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Inland sites unsuitable for nuclear dump



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Senator John Coulter Australian Democrats Leader NEWS R E L E A S E

18 September 1992 92/ SO^f

Inland sites unsuitable for nuclear dump

Siting a nuclear waste dump in either north-west New South Wales, inland South Australia, Western Australia or Northern Territory was unacceptable given current technology, Australian Democrats leader Senator John Coulter said today.

He also said no more nuclear power stations should be built until a viable solution had been found for radioactive waste disposal.

A Federal Government site selection study, to be released in about a fortnight, has found the north-west of NSW, SA,WA or inland NT could be suitable for storing Australia's nuclear waste stockpile.

Senator Coulter said some nuclear wastes took more than a thousand years before they were safe. "Simply creating a dump in what is now a remote place is an incredible imposition on future generations. We needed to seriously consider we have the right to do that.

"If greenhouse theory is just half right in about 100 years central Australia could be the grain bowl of Australia. If we make it a dump now it will be off limits for hundreds, if not thousands, of years," he said.

Dismissing sea and space disposal alternatives as pure fantasy he said the nuclear industry should not be expanded until a realistic solution was found.

He also said transporting reprocessed waste was fraught with danger. The ship that was currently carrying a plutonium cargo from France to Japan could be hickjacked for ilhcit bomb making, raided by pirates or sink.

Contact: Senator Coulter or Jenni Mack 06 277 3646

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