Antinuclear

Australian news, and some related international items

Submission re National Waste Dump Bill: Flawed process: the pretense that this National issue is just a Local issue

March 26, 2020 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Federal nuclear waste dump | Leave a comment

National Radioactive Waste Management must come clean. Kimba is the start of continued high level nuclear waste dumping

Eyre Peninsula Tribune, March 4th 2020 , GARY CRUSHWAY
I write in response to a recent letter (Happy to answer questions raised, Letters to the Editor, February 20) from Sam Chard of the National Radioactive Waste Management Facility.
In this letter some claims are made in regards to intermediate and high level radioactive waste that I would like to address.
The National Radioactive Waste Management Facility will be accepting radioactive waste from the UK and from France.
The waste from the UK is material processed at the Sellafield (formerly Windscale) facility in Cumbria.
In a statement recorded in UK Parliament hansard (Written Question 10476) it is stated “The vitrified residue (sealing of radioactive waste in molten glass poured in engineered stainless steel containers) comes from Sellafield” – Sellafield processes only high level radioactive waste.
What this means is that High Level Waste, waste material from UK power generation, is put into containers and reclassified due to being in this container – If you wrap an apple in plastic and put it into a box, it is still an apple.
This means that it is reasonable to say that the NRWMF is being utilised as a part of the disposal process for high level radioactive waste generated in the UK, a situation recently voted against during an extensive public consultation on international radioactive waste in South Australia.
It is also a clever use of words to argue that “Australia produces no high level radioactive waste”.
The material produced at Lucas Heights and sent overseas for “processing” to remove useable Plutonium and Uranium is not classified by Australia as “waste” despite it being a byproduct that Australia can not utilise, and it being very certainly highly radioactive.
If a future government in France decides to end the stream of radioactive waste received from Australia, Australia will then be generating this material without a facility to either process or dispose of it.
It does not take a stretch of the imagination to guess where the likely destination of this material would be in these circumstances, even if “temporarily” while the decades-long process of finding a high level waste facility is begun.
The NRWMF process is based around short term thinking and misleading terminology.
Australia needs to be honest about the consequences of heading down the road of becoming a radioactive waste producing nation, and we need a full review of the entire process, rather than a piecemeal solution to the relatively minor issue of low level waste management, that sidesteps and misleads the public about the full scale of the issues we face now and the possibilities of an unknown future. https://www.facebook.com/groups/344452605899556/
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March 21, 2020 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Federal nuclear waste dump | Leave a comment

A radioactive waste dump will NOT unite the Kimba community

Paul Waldon   This Is Not Progress!

The socially, economically and environmentally blind radioactive waste embracing Mayor of Kimba is now calling for unification in a community that he helped divide, while proclaiming extra services for the dying towns hospital that may prove to be unattainable. He ignorantly goes on to imply that only a radioactive dump will give birth to upgraded communication network for the town.

Meanwhile the ignorant farmer come nuclear profiteer has falsely touted opportunities for the town of Kimba, a town now in decline, where property values are falling, people are vacating and its own people are driving outside the region to shop.

We have heard a speaker for the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science continually claim a “strong level of information,” if so why haven’t they answered questions pertaining to the lack of consultation regarding the determination of transport routes, availability of resources, training, infrastructure emergency preparedness, response and risk management for potential incidents during any shipment, this is but a few issues the DIIS have failed to address.

And let us not forget that Kimba’s unemployment @ 2%, minus those too old, too young, unable to work due to restraints and those opposed to the dump, makeup a number that could be a quarter of that 2%, which is likely to be insufficient to manage a radioactive dump.

The half full ANSTO facility at Lucas Heights which has seen recent upgrades costing the taxpayer millions of dollars is the most logistical centralized site for a radioactive dump when based on volume of waste per kilometer.

March 17, 2020 Posted by | Federal nuclear waste dump, South Australia | Leave a comment

Court dismisses Aboriginal group’s appeal to stop the Kimba nuclear waste dump

Court rules against bid to stop nuke dump,https://www.transcontinental.com.au/story/6677900/court-rules-against-bid-to-stop-nuke-dump/?cs=9397&fbclid=IwAR25qIOzDiqg20vLhGNb5YS9iUwZJX39yQ3yV5iM_5U86kKJaMUTasN3Slc, Tim Dornin , MARCH 13 2020 -Native title holders on South Australia’s Eyre Peninsula have lost a court bid in their continuing fight to stop the federal government establishing a nuclear waste dump near Kimba.

The government recently named a site on a farming property as the location for the dump which will take Australia’s low to medium-level nuclear waste material.

The government’s decision was informed in part by a ballot of local residents which supported the proposal.

But the Barngarla Determination Aboriginal Corporation, the native title holders of the region, argued that their 200-strong community had been unfairly excluded from the ballot on their basis of the Aborginality.

They appealed to the Full Court of the Federal Court against a single judge’s decision to uphold the District Council of Kimba’s earlier move.

But the full court dismissed their appeal on Friday.

