Doomed Planet

Nuclear Lies are Reaching Critical Mass

The old cliche about how you can tell a politician is lying (their lips are moving) has never been more clearly illustrated than the tsunami of misinformation, disinformation and outright fibs surrounding the current nuclear energy controversy.

There should be a rational debate between the Coalition and Labor government but with Opposition leader Peter Dutton pushing the need for modern reliable nuclear energy in our power mix,  key Labor figures have replied with puerile memes of three-eyed fish, Blinkey Bill the three-eyed koala, and more seriously, furphies about exorbitant costs and time frames which bear no relation to reality. And all it takes is a few mouse clicks to expose the lies.

The Coalition wants to establish seven new nuclear plants at existing coal-fired power station sites marked for retirement, which would feed neatly into the existing power grid, while maintaining a mix of gas, solar and  wind in the energy system. Labor wants to rely solely on its rushed transition to unreliable renewables to achieve “net zero” by 2050. This will involve covering an area about the size of Tasmania with solar farms and  wind turbines, including arable farmland, native forests and mountain ranges, as well as large offshore areas in whale migration routes. Connecting all of these will require an additional 28,000km of new high voltage transmission lines. What could possibly go wrong?

Climate and Energy Minister Chris “Blackout” Bowen says Australia should “stick to the plan” regarding renewables and “not isolate itself from the rest of the world by embracing nuclear, the dearest form of energy, which would take too long to establish.”

That is so far from the truth it would be laughable if it wasn’t so serious. According to the World Nuclear Association, (WNA) Nuclear is the world’s second-largest source of low-carbon power (26% of the total in 2020). There are 440 operable reactors, with 61 under construction. More than 50 countries also utilise nuclear energy in 22 research reactors, which are also used for the production of medical and industrial isotopes, as well as for training. That includes the Lucas Heights reactor which has operated successfully since 1958, with an update by the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO) to an Opal Multipurpose reactor in 2007. This is in the heart of suburban Sydney. However, I’m unaware of any three-eyed fish or mutant koalas there, or citizens who glow in the dark unless they are setting off flares illegally on the steps of the Opera House in some pro-Hamas/ Jew slaughter celebration while police watch on.

But I digress. Back to big lie number two: Nuclear power plants take too long to build.

According to, nuclear reactors connected to the grid in 2022 had a median construction time of 89 months or almost 7.5 years. The longest median construction time for nuclear reactors was for those connected between 1996 and 2000, at 120 months. 

The United Arab Emirates must be among countries much smarter than our leaders think we are because they have managed to establish three large reactors within this reasonable time frame. The UAE embarked upon a nuclear power program in close consultation with the International Atomic Energy Agency, with huge public support.

It accepted a $20 billion bid from a South Korean consortium to build four commercial nuclear power reactors, totaling 5.6 GWe, by 2020 at Barakah. Unit 1 of the country’s first nuclear power plant was connected to the grid in August 2020, followed by unit 2 in September 2021, unit 3 in October 2022, and unit 4 in March 2024.

But as Bowen, Albo and other Labor luminaries claim, “nuclear costs a bomb” right? (oops, pretty obvious pun there guys, let’s keep Hiroshima and Nagasaki out of the equation). Well no, according to the WNA, on a levelized (i.e. lifetime) basis, nuclear power is an economic source of electricity generation, combining the advantages of security, reliability and very low greenhouse gas emissions. Existing plants function well with a high degree of predictability. The operating cost of these plants is lower than almost all fossil fuel competitors, with a very low risk of operating cost inflation. Plants are now expected to operate for 60 years and even longer in the future. The main economic risks to existing plants lie in the impacts of subsidized intermittent renewable and low-cost gas-fired generation.  

Labor is quick to criticize the Coalition’s scheme as “uncosted” but has never stated the overall cost of its own heavily subsidised green energy transition, including truckloads of financial backing to private companies. Albo obfuscated and dodged the question from Peter Dutton in the House this week , but an independent expert group Net Zero Australia, claims it will be between $1.3 to $1.5 trillion. ABC finance guru Alan Kohler recently had this to say:

As for Australia’s capital requirement, the outgoing head of the Net Zero Economy Agency, Greg Combet, told the National Press Club that ‘hundreds of billions of dollars’ will be needed to achieve Net Zero in Australia by 2050

And the rest.

