BACKGROUND INFORMATION

PNFA | Claims & Truth | Video | Fact Sheets | Research | Articles

PEOPLE FOR A NUCLEAR-FREE AUSTRALIA was formed in response to disturbing news that the Howard Government had developed an unbounded enthusiasm for Australia to become a major player in the nuclear power and nuclear waste arena on a global scale.

Australia already sits on 40% of the world’s richest uranium and new uranium mines are about to be opened up left right and centre throughout Australia, with active support from the ALP.

The Liberal party voted in June to support the storage of foreign nuclear waste in Australia. This fits perfectly with two recent developments:
  • Kellog, Brown and Root, a subsidiary of Halliburton, Vice President Cheney’s former company helped to construct the railway line between Adelaide and Darwin, and Serco Asia Pacific, a large British nuclear waste company now manages this railway line.

  • The Northern Territory intervention enacted by the coalition has virtually nothing to do with child sexual abuse, but everything to do with uranium and nuclear waste. This new law enables mining companies to move unimpeded into Aboriginal tribal land to dig up the uranium, and some of this land is seen by the coalition to be a perfect site for the storage of radioactive waste.
The Howard government in September 2007 signed onto the US sponsored Global Nuclear Energy Partnership (GNEP), a plan which entails enriching uranium, exporting the fuel rods for reactors in overseas countries, then re-importing the high level very toxic radioactive waste, where it is either be stored for the next 500,000 years, or it will be reprocessed. This filthy process involves chopping up the fuel rods, dissolving them in concentrated nitric acid, removing the plutonium and recycling it in Generation IV "fast reactors".

These new reactors - still in development - will use 5 to 15 tons of plutonium fuel and they will be cooled by liquid sodium, which is highly flammable and explosive. Just 5 kilograms of plutonium is critical mass so a crack in a coolant pipe could cause loss of coolant inducing not only a meltdown, but a massive nuclear explosion, the likes of which has never been seen before. This massive accident would scatter tons of plutonium to the four winds. One millionth of a gram of plutonium if inhaled will induce lung cancer.

The federal election in 2007 was a nuclear election. Thankfully, the threat of Australia establishing a nuclear power industry was removed along with the Howard government. While Kevin Rudd has vowed not to build nuclear reactors, he and the Australian Labor Party support an expansion of uranium mining and export. Uranium mining poses many serious medical hazards, and shipping our uranium for use in overseas reactors is contributing to the unsolved problem of massive quantities of radioactive waste accruing at nuclear power plants across the world.

PNFA hopes to work with the new Rudd government to achieve a future for Australia that is free of uranium mining and export.

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Claims & Truth

Claim

Truth

We need nuclear power to combat climate changeIt is clear that PM Howard’s push for nuclear power generation (NPG) has nothing to do with climate change. Is Howard’s nuclear power initiative a front that will necessitate an Australian high-level nuclear waste dump, a dump where American nuclear waste can be stored?
Nuclear power generation (NPG) will reduce our CO2 emissions over the short period that we have to drastically reduce them, namely up to 2030It will not. The first batch of nuclear reactors will not be completed until at least 2020. And in its first 10 years of operation, say from 2020 to 2030, NPG will emit as much CO2 as coal- fired power generation.
With the introduction of carbon emissions trading NPG will be cost competitive with coal power generationUntrue. Two studies show that nuclear power presently costs four times more to generate than coal power and it will do so into the distant future because NPG is a heavy emitter of CO2.
Consumers will pay no more for nuclear-derived electricity than they will for coal-generated electricityTrue, our electricity bills will be no more. However, a significant percentage of our income tax will be taken away from spending on health, education etc and go to the nuclear industry to subsidize its costs and give it the massive profits it has always enjoyed.
A nuclear reactor in its day to day operations discharges no radioactive material.Wrong. A nuclear reactor discharges one million gallons of radioactive water every minute and continuously vents radioactive gases into the air increasing the chances of developing cancer in the adjacent population.
The risk of a meltdown due to mechanical/human error or terrorist attack is so incredibly low it is not credibleHardly! The Union of Concerned Scientists considers that it is not a matter of if a meltdown will occur in one or more of the US 103 reactors, but when!
The medical consequences of a meltdown are over dramatized. After all, only 50 people died at Chernobyl (According to Foreign Minister Alexander Downer in 2005)5,000 to 10,000 cleanup operators died prematurely, in Belarus over 8000 people developed thyroid cancer and 40% of the European land mass remains radioactive.
Nuclear waste can be safely stored in underground repositories for the 10,000 years it remains radioactiveIt remains radioactive for 500,000 years! It is impossible to prevent water seeping through the rock walls of an underground tunnel for 50 years, let alone 500,000. Once in the tunnel it corrodes the metal casks holding the waste causing radioactivity to leak into the invading water, then into ground water and then into creeks and rivers.
We have a moral obligation to take back and store the nuclear waste produced from the uranium we export to other countriesWe should stop exporting uranium so that no more nuclear waste is generated from our uranium.
Nuclear power must be in ‘the mix’ of future electricity providers because renewable energy providers like solar, wind etc cannot do it on their ownUntrue. A mixture of ‘renewables’ - solar, wind, geothermal, cogeneration, biomass and hydropower can supply our future power needs with nary a nuclear power or coal power plant in sight!

