Australian news, and some related international items

South Australian Unions stand with Traditional Owners in rejecting nuclear waste dump

South Australian unions have unanimously supported a motion standing with Traditional Owners to reject a proposed nuclear waste dump in Kimba on the Eyre peninsula and have called on the Marshall Government to do the same.

SA Unions Secretary Dale Beasley said the that South Australian labour movement stood shoulder to shoulder with the Barngarla Traditional Owners in their opposition to the Federal Government proposal to build a nuclear waste dump on the Eyre Peninsula.

“South Australian unions are completely united in their support of the Barngarla Traditional Owners and their opposition to the proposed nuclear waste site at Kimba.

“It is simply extraordinary that the Federal Government would seek to impose a nuclear waste dump on South Australia with inadequate consultation, long term planning and against the wishes of Traditional Owners.

“What’s even more astonishing is Steven Marshall’s abject failure to stand up to Canberra, to stand up for the best interests of South Australians and publicly oppose this nuclear waste dump in South Australia.

When asked about the proposal to build a nuclear waste dump in South Australia Mr. Marshall was quoted in 2020 as saying “finally, a decision has been made and we now get on with it.”

“We have in South Australia a shameful legacy of imposing the impact of nuclear technology on aboriginal communities. Decades after the end of British nuclear tests around Maralinga, radioactive particles containing plutonium and uranium still contaminate the landscape.[i] Given that history, we would have expected Steven Marshall to stand up for the Barngarla Traditional Owners.

This is not the first time Steven Marshall has failed South Australian Aboriginal people. In 2018 he remarkably closed off treaty negotiations with Aboriginal groups, saying he had “other priorities”, having described the process as a “cruel hoax.”

“Aside from being fiercely opposed by the Barngarla Traditional Owners, there are very real concerns around the safety and security of the nuclear waste and its transport 1,700km across Australia to be stored at Kimba, SA.

“The potential and associated risks attached to the transportation and storage of nuclear waste are well documented, yet there has been an absence of consultation with the communities through which this waste will transit. This is an issue for all South Australians.

“The plan to store the nuclear waste, which must be isolated from the environment for a minimum of 10,000 years, will see serious consequences for South Australians for many generations to come.

“South Australian unions join with the Traditional Owners and the South Australian Community in complete opposition to the dangerous proposal and call on the Marshall Government act in the best interests of our state and publicly state its opposition.”

March 15, 2022 Posted by | Federal nuclear waste dump, South Australia | Leave a comment

The Kimba nuclear waste dump was NEVER about the supply of nuclear medicine.

Kazzi Jai  Fight to Stop a nuclear waste dump in the Flinders Ranges 4 Mar 22,

Time is running out, but we’re not going away. Our community is committed to our part in providing surety of supply for nuclear medicine provision for the benefit of every Australian, who, on average, will use nuclear medicine at least once in their lifetime.

The irony that neither federal nor state governments can provide our town and our community with base-level GP and emergency medical access is, quite frankly, unforgiveable and unacceptable to our community…..”* Mayor Dean Johnson opening remarks…

Wow!! So the “promises” are disappearing now Mayor Johnson??

Here’s a heads up – The Nuclear Waste Dump was NEVER about surety of supple of nuclear medicine!!!

Matt Canavan said so…ANSTO said so….DIIS said so – NEVER ABOUT SURETY OF NUCLEAR MEDICINE!

*Transcript excerpt from “General practitioner and related primary health services to outer metropolitan, rural and regional Australians” – Senate Inquiry Whyalla Session March 1st 2022

March 5, 2022 Posted by | Federal nuclear waste dump, South Australia | Leave a comment

Uranium miner BHP under criticism for guzzling precious artesian water, and for not keeping its word to Aboriginal native title holders

Environment campaigner and consultant David Noonan, who provided submissions to the Juukan Inquiry, is sceptical of the desalination plant announcement.

Mr Noonan says even if it was built, BHP could be taking GAB water until the end of the decade. He wants to hear a formal commitment about alternative water sources.

Why BHP is facing a minefield, CHRIS MITCHELL, Adelaide Now, 4 Mar 22,

AUSTRALIA’S biggest company and the world’s secondbiggest miner, BHP, may disappoint conservationists and Aboriginal native title holders who had hoped for commitments to reform of heritage issues and underground water use at its Olympic Dam mine before the March 19 state election BHP, the Big Australian, with market capitalisation of $230bn, paid the state government royalties of $136m last year. Its Olympic Dam project 560km north of Adelaide is South Australia’s largest mining venture and the world’s biggest uranium mine, a global top-four copper mine and producer of gold and lead. BHP is powerful in SA.

