Support for nuclear energy growing in Australian government

Source: Xinhua| 2020-02-08 13:55:13|Editor: Yurou
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CANBERRA, Feb. 8 (Xinhua) -- Members of Australia's governing coalition has called for a re-think of the nation's ban on nuclear energy.

Katie Allen, a government member of parliament (MP) representing inner-city Melbourne, wrote in a column for Nine Entertainment newspapers that Australia has an opportunity to lead the way on developing "safer and more effective" nuclear energy.

Australia has had a blanket moratorium on nuclear energy for 20 years, but a parliamentary committee chaired by coalition MP Ted O'Brien in December tabled a report calling for it to be partially lifted.

Allen, who on Tuesday told a meeting of coalition MPs that the party will lose inner-city seats if it does not tackle climate change, wrote that nuclear power could be the solution to reducing emissions without harming the economy.

"As a smart country with a willing citizenry, we are poised to identify new economic opportunities, particularly for technologies that provide storage and back-up to the electricity, industry and transport sector," she said.

"Energy technology is moving rapidly and we wouldn't want to miss any opportunity to lead the revolution in the world's bid for a carbon-neutral future."

In December, Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Angus Taylor, the minister for energy and emissions reduction, declared that they were not considering exploring nuclear options.

Any move to lift the moratorium would require the support of the opposition Labor Party, which has previously declared an anti-nuclear stance.

The report from December said that a partial lift would allow the government to conduct recommended "economic, technological and readiness assessments" for nuclear energy.

"Rather than a total and immediate lift of the moratorium, only a partial lift for new and emerging technologies is proposed, subject to the results of a technology assessment and a commitment to community consent as a condition of approval for nuclear facilities," it said.