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n-power an option: costello

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    N-power an option: Costello
    From: AAP By Shane Wright in Jakarta
    September 05, 2005

    AUSTRALIA should consider nuclear power and boost uranium exports to countries eager to increase their own nuclear energy stocks, Treasurer Peter Costello said today.

    Entering the debate over whether Australia should go nuclear, Mr Costello said it was unlikely that uranium-fired power would be cheaper in Australia because of the nation's ample coal supplies.
    But he said it would seem strange to boost uranium exports to nations such as Japan and Europe while at the same time ruling out its use in Australia.

    "On principle, we should accept it," he said.

    "It would be pretty silly of us to export our uranium for other people but say we're in principle opposed to it for ourselves. That would be a pretty funny thing to do.

    "I can't see it being commercial in Australia in the short term, but depending on where the greenhouse debate goes, ... nuclear energy I think will be seen as a much cleaner form of energy than carbon energy.

    "I think it will be seen as a cleaner former of energy than carbon energy."
    Mr Costello said that with stringent safety conditions there was no reason for Australia not to pursue nuclear energy.

    Ultimately it would be up to energy companies to decide if it was economically viable to pursue nuclear.

    "I don't think the Government should ban it. We should have rigorous safety standards, very rigorous safety standards, then it becomes a question of commercial provider," he said.

    "If any state instrumentality believes that it's become commercial it should be left up to them to either develop it themselves or to commission a private developer into buy-back."

    Mr Costello said demand for nuclear power would only increase around the globe.

    With up to 70 per cent of known uranium reserves, Australia was in a great position to capitalise on this demand.

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