Resources Minister endorses nuclear option

Resources Minister endorses nuclear option

Federal Minister for Resources and Industry, Ian Macfarlane, has delivered a strong endorsement for nuclear energy in Australia at a conference in Sydney today.

Mr Macfarlane has opened the 15th Pacific Basin Nuclear Conference, which brings together nuclear experts from 30 countries.

He says nuclear energy is Australia’s best option for cutting greenhouse emissions and it would be foolish not to consider it.

“Based on currently available technology, only nuclear power has the potential to deliver base load quantities of electricity in Australia at low emissions,” he said.

He was echoing comments by the Prime Minister John Howard, who has said he is in favour of Australia developing nuclear power for peaceful purposes.

“In an age where we’re worried about global warming we should be looking seriously at nuclear power as an option, because it’s clean and it doesn’t emit greenhouse gases and I can’t understand why the extreme Greenies oppose it,” he said.

The executive director of the World Nuclear Association, John Ritch, says Australia is in a unique position to take advantage of its plentiful uranium resources.

“But also as a producer of nuclear fuel, as a generator of nuclear power,” he said.

Mr Ritch says if there is public acceptance, Australia could have a nuclear power plant within 10 years.

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