Issues Paper Three - Electricity Generated from nuclear fuels

Submission from the World Nuclear Association to the South Australian Nuclear Fuel Cycle Royal Commission

Full submission available as a pdf

The World Nuclear Association answered in full the Royal Commission’s questions regarding the potential development of nuclear energy in South Australia. We noted that for this to be possible there must first be changes at the national level. Regardless of other outcomes, we hoped to see the Commission recommend the revision of the federal Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act of 1999 and Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Act of 1998, both of which at the time of the submission prohibited nuclear power plants and other nuclear fuel cycle facilities from being constructed in Australia.

In many ways Australia is already a nuclear nation. It is home to one of the most advanced nuclear research and medical facilities in the world at Lucas Heights and is also one of the world’s largest suppliers of uranium. Many advanced nuclear technologies have also been developed with the assistance of Australian scientists. The country has a long and proud nuclear history and is well placed from a technical, regulatory and social standpoint to start a nuclear power program.

We believe it is natural that a technologically sophisticated country like Australia should seek to make use of nuclear energy as it attempts to address its climate, energy and economic challenges. About two-thirds of the world's population live in countries which are supplied by nuclear energy and which enjoy reliable, affordable, clean electricity with negligible carbon emissions as a result.