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Saturday, July 28, 2007

Australia Nuclear Dump

Written By Inga Gilchrist

Australia would become a global nuclear waste dump if it joined the world's elite nuclear energy club, a Canadian political leader said in Melbourne. Green Party leader in Ontario Frank de Jong said today Australia would follow the Canadian example to huge nuclear storage problems. "There's no such thing as permanent storage for nuclear waste," he said. "We have it sitting in aboveground pools, and if Australia goes for nuclear power, nobody else will deal with the waste."

Under the five-nation Global Nuclear Energy Partnership (GNEP) proposals, countries that supplied enriched uranium would have to take it back and dispose of it. In September, Australia will attend its first GNEP meeting. The US-led partnership with Russia, China, Japan and France was set up two months ago to limit the growth of nuclear weapons. Australia is one of the world's biggest producers of uranium - the fuel that powers nuclear energy. Prime Minister John Howard backs plans for nuclear reactors in Australia. But whatever happened, said Howard, Australia would not take other countries' nuclear waste..

"We've made that clear - we're not taking other people's waste," Howard told ABC radio in Adelaide. But Wilderness Society spokesman Alec Marr said recent moves by the Government to remove legal barriers to an international nuclear waste dump had led the country to the point of no return.

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