Premier Steven Marshall is Aboriginal Affairs Minister but it would be fair to say native title holders do not wield the sort of power in Adelaide that big miners do.

Yet BHP has flagged some changes to the way it operates that could reduce its own power over its own asset.

Under the 1982 Roxby Downs (Indenture Ratification) Act signed with former mine owner Western Mining, BHP, which bought the mine in 2005, has almost unprecedented powers over resources and water within its 12,000sq km Stuart Shelf exploration lease.

BHP has been criticised by conservation groups and Aboriginal interests in last year’s report into rival Rio Tinto’s destruction of Juukan Gorge in Western Australia. The report includes criticism from the Arabana tribe of the mine’s heavy reliance on water from the Great Artesian Basin (GAB), and particularly from the so-called “Mound Springs” Aboriginal heritage sites north of the mine.

On February 15, The Advertiser revealed BHP would back a new $15m study, partly funded by state and federal governments, into a Spencer Gulf desalination plant to pump water to SA’s northern mines. But BHP is still far short of publicly committing to end its use of GAB water.

Conservationists say BHP is trying to control the water agenda, to maintain its privileges under the Indenture Act. But some hope it will be pragmatic enough to cut water demand from the GAB if it eventually decides to proceed with its Oak Dam copper-gold-uranium mine 65km southeast of Olympic.

Asked last week if BHP was formally committed to ending GAB water use, a spokesman said: “We continuously monitor and publicly report our water draw under a program approved by the SA government.”

BHP is not just under pressure for environmental reasons.

It is in discussion with three native title groups about the Olympic Dam Agreement it settled in 2008 with the Kokatha, Barngarla and Kuyani.

Of these, only the Kokatha have been granted formal native title over parts of BHP’s Stuart Shelf.

BHP’s problem now is how to balance the very valuable 40-year-old legal rights it has under the indenture with rights found in a native title determination in favour of the Kokatha in 2014……….

The Kokatha fought a long, 18-year battle to win their native title in 2014. Kokatha directors say dealing with BHP on the ODA before and after their native title court win has been challenging.

At this point, they are not receiving mining royalties and are unhappy with employment opportunities for Kokatha people.

Michael Turner, a former Kokatha director and current adviser on the Kokatha Native Title Compensation Settlement and Kokatha Charitable trusts, says he has been dealing with BHP for much of his adult life.

At this point, they are not receiving mining royalties and are unhappy with employment opportunities for Kokatha people………

negotiations on BHP’s Olympic Dam Agreement had been disappointing.

“We have been calling for a review of the ODA for many years and it has constantly been deferred,” he said.

“They’re refusing to move forward. It would be great if BHP could keep to its word and respect the wishes of the Kokatha people and review the ODA for the benefit of generations to come.”…………….

The final report into the May 24, 2020 destruction by Australia’s second-biggest miner, Rio Tinto, of the Juukan Caves in Western Australia’s Pilbara was released in October. In it, Arabana chair Brenda Underwood says: “Unfortunately, our springs are disappearing. The cause … is water taken from the GAB by BHP’s mine at Roxby Downs.”

BHP and the state government believe the springs remain healthy but environmentalists fear a possible expansion to the Oak Dam could take daily GAB water use well beyond 50 million litres a day. BHP says it is averaging 34 million litres a day.

Environment campaigner and consultant David Noonan, who provided submissions to the Juukan Inquiry, is sceptical of the desalination plant announcement.

Mr Noonan says even if it was built, BHP could be taking GAB water until the end of the decade. He wants to hear a formal commitment about alternative water sources.

BHP’s Aboriginal engagement team is mindful expectations have changed across the industry since Juukan and BHP will need to be seen to be engaging seriously with traditional owners. Some believe an ODA negotiated before the Kokatha achieved native title should be written off and a new agreement established………………………………………


March 5, 2022 Posted by | aboriginal issues, environment, South Australia, uranium, water | Leave a comment

Nuclear Waste Dump Plan for Kimba – Craig Wilkins of Consrvation Council of South Australia

Monday 21st February 2022 on Peter Goers’ program ABC 891 with Conservation Council of South Australia CEO Craig Wilkins to discuss the Nuclear Waste Dump at Kimba.

