Australian news, and some related international items

Will the nuclear waste of Sydney’s dead HIFAR nuclear reactor be sent to South Australia?

nuke-reactor-deadTim Bickmore , Fight to stop Nuclear Waste Dump in South Australia February 18  There is also another elephant in the room which is yet to rate a mention. At Lucas heights there are 2 reactors – OPAL & HIFAR. OPAL is the working reactor, whilst HIFAR is the old one now undergoing de-commissioning – which includes dealing with more radioactive waste. Is the HIFAR waste (= old reactor parts) also destined for the dump? Considering the decommission schedule, this seems highly probable & where else would it go……

“HIFAR is currently being decommissioned and will be totally decommissioned by 2018.” HTTPS://WWW.FACEBOOK.COM/GROUPS/344452605899556/

February 20, 2017 Posted by | Federal nuclear waste dump, New South Wales, South Australia | Leave a comment

France’s ANDRA nuclear waste dump leaked radioactivity into wine growing area

antnuke-relevantIt is extraordinary that some French wine producers are accompanying the Australian and French nuclear promoters spruiking the benefits of nuclear waste dumping to the community in the Barndioota region of South Australia.   Not only are many vital questions unanswered as ENuFF SA (Everyone for a Nuclear Free Future SA) has shown, but this  propaganda campaign completely ignores both the opposition to nuclear waste dumping, in France and the radioactive danger to France’s  Champagne vineyards

“The Champagne producers are facing two nuclear timebombs – one already leaking at Soulaine, and one planned at Bure. The wine producers in the Rhone region stood up to the nuclear state in France and won. The Champagne region needs to act fast before it’s too late,” said Fred Marillier of Greenpeace France. “The French Government must stop this madness. The new facility must not accept any more waste, and an immediate investigation launched into how to stop further contamination of ground water.”

Radioactive waste leaking into Champagne Water Supply, Levels set to rise warns Greenpeace, Greenpeace 30 May, 2006  Greenpeace today revealed that France’s iconic sparkling wine, Champagne, is threatened by radioactive contamination leaking from a nuclear waste dumpsite in the region. Low levels of radioactivity have already been found in underground water less than 10 km from the famous Champagne vineyards.

Problems at the dumpsite, including water migration leading to fissures in the storage cells have been reported to French nuclear safety agency in recent weeks (1). Greenpeace has written to the Comita des Producteur de Champagne to warn them that their production risks contamination, as experienced by dairy farmers in la Hague, Normandy.

wine threat

The waste dump, Centre Stockage l’Aube (CSA) in Soulaine eastern France, contains mostly waste from Electricite de France (EdF) and AREVA, but also includes foreign nuclear waste disposed of illegally under French law (2). Every week nuclear waste is trucked across France to the Champagne site. Once full, the dumpsite will be one of the world’s largest with over 1 million cubic meters of waste, including plutonium and other radionuclides.

ANDRA, the national nuclear waste agency operating the site, stated that it would not release any radioactivity into the environment when given permission for the dumpsite in the late 1980’s. Greenpeace research released last week showed levels of radioactivity leaking from another dumpsite run by ANDRA in Normandy were up to 90 times above European safety limits in underground water used by farmers, and that the contamination was spreading into the countryside Continue reading

February 10, 2017 Posted by | Federal nuclear waste dump, South Australia | Leave a comment

Some straight questions asked on nuclear wastes – to Australia’s government authorities


From ENuFF SA (Everyone for a Nuclear Free Future SA) , Pt. Augusta February 8, 2017

We would like some straight answers to the following questions:

The current National Radioactive Waste Management Facility (NRWMF) is the third attempt in a decade to locate a site for a national radioactive waste dump:

Question: Are any designs for a dump planned?  The last shipment of nuclear waste returned to Australia following reprocessing in France, in late 2015. It was categorised by the French authorities as high-level waste (HLW). The SA Nuclear Fuel Cycle Royal Commission Report (May 2016) states on page 95 that reprocessed waste is high level. But ANSTO classifies this highly hazardous material as intermediate-level waste (ILW).

Question: Why do the Australian agencies responsible for nuclear waste mislead the public about radiation levels?

