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.