Antinuclear

Australian news, and some related international items

Submission: Conservation Council of South Australia supports ANSTO’s proposal for a new Intermediate Level Solid Waste Storage Facility at Lucas Heights

ANSTO has highlighted the low technical risk, low comparative cost, achievable schedule, and low
organisational impact of adopting this option
.

the Conservation Council SA recommends that the Committee support the ANSTO proposal for a new and modern facility within the waste precinct of ANSTO’s 70-hectare Lucas Heights site whilst the Federal Government undertakes a comprehensive examination of more appropriate long-term management options that generate genuine broad community consent

Craig Wilkins, Conservation Council of South Australia  Dear Standing Committee
RE: Submission – ANSTO Intermediate Level Solid Waste Storage Facility Lucas Heights, NSW Inquiry
30 July 21,
Thank you for the opportunity to provide a submission to the Committee’s consideration of an
extension to the intermediate level solid waste (ILSW) storage facility at the Australian Nuclear Science
and Technology Organisation (ANSTO) Lucas Heights site.


The Conservation Council SA is an independent, non-profit and strictly non-party political organisation
representing around 60 of South Australia’s environment and conservation organisations and their
90,000 members.

The Conservation Council SA recognises that a durable solution to the storage of Australia’s expanding
ILSW is necessary to allow programs such as Australia’s nuclear medicine production to continue.
Australia has a clear responsibility to safely and securely manage radioactive waste.

As indicated in their submission to the inquiry, ANSTO possesses expertise and experience in storing
ISLW, as “ANSTO currently stores over 496 cubic metres of ILW from legacy activities, and generates
an additional five cubic metres per annum… [which] will increase to approximately fourteen cubic
metres per annum upon the commencement of operations of the new ‘Synroc’ waste treatment
facility.”


Federal Government attempts at securing community consent for a larger, more permanent ILSW site
in South Australia near either Hawker and Kimba have led to widespread community concern across
South Australia, and clear public opposition from Barngarla Traditional Owners. It has created deeply
divided and polarised communities in Kimba where consideration of an ISLW site has progressed much
further than at Hawker.

The Federal Government has promised not to impose a facility on an unwilling community.

Whilst a Government may be entitled to change their mind, imposing a ILSW facility upon a divided
community is a recipe for ongoing problems and community grievance. The well-documented longterm
environmental risks of the Kimba or Hawker proposals, including the double-handling required
for transport of the ILSW to such sites, are also of particular concern to the Conservation Council SA
and its membership.

It is for these reasons that the Conservation Council SA strongly supports ANSTO’s preferred option of
a new and modern facility within the waste precinct of ANSTO’s 70-hectare Lucas Heights site. ANSTO
has highlighted the low technical risk, low comparative cost, achievable schedule, and low
organisational impact of adopting this option.

Aside from extending Australia’s ILSW storage solution “by at least 10 years to 2037”1, adopting this
option will create a critically useful circuit breaker to the current tensions created during the Federal
Government’s recent pursuit of the ‘Kimba solution’ – a ‘solution’ that would need to be imposed by
the Government upon a divided and insufficiently supportive rural South Australian community, as
well as the broader, and widely unsupportive South Australian community.

In conclusion, the Conservation Council SA recommends that the Committee support the ANSTO
proposal for a new and modern facility within the waste precinct of ANSTO’s 70-hectare Lucas Heights
site whilst the Federal Government undertakes a comprehensive examination of more appropriate
long-term management options that generate genuine broad community consent  .

August 3, 2021 - Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Federal nuclear waste dump

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