Greenpeace investigates secret uranium enrichment technology

Greenpeace investigations have revealed that an Australian technology company is involved in secretive, high risk research into laser enrichment of uranium.

Silex Systems Ltd is using Silex technology, which is classified by the US government as “Restricted Data” because it relates to the construction of nuclear weapons.

Uranium enrichment technology represents a global security risk. International experts believe that developing laser enrichment of uranium is a ‘proliferation risk’, meaning that it could be used to make nuclear weapons.

Greenpeace contends that along with the Australian public, Silex shareholders have been kept in the dark about the following risks and liabilities:

* Unclear relationships: Silex Systems hasn’t adequately explained to its shareholders the exact nature of its financial, legal and regulatory relationships with ANSTO. It has also not adequately explained the implications of these arrangements on the future of the company.

* Undisclosed potential liabilities: Silex Systems hasn’t disclosed to its shareholders potential significant liabilities relating to nuclear waste disposal, the transport of nuclear materials and the risk of nuclear accidents

* Limits to expansion: Silex Systems hasn’t alerted its shareholders to the significant regulatory, legal and social hurdles faced by the proposed next stage of expansion, the construction of a pilot plant.

* Commercially unviable: Silex Systems hasn’t informed its shareholders of the growing global rejection of laser enrichment technology, as nuclear powers such as the US, France and Japan, abandon their laser enrichment research as unviable.

* Links to proliferation: If successful, the Silex technology may contribute to nuclear proliferation, by making the enrichment of uranium less technically complex and less capital-intensive.

READ: about what Silex and the Government aren’t telling us (pdf, 131K, 4pg).






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