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Nuclear mismanagement must be election issue.

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DEMOCRATS MEDIA 04/904 MONDAY 13 SEPTEMBER 2004 SENATOR LYN ALLISON AUSTRALIAN DEMOCRATS ENERGY AND RESOURCES SPOKESPERSON NUCLEAR MISMANAGEMENT MUST BE ELECTION ISSUE News today that a Commonwealth Department has lodged an application for an operating licence for the new Lucas Heights nuclear reactor places the issue of Commonwealth nuclear waste firmly back at the top of the agenda. Senator Lyn Allison, Democrats Energy and Resources spokesperson said the application with nuclear regulator ARPANSA shows the Commonwealth's Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO) intends to bring the new reactor online without telling Australians what happens with the waste. "The Coalition and the ALP should come clean on this important issue," Senator Allison said. "At the moment, it would seem that just about anyone could end up with the Commonwealth's nuclear waste in their backyard." "The fact that ARPANSA does not require ANSTO to submit a plan for management of nuclear waste beyond the Lucas Heights site suggests the Coalition is either intending to store accumulating nuclear waste in Sydney or send it to some offshore island." Senator Allison said the Democrats position has been virtually unchanged for 27 years: we are opposed to uranium mining; the operation of nuclear reactors; the storage of radioactive waste in national facilities; the export of radioactive materials; and the use and proliferation of nuclear weapons. "We were appalled to see that, three days after a damning report by the supervising scientist into safety breaches at the Ranger Mine, the mine was re-opened," Senator Allison said. "The Howard Government's Industry Minister made a public commitment to close the mine for at least two weeks. But, just a day after re-opening there were reports of another serious safety breach at the mine with yet no penalty for the breaches. "Should this kind of haphazard management extend to Lucas Heights, millions of Sydney residents will be put at risk. Both the Ranger Mine, and the nuclear reactor at Lucas Heights should be scrapped." Media enquiries for Senator Allison contact Katrina McGrath on 0408 056 167