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Tuesday, 15 November 1983
Page: 2673

To the Honourable the Speaker and members of the House of Representatives assembled: The humble petition of the undersigned citizens of Australia respectfully showeth: That whereas uranium found in vast quantities in Australia is the raw material for the nuclear fission reaction.

And whereas presently assured reserves of uranium in Australia represent a potential production of over 540,000 kilograms of plutonium 239 if utilised in light water reactors overseas.

And whereas the maximum permissible inhalation of plutonium 239 is 0.00000025 gram.

And whereas plutonium 239 is one of the most dangerous substances human society has ever created, causing mutations, and cancers.

And whereas there are no methods of safely and absolutely confining plutonium from the biosphere for the requiste quarter of a million years.

And whereas plutonium coming into contact with the air forms an aerosol cloud of micron-sized particles, its most dangerous form.

And whereas the export of uranium may return to us an import of plutonium particles dispersed in the global environment via the circulation of the atmosphere.

And whereas there are no sure safeguards against the military use of nuclear fission, and the nuclear proliferation represents a prime environmental threat to all forms of life on the only earth available to us.

And that it is therefore an act of self-preservation to demand a halt to all exports of uranium except for bio-medical uses.

Your petitioners humbly pray that the members, in the House assembled, will take the most urgent steps to ensure:

1. That further mining and export of uranium from Australia except for bio- medical purposes be banned.

2. That the Australian Atomic Energy Commission be transformed by the rewriting of its charter into an Australian Energy Commission to further the understanding of energy flows through our society and to promote national economic independence and self-sufficiency.

And your petitioners as in duty bound will ever pray.

by .