Topic: nuke threats
[Greens media release]
Six month reactor shutdown as nuclear delegates arrive in Australia
The admission by the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology
Organisation that Australia's only nuclear reactor will remain shutdown
for six months shows the need for a new direction on nuclear power,
Greens Senator Kerry Nettle said today.
The embarrassing revelation comes on the eve of an International Atomic
Energy Agency conference, which starts in Sydney tomorrow and is focused
on research reactors like the Lucas Heights OPAL reactor.
The week long conference, The International Conference on Research
Reactors: Safe Management and Effective Utilization, is being hosted by
Australia and 220 delegates from around the world are expected to
"The government now has egg on its face as the world's nuclear
scientists gather in Australia," Senator Nettle said.
"Just before Australia hosts a major international conference on
research reactors we learn that Sydney's nuclear reactor will be out of
action for at least six months."
"John Howard called this reactor a 'triumph' but just three months after
his government opened the reactor it has broken down and will now be off
line for at least 6 months."
"There is major gap between the rhetoric and reality of nuclear power in
this country. How can John Howard and ANSTO argue for 25 nuclear power
reactors when they can't even run one small research reactor?"
"There is still no clear answer to the cause of the reactor shutdown and
who will foot the bill."
"The admission that the reactor will remain closed also undermines the
claim that it is necessary for nuclear medicine. ANSTO says it is
spending $90,000 a week to provide nuclear medicine while the reactor is
shutdown. The reactor cost $400 million to build so for the cost of
building a reactor Australia could have had 100 years of medical
"The government should cut its losses, keep the reactor closed and focus
on real solutions to climate change like renewable energy and energy
For more information: Damien Lawson 0419 253 342