Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Nuclear power only natural, says Nelson - National

Nuclear power only natural, says Nelson - National -

By Stephanie Peatling
August 11, 2005

Australia will have to start using nuclear power within the next 50 years to help reduce the growth in greenhouse gas emissions, the Minister for Science, Brendan Nelson, says.

In the most pro-nuclear remarks made yet by a member of the Howard Government, Dr Nelson said it was hypocritical for Australia to look to increase its uranium exports without using the resource itself.

"We seem to be quite keen about digging it out of the ground and exporting it to other countries," he said yesterday.

"We might reasonably consider nuclear power as an option for our future."

Several Government ministers, including the Foreign Minister, Alexander Downer, and the Treasurer, Peter Costello, have said there should be a debate about whether there is a place for nuclear power as part of Australia's energy provision.

Uranium exports are set to rise following an announcement this week that Australia would begin negotiating a nuclear co-operation agreement with China.

The Federal Government moved last week to take control of the Northern Territory's uranium resources, raising the prospect of more mines.

Dr Nelson is the first member of the Government to link the two issues. He is no stranger to controversy over uranium, having recently made the decision to locate a nuclear waste dump in the Northern Territory, after a nationwide search that took several years to complete.

He signalled his intention to commission a scientific review of the pros and cons of domestic nuclear power industry.

"The Government does not have a particular position on this [but] we should," Dr Nelson said. "The reality is that our world is warming."

While the Opposition supports increased uranium exports, it remains opposed to a domestic nuclear energy industry, citing concerns over the storage of waste, safety and emergency procedures.


Post a Comment

<< Home