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Monday August 19, 2013
Major Parties fail their nuclear test
federal Liberal and Labor parties have scored poorly on a nuclear
policy assessment released today by national environment, disarmament
and medical groups.
Beyond Nuclear Initiative, Friends of the Earth,
International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons and Medical
Association for Prevention of War have collaborated to produce an
election policy scorecard and website (see attached) to help inform
voters about party positions on a range of nuclear issues ahead of the
September 7 federal election.
Issues canvassed included uranium mining and export,
support for nuclear weapons and nuclear power and radioactive waste
The Coalition received one tick and Labor two while Australian Greens policies scored ten out of ten.
“The major parties are out of step with many
Australians and failing badly when it comes to responsible and evidence
based nuclear policies. Many Australians have considered and continuing
concerns and opposition that are not being recognised or reflected in
policy,” said Dr Jenny Grounds from the Medical Association for
Prevention of War.
“Against the backdrop of Fukushima, continuing
international nuclear insecurity and the need to grow clean and
sustainable energy sources the major parties simply fail the nuclear
test,” said Gem Romuld from the International Campaign to Abolish
Beyond Nuclear Initiative coordinator Natalie Wasley
said “While the major parties do not openly supports an international
radioactive waste dump, they both actively support the controversial
plan for a national dump at Muckaty in the NT. The Muckaty plan is
inconsistent with industry best practice and Australia’s international
treaty obligations and is being challenged in the Federal Court.
Radioactive waste lasts longer than any politicians promise and it is
time for Canberra to do things differently and better”.
Dr Jim Green from Friends of the Earth added, “It is
a disgrace and an outrage that the major parties support selling
uranium to countries that have not even signed the Nuclear
Non-Proliferation Treaty. It is a disgrace and an outrage that both
major parties support uranium sales to Russia when they know that
safeguards inspections are very nearly non-existent."
Further information and comment:
Dr Jenny Grounds 0407 287 684
Gem Romuld 0421 955 066
Natalie Wasley 0429 900 774
Dr Jim Green 0417 318 386
Two years after the Fukushima disaster started unfolding on
11 March 2011, its impact on the global nuclear industry has become
increasingly visible. Global electricity generation from nuclear plants
dropped by a historic 7 percent in 2012, adding to the record drop of
4 percent in 2011. This World Nuclear Industry Status Report 2013 (WNISR) provides a global overview of the history, the current status and the trends of nuclear power programs worldwide.
Why Australia shouldn't sell uranium to the UAE
June 17, 2013
most Australians nuclear issues are the concern of other nations,
largely because we don't, and are most unlikely to ever have, domestic
as home to one third of the world's uranium, Australia is a
significant player in the global nuclear game and we are playing an
increasingly irresponsible hand.
Today in Canberra representatives from the Australian Conservation Foundation, Friends of the Earth, the Medical Association for the Prevention of War and the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons
will have a rare window of opportunity to put their case to a
Parliamentary committee as to why Australia should not sell uranium to
the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
The UAE is country with an illiberal government situated in one of
the world's most insecure regions. The commercial interests of
multinational uranium producers have been prioritised over the wider
national interest. Instead of industry assurances it is now time to test
the claims, and examine the costs, of Australia's uranium industry.
The value of the employment and economic contribution made by the
Australian uranium sector is consistently exaggerated while its risks
and liabilities are routinely played down. When it comes to jobs and
dollars uranium is a small contributor to Australian export revenue and
employment, but when it comes to global impact and risk Australian
uranium is in the major league.
From 2002 to 2011, uranium sales averaged $627 million
annually and accounted for only 0.29 per cent of all national export
revenue: small beer, but with a big hangover
The industry's contribution to employment in Australia is also
underwhelming. The World Nuclear Association estimates 1760 jobs in
Australia's entire uranium industry. This is the highest of all
estimates yet it represents just 0.015 per cent of the jobs in
While small industrial sectors can play an important economic role,
the unique properties and risks of uranium relative to its meagre
employment and economic benefits means it requires particular scrutiny.
Article continued here.
Stepping out against
Media Release 2nd May 2013
This Saturday 4th of May people from across Australia and around the World will be meeting with local Aboriginal people, Wangkatja people, to embark on a 3 week walk from Yeelirrie - WA's largest uranium deposit to Leonora. The 2013 walk will be the third walk through the Goldfields stepping out against uranium mining.
This year has increased support and growing opposition to uranium mining after the Federal announcement to give a conditional, but not final, approval for Toro Energy's proposed Wiluna uranium mine. This year the walk will incorporate campaign training from the Australian Manufacturers Workers Union to help support communities who want to oppose uranium mining on their country.
Kado Muir chairperson of the West Australian Nuclear Free Alliance and Yeelirrie Traditional Custodian, "Everybody is concerned about the potential for uranium mining. We all want to do our bit - to send the message that we don't want uranium mining on our country. We've fought against uranium for over 40 years. We know uranium is different. Yeelirrie, in my area, is known as the place of death. We've always know that uranium must be left in the ground."
