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Tuesday, 26 August 1980
Page: 681

Mr O'KEEFE (PATERSON, NEW SOUTH WALES) - My question, which is directed to the Minister for Trade and Resources, refers to uranium exports. I ask the Minister: What is the outlook for sales of Australian uranium?

Mr ANTHONY (RICHMOND, NEW SOUTH WALES) (Deputy Prime Minister) - A few weeks ago I was surprised to hear the Leader of the Opposition casting his normal gloom, saying that there had not been any sales of Australian uranium and that the future was very bleak. It is his usual performance to try to talk down the economy, or the success of the Government. The facts of the matter are that only last week I announced to this House that contracts had been entered into by Energy Resources of Australia for the supply of $2,000m worth of uranium to West Germany and Japan over the course of the next 16 years. Further contracts have also been signed with Korea and Finland, and there are advanced negotiations on sales to the United States. I believe that the prospects for long term growth of the nuclear generation of electricity from uranium are very clear. At the moment 230 nuclear power stations operate in 22 countries and 232 are under construction in 28 countries. There has been some slippage, because of the economic slackness around the world and also because of delays in licensing, particularly in the United States.

It is anticipated that there will be a trebling of nuclear power capacity in the western world in the course of the next 10 years. Indeed, only recently the Atomic Industrial Forum said that in the past 1 8 months there had been a 25 per cent increase outside the United States in nuclear power generation around the world. So, to those people who want to talk gloom about the nuclear industry and the development of the uranium industry in Australia, I say that that is just a lot of hogwash.

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