Australian news, and some related international items

‘Send it to Woomera’: Premier McGowan cold on nuclear waste being stored in Western Australia

SMH, Hamish Hastie, With Paul Sakkal. March 16, 2023

Western Australia has nominated defence force land in the Woomera prohibited area in South Australia as the best location to store dangerous radioactive waste from Australia’s nuclear submarines.

The premier’s comments add to the growing headache the Albanese government faces over what to do with the spent nuclear reactors from the AUKUS deal submarines once the vessels begin producing them from the mid-2050s.

On Wednesday the leaders of Victoria, Queensland and South Australia all signalled they did not want a nuclear waste facility in their state.

When asked whether he would be happy with a nuclear waste facility set up in WA after a press conference alongside Defence Minister Richard Marles in Perth on Thursday McGowan responded: “no”.

Woomera is a large swath of defence land in the north west of South Australia used as a long-range weapons testing area, including for nuclear weapons, after the second world war.

……………………………. Marles said the government would begin a process to pick a site for the waste within the year and revealed he had “a chat” with McGowan about the issue. But he said it was still early days.

…………… On Wednesday South Australian Premier Peter Malinauskas told ABC Radio the waste should be sorted somewhere safe but that didn’t mean it had to be in South Australia……………………

A spokeswoman for Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said under no circumstances would the state become a dumping ground for nuclear waste.

WA has a nuclear waste dumping facility in the Goldfields that stores waste with low-level radioactivity including discarded medical imaging machines.

McGowan said this low-level waste was completely different to the radioactivity from spent nuclear reactors from submarines.


March 17, 2023 - Posted by | wastes, Western Australia

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