Question: Why is spent fuel from both the retired HIFAR and currently operating OPAL reactor not classified HLW? Is it the only spent fuel in the world to be classified ILW?

Question: Would ANSTO explain how the radioisotopes in spent fuel from its research reactors differ from that of nuclear power reactors? When nuclear waste is reprocessed, waste from other countries is mixed together in the reprocessing liquor. Returning material would, therefore, come from other reactors in France (or the UK) or other client country’s reactors, as well as Australia’s.

Question: When will this be explained to the public? Reprocessing of spent fuel cannot remove ALL of the fissile material: Plutonium and Uranium.

Question: Why, then, does information provided by ANSTO state that there is no fissile material remaining in the returned reprocessed waste? And, when will the agency correct this misinformation?

Question: For how long is spent fuel stored at Lucas Heights before transporting it overseas?

Question: What quantity of spent fuel is currently stored at Lucas Heights, and how is it stored?

Question: Is it the case that the Lucas Heights facility holds about 50% of Australia’s nuclear waste, the  remainder being held by the Defence Department and CSIRO?

Question: Therefore, where is it intended to dispose of the remainder of Australia’s waste not currently  held at Lucas Heights?

Question: What type of research is conducted at the Lucas Heights OPAL reactor?

Question: Is food irradiation occurring in Australia?

ANSTO plans a significant increase in its production of medical isotopes (in particular Molybdenum-99 MO-  99) at the OPAL reactor.

Question: When will ANSTO, and other agencies, explain how much the OPAL waste stream would grow  as a result of this production of isotopes for export to other countries?  ANSTO is reported to be planning to build a Synroc facility.

Question: Where would a Synroc facility be located; at Lucas Heights or elsewhere?

Question: Does such a project indicate that Australia would no longer transport spent fuel overseas forreprocessing? Or, is it for repackaging already returned reprocessed waste?

Question: When will ANSTO, ARPANSA and the Department of Industry etc. clarify exactly what waste isplanned for permanent disposal at a proposed NRWMF and what is planned for storage at such a facility?

Question: Furthermore, when will ANSTO et al clarify for how long any stored waste would be locatedat, or nearby, such a facility?

Question: Are licences for disposal/storage of any of the national waste time-limited or not? (e.g. 100,  1,000 or 10,000 years)

Question: Will ANSTO and ARPANSA or the government explain to the SA people, particularly those in the Flinders Ranges and Eyre Peninsular, that the community nearby Lucas Heights, when consulted,  rejected permanent disposal of waste at that site?

Question: Do the agencies responsible for the nation’s radioactive waste not agree that it is a pointless and unnecessarily hazardous exercise to transport HLW (called ILW in Australia) to temporarily store it for up to 100 years, when it could remain at its present site?

To relocate this waste for an indefinite period is the height of irresponsibility when the Regulatory Guide for Licensing a Radioactive Waste Storage and Disposal Facility (ARPANSA) states that such waste, “must not be less than 10,000 years for disposal of ILW.”



February 10, 2017 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Federal nuclear waste dump | Leave a comment

High Level Nuclear Waste IS planned for South Australia’s Federal Dump



Steve Dale Fight To Stop Nuclear Waste Dump In Flinders Ranges, 6 Feb 17,   Inside the massively shielded “intermediate level waste container that returned to Australia from France” are multiple stainless steel containers of vitrified reprocessed waste (pictured) – and this would be called “High Level Waste” (HLW) in France, USA, Canada, Japan and the UK.

Accepting the first container of this HLW anywhere into South Australia opens the door to South Australia becoming the vitrified HLW dump for Sellafield and France. 

February 6, 2017 Posted by | Federal nuclear waste dump, South Australia | Leave a comment

“Intermediate” nuclear waste- opens door for High Level Wastes

canister-high-level-wastePaul Waldon    Fight To Stop Nuclear Waste Dump In Flinders Ranges SA, 5 Feb 17 The governments sluggish piecemeal approach to nuclear responsibilities that betrays all South Australians safety, needs to be addressed. Also I would like the issues of classification of high grade waste dealt with promptly, as this could open the door to Frances high grade waste being dumped in SA under the guise of intermediate waste.

I believe that the French delegate are here to feather their own nest. A professional, when brokering a deal will kick ass out of the price of their second option knowing it will be rejected, then move in on their intended target, “Their first option.”

