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Uranium Mining and Nuclear Energy in New South Wales

Uranium Mining and Nuclear Energy in New South Wales

Advice on legislation or legal policy issues contained in this paper is provided for use in parliamentary debate and for related parliamentary purposes. This paper is not professional legal opinion.
Issues Paper 01/2019 by Tom Gotsis, Chris Angus, Daniel Montoya, Lenny Roth, Rowena Johns and Matthew Dobson

Following the introduction of the Uranium Mining and Nuclear Facilities (Prohibitions) Repeal Bill 2019 into the NSW Legislative Council, the NSW Parliamentary Research Service was asked to prepare an issues paper for the Standing Committee on State Developmentā€™s inquiry into the Bill. The closing date for submissions to the inquiry is Friday 18 October 2019. 

This issues paper provides an overview of key issues surrounding uranium mining and nuclear energy in five parts:

  • Part A outlines the inquiry terms of reference, the role of the NSW Parliamentary Research Service, and the approach taken by the Research Service to writing the paper;
  • Part B examines the current state of energy in NSW;
  • Part C provides an overview of uranium mining and nuclear energy;
  • Part D reviews relevant State, Commonwealth and international regulatory frameworks; and
  • Part E discusses the concept of community engagement.

In reviewing the existing literature, questions are raised at the end of each part for further consideration. These include:

  • What mix of current technologies will best meet the key energy opportunities and challenges in NSW? How might this change with future technological developments?
  • What are the economic, social and environmental opportunities and risks associated with uranium mining and nuclear energy in NSW?
  • What is the current level of support amongst the NSW public for uranium mining and nuclear energy?
  • If a nuclear energy industry were to be allowed in NSW, what are the optimal regulatory settings to ensure the safe and secure operation of uranium mining, nuclear power generation and nuclear waste disposal?
  • What model of community engagement should be used to include the NSW public in decisions about uranium mining and nuclear energy?