Download this table as a PDF document.

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Video

Ross Gelbspan: In Conclusion...



David Suzuki: Patron of PNFA



NPRI's Helen Caldicott links nuclear power to global warming



Helen Caldicott: The New Nuclear Danger



Helen Caldicott: If You Love This Planet

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Fact Sheets

PFNA Fact Sheets are presented in print-friendly PDF format. Left click to open the files or right click to save it. You will need Adobe® Reader® to open the PDF files - if you don't already have this free program, you can download it here.
  1. MEDICAL HAZARDS OF URANIUM MINING
  2. MEDICAL HAZARDS OF NUCLEAR POWER GENERATION
  3. MEDICAL HAZARDS OF RADIOACTIVE WASTE
  4. STORAGE OF RADIOACTIVE WASTE
  5. 25 NUCLEAR REACTORS IN AUSTRALIA- WHERE WILL THEY GO?
  6. RISK AND EFFECTS OF A MELTDOWN
  7. NUCLEAR POWER DOES NOT REDUCE CARBON EMISSIONS
  8. NUCLEAR POWER IS COST PROHIBITIVE
  9. RENEWABLE ENERGY SOURCES

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Research

Another Nail in Nuclear's Coffin
The Future of Nuclear Energy to 2030 and Its Implications for Safety, Security and Nonproliferation The New Energy industries keep underestimating their growth. In contrast, the nuclear energy industry keeps predicting a grand “renaissance” in which it recaptures its 1960s and 1970s glory. Yet its actual new installed capacity is virtually nonexistent and its existing facilities are wearing out and leaking ... read more

Nuclear Power ... is it really a greenhouse solution?
Byron-based publisher Alok O'Brien writes: "Researching this matter for a month, the conclusions I reached were astounding. For example, a gas fired electricity plant produces three times as much net energy as a nuclear plant with same emissions, and if 1,500 nuclear plants were produced in the next 30 years (one a week for 30 years) they would produce enough energy for roughly only 5% of our needs, and there would be enough uranium for just 12 years!" ... read more

Carbon-Free and Nuclear-Free: A Roadmap for U.S. Energy Policy
This landmark study was produced as a joint project of the Nuclear Policy Research Institute and the Institute for Energy and Environmental Research. A full pre-publication PDF copy was made available on the web on 27 September 2007 ... read executive summary | read whole document | read press release

Does nuclear energy produce no CO2?
Proponents of nuclear power always say that one of the big benefits of nuclear power is that it produces no Carbon dioxide (CO2). This is completely untrue, as a moment's consideration will demonstrate ... read more

Nuclear Power is Not the Answer
Trained as a physician, and - after four decades of antinuclear activism - thoroughly versed in the science of nuclear energy, Dr Helen Caldicott, the bestselling author of Nuclear Madness and Missile Envy, here turns her attention from nuclear bombs to nuclear lightbulbs. As she makes meticulously clear in this damning book, the world cannot withstand either ... publication details

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Articles

Labor going nuclear in rush to self destruct
Sian Prior, ABC The Drum Unleashed, 18 February 2011
Someone’s clearly been handing out the idiot pills in the Labor Party. The first sign of it was in December 2010 when NSW Senator Steve Hutchins began publicly advocating a new debate over the party’s anti-nuclear power stance, with the aim of pushing through a change in Labor’s nuclear policy at the 2011 ALP National Conference. This week Federal Resources Minister Martin Ferguson not only publicly supported this push for an Australian nuclear power industry, but he effectively conceded the accuracy of recent Wikileaks by urging his Labor Party comrades to use the forthcoming National Conference to approve the sale of uranium to India, a non-signatory to the nuclear non-proliferation treaty. Those idiot pills must pack a powerful punch because surely no one in their right minds would want to alienate once and for all the remaining green-left rump of this formerly progressive party? ... read more

