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Stop nuclear reactor works.

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Senator Lyn Allison

Deputy Parliamentary Leader and Democrats Senator for Victoria Australian Democrats spokesperson for Energy and Resources Dated: 30 August 2004

Stop Nuclear Reactor Works

The Australian Democrats called for work on the controversial Lucas Heights reactor to be halted until the community and the Government can agree on a suitable waste storage site.

The move follows the release of a report today by the Medical Association for Prevention of War, Australia (MAPW) which calls on the Federal Government to abandon the reactor plans on grounds it is unsafe and unnecessary.

Senator Lyn Allison, Democrats Energy and Resources spokesperson said the MAPW report supported the Democrats concerns about the safety aspects of the reactor.

"The Democrats have previously expressed great concern that plans for the new reactor at Lucas Heights were progressed before the problems of waste storage and transportation of nuclear materials associated with the new reactor were properly addressed," Senator Allison said.

"The Government is blindly continuing with its $350 million reactor plans, even preparing to assess an application for an operating license despite the fact there is nowhere to store the waste.

"The Federal Government must have formulated a contingency plan since the failure of its original idea to dump nuclear waste in South Australia, and it is time to come clean."

Senator Allison said the MAPW report confirmed the need to explore alternative clinical technologies and lessen reliance on nuclear means.

"The report supports the argument that Australia does not need a reactor to produce medical isotypes - there are a range of other alternatives that do not rely on nuclear technology," Senator Allison said.

"The world already contains sufficient reactors to meet global medical, scientific and industrial needs many times over."

Senator Allison said the Federal Government needed to take leadership on this issue by halting all reactor works at Lucas Heights and reveal its alternative plans to store toxic waste.