Howard Should Guarantee No Imposition Of Nuclear Plants

November 22, 2006

Given the likelihood that the Howard government has the legal power to force nuclear power reactors and nuclear waste dumps onto unwilling communities, Friends of the Earth is today calling on the government to guarantee that it will not impose nuclear facilities on unwilling communities or override state legislation banning nuclear plants.

The State Government and local councils do not have the legislative power to stop the Howard Government placing a nuclear power station in their backyard, despite their opposition.

State leaders now need to use their political clout to pressure the Federal Government not to take the unsafe route of nuclear power and nuclear waste dumps.

Friends of the Earth nuclear campaigner Dr Jim Green said: “It is unlikely that state legislation could prevent a hostile federal government from imposing nuclear reactors or waste dumps on Victoria, whether in Avalon, Gippsland, LaTrobe Valley, Portland, Warnambool or anywhere else.”

"Therefore we call on John Howard to guarantee that he will not force nuclear power stations of nuclear waste dumps on unwilling communities. Steve Bracks and Ted Baillieu should be seeking clear, unequivocal assurances from the Howard government as a matter of priority."

"The Howard government has form on this issue. It is currently attempting to impose a nuclear waste dump on the NT, overriding NT legislation banning such a dump and ignoring fierce community opposition. Howard spent six years attempting to impose a nuclear dump on South Australia before he got cold feet in the lead up to the 2004 federal election at which marginal seats in SA were at risk."

"Regardless of improvements in nuclear safety, all nuclear power reactors are vulnerable to serious accidents and to terrorist attacks. That is why the insurance industry refuses to insure against nuclear accidents or attacks," Dr Green said.

Media Contact: Jim Green 0417 318 368