Australian news, and some related international items

Change in Resource Minister Keith Pitt’s strategy: what’s next for his Kimba nuclear dump project?

On Tuesday 15th June, Resources Minister Keith Pitt is introducing a revision to the the National Radioactive Waste Management Amendment (Site Specification, Community Fund and Other Measures) Bill 2020.

The purpose of the original Bill was to make sure that a site near Kimba, South Australia, would become the dump for nuclear waste from ANSTO’s nuclear reactor in Sydney. AND that there could not be any court action taken against it. That site would be ”set in stone”

Mr Pitt has chickened out a bit, seeing that the Senate was likely to reject that Bill. Hence the change – this new amendment The amendment restores the three shortlisted South Australian sites (Lyndhurst, Napandee, and Wallerberdina) as being open for consideration. (This is despite Wallerberdina (the Flinders Ranges site) having been ruled out of consideration in December 2019 by former Minister Canavan. )

”The Bill No longer specifies a site” – listed in supplementary explanatory memorandum

‘New section 34A ensures that the payment of the Community Fund is linked to a site declaration, rather than to a site specified in legislation” This would appear to cast some doubt on the ambitions of the Kimba District Council etc?

How does this amendment affect the chances of the Bill being passed in the Senate?

Well, Federal Labor being traditionally wishy washy on nuclear issues, this change might be enough to win the support of Labor, and thefore be passed.

Once the Bill is passed, what then?

Minister Pitt can then exercise his power to formally declare the site at Napandee, Kimba, as the site for the radioactive waste facility.

What then?

Well, various possibilities.

Concerned citizens in the the local Kimba community could seek some government grant to pay for their own independent assessment and review .

The plan still requires, and might not qualify for, a licence from ARPANSA, to ensure that the site meets the requirements, geological etc, for interim storage of nuclear wastes, and more permanent storage of low level radioactive wastes.

The Barngarla people, and perhaps others, will file a legal challenge to the site selection.

June 14, 2021 - Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Federal nuclear waste dump, politics

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