Australian news, and some related international items

Refuting the nonsense by Sam Usher of the Australian Radioactive Waste Agency in favour of dumping nuclear waste at Kimba, South Australia

Mr Sam Usher

Chief Executive Officer

Australian Radioactive Waste Agency 

Dear Mr Usher

I am amazed at the rather unconvincing and inaccurate comments bordering to some extent on outright silliness in your letter in the Sunday Mail of 14 August 2022 regarding the safety of the proposed nuclear waste facility at Kimba 

While  you claim that it will be a highly engineered and purpose-built facility the simple fact remains that it will struggle to get the necessary licences for its construction and operations since it fails to meet the basic prescriptions of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)

To begin with the location chosen for the facility is completely unsuitable as it is in the heart of prime agricultural land which will undoubtedly have a devastating economic and social effect on the region 

What is more the whole environmental and geophysical setting of the Kimba region is completely inappropriate for the facility adding to the unsafe nature of the proposal

This situation will only be exacerbated by using an above the ground structure particularly with regard to the intermediate level waste which even for temporary storage should be geologically buried as the safest possible option 

Considering that you speak of our country’s national interest most of your letter is confusing in its meaningless management speak and fails to provide any proper and accurate information mainly for the local community but generally for the Australian  population 

Your mention of the regulatory aspects of the nuclear industry in Australia is simply unconvincing when despite numerous requests the federal government has failed to give the Kimba community the technical and monetary assistance so that it can have its own independent assessment of the government’s proposals 

Perhaps the most blatant failings by the federal government are that it has never developed a progressive safety case for the local community which is considered an undisputed necessity by international requirements and best practices and the persistent refusal to provide the community with the inventories of the radionuclides for the intermediate level waste intended to be stored at Kimba 

You should in your capacity be well aware that the safety case must be started when a particular location is first considered for any form of nuclear installation and must fully involve the local community at the outset on a continuing basis so that it is kept properly informed of all aspects of the installation’s development 

However the conduct and actions by the federal government in all its capacities including the so-called independent regulator in ARPANSA with regard to establishing the nuclear waste facility at Kimba are nothing short of disingenuity  tantamount to a deprivation of human rights 

Your letter stemmed from the fact that your Agency did not include any information on the transport of nuclear waste to and from Kimba in its environmental referral and study for the facility 

Unless you mean that there is radioactivity in everything on this planet then your claim that nuclear or radioactive material has been transported safely around Australia for sixty years is simply wrong  –  perhaps you should tell me where most radioactive material is currently being transported within Australia excluding the uranium mines and I will then give you my answer

If your comments are not enough I understand from a relatively reliable source that you are now pushing the federal government to refuse a visit by the UNHCR special rapporteur mandated for nuclear waste and provide him with any pertinent information

I write of course with the knowledge and experience of the Azark Project facility at Leonora which in all respects including its relationships with and support by leading international experts on nuclear waste and the design and planning of the facility which is regarded as probably the best in the world and is light years ahead of the imprecise and grossly unacceptable efforts by the federal government and its various entities including your yet to be constituted agency 

All I need to say is that you and your bureaucratic colleagues should stop playing your childish games clothed in sheer ignorance for Kimba – and in this I include ARPANSA – before you recklessly plunge its region into some nuclear disaster which will be completely beyond your competence and control

Yours sincerely 

PETER  REMTA 23 August 2022

Letter from Sam Usher Letter to the Editor Sunday Mail August 14th 2022

Nuclear Safety

I write in relation to “Alarm on nuclear waste transport” (Sunday Mail July 31st).

The National Radioactive Waste Management Facility will be highly engineered and purpose built, consistent with international best practice and Australia’s national interest.

It will safely and securely manage Australia’s radioactive waste, and protect heritage and environment during construction and operation.

There is no one application you can make to site, construct and operate the NRWMF in Australia.

Multiple applications are expected and have been prepared for across many years.

In line with this, there is an environmental application which relates to the construction, operations, decommissioning and closure stages.

The safe packaging for transport, and the routes will be assessed.

Subject to the highest of regulatory and safety standards, radioactive material has been safely transported around Australia and the world for about 60 years. The nuclear industry is, quite rightly, one of the most regulated in Australia, and we recognise and appreciate the role of regulators.

SAM USHER, Australian Radioactive Waste Agency  chief executive officer 


August 25, 2022 - Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Federal nuclear waste dump

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