Australian news, and some related international items

Nuclear Waste Dump Site Selection: Leszek Gaweda points out the Conflict of Interest, and other negative factors

Leszek Gaweda Submission to Senate Inquiry on Selection process for a national radioactive waste management facility in South Australia (Submission No 54)

I am opposed to the current process on the following grounds:

1. Site Selection: Site nominated by ex Liberal politician Mr Grant Chapman. His nomination should never have been accepted on the grounds of conflict of interest.

Mr Chapman was a strong supporter of storing nuclear waste in Australia during his time as a senator, chairing a Senate committee into the subject and recommending a single national facility, a clear conflict of interest.

Best practice in the world for storage nuclear waste is to store it as close as possible to the production site (Lucas Heights in this case) not thousands of kilometres away.

  1. Broad Community Support:Communities involved: Transport to the site about 2000km, it’s not just the immediate area that would be effected. In case of accident a large part of the country could become uninhabitable. People from the towns, communities along the route should be consulted.Does the community understand that majority of the waste to be stored there is intermediate to high level? Example Lucas Heights reactor and vitrified nuclear waste brought back from France is intermediate and high level waste as classified in France. This requires isolation from the biosphere for hundreds of thousands of years.

    Majority of Low level is only dangerous for hours to days (max few weeks) and doesn’t require a specialised facility.

  1. Aboriginal Communities‘It’s like getting news of a death’ Adnyamathanha woman Regina McKenzie said the local Indigenous community has been shattered by the announcement.Why haven’t the local Aboriginal community been consulted prior to the announcement? These people lived on these lands for 50,000 years in harmony with the environment and they deserve better.

    The nuclear strategists know that Maralinga wounded the Aboriginal people. It is still an open sore and just like vultures, they are still picking on the wounded. Politicians should be protecting the disadvantaged and instead they are supporting and encouraging this assault.

Adnyamathanha Native Title Representative Body (NTRB) known as ATLA.’

They go on to oppose nuclear activities on several counts, including the advisability of renewable energy development instead, and roundly condemn the waste dump proposal:

‘The push for a waste dump in SA keeps coming up repeatedly; we didn’t want it then and we don’t want it now…….Pressuring poverty stricken and isolated communities is unethical, and the public of SA have faced this issue several times in the last decade or more. Enough is enough.’ No means No

4. Water

Much of the region relies heavely upon aquifers to supply settlements, stations, fauna and top up dams.

Polluted water means no business, no food production, no communities just a toxic wasteland to be passed to the future generations.

5. Floods

This region is prone to heavy flooding. Nuclear waste should never be located where flooding occurs. Containment leaks can’t be guaranteed.

On the 14th of February 1955 a huge flood flowed down the Hookina creek only a stone throw away from the proposed Wallerberdina site and washed away a bridge. In the images below you can see the large concrete bridge pylons laying on their sides. The weight of these would be at least 80 tons.

Hookina Spring

“Australia’s first registered Adnya¬mathanha storyline runs 70km from Hawker to Hookina Spring through pastoral and indigenous lands between Lake Torrens and South Australia’s picturesque northern Flinders Ranges, where it is emerging as a battleline ¬between anti-nuclear activists and the federal government ”

She said the Adnyamathanha didn’t want the risk of contamination of groundwaters that fed mound springs on the floodplain where Ms McKenzie brought groups to camp, drink from the spring, and hunt and cook kangaroo in trad¬itional ground ovens and share stories. “We want to share the culture so we can promote this region to the world,’’ she said. “Nobody takes the Aboriginal belief systems seriously — it’s our belief system. I just wish that non-Aboriginal people will look and see the richness in our culture.’’ (Source: The Australian May 23, 2016)

Hopkins Spring is only a stone throw away from the proposed site

  1. Seismic ActivityFlinders Ranges is the oldest mountain range in the world, the area selected is not seismically stable. In fact it is probably the most seismic area in the whole of Australia 7.7.Food production – Kimba

    About 4% of Australia’s land is suitable for agriculture and Kimba is in the 4%, this land must be given highest protection as our future food supply is paramount. If a nuclear waste dump was to be located in Kimba, its reputation as a clean and green supplier of food would be adversely effected.

    The perception that SA would be a nuclear waste dump would surely effect our clean and green image and price our agricultural products would attract.


    Many locals don’t want industries such as tourism and farming threatened. Many traditional owners do not want cultural heritage sites and their spiritual connection to country put at risk.

    South Australians do not want their state turned into nuclear dump.

    This issue continues to cause deep division and stress in the affected communities where friends even families are divided and turn against each other.

    SA parliament passed the Nuclear Waste Facility Prohibition Act 2000. The object of this Act are “to protect the health, safety and welfare of the people of South Australia and to protect the environment in which they live by prohibiting the establishment of certain nuclear waste storage facilities in this state.

    It’s a real travesty of justice that such a proposal is being seriously considered in our beautiful tourist mecca Flinders Ranges and food bowl of our state Kimba.

June 4, 2018 - Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Federal nuclear waste dump

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