We Still Can't Manage Nuclear Waste
Jim Green, newmatilda.com, 16 February 2011
If Lucas Heights can't maintain health and safety standards, what reason is there to believe Martin Ferguson's planned nuclear waste dump at Muckaty Station will be safe, asks Jim Green. It’s a sad truth that whistleblowers have provided the public with more information about accidents at the Lucas Heights nuclear reactor site on Sydney’s outskirts than the site’s operator — the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO) — ever has ... read more

BHP puts profits ahead of protecting the environment
Australian Conservation Foundation, 16 February 2011
As BHP Billiton announces a record Australian corporate half year profit of more than $10 billion the Australian Conservation Foundation has called on the mining giant to set out its plans for environmental protection, clean up and rehabilitation at the proposed new open pit mine at Olympic Dam. “Olympic Dam is a dam designed to leak up to 8 million litres of liquid radioactive waste a day,” said ACF Nuclear Free Campaigner David Noonan. “BHP Billiton plans to dump toxic tailings out on the surface of the land to avoid the costs of proper waste management ... read more

History of hypocrisy on uranium
Robin Gerster, The Age, 14 February 2011
In a recent book, Helen Caldicott takes a caustic view of her country's trade in the nuclear element. "Australia is like a heroin pusher," she writes, "pushing its immoral raw material upon a world that is hungry for energy." It is an unpleasant analogy from an implacable hater of nuclear power, who is not exactly known for understatement. But it does suggest an unpleasant truth. Australian remains defiantly - some might say complacently - "nuclear free". Yet it is happy to export its product to numerous countries in Asia and Europe ... read more

Consequences of a Single Failure of Nuclear Deterrence
Senior Scientist Steven Starr, Physicians for Social Responsibility, February 2011
Only a single failure of nuclear deterrence is required to start a nuclear war, and the consequences of such a failure would be profound. Peer-reviewed studies predict that less than 1% of the nuclear weapons now deployed in the arsenals of the Nuclear Weapon States, if detonated in urban areas, would immediately kill tens of millions of people, and cause long-term, catastrophic disruptions of the global climate and massive destruction of Earth’s protective ozone layer ... read more

Cancer rates traced to our environmental impact
Kathleen Ferris, The Tennesseean, 14 February 2011
In her article, "Cancer: We pray against all odds" Feb. 4, Susan Estrich tells the heartbreaking story, repeated throughout the country, about seemingly healthy and clean-living people getting cancer and dying young. As Ms. Estrich notes, cancer victims and their families suffer terribly. This blight upon our society takes an enormous toll, both in human suffering and in medical costs. Today, one in two men in the U.S. are likely to get cancer during their lifetimes, and one in four will die. For women, the odds are one in three, with one in five dying ... read more

Nuclear radiation is forever
Helen Caldicott and Dale Dewar, Ottawa Citizen, 8 February 2011
Like most Ontario towns, Port Hope, on the shores of Lake Ontario, has a water treatment plant supplying its drinking water. Incredibly, adjacent to this plant is a huge factory now owned by Cameco. The factory hovers over this picturesque town, emitting uranium gas and dust into the air and Lake Ontario as it manufactures uranium fuel rods for export. Port Hope is the deep dark underbelly of the Canadian nuclear industry, representing dangers that so far, have escaped sufficient scrutiny and cleanup ... read more

Rolling the nuclear dice with Australian uranium
Jim Green, The Punch, 15 December 2010
Secret US cables concerning nuclear politics in South Asia provide important context for debates over Australia's uranium export industry. US cables released by Wikileaks warn that a limited Indian invasion of Pakistan, in response to an incident such as the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks, would be to "roll the nuclear dice" and risk triggering nuclear warfare. An invasion would be limited in the hope of avoiding a nuclear response but would nevertheless be "fraught ... with potential nuclear consequences" ... read more

Radiating risk and undermining public health
Peter Karamoskos, On Line Opinion, 13 December 2010
On several occasions in recent years uranium mining companies have brought guest speakers to Australia to argue that low-level radiation exposure is not only harmless but actually good for you. To promote such marginal views without any counter-balance is self-serving and irresponsible and it may be time for governments to step in to provide that balance. Recent research has heightened rather than lessened concern about the adverse health impacts of low-level radiation. Moreover the latest science - concerning the health impacts of exposure to radon gas - is important in the context of the ongoing debate over uranium mining in Australia ... read more

