Australian news, and some related international items

Spinbusting the extraordinarily inept nuclear waste media release from 3 Australian MPs.

 27 July 20, On 20th July, MPs Keith Pitt, Rowan Ramsey and Dan van Holst Pellekaan issued a joint media release, which announced the establishment of a new agency in Adelaide to manage Australia’s nuclear waste. The agency was to start that same day (even though they would be advertising for staff and a CEO) .   It was obviously written in a hurry, and raised amazement among those who follow the ongoing drama of the Australian government’s attempt to impose a nuclear waste dump on a rural region.  Amazement at the questions that remain unanswered.

Peter Remta critiques the statement,  and raises some of those embarrassing questions:

The joint media release is inconsistent within itself and with other previous reports and is surely an embarrassment to the two ministers while confirming the long-held partiality of the local member , Rowan Ramsey.

It is badly composed with meaningless statements and lacks any precise reasons and explanations for what should be the creation of a major and nationally important organisation

The establishment by other countries of entities with similar objectives (even though it is hard to ascertain what they are in the case of this new Australian agency) has invariably involved lengthy and detailed planning including the views and suggestions of various members of the community together with commercial interests and other government agencies.

A most pertinent example is the Reset Initiative of the United States of America as to the management of its nuclear waste which was undertaken by the well known Stanford and George Washington Universities which are regarded as world leaders in that field.

The recommendations under the Initiative should have been followed in Australia as they are imperative for the proper and safe management of nuclear waste and it is surprising that none of the submissions or evidence by ANSTO and ARPANSA and also by the Department of Industry Science Energy and Resources made any mentioned of this well-known and internationally recognised study.

It is hoped that ANSTO will not be relying on this rather meaningless and inconsistent release as part of its submission requirements for ARPANSA which in turn should immediately as the regulatory and licensing authority require a full explanation of the reasons behind the release.

ARPANSA must not on this occasion hide behind its licensing independence in refraining from strong comment as the release could be viewed to be an attempt to usurp its status and functions which are recognised internationally,

Announcing this agency before the government has final parliamentary approval smacks of arrogantly taking both
the Senate and ARPANSA for granted

It also shows a cavalier attitude to proper governing to be committing taxpayers’ money before all approvals are in

Even with the vagueness of the release the government should be seriously considering and examining the Azark
Project facility at Leonora which besides being considered as one of the best in the world would overcome or avoid
many of the problems inherent with the Napandee proposal It would also be a major financial saving for the government

Why has there not been any previous mention of this new agency?

How will it manage Australia’s radioactive waste?

How will it bring together this responsibility and expertise since it seems currently to be lacking the expertise and from past experience the responsibility?

“The Australian Radioactive Waste Agency (ARWA) will be based in Adelaide and be responsible for all functions of the
National Radioactive Waste Management Facility (the Facility), including engagement with the Kimba community.”

Why will it be located in Adelaide which has no history of competence or knowledge in this area despite the Scarce
Royal Commission and uranium mining in South Australia ?

How will it engage with the Kimba community and in what respect since it seems that the battle lines are well and truly
drawn in a seriously divided community.

Will it be replacing ANSTO as the operator of the facility at Napandee?

How will the new agency develop Australia’s radioactive waste management solutions and capabilities as neither the
government nor ANSTO has any realistic knowledge in this area?

Is not this another instance of rushed planning without a proper understanding and consideration of the factors
including the regulatory regime?

Will it not be an unnecessary duplication of the existing functions of ANSTO?

Is the agency going to assume or usurp some of the functions of ARPANSA in the regulatory context?

How will the agency’s location in Adelaide enhance the operations at Napandee as it was understood that this had
already been established through prior planning?

July 27, 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 )

Facebook photo

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

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: