Antinuclear

Australian news, and some related international items

Name Withheld (Submission No 92) fears Barndioota might end up stuck with Intermediate Level stranded nuclear wastes

Name Withheld (Submission No 92)To the Senate standing committee on Economics, re Selection Process for nuclear Waste Dump Site  Firstly I would like to thank the standing committee for the forum to express the communities thoughts on this process. I have been a resident of Quorn in the beautiful Flinders Ranges for the past thirteen years. I consider myself lucky to live in such a stunning and geologically fascinating natural environment.

 I would like to acknowledge that as a former resident of Woomera at the time when the current “temporary” low level nuclear waste was forced onto that community, that this current process is a significant improvement.

 However I still hold deep concerns and frustrations about this current process.
The fact that one person is able to offer a piece of land up for consideration and subject the whole community to this stressful process, is deeply unfair. The initial choice should come from the community as a whole, to undertake this process. One person should not be able to subject a whole community to such a divisive issue. Our communities are already under stress with the closure of the Leigh Creek mine and the Port Augusta power station. I also have concerns that in the Barndioota case, that the landholder has formerly been extensively involved with the Liberal party in the past. I consider that a conflict of interest that has undermined my trust in this process. 
This process has had a divisive affect on our communities. A divide has been creative between those that have concerns that are not being adequately answered, and those who think that this is an economic boom opportunity.
 I have not been able to ascertain the exact amount of jobs, nor if they are full time positions, that this facility would provide. Numbers range from 6 to 15. Not an economic boom. Nor has there been any guarantees that local business will be providing significant support to this facility.
This waste facility at Barndioota has the ability to have a negative impact on tourism, an industry that is our main employment sector, a multi-million dollar industry. The argument of examples of similar facilities in France is a weak one. It doesn’t accord for regional differences in the product we offer, and the type of tourist that are our customers. A large part out tourist industry has a clean, green sector. A radioactive waste management facility does not augment this image, and given our current situation, our communities can not afford any risk to the tourist industry. I don’t believe 6 to 15 jobs is worth the risk.
Roads and infrastructure is another concern, to relocate the waste to Banitooba would mean transporting it through such roads as the Pichi Richi Pass, or Horrocks Pass. Both windy and not substantial roads. Not ideal for transporting this type of waste safely. We are currently are experiencing a roo plague. It is an almost everyday experience that someone has an accident hitting a roo. I would hate to see the end result if a truck hit a mob of roo’s. Especially if it’s the waste from Woomera’s temporary facility which is now subject to an expensive million dollar clean up bill as that facility and waste was not adequately prepared. We are a regional area that does not have adequate roads and infrastructure to support this type of traffic. Again nor do I feel we have been reassured enough that this issue will be addressed, and money guaranteed to upgrade them to a safe standard.
Raising Woomera’s experience with their undetermined “temporary” low level nuclear waste storage, highlights the issue of the planned temporary storage of medium level nuclear waste at Banitooba. While I am personally satisfied with how this wasted has been processed and safely encapsulated, I am concerned about how long it will be temporarily stored at Banitooba. When  asked the question of how long would be the temporary storage of this medium level waste, it has not been answered. It is an unknown. I am not comfortable with that. It will become easier once here to turn a blind eye, and say we have no where else for it to go.
 The Banitooba site is also a concern. This area is in a seismic active area. That is how our beautiful Flinders Ranges was created. My understanding is that that this site is on a flood plane. I can not envision how nuclear waste, even low level stuff, would mix well with flash floods. Flash floods are a common yearly phenomena in our early summer season.
I was present at the first town meeting in Quorn early 2016. My impression from the head scientist was that the Banitooba site was not suitable for this facility. How it moved to be the only site up for second stage consideration for a long period of time, I can not understand. There has has been a considerable amount of money wasted furthering a process that is highly likely to fail. At a time when our Federal leaders are telling the Australian population that money is scarce, and using that to justify deep cuts to many services to health, infrastructure, etc. I can not believe the amount of money wasted on this process on a dubious site. It make no sense. It feels like it was the only option, so we’ll just push ahead
I am also not impressed with the constant assertion that there was broad community support based on a phone survey that was done in the very early stages, before the real details of this project were fully known and attitudes shifted.
While I personally can not speak on behalf of the traditional owners, I do believe that they are also deeply divided about the Banitooba facility.
 Again I would to thank you all for your time and the opportunity to voice my concerns. However I do not support this current plan for the Banitooba site
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July 11, 2018 - Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Federal nuclear waste dump

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