Australian news, and some related international items

Leonora W.A. site geologically, environmentally better suited to waste dump than is Kimba S.A.

 these seismic surveys are many times more intensive and informative than what has been suggested for Kimba (and Hawker)
The Azark Project has on several previous instances fully documented all of the features and attributes of its site and the availability of all infrastructure and services and manpower which would fully support and cater for the construction and operation of both an above or below ground facility
 AZARK PROJECT LEONORA  Submission to Senate (no. 110) Attachment 3 National Radioactive Waste management Facility Site Charcterisation Project   Comparison of the site characterisation by AECOM of Kimba with the Azark Project site

Technical assessment information for the Azark Project at Leonora compared to the AECOM Characterisation Project for Kimba – February 2018

Seismic Survey

No geological seismic surveys are necessary at the Azark site due to already completed comprehensive geological surveys by way of seismic lines across the site which among other things have established the depth of the geological structure as 4 km below surface

The seismic surveys undertaken in the Leonora region including the Azark site are relatively recent and very exhaustive using the latest state of the art technology

As a result these seismic surveys are many times more intensive and informative than what has been suggested for Kimba (and Hawker) under the site characterisation project by AECOM

The seismic surveys of the Leonora region were undertaken by the Geological Survey of Western Australia being part of that state’s Department of Minerals, Industry Regulation and Safety and which is internationally recognised as a leader and model in geological and geophysical surveys

This is demonstrated by the number of new and successful mining areas and mines discovered in Western Australia including locally the recent underground extensions at the Sons of Gwalia mine

These geological and geophysical seismic surveys established the depth and type of rocks at the Azark site as fresh hardrock granite going to a depth of 4 km and being very stable with no seismic events for some 2.6 billion years

Consequently this confirmed its superiority to any other areas for the hosting of the waste disposal facility

LiDAR and Geophysical Aerial Surveys

No aerial surveys are necessary to measure the height of and undulations in the ground as the general area comprising the Azark site is relatively flat and approximately 40 m above any flood plains

It consists of some outcropping granite and is free of flooding

Full and comprehensive geophysical aerial surveys were again undertaken by the most recent and technologically advanced methods by the Geological Survey and as a result there is readily available data to show among other things that the Azark site is well above the flood plains

Drilling Bores, Tests Pits, Groundwater Wells

Drilling to establish the rock type and depth and the soil and water table as planned for Kimba is again not needed for the Azark site as it is fresh granite rock from the surface and hence there is not nor will be a water table

The reason is that fresh or weathered rock as at the Azark site by its inherent nature will not support a water table

The reading of the rock types under the ground at the Kimba and Hawker sites by magnetic intensity measurements for rock delineation beneath the soil cover is again not required at the Azark site because of the outcropping confirmed by all the available and detailed data from the Geological Survey of Western Australia

The tests by test pits and groundwater wells are also unnecessary for the Azark site

Survey of Plants and Animals

Environmental surveys:

The country surrounding the Azark site has been been the subject of a number of flora and fauna surveys

As already explained the Azark site is flat and arid and is incapable of supporting vegetation and any agrarian activity or human and animal habitation Despite this a confirmatory environment assessment could be done in conjunction with the planning of construction of the facility

Heritage surveys:

The Azark site is comprised within exploration licence E37/1255 which straddles the Clover Downs and Melita pastoral leases and these two leases have been the subject of approximately 57 separate heritage studies

As also previously explained the land encompassed by the exploration licence (and hence the Azark site) is free of native title by prior judicial determination

However there are two small registered heritage sites within the Azark site but they overlap each other and can be completely isolated from the disposal facility

Despite the support of the region’s indigenous peoples for the Azark Project it is intended to have a further heritage survey by their leaders and elders when planning the construction of the facility


Inspection of Local Features and Infrastructure

The AECOM characterisation included the inspection and examination of all infrastructure and services and also what is described as local business opportunities to support the construction and operations of a the facility

All of these as mentioned in the characterisation proposal are readily and immediately available in Leonora because of its pre-eminence as a major mining and resource industry centre

