Clive Palmer’s United Australia Party plans to use South Australia’s large uranium deposits and build a nuclear reactor if the party gains the balance of power at the May 18 federal election.
Mr Palmer on Thursday said reliable and low-cost energy was key to growing jobs and manufacturing.
“Japan, USA, China and the rest of the world have cheap, affordable energy with zero emissions from nuclear power,” Mr Palmer said in a first campaign stop in Adelaide on Thursday.
“South Australia has the world’s largest uranium deposits but does not use it to its advantage, but exports it overseas.
“It’s better, cheaper, more reliable and it’s a win for the environment.”
Mr Palmer believed his party would hold the balance of power in the Senate and guaranteed the project would be carried out if so.
“We will need about five to six seats and our polling is showing we will win five to six seats pretty easily and we should be able to win more,” he said.
“Australia has had nuclear reactors for 50 years in Lucas Heights in the middle of Sydney.
“There are no safety issues there, they operate every day and they’re still there.”
The previous South Australian Labor government held a royal commission into the issue of nuclear power.
It found building a reactor to supply electricity was not viable but recommended SA consider establishing a nuclear waste dump to earn millions by storing waste from overseas.
But Mr Palmer said the federal government should fund the power plant.
“The Commonwealth government in 1913 provided a guaranteed establishment to SteelWorks in Whyalla and they can do it again,” he said.