Also presentation by Greg Bannon Flinders Local Action Group too, and others who contributed to the program. Interesting that Resources MinisterKeith Pitt, Sam Usher CEO · Australian Radioactive Waste Agency and MP Rowan Ramsey were no shows although they were invited to be involved!

The Conservation Council of South Australia has produced a new booklet on Nuclear waste – domestic Australian issues. Craig Wilkins was the prime author, though not the only author’

Transcript of interview. (basically accurate, but not absolutely word perfect)

CRAIG WILKINS: The book asks what is the best solution for Australia’s radioactive wastes. International best practice is to bury it deeply. That’s not the chosen option. Big difference between the low level waste and intermediate level waste.

PETER GOER. Kimba is very divided – hsad 300mm of rain.   We had calls from farmers asking what will happen if nuclear waste is buried there.

CRAIG WILKINS: Wallerberdina was rejected for a site because it was recognised as a flood plain area.

PETER GOER. Govts have seized on this idea and pushed through.  The benchmark of 65% community agreement was lowered as only 62% agreed.   What’s to stop us importing nuclear waste from overseas in the future?

CRAIG WILKINS This is what is called ”project creep”. The rules change over time. People are concerned about this, particularly the Bangarla who were given native title to this region 2015,  – this is one of the first true tests, about how seriously we consider that issue of native title. They did ask to be polled. but were deliberately excluded from the vote. They are fighting this legal battle now, in the Supreme Court. They say they weren’t consulted.

PETER GOER. you cite theUN declaration on the rights of indigenous peoples. tates should ensure that no storage of hazardous materials should be sited on indigenous land The former SA govt voted not to have a nuclear dump in SA. SA has not been consulted, only Kimba people have been consulted. Politicians have come on this show and mocked people who don’t live in Kimba, even though it’s a state issue, it’s a national issue surely.  This material is either to come by sea, or be trundled through 3 states to get here.

GREG BANNON of Flinders Action Group – This site is in the wrong place. It’s just not scientific.The Whole approach  has been to find a swilling community, and then try to make the facility  fit the geology there for a nuclear waste site. It’s just not scientific.    In the last month, Kimba has received record rain.  One of the IAEA guidelines state that a nuclear waste facility should not be sited where you’ve got cross country water flow, or subsoil water, – water table underneath. When the Industry Department had their sites examined by AECOM, they produced 3 reports –    the recent floods should be factored in.

Philippa.  phoned in – pointing out the success in Canada, marketing radioactive isotopes made not from a nuclear reactor, but from cyclotrons.  She mentions the risk of this dump becoming the thin end of the wedge – for importing other countries’ nuclear wastes.

Calls in, especially pointing out the risk to the Eyre Peninsula community   region’s clean reputation as an agricultural area.

PETER GOER. Also  this has divided Kimba. calls in – suggesting that Kimba has been bribed.  A struggling rural community – the promise of more and more money, and jobs. Also questions about how the promised jobs might not materialise –  larger waste facilities oversea employ fewer people than promised for this facility. Hard for people of Kimba to turn their backs on these ”rivers of gold”

CRAIG WILKINS It has been a disappointing process. The community there, like every other SA community, deserves a decent medical facility, decent services –  there’s been a package of support being offered, in return for them accepting this facility.- which contains investments by govt that should be standard for any community. That makes it a very challenging position for the Kimba people – to work out whether to accept it or not. There’s nothing more divisive than this whole question of nuclear facilities.  A previously very close-knit  community has had this bomb placed in the middle of  it and it has really divided them. It is a terrible shame.

PETER GOER.I do feel for the people of Kimba.  Soon Kimba is going to be known world-wide as the nuclear dump town, not the town that’s halfway across Australia, not the home of the big galah.  …..perhaps the butt of many jokes  Kimba. will be known for that one thing.

CRAIG WILKINS. Places associated with nuclear activity very soon get that name,  rather than being known as a        very successful agricultural region, rural town of the year fantastic people …

PETER GOER. Rowan Ramsey pointed out that the population of Kimbawas very knowledgeable.

CRAIG WILKINS. Queried this  – suggested that the truth was stretched.

Many calls in, mainly supporting the Conservation Council’s case 

CRAIG WILKINS responding to questions on waste disposal –   old mining sites not  necessarily a solution –   much research has to be done.

Kimba doesn’t have to accept this plan. It is not the solution, and is placing this community at a disadvantage.

