Welcome to AtomWatch - world nuclear power news and analysis

This blog is aimed at tracing the world news related to nuclear power development internationally and in particular countries. Being an independent resource, we accept all kinds of opinions, positions and comments, and welcome you to discuss the posts and tell us what you think.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Australians 'will accept nuclear power'

It is being predicted that Australians will soon accept that nuclear power is the answer to many climate change problems.

The president of the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation, Ziggy Switkowski, says there has already been a shift in perception on the issue, with about half of the population now open to the idea.

"Community opinion now is reasonably evenly split between for and against and that's a positive move from the nuclear power point of view in the last couple of years," he told ABC2's News Breakfast.

"I think in the next several years we'll get an alignment between communities being supportive of nuclear power and politicians realising that it's really a large part of the climate change solution."

Dr Switkowski says while he respects the Government's opposition to nuclear power, he says it is not consistent with the view of most countries around the world.

"Progressively I think we're going to have every state line up in support of uranium mining and export," he said.

"The more uranium we export and the more nuclear power is produced around the world, the less the challenge becomes in terms of the evolution away from fossil fuel."

Dr Switkowski says the WA Government's decision to lift a ban on uranium mining is another step in the right direction.

He has dismissed concern about finding a storage site for waste from future nuclear reactors.

"To find one location in central Australia presumably that will progressively store the spent fuel from Australia's reactors at the end of this century, we're talking 80 years out, strikes me as a very straight forward technical problem," he said.

Dr Switkowski says there is nothing to suggest Australia will be forced to accept waste from countries buying its uranium.

"Most countries have laws on their books that say 'if we are going to go nuclear we are responsible for our own waste, we will store it within our boundaries, we will not accept anybody else's waste'," he said.

"I think you would struggle to find nuclear waste that people wanted to send to Australia."

(Source: ABC News)

No comments: