Wong Rejects Nuclear Power, Backs Renewable Energy

Earlier this week, mining company Rio Tinto advised the Government that nuclear power is the cleanest, safest and lowest cost alternative energy and should consider all energy sources if it is to meet its target emissions reduction of 60 per cent by 2050.  Former CEO of Telstra and current head of the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO), Ziggy Switkowski, understandably backed this view.
 
However, Minister for Climate Change and Water, Penny Wong, said yesterday, "We have a very clear view that Australia is blessed with conventional energy resources, as well as renewable energy resources and our focus as a nation should be on developing those technologies in renewable energy. That’s why we have got our renewable energy target, to drive investment in the technologies that increasingly the world will need."
 
As for nuclear power being cheaper, many would disagree. Lester R. Brown, one of the world’s most widely published authors, last year published his views via the Earth Policy Institute on the nuclear vs. wind and solar power debate; stating that nuclear  is uneconomical compared to renewable energy.
 
More recently, Roger Taylor, a researcher for DESERTEC-Australia, stated ‘clean coal‘ and ‘next-generation’ nuclear offer only fictitious costs, unproven technologies and dangerous disadvantages."
 
Just last month, a study by economist Dr. Mark Cooper, a senior fellow for economic analysis at the Institute for Energy and the Environment at Vermont Law School, found the cost of electricity generated by new nuclear reactors would be (USD) 12-20 cents per kilowatt hour, whereas increased energy efficiency and renewable energy sourced power would cost around 6 cents per kilowatt hour.