Australian news, and some related international items

Australia should stop exporting uranium, and avoid danger of importing nuclear waste

Nuclear waste blow, St George and Sutherland Shire Leader, BY KATE CARR,03 May, 2012   THE news that the federal government has decided to use the ANSTO facility at Lucas Heights as a nuclear waste storage site has been met with dismay in Sutherland Shire.  …..ANSTO  chief executive Adi Paterson  said about 13.2 square metres of intermediate nuclear waste would be stored in a $30 million purpose-built facility at Lucas Heights from 2015 for a maximum of five years, while the national nuclear repository is built.

The proposed new storage facility at Lucas Heights would enable Australia to meet obligations to repatriate Australian waste being reprocessed in France.

Under arrangements established by governments in the 1990s, it is due to return to Australia by the end of 2015.

Menai MP Melanie Gibbons and Sutherland Shire mayor Carol Provan were quick to condemn the plan.

Ms Gibbons said that given the federal government was yet to decide on the location of the repository, there was a very real fear the waste could remain in the shire far longer than five years……  Councillor Steve Simpson, who spoke to the council about the need to prevent ANSTO from storing nuclear waste earlier this year, said he was shocked the shire learned of the decision through a press release.

“I feel we have been neglected,” Cr Simpson said. “Our suburb isn’t a waste dumping ground.”

Sutherland Shire Environment Centre spokeswoman Jenni Gormley said she was concerned the construction of an “out of sight, out of mind repository” could lead to Australia becoming a global dumping ground for uranium.

“Australia should instead cease the overseas exportation of uranium and avoid the need for a “remote” storage facility,” Ms Gormley said.

May 4, 2012 - Posted by | General News

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