New book against nuclear power

November 17, 1993

Alex Milne, Melbourne

Helen Caldicott's book Nuclear Power is not the Answer to Global Warming or Anything Else was launched at Trades Hall on June 3. Speaking with her were Hillel Freedman from Nuclear Free Australia, former Nuclear Disarmament Party member Jacob Grech and Friends of the Earth anti-nuclear campaigner Jim Green.

Caldicott described the real goal of Howard government's talk of nuclear power stations in Australia as being to export as much uranium as possible and import nuclear waste. "Just standing next to a spent nuclear fuel rod is enough to cause deadly cancers ... A millionth of a gram [of plutonium] inhaled is enough to cause deadly cancers, and children are 10 to 20 times more vulnerable to cancer from nuclear radiation", she said.

Freedman described the promotion of nuclear power to solve global warming as a "bizarre perversion of environmentalism". The planned $5 billion extension of the Roxby Downs uranium mine will result in an incredible 150 million litres of water being consumed by the mine every day.

Grech drew the links between the trade union and anti-uranium movements, saying, "Nuclear power will be about as useful to the environment as the IR 'reforms' are to the average worker". Sections 45D and E of the Trade Practices Act (introduced by the Fraser Liberal government and not repealed by Labor) prohibit unions from taking part in solidarity strikes and secondary boycotts. These laws, rigorously enforced by the Howard government, will make it much harder to stop the expansion of an unpopular and deadly industry.

Green reminded the gathering of the success of the campaign against the Jabiluka uranium mine and the Kupa Piti Kunga Tjuta campaign against a nuclear waste dump in South Australia. The audience was told about protests planned for September 27 to mark the 50th anniversary of the Maralinga tests and urged to attend the Hiroshima Day rally on August 6.

From Green Left Weekly, July 19, 2006.
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