The news

Federal Opposition Leader Peter Dutton has confirmed the two Queensland-based sites where the Coalition intends to build nuclear reactors.

The Coalition would replace ageing coal-powered facilities at Tarong, about 140 kilometres north-west of Brisbane, and Callide, inland from Gladstone, with Commonwealth-owned nuclear power stations.

The state-owned Tarong Power Station, near Kingaroy, has been names as one of the Coalition’s proposed nuclear power station sites in Queensland.

The state-owned Tarong Power Station, near Kingaroy, has been names as one of the Coalition’s proposed nuclear power station sites in Queensland. Credit: Supplied

Why it matters

Detail of the long-awaited federal Liberal and National Coalition’s plans for seven nuclear power plants nationwide will heap further pressure on the state-based, formally joined, LNP, due to face voters in a key election in October amid debate on the state’s energy future focused on pumped hydro.

On Tuesday, LNP leader David Crisafulli – who has repeatedly said nuclear would not have his support until there was federal bipartisanship – labelled the debate a Canberra-centred distraction, saying he would not wind back his state’s ban on the technology if elected.

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While Crisafulli’s state LNP team remains supportive of the pathway to net-zero emissions by 2050, along with interim targets, it has opposed Labor’s legislated renewable energy targets.

The CSIRO has found nuclear reactors could not be built until 2040 and would cost up to $16 billion each. The head of the International Energy Agency has stated Australia does not need nuclear power.

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