Australian news, and some related international items

Two Kimba farmers happy at the prospect of stranded radioactive trash on their land

Nuclear medicine production in Australia at risk if dump site can’t be found, industry head says ABC, Landline By Marty McCarthy 19 Aug 17, Australia may have to stop producing nuclear medicine if it cannot find a central site to dump all of the radioactive rubbish made in the process in the next decade.

The Federal Government has been trying to find a site somewhere in Australia to dump nuclear waste for 30 years, including all the waste produced by the government-owned OPAL reactor at Lucas Heights.

There is about 4,250 square metres of radioactive waste in Australia — enough to fill two Olympic-sized swimming pools — and most of it is held at the Australian Nuclear Science Technology Organisation (ANSTO) at Lucas Heights……   the facility also stores a small amount of intermediate-level waste.

This waste comes from the spent fuel rods used in Australia’s first nuclear reactor, HIFAR, which operated for 50 years and was decommissioned in 2007.

The TN81 cask is a 120-tonne rubbish bin that currently contains more than half of the waste from 2,000 spent fuel rods used in HIFAR over its half-a-century-lifespan.

“This does actually represent one of the more radioactive things in Australia,” said James Hardiman, waste operations manager at ANSTO…..

‘It’s for Kimbra we are doing this’

The rural town of Kimba, on South Australia’s Eyre Peninsula, could be the eventual home of all of Australia’s nuclear waste.  Two farmers in the region have put forward their properties, along with a third at Barndioota in the Flinders Rangers, for the Federal Government to build its facility on.

The site would be a permanent dump for all of the low-level waste, which would be buried in cement chambers and left for 300 years, and a temporary storage site for the more dangerous, intermediate-level waste…..To guarantee your town’s future for the next 300 years is pretty good reason for me, because they are talking 100 years of storing the waste and 300 years of monitoring,” Jeff Baldock said.

Bob Maitland, who owns farmland next to Mr Baldock’s property, said he had a moral obligation to support his neighbour’s nuclear dump plan. “It’s for Kimba we are doing this, not for ourselves.”

August 19, 2017 - Posted by | Federal nuclear waste dump, South Australia

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