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Should Australia embrace nuclear energy?

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The prospective inclusion of nuclear power in the Australian Liberal/National coalition’s 2025 election policy represents a bold political move with significant risks.

While proponents might argue that nuclear power is essential for achieving net-zero emissions by 2050, the term “nuclear” triggers largely negative reactions in the political arena.

Opposition Leader Peter Dutton has been forthright about nuclear energy being a part of the Coalition’s agenda, a tactic that has allowed the government to challenge and mock the idea.

The Coalition’s approach involves “new and emerging technologies,” including small modular reactors, rather than traditional nuclear plants. However, this technology is still emerging and does not provide an immediate solution to Australia’s transition away from fossil fuels.

Public opinion poses another significant hurdle. A 2022 Lowy poll found Australians divided on nuclear power, with 52% in favor of removing the ban and 45% opposed. The government could potentially leverage a “not in my backyard” campaign against the Coalition’s policy.

Waste disposal

Waste disposal also presents a challenge, as illustrated by the recent abandonment of a waste dump plan near Kimba in South Australia. This decision has raised concerns about the disposal of waste from nuclear medicine and has implications for Labor’s capacity to make tough decisions on nuclear submarines under AUKUS.

The economic viability of nuclear power is another obstacle, requiring convincing arguments about cost-effectiveness and energy transition challenges. Tony Wood, Director of the Energy Program at the Grattan Institute, highlights doubts about the feasibility of small modular reactors providing dispatchable power similar to gas peaking plants.

While the Coalition might perceive itself as ahead of the curve on small nuclear reactors, the broader political landscape remains uncertain.

Successive governments have considered the idea but realised the political implications probably weren’t worth the effort.

But then came along the AUKUS deal, which is bringing nuclear energy to Australia through the guise of regional security.

 

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Money

It takes a village: coordinated financial teams prove paramount to maximising wealth

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The pursuit of wealth is often faced by significant challenges including debt, lifestyle costs, and burnout – so what methods can help overcome these challenges?

Maximising financial opportunities involves a suite of tasks, from leveraging favourable loan rates, strategic tax planning, and coordinated financial advising.

Mark Wyld from MW Wealth joins to discuss more. #featured

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Microsoft recalls ‘Recall AI’ feature over security fears

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Microsoft has announced a postponement in the release of its new Recall AI feature, citing significant security concerns raised during internal testing.

Pope Francis took charge of discussions on the implications of artificial intelligence for global ethics and governance, Reuters reports.

The pope said AI represented an “epochal transformation” for mankind, but stressed the need for close oversight of the ever-developing technology to preserve human life and dignity.

“No machine should ever choose to take the life of a human being,” he said, adding that people should not let superpowerful algorithms decide their destiny.
“We would condemn humanity to a future without hope if we took away people’s ability to make decisions about themselves and their lives, by dooming them to depend on the choices of machines,” he warned.

#featured #trending

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