on air now

Traditional nuclear power no longer viable in Australia

A traditional nuclear power plant no longer has a place in Australia but there is an opportunity for a smaller nuclear power generator, according to an expert.

A parliamentary inquiry is looking into the feasibility of nuclear power in Australia as major coal power stations prepare to shut around the country.

Australia’s Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation former chairman Ziggy Switkowski led the Howard government’s review of nuclear power in 2006 and found there was a window of opportunity for nuclear generation.

He now tells Ross Greenwood that window is closing, but there may be another answer.

“I think the economics will no longer support investment in a thousand-megawatt nuclear plant.

“But the opportunities appear to be emerging for smaller modular reactors.”

He says the 100-megawatt reactor is not only safer but would be ten times cheaper than a large plant.

“The design at the moment suggests they are probably more than a hundred times safer than the existing big reactor fleet.

“The application around Australia would be, 100 megawatts would power a town of about 100,000 people.”

Click PLAY to hear the full interview