Is there growing support for the use of nuclear power in Australia? Photo by Mick Truyts on Unsplash.
Is there growing support for the use of nuclear power in Australia? Photo by Mick Truyts on Unsplash.

‘Pretty safe’: Surprising support for nuclear power

The Nationals’ Senate team wants to investigate nuclear power in Australia, and it seems there’s support for the idea on the Northern Rivers.

Senator Bridget McKenzie this month said nuclear is was a “mature, low emissions technology and it is right that we should include it in any plan for Australia’s future.”

Although Page MP Kevin Hogan distanced himself from the comments, he did say he understood nuclear’s advantages.

“I can’t foresee the circumstances that would make nuclear energy possible, he said.

“Having said that I am looking at any tech-led advancement that can help us to become a lower emitting country.”

But what do local residents think about the idea?

We posed the question to our Facebook audience, and were surprised by the results.

The majority of people said nuclear power should be considered in Australia.

In 2017, The Northern Star ran this cheeky front page when then NSW Labor leader Luke Foley accepted a challenge from NSW Nationals leader John Barilaro to hold a public forum on nuclear power in Lismore.
In 2017, The Northern Star ran this cheeky front page when then NSW Labor leader Luke Foley accepted a challenge from NSW Nationals leader John Barilaro to hold a public forum on nuclear power in Lismore.

Simon Pagotto: “Yes Gen 4 are completely safe, provided they are not built on a fault line and well maintained.”

Ködy Holmes: “There are places in Australia that are away from population areas suitable for a reactor. Technology today would allow for better and smaller by-products. Plus Australia has space to store underground safely.”

Ben Lindsay: “Technically it's a very efficient power source … with today’s building standards being better then Chernobyl and low chance of massive earthquakes unlike Fukushima, it would be pretty safe to build one in Australia.”

Ian John: “Nuclear power can be quite safe as the reactors in proper controlled reactions have a very small amount of nuclear material. If managed correctly, nuclear reactors are perfectly safe … we do need to create better ways of managing the waste material.”

Matt Felsch: “Yep definitely. If you want base load power for your idealistic lifestyles but don’t want coal and don’t build new coal powered stations, then you’ve got a problem.”

But there was still plenty of opposition to the idea.

The Chernobyl exclusion zone.
The Chernobyl exclusion zone.

Kirk Von Rostock said anyone who was keen on it should have the nuclear power station built next to their house.

Angela Weber said there was “no way” nuclear should be introduced in Australia.

“Chernobyl and Fukushima show what a mistake that was,” she wrote.

“Land laid to waste contaminated for hundreds of years. We have an abundance of solar energy.”

Henry Luong: “No. Other countries receding and replacing them with alternative energies like solar, wind, etc, in case of another Fukushima event. Also, we are not a small country with limited resources and cramped population like in Asia (Japan for example), hence we never have to compromise our safety and nature for short term solutions and gains. We should embrace solar and wind energies … for a truly sustainable Australia.”

Meanwhile, Shane Weston-Fitzgerald got a few laughs with his comment.

“Yes, but build the reactor near Canberra pls,” he wrote.


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