February 22, 2022 Posted by | Federal nuclear waste dump, South Australia | Leave a comment

The writing is on the wall ‒ Kimba radioactive concerns move to South Australia’s political centre

The controversial federal government plan to dump and store radioactive waste near Kimba on the Eyre Peninsula is the focus of new posters appearing across Adelaide’s central business district this week.

The posters ‒ an initiative of the Don’t Dump on SA (DDSA) network ‒ are part of a growing effort calling on Premier Steven Marshall to support the South Australian law, community and environment and send a clear message of opposition to Canberra ahead of the March 19 state election.

The move comes following last week’s Legislative Council vote where Liberal politicians refused to join SA Green and Labor representatives in condemning the federal waste plan.

“For over two decades there has been bipartisan opposition to federal government plans to make SA the nation’s radioactive waste zone,” said DDSA member Dr. Jim Green. “Last week Premier Marshall walked away from this protection and from the commitment that he made ahead of the last state election that he had “a much greater ambition for our state” than to be a nuclear waste dump.

“A positive outcome of the Legislative Council vote was that the Labor Party reaffirmed its opposition to the proposed nuclear dump. MLC Kyam Maher highlighted Labor’s policy that Traditional Owners should have a right of veto over nuclear projects.”

The federal waste plan at Kimba is facing growing scrutiny following recent extensive flooding of the region and a Federal Court challenge by the Barngarla Traditional Owners.

“Barngarla people have been actively excluded from the area’s community ballot and the wider SA community has not had a say,” said DDSA representative Sister Michele Madigan.

“The federal waste plan poses a very serious and long-lasting risk to people and the environment and demands the highest level of transparency and rigour. Sadly, so far it has been a political football played with moving goalposts. It is time Premier Marshall blew the whistle and demanded an end to this move.”

The posters will remain in 30+ sites around Adelaide until the election and will be complemented with a range of community outreach initiatives in the lead up to the state election.

February 17, 2022 Posted by | Federal nuclear waste dump, politics, South Australia | Leave a comment

South Australian Labor supported Greens. motion opposing SA as nuclear waste dump, but Liberals SA Best and Advance SA blocked it.

10 Feb 22, Liberals and crossbench block Greens motion calling for SA to reject Federal Government’s attempt to turn the state into nuclear waste dumping ground

Today, the Liberals along with SA Best and Advance SA voted against a Greens motion condemning the decision by the federal government late last year to dump nuclear waste in Kimba.

“South Australians could not have been clearer.  We do not want dangerous radioactive waste being dumped in farming country against the wishes of the Barngarla – the area’s Traditional Owners,” said SA Greens spokesperson for Energy, Robert Simms MLC.

“It is tremendously disappointing that the Liberals, SA Best, and Advance SA have ignored the pleas of the Traditional Owners, and instead given their tick of approval to put a radioactive waste dump in the heart of our food bowl that puts at risk our clean, green reputation and our state’s key grain export industry.

“A wide-ranging parliamentary inquiry must occur to not only consider the implications of the federal government’s decision to dump radioactive waste on Kimba on SA’s Eyre Peninsula, but also hear the concerns of the Barngarla People – and no further action should be taken until that process has concluded, “ Mr Simms said.

The motion moved today by Robert Simms MLC, was only supported by the Greens and SA Labor.

February 10, 2022 Posted by | Federal nuclear waste dump, politics, South Australia | Leave a comment

Kimba and the South Australian government must protect this precious agricutural region from nuclear waste dump’s danger of ground contamination.

Peter Remta, 29 Jan 22, Someone from Kimba should formally request the deputy premier what his government will do to ensure that the nuclear waste management facility at Napandee or anywhere else within the Eyre Peninsula will not lead to any radioactive ground contamination 

This is an issue entirely within the constitutional competence and responsibility of the state government and it cannot rely on the federal government to provide a solution

The radioactive contamination of prime rural land within the Kimba district and further afield would be a disastrous outcome for the state’s economy and population with the likelihood of the destruction of its agricultural industry 

The satisfaction of the resulting and incalculable claims for compensation due to the contamination would no doubt be completely beyond the state’s  financial resources

There is now a strong possibility of radioactive ground contamination due to the significant flooding and the use of an above the ground facility of escape or leakage of the nuclear waste if the facility were established 

The risks involved and the safety measures to overcome them are far too uncertain making it completely unacceptable to have the government’s proposed facility at Napandee

The risk will be incapable of elimination by the existing methods of containing the waste without using effective and proper geological burial in a suitable location

This request should be by way of addressing what the deputy premier raised in his letter posted by Karen Gray on Facebook on 13 January 2022

January 29, 2022 Posted by | Federal nuclear waste dump, South Australia | Leave a comment

Flooding in South Australia includes Kimba- what about the nuclear dump sit? and what impact on uranium tailings dams?

