Australian news, and some related international items



SA NUCLEAR FUEL CYCLE ROYAL COMMISSION SPEAKERS: DR MARK NUTT Argonne National Laborator WEDNESDAY, 25 NOVEMBER 2015 DAY 27 – excerpts from transcript

“……COMMISSIONER: can you tell us where the current US plans are for a high-level waste facility?

DR NUTT: As of right now, I would say they’re a little bit uncertain……So right now it’s really doing groundwork activity, open storage and disposal, to essentially be ready for when a decision is made to proceed with national policy towards disposal and storage. [ed: USA doesn’t know what to do with the wastes]

….DR NUTT: In terms of low-level waste generation it is probably – it is the biggest contributor. We have 100 – roughly 100 operating reactors that – the maintenance of the reactors, the clean up of the cooling systems all generate low-level waste that has to be disposed of. There are smaller contributions 45 from medical, industrial applications of radioactive materials that then become .SA Nuclear 25.11.15 P-1460 Spark and Cannon low-level waste. So by far in terms of volume it’s the nuclear industry that dominates the low-level waste disposal….. [ed: mdical wastes are not the problem, as ANSTO pretends]

…….it’s this inter-generational equity that people of today are gathering the benefits from nuclear electricity or nuclear energy and should deal with the problems of today and not pass the problems down…..[nuclear industry pretend to care about future generations, but no thought of stopping producing radioactive trash]

…there is a general consensus that it’s indeed temporary, that the ultimate 35 solution should be disposition of it in a geologic repository. There may be – there is countries that are considering fuel cycles where you might reprocess and recycle materials back to the reactor but either way you are going to generate high-level waste that would need to be disposed of. [ed: so new reactors that supposedly ‘eat wastes’ still produce wastes]

….We’ve gone towards interim dry storage at the reactor sites because all of the spent fuel pools for the US fleet are essentially full….[ waste pools full BUT THEY STILL KEEP MAKING THE STUFF!]

COMMISSIONER: Can I just pick up on the dry storage Dr Nutt? What sort of studies have been conducted in the US to look at the longevity of these dry storage casks and is there a view about – conservative view about how long they will last? S

R NUTT: I don’t – no one has done a study to put a – what I’ll call a line in the sand for how long they can last. Our regulatory framework allows storage up to 60 years, dry storage. We have studies underway within the Department of Energy’s programme, the Electric Power Research Institute which is our utilities research arm. It’s also investigating various aspects associated with 15 extended storage. The Electric Power Research Institute runs a group called the Extend Storage Collaboration Project which is involved in – a number of countries are involved with it that are dealing with the same issues that we are. So there is a lot of work going on looking at extended storage and what it entails. There has been several gap analyses done to identify what the key 20 issues are and the R&D’s under way to try to resolve those, so that there is confidence in extended storage. (there seems no reason for this confidence: sound like blind faith]

Waste Confidence 1

… When you get in to disposals, where I believe things get a little bit different because you are 20 dealing with long timeframes, you’re dealing with geologic systems, you are a large – sometimes large areas or footprints for the disposal facility and it leads to a little different type of safety case that one needs to consider to help build confidence in the safety of – the long term safety of the facility……[means they’ve got to convince the public somehow?]

DR NUTT: I’ll say it’s not possible to validate the long-term disposal models in the traditional sense. In that you can’t do an experiment and then run the 30 model and validate the experiment for the repository itself. You can do a variety of techniques to again demonstrate your confidence in the models and their ability to reasonably predict or estimate exposures out in the future…[ that doesn’t make ME feel confident] 

November 27, 2015 Posted by | Nuclear Royal Commission | Leave a comment

Low Carbon Economy Expert Panel report – boost renewables, No to nuclear

map solar south-australiaLow Carbon Economy Expert Panel report recommends South Australia move quickly to 100 per cent green energy productionSheradyn Holderhead Political Reporter The Advertiser November 25, 2015 SOUTH Australia should produce 100 per cent green energy “relatively quickly” using a mix of solar, wind and other sources but not a nuclear power station, a report recommends.

On releasing the Low Carbon Economy Expert Panel report today, Premier Jay Weatherill said the State Government would adopt a target of zero net carbon emissions by 2050.

But Mr Weatherill is yet to map out exactly how the state will reach that target, as the Government is still to respond to more detailed recommendations in the report.

They include:

SET a goal of 100 per cent renewable electricity within, a timeframe to be decided, that could be done relatively quickly, capitalising on the abundance of solar, wind, oceanic, geothermal and bioenergy resources.

EXPAND the state’s renewable energy generation to the point where a significant amount is exported interstate.

DEVELOP and manufacture cost-effective energy storage technology, which is critical for a stable renewable electricity supply and could also become a new industry for the state.

SIGN the Under 2 memorandum of understanding, making SA a part of the growing group of sub-national governments making a commitment to contribute to limiting global warming to 2°C.

CONSIDER implementing a state-based emissions trading scheme linked to California’s ETS, which could be politically and economically attractive to California and provide significant benefits for SA.

INTEGRATE curriculum in schools, universities and TAFE colleges about carbon pollution, green energy and related technologies.

The report also noted that nuclear power stations generally need to be of a certain size to be cost effective and should not be considered for use in smaller states such as SA.

Former Federal Liberal leader John Hewson headed the panel, which also included Anna Skarbek of ClimateWorks and Australian National University’s Frank Jotzo……

November 27, 2015 Posted by | energy, South Australia | Leave a comment

South Australian govt has already ruled out nuclear power

arclight-Smfrom “Adelaide Arclight”, 25 Nov 15 ,  There is barely  a mention of nuclear power in the 53 page  Panel’s final report  from the South Australia  Low Carbon Economy Experts Panel. You have to hunt to find:

on page 22:

“In the high-level analysis for South Australia undertaken for the Panel, the CCS and nuclear scenarios were not considered, and all data was derived from the 100% renewable scenario.”

“Given South Australia’s abundance of wind and high solar rating (DNI), South Australia has the capacity to move to 100% renewable energy more quickly than other States and has already made significant progress in decarbonising its electricity supply utilising these advantages.”

On page 24 it states:

“The modelling for the Panel did not include consideration of whether the nuclear and carbon capture and storage scenarios modelled at the national level are a cost-effective means to move to low carbon electricity for South Australia. The Deep Decarbonisation Pathways modelling found that nuclear power stations generally need to be of a certain size to be cost effective and thus precluded their consideration for use in smaller States such as South Australia.”

Can we take it from this that the nuclear scenario is already off the table entirely? The Premier’s and Minister Hunter’s joint press release is vague talking about “zero net emissions” and “low carbon economy”, but in context their endorsement of the report would seem to undercut any push for nuclear energy, leaving the Nuclear Fuel Cycle Royal Commission with just an expansion of uranium mining and nuclear waste dumps to consider.

Given that the Nuclear Fuel Cycle Royal Commission is in progress and that one of the report’s authors gave evidence at a public hearing, it can hardly be an oversight that nuclear was not considered.

Renewable  energy is the star – throughout the report:

map solar south-australia“…….South Australia can greatly expand its renewable energy generation, to theMap-South-Australia-wind point where on balance over the year all of the State’s electricity comes from renewables and a significant amount is exported interstate. According to the Panel’s preliminary analysis, this could occur relatively quickly. South Australia can therefore set an indicative goal of 100% renewable electricity with the timeframe to be decided. The timeframe will depend on expansion of interconnectors, costs of renewables and extent of support for renewable energy federally. The share of renewables in South Australia is expected to be double that in the National Electricity Market at any point in time up to 100%. Action….”

November 25, 2015 Posted by | energy, politics, South Australia | Leave a comment


2015   November 2015  With an economy in transition, changes in the national and international policy environment, and key strengths in renewable energy, South Australia has the opportunity to transition to a low carbon economy.