With the agenda of a nuclear waste abandonment program I believe Kimba to be their first option. Can anyone tell me with previous such programs, was there more than one site proposed per sortie, or is this a new strategy that may pay dividends to the French?  

February 6, 2017 Posted by | Federal nuclear waste dump, South Australia | Leave a comment

Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO) propagandising to Aborigines

a-cat-CANThey talk of ‘showing the group how we safely manage waste here at ANSTO’.  If it’s all that safe why not keep it there at Lucas Heights?  Why transport it 1000s of miles to outback South Australia?

They are lying about “intermediate waste” . the waste returned from Franc e is classified as “high level” by the French waste management authority ANDRA


devil-bargainANSTO WELCOMES TRADITIONAL OWNERS TO LUCAS HEIGHTS The Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO) last week welcomed members of the Adnyamathanha community in South Australia.

Barndioota, which is in their area, is a potential site for a National Radioactive Waste Management Facility.

Les Bursill, an elder of the Dharawal community, gave the welcome to country and shared insights about some of the rich traditional heritage surrounding ANSTO.

The Sutherland Shire Mayor, Carmelo Pesce, was on hand to welcome guests, and discuss some of the benefits of having a nuclear facility in his areas, in terms of jobs, growth and community participation.

The group were at ANSTO at the invitation of the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science, which is extending invitations for such tours to all community members near potential sites of the facility.

“It was our pleasure to the welcome visitors, to show the group how we safely manage waste here at ANSTO, and to answer any questions they had,” said ANSTO’s Chief Nuclear Officer, Hef Griffiths.

“The group toured our campus, saw how the low level radioactive waste is packaged and stored, and stood beside the intermediate level waste container that returned to Australia from France in December 2015.

Throughout the year, ANSTO staff and experts will continue to make visits to Barndioota as part of technical studies, and ANSTO will continue to receive guests looking to get facts on radioactive waste management.

February 6, 2017 Posted by | aboriginal issues, AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Federal nuclear waste dump, spinbuster | Leave a comment

Jeff Baldock could make $$$s from #nuclear waste dump, but poses as community benefactor

a-cat-CANNote previous news item : In Kimba, farmer Jeff Baldock, one of the shortlisted applicants, volunteered to sell one square kilometre of his property for the facility in exchange for a premium price and a reported $10 million community fund.
Fading Eyre Peninsula town looks to nuclear waste dump for a future  The Australian February 6, 2017  6 Reporter  Adelaide  Jeff Baldock, a third-generation farmer at Kimba, watches the Eyre Peninsula town 460km west of Adelaide declining as families move for work and schooling, but believes that if his land was chosen for an intermediate-level nuc­lear waste dump it would mean econo­mic salvation.

“It would basically guarantee Kimba’s future, it’s a 300-year prog­ram the federal government will be here for,” Mr Baldock said.

“If we don’t do something, I’m worried the school won’t be going to Year 12 by the time my grandchildren get there, and the hospital might be closed by the time we need it. We’ve only just secured a doctor; we don’t want to lose any more services.”

The federal government earmarked a cattle station at Barndioota in the Flinders Ranges as its preferred site last April, but Bruce Wilson, the head of the Industry Department’s resources division, said other sites would be considered until a final decision, which could be made late this year. Construction of the facility is likely to be completed in the early 2020s.

A second Kimba farmer also put his property forward last week, and both submitted formal applic­ations ahead of a French deleg­ation visiting Kimba and Barn­di­oota from Wednesday.

Among the delegation will be two mayors whose towns are near the Aube Disposal Facility in Champagne, the facility’s director and a representative of the French national radioactive waste agency. They will discuss safety concerns with residents, who have not previously supported the proposal.

“The facility we are proposing is for Australian low- and intermediate-level waste only, [REALLY?] and we will answer as many questions from as many perspectives as we can at these sessions,” Mr Wilson said.

Mr Baldock, whose family farms three properties, suggested a different site last year but neighbours were opposed. This time, all the adjacent property owners are supportive.

Mr Baldock said selecting a Kimba property would mean the federal government injected at least $10 million into the community and created 30 fulltime jobs. His own payment would be equivalent to a year’s worth of fertiliser costs, with the community benefiting more than his family.