This Channel 7 video report mentions Kimba as having had record rain. The ABC report mentions several towns with record rain, but does not mention Kimba

I wonder how this obviously flood-prone area could be selected a the nation’s nuclear waste dump site.

I also wonder how Olympic Dam’s huge dams of radioactive tailings are faring in this flood situation.

This Channel 7 video report mentions Kimba as having had record rain. The ABC report mentions several towns with record rain, but does not mention Kimba

I wonder how this obviously flood-prone area could be selected a the nation’s nuclear waste dump site.

Roads destroyed and homes flooded as rain cuts off towns in South Australia’s north | 7NEWS, 23 Jan 22,

Floodwaters submerge parts of outback SA as rain washes away highway and cars,  ABC 23 Jan 22, 

Key points:

  • Emergency crews have rescued people trapped by floodwaters
  • A section of the Olympic Dam Highway was washed away, blocking access between Roxby Downs and Woomera
  • The bureau said several spots had recorded “all-time” highest rainfall totals over 24 hours

Entire towns in the state’s Far North are cut off after record-breaking rain. The SES has been flat out responding to hundreds of calls for help, as the heavens opened, destroying roads and inundating homes.

Rescue crews have been kept busy by outback floodwaters and record-breaking rains, which have continued to cause havoc in South Australia’s north and west, washing away roads as well as cars.

The weather bureau said some locations had set “all-time records” in terms of rainfall, while social media is awash with photos and videos of inundated highways. 

Several people were rescued by the State Emergency Service (SES) after becoming trapped by floodwaters — including one who was swept 80 metres downstream and waited on top of his semi-submerged car for “at least four hours” as crews travelled to his remote location.

An entire section of the Olympic Dam Highway was also eroded between Pimba and Woomera, cutting off access from Roxby Downs………………………………………….

January 24, 2022 Posted by | climate change - global warming, safety, South Australia, uranium | Leave a comment

‘Everything about the Gulf of St. Lawrence was warmer in 2021’: federal scientist

‘Everything about the Gulf of St. Lawrence was warmer in 2021’: federal scientist
Warming ocean temperatures — especially in deep water — set more records in the Gulf of St. Lawrence in 2021, according to climate data released Tuesday by the Department of Fisheries and Oceans.

January 22, 2022 Posted by | climate change - global warming, South Australia | Leave a comment

We froze’: What was this 1.3-metre missile doing at an Aboriginal heritage site?

We froze’: What was this 1.3-metre missile doing at an Aboriginal heritage site?
EXCLUSIVE: An unexploded high-tech missile was discovered at a culturally significant Aboriginal heritage site in remote South Australia. Neither the company that is believed to have made it – nor the Department of Defence – have explained how it got there.
SBS,  Tuesday 21 December 2021By Steven Trask, Sarah Collard  A group of Aboriginal Traditional Owners was inspecting a culturally significant site in remote South Australia when they discovered a high-tech anti-aircraft missile, a joint investigation by SBS News and NITV can reveal. 

The 1.32-metre missile is believed to have been built by a subsidiary of Swedish weapons maker Saab and was found at a registered heritage site called Lake Hart West, about 40 kilometres from the small town of Woomera, in January this year.

Woomera is home to one of the largest weapons ranges in the world and the missile appears to be a similar model to those tested by Australia’s Department of Defence near the town in 2019. 

Lake Hart West is important to the Kokatha people of the Western Desert region of South Australia; it is scattered with artefacts, historic shelters and tool-making sites.

“It startled us. There were four of us and we froze about five metres away from it,” says Kokatha man Andrew Starkey, who registered Lake Hart West as a heritage site with the South Australian government in the early 2000s.

“We were worried that there could be other missiles covered by the sand and in the bushes.

“There are over 20 heritage features all within a one-kilometre radius. There are rock engravings only a couple of kilometres away – it’s only through luck that that was not destroyed.”

The conservation of Aboriginal heritage sites has been under intense scrutiny since mining company Rio Tinto blew up the 46,000-year-old Juukan Gorge caves in Western Australia in May 2020.

An inquiry into the disaster found that existing state and Commonwealth laws were failing to protect Aboriginal heritage areas.

