's hugely expensive compared to the alternatives and its inflexibility, like coal, makes it a poor partner for your state's high proportion of renewable energy," said Dr Diesendorf.
"My research shows that South Australia has a real opportunity to get to 100% renewable energy generation before any nuclear power plant could ever be built here," he said.
The Conservation Council of SA commissioned Dr Diesendorf from the University of NSW to research whether SA could reach 100% renewable energy generation by 20301. His team found that it was feasible and affordable.
“Australia’s National Electricity Market could be operated reliably on 100% commercially available renewable energy technologies”, Dr Diesendorf said. “Such an ecologically sustainable, renewable energy system would be affordable and could create thousands of new jobs in manufacturing and installation.”
Distinguished economist Professor Ross Garnaut told the Royal Commission last week that nuclear power is unlikely to become economically viable in South Australia as the state's “exceptional” renewable energy sources become cheaper.
Conservation SA chief Craig Wilkins said “As each day passes, the gap between the cost of renewables and the cost of nuclear power grows. Renewables are getting cheaper, while the cost of nuclear power - already massive - rises ever higher.
"Just last week, French nuclear giant Areva conceded that the cost estimate for a new reactor at Flamanville has reached a staggering $16.8 billion – three times the initial estimate.”2
"When we're already a world leader in renewable power. nuclear power simply doesn't make sense for our state," he said.
Dr Mark Diesendorf, University of NSW: 0402 940 892
Craig Wilkins, Conservation SA: 0417 879 439