Nuclear dump dangerous for Territory

National environment group Friends of the Earth (FoE) has today expressed concern over the Northern Land Council's nomination of a site for a proposed nuclear waste dump at Muckaty, near Tennant Creek in the Northern Territory.

 

NUCLEAR DUMP DANGEROUS FOR TERRITORY

May 25 2006

National environment group Friends of the Earth (FoE) has today expressed concern over the Northern Land Council's nomination of a site for a proposed nuclear waste dump at Muckaty, near Tennant Creek in the Northern Territory.

FoE national nuclear campaigner Dr. Jim Green said: "John Daly from the Northern Land Council is entirely wrong when he says that a nuclear dump 'can be safely constructed in many parts of the Northern Territory' and that nuclear waste transport is 'safe'."

"The government agency responsible for the nuclear waste dump, the Department of Education, Science and Training (DEST), has a track record of mismanaging nuclear projects. When the government planned to dump nuclear waste in SA, independent nuclear scientists and physicists argued that DEST could not be trusted to safely construct and manage the dump because of its lack of expertise. The regulator - the Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency - agreed that DEST had insufficient expertise to safely manage the project, as did the International Atomic Energy Agency."

"In theory it might be possible to safely construct and manage a nuclear repository, but we don't live in theory -- we live in Australia where the relevant federal government agency has a track record of incompetence and mismanagement."

"Daly is also wrong to claim that nuclear waste transportation is safe. There have been countless accidents involving nuclear waste transportation around the world, such as the radiation contamination scandal in Germany which led to the indefinite suspension of nuclear waste transports, the derailment of a train carrying 180 tonnes of high-level nuclear waste in France, and the truck accident which spilled strontium-90 onto a highway in Tennessee. The Lucas Heights nuclear agency ANSTO has acknowledged 1-2 'incidents' each year involving the transportation of nuclear materials to and from Lucas Heights."

"Daly's claim that 'every Australian directly benefits from radiological medical treatment ...produced at Lucas Heights' is also false. In fact, as two Senate inquiries have found, Australia does not even need a nuclear reactor let alone a nuclear waste dump in order to assure high-level nuclear medicine services," Dr. Green concluded.

 

Contact: Jim Green 0417 318 368