Senate debates

Monday, 18 March 2024

Questions without Notice: Take Note of Answers


4:58 pm

Photo of Malcolm RobertsMalcolm Roberts (Queensland, Pauline Hanson's One Nation Party) Share this | | Hansard source

I move:

That the Senate take note of the answer given by the Minister representing the Minister for Climate Change and Energy (Senator McAllister) relating to nuclear power.

One Nation supports a power grid composed of the lowest-cost energy, of which nuclear is an important component. Nuclear, though, threatens the government's obsession with wind and solar. Net zero using wind and solar continues to reduce the living standards, housing affordability and job prospects of everyday Australians. Nothing illustrates the net zero house of cards more than the CSIRO's information on nuclear power—misinformation which Minister Bowen is using to maintain support for wind and solar. For the record, today there are 440 nuclear power plants operating in 33 countries. In 2022, these provided 2,545 terawatts of baseload power, about 10 per cent of the world's electricity consumption. There are currently 57 conventional nuclear power stations under construction. The last five plants were completed in 10 years or less. There are examples of plants that were bogged down in approval and financing issues as a result of Green activism and ideology and just as many which were not. Some critics describe nuclear as 1940s technology. If so, this makes electric vehicles technology from 1888. Both are dishonest comments because the technology has evolved. Nuclear is now safer, more efficient and produces negligible waste.

The International Energy Agency data of actual energy costs shows nuclear the cheapest option at $28 per megawatt hour, making it cheaper in the real world than solar and wind. In their criticism of nuclear, Minister Bowen and the CSIRO are using speculation on the costing of small modular reactors, which do not yet exist and which are not representative of a traditional plant. This sleight of hand is misinformation bordering on scientific dishonesty. Safe, affordable, accessible baseload nuclear power energy comes down to one thing: the will of the government. Honesty, Minister, would be a good start.

Question agreed to.