In July last year, a research organisation called Net Zero Australia (a collaboration between the Uni of Melbourne, Uni of Queensland, Princeton and Nous Group) put the cost for Australia at $9 trillion by 2060, or hundreds of billions every year for 36 years…”

That makes nuclear seem a bargain. But here’s a constructive tip for the PM whose promenading on the world stage earned him one of his nicknames, Airbus Albo: Pack into a plane all the nuclear nay-sayer Labor premiers, Queensland’s out-of-touch LNP Leader David Crissafulli, Victorian Liberal fence-sitter John Pesutto and Energy Minister Bowen and take them all on an overseas jaunt that actually may bear fruit.

First stop France, whose President Macron called on  Australia to lift its nuclear ban after our government rejected a nuclear pledge at the  Cop 28 summit last year. This declaration to triple nuclear energy capacity globally by 2050 was endorsed by more than 20 countries at the UN climate change conference. When asked by 17-year-old Nuclear for Australia founder Will Shackel about nuclear energy’s role in global plans to decarbonise,  Macron said he hoped Australia would manage to lift the ban. “Nuclear energy is a source that is necessary to succeed for carbon neutrality in 2050,” he said.

Despite his faults, Macron  knows that France produces 70 per cent of its energy from nuclear and exports power to other EU green-dream believer nations such as Germany and Italy:

“France’s total net exports amounted to 31.1TWh in the second half of the year, with most of the power flowing to Germany (8TWh) and Italy (8TWh). In the first six months of 2023, France’s net exports totalled 17.6TWh.”

Sacre bleu, Albo, take your Aussie tour group up to the rich agricultural areas, the vineyards, dairies and cheese factories and enjoy a bottle or three of some of the world’s top wines, with a side serving of gruyere, camembert or roquefort. You’ll notice it’s far from a nuclear wasteland and there’s no three-eyed fish to be caught.

Back on the Airbus, next stop Germany, which is a great example of how a transition to renewables didn’t work, leaving manufacturing seriously at risk, just like it’s now on its last legs in Australia. Even Greens hero Greta Thunberg says you should re-open your mothballed nuclear plants.

Then off to Finland for a more pleasant experience. A big new nuclear plant beside a picturesque lake (replete with with more healthy fish): And as a result,  Finns went from suffering among Europe’s highest power prices to enjoying its lowest. They now pay just a fraction of what the wind and solar obsessed Germans are forced to pay for their fixation on intermittent and unreliable renewables.

When Finland fired up its 1,600MW Olkiluoto 3 nuclear plant in April 2023, power users were bound to notice that average spot electricity prices dropped from €245.98 per MWh in December 2022 to €60.55 per MWh hour in April 2023.

And if that doesn’t impress you, just jet across the Atlantic to Canada’s Ontario, the home of cheap nuclear energy which is about to expand and power many more homes:

For decades, Canada and Ontario’s nuclear technology has been world-leading, providing safe, reliable, and affordable non-emitting energy, as well as good jobs for workers, with over 75,000 hard-working Canadians employed across the nuclear supply chain. Today, the governments of Canada and Ontario are working together to advance new nuclear power generation in Ontario to cement our globally recognized competitive advantage, meet growing demand for clean energy and create even more good-paying jobs for Canadians…This funding, from the federal Electricity Predevelopment Program, involves a project that could produce power for up to 4,800,000 homes and businesses in Ontario.

Ontario has offered to sell its technology to Australia as a safe, cost-effective power source.

Canada is also constructing a small modular reactor which you, Messrs Albanese, Bowen et al,  claim don’t exist commercially anywhere, even though one has been built in China, with more to follow.

