The Australian Greens will mark the 26th anniversary of the Chernobyl nuclear catastrophe by calling on whistleblowers to lift the lid on Australia's own nuclear industry.
Greens spokesperson on nuclear policy Senator Scott Ludlam said the impact of the Chernobyl disaster in Ukraine in 1986 continued to be felt to this day. Senator Ludlam today released a research paper on the situation at Chernobyl today and its ongoing costs:
"This is the 26th anniversary of the beginning of the Chernobyl catastrophe. Nuclear disasters of that scale have a start date, but no end date. Authorities in the Ukraine and across Europe are still dealing with the impact of Chernobyl. This lasting blight illustrates once again that the only way to make the nuclear industry safe is to shut it down."
Senator Ludlam recently released ‘Let the Facts Speak': a compendium of nuclear disasters. He noted the data is "disturbingly incomplete" because of the secrecy that shrouds the industry.
"A comprehensive inventory will require many brave people revealing some awful truths. In Sydney, Hanford, Fukushima and Chernobyl, nuclear whistleblowers must be encouraged and protected. These people know the types and locations of contaminated sites and are providing an invaluable service to future generations by revealing information that will help prevent radiation health impacts. However, people blowing the whistle on the nuclear industry have paid a heavy price; Karen Silkwood lost her life in the USA, Dave Reid lost his job in New South Wales. Whistleblowers deserve and need protection."
Senator Ludlam said the Australian Government could not facilitate the sale of uranium and then ignore the consequences.
"Fukushima may prove to be much worse than Chernobyl. Australian uranium was in the Fukushima Daiichi reactors and we can't wash our hands of that. The Australian Government has cut deals to sell uranium to Russia and the United Arab Emirates, and India - a country that refuses to sign the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty - is next in line. Will we be complicit in the next nuclear disaster as well?"