In 1958, the Electricity Trust of South Australia sent a Senior Project Engineer, Mr. Phil Williams, to the U.K. on a 2-year mission to study the operation of the Calder Hall Nuclear Power Station, and to report upon the feasibilty of constructing such a facility in South Australia.
He found that design improvements at Calder Hall had improved operational efficiency, so that it was competitive with existing black-coal fuelled thermal power stations. However, these improvements, e.g. in heat exchanger design, were equally effective when incorporated in new conventional power stations. There was only a marginal benefit at that time in abandoning the German-designed lignite-fuelled power stations, which were being built at Port Augusta to use the Leigh Creek brown coal reserves.
Now, however, the newer designs of nuclear power stations operate at much higher temperatures than conventional fossil-fuelled power stations, and so are significantly more efficient. If, of course, we include the feasibility and expense of storing wastes, e.g. carbon dioxide vs nuclear wastes, then there is a clear benefit in replacing fossil-fuelled power stations by thermo-nuclear power stations. While no one has yet demonstrated a viable system for carbon capture and storage, and so claimed the Richard Branson prize, the Generation IV nuclear reactors produce a trivial amount of low-activity radioactive waste which can be buried at the mine site.
While I have no resources to carry out a comprehensive comparative study of the whole-of-life costs of the many competing energy generation technologies, this has already been accomplished by reliable independent scientists, such as Professor Barry Brook of the University of Tasmania, and Professor Corey Bradshaw of the University of Adelaide. Their work has been extensively peer-reviewed and is authentic.