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Australia to become nuclear waste dump.



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Australian Democrats Press Releases

Senator Lyn Allison Parliamentary Leader and Democrats Senator for Victoria Australian Democrats spokesperson for Energy and Resources

Dated: 16 May 2006

Press Release Number: ntnzvuse Portfolio: Energy and Resources

Australia to become nuclear waste dump

Australia is set to become the dumping ground for nuclear waste as part of an elaborate plan by the United States and Australia to circumvent the Nuclear Non-Proliferation treaty, the Democrats said.

Its ludicrous and dangerous for the Government to be flirting with leasing uranium to countries outside the NNPT, playing amateur nuclear watchdog to see they don't make weapons grade plutonium, and then taking their intractable waste problems off their hands! said Democrats leader Senator Allison today.

The whole aim of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty is to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons technology, and achieve nuclear disarmament. Circumventing the process is wrong.

"No doubt this would be welcomed by the US and China and whatever other country Mr Howard now wants to sell our uranium to. Howard is playing with fire if he thinks the public will tolerate Australia as a nuclear dumping ground, just to improve his approval rating with Mr Bush.

It has taken the US 30 years to develop the massive high technology Yucca Mountain nuclear waste repository in Nevada and it still faces major obstacles, with some saying the projects is doomed. It has had its budget slashed by 50 percent last year.

Its clear that the Government is going to do a deal directly with some representatives of the indigenous populations in the Northern Territory. I would ask those groups to think very carefully about doing deals with the Howard Government.

Talks with Mr Bush could make the NT dump a massive undertaking of radioactive waste the rest of the world does not want.

The Government is relying on the fact that outback Australia means out of mind. But the recent flooding of one of the preferred spent nuclear fuel rods sites has the potential to pollute our artesian water supply and most of southern Australia.

Nuclear waste is dangerous and has a long reactive life. The Australian Government must gain the approval of all Australians before they make any nuclear agreements with the US, Senator Allison said.