'Why not?': O'Dowd doubles down on nuclear power support
KEN O'Dowd has doubled down on his support for an inquiry into nuclear power, dubbing it is an "obligation" of his work as the Federal Member for Flynn.
One week after saying in Parliament his electorate would "accept" a nuclear power plant, Mr O'Dowd today reiterated his support for investigations into whether nuclear power was viable for Australia.
In a statement he said there was "a cloud of misconception" that nuclear was unstable.
"There are currently 50 countries around the world using nuclear power from 450 nuclear reactors," he said.
"Australia has 40 per cent of the world uranium and providing the technology is there - why not?
"The minister has flagged interest in small modular reactors ... Small modular reactors are factory produced and installed on-site."
Energy Minister Angus Taylor has asked the committee on the environment and energy to inquire into the nuclear fuel cycle - prompting the first inquiry into the use of nuclear power in more than a decade.
Expected to report back by the end of the year, the committee will consider the economic, environmental and safety questions in nuclear power. Mr Taylor reiterated the government's current policy is a ban on nuclear power, which Mr O'Dowd echoed.
"There are no plans to change the moratorium on nuclear power ... (but) it would be irresponsible of government to not consider emerging technology," he said.
Mr O'Dowd said Australia's high power prices needed to be addressed, claiming mining giants including Rio Tinto were "skating on thin ice" due to high prices.
"(It) is a conversation that must be started to secure Australia energy future," he said.
He said he copped some backlash for his comments about the electorate being in support of a nuclear power station.
The comments were criticised by Member for Gladstone Glenn Butcher and Gladstone Region mayor Matt Burnett.