Nuclear power has no role in Australia’s energy future and is a dangerous distraction from the climate challenges facing Australia.
A pro-nuclear NSW upper house inquiry initiated by One Nation MLC Mark Latham has recommended removing the state’s long-standing legislative ban on uranium mining and opening the door to nuclear power, but Labor committee members have reaffirmed their party’s opposition to uranium mining and nuclear energy.
The inquiry report recommends the repeal of the Uranium Mining and Nuclear Facilities (Prohibitions) Act, but a dissenting statement by Labor committee members says a ‘Labor Government will maintain a ban on uranium exploration, extraction and export’ and a ‘Labor Government will not introduce nuclear power in NSW’.
The Australian Conservation Foundation said Australia was blessed with outstanding renewable resources and did not need to explore dangerous nuclear energy options.
“The state ban on uranium mining has served NSW well and should remain,” said ACF nuclear campaigner Dave Sweeney.
“Uranium mining in NSW would risk the health of the environment and regional communities for scant promise of return.
“There is little to be gained and a lot to lose from this poor piece of political posturing.
“Equally people can have no confidence in nuclear reactor concepts that do not exist in the real world of civilian electricity production.
“Small nuclear reactors exist on paper, in corporate funding pitches and on military submarines – they are not a credible response to the climate crisis.”
Australia’s embattled uranium sector has been hard hit by the commodity price collapse that followed the 2011 Fukushima nuclear crisis, which was fuelled by Australian uranium.
Since then uranium operations have been routinely deferred or scrapped in jurisdictions where mining is allowed.
A broad coalition of civil society organisations, representing millions of Australians, last year declared nuclear power has no role in Australia’s energy future and is a dangerous distraction from real progress on the climate challenges facing Australia.