Minerals Council pushes for removal of ban on nuclear as potential 'clean' energy source

The Minerals Council of Australia is calling for the ban on nuclear power in Australia to be lifted so that it can be used in building a “ reliable, affordable and low emissions electricity system”.

The MCA said that by removing clauses in legislation that centralised radiation regulation introduced in 1998, and in federal environmental legislation introduced the following year, Australia could benefit from 'exciting opportunities' in the area of nuclear energy development.

Chair of the MCA Uranium Forum and CEO of Vimy Resources, Mike Young said that Australia could be at the vanguard of nuclear technology, “ but instead these anachronistic laws leave us languishing.

“Any objective science-based discussion, devoid of hyperbole and emotion invariably finds that nuclear power is clean, economic and reliable, that it plays a vital role in the world today, will continue to do so in the future, and that it makes no sense for it to be banned in Australia,” he said.

Vimy Resources is a WA based resource development company whose primary focus is the Mulga Rock Project, Australia’s third largest undeveloped uranium resource.

Last year, Australia became the 14th member of the Generation IV International Forum (https://www.gen-4.org), which was set up to progress next generation nuclear energy systems, but it is listed as a 'non-active' member because it has not acceded to the Framework Agreement which 'establishes system and project organisational levels for further co-operation'.

The MCA statement said that a new generation of venture-capital backed nuclear start-ups are developing innovative new designs for smaller reactors which reduce upfront costs and have wider application ranges including off-grid and load-following capability for grids with high intermittent renewable energy generation.

“Many of these new nuclear innovators seek international collaboration. Australia’s long history of reliable uranium production and supply, its world class research reactor in Sydney, and its strong non-proliferation reputation provides a base of expertise and experience with which international nuclear innovators would dearly like to work.”

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