Institute of Public Affairs/The IPA's pro-nuclear advocacy

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The Melbourne-based think tank, the Institute of Public Affairs, has been a vocal supporter of nuclear power, uranium mining and the establishment of a nuclear waste dump in Australia. One of its financial supporters is Rio Tinto, which has major uranium mining interests.

Let's Import Nuclear Waste

The Public Affairs Institute is so determinedly pro-nuclear that it wants Australia to import other countries’ nuclear waste. The June 2005 edition of IPA’s periodical Review carried a substantial section devoted to nuclear power. Writing about energy policy, then Executive Director of the IPA Mike Nahan concluded: "There are three possibilities – exotic renewables, nuclear power or turning off the lights. In reality, the first and the last are not options. It will either have to be nuclear or fossil fuel." [1]

Alan Moran, Director of the IPA Deregulation Unit, also wrote an article that argued that nuclear power can help the Australian government towards greener energy production. Moran stated: “Concern about climate change and the need to reduce greenhouse gas production will result in a dramatic change in the power industry worldwide, and the main beneficiary would be nuclear.” He also predicted that: “exotic renewables, such as wind, will remain a small but costly token to the deep Green ideology”. [2]

IPA Board member (and former Deputy Chairman of Energy firm Vencorp) Tom Quirk argued that Australia should consider building a long-term underground depository for its and other countries’ nuclear waste. He wrote: “Australia should offer to dispose of the wastes generated from the uranium supplied from our own mines in the first instance and, in addition, consider the disposal of wastes from our region where countries are unlikely to find secure high-isolation sites… The disposal of spent fuel and high-level waste in Australia is a major opportunity. It would not only be a significant business opportunity, but also a major enabling step for the use of nuclear power, an important contribution to nuclear safety, and a major contribution to our region.”[3]

Quick, on behalf of the IPA, submitted further details of his plans to the Australian Government’s Uranium Mining, Processing and Nuclear Energy Review, which considered, among other things, “the extent and circumstances in which nuclear energy could in the longer term be economically competitive in Australia”. [4] [5]


  1. ^  Mike Nahan, ‘The Politics of Nuclear Power’, Review, published June 2005, accessed December 2005
  2. ^  Alan Moran, ‘The Economics of Nuclear Power’, Review, published June 2005, accessed December 2005
  3. ^  Tom Quirk, ‘The safe disposal of nuclear waste’, Review, published June 2005, accessed December 2005
  4. ^  Tom Quirk, ‘Nuclear Waste Management in Australia - Submission to the Uranium Mining, Processing and Nuclear Energy Review’, Institute of Public Affairs, September 2006
  5. ^  Uranium Mining, Processing and Nuclear Energy Review – Terms of reference, undated, accessed December 2006