Australian PM shuts down nuclear power debate despite rising electricity prices

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Xinhua News

6th December 2022 – (Canberra) Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has shut down calls for the country to consider nuclear power options despite rising electricity prices.

The prime minister recently declared that proponents of nuclear as a carbon-neutral energy source in Australia are wrong.

His comments came after Peter Malinauskas, the premier of South Australia, urged both sides of politics to be more mature on the nuclear question, saying the debate has become “consumed by culture wars” rather than based on evidence.

In response, Albanese told radio station FIVEaa on Monday that the case for nuclear power in Australia does not stack up, citing waste storage as a key problem.

“I haven’t changed my view that it’s a huge distraction from what we need to do,” he said.

Hours after the interview Albanese said he has tested positive for COVID-19 for the second time in 2022 and that Wednesday’s key meeting with state and territory leaders to discuss energy policy has been postponed.

Albanese was expected to use the meeting to outline his plan to combat rising electricity prices through market intervention.

The federal budget for 2022-23 forecasts electricity prices will rise by 56 percent over the next 18 months and gas prices by 44 percent.

Under Albanese’s plan, caps could be introduced on the prices of coal and gas.

However, some state governments have pushed back against the proposal over compensation for producers.

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