The Defence Department maintains it does not test weapons at culturally significant Aboriginal sites. But neither the department nor Saab have addressed questions over why the missile was found at Lake Hart West………………………………………

Human rights lawyer John Podgorelec has been representing the Starkeys as they pursue a complaint under OECD guidelines that govern “responsible business conduct” by foreign companies operating in Australia.

The Australian National Contact Point, which runs the process, said a complaint had been received against an “Australian-based enterprise” in the “defence sector”.

SBS News and NITV have confirmed the complaint relates to Saab.

An entry on the OECD complaint database reads: “Specifically, the issues relate to the discovery of an unexploded ordinance in South Australia by the Starkey Traditional Owners, resulting in risk to personal safety and artefacts of cultural significance.”…………

December 23, 2021 Posted by | aboriginal issues, South Australia, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Proposed National Radioactive Waste Facility: Implications and Options for South Australia

Proposed National Radioactive Waste Facility: Implications and Options for SA,, After a controversial process that has torn apart the previously close-knit Kimba community, Federal Resources Minister Keith Pitt (Liberal National Party – Qld) has formally declared the Napandee area near Kimba in the Eyre Peninsula grain belt as the proposed site for Australia’s first dedicated national radioactive waste facility – the National Radioactive Waste Management Facility (NRWMF).

The planned facility is not consistent with international best practice, and waste will be placed in temporary storage without a plan for what happens next.

The government says this will take decades while the federal nuclear regulator says it could take a century. Yet, there is a safer and cheaper alternative: keep the waste where most is currently stored at the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation’s (ANSTO) Lucas Heights facility south of Sydney, and only move it once a long-term site to house Australia’s long-lived intermediate-level waste is identified.

It simply does not make sense for the waste to be sent on a temporary basis to SA. Especially as it is fiercely opposed by the Aboriginal Traditional Owners – the Barngarla people and many regional grain producers. Further, the federal plan is illegal under SA law.

Download the full report here

December 20, 2021 Posted by | Federal nuclear waste dump, South Australia | Leave a comment

The people of South Australia are being excluded from the discussion and decisions about the Federal govt’s planned nuclear waste dump

Flinders Local Action Group 

  Bob Tulloch, 5 Dec 21,  IS SOUTH AUSTRALIA DESTINED TO BE A NUCLEAR STATE? Six years ago, the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science (DIIS) suddenly burst into our lives with their push to establish a National Nuclear Waste Management Facility within our communities.Our lives, friendships and communities where fractured and torn apart, the effects still lingering today. The communities I refer to are Hawker/ Quorn in the Flinders Ranges and Kimba on Eyre Peninsular in South Australia.The ‘pro facility’ doctrine was loud, clear, and biased. Presented in a process where ‘community consultation’ was co-opted to ‘manufacture consent’. A process tightly controlled by DIIS with little room for alternative points of view, local dissent controlled with intimidation and bullying tactics.

It came as a shock to those involved, that our Government would use such tactics to push through their agenda, culminating after 40 years of failed efforts.This is when I started investigating behind the scenes in an attempt to understand why the Federal Government wanted to establish a nuclear waste facility at Kimba, so far from the main source of supply, Lucas Heights.

The Federal Government, under the NRWM Act, has the power to over ride state laws and has used these powers during the site characterisation study of the site Napandee near Kimba, which has now been officially declared as the site for a National Nuclear Waste Facility.

The Marshall Government is keen to set up a nuclear defense industry in South Australia to compliment the proposed nuclear submarine industry.Our state opposition, although opposed to the recent site selection process, is keeping very quiet, not forgetting under Jay Weatherall’s leadership in 2016, introduced the idea of importing the world’s nuclear waste to South Australia.My concern is, the people of South Australia are now being left out of the conversation and the decision making process.

December 6, 2021 Posted by | Federal nuclear waste dump, politics, South Australia | Leave a comment

Kimba nuclear dump: Premier Marshall must enforce South Australia’s legislation

“The SA Nuclear Waste Storage Facility (Prohibition) Act was an initiative of the SA Olsen Liberal government to prevent the imposition of an intermediate-level nuclear fuel waste dump in SA. The state legislation was strengthened by the Rann government in 2002. Premier Marshall should fight Canberra’s push to dump nuclear waste on SA and to override state legislation, as did Premier Olsen and Premier Rann.

