The LDP supports nuclear power provided it is subject to the same tax policies as other energy sources.
There is a longstanding perception that nuclear power plants are expensive and dangerous with the potential for accidents and leaks outweighing the potential benefits they could provide. There are also concerns about what to do with nuclear waste products such as spent fuel rods.
Whether or not these concerns were once valid, they are certainly not valid now. Advances in the design of nuclear power plants mean that they are now safe and produce quite small quantities of waste. Moreover, waste can now be safely stored indefinitely.
In the rest of the world, nuclear energy takes its place alongside other forms. About 20 percent of the world's electricity is provided by nuclear power plants. In France it is more than 70 percent. Many countries including China, India, Japan, Finland and Russia are planning to construct nuclear power plants in coming years. It is both illogical and patronising for Australia to export uranium for use in nuclear power plants while prohibiting their establishment here.
The nuclear industry also has the potential to create a secondary industry based on the storage of waste products. With vast expanses of uninhabited, geologically stable land, Western Australia, South Australia and the Northern Territory could become world leaders in the field of safe storage of nuclear waste.
The storage of nuclear waste, if done properly, is safe. Moreover, storage in Australia would help keep it from ending up in the wrong hands. If a small country like Sweden can make safe use of nuclear power and provide for the disposal of waste, so can Australia.
The LDP supports the establishment of nuclear power generation plants provided they are not subject to differential taxation policies compared to other energy sources. If it ever becomes compelling to act to reduce global warming, nuclear power generation is an obvious option.
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