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Nuclear, and Labor's lying lips

By John Mikkelsen - posted Tuesday, 25 June 2024

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 stations 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 areas offshore in whale migration routes. Connecting all of these will require an additional 28,000 km 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.

Newsflash! Mr Bowen and PM Anthony Albanese, that would include the Lucas Heights nuclear 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 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.

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About the Author

John Mikkelsen is a long term journalist, former regional newspaper editor, now freelance writer formerly of Gladstone in CQ, but now in Noosa. He is also the author of Amazon Books memoir Don't Call Me Nev.

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