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Nuclear Propelled Ships Make Sense

Nuclear Propelled Ships Make Sense

Both Labour and National should stop shadow boxing on the nuclear propulsion issue and clearly state their position, ACT Foreign Affairs and Defence Spokesman Ken Shirley said today.

"Dr Cullen has clearly been told in Washington that our self-indulgent and foolish stance against all things nuclear is an impediment to both our involvement in the ANZUS defence alliance and also to a free trade agreement with the US.

"It is widely accepted that freer access to the lucrative US market would earn New Zealand several billion dollars on an ongoing basis, lifting our growth and improving our economic well-being. "With this in mind, Dr Cullen has chosen to initiate a debate on the issue to sound out the New Zealand electorate.

"For their part, National are pirouetting around the issue, confirming their non-nuclear policy on the one hand whilst simultaneously trying to beat up the Government for the lost opportunities resulting from the policy that they share.

"ACT New Zealand is the only party with a clear, unequivocal position. ACT says that we should amend our anti-nuclear legislation and accept nuclear-propelled ships into our ports and territorial waters. "Our 1984 legislation went too far, driven by the rhetoric and mass emotion of the time. We have nuclear isotopes in our hospitals and research facilities, and the safety and efficiency of nuclear propulsion is well-proven.

"The removal of the ban on nuclear-propelled ships is the key to reactivating our involvement in ANZUS, which in turn would put us on equal footing with Australia in facilitating freer trade access to the US market.

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