2 June 2005 – The premier of the Australian state of New South Wales Bob Carr has urged Australians to reconsider nuclear energy as a power source amid rising problems from global warming caused by the burning of fossil fuels.
Carr said that the benefits of nuclear energy may not be more dangerous than coal but his comments were condemned by green groups who warned nuclear fission was not the way to provide more power and urging the NSW government to investigate renewable energy.
Carrs comments come less than a fortnight after a leaked report revealed the NSW government was considering building new coal-fired power stations.
The Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO) said governments around the world were moving towards nuclear energy because they had recognised the damage caused by burning fossil fuels.
Mr Carr said nuclear power could be the answer to global warming, much of which is caused by greenhouse emissions from burning fossil fuels.
The premier urged the public to consider arguments about the latest methods of nuclear waste disposal and reactor safety, and whether expanding nuclear power would have any effect on the proliferation of nuclear weapons.
Greenpeace challenged the NSW government to replace coal-fired power stations with cleaner, renewable energy – but not with uranium power, which it branded “just as radioactive as ever”.