The federal parliament’s Joint Standing committee on Treaties (JSCOT) has today signed off on the use of public funds to support research into so-called Generation IV nuclear reactors.
“This reckless decision follows a rushed process with no public hearings. It lacks evidence and justification and flies in the face of a clear and sustained global trend away from nuclear energy options,” said Australian Conservation Foundation campaigner Dave Sweeney.
ACF joined Friends of the Earth Australia in making a detailed critique of the nuclear plan to JSCOT.
The submission highlighted that the various Generation IV nuclear systems share many of the same risks and constraints as the wider nuclear industry, including prohibitive costs and safety, waste and proliferation concerns.
“Australia’s involvement with Generation IV promotion is a distraction from the real energy challenges and solutions,” said Dave Sweeney.
“Propping up nuclear research is not consistent with clear action to address nuclear non-proliferation, energy transition or climate change. It’s also inconsistent with both Australian prohibitions and community expectations on nuclear power.”
These concerns have been noted in both the Greens’ dissenting report and federal Labor’s additional comments, however they are not reflected in the final report.
“Committing public funds to a risky, divisive and under-performing industry deserves the highest scrutiny and justification, not an under the radar rubber-stamp,” Mr Sweeney said.
Further context or comment:
Dave Sweeney – ACF nuclear free campaigner – 0408 317 812
Dr Jim Green – Friends of the Earth Australia national nuclear campaigner – 0417 318 368