While there is already an extensive and high grade road system in the Leonora region catering for apparently more road trains than in most areas of Australia an additional new road system is being considered by the state government to service its industrial activities – this new road would lead directly to the Azark site by completely bypassing the Leonora township

In any case the Leonora region is already providing a co- ordinated transport system for the current carriage of volatile materials such as rare earths and uranium oxide

The Azark Project has on several previous instances fully documented all of the features and attributes of its site and the availability of all infrastructure and services and manpower which would fully support and cater for the construction and operation of both an above or below ground facility

General Observations

The foregoing comments by way of comparison with the technical characterisation project by AECOM equally apply to the Hawker site as its technical characterisation is similar to that for Kimba but with less planned work

The two sites at Kimba and the Hawker site are all within primarily farming land and the nearby population centres are predominantly directed towards agricultural industry requirements making the sites unsuitable by their locations for the establishment of the nuclear waste disposal facility

All three South Australian sites are located within the Eyre Peninsula which is seismically highly volatile and quite unsuitable and in fact dangerous for siting of the facility

The technical information obtained by the Geological Survey and used with regard to the Azark site is far more searching and advanced and of greater accuracy than the surveys proposed for the sites at Kimba and Hawker


ORIGINAL AZARK SITE IDENTIFICATION The Azark site was originally identified and chosen after extensive technical work and examination of all the factors needed for a stable and preferably underground disposal site for radioactive waste

An initial comprehensive search was undertaken for over ten years throughout the Leonora region  guided by the Shire of Leonora to find a suitable area meeting all the attributes and qualities for a facility of that nature

This search ultimately led to the Azark site which on testing and considering the technical aspects required for the facility exceeded all possible expectations and was quickly determined to be one of the best areas in the world for hosting a nuclear waste disposal facility

The reasons for being chosen by the geologists and other experts is because of the stable geology with no seismic events recorded or shown by the rocks for well over 2 billion years

The geological structure of the Azark site is fresh rock from the surface to depth with no soil over it and no water table

It is also an arid and relatively desolate area which is incapable of supporting any vegetation or animal life

However it is close enough to be fully serviced by Leonora as a major mining centre that has all the infrastructure and facilities required for the Azark Project such as roads, rail, airport and competent contractors and tradesmen together with all social and civic services to support a competent workforce

It was only after this detailed and extensive search and selection of the Azark area that it was decided as appropriate for nomination to the federal government

In other words the selection of the Azark site was not a random or haphazard act but the result of lengthy and intensive searches for an appropriate and suitable land area comprising all the requirements to be suitable for a nuclear waste disposal facility


2018 TITLED “Locals outraged as planning for nuclearwaste facility in outback SA goes ahead”

The Barndioota (Hawker) site, and the entire Flinders Ranges, is considered seismically active.

Flinders University emeritus professor in geology Chris Vonderborch said because of this, it was the worst place to put a nuclear waste facility.

“It seems to tick all the wrong boxes for a safe disposal site,” he said.

“If you look at past earthquakes around Australia, they’ll line up and down the front of the Flinders Ranges. “It’s an area that can have earthquakes.”

Professor Vonderborch said if the facility was built, the nuclides from it could form a surface sediment on Lake Torrens.

“Anything that goes in there comes to the surface, or gets washed in to the surface, and then it’s got a very good chance of blowing who knows where, towards Port Augusta or whatever,” he said.

Mr McCleary (the National Radioactive Waste Management Taskforce General Manager Bruce McCleary) said sites were being independently assessed by AECOM

“If the land is not suitable on any of the technical criteria, including seismicity, it will not be built there,” Mr McCleary said. He said waste stored had to meet “strict criteria”, which ensured the material was solid and “contains nothing corrosive or explosive, or that could otherwise leak or escape”.

Note: Professor von den Borch is regarded as a world leading authority _______


August 11, 2018 - Posted by | Federal nuclear waste dump, Western Australia


  1. Is the Azark site in Matthias Corman’s electorate or another Nlp sitting member.?


    Comment by Casila Gilchrist | August 11, 2018 | Reply

    • Leonora is in electoral district of O’Connor. Rick Wilson (Liberal) is the MP . Mathias Cormann is Senator for Western Australia


      Comment by Christina MacPherson | August 12, 2018 | Reply

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