Reactor And Waste Not Smart

November 5, 2001

Friends of the Earth has strongly criticised comments made by PM John Howard and Health Minister Michael Wooldridge in support of a new reactor in Sydney. Claims by the Federal Government that a reactor is critical for nuclear medicine have been consistently proven to be baseless. The comments were made after the ALP stated its opposition to a new reactor in suburban Sydney at Lucas Heights.

Reactor No Need

  • The Lucas Heights Reactor was shut for 3 months this year with no impact to the supply of medical isotopes in Australia, which can be sourced from non-reactor methods and importation.
  • Molybdenum (Mo-99), the parent source for Technetium ­99m (used in 75% of all nuclear medicine), is routinely imported into Australia each week. Several non-reactor methods of producing Mo-99/Tc-99m have also been developed.
  • Non-reactor technologies offer broadly equivalent medical and scientific benefits - with very little or no legacy of radioactive waste.
  • 75% of Australians oppose a new nuclear reactor in Suburban Sydney

Further information:
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Waste Unnecessary Burden

  • The reactor would be the main generator of radioactive waste set for national waste dumps in South Australia or elsewhere.
  • No real scientific solution has been found to safely isolate radioactive waste for long periods of time.
  • Up to 95% of South Australians are opposed to dumping radioactive waste in their state.

"A reactor is an outdated and hazardous approach to nuclear medicine, safer and smarter alternatives exist" said Bruce Thompson, national nuclear campaigner.

For further information contact:

Bruce Thompson
Mob: 0417 318 368

Loretta O¹Brien
Mob: 0418 178 053

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