To maximise this opportunity, the South Australian Government appointed a panel of experts to provide independent advice about climate change targets and objectives for the State to 2050. The Panel was also asked to recommend key strategies to meet these objectives and ensure that the SA economy is best placed to adjust to a carbon constrained future. The Panel members were Dr John Hewson, Anna Skarbek and Frank Jotzo.

The Panel’s final report was released on 25 November 2015. The Panel found that it is feasible for South Australia to achieve a target of net zero emissions by 2050 and that a commitment to this target will position South Australia well in a low carbon world.


November 25, 2015 Posted by | energy, South Australia | Leave a comment

South Australia to aim for zero emissions by 2050

South-Aust-govtPremier Jay Weatherill   Minister Ian Hunter Minister for Climate Change , 24 November, 2015

South Australia will adopt a target of zero net emissions by 2050, as recommended in a report by the Low Carbon Economy Expert Panel released today. The Panel consisting of John Hewson, Anna Skarbek of ClimateWorks and Frank Jotzo of the Australian National University recommends that South Australia:

SIGNALS the transition to a zero net emissions economy by 2050

SUPPORTS the community and industry to transition to a zero net emissions economy

IMPLEMENTS the transition by taking action now

PremierJay Weatherill said being the first to signal this intention to Australian and overseas investors will give South Australia a competitive advantage. “As we head towards the Paris Climate Change Conference, South Australia has an opportunity to place itself at the forefront as a leader in transitioning to a low carbon economy,” Mr Weatherill said. “The Expert Panel’s report is a roadmap for our State to reduce emissions in a way that supports job growth in new and emerging green technologies. “

One example is the potential for South Australia to be a low carbon electricity powerhouse and a net exporter of renewable energy. “The state’s abundant renewable electricity combined with its rich resource base and existing manufacturing expertise mean that the state could be a natural base for energy intensive mining and manufacturing industries in a low carbon world.”

Minister for Climate Change Ian Hunter said the Expert Panel also identified the state’s strengths in education and the potential for these to be applied to developing the skills and workforce for a carbon constrained future. “This means providing assistance for workers moving from industries in decline into new opportunities is critical as is support for communities affected by rapid change,” Mr Hunter said.

map solar south-australia“There are also significant innovative market opportunities for energy storage solutions from the state’s high penetration of solar PV, with the potential to attract and develop technology suppliers and expertise in the state.” Minister Hunter said the Government would not seek to implement a State based emissions trading scheme – favouring a national scheme

“Consensus for global action on climate change should be a trigger for the Federal Government to revisit the important issue of a nationwide ETS,” Mr Hunter said. “We believe this is the most practical approach to this question and will not seek to implement an ETS at the State level.” Further details of South Australia’s efforts to tackle climate change, including responses to the other recommendations, will be detailed in the soon to be released new Climate Change Strategy for the State. The South Australian Low Carbon Experts Panel report is available at

November 25, 2015 Posted by | energy, South Australia | Leave a comment

Civil Contractors Federation SA want to save town Leigh Creek by hosting nuclear dump

radioactive trashCall to store nuclear waste at Leigh Creek   A nuclear waste dump should be built at Leigh Creek in the South Australian outback before it becomes a ghost town, the state’s peak civil construction body says.

The federal government has short-listed six sites – two on the Eyre Peninsula and another in SA’s mid-north – for Australia’s first permanent nuclear waste dump for low-level and intermediate domestic waste.

The Civil Contractors Federation SA says putting a nuclear waste dump near Leigh Creek would be a “no brainer” and guarantee its survival after Alinta Energy last week shut down the town’s coal mine, shedding about 200 workers.

Chief executive Phil Sutherland says the facility could also be used to store and convert other industrial waste into energy and fuel.

The proposal bypasses the commonwealth in favour of the state government, which is holding a Nuclear Fuel Cycle Royal Commission.

“All the SA government needs to do is simply show some mettle and bite the bullet to give Leigh Creek a purpose before the township transitions into a ghost town,” Mr Sutherland said.

November 25, 2015 Posted by | South Australia, wastes | Leave a comment

Dr Edwin Lyman: Direct nuclear waste disposal is best: pyroreprocessing has dangers

safety-symbolIn the second part of his evidence to South Australia’s Nuclear Royal scrutiny-Royal-Commission CHAINCommission, Dr Lyman explains that   direct disposal is the safest and the most prudent approach for nuclear power.  In recycling, as in pyroreprocessing, the risks outweigh the benefits.

Dr Lyman has studied pyroreprocessing in great detail. The fact that its products are highly radioactive does not act to deter thieves, especially those aiming to use these products for weapons proliferation.

Also, “the IEA is still struggling to provide even technical approaches for how you would  get weapons grade accountancy in pyroprocessing, and that’s a great concern”……”Many minor actinides that would be in the pyroprocessing product are also weapons useable “… “It’s also easy, if that combination were to be stolen, to separate out plutonium from the minor actinides”.

Lyman describes the pyroreprocessing process as an “unmanageable enterprise”. The United States decided not to pursue re-processing and fast reactors in the 1970s, for these very same risks of terrorism and weapons proliferation.


The Commission’s first witness today, Dr Edwin Lyman, is a senior scientist in the global security program at the Union of Concerned Scientists in the United States. His areas of interests include nuclear proliferation, terrorism and nuclear power safety and security, and he’s published articles in a number of 5 journals and magazines on these topics. Dr Lyman is a member of the Institute of Nuclear Materials Management and has given evidence before the US Congress and Nuclear Regulatory Commission, the NRC, on multiple occasions. 10 Prior to joining the Union of Concerned Scientists, Dr Lyman was president of the Nuclear Control Institute, the CI, in Washington, an organisation concerned with nuclear proliferation. The Commission calls Dr Edwin Lyman……..

The transcript of Dr Lyman’s interview can be read at

November 23, 2015 Posted by | Nuclear Royal Commission | Leave a comment

Dr Edwin Lyman at Nuclear Royal Commission, speaks on waste transport problems.

safety-symbolDr Lyman’s evidence can be pretty heavy going for the non technicalscrutiny-Royal-Commission CHAIN reader. First, he explained safety problems in standards for transportation casks for land or sea shipment of spent fuel, high-level radioactive waste and specially with materials like plutonium or plutonium oxide. These standards have not been updated over many decades, and the  USA Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) has not yet carried out tests intended to address this problem.

If a transport package of radioactive material is lost in the ocean, it could lead to significant long term contamination, if the package is not retrieved.

With increased transport, and speed of transport,  of radioactive wastes, the risk of such accidents is increased, and the NRC would have confidence in the current standard for transporting wastes.

Apart from accidents, the other big danger is terrorism.


The Commission’s first witness today, Dr Edwin Lyman, is a senior scientist in the global security program at the Union of Concerned Scientists in the United States. His areas of interests include nuclear proliferation, terrorism and nuclear power safety and security, and he’s published articles in a number of 5 journals and magazines on these topics. Dr Lyman is a member of the Institute of Nuclear Materials Management and has given evidence before the US Congress and Nuclear Regulatory Commission, the NRC, on multiple occasions. 10 Prior to joining the Union of Concerned Scientists, Dr Lyman was president of the Nuclear Control Institute, the CI, in Washington, an organisation concerned with nuclear proliferation. The Commission calls Dr Edwin Lyman……..

The transcript of Dr Lyman’s interview can be read at

November 23, 2015 Posted by | Nuclear Royal Commission | Leave a comment

ANSTO, Geoscience, Dept of Science to visit Kimba, South Australian site on shortlist for nuclear trash dump

Bribery 1Nuclear delegations to visit Kimba after release of toxic dump short list, ABC News 23 Nov 15   Two separate delegations are to visit Kimba on SA’s Eyre Peninsula, the tiny town shortlisted by the Federal Government to be the site of a nuclear waste dump.

