Mr Burns visits to inspect site for nuclear power plant
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BILLIONAIRE Charles Montgomery Burns is set to visit Gladstone in December to inspect sites for what could become Australia's first nuclear power plant.
Mr Burns, owner of the Springfield Nuclear Power Plant in the United States, has been looking for expansion opportunities for a number of years.
"I've heard exxxcelllent things about Gladstone," Mr Burns said via phone from Springfield.
"It sounds like it's quite the industrial hub, and with everything apparently already ruined, it seems no-one would mind another industry popping up."
Mr Burns has operated the Springfield Nuclear Power Plant on and off since the 1970s, after working as a biochemist.
While nuclear power is still a contentious issue in Australia, the Queensland Government last year paved the way for uranium to be exported overseas by overturning a 24-year ban on the industry.
The decision hasn't been popular in all sectors, with protesters this week gathering in Brisbane to mark the first anniversary of the decision.
Anti-Nuclear campaign co-ordinator Mark Bailey said regional centres would be at risk from nuclear accidents if mining was allowed to resume.
"Rather than arrogantly place many Queenslanders at risk the government should at least facilitate an informed debate about the dangers and risks of uranium mining through an independent inquiry," he said.
Asked about Mr Bailey's comments, Mr Burns said: "Release the hounds! No, wait… I mean, you're fired!"
Mr Burns said given Australia had 31% of the world's uranium deposits, it would be madness not to make use of "safe and clean" nuclear energy.
He was confident the proposal would go ahead, especially as it was a solution to global warming.
"Even though I think global warming is the stuff of fairytales, I'm happy to believe in it when it suits my purposes…much like your prime minister," Mr Burns said.
"And with gas prices set to rise, and your evil LNG companies sending all their profits overseas, my plant will be just what Gladstone needs.
"I have a number of former politicians and public servants in my pocket… err, I mean, on my advisory board… so I have first-hand information on how to get things done in Queensland."
Mr Burns said there would be no impact on Gladstone Harbour because of his nuclear power plant, just as there had been no impact because of dredging and construction on Curtis Island.