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Australian government plan – carbon tax of $22.35 per tonne of CO2 and five 1,500 MW nuclear power plants by 2020

Posted by gmarkets on 15 September, 2007

An Australian Federal government nuclear agency chief, said “Looking at a positive decision to proceed with nuclear power in the near term, introduction of a fleet of five 1,500 MWe power plants by 2020 would achieve a position where nuclear power would be able to contribute 17 per cent of Australia’s projected electricity demand, thereby avoiding emission of 50 million tonnes of CO2”. That was the view of the ANSTO submission to the Owen Inquiry into Electricity Supply in NSW.

ABARE report looks at nuclear option: No detailed studies had been undertaken of the overall economic impact of introducing this amount of nuclear power into Australia. The Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics (ABARE) had recently published a report on the economic impact of climate change policy, covering some scenarios that include a limited amount of nuclear power.

Salvage GDP loss of $1.2m by going nuclear: ABARE considers the introduction of a single nuclear power plant delivering 4 TWeh per annum from 2020, rising to 17 TWeh in 2050. (This corresponds to an installed power of 390 MWe rising to 1,650 MWe). The analysis assumes no sharing of risk with government or other stakeholders, but does assume a carbon tax of $22.35 per tonne of CO2 when nuclear power commences in 2020 (in 2005 Australian dollars). The overall findings of the study relate to the decrease in gross domestic product resulting from early action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. However, for its final scenario, the report notes that the ability to use nuclear power at the levels indicated would moderate potential loss of GDP by $1.2 million.

Reference: The Nuclear Power Alternative For NSW, ANSTO Submission, Owen Inquiry into Electricity Supply in NSW, Dr Ian Smith, Executive Director, June 2007. Contact: Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation, New Illawarra Road, Lucas heights (PMB 1, Menai NSW 2234) Phone: +61 2 9717 3702 Fax: +61 2 9543 6907 Website:

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