Clean And Green Doesn't Have To Be Nuclear
Jim Green, New Matilda, 8 December 2010
"If nuclear power is the answer, it must have been a pretty stupid question." So says Ian Lowe, Griffith University professor and president of the Australian Conservation Foundation. Not everyone agrees. A recent article in the peer-reviewed journal Energy by Australians Martin Nicholson, Tom Biegler and Barry Brook asks which is the cheapest of the "fit for service", low carbon, baseload electricity sources. They find that nuclear is cheaper than gas or coal (both with carbon capture and storage), and that solar thermal power with energy storage is the most expensive option ... read more

Nuclear power, Watt a waste
Jim Green and Natalie Wasley, On Line Opinion, 6 December 2010
With some federal Labor MPs and Senators now openly promoting nuclear power, one important question is how Australia would manage the waste arising from a nuclear power program. How much radioactive waste would be generated by a nuclear power industry in Australia? Obviously it depends on the number of reactors. Ziggy Switkowski, Chair of the Board of the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO), has been promoting the construction of 50 power reactors in Australia. ... read more

America's Grand Strategy: Militarizing Space
Stephen Lendman, SteveLendmanBlog, 8 September 2010
On January 3, 2001, the UN General Assembly's Prevention of an Arms Race in Outer Space Resolution A/55/32 said: "The exploration and use of outer space....shall be for peaceful purposes and be carried out for the benefit and in the interest of all countries, irrespective of their degree of economic or scientific development. (The) prevention of an arms race in outer space would avert a grave danger for international peace and security." Over 140 nations agreed. Only two declined support, both abstaining - America and Israel ... read more

Labor's climate enemies within
Paddy Manning, Sydney Morning Herald, 21 August 2010
Will Michael O'Connor, powerful forestry division secretary of the Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union, block an effective Australian response to climate change? It's a worry for our economy because O'Connor is a key figure behind the Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, and soft left factional allies Martin Ferguson and Penny Wong - who, for one more day at least, control the portfolios that really matter: energy, water and climate ... read more

Obama Nuclear Weapons and the Future of the Planet
Helen Caldicott, Huffington Post, 26 April 2010
Isn't it strange? In the 1980's an overwhelming 80% of Americans wanted to see an end to the nuclear arms race. The U.S. establishment treated this grassroots movement almost as an aberration, virtually ignoring it. This massive, global, grassroots movement helped bring an end to the Cold War. But, throughout the duration of the Bush, Clinton, and G.W. Bush presidencies there was no respect for, no move to act on, the wishes of the American people and the worldwide supporters of nuclear disarmament ... read more

Nuclear energy: money can't buy love
David Noonan, ABC (Aus), 3 March 2010
Nuclear energy is not only hazardous, but reliant on government subsidies to survive. Australia would spend its money more wisely on renewables. On coming to office President Barack Obama cancelled the proposed Mt Yucca deep geological nuclear waste disposal site after 20 years and over US$9 billion of public funds had been spent on this project. The US has had to go back to the drawing board on nuclear waste. Proponents of proposed new nuclear reactors in the US cannot explain how they will manage their hazardous waste in the long term ... read more

Another Nail in Nuclear's Coffin
Trevor Findlay, NewEnergyNews, 8 February 2010
The New Energy industries keep underestimating their growth. The most recent example is wind’s just announced unexpected 9+ gigawatts of 2009 installed capacity after predicting something more like 5 gigawatts in the face of the recession. The solar industry expected to flounder in 2009 in the wake of the bursting in late 2008 of the Spanish bubble but surpassed its previous year's installed capacity, setting a new annual record. In contrast, the nuclear energy industry keeps predicting a grand “renaissance” in which it recaptures its 1960s and 1970s glory ... read more

How Did an Idealistic President Become a Champion of Nuclear Power and By Default, Weapons Proliferation?
Helen Caldicott, The Huffington Post, 2 Febrary 2010
In 1983, Barack Obama, a senior at Columbia University described his visions of a "nuclear free world" in an article titled "Breaking the War Mentality" in the university newsmagazine, Sundial. He described discussions of "first- versus second-strike capabilities" that "suit the military-industrial interests" with their "billion-dollar erector sets," and called for the abolition of the global arsenals of tens of thousands of deadly warheads ... read more

