Antinuclear

Australian news, and some related international items

Kimba community divided over federal nuclear waste dump plan – fairly narrow “yes” vote

Kimba votes yes to radioactive waste dump in Eyre Peninsula http://www.adelaidenow.com.au/news/south-australia/kimba-votes-yes-to-radioactive-waste-dump-in-eyre-peninsula/news-story/96ca27ddaa0f67519b60a366584156bc, Polly Haynes, The Advertiser, June 22, 2017 

 RESIDENTS of Kimba have voted in favour of building a radioactive waste dump in their Eyre Peninsula district. Posted on the council’s website, the interim results for the postal ballot on the National Radioactive Waste Management Project show 698 ballot papers were received by the Australian Electoral Commission.

Of those, 396 voted for and 294 voted against, while eight ballot papers were informal votes.

The Federal Government is considering two properties near Kimba, in addition to a previously short-listed block of land at Barndioota, near Hawker in the Flinders Ranges.

In March, the Kimba Council called in the Australian Electoral Commission to run a postal vote of the 1100-strong community on the options. At the time, Mayor Dean Johnson said he believed there was strong support in the community for the two local sites to be formally considered. This morning he said: “The numbers are what they are… in the end the people have voted.”

However, a group opposing the dump — No Radioactive Waste on Agricultural Land in Kimba or SA — said the results of the vote showed the community was still divided.

“There has been no shift in community sentiment over the past two years,” a statement said. “Despite the Working for Kimba’s future group’s claims of a large swing toward support … results from three rounds of consultation and surveying show sentiments much the same as previously recorded.”

“This last consultation has resulted in a waste of government time, money and resources. Not to mention unnecessary pressure and stress on our already fractured community.”

The Federal Government is expected to make a decision early next year on the location for the centre, which will host radioactive waste currently held at sites around Australia.

The centre will initially store low and medium-level waste before a second purpose-built centre is opened for the medium-level waste.

Opponents of the waste dump say Australia’s radioactive waste should be centrally stored at the Lucas Heights nuclear reactor campus in Sydney.

Conservation and anti-nuclear groups have petitioned the Federal Government to scrap any plans for a dump at Kimba.

The groups, including Conservation SA, Friends of the Earth and the Australian Conservation Foundation have lodged a submission with the federal Department of Industry, Innovation and Science calling on the government to abandon any plans for a dump at Kimba.

Friends of the Earth campaigner Jim Green says the process to find a dump site had been flawed and divisive.

“The Federal Government has consistently misled Kimba residents about its intentions. Residents have been repeatedly told that the above-ground store for long-lived intermediate-level waste (including spent nuclear fuel reprocessing waste) would hold waste for ‘several decades’ until a deep underground disposal facility is available,” Mr Green said.

“But in fact, several documents from the national regulator ARPANSA indicate long-term storage for 100 years or more. Moreover the Federal Government has no idea what sort of deep underground disposal facility might be built, where or when it might be built, and ‒ incredibly ‒ the Federal Government is doing next to nothing to progress the matter.”

 Australian Conservation Foundation campaigner Dave Sweeney said radioactive waste was a national issue that demanded the highest level of inclusion and scrutiny.

“All Australians have a right to be involved to help make sure that this difficult issue is given the best possible consideration,” he said. “What is planned is a national radioactive waste facility so while local community consultation is useful, an evidence based, national conversation is essential.”

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June 23, 2017 - Posted by | Federal nuclear waste dump, South Australia

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