Australian news, and some related international items

Napandee is geologically and geophysically unsuitable for Australia’s nuclear waste dump

This is an extract from  Peter Remta  – submission to Senate Committee on National Radioactive Waste Management Amendment (Site Specification, Community Fund and Other Measures) Bill 2020   [Provisions] Submission 65


Napandee near Kimba in South Australia is the site chosen by the government for its national radioactive waste management facility which would be given legislative effect by the enactment of the Bill.

Unlike what was stated by the responsible minister Napandee is not a locality or community but simply the name of the farm part of which will be acquired by the government by purchase to host the facility. Again contrary to what the minister has said there is no community at Napandee supporting the government’s proposals other than the resident owners of the farm whose opinion must be discounted because of their financial interest.

The Napandee site is both geologically and geophysically unsuitable for hosting the facility.

This is confirmed by many experts locally and overseas who are surprised at thechoice of Napandee since it is a most inappropriate ground and soil mineral structure for the construction and the operations of the waste facility.
Because of the soil and ground conditions it would be extremely difficult to properly clean up the area in the event of any escape of waste and would probably leave the ground contaminated for many decades.

The main reasons for its unsuitability are that the Napandee site is on sands of unconsolidated sediments to a depth of some 30 metres in an area of known seismic volatility with several significant earthquakes having been recorded in the past fifty years.

Kimba (and this includes the Napandee farm which is located some 25 kms by road west of the Kimba township) is a prime agricultural area renowned for its cereal crop growing and livestock pastures and is a totally inappropriate and unsuitable location for the facility.

Again based on well regarded and authoritative expert opinion the establishment of the facility at Kimba will be greatly detrimental to its agricultural and farming industry from which the region may never recover.

The financial and economic loss within the agricultural industry for the Kimba region will be incapable of being replaced by any economic benefits claimed by the government to be gained from the waste facility.

The government has attempted to show that agriculture and nuclear waste management can coexist in a satisfactory manner as is the case with the Champagne district of France.

However that situation together with many others throughout Europe has completely changed with significant opposition – and even violent demonstrations – against the storage of nuclear material in their regional localities.

The facility to be constructed at Napandee is based on the model of the El Cabril waste repository in the Córdoba province of Spain.

However the first major difference between the two is that Napandee is in prime agricultural land with many neighbouring and well established farms while El Cabril is  in relatively isolated foothills country and until some years ago was a uranium mine  which immediately provided a remote and generally uninhabited environment and  barrier for that waste facility.

The second is that El Cabril is a very large and highly technical installation with its attendant complexities and costs and consequently is not really an ideal reference example for a very scaled down version for Napandee.

In any case El Cabril despite being regarded as one of the best above ground repositories in the world has recently experienced some water problems which has led the Australian government to look for other possible models for the Napandee facility but no details of this have been publicly released.

In reality El Cabril was probably a bad model to choose for the government’s facility in the first place………..”

May 24, 2020 - Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Federal nuclear waste dump

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: