INSIDE THE AUSTRALIAN
click to enlarge
Prime Minister Howard,
I am alarmed that you are, from all indications it seems, committing
Australia to a Global Nuclear Energy Partnership agreement with the
United States of America during the APEC heads of state meeting in
Sydney. This is a blank check agreement, which will create long term
environmental and security problems for Australia and the world. The
US has recently entered into an agreement with India to include it
in global nuclear trade, previously denied to India on the basis
that it has not signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NNPT).
This would be a significant break from existing policy, as sales of
uranium are currently prohibited to non-signatory countries to the
NNPT. Mr. Prime Minister, there is no safe solution to the storage
of large amounts of deadly radioactive wastes around the world. This
agreement is not only alarming to green activists like me, it is
alarming our Pacific neighbors, and alarming to populations who have
to live in the shadow of reactors, waste dumps, and uranium mines.
Fine particles of deadly radioactive nuclides are released from
operating nuclear reactors into the air and water, contaminating
living organisms in its wake. As well, we have a litany of reported
problems associated with both old and new nuclear reactors. It is
obvious that the recent earthquake in Japan was a major warning to
halt the establishment of your nuclear agenda. Robert Alvarez, a
former official at the U.S Department of Energy reports on the
financial implausibility of the GNEP plan, which requires billions
more dollars to even get off the ground. Of course nuclear power is
far too slow, too expensive and too dangerous to seriously make any
difference in the struggle against global warming. In fact in the
first ten years of operation, a nuclear reactor produces the same
amount of CO2 as a coal fired power plant.
Are you aware that very that few Australians support nuclear power
and clean coal as the technologies to combat climate change?
Seventy-four per cent favored a greenhouse strategy based mainly on
energy efficiency and renewable energy.
In closing, note!
Nuclear energy requires large-scale mining projects, like Olympic
Dam, which consumes approximately 33 million litres of water per day
from the Great Artesian Basin and 6% of the S.A. electricity
generated by brown coal.
The unavoidable consequence of nuclear energy is massive
quantities of radioactive waste, which will remain hazardous to the
environment and human health for hundreds of thousands of years.
Enriched uranium is a crucial part of the deadly nuclear weapons
The health of Aboriginal Australians will be further abused by the
forced mining of uranium and the burial of toxic radioactive wastes
upon their lands.
Nuclear power is extremely expensive to establish and its
expansion would take public money away from the development of clean
renewable energy technologies.
I advise you to follow New Zealand in making Australia a Nuclear
Free Zone. Imagine how this decision would influence US policy and
the immediate benefits it will have on our close neighbors.