Adelaidean - News from the University of Adelaide The University of Adelaide Australia
August 2007 Issue
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Against a nuclear future


One of the University of Adelaide's high-profile graduates was back in Adelaide in July to continue her 36-year campaign against nuclear power and weapons.

International anti-nuclear activist Dr Helen Caldicott, who graduated from medicine in 1961, has made her life's work the education of others about medical hazards of nuclear power and the potential threat of nuclear war.

Dr Caldicott was a guest speaker at the Australian Medical Students' Association's 48th annual national convention organised by University of Adelaide students.

She told the more than 1000 medical students at the convention of her fears that Australia is about to embrace the nuclear age and the dire medical and environmental consequences of that. She also told the students the threat of nuclear war remains high.

"Society is practising manic denial," Dr Caldicott said. "We are not attending to the risks that confront us every second of every day. I'm very worried, that's why I do this work. I'm worried for my children and grandchildren and I'm extremely concerned about the continuation of life on the planet."

At the convention, Dr Caldicott announced a new organisation she is establishing - Doctors for a Nuclear Free Australia (DNFA) - and said she was pleased that many of the medical students joined.

Her views on nuclear energy include wanting to see a complete ban on uranium mining and no nuclear power at all in Australia. Australia should instead be developing solar, wind and geothermal energy, she said.

Her own answer to global warming is being launched this month by her Washington-based organisation, the Nuclear Policy Research Institute - A roadmap for a carbon-free, nuclear-free future. The roadmap outlines a strategy for the United States to reach 90% reduction of CO2 emissions by 2050, with no nuclear power.

Story by Robyn Mills

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Helen Caldicott
Photo by Heide Smith

Helen Caldicott
Photo by Heide Smith

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