Australian news, and some related international items

Geraldine Gillen: Napandee nuclear waste dump -illegal, damaging to agriculture’s image, unwanted, unnecessary


Re: Flawed Federal process contrary to Nuclear Safety Committee advice and untenable interim nuclear waste storage compromises Safety & Security and Rights & Interests in SA   Geraldine Gillen  Submission No. 18   to National Radioactive Waste Management Amendment (Site Specification, Community Fund and Other Measures) Bill 2020 .

I contend that the Construction of a nuclear waste dump in SA at Kimba is currently illegal under SA Law passed by the State Liberal Government in 2000. We also had a Citizen’s Jury which said “NO”.

The Bill is deeply flawed on many fronts and should be rejected. It specifically targets SA for a national nuclear waste “facility” – a repository for low-level waste and an above-ground ‘interim’ (indefinite) store for long-lived intermediate-level waste including nuclear reactor fuel waste. At the same time the Federal Government is making no effort to find an alternative permanent site for this waste.

Why is the Federal Government not using its own land for this purpose? Why has it looked to private land? What is the real motive?

Radioactive waste is not only dangerous for hundreds of thousands of years, but its storage can never be 100% foolproof. We only have to look at the catastrophic results of “accidents” in Chernobyl and Fukishima to know that their scientific assessment of safety did not stand up. Exposure to radiation can cause serious health problems –
including cancer, cardiovascular disease, emphysema and cataracts – and if it enters the soil can contaminate our food and water.
Imagine what an accident could do to Eyre Peninsula’s “clean, green image”! It is ridiculous to even think of putting a nuclear waste dump in the middle of prime farming land. The risks are too great, economically and health wise. Currently the Kimba area has a billion-dollar export food production industry. Where is the Independent professional analysis of the proposed Nuclear Waste facility’s impact on this important agricultural industry which employs far more people than a Waste dump ever will? – Yet another failing.
I have been following the Nuclear story for over 40 years. I am tired of the old arguments that have become urban myths that we need this dump or we won’t be able to use nuclear medicine. It is misleading and medical science does not back up this argument. “The majority of isotopes used for medical tests are very short-lived.” Dr Margaret Beavis Sydney Morning Herald 2/12/15.
The “broad support” claimed to have support for the location of the facility of Napandee was set up by the Government to give a skewed result. The Barngarla people who have Native Title over the land have not been respected or consulted. Their efforts before the court have failed. Yet again showing that this Government
continues to disempower and dispossess the Barngarla Traditional Owners who are unanimous in their opposition to the proposed nuclear waste facility. I have stood with them and the Kimba community who are opposed to this dump on the steps of SA Parliament House and this year at Kimba. I will continue to do so.

Besides the Barngarla people, many people in the Kimba community were unable to vote. People who originally were told they were neighbours, suddenly were not because a road between their property and another deemed them to be ineligible. People holding property who were just outside the area, did not get a vote. The process of how was eligible for voting needs to be explored by this Committee. Statistic have been misused both by the Government and then by the media.

It is not only Kimba locals who ought to have had a say in this important decision. It is an important issue for All Australians particularly all South Australians. I live in Whyalla, 142 km from Kimba. So, in country mileage, that is just down the road. Whyalla has a port and a rail link. We have not been informed, but it is insinuated that we could be part of this irrational nuclear storage system. All stakeholders who are within the transport corridors where this waste is intended to be transported, and that could include further down Eyre Peninsula, need to be consulted before this Bill before Parliament is passed.
It is also unnecessary to build a nuclear waste dump at Nanapandee. Most of the reactor waste is now produced and stored at Lucas Heights and ANSTO has acknowledged it can manage it on-site for decades. What is the real reason for this? Australia is in a  major medical and economic crisis with the corona virus. This will lead to a re-set of
how we plan and manage our land, resources and social responsibilities in the future.
Now is the time to scrap this Bill. more

April 25, 2020 - Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Federal nuclear waste dump

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