Why is Australia not considering nuclear energy? Is the coal industry a key factor to nuclear energy not being considered?

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    When answering this question, please focus on those arguments which are made by Australian politicians, not on those you personally consider relevant for the pro/contra nuclear energy debate.
    – Philipp
    Commented Aug 23, 2016 at 7:58

1 Answer 1


Genuine opposition to nuclear power, as opposed to astroturfing by the coal industry, best explains the current situation. If anything, attitudes towards coal are positively correlated with attitudes towards nuclear power.

John Howard, who investigated the feasibility of nuclear power in Australia, was fairly friendly to the coal industry. He opposed signing the Kyoto Protocol, and investigated carbon sequestration.

The non-micro political party most opposed to the coal industry, the Australian Greens, is strongly opposed to nuclear power.

The only political party which bucks this trend is the Australian Sex Party. It is in favour of solar and wind energy, presumably at the expense of coal, and is in favour of nuclear energy. This reflects the Sex Party being more "pro-science" (pro-vaccination, pro-fluoridation, anti-alternative medicine, pro-GM food) than the Greens. However the Sex Party is a very small party, receiving approximately one percent of the senate vote in the 2016 double dissolution election.

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