Alexa
  • Directory of Taiwan

Poll shows Australian PM out of step with public opinion on atomic power

Poll shows Australian PM out of step with public opinion on atomic power

Supporters of Prime Minister John Howard's policy that Australia should introduce nuclear power are outnumbered by opponents, an opinion poll revealed Saturday.
Howard on Friday urged state leaders to lift bans on expanding Australia's uranium industry and said the country needs to introduce nuclear power to meet its future energy needs.
"Nuclear power is part of the solution both to Australia's energy and climate change challenges," Howard said, releasing a report on the uranium industry's potential.
A respected Newspoll published in The Weekend Australian newspaper Saturday found just 35 percent of respondents supported the construction of nuclear power plants in Australia _ down from 38 percent when a similar poll was conducted in May.
A poll also showed opposition to nuclear power in Australia had edged down from 51 to 50 percent during the same period. The remainder are undecided.
Several state leaders attacked Howard's plan, arguing that nuclear power would drive up the price of household electricity. They asked where the reactors would be built and where the radioactive waste would be buried.
All states are governed by the center-left Labor Party which has supported a policy since 1983 of preventing new uranium mines from opening.
Labor's federal leader Kevin Rudd, the main opposition party leader, said the center-right government's lack of commitment to renewable energy sources such as solar and wind power will be a major issue at elections due late in 2007.
"Mr. Howard's plan is to have a nuclear reactor in your neighborhood. What we want to see is solar panels on your roof," Rudd told reporters Friday.
The federal government-commissioned report released Friday is the final version of a draft released by an expert panel in November that recommended Australia, which holds almost 40 percent of the world's known uranium reserves, lift restrictions on the export and enrichment of uranium.
The report found that if Australia built 25 nuclear reactors, they could supply a third of Australia's energy needs by 2050. Australia is the world's largest coal exporter and most of its electricity is generated by the polluting fossil fuel. It currently has no nuclear power plants.
Australian law bans refining or enriching uranium, exports of which are valued at 573 million Australian dollars (US$453 million;


Updated : 2021-06-24 19:38 GMT+08:00