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Radioactive risks of nuclear submarines

The radioactive waste from reactors poses a difficult and expensive problem to manage health and environmental hazards for geological time periods. The governments involved in this proposal have been silent about disposal of the high and intermediate level waste that would be generated. Despite many flawed and failed attempts at interim storage, Australia has no current plan for disposal of the much smaller amount of its existing intermediate level radioactive waste.

Proposed US/UK nuclear-powered submarines for Australia jeopardise health while escalating an arms race no one can win

Joint statement by International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War and its affiliates in Australia, UK and USA: Medical Association for Prevention of War (Australia); Medact (UK); Physicians for Social Responsibility (USA) 10 Oct 21, ”……. Radioactive risk

Nuclear reactors on ships and submarines have been involved in numerous accidents. The risks of accident or attack causing release of radioactive material combined with the targeting by adversaries of such vessels including while they are in port, are why many cities around the world sensibly oppose visits of such vessels to their harbours. Such incidents could cause chaos and panic, the need to evacuate large areas of cities for years, and expose tens or hundreds of thousands of people to harmful radioactive fallout.

Australia’s lack of nuclear scientific, engineering, management and regulatory capacity and experience will inevitably mean that more is likely to go wrong building and operating nuclear submarines. If something does go wrong with one of its nuclear submarines, the likelihood of it being quickly and effectively managed is reduced and the risks of radioactive release in a port city or into the marine or coastal environment is increased.

A total of 8 nuclear-powered submarines have sunk because of accidents at sea between 1963 and 2003 – two because of fires, two by weapon explosions, two by flooding, and one each from storm damage and unknown reasons. These contribute substantially to the already widespread radioactive pollution resulting from naval reactors. The most recently reported fatal accident was a fire in a Russian nuclear submarine in 2019, which killed 14 people.

The radioactive waste from reactors poses a difficult and expensive problem to manage health and environmental hazards for geological time periods. The governments involved in this proposal have been silent about disposal of the high and intermediate level waste that would be generated. Despite many flawed and failed attempts at interim storage, Australia has no current plan for disposal of the much smaller amount of its existing intermediate level radioactive waste. …. https://beyondnuclearinternational.org/2021/10/10/nuclear-submarine-deal-needlessly-raises-tensions/

October 12, 2021 - Posted by | radiation, weapons and war

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