EDITOR'S POSTSCRIPT

"But this could not happen in Australia" I can hear you say. Chernobyl's reactor was old technology. We are the lucky country. We have had the experience of Lucas Heights reactor for fifty years. We only used Lucas Heights for medical purposes. But it was built as a power reactor. Why could we not use it as a power reactor? Was it unsafe for this purpose? Where are the scientists and technicians experienced and competent in nuclear power reactors?

We are having a new nuclear reactor built as a power station, near the one we have closed down and very close to 4,000,000 people, a fifth of Australia's population. It is being built by a firm from South America. Not an area renowned for its political stability.

Do we have the experience of the rest of the world on call? Is the USA going to part with the knowledge it has gained? Will France or England? Will any of them wish to see another country take a step towards the capacity to develop nuclear weapons? A nuclear power station is a very powerful weapon in itself. Are we sure that there is no one in Australia, now, with evil intent who could infiltrate one of the stations in Australia when they are built? We will have to import many people, experts in this field, from many other countries. Could one be a sleeper or an implant waiting for instructions that would be catastrophic for Australia?

I knew a nuclear physicist who worked at Lucas Heights for many years until it became just too frightening. As in any field, "familiarity breeds contempt" and he reached the point where the carelessness of the few was too worrying for him to stay there.

There were so many incidents where safety rules were being glossed over. Luckily they did not lead to any catastrophe but if two or more had occurred together in a bigger plant, there goes another Chernobyl!

At the moment power from a nuclear source is one of the more expensive. But when coal fired power stations are made more greenhouse friendly this may change. Sufficient research has not been done for us to move in any direction with confidence. Let us not move to any such extremely hazardous alternative as is nuclear power in our present state of knowledge.

Perhaps America is right to suspect Iran of a denied agenda. Would they suspect us?

Climate change is certainly a factor that might be able to be mitigated and certainly nuclear power does seem one way to help. But there is wind and solar power that are possibilities and should be further researched.

We contribute two percent to the green house gas that the world produces. We will suffer with everyone else if nothing succeeds in averting it.

We must give consideration to ourselves as well as the world.

If we have a nuclear "accident" we will be the ones who suffer one hundred percent of the consequences.

For the sake of your children and your children's children take what action you can to avoid catastrophes to our country.

PROGRESS IN MEDIA

HOME