Antinuclear

Australian news, and some related international items

Dismissing Aboriginal objections, Leonora Shire Council, (Western Australia) wants an underground nuclear waste dump!

Outback WA council keeps hand raised for nuclear waste facility, as legal action halts progress on SA sites ABC North and West ,By Gary-Jon Lysaght , 12 Mar 19, While the search for a place to store Australia’s nuclear waste remains on hold pending a decision by the Federal Court, a small council in outback Western Australia still has its hand raised as a potential site.

Key points:

  • Kimba and Hawker in South Australia are being considered as sites for storing nuclear waste
  • A company called the Azark Project has a proposal to store waste in a “seismically stable” location near Leonora in the WA Goldfields
  • The Federal Government says it is currently not considering Leonora as a potential location

Leonora, a WA Goldfields town about 200 kilometres north of Kalgoorlie, is being touted as a potential location for an underground nuclear waste disposal facility.

The Federal Government is considering sites at Kimba and Hawker in South Australia for an above-ground facility capable of permanently storing low-level waste and temporarily storing intermediate-level waste.

Nuclear waste being stored at Australia’s Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO) would be sent to the nuclear waste disposal facility…….

He said the Azark proposal was to store low-level and intermediate-level waste underground on a permanent basis. ……

Leonora not being considered

The Department of Industry, Innovation and Science said it was currently not considering Leonora as a potential location and that detailed studies were continuing at the three nominated sites in South Australia.

Lyndhurt and Napandee are the properties near Kimba being considered and the site near Hawker is called Wallerberdina Station.

A proposed community ballot on support for the facility in Kimba and Hawker has been on hold pending legal action.

The Leonora Shire Council remains in favour of a nuclear waste facility near the town, saying it could provide jobs and much-needed infrastructure for the small town.However, Leonora Shire President Peter Craig said that support could wane because of what he described as a lack of consultation from Azark.

“Azark did have a community meeting back in April 2018, which was pretty positive, there were some questions that still needed to be answered,” he said.

“To this day, in our view, as a council, Azark have failed in consultation work with the community…….

Mr Craig said Azark had consulted people one-on-one but not in a wider group since the 2018 meeting. ……

Cultural and environmental concerns

Throughout the site selection process at both Kimba and Hawker there has been opposition from local Aboriginal groups, who say a facility would impinge on sacred land.

Dave Sweeney from the Australian Conservation Foundation said local Aboriginal groups at Leonora remained strongly opposed to the facility.

“[Azark] says there’s no chance of any impact on water — there’s no evidential basis for that,” he said.

“They say there is no cultural or heritage issues — that is contested by local Aboriginal people.

“When this was first flagged, Aboriginal people who have deep concerns about this proposal got a petition together that rapidly got, in a number of days, around 500 signatures.

“In a remote region, that’s a quick and significant expression of concern.”……

Mr Sweeney said the Federal Government should stop the site selection process.

“We desperately need, right now, for the brakes to go on the federal process at Kimba and at Hawker and an independent assessment of the best ways we can manage radioactive waste.” https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-03-12/goldfields-council-continues-support-for-nuclear-waste-facility/10887644?pfmredir=sm&fbclid=IwAR1mUzAfXLzOl5CeF41xkST82NALrwTf4xs8pVRnfW5v5U1FS9KxJZoLX04

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March 12, 2019 - Posted by | Federal nuclear waste dump, Western Australia

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