Earlier this month the Government released a shortlist of six sites nominated to store low and intermediate level nuclear waste…….One delegation, including Geoscience Australia, the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation, and the Department of Science, will visit councillors and landowners who have nominated their properties.

Greens MP Mark Parnell will also tour the community which has been divided by the issue.

He said there was no need for a new dump because waste could be stored at existing sites.

“When it comes to nuclear waste we have a responsibility to manage it properly, and safely,” Mr Parnell said.

“The waste has been stored at Lucas Heights for many years and can be safely continue to be stored there. There’s waste that’s in hospital basements that’s got people worried, but they’re still going to have to operate.”

He said local residents had good reason to be alarmed, especially in light of an accident last year at a New Mexico waste facility.

“The operators put organic kitty litter into the drums of nuclear waste rather than inorganic kitty litter. As a result, the chemical reaction burst the drum open and radiation spread throughout the facility,” he said.

“There were 22 workers who were contaminated, and the facility is likely to be closed for four years.”

November 22, 2015 Posted by | South Australia, wastes | Leave a comment

3 South Australian sites picked for nuclear trash toilet, but locals resist

The indigenous group Adnyamathanha Camp Law Mob says while the property is governed by a perpetual lease, meaning no native title claim can be lodged over the area, Aboriginal heritage legislation does apply.

“We demand that the Federal Resources Minister Josh Frydenberg publicly declare who he has consulted regarding these nominations, and who has the authority to nominate these si­tes,” spokeswoman Jillian Marsh said in a statement.

Cortlinye and Pinkawillinie KIMBA is known as “the Gateway to the Gawler Ranges”. But some residents fear the township would become known as “the Gateway to the National Nuclear Waste Facility” should it be selected as the future site to store radioactive waste. Local farmers Toni Scott, Sue Woolford, Helen Harris and their families have vowed to fight any move to build the facility in their district.

“They’re saying this is a voluntary process but how is this voluntary?,” Mrs Scott said.

“We’re not volunteering, we don’t want any money and we don’t want to live next to it.’’

The group vowed to be vocal during the Federal Government’s consultation in Kimba next week

Nuclear waste repository in SA: What do the locals think? The Advertiser, 22 Nov 2015 BRYAN LITTLELY, PAUL STARICK and MEAGAN DILLON   PICKING a site for a nuclear dump is as contentious a decision as you will find. Whichever of the six Australia-wide candidates that is chosen to be the nation’s nuclear repository will acquire a degree of notoriety.

South Australia nuclear toilet

South Australia is home to three potential dump locations. Continue reading

November 22, 2015 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, opposition to nuclear, politics, South Australia, wastes | Leave a comment

Nuclear lobby hosts 5 Kimba officials in tour of Lucas Heights nuclear recator


Kimba officials take nuclear fact-finding mission to Lucas Heights after toxic dump short listing, ABC Radio 20 Nov 15  The World Today  By Tom Fedorowytsch Officials from Kimba, the tiny town home to two possible sites for a radioactive waste dump in South Australia, have visited Australia’s only nuclear reactor in Sydney.

Mayor Dean Johnson was among the small group of five people to be shown the reactor and waste facility at Lucas Heights, southwest of Sydney’s centre.

“We feel the tour has provided us now with a much more thorough overview and an understanding of what a repository would look like, and probably some of the keys to properly and safely handling and storing that waste,” the mayor said.

Two of the Federal Government’s six proposed sites — Pinkiwilinie and Cortlinye — fall within the Kimba council region. Other sites making up the Government’s shortlist include Barndioota in South Australia, Hale in the Northern Territory, Sallys Flat in New South Wales and Oman Ama in Queensland.

A $10 million sweetener for infrastructure and community development will be given to the local area that accepts the waste.


……..’Everyone has right to say no’: farmer  While Cr Johnson and the council weigh up whether to support a nuclear waste dump, some residents of Kimba — especially farmers — are deeply opposed to the idea.

