[ASC-media] Media Release: Serious Agenda for a World Free of Nuclear Threat

Charles Willock charlesw at cse.unsw.EDU.AU
Thu Jul 24 05:09:35 CEST 2008

FWIW, just in case anyone is wondering whether to go to the effort
of an interview, I found Tilman Ruff to be well informed and articulate


On Thu, Jul 24, 2008 at 08:19:31AM +1000, Australasian Science wrote:
> For immediate release
> Serious Agenda for a World Free of Nuclear Threat
> Australia should be ³getting serious² about the ³catastrophic potential
> damage² of nuclear weapons, according to a public health and infectious
> diseases physician. Writing in the August issue of Australasian Science,
> published tomorrow, Associate Professor Tilman Ruff of the University of
> Melbourne¹s Nossal Institute for Global Health describes the most recent
> estimates of the consequences of a regional nuclear war involving just 0.03%
> of the explosive power in the world¹s arsenals ­ which is within the
> capacity of eight states including Israel, India and Pakistan.
> ³Apart from immediately incinerating devastation and radioactive fallout
> killing tens of millions, global climatic consequences would be unexpectedly
> severe and persist for 10 years,² he writes. ³Cooling, with killing frosts
> and shortened growing seasons, rainfall decline, monsoon failure and
> substantial increase in UV radiation, would combine to slash global food
> production. One billion people could starve. Preventing any use of nuclear
> weapons is clearly of paramount security concern for every inhabitant on the
> planet.²
> A/Prof Ruff, who is also Australian Chair of the International Campaign to
> Abolish Nuclear Weapons, says that the Rudd government¹s initiative on
> non-proliferation and disarmament ³deserves encouragement and support to
> grasp a real opportunity for leadership and integrity by removing the most
> urgent threat to global health,² but he says there is ³a lot more that the
> Australian government can do...
> ³Australia should explore ways to denuclearise its military alliances and
> not provide facilities or personnel for any possible use of nuclear
> weapons,² he writes. ³Australia should withdraw from participation in
> missile defenceŠ Uranium mining should be phased outŠ [and] Australia should
> work to reduce sharply the proliferation dangers inherent in the nuclear
> fuel chain by supporting urgent efforts for multilateral control of uranium
> enrichment capacity globallyŠ
> ³Any R&D on uranium enrichment still being undertaken at Australia¹s nuclear
> facility at Lucas Heights should be shut down. Australia should advocate
> cessation of civilian and military use of weapons-usable highly enriched
> uraniumŠ [and] should promote renewable energy and the creation of an
> International Renewable Energy Agency.²
> Summaries and quotations of selected passages for reporting or review are
> permissible provided AUSTRALASIAN SCIENCE MAGAZINE is credited as the source
> of this story.
> Associate Professor Tilman Ruff is available on 0438 099 231.
> For a full copy or for permission to reproduce this article (partially or
> completely) call the Editor,
> Guy Nolch, on (03) 9500 0015 or Senior Correspondent, Peter Pockley, on (02)
> 9660 6363. 
> A photo of A/Prof Ruff is available.

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Charles Willock                                 charlesw at cse.unsw.edu.au
c/- School of Computer Science and Engineering       
University of New South Wales,                  
New South Wales  Australia  2052    http://www.cse.unsw.edu.au/~charlesw

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