As British Fukushima cover-up exposed, our own Government still ducks questions

As British Fukushima cover-up exposed, our own Government still ducks questions

Media Release; Senator Scott Ludlam, Friday July 1st, 2011

Revelations that British officials conspired with the nuclear industry to downplay the scale of the Fukushima nuclear disaster raise more questions about what the Australian Government knows and is not disclosing, the Australian Greens said today.

The Greens spokesperson for nuclear issues, Senator for Western Australia Scott Ludlam, said the Australian Government had gone weeks without answering questions on when it first knew the full extent of the Fukushima disaster.

“On June 1st Japanese authorities revealed they had suppressed the truth about Fukushima for more than two months. I asked our own government to explain when they knew this disaster was twice as bad as the Japanese government had initially claimed. One month later there has been no answer.”

“Last week Labor and the Opposition voted against a motion that simply called on the government to maintain the interdepartmental emergency task force and publicly reveal information gleaned from Australian nuclear experts and equipment. Why? What are they hiding?”

It was revealed yesterday that British officials approached nuclear companies to co-ordinate a public relations campaign to down-play the Fukushima nuclear accident just two days after the March 11th earthquake and tsunami in Japan. Internal emails seen by the Guardian newspaper show how the British business and energy departments worked closely with multinational companies EDF Energy, Areva and Westinghouse to try to ensure the crisis did not derail their plans for a new generation of nuclear stations in the UK.

“Instead of full-disclosure on this issue, what we do see from the Australian Government is a senior Minister – Martin Ferguson – speaking at endless uranium forums and backing the uranium industry to the hilt with funds as well as rhetoric,” said Senator Ludlam.

“One month ago I asked the Australian Government what it knew about Fukushima and when it knew it. It’s time for the whole truth to be heard.”

Media Contact: Giovanni Torre 0417 174 302

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