Australian news, and some related international items

Nuclear waste returning from UK to Australia

Dealing safely with nuclear waste, THE AUSTRALIAN, DECEMBER 30, 2021,Australia’s lack of a long-term storage plan for nuclear waste is a serious gap the Morrison government needs to address. The issue has been highlighted by the return from Britain in coming months of a two-tonne shipment of nuclear waste generated in Australia. The nation is committed to receiving the waste after 114 spent fuel rods from the Australian Nuclear Science and Tech­nology Organisation were sent to Scotland to be reprocessed in 1996. It will be the second shipment of intermediate-level nuclear waste returned to the country in recent years under tight security. In the absence of a permanent secure storage facility, the waste will be stored temporarily at ANSTO facilities at Lucas Heights in Sydney’s south.

Preparations for the shipment have been in train for years, with all safeguards to be implemented. The waste is being ­returned in a more condensed form than what was originally sent to Scotland. It has been vitrified in four glass containers, then encased in an outer container made of specialised steel. Details of its movement, and the timing, will be kept secret. ANSTO previously received intermediate-level nuclear waste in 2015 when 25 tonnes of similar-level nuclear waste were returned from France. Australia can expect to have to receive further shipments of returned waste every six or seven years……..

As an alternative to Lucas Heights, a temporary storage facility for intermediate waste is being considered for a site near the town of Kimba in South Australia. But the proposal is being contested, with a judicial review requested by the traditional landowners.

December 31, 2021 - Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, wastes

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