Lift nuclear ban, MCA tells Australian government

日期 2018/1/17 14:15:15 | 新聞類別: 國際核能現況

The Minerals Council of Australia (MCA) has repeated its call for the Australian government to lift a ban on the development of nuclear power. Australia must reform its taxation, industrial relations, environmental and energy policies to shield the nation from future economic downturn and deliver stronger economic growth, the council said in its pre-Budget submission to the federal government.



The 42-page submission sees the MCA, which represents Australia's exploration, mining and minerals processing industry, call for action on taxation and sets out structural reform priorities, including legislation to streamline the process for project approvals and environmental regulation. It also calls for the government to remove Australia's ban on nuclear power, and the removal of uranium mining, milling, decommissioning and rehabilitation from the definition of nuclear action - the so-called 'nuclear trigger' - in the Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Act 1999 (EPBC Act).


"Existing state assessment and approval processes are comprehensive and can effectively address any significant environmental risks," it noted.


Uranium mining legislation and regulation, including rules governing the transport and export of uranium, should be standardised across the country, the submission said. Federally legislated bans on nuclear industries in the EPBC Act and the Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Act 1998 are anti-uranium and undermine foreign investor confidence in uranium mining in Australia, it said. Removing such bans would encourage innovation and investment in nuclear research and technologies while still ensuring that any proposed nuclear developments were required to meet all relevant federal and state environmental, safety and other regulatory approval processes, it notes.


The goal of Australia's energy and climate policy framework should be to deliver reliable energy at least cost while meeting the nation's emissions reduction objectives. This means applying a technology-neutral approach to all energy sources, while avoiding subsidies, quotas or other non-market-oriented interventions, the MCA said. It identified nuclear and low emissions coal as critical sources of baseload power.


"Nuclear power has the advantage of being able to generate baseload electricity with very low CO2 emissions over its lifecycle," the MCA said. "Modern small modular reactors could offer long-term stable electricity supply to underpin household and industrial use in mining and other remote towns. The ban on nuclear power in Australia is hampering an open debate about future energy and climate change management and stands at odds with Australia's export uranium mining industry."


Australia has 34% of the world's uranium resources and is the world's third-largest uranium producing country, and is home to the 20 MWt Opal research reactor. The MCA's budget submission follows its publication in September 2017 of Removing the Prohibition on Nuclear Power, in which it said the country's self-imposed nuclear power ban has also meant it has been unable to develop a "high value, high tech" nuclear industry.


The Australian Treasury in September called for submissions from individuals, businesses and community groups seeking their views regarding priorities for the 2018-19 budget. The pre-budget submission process formally closed on 15 December, but late submissions are still being accepted until 31 January 2018. The finalised budget is usually presented on the second Tuesday in May.


Researched and written
by World Nuclear News



source:http://www.world-nuclear-news.org/NP-Lift-nuclear-ban-MCA-tells-Australian-government-1501187.html



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