Victorian Nuclear Power Plant locations


Edition 4, Revised 30/12/2021

Locations for Nuclear Power Plants in Victoria

In Victoria the two routes for nuclear power generators would see:

  1. Mixed Route – four APR 1400 large plants and six BWRX 300 small plants making 7.4 G W of capacity or,
  2. Small Nuclear Power plant route – twenty two BWRX 300 small nuclear power plants making 6.6 GW of capacity. These are sometimes called SMR’s

While some 12 locations for the construction of 36 nuclear power plants have been identified it is recognised that many more sites are available on the Victorian grid. Communities hosting small nuclear power plants will benefit from a substantial increase in education and wealth generation as well as creating low carbon low cost energy for more than 80 years at each plant. By being diverse in their application on the state’s grid, the entire community benefits.

Locations for possibles sites for small nuclear power plants are shown on the following map. The Transmission lines are shown on the image and each voltage is represented by a colour shown in the legend. Large 1 GW scale nuclear power plants would be constructed at the sites of the larger coal plants.

There are two categories for locations of small nuclear power plants.

Those in green could be called “probables”. Typically they are at existing coal and gas fired plants or are sited near major transmission substations. They have good access to existing cooling resources and access to site. Forty two plants are in this group located at eleven different sites.

Those in orange are the “possibles”. For some of these water availability for cooling may be constrained and they would rely on hybrid or dry cooling. Other sites are located in more difficult terrain or are more distant from ports for transport of large components. Twenty five plants are in this category located at eleven different sites. Ten in NSW and one in the ACT.

Locations for these plants have been chosen using the criteria listed in Site Selection

Transmission Line Legend
Transmission Line Legend
Victorian Nuclear Power Plant sites
Victorian Nuclear Power Plant sites
Site Location Number of SNPP’s Cooling
PO – 4 Portland 4 x 300MW Ist pass from sea
PH – 2 Point Henry 2 x 300MW Ist pass from sea
TB – 6 Tyabb 2 x 300MW Ist pass from sea
YN – 4 Yallourn 4 x 300MW Evaporative and Hybrid
HZ – 4 Hazelwood 4 x 300MW Evaporative and Hybrid
LYA – 6 Loy Yang A 6 x 300MW Evaporative and Hybrid
LYB – 4 Loy Yang B 4 x 300MW Evaporative and Hybrid
Total 26 x 300MW
AL – 2 Alexandra 2 x 300MW Evaporative and Hybrid
LE – 2 Lake Eildon 2 x 300MW Evaporative and Hybrid
DG – 2 Dederang 2 x 300MW Evaporative and Hybrid
ML – 2 Moorabool 2 x 300MW Evaporative and Hybrid
MI – 2 Mildura 2 x 300MW Evaporative and Hybrid
Total 10 x 300MW

Victoria and the National Grid

Transmission and distribution currently make up the largest share of our electricity bills. In Victoria its of the order of 45% while in SA its around 68%. Our analysis shows that going to 100% renewable energy with wind and solar could see this component at least double in cost.
Using nuclear power plants especially with Small Nuclear Power Plants of less than 300MW capacity we can make huge saving on the most expensive part of our electricity bills.

In Victoria some sites such as those in the old coal plants in the Latrobe Valley can readily meet the needs of multiples of small nuclear power plants because they would be replacing similarly sized coal and gas plants. Opportunities exist in Victoria with the new 800MW interconnector being built between Robertstown in South Australia through to Wagga Wagga in NSW. A switch yard will be expanded near Mildura and this would be a suitable site for the construction of two 300MW small nuclear power plants.

Other New sites will need to be located close by the grid.

A very detailed discussion of the challenges being faced by countries integrating different forms of energy generation onto their grids can be found at: Electricity Transmission Grids – World Nuclear Association

Cooling Victorian Nuclear Plants

In the Latrobe region of Victoria coal fired plants were constructed adjacent to available coal mines and other infrastructure.
New nuclear plants will where possible take advantage of the resource used for cooling at these plants.
In an effort to reduce the environmental impact upon inland water resources, modern nuclear power plants are being designed to use a hybrid system of air and water cooling. During periods of low water availability the degree of air cooling can be increased though at a modest reduction in power output.
At multiple coastal plants such as Portland, Tyabb or Point Henry sea water would be the sole form of cooling.

The tabulation shows the anticipated type of cooling at each plant

Australia’s long coastlines provide many options for locating nuclear power plants

To overcome issues surrounding temperature rises in inland locations cooling towers or mechanically driven systems known as  hybrid and recirculating systems can be used. These are now the only option used in the United States under their EPA guidelines.

While recirculating systems don’t add heat to the river or lake, they do consume water through evaporation. In Australia the availability of sizeable inland rivers are limited though a number of large reservoirs such as Hume Reservoir near Albury or Eildon Resevoir could be studied for their suitability.

An excellent and detailed outline of the cooling options is available at: Cooling Power Plants | Power Plant Water Use for Cooling – World Nuclear Association