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You are here: Home / Media / Archive / 2005 / 0908

0908

press release
friends of the earth australia

8 September 2005

nuclear energy no solution to climate change

CANBERRA (Australia), 8 September 2005 -- A coalition of environment and public heath groups today released a report challenging the argument– most recently put forward by Australian Foreign Minister Alexander Downer – that nuclear power is 'clean' and a potential fix for climate change.

The report, 'Nuclear Energy: No Solution to Climate Change' (online at http://www.melbourne.foe.org.au/documents.htm ), was launched at Parliament House, Canberra, by former Australian Ambassador to South Korea and nuclear proliferation expert Professor Richard Broinowski.

“If it sells uranium to India and China, the Australian government will be flouting two crucial conditions under which Australian uranium exports have been subject: buyer nations must be signatories to the Non-Proliferation Treaty and they must allow international inspection of their reactors,” Prof Broinowski said. “India is not a signatory to the NPT and China indicates it won't allow inspections of its reactors. How dangerously irresponsible can we get?”

While a few Federal Ministers – Downer, Nelson and Macfarlane, the"Three Toxic Tenors" – are singing the uranium industry's song, a growing number of Australians are cautioning the Government against deeper involvement in the dangerous nuclear chain.

Dr Jim Green, author of the report and national nuclear campaigner for Friends of the Earth said: "Nuclear power is no solution to climate change. A doubling of global nuclear power output by 2050 would reduce greenhouse gas emissions by just 5% – less than one tenth of the reduction required."

"Nuclear plants are potential bomb factories. Four or five countries have developed arsenals of nuclear weapons using their 'peaceful' nuclear facilities – India, Israel, South Africa, Pakistan and possibly North Korea. Nuclear power reactors have produced enough plutonium to build 160,000 nuclear weapons," Dr Jim Green added.

Mark Wakeham from Greenpeace said: "This report shows that energy efficiency measures and renewable energy sources can deliver the large reductions in greenhouse pollution required without the dangers associated with nuclear power. It's time to shift from dangerous and dirty fuel sources – coal and nuclear – to a clean energy future."

David Noonan from the Australian Conservation Foundation said: "The real nuclear agenda is to double Australia's uranium exports. Our safeguards and proliferation responsibilities look set to be fatally compromised to suit BHP Billiton’s expansion plans for Roxby Downs.”

The report has been produced by Friends of the Earth, the Australian Conservation Foundation, Greenpeace, the Medical Association for the Prevention of War, the Public Health Association of Australia and Climate Action Network Australia. It is also endorsed by the peak conservation groups in the four states being targeted by the uranium mining industry – the Environment Centre of the NT, the Conservation Council of SA, the Conservation Council of WA and the Queensland Conservation Council.

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT IN CANBERRA (AUSTRALIA):

* Jim Green: Friends of the Earth national nuclear campaigner, +61-417 318 368 or email jim.green@foe.org.au or jimgreen3@ozemail.com.au

* David Noonan: Australian Conservation Foundation nuclear campaigner, +61-408 821 058

* Mark Wakeham: Greenpeace energy campaigner, +61-409 542 753

* Prof Richard Broinowski is available for media comment - contact Jim Green

 

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