Antinuclear

Australian news, and some related international items

Anna Taylor: Lucas Heights is the appropriate place, with the technology and expertise, for temporary storage of nuclear wastes

Anna Taylor Submission to Senate on Selection process for a national radioactive waste management facility in South Australia Submission No 82

Introduction I live on the Eyre Peninsula and have deep concerns about this plan, including site selection, community consent, and the consultation process which lacks transparency and is fundamentally flawed. I do not support this current plan and welcome this opportunity to formally convey my concerns and opposition to the inquiry.

The Government has stated that it will not impose such a facility on an unwilling community. Myself and many locals believe the storage of intermediate level nuclear waste will affect tourism and primary industries. The issue continues to cause deep division and stress in the affected communities. Many Traditional Owners do not want cultural heritage sites and their spiritual connection to country put at risk.

After 70 years of the nuclear industry the federal government has no plans for a permanent solution of the long-lived intermediate-level waste. ‘Interim’ aboveground storage in SA could stretch to 100 years or more, this is not acceptable. The current project has not considered the full range of options to best advance responsible radioactive waste management in Australia

The federal government has not made a clear or compelling case that we need a national nuclear waste dump in SA. Australia must take responsibility for this waste; we must minimize future waste production and have a transparent approach to the future safety of intermediate level waste.

SITE SELECTION

I believe that

a) the process of site selection should be based on finding a permanent solution that is best suited to the safe management of this most Hazardous waste, with minimal transportation.Without expansion Lucas Heights has the knowledge and expertise to manage this waste for decades to come until a permanent (not a temporary storage facility) solution is found. Operations at the Lucas Heights site are licensed for a further three decades, which has the highest concentration of people with nuclear expertise and radiation response capacity in Australia. ANSTO and ARPANSA have publicly identified storage at ANSTO as a credible and feasible option

b) A single individual or property owner should not be allowed to nominate a site for a nuclear waste dump. .

COMMUNITY CONSENT Selection process for a national radioactive waste management facility in South Australia

Finding a solution rather than a location should begin with the government up holding its commitment to State community consent. I believe that the definition of broad community consent is extremely important and does not just belong to the people of one town adjacent to the proposed site but to a “broad” area as the term implies. The safe management of Australia’s nuclear waste is not only relevant to all of the Eyre peninsula / Flinders ranges population but too all South Australians and all populations along transportation routes. So far broad community consultation to the broader community has been non-existent. Consent within the communities is marginal but the site selection process has continued to the next stage regardless. This is extremely questionable, how can the community trust a process that does not listen to its results? I think its fair to say 57% community support in Kimba is not broad and should not have progressed further. We must clarify what percentage is acceptable for such a hazardous waste and this must not be the main factor in advancements of stages. This issue is an issue for all Australians and singling out a small community to deal with waste of this magnitude is ridiculous.

The South Australian community have already said no and raised enough concern back in 2002 when our state government passed the “ Nuclear Waste Prohibition act 2000” legislating protection to Sa from: A) The storage of nuclear waste (other than South Australia’s waste) B) A ban on the transportation of nuclear waste from interstate or overseas for the purpose of sending it to a national waste dump in this state.

I believe a failure of the National Waste Management Project has been to fully inform local communities about the facts of the intermediate level waste; where it is, how much of it there is and how radioactive it is. The public information campaign has been dishonest scare mongering, misleading to say the least. Linking the need for centralized radioactive waste storage facility with the production of isotopes for nuclear medicine is misleading. It is vital to provide accurate information to communities if you are genuinely looking for informed consent. Proponents claim that most of the waste planned to be stored in a national repository is from medicine, specifically medical radio isotopes, however measured by radio activity the figure is just 10-20%.*(1). The absence of a dump hasn’t harmed nuclear medicines and the establishment of a national dump won’t help nuclear medicine. There are new technologies to embrace,superseding nuclear medicine, such as making isotopes using cyclotrons that produce no long-term waste

I live near but outside the boundary for community consent and my conversations at the local community liaison office in Kimba have been unprofessional, misleading and not formally acknowledged.

COMMUNITY BENEFIT PROGRAMME The community benefit programme is questionable, verging on bribery creating further division in small communities .Its is an appalling approach to offer money (instead of transparent information) in return for a product that is poisonous to life for greater than your lifetime let alone hundreds of generations. I believe there should be no more taxpayer’s money spent on a site selection process that is flawed.

TRADITIONAL OWNERS

Traditional Owners have flagged concerns over cultural heritage issues. This must be recognized and acted on. The Barndioota site near Hawker has significant cultural values to the Adnyamathana peoples, this must be acknowledged and respected and ruled out of any more consideration.

ADVANCEMENTS OF STAGES Any advancements of stages of these site selections seems inappropriate whilst the proposal is for a “interim” solution that could stretch to a hundred years. This approach is not the safest management of Australia’s most long lived waste. The government needs to review future nuclear waste production with a commitment to reduce and phase out the creation of more nuclear waste.

Traditional Owners have flagged concerns over cultural heritage issues. This must be recognized and acted on. The Barndioota site near Hawker has significant cultural values to the Adnyamathana peoples, this must be acknowledged and respected and ruled out of any more consideration.

SUMMARY

The current project has not considered the full range of options to best advance responsible radioactive waste management in Australia. The waste can and should remain secured and monitored at Lucas Heights until a dedicated public review of the full range of options for waste management is carried out. I believe we need an expert open and independent inquiry into the full range of options. Nuclear waste management requires the highest quality decision-making and information. We must start afresh on planning and establishing the best way to deal with this highly toxic waste.

References:

*(1) Nuclear Medicine and the National Dump Site, Jim Green Med Sci. (Hons) PhD, Jan 2018 10 more questions about Australia’s nuclear waste. Nov 2017.

Dr Margaret Beavis and Dr Peter Karanoskos, Medical Association for Prevention Of War-Health professionals promoting peace.

The case for a revised approach: Extended interim storage and option assessment, Dave Sweeny

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June 15, 2018 - Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Federal nuclear waste dump

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