The Guardian February 12, 2003


Lucas Heights protest

by Peter Mac

Last week protestors blockaded Sydney's Lucas Heights nuclear facility to 
highlight dangers posed by the new reactor, and by potential terrorist 
attacks on it.

The Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO) has 
suppressed a report on a possible attack on the complex, one of Australia's 
most dangerous civil installations, almost certainly indicating a 
disastrous lack of preparedness for such an event.

NSW Greens parliamentarian Ian Cohen commented: "Health authorities . do 
not have stabilised iodine tablets, essential for saving (40,000) lives in 
the event of a radiation leak or a terrorist attack."

Mr Cohen has called on ANSTO to release the report, and has pointed out 
that the pre-distribution of iodine tablets is standard practice in many 
countries with nuclear power plants, including France, Germany and the 
United States.

However, others have suggested that the real purpose of the facility is to 
preserve the old Australian imperialist dream of the nation acquiring 
nuclear arms capability.

Regardless of the government's aims, it is absolutely criminal to build 
such a facility in suburban Sydney.

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