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Consider enrichment: Minister

AUSTRALIA should not shy away from considering uranium enrichment, Environment Minister Ian Campbell said today.

The debate over nuclear power and uranium exports re-emerged last week as Prime Minister John Howard visited the US and held energy talks as part of a two-week, three-country tour.

Senator Campbell said Australia may not have nuclear power for 100 years, but it should be an option.

"The reality is we've got a lot of uranium here, we have high demand for energy and growing," he told ABC radio.

"It shouldn't be ruled out. What I'd say is that we need to have every option to have stable and growing energy availability with much, much lower greenhouse gases and that means you're going to have a mixture of renewables, such as wind and solar."

Senator Campbell said uranium enrichment, which can be a step on the road to building nuclear weapons, should also be considered.

"I think we have to look at all of the options.

"If we're going to provide secure energy for the world and have a massive reduction in greenhouse gases, we need all of these options on the table and to shy away from that means you're not serious about the environment or the economy," he said.

Both Industry Minister Ian Macfarlane and Foreign Minister Alexander Downer have advocated considering uranium enrichment as... more [truncated due to possible copyright]  
The debate over nuclear power and uranium exports re-emerged last week as Prime Minister John Howard visited the US and held energy talks as part of a two-week, three-country tour.
 
Senator Campbell said Australia may not have nuclear power for 100 years, but it should be an option.
 
"The reality is we've got a lot of uranium here, we have high demand for energy and growing," he told ABC radio.
 
"It shouldn't be ruled out. What I'd say is that we need to have every option to have stable and growing energy availability with much, much lower greenhouse gases and that means you're going to have a mixture of renewables, such as wind and solar."

Senator Campbell said uranium enrichment, which can be a step on the road to building nuclear weapons, should also be considered.
 
"I think we have to look at all of the options.
 
"If we're going to provide secure energy for the world and have a massive reduction in greenhouse gases, we need all of these options on the table and to shy away from that means you're not serious about the environment or the economy," he said.
 
Both Industry Minister Ian Macfarlane and Foreign Minister Alexander Downer have advocated considering uranium enrichment as part of the nuclear power generation process.
 
Western nations are currently pressuring Iran not to pursue uranium enrichment.
 
But Senator Campbell said reducing carbon emissions was the real silver bullet for the greenhouse challenge.
 
"If there's any such thing as silver bullet in the greenhouse challenge, it is capturing carbon off the burning of fossil fuels and stopping the carbon going into the atmosphere."
 
Mr Howard today likened the nuclear power debate to the GST, saying governments sometimes had to force difficult issues into the open.
 
He has called for a "full-blooded" debate on nuclear issues and flagged an announcement on the structure of that discussion when he returns to Australia later this week.
 
But the Australian Greens say the country does not need nuclear power and could supply its energy needs by harnessing the power of the sun.
 
"Australia doesn't need it. We've got much better options," Greens senator Bob Brown told the Nine Network.
 
"We're the sunny country. We've got an infinite resource coming from the sun through the various forms of renewable energy in this country and energy efficiency.
 
"We simply don't need to be going down the nuclear track."
 
Senator Brown said nuclear power proponents were being driven by greed.
 
"The whole debate ... is about greed.
 
"It's about making money out of uranium resources and exporting that uranium into a world market which is quite dangerous in an age of terrorism and handbag-sized nuclear weapons."
 
 


Source: http://www.sundaytimes.news...

MAY 22 2006
https://www.windaction.org/posts/2717-consider-enrichment-minister
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