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Tuesday, 30 August 1994
Page: 575


Senator MARGETTS —I give notice that, on the next day of sitting, I shall move:

  That the Senate—

  (a)notes:

    (i)a US Department of Energy (DoE) report which states that a nuclear bomb made with commercial-grade plutonium extracted from UK gas-cooled reactors was tested underground at the Nevada Test site in 1962,

    (ii)that the plutonium was reported to have a nuclear yield of less than 20 kilotons and was provided under the terms of the 1958 US-UK Mutual Defence Agreement, and

    (iii)that the US DoE released this information to highlight potential plutonium proliferation issues and define the limits of the non-proliferation regime for separated reactor-grade plutonium;

  (b)recognises that this revelation ends the myth that plutonium can be separated for military and civilian use;

  (c)observes that there is not much difference between certain countries and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) promoting the transfer of nuclear technology and providing a nuclear weapons capability to non-nuclear weapons states;

  (d)calls on the Government:

    (i)to promote safer and cleaner energies than nuclear energies and to provide the resources for thorough research and development, and

    (ii)to do everything within its power to strengthen the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and remove the contradictions in the role of the IAEA by making it solely a non-proliferation body, not involved in the promotion of nuclear technology for non-military uses.