ENERGY was high on the agenda of Prime Minister John Howard during his visit to the US and Canada this week, where he responded to questions about the potential for Australia to develop a nuclear power industry. Mr Howard said the use of nuclear energy in Australia could be closer than some people thought a short while ago. In the past, Mr Howard has supported nuclear energy but only if it was economically viable. Only recently has he extolled the environmental advantages of nuclear power and suggested those who have previously opposed it should now change their view. Political opponents claimed the prime minister’s comments were a smokescreen to divert attention from Indigenous issues, the loss of an Iraq wheat contract and ongoing Liberal leadership speculation.
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