Inquiry to explore Victoria going nuclear

Benita Kolovos

The Victorian parliament is set to explore lifting the state's bans on nuclear activities in an effort to tackle climate change.

A Liberal Democrats motion for an inquiry into the potential for nuclear power passed the state's upper house on Wednesday.

The 12-month inquiry will explore if nuclear energy would be feasible and suitable for Victoria in the future, and will consider waste management, health and safety and possible industrial and medical applications.

Liberal Democrat MP David Limbrick said the political climate - and actual climate - have changed significantly since nuclear energy was last seriously considered in the 1980s.

"The young people of today no longer fear nuclear holocaust. Today's young have a new fear - global warming," he told the Legislative Council.

"There is a demand, both here and throughout the world, for new ways to generate energy that emit lower levels of carbon dioxide."

Mr Limbrick said Australia exports enough uranium to offset carbon dioxide produced making electricity from coal.

"But in Victoria, we don't even allow the exploration or mining of uranium. So not only do we contribute nothing, it is illegal to contribute in this way," he said.

The Greens' Tim Read said it makes "absolutely no sense" for Victoria to consider getting into nuclear energy.

"This inquiry is a waste of resources and a waste of time," he said in a statement.

"Dredging up the tired old debate on nuclear will only delay the urgent work needed to end our reliance on coal and gas and transitioning to clean and safe renewable energy."

Similar inquiries are being held in NSW and federal parliament.