| March 4, 2024

Media Release: Nuclear Power Fails Election Test

The Smart Energy Council is calling on the Liberal and National Parties to abandon their positions on nuclear power after the weekend’s Dunkley by-election loss.

Pro-nuclear Liberal candidate Nathan Conroy failed to re-take the seat for the Coalition, with Labor’s Jodi Belyea winning the by-election with a 2PP margin of more than five per cent. Chief Executive of the Smart Energy Council John Grimes said the Liberals had failed to assure the electorate their nuclear power policy was a cost effective or safe option. Indeed, it was the exact opposite.

“The Liberals wouldn’t rule out placing a nuclear reactor in the electorate,” Mr Grimes said. “The public needs to know where the Coalition would build reactors and associated waste facilities and who will pay the bill.

“Nuclear power plants need to be built close to water, and close to the markets they serve. This could see a nuclear plant in Wagga Wagga, Mildura, Shepparton, Sunshine Coast, Townsville or Penrith. Are people in areas like these really putting their hands up for a nuclear reactor? They should know their local MPs may well be volunteering them to host a nuclear site.

“We need a discussion about what this would mean for the standard of living in nuclear towns. Last year, a radioactive capsule the size of a ten-cent piece literally fell off a truck in WA. This triggered a massive week-long operation in the Pilbara to find it. Imagine if this had happened in a built-up area, close to schools and hospitals. The Coalition is only telling half the story, which may endanger the people it represents. Let’s leave the nuclear though-bubble behind and embrace our abundant renewable resources.”

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