Australian news, and some related international items

Jessica Morgan’s enthusiastic endorsement of ANSTO and the nuclear waste dump plan for Kimba

Jessica Morgan. Submission to Senate on Selection process for a national radioactive waste management facility in South Australia. (Submission no. 37)

My husband and I live and work in Hawker and are raising our three children here, our two oldest attend Hawker Area School and our youngest will be three this year. I have lived here for ten years and my husband over 20, we welcome this project. We believe it is a wonderful opportunity for our community and believe firmly in the benefits of increased employment. We also believe that this facility will ensure other essential services in our town, such as the hospital, police, and improved mobile phone coverage. We also hope that this project may assist in increasing student numbers at the school. In June 2016 when on a personal trip to Sydney I had the benefit of visiting ANSTO, I was taken on a tour which included going to level 13 and visiting the waste storage areas. I have stood next to and touched the canister containing the intermediate level waste with my 9 month old baby in a carrier on my chest, feeling totally confident of my own safety and that of my child. I left ANSTO very impressed not only in their contribution to our first class medical system, which Australia is so fortunate to have, but also the work in other areas of science and technology. Having seen the waste storage areas I saw first hand the need for the national waste facility to be located at another site. I also learnt the vast difference between the reactor at Lucas Heights and nuclear power reactors in other countries, with the main reactors coming to mind being Fukushima and Chernobyl. Nuclear electrical generation is a totally different undertaking to the ANSTO pursuits and we must distinguish between the two.

The financial compensation for the land is calculated at four times the land value of the area required, not the full property, is not a large windfall for the applicant. I question if the loss of productivity of the land area will be more than the compensation.

The definition of “broad community support” will differ between people, in my opinion 50% plus one is a majority and while I deem majority rules should apply I understand this will not be considered broad. Someone against the facility may say that broad community support is 65-70% in which case a minority may win. I have full confidence in the department deciding on the definition of broad community support.

The department has set up offices in the local communities, they are regularly here to answer questions, assist with grant applications and have organised tours to ANSTO. Heritage assessments are being carried out on the land and the project has both support and opposition from the Aboriginal community. I am most impressed with the level of community engagement and complement the department for their ongoing communication.

The first round of the community benefit program had applications from people who both support and oppose the proposed facility. The second round of applications closed in February and the successful grants will be announced in coming days. Once again there will probably be successful applications from people both opposed to and in support of the facility. Having almost $2 million dollars injected into our small community has seen some wonderful things happen.

The only people whose views should be taken into consideration are those living in the area and those actively involved with the community. Given the small population of our area, taking into the consideration the views of a wider area or the state would mean the decision would no longer be made by the local community. It must be remembered that there are almost 130 nuclear waste sitesall around Australia, someone living in Adelaide is already living near nuclear waste. The proposed land is not in a tourist area and cannot be seen from main roads. I estimate the nominated land is nearly 40km as the crow flies from Rawnsley Bluff, the city of Adelaide and most of its suburbs would fit in between.

July 9, 2018 - Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Federal nuclear waste dump

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