The Act mandates a state Parliamentary inquiry in response to any attempt to impose a nuclear waste dump on SA and the Premier should initiate that inquiry immediately.

The Morrison government’s plan to impose a national nuclear waste dump at Kimba still faces multiple hurdles despite today’s announcement from Minister Keith Pitt that the site has been formally declared and land acquired. Those hurdles include a judicial challenge to the declaration, environmental assessment, assessment by the federal nuclear regulator ARPANSA, a state parliamentary inquiry, and upcoming state and federal elections.

The Howard government had proceeded further towards imposing a dump on SA before abandoning the plan in 2004.

Dr. Jim Green, national nuclear campaigner with Friends of the Earth Australia, said: “The Morrison government’s disgraceful efforts to override the unanimous opposition of Barngarla Traditional Owners will be challenged in the courts. Barngarla Traditional Owners are expected to launch a judicial challenge following today’s announcement.

“Traditional Owners were excluded from the government’s sham ‘community ballot’ so they held their own ballot. When the results of the government’s ballot and the Barngarla ballot are combined, support falls to 43%, short of a majority and well short of the 65% that the government indicated was the benchmark to determine ‘broad community support’.

“Premier Steven Marshall’s support for a nuclear waste dump that is unanimously opposed by Barngarla Traditional Owners is unconscionable, crude racism and Friends of the Earth calls on the Premier to support Traditional Owners ‒ and all South Australians ‒ instead of shamefully falling into line behind his undemocratic, racist federal colleagues.

“The SA Nuclear Waste Storage Facility (Prohibition) Act was an initiative of the SA Olsen Liberal government to prevent the imposition of an intermediate-level nuclear fuel waste dump in SA. The state legislation was strengthened by the Rann government in 2002. Premier Marshall should fight Canberra’s push to dump nuclear waste on SA and to override state legislation, as did Premier Olsen and Premier Rann.

“The Act mandates a state Parliamentary inquiry in response to any attempt to impose a nuclear waste dump on SA and the Premier should initiate that inquiry immediately.

“The proposed nuclear dump will be contested at the SA and federal elections. Friends of the Earth welcomes SA Labor’s policy that Traditional Owners should have a right of veto over nuclear projects given the sad and sorry history of nuclear projects in this state. Deputy Leader Susan Close says that SA Labor is “utterly opposed” to the “appalling” process which led to the federal government targeting the Kimba site.

“The government’s claim that most of the waste arises from nuclear medicine is a blatant lie. The claim that 45 permanent jobs will be created is implausible. When the Howard government planned a dump in SA, it said there would be zero jobs.

“Measured by radioactivity, well over 90% of the waste is long-lived intermediate-level reactor waste that the federal government wants to store above ground at Kimba until such time as a deep underground disposal facility is established. No effort is being made to find a location for such a facility so this long-lived waste would remain stored above ground in SA ad infinitum. The only deep underground nuclear waste repository in the world, in the US state of New Mexico, was closed in 2014 following an underground chemical explosion in a nuclear waste barrel.

“Intermediate-level waste should be stored at ANSTO’s Lucas Heights site until a suitable disposal facility is available. The Morrison government’s plan to move intermediate-level waste from secure above-ground storage at Lucas Heights to far less secure storage at Kimba is absurd and indefensible.

“South Australians fought long and hard to prevent the Howard government turning SA into the nation’s nuclear waste dump. We fought and won the campaign to stop the Flinders Ranges being used for a national dump. We fought and won the campaign to stop SA being turned into the world’s high-level nuclear waste dump. And now, we will fight until the Morrison government backs off.”

November 29, 2021 Posted by | Federal nuclear waste dump, politics, South Australia | Leave a comment

Kimba, South Australia, as a nuclear ”sacrifice zone”

Below is an article from the Port Lincoln Times. Like most articles from the region, it appears to be written with breathless delight over the joys of Kimba, South Austraklis getting a ? temporsry nuclear waste dump.

It was the headline that got me.

What do they mean – ”SACRIFICE ZONE’? Does it simply refer to what everyone knows – that the dump will be a financial white elephant, trashing the area’s previous clean green agricultural reputation?

Or does it carry the more sinister meaning, of damage to health and environment, as Rusdsia’s Mayak site, and Fukushima, have been labelled as ”sacrifice zones”?

Grants recognise Kimba’s sacrifice  Bianca Iovino,   17 Nov 21,

The Kimba region will benefit from another $2 million in grants, acting as a recognition of the strain the anticipated National Radioactive Waste Management Facility has had on the community.

