Resources Minister Martin Ferguson has ruled out Australia pursuing nuclear energy as an increasing number of states open the door to uranium mining.
Queensland Premier Campbell Newman on Monday reneged on an election commitment to uphold a 30-year ban on uranium mining in his state, saying Mr Ferguson's urging and the federal government's moves to sell uranium to India prompted his decision.
It came less than a fortnight after WA - where uranium mining was banned in 2002-2008 - moved a step closer to getting its first uranium mine.
NSW lifted a 26-year ban on uranium exploration in March, although mining is still not allowed.
Mr Ferguson told the National Carbon Capture Storage Conference in Perth today that a wide range of clean energy technologies including CCS would be part of the nation's future, but not nuclear power, which was expected to fall in cost.
"The Australian government has basically said we are committed to all potential forms of clean energy from an innovative point of view, other than nuclear, which is a proven clean energy technology," he told reporters.
Mr Ferguson also said the G8 group of countries was making progress with a 2008 target of developing 20 commercially feasible CCS operations around the world.
"They're currently at about 16," he said.
"That's despite the global financial crisis and the struggling European and North American economy."
He said development of Chevron's multibillion-dollar Gorgon LNG project on Barrow Island, which incorporates the world's largest CCS project, was proceeding as planned.
"It will be the biggest commercial deployment of carbon capture storage in the world," he said.He refused to comment on Woodside's contentious Browse LNG project in the Kimberley, other than to say that he would await deliberations by the joint-venture partners, which had yet to make a final decision to proceed.
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