SOUTH Australia can now start a new state-wide mineral exploration drilling initiative as a result of the government supporting recommendations relating to expanding uranium exploration and mining.

The state government’s support for the initiative forms part of its formal response to the Nuclear Fuel Cycle Royal Commission Report, in which it backed nine of the 12 recommendations.

The Royal Commission Report was released in May this year and found that South Australia could safely increase its participation in nuclear activities.

The government has also supported increasing the use of nuclear medicine at the South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute (SAHMRI).

It will further collaborate with the Commonwealth on monitoring and reporting on the development of new nuclear reactor designs and a national energy policy.

However, a recommendation to pursue the removal of existing federal prohibitions on nuclear power generation was not supported by the government, in recognition that in the short-to-medium term, nuclear power is not a cost-effective source of low-carbon electricity for South Australia.

There will also be no policy or legislative change relating to a nuclear waste storage facility.

The government has concluded the only path forward is the restoration of bipartisanship and broad social consent secured through a state-wide referendum.

“The government’s response to this Royal Commission Report is all about embracing a high-tech future for South Australia that will generate jobs and prosperity for decades to come,” said South Australian Premier Jay Weatherill.

“The report was the foundation of the largest consultation program in our state’s history. It outlined the risks and opportunities of further engagement in the nuclear fuel cycle.

“The report made a substantial contribution to our state, and opened the doors to a wide range of possible nuclear, resource and energy options for all South Australians to consider.”

The government’s full response can be found at www.nuclear.yoursay.sa.gov.au