Australian news, and some related international items

ABC Radio interview focusd on Kimba nuclear waste dump plan

Evenings With Peter Goers  ABC radio pm ABC Radio South Australia  30 July

Peter Goer first interviewed Keith Pitt, Minister for Resources.    Pitt was confident about the Kimba nuclear waste dump plan.  He stressed that it is essential for Australia’s medical care.  He claimed strong community support for the plan, and said that it “meets all the technical requirements”. ” My advice is that the temporary waste can’t stay at Lucas Heights.”  “The Kimba facility is a critical national infrastructure”  “Necessary for people who receive cancer care”.

Peter Goer :  “Strange that you have approved this new Adelaide agency whiled the matter still being discussed in the Senate.

Keith Pitt:  “It will take time to put together the necessary team. It will take overseas and domestic research”.

Goer:   “Have you read all the submissions to the Senate Inquiry?

Pitt avoided the question, and returned to the medical theme –  “2 out of 3 of every Australian  will utilise that type of technology, will need the Lucas Heights reactor”

 Goer:  It’s the temporary storage of ILW  [Intermediate Level Waste] that worries people.

Pitt: ” Very small amounts.  If we accept that we want to use nuclear medicine, then we must manage the by-product”


Peter Goer then interviewed Eddie  Hughes, Labor federal member from South Australia

Hughes. We’ve had 3 separate Ministers. Sites that were nominated were all in the seat of Grey.  First Rowan Ramsey offered his land – conflict of interest? Then another Liberal politician offered his land, did not consult local community, nor Aboriginal groups.

Aboriginal community- Barngarla not eligible to vote.They conducted their own vote, unanimoously against.

Not essential for a  nuclear waste facility to be at this location.  Medical waste doesn’t need to be transported to a national facility.

Goers.    ILW [Intermediate Level Wastes) we are leaving that problem to our grandchildren.

Hughes. The ILW.  This process should have been discussed broadly, including Aboriginal community.

Senate Inquiry going on,, but govt is pushing ahead with this plan, Kimba is not necessarily the solution

Calls. Bob from mid-north  said that the vast majority of medical waste is very short-lived. There are also nuclear materials used in industry, universities. At Woomera there are 44 gallon drums rotting, materials transported from Fishermens Bends. Legacy waste from the cold war. Ws don’t know what is in it.

Goers – concern that this might led to importing nuclear waste.

Hughes – I don’t imagine this. Facility at Kimba is above ground, not suitable for deep geological disposal.

Jay Weatherill’s government gave  space for Aboriginal people, gave power of veto. In the present case Barngarla people have been treated with contempt.

Goers. Kimba known as a nice little town. Will become known as the “dump town’

Hughes. I understand that people see the business  activity. But I don’t think that 45 jobs will eventuate.  Some overseas dumps have much smaller number of workers.

Goer. Rural communities are shrinking. Has Kimba been bribed?

Hughes. A lot of money has been put on the table for facilities – a big effort to get people onside. Sad that the only way a town can get the needed services is to offer itself for a nuclear dump.   Federal govt hasn’t addressed the far more important issue of shortage of doctors across regional South Australia.    Medical treatment will continue whether or not the dump goes ahead

Goers. Rowan Ramsey has the view that the local people are the best educated about this. Keith Pitt has a similar view. Seems to be a distrust of anyone who’s not local to Kimba.

Hughes. This is a South Australian issue. Very arrogant to say that only local people can have an opinion.  Liberal govt ruled it out, and that legislation still stands.  We need to go back and look at this whole process.  Both those in favour or against this plan agreed that we need to deal  with radioactive wastes in a responsible way.

Many texts received.  –  Reconciliation with Aboriginals – only lip service.  Medicalisotopes can be made with cyclotrons – nuclear reactor not necessary. ANSTO could have promoted synchrotons  producing isotopes for Australian use.- instead opted for building an export business from Lucas Hreights nuclear reactor.


August 1, 2020 - Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Federal nuclear waste dump

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