The Australian government says it is selling some of its uranium assets to fund a national security program and the sale of a new nuclear power station.
In a letter to the federal government, the Commonwealth said it was “committed to a world where uranium is not a commodity that is traded on a commodity market.”
The announcement came after the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) reported that it had sold some of Australia’s uranium assets, including the Adelaide Power Station.
The AEMO said the sale, worth $2.1 billion, would give it “the ability to support the Commonwealth’s nuclear energy programs and ensure the viability of the SA Power Station”.
The sale is the first in Australia’s history to be announced as part of a national Security Strategy.
Under the strategy, the Australian Nuclear Energy Agency (ANEA) and the Nuclear Safety Commission are to “expedite the delivery” of a “new, safe and reliable nuclear energy source”.
ANEA chief executive Mike McFarland said in a statement that the sale was part of the Australian Strategic Nuclear Plan and that the deal was the first of its kind.
“It is a milestone for the country’s nuclear sector and a significant contribution to Australia’s security, security policy and the safety of the community,” he said.
It is not the first time the Australian Government has sold its uranium holdings.
Earlier this year, the Government announced it was selling two of its nuclear assets, one in Queensland and the other in Western Australia.
There are currently no uranium mines in Australia, but the sale will see the sale and production of uranium become a key part of AEMI’s “security, security and stability” strategy.
What are the world’s uranium mines?
The world’s nuclear power plants, such as Australia’s Hinkley Point and New York’s Hanford Nuclear Power Plant, are all located in Australia.
Australia has a huge uranium reserves in the north-east of the country, and Australia has also produced nuclear fuel for use in its submarines.
But while Australia has a major uranium industry, it has never produced nuclear power.
Most uranium is found in South Australia, Western Australia and Queensland, but some is also mined in New South Wales, the Northern Territory and the ACT.
When did Australia produce nuclear power?
Australia produced nuclear energy in the 1970s, when it produced uranium for use as fuel for its nuclear reactors.
A decade later, in the late 1980s, the then-Labor government announced it would build a new reactor to power its national electricity network.
By 2001, the country was producing enough uranium to power more than 200,000 homes, which would provide about 20 per cent of the electricity supply in Australia for decades to come.
How is Australia’s national security strategy shaped?
“Australia’s national nuclear security strategy is based on the belief that Australia is an important international player, with an important place in the international community, and we must continue to play our part in helping to ensure that we are the global leader in nuclear energy and in promoting peace and stability around the world,” AEMA chief executive McFarsell said in the letter.
Key points:Australia’s strategic plan calls for selling uranium assets for the purpose of supporting national security and defence programs, the AEMG said in its statement What this means for uranium production: ANEA says it will use the sale to “increase the supply of uranium to the national security sector”What the Government said in response: The Government says the sale is part of its “security and stability”.
“The sale will support the AAEA and NNSA programs and the development of the nation’s nuclear fuel cycle, as well as the nuclear fuel supply for future generations of nuclear power generation,” it said.
“The AAEO has been engaged with the Commonwealth for many years to ensure Australia has the capability to provide security, stability and certainty to its citizens and businesses.”