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This is what happens when an uncosted Coalition thought-bubble on nuclear power is presented as a concrete proposal

(The Guardian, 29 Feb 2024) Anyone reading the Australian’s Newspoll survey might think there was an actual proposal in place to build small modular nuclear reactors around Australia – except there isn’t.

What happens when an uncosted Coalition thought-bubble to deploy an unavailable nuclear power technology across the country’s electricity grid is presented in an opinion poll as a concrete proposal?

You get a page one story in The Australian under the headline: “Powerful majority supports nuclear option for energy security” backed with two pieces of commentary, an editorial and a narrative reliably echoed by Sky News Australia.

The Australian was reporting the result of its Newspoll survey that asked: “There is a proposal to build several small modular nuclear reactors around Australia to produce zero-emissions energy on the sites of existing coal-fired power stations once they are retired. Do you approve or disapprove of this proposal?”

Anyone reading that question might think there was an actual proposal in place that could be scrutinised. Perhaps the proposal says how quickly it could be implemented, or explain the costs and benefits?

Except there isn’t any such proposal. The Coalition’s shadow energy spokesperson Ted O’Brien has floated this concept but, right now, it is a thought-bubble.

External link

The Guardian, 29 Feb 2024: This is what happens when an uncosted Coalition thought-bubble on nuclear power is presented as a concrete proposal