Local funding could be used to boost services for the community’s ageing population, fix the pool which has been closed this year ­because of disrepair, and create jobs, agricultural research projects and economic opportunities.

Kimba Mayor Dean Johnson said there had been some oppos­ition to hosting a dump last year, but an information campaign on the low risk involved was turning the tide. His council would also ask the Australian Electoral Commission to run a referendum for the 700 voters after a 60-day community consultation period ended.

“Certainly there is a group that is solidly opposed and that hasn’t changed, but the important thing to remember is this is a chance to get more information about the benefits to the community,” Mr Johnson said.

February 6, 2017 Posted by | Federal nuclear waste dump, South Australia | Leave a comment

On nuclear waste dumping: America’s Dept of Energy more truthful than South Australia’s Nuclear Royal Commission

scrutiny-Royal-CommissionDerek Abbott No High Level International Nuclear Waste Dump in South Australia, 4 Feb 17, Here’s the American DOE report on repositories. Notice it’s much more truthful than our Royal Commission report. For starters it:

(a) compares the disadvantages of different types of rock for a repository and there are many openly listed, and

(b) it openly mentions the tens of $billions needed in repackaging costs for the fuel. Our Royal Commission totally side stepped these points.

 Robyn Wood the repackaging and even the technical details about the casks was missing from the RC report. Wonder what they were hiding
 Derek Abbott They knew a jury would pick those things apart.

February 6, 2017 Posted by | NUCLEAR ROYAL COMMISSION 2016, wastes | Leave a comment

Response to Ben Heard’s misinformation on the proposed nuclear waste importing plan

text-relevantThe only way to avoid gambling hundreds of millions or billions of SA taxpayers’ dollars would be in the wildly improbable scenario that potential client countries would take that gamble.

Taipower clearly states that it would not consider sending waste to another country unless and until that country has developed a repository. Yet the economic case developed by Jacobs and MCM collapses if revenue (and waste) is not received before construction of a repository.

Finally, Mr Heard’s promotion of fast breeder reactors is beyond stupid….. Most of the countries that invested in fast breeder reactors have given up, deciding not to throw good money after bad. Last year, Japan decided to give up on the Monju fast breeder reactor, a fiasco that will cost Japanese taxpayers A$17.3 billion in construction, operation and decommissioning costs despite the fact that the reactor rarely operated.

The Royal Commission completely rejected proposals advanced by Heard and others for ‘advanced fast reactors’, noting in its final report that such reactors are unlikely to be feasible or viable in the foreseeable future; that the development of such a first-of-a-kind project would have high commercial and technical risk

Friends of the Earth Australia has today written to all Members of the SA House of Assembly and Legislative Council, and SA political representatives in the Federal Parliament, responding to the latest round of misinformation from those proposing to turn SA into the world’s high-level nuclear waste dump.


To: Members of the SA House of Assembly and Legislative Council

From: Jim Green
National nuclear campaigner
Friends of the Earth, Australia     Feb. 3, 2017


Dear Members of the SA House of Assembly and Legislative Council,

heardbenThe Advertiser has today run an article including false claims from nuclear lobbyist / uranium industry consultant / PhD student Ben Heard that Jay Weatherill’s plan to turn SA into the world’s high-level nuclear waste dump could be pursued without the need to gamble hundreds of millions or billions of dollars with no guarantee of any return on the investment.

Mr Heard is quoted saying that the “notion of high upfront cost to South Australia is a persistent and deliberate lie first peddled by deceitful environmental groups and now, sadly, taken up by the Liberal Party.”

In fact, the necessity of gambling hundreds of millions or billions of dollars ‒ without the slightest guarantee of any return on the investment ‒ is clearly spelt out by Jacobs, the economics consulting firm commissioned by the Nuclear Fuel Cycle Royal Commission.

Jacobs Project Manager / Consultant Tim Johnson told the SA Joint Select Committee that “total expenditure prior to the decision to proceed” is likely to be from around A$300 million to in excess of A$600 million, depending on the timing of the decision to proceed. (Letter to Joint Standing Committee, 5 July 2016.)

