Australians Back Nuclear Power

Written by:
6 June 2022
Australians Back Nuclear Power - Featured image

A new poll commissioned by free market think tank the Institute of Public Affairs has identified that a majority of Australians support building nuclear power plants in Australia.

“Prime Minister Anthony Albanese and Opposition Leader Peter Dutton should come together and show leadership to repeal the ban on nuclear power in Australia, which can provide low-cost and reliable base-load power,” said Daniel Wild, Director of Research at the Institute of Public Affairs.

The poll undertaken in April, with data collected by research and marketing firm Dynata, asked over 1,000 Australians whether they agree or disagree with the following statement: “Australia should build nuclear power plants to supply electricity and reduce carbon emissions”:

  • 53% Agree
  • 24% Neither agree nor disagree
  • 23% Disagree

Section 140A of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act (1999) prohibits the Minister for Environment from “approving an action consisting of or involving the construction or operation of…a nuclear power plant.”

Nuclear power is widely used across the developed world, including in the UK, Canada, the US, and France. Nuclear power currently supplies around 70% of energy in France, 20% in the US, 15% in the UK, and 15% in Canada.

The poll also identified widespread support across party lines for nuclear power:

  • 70% of Coalition voters support building nuclear plants (13% oppose).
  • 52% of Labor voters support building nuclear plants (27% oppose).
  • 44% of Greens voters support building nuclear plants (30% oppose).

“Even more Greens voters support than oppose nuclear power in Australia,” said Mr Wild.

The poll also identified that more Australians across every age group support nuclear than oppose it:

  • 52% of those aged 18-24 and under support building nuclear plants (19% oppose).
  • 47% of those aged 25-54 support building nuclear plants (25% oppose).
  • 62% of those aged 55 and over support building nuclear plants (23% oppose).

Support for nuclear power generation also crosses income groups:

  • 71% of Australians earning $100,000 and over support building nuclear plants (16% oppose).
  • 55% of Australians earning between $45,000 and $99,999 support building nuclear plants (22% oppose).
  • 49% of Australians earning less than $45,000 support building nuclear plants (25% oppose).

“New Nationals leader David Littleproud was spot on when he said earlier this week that Australia must have a ‘mature conversation’ about the future of nuclear power in Australia.”“The current energy crisis in Australia is a design feature of a net zero emissions by 2050 target, that will only be solved by reliable, affordable baseload power from coal and nuclear.”

“We need to have a proper debate about nuclear power and the cost of net zero to Australians living in the suburbs and regions in terms of their livelihoods, cost of living, and the long-term future of their local communities,” said Mr Wild.

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