Australian news, and some related international items

The status of two current federal processes related to radioactive waste and the Kimba plan

(i)                  In the latest federal budget around $60 million was allocated to ANSTO explicitly to upgrade their storage capacity for ILW. This approach fully aligns with the civil society call for ILW waste to be kept in extended interim storage at Lucas Heights prior to a final decision on future management options. This allocation is the focus of a current review by parliament’s Public Works Committee (see: ). There is no fixed reporting date but the direction to the Committee is to report “as expeditiously as possible”. The Committee is likely to hold at least one public hearing and to approve the planned expenditure and works will advance.

The Australian Consewrvation Foundation will be calling for this – and any future government – to use the breathing space provided by this extra capacity as the game changing circuit breaker in the waste debate.

(ii)                         ANSTO have recently made an EPBC Act referral around its plan to bring reprocessed spent nuclear fuel waste back from the UK to Lucas Heights: Referral: EPBC 2021/8998 – Return of Australian Intermediate Level Radioactive Waste from the UK, NSW

This ILW waste would travel by road, rail and ship from the Sellafield nuclear plant in Cumbria in a purpose built 7m long, 3m high transport and storage container. The shipment would take place between December 2021 and July 2022. ACF’s view is that this material should be stored at ANSTO pending a final management option – it should not be double-handled and moved to Kimba in the absence of an agreed further plan.

August 24, 2021 - Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Federal nuclear waste dump

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