Forum: France no example for nuclear power
Linda Gunter, Athens Banner-Herald (USA), 23 January 2010
It is perhaps no accident that the nuclear power industry chose a French word - "renaissance" - to promote its alleged comeback. Attached to this misapplied moniker are a series of fallacious suggestions that nuclear energy is "clean," "safe" and even "renewable." And, in keeping with its French flavor, a key argument in the industry's propaganda arsenal is that the United States should follow the "successful" example of the French nuclear program. France serves as a convenient sound bite for politicians and others advocating a nuclear revival. A failure to challenge this facile falsehood has cemented the myth of a French nuclear Utopia in the minds of the public. It masks a very different reality ... read more

High-level waste sets sail for Japan
World Nuclear News, 21 January 2010
The first consignment of solid highly active waste belonging to Sellafield's Japanese customers has started its journey back to Japan from the UK. The waste arose from the reprocessing of those customers' used nuclear fuel at Sellafield. The first stage was the transport of a single flask, containing 28 stainless steel containers of solid high-level waste (HLW) from the Sellafield site, on a specially constructed rail wagon, to the port of Barrow, ready for shipment to Japan ... read more

German nuclear storage site deemed unsafe
Staff writers, Nuclear Power Daily, 15 January 2010
German radiation protection officials said Friday that all 126,000 barrels of nuclear waste stored since the 1970s in an unstable and leaking former salt mine would have to be removed as soon as possible. "This is the best option for dealing with the radioactive waste stored there," said Wolfram Koenig, head of the Federal Office for Radiation Protection (BfS), which made the recommendation ... read more

Energy Department, NRC Back Nuclear, Ignore Industry’s Dirty Little Secrets
Art Levine, truthout, 7 January 2010
Edith Hood isn’t part of the grand debate over climate change as leading environmental groups and President Obama’s secretary of energy increasingly accept nuclear power as a necessary part of any solution to the global warming crisis. She is just a Native-American woman living in the Coyote Canyon reservation area of New Mexico, and back in 2007, she tearfully tried to convince a House oversight committee that the federal government should do more to clean up the uranium waste where she lives ... read more

Meltdown, USA: Nuclear Drive Trumps Safety Risks and High Cost
Art Levine, truthout, 6 January 2010
The pro-nuclear Department of Energy is set to offer this month the first of nearly $20 billion in loan guarantees to a nuclear industry that hasn't built a plant since the 1970s or raised any money to do so in years. But although the industry is seeking to cash in on global warming concerns with $100 billion in proposed loan guarantees, environmentalists, scientists and federal investigators are warning that lax oversight by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) of the nation's aging 104 nuclear plants has led to near-meltdowns ... read more

Energy Department, NRC Back Nuclear, Ignore Industry’s Dirty Little Secrets
Art Levine, truthout, 7 January 2010
Edith Hood isn’t part of the grand debate over climate change as leading environmental groups and President Obama’s secretary of energy increasingly accept nuclear power as a necessary part of any solution to the global warming crisis. She is just a Native-American woman living in the Coyote Canyon reservation area of New Mexico, and back in 2007, she tearfully tried to convince a House oversight committee that the federal government should do more to clean up the uranium waste where she lives ... read more

Meltdown, USA: Nuclear Drive Trumps Safety Risks and High Cost
Art Levine, truthout, 6 January 2010
The pro-nuclear Department of Energy is set to offer this month the first of nearly $20 billion in loan guarantees to a nuclear industry that hasn't built a plant since the 1970s or raised any money to do so in years. But although the industry is seeking to cash in on global warming concerns with $100 billion in proposed loan guarantees, environmentalists, scientists and federal investigators are warning that lax oversight by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) of the nation's aging 104 nuclear plants has led to near-meltdowns ... read more

Nuclear Options & Cashing out of the Chamber of Commerce
Podcast, Earthbeat Radio, 5 January 2010
Nuclear power proponents say it’s ‘clean energy’ because, unlike coal-fired power plants, nuclear power doesn’t produce carbon dioxide. In this encore episode we hear from Dr. Helen Caldicott the author of Nuclear Power is Not the Answer on the dangers of nuclear power and how it DOES create massive amounts of greenhouses gases. Dr. Caldicott joins the discussion with host Daphne Wysham ... listen to podcast

Helen Caldicott Slams Environmental Groups on Climate Bill, Nuclear Concessions
Art Levine, truthout, 22 December 2009
Dr. Helen Caldicott, the pioneering Australian antinuclear activist and pediatrician who spearheaded the global nuclear freeze movement of the 1980s and co-founded Physicians for Social Responsibility (PSR), has joined with left-leaning environmental groups here in an uphill fight to halt nuclear power as a "solution" to the global warming crisis. "Global warming is the greatest gift the nuclear industry has ever received," Dr. Caldicott told Truthout ... read more

