A proposed increase in uranium mining and exports for use in overseas nuclear power generation will not result in Western Australia having to store nuclear waste, WA Minister for Mines and Petroleum told the Australian Uranium Summit yesterday in Fremantle.
“Any fear that Western Australia will become a dumping ground for the world’s nuclear waste as a result of uranium mining are completely unfounded,” he said.
Moore said that a philosophical opposition as well existing legislation will act as safeguards against waste being stored in the State.
“The State Nuclear Waste Storage and Transportation Prohibition Act 1999 prohibits the construction or operation of a nuclear waste storage facility and makes it illegal to store, dispose or transport any nuclear waste in Western Australia,” he said.
Moore conceded that while the issue has received significant public interest since the WA Government last year lifted the State’s uranium mining ban, some of the interest has not been as encouraging as it could have been.
These negative perceptions may soon change when people are made aware of the positives uranium can bring, Moore said.
“I believe the situation will improve once we can inform the public of the benefits to the State and the safeguards in place for the environment, workers and the community,” he said.
“It (uranium mining) would potentially create thousands of jobs and considerable economic growth and State royalties.
“These are all desperately needed in the present economic climate and the government is busily working to deliver them.”