Australians want to explore the option of nuclear power plants to help reduce the soaring cost of energy, according to a new survey, that found even Greens voters were backing the idea
- Survey shows that most Australians are open to having nuclear power plants
- Coalition voters are the most in favour but even Greens and Labor voters agree
- The Opposition is calling for a discussion on nuclear energy as power costs soar
- Coal plant outages and a gas shortage are two reasons for power price crisis
Most Australians want a nuclear power industry to reduce emissions by scrapping coal-fired plants, but it’s unlikely to happen because politicians don’t agree.
A poll found 53 per cent in Australians support ‘building nuclear power plants to supply electricity and reduce emissions’ and only 23 pre cent opposed.
Even Greens voters, whose party is fundamentally opposed to it, are warming to the idea with 44 per cent in favour compared to 30 per cent opposed.
The nuclear option also gathered 70 per cent approval from Coalition voters, with 13 per cent opposed, and 52 per cent from Labor supporters while 27 per cent opposed.
Daniel Wild, director of research at right-wing think-tank the Institute of Public Affairs, which commissioned the study, said politicians should unite on the issue.
‘Prime Minister Anthony Albanese and Opposition Leader Peter Dutton should come together and show leadership to repeal the ban on nuclear power in Australia, which can provide low-cost and reliable base-load power,’ he said.
Although there are growing signs that the Coalition will look into nuclear options to provide clean energy, there has been no sign of a policy change from Labor and definitely not from the Greens, who hold the balance of power in the Senate.
Greens leader Adam Bandt (left), seen here with his wife Claudia Perkins, is unlikely to get onboard any push for nuclear with him labelling nuclear submarines ‘floating Chernobyls’
In their policy statements, the Greens declare they want a world free of nuclear power and the cessation of Australian uranium mining and exports.
Greens leader Adam Bandt said last year that the Morrison Government’s decision to buy nuclear submarines put ‘floating Chernobyls’ in the heart of major cities.
The Greens control 10 seats in the Senate after increasing their numbers at the election, giving them the balance of power and ability to block legislation unless both major parties agree to it.
However, in Finland the Green Party voted to endorse nuclear power as a low-emissions energy source.
Nationals Leader David Littleproud has argued high energy prices are a result of the climate change net zero emissions by 2050 target.
Nationals leader David Littleproud, here seen with his partner Amelia Dobson, has emerged as one of the strongest voices calling for Australia to consider bringing nuclear into its power mix
He said Australia needed to have a conversation about nuclear power, arguing the fear associated with the power source was irrational and actually fed by a cartoon.
‘We did extensive polling and understood that it wasn’t as popular because … people were getting their information from what they saw on Chernobyl, Fukushima, and also The Simpsons,’ Mr Littepround told Sky News.
‘There’s this perception that’s been put around nuclear… etched into folklore from cartoons.’
Opposition Leader Peter Dutton also indicated on Monday the Coalition would look at overturning Australia’s ban on nuclear power.
‘I’m not afraid to have a discussion on nuclear if we want to have legitimate emissions reductions, if we want to lower electricity prices, then that is exactly the path that [French] President [Emmanuel] Macron has embarked on, and [British] Prime Minister [Boris] Johnson is talking about in the UK,’ he told the ABC.
Mr Littleproud argues that the negative ideas Australians have about nuclear power stem don’t just stem from the Chernobyl and Fukushima disasters but also The Simpsons cartoon sit-com
Australian households are being pushed to breaking point by skyrocketing power prices due to outages at coal-fired power stations, the cold weather, and a shortage of gas.
Federal climate change and energy minister Chris Bowen is having an emergency with meeting state counterparts to address the soaring price of gas.
Mr Johnson just announced the UK would build eight new nuclear plants, aiming to finish one a year to reduce their reliance on gas.
The IPA’s poll was conducted in April and surveyed more than 1,000 Australians on their attitudes to nuclear power.
Source: The Daily Mail