New and emerging atomic developments should be exempted from an existing ban on nuclear technology, a top energy chief has said.
Federal parliamentary energy committee chairman Ted O’Brien MP wants to see more nuclear projects allowed to proceed across the nation.
O’Brien believes nuclear energy should not be completely banned and instead complement traditional power sources like coal, according to a 230-page report released on December 13.
‘On the table’
“Nuclear energy should be on the table for consideration as part of our future energy mix”, he said in a public statement.
O’Brien recommends partially lifting the current moratorium on nuclear energy and further work on nuclear technology through the federally funded Productivity Commission, Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation, and Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency.
“Australia should say a definite ‘no’ to old nuclear technologies but a conditional ‘yes’ to new and emerging technologies such as small modular reactors,” he said. “Most importantly, the Australian people should be at the centre of any approval process.”
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‘Can’t simply ignore’
He revealed there is no more reliable energy source that produces no carbon emissions.
“If we’re serious about reducing greenhouse gas emissions, we can’t simply ignore this zero-emissions base load technology,” he said.
The Minerals Council of Australia (MCA) supports exploring nuclear projects further because Australia has some of the world’s largest uranium deposits and is missing out on tens of thousands of job opportunities.
“The relentless and baseless scare campaign waged against nuclear power for the past 40 years is fundamentally anti-scientific,” MCA CEO Tania Constable said in a public statement.