Australian news, and some related international items

Dave Sweeney – Australia needs a genuine discussion about nuclear waste

(This is an extract from a basically pro-nuclear article on AAP , 28 Dec 21, )”………..Australian Conservation Foundation campaigner Dave Sweeney accepts there is a need for final solution for all the radioactive waste the nation produces, but he has grave concerns about the current approach.

He says the federal government recently handed ANSTO tens of millions of dollars to expand storage options at Lucas Heights and there’s no imperative to relocate waste from there any time soon.

He particularly objects to what he calls the unnecessary double handling of the worst nuclear waste Australia has.

“The plan is that a future federal government, sometime in the next 100 years, would relocate this material for deep burial at another currently undecided location via an undisclosed and unfunded process,” he says.

He points to evidence given to a parliamentary committee last year by Carl-Magnus Larsson, CEO of Australia’s nuclear regulator.

When asked why the majority of Australia’s waste stored at Lucas Heights could not simply stay there, Dr Larsson replied: “There is no such thing as indefinite storage. That equals disposal.”

“Waste can be safely stored at Lucas Heights for decades to come, but we need to talk long-term and even beyond the existence of ANSTO and the current facilities at ANSTO.”

Mr Sweeney says there’s never been a discussion in Australia that starts by asking “what’s the best way to manage this material, or what is the full scope of ways that we could mange this material and which do we think is the least worst”.

“We’ve heard that it can stay at Lucas Heights for decades to come. How about we use one of those decades to do what we’ve never done.”

Earlier this week, traditional owners of the Napandee site launched Federal Court action to try to stop the waste facility from proceeding.

The Barngarla Determination Aboriginal Corporation has accused the government of excluding traditional owners from a community ballot that ultimately supported the facility.

December 28, 2021 - Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Federal nuclear waste dump

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