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(03/09/07) -

Aussies Want Nuclear Power, But Not Nearby

(Angus Reid Global Monitor) – Many Australians are in favour of pursuing nuclear power in their country but most of them would not like reactors to be too close to their homes, according to a poll by Newspoll released by The Australian. While 46 per cent of respondents support the development of a nuclear power industry in Australia in order to reduce pollution, 66 per cent would be against the co

(Angus Reid Global Monitor) – Many Australians are in favour of pursuing nuclear power in their country but most of them would not like reactors to be too close to their homes, according to a poll by Newspoll released by The Australian. While 46 per cent of respondents support the development of a nuclear power industry in Australia in order to reduce pollution, 66 per cent would be against the construction of a power station in their local area.

There are currently three operating uranium mines in the country: the Olympic Dam and Beverley in South Australia, and Ranger in the Northern Territory. Since 1984, the Australian Labor Party (ALP)—which is in opposition at the federal level—has restricted the number of uranium mines in Australia.

Australian prime minister John Howard supports the idea of finding new sources of energy in order to reduce Australia’s emissions of polluting gases. Australia has not ratified the Kyoto Protocol.

On Mar. 7, Ziggy Switkowski, the new chairman of the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organization, said he is confident the politicians will open the door for a stronger nuclear power industry in the country, adding, “Once carbon dioxide emissions are costed and people make a decision they really do want to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, then the only alternative which is cost-competitive, clean and safe is nuclear power.”

Polling Data

Thinking now about reducing greenhouse gas emissions to help address climate change, are you personally in favour or against the development of a nuclear power industry in Australia, as one of a range of energy solutions to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions?

In favour

46%

Against

40%

Uncommitted

15%

And if it was decided that Australia develops a nuclear power industry, would you personally be in favour or against a nuclear power station being built in your local area?

In favour

26%

Against

66%

Uncommitted

9%

Source: Newspoll / The Australian
Methodology: Telephone interviews with 1,207 Australian voters, conducted from Mar. 2 to Mar. 4, 2007. Margin of error is 3 per cent.