Tuesday, 12 June 2012

SA Premier rejects nuclear argument

5 Jun 2012

Premier Jay Weatherill says the South Australian Government remains opposed to nuclear power as an avenue to cutting carbon emissions. A nuclear power advocate Professor Barry Brook of University of Adelaide thinks it is inevitable Australia will embrace nuclear power. Professor Brook expects small nuclear power plants could be built in years to come, possibly at outback mining sites. He says BHP Billiton should consider the option as it expands the Olympic Dam mine.

"It can provide clean energy for it and it's actually producing metals and fuel for the rest of the world", he said. "I would suggest by about 2025 there's going to be a lot of serious debate about getting the first reactors built here and probably the way it can be done is to build small reactors you can bury underground, so they're very safe like that".

Mr Weatherill says using nuclear power is not on the table. "It doesn't represent the policy of this Government", he said. "Leaving aside the broader objections, there is a practical, financial objective that means that nuclear power for South Australia is unlikely to be viable".