MCA: Nuclear power prohibition must be removed

The Minerals Council of Australia (MCA) has called for an end to Australia’s nuclear power ban.

According to a new report by the MCA, Removing the Prohibition on Nuclear Power, Australia “tied one hand behind its back” as recently as 1998, when a ban on nuclear power “slipped” into legislation centralizing radiation regulation.

MCA executive director of uranium Daniel Zavattiero said a similar prohibition with even greater effect was inserted in federal environmental legislation the following year.

“This is despite the fact it is a proven technology,” he said.

“This is despite the fact it continues to be rolled out in key trading partner countries like China and India.

“This is despite the fact that it has a clear track record of underpinning an extremely low emissions electricity system in several industrialised, urban economies in France, Sweden, Switzerland and the Canadian province of Ontario.”

Mr Zavattiero said with the current energy crisis in Australia, the country should remove the “outdated” prohibition.

“The country deserves to have all energy options on the table to consider in future,” he said.

“Australia’s long history of reliable uranium production and supply, its world class research reactor in Sydney, and its strong non-proliferation reputation provides a base of expertise and experience with which international nuclear innovators would dearly like to work.

“The removal of the prohibition will mean nuclear will be properly considered on merit and before any project is built, it would need to satisfy stringent environmental and regulatory standards and be approved by the federal government.

“For Australia to open itself up to these new opportunities in nuclear science research, development and innovation, leading to new industries and opportunities with key trading partners, the prohibition of nuclear power must be removed.”

MCA Uranium Forum chair and Vimy Resources CEO Mike Young said the “anachronistic” laws leave Australia languishing.

“Any objective science-based discussion, devoid of hyperbole and emotion invariably finds that nuclear power is clean, economic and reliable, that it plays a vital role in the world today, will continue to do so in the future, and that it makes no sense for it to be banned in Australia,” he said.