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Tuesday, 16 February 1971
Page: 77

Mr Jacobi asked the Minister for National Development, upon notice:

(I)   Has the Atomic Energy - Commission investigated Doctor dc Bruin's concept of a combined nuclear power and water desulination plant for South Australia if so with what result.

(2)   Has the Minister stated that unit power generation costs from a 500 MW station will be higher than an equivalent coal fired station.

(3)   Has the United Nations recommended that the maximum sized station for the initial ' unit in a nuclear power programme should be 300 MW.

(4)   If so, can he indicate if the more comprehensive training and experience obtained in operating a 500 MW nuclear power station will be sufficient lo justify using a station of this size rather than a smaller station for which the subsidy required will be less.

Mr Swartz - The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

(1)   Yes. The suggestion of locating .a combined nuclear power and water desalination plant in South Australia has been considered. The possibility was rejected, however, because considerable technical problems still remain to be solved before duplex' plants of the size necessary for economic operation become practicable. Such plants are not expected to be available for several decades.

(2)   I have said that generation costs of the proposed Jervis Bay Nuclear Power station are expected to be higher than those of large new coal fired stations' situated on the New South Wales coal fields.

(3)   I am unaware of any recommendation by the United Nations that the maximum sized stations for the initial unit in a nuclear power programme should bc . 300 MW. lt would bc surprising if that Organisation were to make a recommendation of this technical nature.

(4)   Hud we adopted a smaller unit there would have been a saving of capital but production costs per unit of electricity would be higher. As a result we decided that a 500 MW or slightly larger tmi: was the optimum "size. In addition such a unit was an appropriate one for the New South Wales grid having regard to that Slate's demand pattern.

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