Australian news, and some related international items

Submission to ARPANSA on the draft Code for Disposal of Solid Radioactive Waste

Submission 1 to  Code for Disposal of Solid Radioactive Waste (RPS C-3) By Noel Wauchope, 24 Feb 18

Regarding the type of radioactive wastes discussed

The big change in this Code is that it now applies to all types of disposal facility – meaning that higher level nuclear wastes are planned for. The draft Code states on page 9:

– “Australia has no high level waste (HLW) and is unlikely to possess any in the foreseeable 108 future”

But the plan is obviously to include reprocessed nuclear wastes returned to Lucas Heights, from France, where they are classified as High Level Wastes, not Intermediate Level Wastes (ILW) The vitrified waste we received back from France has a radioactivity over one Billion Becquerels per gram (one GigaBq/gr). France considers this High Level Waste…/2006_summar…/files/docs/all.pdf

Many people are aware of the approx 10 cubic metres reprocessed spent fuel classed as ILW & returned from France in 2015. Not more generally known is the fact that there is much much more ILW destined for ‘temporary storage’ above ground (contrary to IAEA best practice) in the proposed repository

Currently there is no official determination about what is actually to be accumulated there – hence the delay in remediating the leaking drums at Woomera and failure to properly inform the local communities, also thereby wrongfully expecting them to sign off on an unknown quality/quantity.

Regarding the containers for transport and interim storage of radioactove wastes 

CASKS. No detail is given in the draft Code, which calls for

“appropriate selection of waste forms and packaging”.
There are problems both in transport and in storage above ground for hundreds of years

For example – accidents, includng fires. The Mont Blac Tunnel was one fire in 1999 that had temperatures of 1000 degrees celsius, while dry cask tests only reach 760 degrees for no more than 20 minutes…/Infrastructural…/mont.htm

There is no detail on the containers for radioactive waste. This is becoming an issue overseas. The Swedish Environmental Court has ruled against their planned radioactive waste repository because of concerns about the copper canisters planned.…/
USA’s The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) allows U.S. nuclear plants to store or transport spent fuel waste in thin walled welded stainless steel canisters designed to withstand a crash at 30 miles per hour…/a-pact-with-the-devil/Content…

Britain has similar concerns.…/swedens-problem-is-al…/ February 21, 2018by cumbriatrust

Regarding the transport and interim storage of radioactive wastes

TRANSPORT.  In all its 65 pages has just the bare 2 lines, which refer the reader to another document. The dangers in transporting nuclearwastes for over 2000 km across the continent are glossed over. But it is well known that such transport over very long distances is risky. Washington, D.C. Mayor Carolyn Goodman – “Anywhere it’s transported is at risk because of the tunnels, the bridges, the railroads, the roads,” she said. “An accident … puts millions and millions of people around the country at risk for loss of life, cancer and everything else.” ,…/in-dc-goodman-highlights-dangers…/

INTERIM STORAGE. This is a nice phrase for what is likely to turn out to be STRANDED WASTES. Page 43 of the draft Code – “Near surface disposal facilities are generally designed on the assumption that 1295 institutional control has to remain in force for a period of time. For short lived waste, 1296 the period will have to be several tens to hundreds of years following closure.”

This Code will approve and give the go-ahead for the plan to have this temporary above-ground storage set up BEFORE there is any building of a permanent deep disposal repository.

Regarding the discussion of COMMUNITY 
COMMUNITY . Page 17 of the draft Code defines “Community” In this Code the term ‘community’ is used to define the level of spatial and social organisation at which the issue of demographics must be addressed by the license applicant in terms of ‘the impact of the facility on the community in which the facility is, or is to be situated’. In general usage ‘community’ refers to a geographical area defined for the purpose of consultation.”

The Code thus eliminates the interest of the broader community – in rural South Australia, in the State of Sout hAustralia, and in the whole country.

Even while considering just the immediate local community, the Code states, on page 23, that one criterion for the location is that it must be a site “which has little or no potential for agriculture or outdoor recreational use”. I wonder what the farming community in the Kimba area think of this?

February 24, 2018 - Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Federal nuclear waste dump

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