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The economic viability of nuclear power in a fossil-fuel-rich country: Australia

  • Economics
  • Political Science


This paper assesses the economic viability of investment in nuclear power generation in Australia in the future and, in addition, domestic factors which may influence government policy towards such investments. It argues that the structure of the grid in Eastern Australia and the nature of the existing generator mix would require nuclear technology that has similar attributes to current combined cycle gas technology; i.e. modular construction of (relatively) small generating units, load following capability, low unit capital cost, and a general acceptance by the Australian public. The current generation of nuclear plants possesses none of these attributes. Therefore this paper concludes that it is only technology with similar characteristics to some Generation IV nuclear technology concepts that has the potential to be part of Australia's energy mix after 2030.

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