Dr Johnson told the Joint Select Committee that the project entails very significant economic risks: “It isn’t a risk-free process to go into this. There is a very significant risk.” Yet the nuclear waste dump lobby persist with the fabrication that the project can be pursued without economic risks. Continue reading

February 4, 2017 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, South Australia, spinbuster, wastes | Leave a comment

Community survey shows strong local opposition to Federal nuclear waste dump at Barndioota, South Australia

text-No Flinders Local Action Group ( FLAG )               Community Survey Results           Do You Want a National Radioactive Waste Management   Facility established at Wallerberdina Station / Barndioota ?      December 2016      

A survey of residents living within a 50km radius of the proposed National Radioactive Waste Management Facility of Barndioota, and the remainder of the Flinders Ranges  Council Area, South Australia……….

Conclusion FLAG employed two separate survey methodologies to gauge community support for the proposed waste facility.

The first opportunistically sampled interested &/or concerned community members attending the Quorn Town Hall Meeting of 21st September 2016 and the Quorn Agricultural Show on 25th September 2016. Respondents elected to fill out a questionnaire at the FLAG booth.

Whilst there is a possibility of some response bias the method does offer a measure of community support or opposition to the development.

The second mail out/postal survey represents a more systematic attempt to survey the entire towns of Quorn, Hawker and Craddock.  Although there is still the possibility of some response bias (as in any survey), these methods provide an improved estimate of regional community sentiment.

Both surveys indicate considerable community opposition to the waste facility and when taken together demonstrate that Department of Industry, Innovation & Science does not have the majority community support it requires.

In both surveys, a clear majority voted “no” to the establishment of a National Radioactive Waste Management Facility in the area, with 92% voting against it in Survey 1 and 79% in Survey 2.

In the Hawker/Cradock region, which is closer to the proposed site, the support for the proposal was slightly higher, presumably due to the perceived economic benefits.  Further away in Quorn, support for the proposal was lower, as the benefits would be minimal and outweighed by loss to other industries such as tourism.

Both surveys indicate majority disapproval for the proposal.

February 4, 2017 Posted by | Federal nuclear waste dump, opposition to nuclear, South Australia | Leave a comment

Australian government seeks to deceive the public on the definition of “High Level Nuclear Wastes”

truth Steve Dale Nuclear Fuel Cycle Watch South Australia, 4 Feb 17   Seems like Australia put a lot of effort to get other nations to call “High Level Waste” intermediate level. It didn’t work. USA, Canada, France, Japan and UK still call Vitrified reprocessed waste “High Level”.
From Hansard: “Mrs CROSIO – If we have international definitions, why in evidence we have received do they keep on saying that ANSTO refer to their waste at one level as intermediate waste where America would classify that same waste as high level waste? Why are we different?

Prof. Garnett – America is the one that is different. America has not yet adopted the internationally agreed definitions. Dr Cameron is on the committee. He is also involved in the International Atomic Energy Agency. My director of materials, Dr Jostsons, whom you met, is also on relevant committees, and at this stage America is not conforming with the internationally agreed definitions.” Joint Committee on Public Works 14/05/99
In a response to Professor Garnett 21/02/2002 – “Senator SCHACHT —We have had a raging debate in South Australia about whether there should be a depository for low level nuclear waste, high level nuclear waste and—now I can see—intermediate level waste. If you want to go to South Australia and announce that no high level nuclear waste from Lucas Heights will be stored in the future, but we are going to call it intermediate nuclear waste from the spent fuel rods after reprocessing, good luck to you as you get chased out of town. No-one is going to believe you that that is a thing that South Australians want to live with.”decades.

February 4, 2017 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Federal nuclear waste dump, politics | Leave a comment

Kimba Mayor wants a referendum first, before any decision on nuclear waste dump



Kimba wants to take nuke waste, Peter Jean, The Advertiser. p.6 of print version. “…….Kimba mayor Dean Johnson said a referendum of residents should be held before a final decision was made to build a waste dump in the district ….”

February 3, 2017 Posted by | South Australia, wastes | Leave a comment

S Aust property owners offer land for nuclear waste – at Napandee and Lyndhurst, near Kimba

greed copySA landowners offer up two more properties as sites for federal nuclear dump Another two properties near Kimba in South Australia have been put forward as potential sites for the nation’s first nuclear waste dump.