As a farmer, the perception and stigma attached to a nuclear waste dump, could have ramifications on this clean and green reputation we have in agriculture.

Farmer Peter Woolford

“To be quite frank I think it’s totally irresponsible to be putting one of these in a food producing area,” Peter Woolford, a farmer who works land next door to one of the sites, said. “We obviously have the safety issue, but you know, we have things like land values,” he said.

“Who’s going to buy a property alongside a nuclear waste dump? I think we have to be real about that.”

Mr Woolford said he would not consider taking a tour of Lucas Heights.

“Well I don’t think I need to, at the end of the day surely everyone has the right to say no, and that’s what we’re doing. This has been forced upon us,” he said. “As a farmer, the perception and stigma attached to a nuclear waste dump, could have ramifications on this clean and green reputation we have in agriculture.”

Formal consultation will ramp up in Kimba in the next few weeks, and a decision to proceed will be made next year.

November 20, 2015 Posted by | politics, South Australia, spinbuster | 2 Comments

South Australia bushfires: crazy to suggest nuclear waste dump there!

Bushfires threaten South Australia. After the hottest October on record, in what will be the hottest year on record, South Australia already faces an extraordinarily dangerous fire season.

text-cat-questionIs it sane for the South Australian government and its Nuclear Fuel Chain Royal Commission to be contemplating setting up this State as the world’s radioactive trash dump?

Are they not aware of the agonies that went on in Ukraine over the forest fires threatening Chernobyl region. and radioactive waste sites in California?

It is simply crazy, in view of climate change and increasingly hot, dry , long bushfire seasons to  suggest placing dangerous radioactive trash in South Australia

bushfire & rad gif

Catastrophic fire danger warning as SA faces extreme heat Another day of extreme heat has been forecast across South Australia for Thursday and total fire bans have been imposed for 10 districts, with catastrophic ratings in four of them.

Adelaide is expecting a high of 35 degrees Celsius, after the mercury peaked above 40C on Wednesday….. The Education Department said catastrophic fire danger ratings meant it would close some state schools and preschools in bushfire-prone areas of the Riverland, mid-north, Flinders and North-West Pastoral regions on Thursday.

Some national parks and reserves would remain closed on Thursday, the Environment Department said, on eastern Eyre Peninsula, in the far north, and through the mid-north, Flinders Ranges, Riverland and Murraylands.

Firefighters will be on high alert and crews are still at a blaze south of Adelaide, which first broke out on Tuesday.

The Country Fire Service said the scrub fire at Yundi on the Fleurieu Peninsula was yet to be controlled.

Country Fire Service crews continue to tackle fires as South Australia goes on full alert for 2015 bushfire season, Advertiser, 18 Nov 15  POLICE are patrolling bushfire-prone areas and aerial bombers remain on standby as extreme fire conditions are forecast across the state just days into the fire-danger season.

Operation Nomad patrols and other police will target known firebugs and ask that anyone who notices suspicious activity or people in fire danger areas to contact the police assistance line on 131 444.

“Landowners are also asked to adhere to local harvest codes of practice which are available from your local council,’’ a police spokeswoman said.

Total fire bans are in place across most of the state as the temperature is tipped to soar into the 40s in the north and west of the state……. Continue reading

November 20, 2015 Posted by | climate change - global warming, South Australia | 2 Comments

Australia’s really big radioactive waste dump is at Roxby Downs

Dennis Matthews, 19 Nov 15, In the 1980’s we were repeatedly told not to worry about uranium mining at Roxby, that Roxby was a copper mine and that uranium was incidental. Now we are being told that Roxby has the world’s largest deposit of uranium.

Despite strong public opposition, mining at Roxby got the nod from politicians. Soon radioactive water started leaking through the un-sealed base of the tailings dam, and now BHP is building an ever-expanding man-made stockpile of radioactive waste.