Studies over many years including by The Lancet  have confirmed that nuclear is the safest form of energy, despite the fear mongering. In fact it’s probably a lot safer than wind turbines and associated survey work which have been blamed for multiple whale strandings off the New Jersey coast, deaths of hundreds of thousands of birds and bats as well, as less obvious ‘infrasound’ harm to humans and wildlife from low decibel penetrating sound waves. “With ever larger wind turbines, the frequencies are getting lower and lower. This makes infrasound more problematic and dangerous,” Dr. Bellut-Staeck told The Epoch Times.

All this  should all be enough to convince any reasonable, open-minded person that there should be a serious discussion on lifting the unreasonable ban on nuclear power and considering it as part of our energy mix if we want to keep the lights on and reduce emissions.

Defence Minister Richard Marles very reluctantly admitted in Parliament this week that our  submariners would be safe alongside the nuclear reactors they will live with for long periods underwater when we finally obtain them under the Aukus deal. And those subs will visit and be serviced in major Australian ports. So cut the fear and smear campaign, Albo and Bowen, it’s got more holes than the Titanic.

(I last wrote about the advantages of nuclear energy back in June 2019 after Labor lost that unlosable election. About the only thing that’s changed from my perspective is the government.)       

John Mikkelsen is a former editor of three Queensland regional newspapers, columnist,  freelance writer and author of the memoir, Don’t Call Me Nev

19 thoughts on “Nuclear Lies are Reaching Critical Mass

  • Peter Marriott says:

    Thanks John, good piece.
    In my view we have to go with the cheapest and easiest to build and for a country like ours this remains coal, with our almost unlimited seams of it all the way up the entire east coast, & plenty of it near the surface.
    Of course we also have to have nuclear coming along at the same time, for no other reason than it is also a mineral that we have plenty of and it’s good technology, but coal for us is much cheaper, quickest and easiest to build, and we should not continue to allow ourselves to be frightened by ideological arguments ,& the ridiculous demonisation of this wonderful organic rock, that we have so very,very much of.
    Needless to say we also have to ignore the very loud, childish stupidity of ‘net zero’….or try to anyway,

    • Daffy says:

      Too right! We should be building HELE coal stations. We’ve a huge level of capability, not to say that we should also start a nuclear fleet to develop that industry as well. But the delusion that 1) we could do anything about CO2 in the atmosphere, and 2) that the CO2 beat up has any reasonable content stands in the way. The Luddites are in control and BS Bowen is at the helm, alas.

  • Surftilidie says:

    I am a maths teacher. If I start with the hypothesis that 1 = 4, by taking the square root of both sides I can prove that 1 = 2, or by multiplying both sides by 10 I can prove that 10 = 40. Given an incorrect hypothesis at the start, I can come up with any nonsensical result. This is exactly what is happening with first the (un)renewables push, and now the nuclear. The faulty hypothesis at the start was that CO2 was somehow or other destroying the planet, whereas in fact it’s doing quite the opposite. Compliant government and predatory business leaders, together with the MSM providing the megaphone, have convinced unthinking populations throughout the world that the problem was CO2 and net zero was the only solution. No doubt nuclear, either through fission or fusion, will have a place in the future, but we have hundreds of years worth of fossil fuel to tide us over until nuclear is actually needed. Also, this notion of a “mix” of renewables with other sources is a nonsense. Renewables like wind and solar are good for outback stations and boats, but have no place in the grid of a city, town or suburb.

    • stratlaw says:

      Good on you for stating what is simply true. CO2 is plant food and anthropogenic CO2 emissions amount to 3% of atmospheric CO2. Pollution is a different issue but CI2 is not a pollutant. I recall cheap reliable coal fired electricity generation and that system and network has been deliberately destroyed. To what end? For the profit of the cabal. To appease the hysteria generated by uncritical legacy media. And ofcourse on a geo strategic basis the weakening of the West to the advantage of the “Barbarians” who are indeed “waiting at the gate”

  • lenton1 says:

    And in a few short sentences Surftilidie elegantly sums up the entire farce. Well done! For anyone to argue otherwise reveals that their political “slip” is showing and that they are prepared to literally sacrifice all for their ideological cause. Such is the myopia of socialism.

