Well, the battle-lines are now drawn. Labor’s widely expected decision to scrap the “no new mines” policy scraped through the national conference. However, the reaction of state governments is variable, with Western Australia promising to not allow mines, while South Australia and the Northern Territory looking forward to expansion. Labor remains resolutely opposed to nuclear power domestically, however.
Meanwhile, the conservatives have announced their plans on the topic. The key section of the plan is below the fold
The strategy will involve a number of actions that can be taken immediately, including:
– removing unnecessary constraints impeding the expansion of uranium mining, such as overlapping and cumbersome regulations relating to the mining and transport of uranium ore;
– making a firm commitment to Australia’s participation in the Generation IV advanced nuclear reactor research programme.
My Government will also develop four major work plans mapping out a way forward for:
(i) an appropriate nuclear energy regulatory regime – including those to govern any future potential nuclear energy facilities in Australia;
(ii) skills and technical training to address any identified gaps and needs to support a possible expanded nuclear energy industry;
(iii) enhanced research and development; and
(iv) communication strategies so that all Australians and other stakeholders can clearly understand what needs to be done and why.
Relevant Ministers and their Departments are to commence this work immediately and to report to Cabinet by around September this year;
The work plans are to be implemented in 2008.
The Government’s next step will be to repeal Commonwealth legislation prohibiting nuclear activities, including the relevant provisions of the Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999. This will be addressed soon.
There’s lots of material here for a number of posts, but consider this one an open nuclear thread. Amongst other things, some identification of what topics commenters are most interested in, in relation to nuclear energy, would help shape future discussion.
On the politics of the issue, as I was asking over at Blogocracy:
Could anyone, anywhere identify me a voter who is more likely to vote for the coalition because it supports domestic nuclear energy?