Six sites around Australia, including two others near Kimba, were previously shortlisted by the federal government to store low- and intermediate-level waste.

Wallerberdina station near Barndioota in the Flinders Ranges was the only one to reach a formal consultation phase, which remains ongoing.

The nomination of the previous sites caused significant divisions within the Kimba community, but two other local landowners have since offered up their properties, called Napandee and Lyndhurst.

Bruce Wilson from the federal resources department said Industry Minister Matt Canavan had not decided on whether to take the proposals forward. “By no means has there been any decision to accept the nominations at this point,” Mr Wilson said. “We are hopeful that in the next few weeks there will be a decision made.”

Mr Wilson said a French nuclear delegation would visit the region, as well as the Flinders Ranges, next week to discuss storage of radioactive waste with locals.

“The French delegation has been invited by the Kimba Council to come down,” he said.”It’s an opportunity for them to ask questions about the issues they’re concerned about.”

Napandee is about 25 kilometres west of Kimba, while Lyndhurst is about 20km north-east of the town.

Kimba mayor Dean Johnson said he was not surprised other local landowners had nominated their properties for nuclear waste storage, and welcomed the chance to meet with the delegation.

“The more information we can get the better, so hopefully this will provide some real answers,” he said.

“The entire question remains around community consent.”

The Federal Government’s selection of Wallerberdina station for further consideration has proved highly controversial and generated a backlash within the local community.

February 3, 2017 Posted by | Federal nuclear waste dump, South Australia | Leave a comment

Nuclear propaganda group to visit Port Augusta

buyer-beware-1French nuclear delegation to visit Port Augusta, The Transcontinental Matt Carcich@MattCarcich  1 Feb 2017 Port Augusta will host French radioactive waste experts and those who have lived next to a radioactive waste management facility to share their experiences.

The discussion will be held at the Standpipe Golf Motor Inn on Wednesday February 8, from 11am – 12pm (presentation) and 12pm – 2pm (lunch).

The group will also visit Hawker, Quorn and Kimba.

The delegation from France’s radioactive waste management organisation, Andra, and surrounds, was organised after discussions with the Hawker community and after a specific invitation from Working for Kimba’s Future, who are supporting new land nominations from their area.

The four person delegation will comprise of the following:

  • Mayor of Fresnay and champagne producer, Pierre Jobard.
  • Mayor of Soulaines and local tourism board member, Philippe Dallemagne.
  • Director of the Aube Disposal Facility, Patrice Torres.
  • Andra International Business Manager, Jelena Bolia.

The group will hold a number of community presentations that are open to the public.

Staff from the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science, the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO) and Geoscience Australia will also be available for questions.

Head of the Resources Division in the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science Bruce Wilson, said the group will be spending a number of days within the area, including visiting the nominated site at Barndioota………

The proposed site,160 kilometres north of Port Augusta, will store low-level and some intermediate-level nuclear waste.

The low level purpose-built repository would be about the size of four Olympic size swimming pools with a 60 hectare buffer on the 25,000 hectare property.

Designs have not been prepared for the national repository but it will be modelled on above-ground storage and disposal facilities overseas.

The 95-hectare Aube facility in Northern France manages low and intermediate level radioactive waste…..

February 3, 2017 Posted by | Federal nuclear waste dump, South Australia | Leave a comment

2 earthquakes in 2 days near to Barndioota, the planned Federal nuclear waste dump site

exclamation-Gavin Smith , Fight To Stop Nuclear Waste Dump In Flinders Ranges SA shared South Australian Weather Fire & Police Warnings‘s photo. Fight To Stop Nuclear Waste Dump In Flinders Ranges SA

A 2nd earthquake in 2 days was registered near Hawker on 27/1/17 closer to Barndioota.

Are the ancient Flinders Ranges lands telling us they are not happy about what is planned ?

South Australian Weather Fire & Police Warnings

#Earthquake #Australia #SA Magnitude ML: 2.3 Near Hawker, SA. Date and Time
UTC: 25 January 2017 @ 11:07:22 Coordinates: -31.806, 138.389 Depth: 10 km

Issued by © Commonwealth of Australia (Geoscience Australia) 2017
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January 28, 2017 Posted by | Federal nuclear waste dump, South Australia | Leave a comment