Senator Cory Bernardi believes lifting the ban on nuclear power plants would cause an economic bonanza for uranium-rich South Australia.
A crossbench senator believes Australia can become an energy superpower by lifting the ban on nuclear power plants.
The Australian Conservatives' leader Cory Bernardi has introduced a private bill to parliament which would also remove the ban on uranium enrichment and processing facilities.
"Say yes to Australia becoming to uranium and nuclear what Saudi Arabia has become to oil," Senator Bernardi told parliament on Thursday.
The ban was an "egregious act of economic vandalism" which had put Australia behind the rest of the world on reliable energy generation.
"Uranium the size of a sack of potatoes could fuel our energy needs for a year," he said.
"South Australia is effectively the world's super power on uranium resources. This is a potential bonanza for the state of South Australia."
But Labor senator Claire Moore said community opposition and safety concerns meant nuclear power was not a viable option.
"When something goes wrong in nuclear the resultant impact is much more serious than we see when things go wrong in other forms of power," she said.
Liberal Democrats senator David Leyonhjem urged the government to embrace nuclear power.
"Only the countries that invest in nuclear power are at the same time reducing emissions and keeping the lights on," he said.
Former prime minister Tony Abbott supports lifting the ban and said earlier in the year he wanted nuclear power to be part of Australia's energy mix.