Nuclear safeguards office further discredits itself

\NuclearThe Australian Safeguards and Non-proliferation Office (ASNO) is today bringing itself into further disrepute by accepting an award from a pro-nuclear lobby group, the Australian Nuclear Association (ANA).

Image: Ivy Mike, world's first thermonuclear explosion

NUCLEAR SAFEGUARDS OFFICE FURTHER DISCREDITS ITSELF

Friends of the Earth
Media Release - October 24, 2008

The Australian Safeguards and Non-proliferation Office (ASNO) is today bringing itself into further disrepute by accepting an award from a pro-nuclear lobby group, the Australian Nuclear Association (ANA).

Friends of the Earth nuclear campaigner Dr Jim Green said: "ASNO is an independent statutory office and should not be accepting an award  from a lobby group. Yesterday, ASNO claimed in Senate Estimates that the ANA is not a lobby group but an industry group. But the ANA is a lobby group – its constitution includes the aim of 'promoting ... the use of nuclear science and technology'. And ASNO is clearly accepting an award from the industry it purports to regulate.

"The credibility of ASNO is already under serious challenge as its false and misleading evidence was comprehensively rejected by the parliamentary treaties committee's recent inquiry into the Howard/ Putin uranium deal. For example, ASNO misled the committee with false claims that safeguards would "ensure" that Australian uranium does not end up in Putin's weapons, but research by Friends of the Earth revealed that there have been no IAEA inspections in Russia since 2001."

Friends of the Earth has lodged a complaint (available on request) with the Parliamentary Privileges Committee regarding ASNO's false 'evidence' to the treaties committee.

"ASNO is notorious for peddling false claims, such as its claims that nuclear power does not pose a WMD proliferation risk, that Australia only sells uranium to countries with 'impeccable' non-proliferation credentials, and that all of Australia's uranium is 'fully accounted for'," Dr Green concluded.

More information:
* Detailed critique of ASNO written by retired diplomat Prof. Richard Broinowski, public health physician Assoc. Prof. Tilman Ruff, physicist Dr Alan Roberts and Dr Green: <www.energyscience.org.au>

* Friends of the Earth: <www.foe.org.au/anti-nuclear/issues/nfc/mining/safeguards/asno>

Contact: Dr Jim Green 0417 318368