All Technologies in the Mix to Reach Zero Emissions Target

Monday June 24, 2024 

Federal Member for Nicholls, Sam Birrell MP, says modern nuclear technology is an important component to a credible pathway to net zero by 2050.

The Coalition will establish a civil nuclear programme in Australia and build seven zero-emissions
nuclear power plants on the sites of former or current coal plants.

“The target of net zero by 2050 is important and Australia must play its role, but we also need to
ensure we have cheap and reliable energy to power our industries, strengthen our economy and
secure jobs for the future,” Mr Birrell said.

“The dual ambition of reaching net zero, which is important for climate abatement, and ensuring
Australia remains a globally competitive economy, which is important for prosperity and security,
requires bold thinking and an ‘all technology on table’ approach”.

“Nicholls is a processing and manufacturing powerhouse, but it was built on having access to cheap
and reliable power, something the all-renewables path being pursued by the Albanese government
cannot deliver.”

Mr Birrell said nuclear will replace the baseload power currently provided by coal, eliminating the
emissions but retaining the strength of our supply network.

Modern nuclear power plants with the latest technology are incredibly safe and will connect directly
to existing poles and wires.

“Labor’s renewables rollout risks major damage to rural environments with an additional 28,000
kilometres of power lines and a proliferation of large-scale solar and wind projects,” he said.

“Renewables must be a part of our energy mix but for every megawatt hour of electricity produced
wind requires 360 times more land and solar 75 times more land than nuclear.”

“By reducing impacts on our landscape, zero emissions nuclear will not only protect regional
communities, but our environment and wildlife.”

Nuclear plants have a typical lifespan of 80-100 years while solar and wind need to be replaced
around every 20 years.

“The renewable energy replacement cost, and recycling or disposal of millions of tonnes solar and
wind waste will factor into future energy costs,” Mr Birrell said.

“Of course, there are many issues to work through in relation to cost, safety and design.

But big thinking to resolve big problems requires our nation to engage in a mature discussion – and I am disappointed that so far that is not what I have seen from a number of Labor MPs”.