Australia could be world's nuclear waste dump: former PM

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Australia could become the world's nuclear waste dump, which would give the local economy a major boost, former prime minister Bob Hawke told reporters on Wednesday.

In a speech delivered to the National Press Club in Canberra, Hawke said Australia was in a perfect position to help the world with its nuclear waste, reported.

"We'd get an enormous flow of stable income which would be to the befit of the world. If we have the safest spots we should make them available,"he said.

Australia is considered a safe nuclear waste site because of its large, empty spaces which are not earthquake prone.

Hawke has long campaigned the idea of storing international nuclear waste and first raised the issue in 1985.

"What Australia should do in my judgment, as an act of economic sanity ... and environmental responsibility, say we will take the world's nuclear waste,"he said back then.

"If we were to do that, we would have a source of income ... which we could hypothecate to environmental issues in this country. "

Hawke closed his address on Wednesday by saying Australia should take the "constructive decision to take us down that first road of greatly improved economic wellbeing and environmental stability for all mankind."

The inference appeared to be that greater reliance on nuclear power would diminish the need for fossil fuels and the environmental destruction they cause. Endi

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