Small modular reactors should be part of Australia’s energy mix
As Australia prepares to decarbonize, it is time to seriously consider a role for advanced nuclear technologies such as Small Modular Reactors (SMRs).
The MCA today released the Small Modular Reactors in the Australian Context report by one of Australia’s leading nuclear experts, Dr Ben Heard, providing a timely overview of SMRs, their potential role in Australia and costs probable exploitation.
Even with conservative assumptions that include higher than expected construction costs, SMRs could be Australia’s cheapest 24/7 zero-emission energy source that underpins a reliable and reliable electricity supply. sure.
Examining three of the most advanced SMR designs currently under regulatory approval – NuScale’s power module, GE-Hitachi’s BWRX 300, and Terrestrial Energy’s integral molten salt reactor, the report highlighted improved safety features and potential use of SMRs.
The MCA has long advocated that Australia should consider zero-emission nuclear power, as well as carbon use and storage, and renewables, as the country strives to decarbonize the economy.
The changes in the economic, business, security, political and technological environment in which Australia operates means that all options for low carbon energy sources must be considered. SMRs offer part of the solution to meet this necessary requirement.
With a third of the world’s uranium reserves, Australia has a significant uranium mining sector, supplying around 10% of global demand.
This is enough uranium to power almost all of the output of the national electricity market with low cost, zero emission energy.
Despite this, outdated federal and state bans on nuclear power have seen Australia fall behind as the only G-20 country without access to or plans to develop nuclear power.
Australia should take advantage of the growing international interest in nuclear energy and seek to develop its already important uranium sector.