Ian Lowe’s new book – Long Half-life – The Nuclear Industry in Australia – is a timely and riveting account of the political, social and scientific complexities of the nuclear industry, revealing the power of vested interests, the subjectivities of scientists and the transformative force of community passion.
In describing the book, Ian Lowe said:
The discovery of large uranium deposits in the Northern Territory suggested that Australia could become a major exporter of radioactive minerals.
The Fox Report, commissioned by the Whitlam government to study the environmental impacts of the proposed Ranger uranium mine, broadened into an inquiry into the social and political issues of producing uranium.
The report concluded that exporting uranium would be quite profitable for the mining company but would have limited overall economic impact and provide modest employment.
It also recommended that any decision to export uranium should recognise the inherent problems of nuclear energy, radioactive waste and weapons proliferation, so limits on expansion of production should be set and the policy “should be the subject of regular review”.
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