Ken O'Dowd said the Flynn electorate wouldn't have a problem with the construction of a nuclear power plant. Picture: Supplied
Ken O'Dowd said the Flynn electorate wouldn't have a problem with the construction of a nuclear power plant. Picture: Supplied

'Not a problem': O'Dowd says build nuclear plant in Flynn

FLYNN MP Ken O'Dowd said his electorate would "accept" a nuclear power plant, as he threw his support behind an inquiry into the feasibility of adding nuclear power to Australia's energy mix.

Speaking in parliament on Monday, Mr O'Dowd said nuclear power plants "are by far the best and safest way" to make reliable electricity.

The fourth-term member was heckled by Labor MPs who questioned him on where in Australia a nuclear power plant could be built.

"Put it anywhere you like. My area would accept it. Not a problem," he said.

The Flynn electorate includes Gladstone, Gin Gin, parts of the North and South Burnett and Emerald.

Should a nuclear power plant be built in Flynn?

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"If you just listen, you might learn something," Mr O'Dowd told the lower house.

"Study after study in scientific journals has proven that nuclear power plants are by far the best and safest way to make reliable electricity.

"The technology behind nuclear power plants... continues to improve as time goes on."

Mr O'Dowd said the risk of accidents at nuclear power plants continued to decline.

Ken O'Dowd is holding a low key party at his office on the night of the 2019 federal election surrounded by some of his volunteers and supporters.
Fourth term MP for Flynn, Ken O'Dowd. Matt Taylor GLA180519ODOWD

"My opinion is that nuclear has to be debated," Mr O'Dowd said.

"It'll take 20 years to build a nuclear power station and so the debate must start sooner rather than later."

Production of nuclear energy in Australia has been banned since 1998 by the Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Act, as well as the Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act.

Last month Industry Super Australia released a report which highlighted there was a need to look at nuclear power in Australia.

While the paper, Modernising Electricity Sectors, said it was not "pro nuclear" it said nuclear must be considered as part of the energy investment mix and questioned the capability of renewable options.

Meanwhile a recent study from DIW Berlin, a leading German economic think-tank, found nuclear power has never been viable.

It found most 1000 megawatt nuclear plants built since 1951 have been heavily subsidised by governments, often motivated by military purposes, and that nuclear was not a good approach to tackling climate change.

The report found nuclear power was amongst the most expensive, as a result of the upfront costs to build a plant.

Similar findings were made in the CSIRO and AEMO study into the costs of electricity generation, which said renewables were the cheapest cost form of new electricity generation.

The debate comes amid the recent release of the popular HBO miniseries Chernobyl.

Chernobyl, which happened in 1986 was rated a seven - maximum severity - on the International Nuclear Event Scale - a rank shared by the 2011 Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster in Japan.

Staunch nuclear supporter Member for Hinkler Keith Pitt this week said the Queensland Government's opposition to it was based on watching too much of The Simpsons.

Mr Pitt has been leading the push with LNP senator James McGrath for the inquiry into a nuclear economy.

He said the intervention of State Development Minister Cameron Dick into the debate last week to rule out any nuclear industry was a "look over here" moment to take pressure off Treasurer Jackie Trad.

"We have publicly asked the Labor Party to have a sensible discussion but they are incapable of doing that which is a great disappointment but no surprise."