Benny Zable Takes  Manhattan

Sept 7th, 2007 - Australian anti-nuclear performance artist Benny Zable delivered a letter from Dr. Helen Caldicott to Rupert Murdoch at News Corp. opposing the relicensing of the old Indian Point nuclear power plant.

I had a security guard yell at me for 5 minutes, three inches from my face, because I wouldn't erase the video I shot of him inside the building... He threatened me, my friends, my family... so much for freedom of the press at the Fox Channel!


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.,23599,21924903-5005080,00.html?from=public_rss

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 cycle.

• 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.

Yours truly, Benny Zable


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