THE Premier of South Australia has launched a study into the fuel cycle for the peaceful use of nuclear energy.
The Premier, Jay Weatherall, formed a Royal Commission led by the former Governor of South Australia Kevin Scarce to begin a "considered and informed discussion with the community" on a subject that has traditionally been taboo in Australia.
“The Royal Commission will be the first of its kind in the nation and will explore the opportunities and risks of South Australia’s involvement in the mining, enrichment, energy and storage phases for the peaceful use of nuclear energy,” he said.
“We are home to one of the largest uranium deposits in the world and after more than 25 years of uranium production, it is now time to engage in a mature and robust conversation about South Australia’s future role in the nuclear industry.
“We need a clearer understanding of the world’s demand and use of nuclear energy,” he said.
“We also need a deeper understanding of our State’s and the nation’s energy needs and how they are likely to develop in the future.
“This Royal Commission will also look at the opportunities and risks associated with this sector.
“Some people describe the potential economic benefits as enormous while others describe the risks as unacceptable.
“We believe South Australians should be given the opportunity to explore the practical, financial and ethical issues raised by a deeper involvement in the nuclear industries.
“We need to understand all these issues so that the community can make an informed judgement.”
South Australia has large deposits of uranium but is also a leader in renewable energy.