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EURATOM treaty - lessons not learned

Media Release
Scott Ludlam 22 Nov 2011

The Australian Greens have strongly criticised a proposal to renew the Australia-Euratom Agreement governing exchange of uranium between Australia and Europe.
"The agreement demonstrates a fundamental denial of the risks of the uranium trade, glosses over the steady decline of the nuclear industry in Europe, and perpetuates the delusion that the ‘safeguards' regime actually provides meaningful safeguards.

Greens spokesperson on nuclear affairs, Senator Scott Ludlam, said the Euratom deal should be opposed for a series of reasons. The Australian Greens full dissenting report can be found here:

"Key European players like Germany and Switzerland are pulling out of the nuclear industry altogether. Austria and other European countries have formed an anti-nuclear bloc to push for a nuclear-free Europe, and nuclear energy has been in decline in Europe for decades.

"The proposed treaty is supposedly the first agreement to include specific provisions on nuclear safety, but it does so by simply noting the existence of four pre-existing treaties. Actual nuclear safety, as the events at Windscale, Three Mile Island, Chernobyl and Fukushima demonstrate, require more than cross-referencing bits of paper."

"Senior officials have admitted that Australian obligated nuclear material was at the Fukushima Daiichi site, probably in all of the destroyed reactors. That doesn't seem to have sunk in to the Australian Government."

"Renegotiating the EURATOM treaty was an opportunity for Australia to demonstrate that it has learned something from the disaster in Japan. It is hard to imagine how bad things have to get for Australian policy makers to wake up."

 Media Contact: Giovanni Torre - 0417 174 302



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