If You Love This Planet: A Plan To Save The Earth (book review)
Henry Unwin, Ecologist, 2 November 2009
Helen Caldicott outlines the most pressing issues in the world today and provides a basic framework for solutions. From the founding president of Physicians for Social Responsibility and founder of Women's Action for Nuclear Disarmament comes a revised and updated edition of her widely read and highly acclaimed book, If You Love This Planet: A Plan To Save The Earth ... read more

The medical and economic costs of nuclear power
Helen Caldicott, On Line Opinion, September 14, 2009
Jennifer Nordstrom, co-ordinator of the Carbon-Free Nuclear-Free project has noted “Telling states to build new nuclear plants to combat global warming is like telling a patient to smoke to lose weight.” A recent study sponsored by the German government examined children who lived near 16 of the country’s commercial nuclear power plants. The results revealed a strongly increased risk of all childhood cancers, particularly leukaemia, the closer the proximity of the children’s residence to the reactor ... read more

Helen Mary Caldicott, MD, One Of My Personal Sheroes
Mickie Lynn, timesunion.com, August 22, 2009
Although Wonder Woman was my favorite superhero while I was growing up, Helen Caldicott and Superman also have some things in common. Saab Lofton brought this to my attention in a May 2007, COA News article “The Greatest Australian Hero:” ... read more

Uranium mining 'a health risk'
Aaron Fernandes, Science Alert, August 18, 2009
Uranium mining could present WA communities with a variety of health problems, from leukemia to congenital defects, according to a health expert at a recent forum. Speaking at the Public Health Association of Australia’s “Uranium Mining: What are the health risks for WA?” seminar, Nobel Peace Prize nominee Dr Helen Caldicott said the public health effects on Western Australians could be disastrous if plans to begin uranium mining in the State go ahead ... read more

Nuclear instability
Helen Caldicott, Online Opinion, August 14, 2009
Australia seems determined to lead the way to an unstable world which could result in two very different outcomes - global warming or nuclear winter. We burn and export coal in massive amounts producing more CO2 per capita than any other country and we are about to become one of the world’s major uranium exporters. Kevin Rudd remains wedded to the coal industry and the ALP now totally supports uranium mining ... read more

Happy Birthday Helen Caldicott
Barbara McPherson, NowPublic, August 7, 2009
The world should be wishing a happy birthday to Dr. Helen Caldicott today. Dr. Helen Caldicott was born August 7 1938 in Australia this woman has worked tirelessly to make the world a better place. If Dr. Caldicott had stopped at her outstanding achievements in medicine her accomplishments would have been noteworthy. Dr. Helen Caldicott went on from her Australian medical achievements to educate the public about the dangers of nuclear radiation ... read more

Profile: Helen Caldicott
Lucinda Schmidt, Money, Sydney Morning Herald, July 29, 2009
The day after the Federal Government approved a new uranium mine in South Australia, veteran anti-nuclear campaigner Helen Caldicott was appalled. In her view, exporting uranium, to any country, is morally indefensible. "I think it's devastating," she says, describing Prime Minister Kevin Rudd as "a wolf in sheep's clothing" and accusing Environment Minister Peter Garrett of moral turpitude ... read more

Uranium export is the first step to war
Helen Caldicott, The Age, July 18, 2009
While it is helpful and hopeful that US President Barack Obama is engaging with the Russians in specific dialogue aimed at reducing nuclear weapons after eight fallow years of the Bush administration, it is obvious that the urgency of the threat of nuclear war is little appreciated by world leaders ... read more

Don't mention the 'N' word
Katharine Murphy, The Age, September 27 2007
A couple of weeks ago, a senior Australian official you've probably never heard of strapped himself into the comfortable end of an aeroplane bound for Vienna. After the long journey, he went along to an important meeting, and acting with the authority of the Commonwealth, signed a document that commits Australia to being a full partner in a global energy grouping you will know about only if you follow national political events with abnormal interest ... read more

The Dangers of Stumbling Down the Nuclear Path
Helen Caldicott, Canberra Times, July 2 2007
Australia is in grave danger. Not only has the Labor Party joined the coalition’s open-slather uranium mine policy, but the Prime Minister is mooting domestic uranium enrichment, construction of 25 nuclear reactors on the East Coast, storage of foreign radioactive waste in Australia and reprocessing spent radioactive nuclear fuel in a "closed nuclear fuel cycle" ... read more

