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Japan’s Fukushima PM fuels uranium mining debate via SBS

Former Japanese PM warns traditional owners of nuclear danger

Naoto Kan has just toured Australia with a simple message of renewable energy is good and nuclear is bad.

The visit comes as Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott prepares to head to India to seal a yellow cake export deal.

Mr Kan visited Townsville in far-north Queensland to support locals who fear a mine could contaminate the regional water supply, by accident or through natural disaster.

“During my time in Australia I was able to visit the Ranger uranium mine and you can see the issue there of how to store the very highly contaminated radio active waste,” Mr Kan said.

“I think this problem of waste management is shared by nuclear power plants in Japan and and in Fukushima and uranium mining here in Australia.”

In 2012, Queensland’s LNP government overturned a 32-year uranium mining ban.

“I would say to Mr Kan, he’s certainly entitled to his perspective in regards to the energy policy of his country, but the mining policy of Queensland is really a matter for us,” Queensland’s natural resources minister Andrew Cripps said.

“We’ve taken great care to put in place a modern frame work for the recommencement of uranium mining in Queensland to make sure when it does recommence it does at world’s best practice.”

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The greater Townsville region has 240,000 residents and that is projected to jump by 120,000 over the next 25 years.

“The mining warden found because of its location, subject to cyclonic conditions, extremely high rain fall the fact there are fractures and fissures underground and he said it’s a threat to public health,” said the spokesman for Citizens Against Mining Ben Lomond (CAMBL) David Sewell.

The opponents of Ben Lomond reopening say they are not against uranium mining, just that this one would be in the catchment of the flood-prone Burdekin River.

It has hit flood peaks of over 20 metres and they fear contamination would happen if there was an accident or natural disaster.

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