Australian news, and some related international items

Alarm on nuclear waste transport

Clare Peddie, Sunday Mail 31 July 2022, Rural 1st Edition p.22

A DECISION to exclude the risks of shipping and trucking intermediate-level radioactive waste from the environmental impact assessment of the planned Kimba nuclear waste dump has riled MPs, experts and Whyalla locals.

Independent environment campaigner and consultant David Noonan said Whyalla was the only port in the region with the infrastructure to take the 110-tonne casks the waste would be shipped in.

Mr Noonan wrote to the federal government in June demanding an explanation for excluding shipping and transport of ‘waste residues from reprocessing spent research reactor fuel’ from the EIS.

‘It is nonsensical and contrary to the public interest,’ he said. ‘It is just not credible to claim a later separate referral and assessment can somehow cover (it) … after the dump has been pushed through.’

Environment Department assistant secretary Kylie Calhoun said separating the transport issue would result in a ‘better-informed assessment of (it) at a future point in time.’

South Australian Greens senator Barbara Pocock said that was an ‘unacceptable’ position.

State Giles MP Eddie Hughes called for a ‘round-table dialogue about the responsible long-term disposal of our domestic long-lived intermediate waste, not moving it from one interim site to another’, given it ultimately required ‘deep geological disposal’.

Nuclear industry expert and author Ian Lowe, an adjunct professor at Flinders University, said the ‘serious’ transport risks deserved proper scrutiny and consultation.

Whyalla resident Andrew Williams has raised his concerns with the council.

Mr Williams said he firmly believed the transport routes should be publicly disclosed and subject to extensive consultation.


July 31, 2022 - Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Federal nuclear waste dump

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