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Government's uranium plans will only hide the danger - Miller

July 13, 2004 12:00 AM

Baroness Miller of Chilthorne Domer, Liberal Democrat DEFRA spokesman, will today challenge the Government's proposed Uranium Enrichment Technology (Prohibition on Disclosure) Regulations 2004.

In a debate in the House of Lords today (Tuesday), Baroness Miller will argue that plans to make it an offence to disclose any information about uranium enrichment will not be an appropriate reaction to terrorist threats, and will only serve to cast a 'veil of secrecy' over the whole industry.

Baroness Miller will say:

"These regulations serve to cast a veil of secrecy over an industry in which the public has a legitimate interest.

"On a practical level, the Government is barking up the wrong tree. Anecdotal evidence shows that terrorists are far more likely to concentrate on already available, but poorly guarded, uranium, than on building new facilities.

"It is also entirely hypocritical for the UK to make its own developments secret, while expecting other countries to be open about their nuclear processes.

"The Government should be following the examples of Russia and the US, who are blending down enriched uranium so that it cannot be used in a nuclear weapon. It is far better to remove the danger rather than trying to hide it."