NT takeover is nuke dump ploy: Caldicott
The Age, July 2 2007
Anti-nuclear campaigner Dr Helen Caldicott says the federal government's intervention in the Northern Territory is a ploy to allow the dumping of nuclear waste in the outback ... read more

Nuclear Power and Uranium Mining
Helen Caldicott, Adelaide Advertiser, June 29 2007
Contrary to industry propaganda nuclear power contributes substantially to global warming. Fossil fuels used to mine and enrich uranium, construct and decommission the reactor, transport and store the intensely radioactive waste for eons of time produce global warming gases ... read more

Nuclear Politics: Howard’s Nuclear Legacy
Julie Macken, New Matilda, May 30 2007
Whether John Howard wins the next Federal election or not, there is little doubt he’ll leave the political stage within the next two years. This raises the question of his legacy. How Howard will be remembered is a question that is being answered — at least, in part — by a number of books now appearing on bookshelves across Australia ... read more

Nuclear Politics: Our Very Own Nuclear Arms Race
Julie Macken, New Matilda, May 23 2007
Critics have long accused Prime Minister John Howard of having no imagination. While they search for signs of the ‘vision thing’ found so abundantly in Keating’s Prime Ministership, Howard appears to be preoccupied with the pedestrian and pragmatic tasks of re-election ... read more

Nuclear CO2 Warming Costs
Helen Caldicott, UPI Outside View, May 21 2007
The fact is, it takes energy to make energy -- even nuclear energy. And the true "energetic costs" of making nuclear energy -- the amounts of traditionally generated fuel it takes to create "new" nuclear energy -- have not been tallied up until very recently ... read more

Is BMD Futile?
Helen Caldicott, UPI Outside View, May 18 2007
The first military use of outer space was the development of intercontinental ballistic missiles. The second was defensive systems designed to stop them. Missile defense against ICBMs has never worked. Despite five decades of failure, the idea has continued to haunt military planners since the Cold War began ... read more

The Greatest Australian Hero
Saab Lofton, COA News, May 9 2007
Dr. Helen Caldicott and Superman have a couple of things in common--both of them were born in 1938 and they're both die hard anti-nuke activists (see the movie Superman IV: The Quest for Peace if you don't believe me). They obviously differ in gender and hometowns - the extraterrestrial "man of steel" was raised on a Kansas farm whereas Dr. Caldicott came from Melbourne, Australia (hence the title of this piece) ... read more

Chernobyl Birds' Defects Link Radiation, Not Stress, to Human Ailments
Kate Ravilious, National Geographic News, April 18 2007
Twenty years after the infamous catastrophe at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant, a new study shows that barn swallows living in the 19-mile (30-kilometer) "exclusion zone" around the disaster site suffer from many more birth defects and abnormalities than would ordinarily be expected ... read more

Nuclear Debate: Part Four: Australia and the World
Julie Macken, New Matilda, November 29 2006
When John Howard re-ignited debate about a nuclear future for Australia last July, it was as if the past 30 years hadn’t happened. No Chernobyl or Three Mile Island, no terrorists, no intractable problems related to waste or the proliferation of nuclear weapons ... read more

Nuclear Debate: Part Three: The Switkowski Report
Julie Macken, New Matilda, November 22 2006
The Switkowski review of uranium mining and nuclear power has made an enormous and useful contribution to the debate John Howard has decided we had to have. After a five-month investigation, Switkowski’s review found on the positive side that: nuclear power is a ‘practical option’ for Australia ... read more

Nuclear Debate: Part Two: The Problems
Julie Macken, New Matilda, November 15 2006
Two weeks ago John Howard realised that global warming was a big problem — for his re-election prospects and his legacy. This insight did not come with the release of the Stern Review, or through the mounting scientific evidence demonstrating global warming. It came through the results of internal Liberal Party polling ... read more

Nuclear Debate: Part One: The Plan
Julie Macken, New Matilda, November 8 2006
In September 2005, the Foreign Minister, Alexander Downer, used his Condor Laucke lecture to declare that the death toll from the Chernobyl nuclear disaster of 1986 was just 50 people. Four months later, George W Bush, used his State of the Union address to launch his Global Nuclear Energy Partnership. Three months after this, on 15 May 2006, Prime Minister John Howard announced from Washington that it was time for Australians to debate the role of nuclear fuel here ... read more

