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The Australian Conservation Foundation has welcomed the Prime Minister’s acknowledgement that many Australians have deep concerns about Federal plans for nuclear reactors and high level radioactive waste production in Australia.
Prime Minister John Howard today said ‘extensive community consultation’ and ‘binding local plebiscites’ would be conducted before the Government went ahead with building nuclear reactors.
“If the Prime Minister is serious about responding to community concerns he should scrap his Government’s plans to overturn existing nuclear prohibitions in federal environment legislation and to impose a nuclear waste dump on the Northern Territory,” said ACF Nuclear Free Campaigner David Noonan.
“Nuclear reactors are already illegal under State laws right down the eastern seaboard and nuclear waste dumping is contrary to the will of State and Territory Parliaments across the country.
“That the Prime Minister has finally acknowledged the community’s views on nuclear reactors is a good thing; that he continues to champion this high cost and high risk energy option is not.
“Australians know nuclear is the source of some of the world’s worst industrial waste and is responsible for the continuation and proliferation of the world’s worst weapons.
“Far from being ‘the only reliable source of low emission baseload power now available’, nuclear reactors are far too slow and too costly to be an effective response to the urgent challenges of climate change.
“The Prime Minister conceded that he does not expect to see proposals for nuclear reactors ‘for 10 to 15 years’, yet the best science is telling us we must urgently make big cuts to greenhouse emissions.
“Australia should ditch the nuclear agenda and become a world leader in safe, clean renewable energy,” he said.