Paul Starick (The Advertiser, 13/11/15) downplays the fact that we have a nuclear reactor, stating that Australia has no nuclear power reactor, a distinction that has little to do with the issue. Using the “nuclear medicine” mantra, Starick downplays the main role of a nuclear waste dump, namely to deal with highly radioactive waste from Australia’s nuclear reactor, which will open the door to international waste.

The small amounts of relatively benign low-level waste being safely stored in institutions around Australia is trivial compared to BHP’s massive stockpiles of waste at Roxby and Australia’s nuclear reactor waste.


November 19, 2015 Posted by | South Australia, wastes | Leave a comment

What are the radioactive risk of nuclear waste dump to a farming community?

Jim Green Friends of the Earth, 18 Nov 15  Responding to these  questions: “So what are irradiation cans, ion exchange resins and aluminium ends of fuel rods and what dangers do they present to those living in a farming community? Is anyone able to inform me or direct me to where I can find such information please?”


They are harmless metals (irradiation cans + aluminium ends of fuel rods) and resins/polymers … but hazardous because of contamination with radioactive substances. For the contaminated metals they are likely contaminated with long-lived alpha-emitting radionuclides and would likely be classified as long-lived intermediate-level waste (LLILW) and would therefore be sitting in an above-ground shed at Kimba for an ‘interim’ period likely to last for many decades since absolutely no effort is being made to find a disposal site for LLILW (it is destined for deep underground disposal).


The risks …. pretty much anything you can imagine has happened at one or another radioactive waste repository around the world: fires, leaks, water infiltration and corrosion of waste drums, a chemical explosion, etc.

bushfire & rad gif

Fire would be a particular concern at Kimba, all the more so since the most hazardous waste (LLILW) would be stored above ground. Articles about recent fires at U.S. repositories are posted at:


Water infiltration and corrosion is a difficult dilemma. Continue reading

November 18, 2015 Posted by | South Australia, wastes | Leave a comment

South Australia’s radioactive threat: it’s not “medical” waste – it’s nuclear waste from used fuel rods

Freydenberg said the facility would ‘only’ house low and intermediate level waste. Perhaps he is unaware of the toxicity of this LLILW. Dr Green again: ‘When the spent fuel is removed from the reactor, it is high-level nuclear waste. After some months it cools down and falls below the heat criterion so is reclassified as LLILW.’

The farmer opponents of the Kimba sites are right to be concerned. The spent fuel reprocessing waste will be hazardous for thousands of years.

South-Australia-nuclearSouth Australia’s nuclear threat continues Michele Madigan |  17 November 2015

Last Friday 13 November, the federal government released the shortlisted sites of the proposed national radioactive waste facility. No surprise that three are in South Australia, the ‘expendable state‘: Cortlinye and Pinkawillinie near Kimba on Eyre Peninsula, and Barndioota near Hawker, north of Port Augusta.

I wonder if South Australians aren’t beginning to feel like nuclear particles themselves, bombarded on all sides by the nuclear industry. This announcement from the federal government about its nuclear repository plans comes as the state government continues to consider, through its Royal Commission, whether, when and where South Australia will offer to host the world’s high-level nuclear waste.

The six names on the federal government shortlist (the remaining three being Sallys Flat in NSW, Hale in the Northern Territory and Oman Ama in Queensland) are taken from an original list of 28 properties that were offered by their landowners. It’s disturbing to find that the owner of the Cortilinye site, at least, has been misinformed,believing ‘It’s basically only a medical waste facility.’

In reality, only 10–20 per cent of the radioactive waste is medical in origin. And nuclear medicine is in no way affected by the lack of a national repository.

Resources and energy minister Josh Freydenberg’s Friday announcement included a masterly sentence of understatement: ‘Low level waste is those gloves or those goggles or the paper or the plastic that comes into contact with nuclear medicine, and intermediate waste could be, for example, those steel rods that are used in the reactor to actually create these particular products.’

It’s interesting to notice what’s different and what stays the same from the 1998–2004 ‘dump’ campaign in SA. Continue reading

November 18, 2015 Posted by | South Australia, wastes | 1 Comment


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