New polling (of 1500 people) has shown that 40 per cent of Australians support lifting the ban on the use of nuclear power in Australia.
The polling, by JWS Research for the Minerals Council of Australia (MCA), found four in 10 Australians support lifting the ban on nuclear power in Australia and 39 per cent support the use of nuclear power in Australia.
The research was conducted in early to mid-October 2019 with focus groups in Sydney and Melbourne and a quantitative poll of 1500 Australians.
Support for nuclear power grew to 55 per cent when those polled were asked whether they would accept lifting the ban on the use of nuclear power in Australia if they knew that a majority of Australians supported it.
Opposition to both the use of nuclear power in Australia and lifting the ban was 33 per cent. A further 29 per cent of people were either neutral or unsure about the use of nuclear power in Australia, with 26 per cent either neutral or unsure on lifting the ban.
The polling found more than half those surveyed – 54 per cent – are unaware nuclear power is banned in Australia.
The MCA says climate change is real and as global energy demand increases, so does the need to diversify our power supplies and reduce emissions through technology.
“Nuclear energy is safe, reliable and affordable. It provides around 10 per cent of the world’s electricity with zero emissions,” the MCA said in a statement.
“The power provided by nuclear energy is low cost and can meet the needs of industrial and household consumers 24/7.
“Yet Australia, with the world’s largest deposits of uranium, continues to prohibit the use of nuclear power. Any government serious about addressing climate change must consider nuclear in its energy mix.”
That said, some researchers have suggested that nuclear power is “uninsurable” and “uneconomic” in Australia as financial services in Australia will not insure against nuclear accidents. This would mean the cost of a potential fallout would be worn by taxpayers.