Kimba Mayor Dean Johnson said the grants rewards community engagement in what’s been a long and difficult conversation about the facility.

“I think there’s a real air of excitement and expectation in the community at the moment, but the truth is not everyone agrees on this, there are people who strongly appose it and that hasn’t changed,” he said.

“But to have another $2 million to spend in our community is really exciting, and I can’t wait to see the projects that get put forward.”

Resources and Water minister Keith Pitt said the program recognises the significant amount of time, effort and disruption caused to the town following an over five years consultation process regarding the facility….. The official location of the site is yet to be confirmed, but a Notice of Intention to Declare has been lodged and and an announcement is imminent.

November 19, 2021 Posted by | Federal nuclear waste dump, South Australia | Leave a comment

ARPANSA admits that no safety assessment exists, for nuclear submarines in Adelaide

Following a search from ARPANSA’s senior scientist, the agency determined that such a planning or safety document “does not exist”.

No safety assessment for nuclear subs in Adelaide

The federal government has not undertaken a safety assessment or planning study for the prospect of docking nuclear-powered submarines in Adelaide, according to documents obtained by independent senator Rex Patrick.  Thomas Kelsall@Thomas_Kelsall

  The Port Adelaide and Outer Harbour docks are set to be the building spot for at least eight nuclear-powered submarines under the terms of the new “AUKUS” trilateral security pact, announced by Prime Minister Scott Morrison in September.

But the controversial deal, which saw Australia scrap its $90 billion contract with France to build 12 diesel-powered boats, drew criticism from anti-nuclear activists and local residents concerned about the prospect of nuclear reactors in their suburbs.

No nuclear-powered warship has ever visited Port Adelaide or Outer Harbour.

Patrick, a former submariner and critic of the new subs deal, on September 21 filed a Freedom of Information request to the Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency (ARPANSA) for “any documents that go to the planning or prospects of a nuclear vessel visiting Port Adelaide or Outer Harbour”.

ARPANSA is responsible for providing safety assessment to the Visiting Ships Panel (Nuclear) – an interdepartmental committee overseeing arrangements for visiting nuclear ships and associated safety requirement.

Following a search from ARPANSA’s senior scientist, the agency determined that such a planning or safety document “does not exist”.

“The ARPANSA Senior Scientist, who holds the responsibility for searching ARPANSA records of documents that go to the planning or prospects of a nuclear vessel, … has instructed me that ARPANSA, at this point in time, does not have a document specifically relating to the terms of your request,” ARPANSA FOI Officer John Templeton wrote to Patrick on Thursday.

A spokesperson for the agency confirmed to InDaily it has not been asked by the Defence Department to undertake a safety assessment or planning study of the site.

Patrick said the revelation shows that the Morrison’s Government’s nuclear submarines program is “a huge exercise in filling in the blanks”.

“One might have thought that some work would have been undertaken to consider Adelaide’s suitability for at least nuclear powered warship visits before the Prime Minister’s big announcement last month,” Patrick said.

“That is a task that ARPANSA undertakes on a regular basis in relation to other locations including HMAS Stirling, Fremantle, Darwin and Brisbane.

“While the safety assessments required for nuclear submarine construction and long-term berthing facilities would be a very complex undertaking, a port visit safety assessment of Port Adelaide and Outer Harbour would have been minimum due diligence before the Prime Minister promised his nuclear subs would be built in Adelaide.”

Patrick said the lack of safety assessment means Adelaide’s docks “could not currently host even a single-day visit by any nuclear powered submarine”.

“As is so often the case, Scott Morrison’s Government hasn’t done the basic preliminaries. It’s big on announcements, but fails conspicuously on due diligence and competent project management,” he said.

ARPANSA CEO Carl-Magnus Larsson told a parliamentary last week that the agency was briefed on the plan to shift from diesel to nuclear submarines around the beginning of July.

A spokesperson for ARPANSA said the agency “has not been asked to undertake a safety assessment and/or planning study on docking nuclear submarines in Port Adelaide or Outer Harbour”.

“ARPANSA will only undertake a radiological port assessment if Defence (Navy) determines that a nuclear-powered vessel can visit a specified port,” the spokesperson said.

“Neither Adelaide nor Outer Harbor have been subject to a visit of a nuclear-powered vessel.”

InDaily contacted the Department of Defence for comment.

October 23, 2021 Posted by | safety, South Australia, weapons and war | Leave a comment