Australian mining group asks government to repeal nuclear power ban

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison. Photo from Morrison’s Facebook page.

The Minerals Council of Australia or MCA issued a communiqué calling on the Scott Morrison administration to repeal a current ban on nuclear power.

The release followed Morrison’s comments last week on a Tasmanian radio station, where the prime minister said he would be okay with receiving proposals from the nuclear energy industry.

However, following a negative reaction from the opposition, the Liberal politician took it to Twitter to explain that even though receiving recommendations related to non-conventional energy generation was “not ‘not’ on the agenda,” his government doesn’t have any plans to change the laws regarding nuclear power.

Australia’s known uranium resources are the world’s largest.

In response to this discussion, the MCA said that even though it acknowledges the Federal Government is not considering removing the current ban on nuclear power, the group believes now is the time to end “the discriminatory treatment of nuclear energy by repealing the ban.”

The Council argues its point by noting that nuclear energy provides 11% of the world’s electricity in a reliable fashion, at a very low cost, and with zero emissions. According to the industry organization, these are the reasons behind the recent proliferation of nuclear power stations in China, the United Arab Emirates, Finland, and the United Kingdom.

“Removing the ban would allow 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 release states. “The removal of the prohibition on nuclear energy will also allow for investment proposals to be brought forward.”

According to the World Nuclear Association, Australia’s known uranium resources are the world’s largest – almost one-third of the planet’s total.

Despite the fact that only three mines are currently operating in the Oceanian country, it is the third-ranking producer, behind Kazakhstan and Canada. In 2017, Australia produced 6937 tonnes of U3O8 (5882 tU), all of which were exported.

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