The results of new polling, conducted by JWS Research for the Minerals Council of Australia (MCA), indicate that more Australians support lifting the ban on the use of nuclear power than oppose it.
The research was conducted in early to mid-October 2019 with focus groups in Sydney and Melbourne and a quantitative poll of 1500 Australians.
The polling found that 4 in 10 Australians support lifting the ban on nuclear power in Australia and 39 per cent support the use of nuclear power in Australia. Support for nuclear power grew to 55 per cent when those polled were asked whether they would accept lifting the ban on the use of nuclear power in Australia if they knew that a majority of Australians supported it.
Opposition to both the use of nuclear power in Australia and lifting the ban was 33 per cent.
A further 29 per cent of people were either neutral or unsure about the use of nuclear power in Australia, with 26 per cent either neutral or unsure on lifting the ban.
Moreover, the polling found that more than half of those surveyed (54 per cent) are unaware nuclear power is banned in Australia.
Nuclear power has been prohibited in Australia since 1998, horse-traded for the passage of legislation centralising radiation regulation. Public debate at the time, fulled by the anti-nuclear movement, centred on the replacement of the Lucas Heights reactor. The political fix was to draw a line through the entire industry.
The nuclear ban could be reversed with an amendment to the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (Commonwealth).
Chief Executive Officer of the MCA, Tania Constable, said the results show Australians need to know more about nuclear energy and how it would help reduce power bills and Australia’s emissions.
“The MCA has extensively advocated for the use of safe, reliable, zero-emissions nuclear power in recent years to support a mature and informed discussion including producing a new publication on untapped potential and the case for nuclear energy,” she said.
“Climate change is real and as global energy demand increases, so does the need to diversify our power supplies and reduce emissions through technology.”
Ms Constable said that nuclear energy is safe, reliable and affordable – currently providing around 10 per cent of the world’s electricity with zero emissions.
Nuclear power stations run on uranium and Australia’s known uranium resources are the world’s largest (almost one-third of the world total), according to the World Nuclear Association 
“The power provided by nuclear energy is low cost and can meet the needs of industrial and household consumers 24/7,” she said.
“Any government serious about addressing climate change must consider nuclear in its energy mix.”