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Hawke floats a rubbish idea -

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(generated from captions) Right now across the globe, 440

commercial nuclear poir stations commercial nuclear poir stations

supply one-fifth of the world's

electricity. Each year a typical

reactor produces 30 tonnes of

high-level radioactive waste. By

any measure, it is a major problem.

Now Bob Hawke says the country that

supplies much of the world's

has to be part of the solution. supplies much of the world's uranium

If we took the world's nuclear

waste, we would contribute to the

safety of the world's nuclear cycle.

We'd be making an enormous

contribution to the rest of the

world. The question is: what's in

it for Australia? Well, the former

prime minister has an answer for

that, too - money. He says the

millions of dollars generated by a

nuclear waste facility could be

to fund the rehabilitation of nuclear waste facility could be used

Australia's salt ravaged

environmentment. We'd have a source

of flak we could hypothecate to

environmental issues in this

- salinity. We could revolutionise environmental issues in this country

the economics of Australia if we

this. As it happened Mr Hawke the economics of Australia if we did

delivered this bombshell with

Labor's current leader Kim Beazley

close at hand. He reacted

immediately. Bob is a father figure

the Labor Party, but that's well

outside the platform. (Laughter)

If Kim Beazley was laughing, outside the platform. (Laughter).

others are not. Indeed, some

environment lists are simply

nonplussed. It's a crazy idea. I

mean, we're trying to be a clean

green country and how are we going

to look if we're a depository for

highly toxic radio active waste, as

well as being the worst green

emitters in the world. We don't

to be; you foe, selling our souls emitters in the world. We don't need

and the outback as a waste dump

no-one can ever visit in perpetuity and the outback as a waste dump that

in order to get money for salinity.

We need to redirect the bad,

perverse subsidies we have for

fossil fuels now and start

the clean options. Others fossil fuels now and start promoting

Professor Aidan Burn, head of the the clean options. Others including

physics department at the ANU, says

it is well worth consideration.

One has to be certainly very

with nuclear waste and treat it One has to be certainly very careful

carefully. But I think Australia is with nuclear waste and treat it very

a country where those processes and

procedures can be put in place. One

has to treat it very, very

I's highly activated material, but has to treat it very, very carefully

think the control of that material I's highly activated material, but I

can be done and I think Australia

one of the places that should can be done and I think Australia is

consider storing nuclear waste.

Above all, pangea will provide

disposal of world with a safe solution to the Above all, pangea will provide the

disposal of nuclear... The idea of it become

it becomes a waste dump isn't new.

In 1999 a foreign company floated a

specific proposal, detailed in this

video to crate a high-tech waste

storage site underground in the

centre of Australia. The Federal

Government wasn't impressed at the

time. And the government has

absolutely no intention of

the radio active waste of other absolutely no intention of accepting

countries. Has the Federal

Government's view on this matter

changed? Well, last night Health

Minister Tony Abbott, a guest at

same forum as Bob Hawke, wasn't Minister Tony Abbott, a guest at the

about to dismiss the idea out of

hand. It is a visionary suggestion,

but unfortunately -- Always buts.

There are a lot of politics in this.

Right at the moment, we can't even

get agreement on where to put a

nuclear repository for Australia's

waste, let alone a repository for

the world's waste. The Federal

Government insisted Woomera is the

safest place to store the nation's

radioactive waste. Little wonder

he's sceptical. Four years ago, The

Federal Government announced plans

to make South Australia the site of

a low-level nuclear waste dump. A

major battle ensued. I want the

barrels out, anything that comes

from other states, I want out of

South Australia. I mean, that's

my position right from the start South Australia. I mean, that's been

it applies to whoever is in power my position right from the start and

federally. We do regret the

of a good policy by the Premier of federally. We do regret the sabotage

South Australia. Waste transport

to the facility will be strictly

governed by stringent national and international standards. Having

lost out in South Australia, The

Federal Government is proposing

the Northern Territory will be the Federal Government is proposing that

site for the low-level waste dump.

Again, there is opposition. If

safe, take it down to the Lodge and Again, there is opposition. If it's

put it under Kirribilli House. I

think they've got a hide. If

low-level waste dumps get people

agitated, imagine the potential

reaction to a never ending line of

ships and trains bringing

waste from reactors and ships and trains bringing high-level

weapons from around the world to waste from reactors and decommission

Australia? It would be a very brave

government that took that on. No

might be. matter what the world-wide benefit

That report from Mark Bannerman. in the studio. And Bob Hawke is with me now

Now, look, this very problematic

notion, as you mow, as we've just

seen, why put it on the table now?

Why shouldn't you put it on the seen, why put it on the table now?

table? We have a real ish The world

of nuclear waste being stored in

unsafe places in the UK they've got

it in 20 different places. They are

scared stiff of the problems that

are associated with it and that's

just one example. Now, what I am

saying is let's put the emotions to

one side because I understand how

people feel about this. Let's

dispassionately examine the pros

cons. I understand the feelings and dispassionately examine the pros and

the arguments that people have