  • James McKenzie says:

    The LCD is a good starting point.

  • Jim Simpson says:

    In the fullness of time, nuclear will indeed be optimum way forward for energy security 24/7 for all countries. In the meantime & in the absence of empirical evidence proving the case against CO2 (there is none), we just need to adopt a sensible Energy Policy that’s fair to all. Is market driven & works from the consumers interests back, NOT from the energy industry’s interests forward. A sensible Energy Policy that:
    • Is technology agnostic (fears & favours none, including the unreliables of wind & solar);
    • Removes current anti-competitive subsidies favouring the unreliables – a level playing field;
    • Requires industry to comply with clearly defined QOS (Quality of Service) standards of reliability/availability (i.e.; 99.98% as per current AEMO specs);
    • Invites industry to commit by way of AEMO auction (a day, week or a month in advance of the offered opportunity) to provide reliable 24/7, base load power at their best competitive price(s);
    • Imposes SUBSTANTIAL financial penalties upon power generators for failure to deliver in accord with mandatory QOS obligations (Force Majeure notwithstanding eg earthquakes, floods, bushfires, tornados etc);
    • Requires a substantial bond to restore the environment (i.e.; recycle aged solar-PV’s & wind turbine blades etc as is already common place within the coal mining industry & their obligation to restore the land impacted by mining);
    • Repeals anti-competitive CO2 legislation (i.e., Safeguard Mechanism, LRET, RET etc).

    Thus, let market forces prevail on a level playing field.

    Doubtless some (like Labor & The Greens) will elect to invest in their perceived market opportunities associated with the unreliables plus, ‘firming’ (by way of batteries or whatever, but at their cost) to meet their respective QOS reliability obligations.
    Whereas others might be just a titch more circumspect & invest in proven, reliable, 24/7 base-load fossil fuel technology. Longer term, in nuclear, assuming of course, the current ban is repealed & nuclear energy is cost competitive V’s competing technologies.

  • John Curtin AM. says:

    All these are excellent but how to we get Mr Bowen to accept the facts?
    He refuses to appear on TV except the ABC.
    He refuses to answer questions from journalists.
    He refuses to accept facts instead goes off on his zealogy of zero emissions.

    • Greg Lloyd says:

      Unfortunately climate emergency catastrophism ,net zero and wind and solar renewables are some of the central tenants of a new religion that has replaced Christianity throughout The West and is taught widely in our schools and universities. Religion has always been immune to facts so they are of no use.We have to take back our education system from these nutters, however even if that was achieved it will be a very slow turning around of this nonsense. It will take as long as we have allowed the far left to infiltrate everything (ie. decades). You’ve got to be impressed by their patience I’d have thought.

    • Stan Yeaman says:

      You can’t. This is Soviet style government. No debates, the government knows what is best for you. This is also the model for very bad government, which must fail just as the Soviet government failed. These guys hold the open democratic process in contempt.

  • Ross Tucker says:

    Why wouldn’t Australia develop both coal and nuclear power in tandem and complementary. We have abundant supply of both coal and uranium. With two sources of power the ability to transition from one to the other if coal or uranium ran out would be simplified. There can be no doubt that if both systems operated, market competitiveness would see improvements in economy and operations of both.
    The real benefit of two viable systems would be that ratbag subsidised systems like wind, solar, green hydrogen and exploding putty (get ready for it) would be relegated to being playthings of the impractical earth savers and United Nations.
    Much of the focus to date centres on the increasing price per kilowatt hour consumed. This will change when blackouts become a regular occurrence. A flat Tesla in a blackout crystalises the issues. Personally, I dread the thought of a hot beer from the dormant fridge.

