Australian news, and some related international items

Long haul for South Australia nuclear waste dump project, and serious risks

Australians face big decision on nuclear waste dump,  MAY 10, 2016 ….. ” it’s not going to be an overnight fix for the state’s budget problems. A permanent facility would take 28 years to build, and this construction could only start once local residents were on board. The commissioner has suggested it could take 10 years to get this approval.

Even if an interim facility was built to take used fuel while the permanent version was under construction, this would still only be operational 11 years after a decision on the project was made.

hurdles toff


Used nuclear fuel, stored as a solid ceramic in metal cladding, generates heat and is highly radioactive and dangerous.

According to the commission, radiation levels reduce quickly during the first 30 to 50 years of storage and the most radioactive elements decay within 500 years. But less radioactive elements in nuclear fuel do require storage and isolation for at least 100,000 years.

The commission noted that the most serious consequences of disturbing nuclear fuel were linked to potential exposure to radiation.

And certainly nothing focuses the mind like considering the wasteland of Chernobylor Fukushima………

the difficulty of disposing of nuclear waste, even low-level waste, which needs be stored for up to a few hundred years, have been illustrated in the US and France.

America’s Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) was compromised when a drum of radioactive waste burst open in the underground facility. Most disturbingly, the rupture was blamed on someone putting the wrong type of kitty litter in the drum, possibly due to a typo in a policy manual.


Conservationists have accused the commissioner of downplaying the risks of nuclear storage and have threatened to ramp up their campaign against the dump.

“We’ll be increasing our profile, our presence and our concerns,” Australian Conservation Foundation spokesman Dave Sweeney told AAP……..

Invitations will be sent this week to 25,000 people seeking an expression of interest in being part of a 400-person jury that will consider the state’s approach…….

Treasurer Scott Morrison said the Federal Government would work constructively with SA to address any issues arising out of the Royal Commission…….

May 11, 2016 - Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, NUCLEAR ROYAL COMMISSION 2016, politics, South Australia

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