Hi, Twitter – a thread:
What is this sudden interest in nuclear power? Where on earth is this coming from?
And it’s not just any nuclear power – it seems small modular reactor (SMR) nuclear technology is the chosen one, its the way to go. But why?
i don’t believe the construction of a handful of nukes in australia would make any appreciable difference to the australian uranium mining sector.
…we almost certainly would import all of our tiny demand for nuclear fuel assemblies from foreign producers.
— 💧simon holmes à court 🦠 (@simonahac) September 4, 2019
Last month our Energy Minister, Angus Taylor spruiked the benefits of SMR nuclear technology.
This is the way ahead he declared, despite the fact that this technology is yet to be manufactured in Australia & despite the fact, there is only one company involved in the area.
SMR nuclear technology! SMR nuclear technology! SMR nuclear technology!
The Guardian reported last month, the last full examination of nuclear power in 2016 found neither large nor modular nuclear reactors were likely to deliver a commercial return between now & 2050.
Well, there are a few very powerful individuals in the energy (fossil fuels) market in Australia, none more so than Trevor St Baker.
You may remember he bought Vales Point power (coal) station from the NSW govt for $1 million & it’s now worth $730 million.
Mr St Baker & his network of energy companies like to employ lobbyists in Canberra to push for his best interests – like SAS Consulting.
In 2017, Mr St Baker & his SAS lobbyists met with PM Turnbull, Josh Frydenberg & Scott Morrison seeking government funding for coal interests.
And you’ll never guess what happened next dear reader.
In March 2019, Scott Morrison and Angus Taylor – despite explicit advice from Treasury not to do so – announced that Trevor St Baker’s Vales Point coal mine would be one of 12 upgrades funded by Australian taxpayers.
Which is indeed fortunate.
What is also fortunate is that Mr St Baker and his web of associated companies and trusts have over the years donated $452K to the Liberal & National Parties & $89K to ALP.
(They’re hard to find because the donating entity names get shuffled around)
Now there’s nothing wrong with Mr St Baker organising all of that of course. Lobbying & donating is all perfectly legal. It’s what wins you friends & influence.
Just look at some backbench MPs now calling for an enquiry into nuclear power – Keith Pitt and Ted O’Brien.
Who, you ask? Well those well known nuclear energy exponents Keith Pitt, Ted O’Brien & James McGrath, MPs who all seem to have bounced out of nowhere with this idea from – well – somewhere.
We’re even going to have a federal govt enquiry into it – especially those wonderful SMRs
Even the NSW govt are getting into an enquiry on nuclear energy with the Nationals John Barilaro leading the charge.
Last year John Barilaro even attended a US conference about it all with Tony Irwin, a director of Australia’s SMR Nuclear Technology. Those wonderful SMRs hey?
There is one small problem with SMRs.
None have successfully been built yet. We’re years away from that reality.
However in Australia, very luckily there is one company developing them – & one only. Its called SMR Nuclear Technology.
And luckily, it’s owned by Trevor St Baker.
You can follow @RonniSalt
Feature image – www.dianuke.org
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