Nuclear power will continue to play an important part in the energy mix for some countries, Resources and Energy Minister Martin Ferguson has said.
Recent problems with the Fukushima power plant in Japan, following the recent earthquake and tsunami, had prompted a re-assessment of the nuclear industry, Mr Ferguson acknowledged.
Safety remained the number one priority and the government welcomed the reviews prompted by the nuclear crisis, he said.
“There will, undoubtedly, be some changes in potential energy generation mixes globally,” Mr Ferguson told the South Australian Chamber of Mines and Energy dinner in Adelaide last night.
“But for some countries, nuclear will remain an important part of the energy mix,” he added.
“It powers the homes and businesses for millions of people, and it will continue to do so because it goes to the question of energy security.”
Mr Ferguson also re-affirmed the government’s resolve to introduce a price on carbon, at the same time throwing an olive branch to the South Australian steel sector which is concerned over potential job losses.
“We have made clear our commitment to provide assistance to trade-exposed, emissions-intensive industries, including steel, to support jobs and maintain competitiveness,” the minister said.
“Clearly, as with the debate around the mining tax, the challenge now is to work through the detail and continue to consult as we move towards an appropriate outcome.”