"Between Wiluna and Leonora there is the potential for three uranium mines, that's all the country we travel across, live on and hunt our kangaroos and goanna and emus on. If these uranium mines go ahead, we'll lose our country for the next 10,000 years. We've already had mining in this area for over 100 years; we're still waiting to see any significant benefit. It is talked about but there's no evidence. Every new company comes in with new promises but we never see any change."
Marcus Atkinson, walk organiser and campaigner for the Anti Nuclear Alliance of WA said "The walk has been so important in connecting people with the local communities and the environment teaching people that the area is important."
"Since the Federal conditional
approval for the proposed Wiluna uranium mine more and more people have
joined the walk. This is a new beginning for action and opposition to
the proposed Wiluna uranium mine and other proposed uranium mines in the
area like Yeelirrie, Lake Maitland and Mulga Rocks. We are determined
to keep WA nuclear free" he concluded.
26 April 2013
High risk, low return: uranium industry’s poor record demands inquiry
Australia’s uranium industry is a
minor contributor to employment and the economy, a major
source of domestic and international risks and is overdue for an
independent inquiry into its
effects on the environment, health, safety and security,
according to a report released today on the anniversary of the 1986
Chernobyl nuclear disaster.
Yellowcake Fever: exposing the uranium industry’s economic myths, released
by the Australian Conservation Foundation, shows uranium accounted for only 0.29 per cent of national export revenue and less than 0.015 per cent of Australian jobs in the decade
In the last financial year, revenue from uranium was four times lower than Australia's 20th biggest export earner, eight times lower than Australia’s 10th
biggest export earner and 103 times lower than the biggest earner, iron ore.
Australia’s uranium sector remains an economic minnow, it is a
leviathan when it comes to the damage it does to communities and the
environment and the risks
it spreads,” said the Australian Conservation Foundation’s Dave
is time for an independent and credible cost-benefit analysis of this
sector and for decisions to be based on evidence, not self-interested
The most recent independent assessment of the Australian uranium industry – a
Senate Inquiry in October 2003 – found the sector characterised by
underperformance and non-compliance, an absence of reliable data to
measure contamination or its impact on the environment and an
operational culture focussed on short term considerations.
the decade since that Senate Inquiry, leaks, incidents and accidents
have continued to dog uranium mines, Australia has sold uranium to more
nuclear weapon states
and Australian uranium has fuelled the continuing Fukushima tragedy,” said
Australian Uranium Association’s push to reduce independent scrutiny of
uranium projects shows why this sector does not enjoy community
confidence or a social license.
“We call on the federal government to establish an evidence-based inquiry into the operations and impacts of this industry, particularly in
the shadow of Fukushima.”
The report can be accessed here.
Contact: Dave Sweeney, 0408 317 812
Dividing communities as well as
Sweeney ABC Environment 23 Apr 2013
Uranium mining may be attractive
to those seeking to boost state coffers, but it leaves the land poisoned and
IN REGIONAL Queensland are increasingly concerned about Premier Campbell
Newman's decision to open the Sunshine State to uranium mining — and with good
decision was made behind closed doors in response to pressure from industry
lobby groups and — by the Premier's own admission — without reference to
independent economic analysis or advice.
also broke a promise. In a letter to the Australian Conservation Foundation
dated 11 October 2012 Premier Newman stated: "I take this opportunity to
reaffirm my statements, made before the last election, that the State
Government has no plans to approve the development of uranium in
Queensland". Two weeks later the Premier put out the welcome mat for the
is no stranger to mining, but uranium is different... (article continued here)
Green, New Matilda, 22 April 2013
The dangers of nuclear power and
proliferation are acute, but hard to quantify. That hasn't deterred ex-NASA
climate scientist James Hansen from his high-profile nuclear advocacy writes
Earlier this month, James Hansen resigned from his
position as director of NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies in order to
devote more time to campaigning to cut global carbon emissions.
In addition to his scientific research on climate change,
Hansen has been arrested several times in recent years at protests against coal
mining and tar sands mining. Bravo James Hansen — precious few scientists and
academics live and breathe their politics as he does.
But when it comes to proposing solutions, Hansen is on
less solid ground. A loose parallel can be drawn with Tim Flannery, who Clive
Hamilton describes as a "talented science populariser" but a
"policy flake"... (article continued here)
Muckaty protest enters sixth year
rally and march were held today in Tennant Creek (25 May 2012) to mark
five years since the Northern Land Council voted to nominate Muckaty as a
potential site for a national nuclear waste dump. 120-150 people
attended the rally and speakers included Muckaty Traditional Owners,
Minister Gerry McCarthy (NTG), Barkly Shire President Barb Shaw,
Larrakia activist Donna Jackson and Maurice Blackburn lawyer Lizzie
O’Shea. The march went from Peko Park to outside the Northern Land
Council office where Traditional Owners spoke about the lack of
consultation by the NLC before the Muckaty site was nominated.
Picture: Flagstaff gardens post Federal Court case hearing in Melbourne, June 25th 2012.