Antinuclear

Australian news, and some related international items

South Australian aborigines again face a nuclear threat – as Federal Government plans a nuclear waste dump

Trident celebrations ignore Aboriginal victims of British nuclear weapons testing, Green Left, Linda Pearson, April 26, 2019 Issue 1218, Scotland   New threat from nuclear waste dump

“………..Aboriginal communities in South Australia now fear that they will be forced to bear the risks of radioactive contamination again. The Australian government is currently considering three sites for the location of a national nuclear waste dump, two on Barngarla land, near Kimba, and one on Adnyamathanha land at Wallerberdina Station, near the Finders Ranges.

The dump will host nuclear material currently stored at different sites in Australia, plus waste from Britain pursuant to a 2012 agreement between the British and Scottish governments. The agreement relates to waste generated by the reprocessing of Australian nuclear fuel at Dounreay. However, that waste is to remain where it is and a substituted amount will be shipped from the Sellafield nuclear reprocessing and decommissioning site, located on the coast of the Irish Sea.

The views of traditional owners have been sidelined throughout the process for choosing the dump’s location and Adnyamathanha’s traditional owners say that federal government contractors have already damaged sacred sites. As a result, two separate human rights complaints are outstanding in Australian courts.

Campaigners have called on the British and Scottish governments to halt the shipment while there is a risk that it will end up dumped on Aboriginal land without the consent of the Traditional Owners. However, the British government said the shipment “will comply with all relevant international laws” and the eventual destination of the waste is “a matter for the Australian authorities”. The British Environment Agency has so far failed to respond to requests to halt the shipment of waste from Sellafield.

The Scottish government has also failed to act to stop the shipment, despite expert advice it commissioned, which states that the Scottish Environment Protection Agency and, ultimately, Scottish ministers could refuse to authorise the shipment on human rights grounds.

Britain’s plans to celebrate 50 years of at-sea nukes erases the experience of Indigenous people affected by nuclear weapons testing. Those experiences should be front and centre in any discussion about nuclear weapons, as ICAN recognised.

Instead of celebrating, we should be looking at ways to redress the past and prevent future harm. Britain should apologise for its nuclear weapons testing and pay adequate compensation to those affected. The shipment of nuclear waste from Sellafield should be stopped.

But there is only one way we can prevent more lives being destroyed by nuclear weapons and that is by eliminating them altogether. https://www.greenleft.org.au/content/trident-celebrations-ignore-aboriginal-victims-british-nuclear-weapons-testing

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April 27, 2019 - Posted by | Federal nuclear waste dump, South Australia

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