Antinuclear

Australian news, and some related international items

Tiny outback town divided over plan for federal nuclear waste dump

a-cat-CANOne misapprehension in this otherwise excellent article.

The writer assumes that the nuclear waste intended for this  Federal waste dump is “low level”  “medical waste”.  But that is not the real purpose of the dump.  “Medical radioactive waste?” – a  ridiculous idea! The vast majority of medical wastes are very short-lived – radioactivity having decayed in  a matter of hours or  few days. So these wastes are best disposed of near the point of use. (in fact, they are best produced near the point of use, in  anon nuclear cyclotron). No point in trucking them thousands of miles across the continent.
The real purpose of the Hawker area waste dump is to dispose of the nuclear reactor waste that was generated by the Lucas Heights nuclear reactor, sent to France and UK for processing, and contracted to return to Australia. The Australian government classes it as “intermediate level”, but France classes it as high level.
The Australian government is lying about the nuclear waste dump – using the false medical argument to make it look healthy and respectable. But that is a fig leaf on the toxic nuclear industry.

Residents of Hawker say it has been incredibly confusing that the proposed intermediate-level facility in their community is being discussed at the same time as plans for future high-level nuclear storage elsewhere.

Despite the government saying that many of the jobs and development opportunities near Hawker will benefit the indigenous people at Yappala, McKenzie says they will continue fighting the proposal to the end.

poster-flinders-rangesAustralian nuclear waste dump divides tiny outback town
“This land is our past, present and future and we don’t want a nuclear waste dump on it.”,
Aljazeera, by , 29 Nov 16 

 Hawker, South Australia – The towering mountains of the Flinders Ranges stand imposingly against the hundreds-of-kilometres-long stretch of flat, desolate country.

While the mountains are named after the British explorer who trekked them in the early 19th century, the indigenous Adnyamathanha people have lived in the region for tens of thousands of years.

This arid and remote part of South Australia has become the unlikely centre of a heated public debate after it was named the preferred site for the country’s first nuclear waste dump.

For decades, the Australian government has wanted to build a central waste facility to store all of the country’s low-grade and intermediate-grade nuclear waste, which is generated from nuclear medicine and research.

After two previous attempts to build a waste facility fell through due to community backlash, including from nearby indigenous residents, the federal government, last year, called for landowners to nominate their personal properties. The nearby Wallerberdina cattle station was announced as the preferred site in April this year.

But not everyone is happy; the plan has angered the local Aboriginal community, and divided residents of the nearby town of Hawker.

“Every hill has a story,” traditional owner Regina McKenzie of the Adnyamathanha and Kuyani people told Al Jazeera. “This land is our past, present and future, and we don’t want a nuclear waste dump on it.”

McKenzie and roughly a dozen others live on Yappala Station, which is part of a 24,000-hectare property that was returned to Aboriginal owners by the government in 2000, to recognise their traditional ownership. The indigenous cooperative’s property spans both sides of the neighbouring Wallerberdina Station, the projected location of the nuclear waste site.

She says the proposed site will disrupt an important indigenous storyline in the area that includes an ancient travel route with a deep spiritual significance.

“This is something that is really important to us, it’s our belief system, and I believe we have the right to be protecting our sacred places,” McKenzie told Al Jazeera.

The Department of Industry, Innovation and Science, which is overseeing the project, announced this site as the preferred location among those nominated due to the community being “particularly supportive”, adding that 65 percent of those surveyed approved of the proposal going ahead (PDF).

The cattle station where the facility is to be built, if the proposal moves forward, is co-owned by Grant Chapman, a former senator who lives in state’s capital Adelaide. Some have accused the government of a conflict of interest for choosing Chapman’s property, particularly because in 1995, he chaired a senate committee which recommended centralised nuclear waste storage…….

Anti-nuclear campaigner, Dave Sweeny from the Australian Conservation Foundation, an environmental NGO, said that while there is a need for a storage facility, the government should expand the capacity of land it owns alongside a nuclear reactor on the outskirts of Sydney, where much of the waste is currently stored.

“There is no need to impose this on a community that doesn’t want it,” Sweeny told Al Jazeera……..

In May, a state government Royal Commission recommended the development of a separate deep underground nuclear facility for storing high-level radioactive waste. The proposal recommended the importing of nuclear waste from overseas as a way to generate hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue for the state.

But the plan has hit a roadblock, as public sentiment continues to grow against the project. The government established a jury of 350 people to examine the proposal closely, and in early November, they rejected it (PDF). In a last-ditch effort, the government is now planning a state-wide vote on the issue.

Residents of Hawker say it has been incredibly confusing that the proposed intermediate-level facility in their community is being discussed at the same time as plans for future high-level nuclear storage elsewhere.

Despite the government saying that many of the jobs and development opportunities near Hawker will benefit the indigenous people at Yappala, McKenzie says they will continue fighting the proposal to the end. http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/features/2016/11/australian-nuclear-waste-dump-divides-tiny-outback-town-161127082722786.html

 

Advertisements

November 30, 2016 - Posted by | aboriginal issues, AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Federal nuclear waste dump, South Australia

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

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

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com 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: