PERTH (miningweekly.com) – The Minerals Council of Australia (MCA) has called on the federal government to repeal a ban on nuclear energy.
The call comes after Prime Minister Scott Morrison last week said in a radio interview that while nuclear energy was “not on the agenda”, he noted that nuclear energy had to pay its own way.
“Wherever it [energy security] can come from is fine, but it has got to be self-sustaining,” the Prime Minister said.
The MCA has welcomed the comments, urging the government to end the “discriminatory treatment” of nuclear energy by repealing the ban.
“Nuclear energy provides 11% of the world's electricity which is low cost, zero emission and available 24/7,” said MCA CEO Tania Constable.
“That is why new nuclear power stations are being built in China, the United Arab Emirates, Finland and the UK. Latest generation nuclear technologies, such as small modular reactors, offer the potential to fully back up renewable energy sources.”
Constable said that removing the ban would allow for Australians to have a serious conversation about a genuinely technology neutral approach towards the nation’s energy mix, delivering affordable, reliable and clean energy sources.
“The removal of the prohibition on nuclear energy will also allow for investment proposals to be brought forward. There is an urgent need for Australia to consider all technologies on their merits,” she said.
The ban on nuclear power in Australia has been in place since 1998, but the country hosts the world’s largest uranium resource and is the third-largest producer, producing an exporting more than 7 000 t/y of uranium.