The issues surrounding uranium mining and exports are of critical importance to the work of MAPW. The supply of uranium to the world’s markets undeniably links Australia to the spread of nuclear technology and therefore also implicates us in the further production of nuclear weapons.
- MAPW has maintained a strong policy of opposition to uranium mining since 1987.
- Australia has around 40% of the world’s known uranium reserves.
- There are currently four operating mines in Australia – Olympic Dam and Beverley/Four Mile and the new Honeymoon mine in South Australia, and Ranger in the Northern Territory.
The strong community opposition in Australia to uranium mining has prevented a wide-spread opening up of mines, despite an aggressive push from industry and governments in recent years. The rationales for this community opposition are sound, and include;
- well-established links to nuclear weapons
- the risks of accidents and terrorism
- the considerable health and environmental damage caused by uranium mining
- the intractability of the nuclear waste problem
- and the usurping of the custodial rights of indigenous Australians
- MAPW policy on uranium mining and nuclear power in Australia
- An Illusion of Protection – MAPW and ACF publication 2006
- Yellowcake Country – Friends of the Earth publication 2006