Skip to content

Dutton’s nuclear reactors are the latest climate delay

Solutions for Climate Australia 3 mins read

Media Release- for immediate use 6 March 2024

Climate advocacy organisation Solutions for Climate Australia today called on the Federal Liberal and National Parties to release policies that would reduce climate pollution this decade, not talk up unproven nuclear reactors.  

‘We are deeply concerned that the Federal Coalition parties are promoting nuclear reactors and other dangerous distractions that cannot reduce climate pollution this decade. We don’t need expensive, far-off possibilities that would produce radioactive waste if they were ever built.  Australia urgently needs clean renewable energy to reduce global warming,’ said Director of Solutions for Climate, Dr. Barry Traill.

‘Australians are also facing a cost-of-living crisis, with energy bills leaving families unable to cool their homes in rising heat. Electricity produced by nuclear reactors is the most expensive, while electricity from wind and solar is the cheapest*. We can address the twin crises of cost of living and climate change with transformative investments in renewable energy. 

‘The Federal Coalition proposal for nuclear reactors is a delay tactic. They have declared they plan to keep burning coal and gas until an unknown time in the future when nuclear reactors may come online. But international examples show huge delays and cost blow outs on large reactors. To give just one example - the latest British large-scale nuclear reactor is £17 billion over budget and now six years beyond its planned finish date.  If it’s ever completed it will be the most expensive power station in the world. 

‘Viable small-scale modular nuclear reactors - which Mr. Dutton is now selling as the climate solution - literally don’t exist.  Anywhere in the world.  There are a few prototypes in Russia and in China.  But attempts to make them commercially in the United States keep failing because of their huge cost.

‘To say small modular nuclear reactors offer a solution to replacing polluting coal and gas power stations is like saying that flying cars are a solution to congested roads.  That governments can now stop fixing roads, because a flying car salesperson has a plan for a cheap model…. sometime in the 2040s.

‘We have just been through another summer of extreme weather, with Australians killed and communities scarred and damaged by fires, heatwaves, floods and storms. Many people and communities already hit hard by inequality - especially rural communities, Indigenous communities and lower income suburbs - are now experiencing terrible risks and real losses because of climate change.  

‘We cannot understand why Federal Coalition leaders now regularly attack solar and wind energy projects. This campaigning by Federal Coalition leaders is in contrast to most of their state Liberal and National Party colleagues, who are largely supporting renewable powered industries. 

‘Australia has vast advantages over other countries with our solar and wind resources. This will provide and support the industry and jobs we need.  

‘The Liberal-National Coalition lost the last federal election in large part because of weak policies on climate and renewable energy.  They will repeat this loss at the next election if their climate policy continues to be set by denialists who push distractions such as nuclear reactors.

‘For a safe future for our children and their children, we call on Mr. Dutton and Mr. Littleproud to change course: To publicly acknowledge the science that climate change is occurring. To reject nuclear reactors and other distractions.  To instead develop policies that rapidly reduce climate emissions by replacing coal and gas, with cheap, clean, renewable energy so our world-leading industries can prosper and our households can thrive,’ finished Dr. Traill.

Notes for Editors

*Lazard LCOE version 16- chrome-extension://efaidnbmnnnibpcajpcglclefindmkaj/

Solutions for Climate is the Federal political engagement program of the Climate Action Network Australia. 


Contact details:

For media enquiries- Barry Traill 0448 793334

Media Outreach made fast, easy, simple.

Feature your press release on Medianet's News Hub every time you distribute with Medianet. Pay per release or save with a subscription.