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Australia: 'Leasing' uranium for nuclear fuel

'Leasing' uranium for nuclear fuel a sleight of hand to undermine treaty

Turning Australia into a dumping ground for spent nuclear fuel from India is unacceptable. If there is no safe disposal, there is no justification for mining in the first place, Australian Greens energy spokesperson Senator Christine Milne said today.

Senator Milne challenged the federal government to name just where in
Australia it intended to store any spent nuclear fuel from India, China, or anywhere else.

"Prime Minister John Howard and Deputy Prime Minister Mark Vaile should stop talking in code and admit that the motivation behind discussions with the US on the lease proposal is pure and simply to circumvent the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) which prevents the export of uranium and nuclear technology to India," Senator Milne said in Hobart.

"As such Australians should reject it.

"The Greens have longed campaigned for cradle-to-grave responsibility, from plastic bottles to uranium. That is why when there is no safe disposal for nuclear waste it is irresponsible to generate the product in the first place.

"The world is already beset by terrorism. Nuclear waste on the high seas is a frightening prospect.

"Our Pacific neighbours have already declared the Pacific to be nuclear free. We should respect that.

"What does it say about Australia that our government gets excited about an economy founded on digging up and dumping down holes?

"Prime Minister Howard should name the postcode he has in mind for storing the high-level nuclear waste."

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