Australian news, and some related international items

Bob Phelps’ submission: There is no valid case for the planned national nuclear waste facility at Kimba

Bob Phelps, 9 Apr, 20 The federal government’s proposed changes to the National Radioactive Waste Management Act are unfair, undemocratic and dangerous.

There is no valid case on safety or security grounds for the planned national nuclear waste facility at Kimba. The necessary infrastructure, resources and expertise for nuclear operations and waste management are all located at Lucas Heights and transferring the waste component of the system to a remote location at Kimba is a recipe for disaster in the medium and long term – up to 10,000 years from now, in the case of intermediate waste. Synroc failed and there is no credible alternative disposal proposal.

The traditional owners of the land were also disrespected and excluded from the purportedly public and democratic approval process. All citizens of Australia have a stake in the successful resolution of our national nuclear waste problems yet we were not consulted either.

My objections to the proposed Bill and its proposed changes to the Act specifically  include that it would:

o compromise judicial review of the government’s site selection plans currently available
o enable unfair and undemocratic ‘consultations’ that reduce the rights and options of Barngarla Traditional Owners’ and other directly impacted parties
o render key environmental, cultural and heritage protection laws irrelevant to the decisions
o make no clear or compelling case for transferring long-lived intermediate level waste (ILW) from secure to insecure storage, at substantial additional public expense
o provide far less certainty about the final fate and long-term management of Australia’s radioactive waste
o be inconsistent with international best practice for containment, siting, transport, and temporary storage of radioactive wastes
o ignores long-standing South Australian laws that prohibit a federal radioactive waste facility

Nuclear waste containment continues to fail globally and there are no safe, secure or permanent repositories for nuclear waste anywhere. There is no justification at all for taking such wastes out of Lucas Heights, where they continue to be produced. It is also the best repository for lower level created in hospitals and other facilities nationally.

The Kimba nuclear waste dump and temporary storage, with no future plan, is a short term and fatally flawed proposal that does not serve the public interest.

I ask the Committee to reject the proposed changes to the current Act and to recommend a complete review of all nuclear waste and related operations, to best achieve robust and sustainable radioactive waste management for Australia, for the long-term future.

April 9, 2020 - Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Federal nuclear waste dump

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