In the space of the last 48 hours, the Queensland government has released its 30 Year Electricity Strategy Discussion Paper where it says;
The challenge of nuclear energy (Discussion Paper pg 20)
The Queensland Government does not see any need for nuclear energy in Queensland. Queensland has abundant, low cost energy resources such as coal and gas and, with falling electricity demand, will unlikely require the construction of a large base-load generator in the next decade. In addition, the use of nuclear power for electricity generation is currently prohibited by both state and federal government legislation.
According to the International Energy Agency’s World Energy Outlook 2012, nuclear power globally is an important and proven technology. Nuclear technology also continues to develop with improvements in the efficiency and safety of existing technology. However, there remains a number of significant issues to be addressed before nuclear power should be considered as an alternative in Australia. These include:
- community, safety and environmental concerns (including disposal of waste)
- potential cost and emissions reduction benefits
- required regulatory frameworks
- processes for site selection
- expertise required to support the emergence of a nuclear industry
- capital market challenges and the potential risk allocation between plant owners and the state.
So while the short-sighted use of fossil fuel is still promoted in what is meant to be a long-term strategy, it's also full steam ahead to progress uranium mining. Here's the Media release by Minister Cripps and the 'recommencement story' so far
ACF's media release 12Sept13 and background report Yellowcake Fever: exposing the uranium industry’s economic myths highlights the dangers and flaws in this ill-conceived direction
Queensland's renewable energy industry could certainly do with the kind of support and 'special treatment' being extended to the uranium mining industry. Could it be something to do with royalties?
Please take the opportunity comment on the 30 Year Electricity Strategy Discussion Paper. Submissions are due by 6th December