24 December 2010 - Queensland Premier Bligh support for nuclear energy foreshadows lifting of uranium ban

Queensland Premier Anna Bligh’s support for a debate about nuclear energy greatly increases the likelihood that Queensland’s ban on uranium mining will eventually be overturned, the Australian Uranium Association said today.

Ms Bligh has correctly identified the national interest factors that make nuclear energy an increasingly attractive electricity generation option for Australia, said the Association’s Chief Executive Officer, Mr Michael Angwin.

“Uranium mining is part of the nuclear energy industry and the national interest factors that underline Ms Bligh’s position on the nuclear debate are the same factors that make the case for uranium mining,” Mr Angwin said.

“Ms Bligh’s comments to The Australian represent a considered and accurate summary of some of the key arguments for consideration of nuclear energy as part of the electricity generation mix for Australia,” he said.

Mr Angwin said Ms Bligh had correctly identified:

·         the challenges in developing new coal-fired electricity technologies;

·         that cost and reliability issues cast doubt on the capacity of renewable sources such as wind and solar power to meet large-scale electricity needs;

·         that additional hydroelectricity capacity was unlikely to be developed because Australians did not want more large dams, and

·         that environmentalists were increasingly turning to nuclear as a climate mitigation technology.

The ALP looks likely to pay considerable attention to nuclear energy during 2011 and the uranium industry looks forward to that discussion,” Mr Angwin said.