Labor report nuclear blast

FREMANTLE federal Labor MP Josh Wilson has slammed a committee he sat on after it recommended Australia kick off a nuclear industry.

Mr Wilson was deputy chair of Parliament’s standing committee on the environment and energy, which late last week recommended the Turnbull government water down Australia’s moratorium on nuclear energy so a new generation of small modular reactors can be considered.

The committee said a nuclear industry could generate 22,600 new jobs and deliver a no-carbon back-up when renewables wobbled in cloudy conditions.

It also noted the difficulty in determining the economics of nuclear energy given it would take up to a decade to establish, but Mr Wilson’s dissenting report said the industry had a bad track record of grossly inflating its viability, leaving taxpayers to fund billions in subsidies.

He warned the government not to fall for the spruikers of new generation reactors as there were currently none in operation and their claims were “paper fantasies”.

Mr Wilson said the committee downplayed the problem of dealing with nuclear waste, and noted a raft of environmental problems already plagueing the country’s uranium mining industry.

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