Millennium Post

Australia PM Abbott opens door to nuclear energy

Australia PM Abbott opens door to nuclear energy
Australia is the world’s third-ranking uranium producer behind Kazakhstan and Canada but does not use nuclear power, largely due to its abundance of low-cost coal and natural gas reserves, and community sentiment.

But with demands growing for Canberra to announce its climate targets for beyond 2020 at global talks in France late next year, Abbott said he was open to the idea.

“On nuclear energy, as I have said on many occasions, I don’t have any theological objection to nuclear,” said the Prime Minister, who recently called coal “good for humanity” and once said climate change science was “absolute crap”.

Australia is among the world’s worst per capita polluters due to its reliance on coal-fired power and mining exports.

Canberra has so far committed to reducing emissions to 5.0 per cent below 2000 levels by 2020. Environmentalists say it ought to target 15 per cent.

A reopening of the nuclear debate in Australia comes after the United States and China- the world’s two biggest polluters- announced a surprise deal last month to ramp up their efforts to combat climate change.

It effectively made global warming central to the world political agenda, and stymied efforts by Abbott to reduce the issue to the margins of last month’s G20 Summit in Brisbane.

Abbott acknowledged that nuclear power was an important part of the energy mix in many countries, pointing to Japan and France.

“So I have no theological objection to nuclear energy and if we are to dramatically reduce emissions, we have to remember that the one absolutely proven way of generating emissions-free base load
power is through nuclear,” he said.
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