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Anti-nuke protest targets BHP Billiton

Published by MAC on 2005-11-25

Anti-nuke protest targets BHP Billiton

25th November 2005

Anti-nuclear protesters say BHP Billiton is ignoring the risk that uranium from its South Australian mine could end up in the hands of terrorists.

The Australian Conservation Foundation and the Anti-Nuclear Alliance of Western Australia (ANAWA) staged a silent vigil at the annual general meeting of the mining giant in Perth.

ANAWA spokesman Robin Chapple said he wanted BHP Billiton to stop mining uranium in Australia.

If the mining activity continued, he said BHP Billiton at least needed to be more transparent in how it operated its Olympic Dam mine.Mr Chapple said the nuclear power industry was growing but there was not a single disposal site anywhere for nuclear waste."BHP Billiton cannot ignore its growing contribution to this global problem."

The Australian Conservation Foundation's David Noonan said Olympic Dam uranium contributed to the risk of nuclear accidents and terrorism, weapon proliferation and dirty bombs.

"These risks will increase with proposed export of Australian uranium to China," Mr Noonan said.

"Draft guidelines released this week show BHP Billiton is trying to ignore the risks of its uranium exports by excluding the nuclear fuel cycle from assessment of the proposed Roxby (Olympic Dam) expansion."

Protesters also targeted the Adelaide and Melbourne offices of BHP Billiton.

BHP Billiton workers at Melbourne were handed bottled water as they arrived at work to highlight how much water is consumed at Olympic Dam.

The protesters oppose the uranium mine's daily use of 30 million litres of water from the Great Artesian Basin.

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