Fuel plan beset by fossilised thinking
Helen Caldicott, The Australian, July 24 2006
AUSTRALIA is perfectly placed to be the real energy superpower: the instigator and global leader in renewable electricity production. A country bathed in sun and ferociously windy in many locations, Australia could, with political will and vision, usher in a safe, carbon-free and nuclear-free future. Instead, ... read more

We should not be exporting uranium because you are exporting cancer
Erin O'Dwyer, Sydney Morning Herald, July 6 2006
Not recognised among Australia's 100 most influential people, anti-nuclear campaigner Dr Helen Caldicott still stands tall on the world stage, Erin O'Dwyer writes. "We've gone backwards decades under Bush and Howard" ... read more

Campaigner attacks nuclear inquiry's credibility
Kerry O'Brien interviews Helen Caldicott, 7.30 Report, Australian Broadcasting Corporation TV, July 3 2006
Helen Caldicott, can I begin with, I suppose, the most obvious question. You had an enormous following in the early 80s. The impetus of your campaign tended to peter out as the threat of nuclear holocaust dissipated. You retired to your coastal garden and to spend more time with family. Why the comeback? ... read more

Nuclear Power's Sick Legacy
Helen Caldicott, The Age, April 17 2006
The noted American writer Mary McCarthy once famously observed of the equally noted but politically discredited playwright Lillian Hellman: "every word she utters is a lie, including 'and' and 'but' ". As we have seen over the past 10 years, the same can be said of the Howard Government from the children-overboard scandal to "there will never be a GST" to "yes, there are weapons of mass destruction in Iraq". Now - joined by misguided and misinformed members of the ALP and a few scientists who should know better - the Government is embarked on another mendacious, ill-advised, and downright dangerous enterprise: transforming Australia into a nuclear-powered, uranium-exporting nation, deploying as a rhetorical fig leaf the spurious message that nuclear power is emissions-free, green, and safe and will save Australia - and indeed the world - from the effects of global warming. Let's pull away that tattered fig leaf and look at the facts ... read more

Once a Sunset Industry, the Uranium Lobby Paints a Green Dawn
Helen Caldicott, Sydney Morning Herald, August 11 2005
Global warming has been a great gift to a nuclear industry that was on its knees. Its reputation was so dismal that Wall Street investors gave it a wide berth, its only salvation the public teat ... read more

Don't Play Power Games with Our Lives
Helen Caldicott, The Age, June 29 2005
Two thousand years ago Hippocrates laid down a dictum: "primum non nocere" - or "first, do no harm" - meaning it is a physician's moral duty to induce no harm or injury to a patient during treatment ... read more

A Star War that Fails the Test
Helen Caldicott & Craig Eisendrath, The Philadelphia Inquirer, June 15 2005
On May 18, Tim Weiner reported in the New York Times that the Air Force is seeking President Bush's approval for a national-security directive that would bring the country closer to deploying offensive and defensive weapons in outer space ... read more

Outside View: Huge Costs of Nuclear Power
Helen Caldicott, The Houston Chronicle, May 25 2005
There is a huge propaganda push by the nuclear industry to justify nuclear power as a panacea for the reduction of global-warming gases ... read more

No Weapons in Space
Helen Caldicott & Craig Eisendrath, The Baltimore Sun, May 19 2005
The Bush administration is clearly moving toward putting weapons in outer space. It has spent about $500 million a year in research on those potential weapons in the past few years ... read more

Nuclear Proliferation
Helen Caldicott & Scott Harris, Znet, April 14 2005
The Bush administration has taken a hard line against nations they say are engaged in the development of nuclear weapons ... read more

Nuclear Power is the Problem, Not a Solution
Helen Caldicott, The Australian, April 13 2005
There is a huge propaganda push by the nuclear industry to justify nuclear power as a panacea for the reduction of global-warming gases ... read more

NPRI President Urges Depleted Uranium Clean-Up in Iraq, USA
Lisa Richwine, Reuters, June 25 2004
The U.S. military should clean up depleted uranium ammunition scattered across Iraq to prevent future health problems such as cancer and birth defects ... read more

McNamara: Nuclear War Still Possible; NY No. 1 Target, USA
Jon E. Dougherty, Newsmax.com, June 3 2004
The threat of devastating nuclear attack by Russia against the United States has not diminished, warns former Sec. of Defense Robert McNamara ... read more

Still on Catastrophe's Edge
Robert McNamara and Helen Caldicott, Los Angeles Times, April 26 2004
As we continue to grapple with the United States' vulnerability to terrorist attack, we fail to recognize the most serious danger, one that is overlooked by politicians and emergency management agencies alike ... read more

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