Australian news, and some related international items

Secret nuclear waste dump deal done by ruthless Australian govt

no comparable country had a national radioactive waste policy based on secret documents and agreements.

Fallout over NT nuclear dump site, LINDSAY MURDOCH AND TOM ARUP, February 27, 2010
Dianne Stokes says the Rudd government’s decision to push ahead with plans to dump nuclear waste on the red-soil land north of Tennant Creek has caused trouble in her Warlmanpa tribe. ”People have given away land that doesn’t belong to them … now there is big trouble among us,” she said.

For centuries, Aboriginal clans followed their dreaming across the low scrub land that became known last century by white people as Muckaty cattle station. Now, some members of one of those clans have agreed to allow Australia’s first national waste dump to be established on 1.5 square kilometres of land they claim is theirs in return for $12 million, most of it in cash.

The terms of the agreement remain secret – even some members of the Ngapa clan who might share the money have not been given a copy.

Federal Resources Minister Martin Ferguson revealed this week the government plans to pursue Muckaty as its nuclear dump site, saying it is the only place in Australia that had been ”volunteered”. He introduced legislation that gives the government power to override a threat by the Northern Territory to block the dump at Muckaty, an earthquake-prone area 120 kilometres north of Tennant Creek.

If the dump – or radioactive waste repository as bureaucrats call it – is built, about 4000 cubic metres of waste that has been accumulating in small stores in southern states during the past 50 years would be transported there, by rail or road. Trucks would relocate 2000 cubic metres of radioactive soil from the Woomera defence area in South Australia. Stockpiles of waste from Sydney’s Lucas Heights reactor would be transported through dozens of cities and towns to reach the dump site, 10 kilometres from the busy Stuart Highway and eight kilometres from where people live at the station homestead.

In 2015 and 2016, about 32 cubic metres of highly radioactive waste from the reprocessing of spent research reactor fuel that Australia has sent to Scotland and France over decades is planned to be transported to Muckaty, probably via ships docking at Darwin Harbour, 1000 kilometres to the north.

Mr Ferguson is determined to push ahead with Muckaty despite strong objections from environmental and indigenous groups, the NT government and some Labor federal MPs who object to a dump being imposed on the territory.

Fallout over NT nuclear dump site

February 27, 2010 - Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL | , , , , , , ,

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: