Submission in response to discussion paper
What changes are needed to the EPBC Act? Why?
Section 140A is an anti-scientific rider and should be immediately repealed.
Australia has huge reserves of nuclear material, an extremely stable geological base. Nuclear energy is one of the safest forms of energy generation, with the lowest deaths per watt of any major generation source, it is low carbon and essential to long term environmental protection and lowering Australia's contribution to climate change.
Even including the catastrophes of Chernobyl, Three Mile Island, and the Fukushima disasters, the long term repercussions have been minimal, and the total deaths of all of the above incidents does not exceed around 6,000. The Chernobyl exclusion zone is now a thriving nature reserve, and wildlife has broadly speaking, recovered.
These disasters pale in comparison to the ongoing pollution and environmental damage in fossil fuels; and the overall cost to human life is still lower than just routine installation and maintenance of wind and solar.
France supplies a healthy percentage of Europe's energy needs through a safe, sustainable nuclear program; and has been a significant contributor to lowering the European Unions carbon emissions.
Evidence based analysis does not support the inclusion of this clause. It has likely already done some measurable level of damage to the countries ability to decarbonise and modernise its fuel mixture.
The Minister should not have their hands tied by legislation with little to no scientific basis - Australia's environmental laws should be written in accordance with the science; the Minister should be free to consider the merits of any individual proposal on its own basis without arbitrary binding.
 Sovacool, B. K., Andersen, R., Sorensen, S., Sorensen, K., Tienda, V., Vainorius, A., ... & Bjørn-Thygesen, F. (2016). Balancing safety with sustainability: assessing the risk of accidents for modern low-carbon energy systems. Journal of cleaner production, 112, 3952-3965.