Future Made in Ontario not Australia

Ontario proves nuclear works and is more than economical

Ontario Power Generation has just finished Phase I of a small modular reactor at its Darlington site in Clarington on time and on budget, demonstrating both new nuclear builds are alive and well and small modular reactors are not a mirage, contrary to federal government claims.

Executive Director of the Australian Institute for Progress, Graham Young, said that the only way Prime Minister Anthony Albanese’s wish for the “future made in Australia” could be true is with cheap electricity.

“Ontario demonstrates that nuclear is not expensive. Currently 59% of its electricity is nuclear, 24% from hydropower, and only 9% from “renewables” of wind and solar.

“Yet domestic power bills are dramatically lower than Australia. Their latest tariffs per KWh for domestic electricity in Australian currency are 9.5 cents off-peak, 13.3c mid-peak and 19.8 c on-peak.

“That compares to averages in Australia ranging from 26.6c per KWh in the ACT to 45.3c in Australia’s most decarbonised state of South Australia.”

Mr Young said that the rest of Australia was heading towards South Australian prices for electricity as they eliminated coal-fired power stations and relied on gas to fill in the gaps left by wind and solar.

“Ontario is a massive manufacturing centre in Canada, yet they have much lower-than-average per capita carbon emissions, as 92% of their electricity is from zero-carbon sources.

“They are most of the way to successfully decarbonising their grid, and Australia has barely scratched the surface.

NEM data show that for the last 12 months the NEM was 69% fossil fuelled, with wind and solar 14% and 8% respectively.

“If we take a leaf from the Canadians we could replace that fossil fuel with nuclear and power prices would drop that much that PM Albanese would overperform on his promise to drop power prices by $275 rather than massively underperforming, as he will on the current trajectory.

“Ontario Power Generation is open to exporting its expertise, also announcing that it has won a $392 million contract to refurbish a Rumanian nuclear reactor, as well as exploring potential for SMRs in Alberta.

“The federal government should issue OPG an invitation to investigate the possibilities of nuclear in Australia.

“The biggest barriers to successfully building nuclear are regulatory, and lack of experience.

“We are similar countries with similar cultures, so the lessons learned in Canada should help to make Australia a success.”