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Greenpeace warns of Australian PM's nuclear plans

Greenpeace warns of Australian PM's nuclear expansion

Sydney, Tuesday 16 May, 2006: The Pacific will become a nuclear highway and Australia the world's nuclear waste dump if John Howard's nuclear fuel leasing plan is taken seriously in North America this week, Greenpeace said today.

Steve Shallhorn, CEO of Greenpeace Australia Pacific said, ”Prime Minister John Howard should use his visit to the USA and Canada to support safe renewable energy solutions that are ready to be plugged into energy grids now, rather than risky, nuclear power.

“Prime Minister Howard's proposals for Australia to expand uranium exports and even import spent nuclear fuel would lead to a great increase in nuclear material shipments in the Pacific.

“Leasing does not change the basic accounting, that nuclear power is by far the most expensive way to turn on a light bulb.

“Nuclear power supplies only 6% of the world energy mix. To double this figure would require over 1000 new reactors over 25 years, which is environmentally and politically untenable.

In 2004 the Pacific Island Forum stated strong concerns over the potential of nuclear accidents to cause economic loss.

“Mr Howard should be mindful that island nations stand up for their rights to protect their exclusive economic zones (EEZ) from nuclear shipments, such as when a Japanese plutonium shipment breached several Pacific EEZ’s in 2002.

“When the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States met in the Pacific in 2002 they condemned the nuclear transports and called for their “immediate cessation” (Nadi Declaration of the Third Summit of ACP Heads of State and Government, 19/7/02),” said Mr Shallhorn.

Ends

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