Federal Government’s nuclear push a white elephant

November 21 , 2006

Friends of the Earth will be taking a white elephant for a walk down Rundle Mall at 1.00pm this afternoon as a response to the release of the Federal Government’s Uranium Mining, Processing and Nuclear Energy Review (UMPNER) by its chair, Ziggy Switkowski.

“Nuclear power remains a white elephant around the world. Its unresolved waste problems, the risk of weapons proliferation and the continuing chance of a catastrophic meltdown has seen several European countries adopt phase-out policies,” said Friends of the Earth campaigner Joel Catchlove.

“It’s hardly surprising that the Federal Government's nuclear review committee, composed of nuclear industry figures, should push a nuclear expansion for Australia,” said Mr. Catchlove.

“Climate change demands an urgent response, not waiting another fifteen years while we wait for a dangerous nuclear power plant to be built. The Prime Minister’s enthusiasm for nuclear technology is a continuation of his failure on climate change and his eagerness to prop up old allies in the mining and fossil fuel industries,” he said.

“We already have the technologies for a response to climate change: by far the cheapest and safest way of reducing greenhouse gas emissions is to simply use less energy through conservation and efficiency measures. Efficiency measures can reduce our impact immediately, while renewable energy could be rolled out within a couple of years, bringing with them jobs, particularly for regional communities,” commented Friends of the Earth campaigner Sophie Green.

“Of course, renewables are safe: unlike nuclear power, there is little risk of a terror attack, no long-lived, highly-toxic waste to manage, no risk of nuclear weapons proliferation and no risk of meltdowns or leaks,” said Ms. Green.

Photographic opportunities: Friends of the Earth Adelaide will be assembling at the Silver Balls in Rundle Mall with a large white elephant puppet at 1.00pm, Tuesday 21 November 2006.

Contact for comment: Sophie Green 0422 487 219 Joel Catchlove 0403 886 951