  • Max Chugg says:

    With the arrival of “global boiling” has come recovery of Arctic ice from a point where “Arctic ice expert,” Professor Peter Wadhams was predicting ships sailing over the North Pole by 2017 or 2018 to recovery almost back to the highest levels on the satellite record. (Search “Arctic Ice” on the NSDIC site).
    The emission reduction targets in Finland are -60% by 2030, -80% by 2040 and -90 % but aiming at -95 % by 2050, compared to the levels in 1990. Finland must be carbon neutral by 2035 at the latest.
    By 2045 at the latest, Sweden must have no net emission of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. emissions of greenhouse gases must be at least 85 percent lower in 2045 than they were in 1990. After 2045, emissions must be negative – that is, we bind or capture more greenhouse gases from the atmosphere than we emit.
    Having suffered ridicule when alarm was being sounded about rising atmospheric CO2, I had commented that a major effect would be increased plant growth, now I will again argue that reduction of CO2 will mean less plant growth, hence reduced crops.
    “Nuclear energy is the most expensive” says “Blackout” Bowen.
    Sweden has the cheapest electricity in Europe, with nuclear providing 35%.
    Finland is slightly more expensive than Sweden, now also obtaining 35% from nuclear, but aiming to overtake Sweden with even lower prices.
    Some consumers in Finland opt to enter into spot price contracts for electricity. The current VAT included price is 7.2 cents ($A 4.5 cents) per kWh plus a general fee of 3 euros a month. ($A 1.88).
    My last electricity bill for 1948 kWh, inclusive of quarterly charge, excluding a temporary, pre-election “sweeter” concession was $521.78, with a 15% increase to come next quarter. In Finland, 1948 kWh used in 3 months would be $145.90.

    • Stan Yeaman says:

      Yes about Sweden’s energy prices. If Albo et al are anywhere near right, why did Sweden call tenders to design and build SMRs, which Bowen assures us will never compete with intermittent ‘renewables’? I get the impression Swedes are infinitely more intelligent than some members of this government.

  • petroalbion says:

    Has anyone noticed that the nuclear power station cooling towers appear to be giving of what alarmists keep telling us is CO2, when the cooling towers are at a coal fired power station?

  • Stan Yeaman says:

    By refusing to debate the subject openly the conclusion must be that Albo and Bowen hold democratic discussion in contempt. This reveals them as authoritarian to the core, in which case rhey have no place in a democratic parliament.

  • stratlaw says:

    I repeat. CO2 is plant food and anthropogenic CO2 emissions amount to 3% of atmospheric CO2. Pollution is a different issue but CO2 is not a pollutant. I recall cheap reliable coal fired electricity generation and that system and network has been deliberately destroyed. To what end? For the profit of the cabal. To appease the hysteria generated by uncritical legacy media. And ofcourse on a geo strategic basis the weakening of the West to the advantage of the “Barbarians” who are indeed “waiting at the gate”

  • Stan Yeaman says:

    Here’s what the real world thinks of wind power. The UK gov called an auction for licences in the North Sea. There were no bids. Maybe Mr Bowen can tell us why.



    1. There is NO reliable information, anywhere, which offers ANY proof that humans burning fossil fuels has even a measurable impact on the earth’s climate let alone a harmful one.
    2. Kogan Creek power station just south of Chinchilla in Qld [Australia’s newest coal fired power station] can profitably retail electricity for $40.00/M.W.Hr – 24 hours a day for 365 days a year. The ‘average’ price paid by Qld consumers last year was many, many times this level. We need MORE Kogan Creeks.
    3. “Solar’ power is much more expensive and unreliable and works effectively for perhaps only 1 to 2hrs a day. It is heavily subsidised and needs back-up systems – either nuclear or fossil fuels. I prefer fossil fuels.
    4. Wind power is very UNreliable, and kills birdlife and bats.
    5. CO2 is the gas of LIFE, and is a MINOR ‘greenhouse’ gas, and ALL future life will come from CO2 in the atmosphere. By burning fossil fuels, humans are merely RECYCLING life.
    6. Since 1979 [according to satellite data and other sources] during which CO2 levels have gone up to over 400ppm, the world has got 17% greener, produces 13% more food using 10% less cultivated area, and has up to 20% MORE biomass [ie. life, living things].
    7. In this time the earth has undergone negligible, almost immeasurable ‘warming’, and has LESS severe weather events.
    Is more life, more food, less cultivated area and deserts getting greener, and less severe weather events a bad thing?

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