“It is not correct to say that BDAC’s members were excluded from the ballot,” the court ruled.

“Membership of BDAC was not a characteristic that disqualified any person from the franchise. Rather, the effect of the resolutions was that possession of native title rights and interests was not included among the various qualifying criteria.”

The court found the original decision by a single judge was correct in that it concluded that anyone who fulfilled one of 14 criteria could take part in the vote, irrespective of a person’s race.

“Similarly, the classes of persons who were excluded from the franchise included persons who were Aboriginal and persons who were not,” the appeal judges said.

In his argument, counsel for the Barngarla, Daniel O’Gorman SC, had told the court that their request to take part in the ballot should have been granted.

“This was a ballot of the community, the Kimba community. They are the native title holders of the land surrounding the sites in question,” he said.

“Therefore, we submit, they clearly had an interest in the ballot, they clearly had an interest in the dump and whether it goes ahead or not.

“Their mere standing as native title holders, warranted them being included as part of the community.”

The ballot ultimately returned about 62 per cent support for the dump, which then Resources Minister Matt Canavan accepted as broad community backing.

Those still opposed to the dump going ahead include some locals, environmental groups as well as indigenous communities.

Legislation to allow construction of the waste facility is before the federal parliament.

The underpinning laws allow for acquisition of land for the facility as well as a $20 million payment for the community to help establish and maintain the site, which is expected to operate for at least 100 years. AT TOP https://www.transcontinental.com.au/story/6677900/court-rules-against-bid-to-stop-nuke-dump/?cs=9397&fbclid=IwAR25qIOzDiqg20vLhGNb5YS9iUwZJX39yQ3yV5iM_5U86kKJaMUTasN3Slc

March 14, 2020 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Federal nuclear waste dump, legal | Leave a comment

A nuclear waste dump for Eyre Peninsula conflicts with the Strategic Plan for the Eyre Peninsula Natural Resources Management Region – 2017-2027

Susan Craig shared a No Nuclear Waste Dump Anywhere in South Australia

 March 10    A nuclear waste dump for Eyre Peninsula does not fit within the Natural Resources Management Act 2004 nor the Strategic Plan for the Eyre Peninsula Natural Resources Management Region – 2017-2027 The enforcers of this act, our Premier Steven Marshall and DAVID SPEIRS environment and water minister need to uphold this act. Peter Malinauskas Susan Close MP Eddie Hughes MP Love EP Just a reminder, as to what is at stake here for South Australia, both economically and ecologically. No Radioactive Waste Facility for Kimba District Senator Rex Patrick   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zmbpum9JGGQ

March 12, 2020 Posted by | environment, Federal nuclear waste dump, South Australia | Leave a comment

The dangers of so called intermediate level nuclear waste, include the devaluation of the region’s agriculture

Bev Spriggs Fight To Stop A Nuclear Waste Dump In South Australia, 10 Mar 20,  The dangers of so called intermediate level nuke waste,  – it is considered high level waste in the countries that want us to take it. Mr Baldock will be astonished to learn of the devaluation of his crops and the rest of his land and that of his neighbours once that poison comes to town. As for the 45 job creations….that may happen during construction, then they will disappear and there will only be 8 to 10 jobs to caretake the facility. The 31 mill promised for the community will happen once only, when it is gone there will be no more. https://www.facebook.com/groups/941313402573199/

March 10, 2020 Posted by | business, employment, Federal nuclear waste dump, South Australia | Leave a comment

Greens Senator Hanson-Young calls for Senate Nuclear Waste Inquiry to meet in Whyalla, South Australia

March 2, 2020 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Federal nuclear waste dump, politics | Leave a comment

Legislation banning nuclear power in Australia should be retained

Jim Green, Online Opinion, 27 Feb 2020https://onlineopinion.com.au/view.asp?article=20758&page=0  

Nuclear power in Australia is prohibited under the Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation (EPBC) Act 1999. A review of the EPBC Act is underway and there is a strong push from the nuclear industry to remove the bans. However, federal and state laws banning nuclear power have served Australia well and should be retained.

Too cheap to meter or too expensive to matter? Laws banning nuclear power has saved Australia from the huge costs associated with failed and failing reactor projects in Europe and North America, such as the Westinghouse project in South Carolina that was abandoned after the expenditure of at least A$13.4 billion. The Westinghouse / South Carolina fiasco could so easily have been replicated in any of Australia’s states or territories if not for the legal bans.

There are many other examples of shocking nuclear costs and cost overruns, including:

* The cost of the two reactors under construction in the US state of Georgia has doubled and now stands at A$20.4‒22.6 billion per reactor.

* The cost of the only reactor under construction in France has nearly quadrupled and now stands at A$20.0 billion. It is 10 years behind schedule.

* The cost of the only reactor under construction in Finland has nearly quadrupled and now stands at A$17.7 billion. It is 10 years behind schedule.

* The cost of the four reactors under construction in the United Arab Emirates has increased from A$7.5 billion per reactor to A$10‒12 billion per reactor.

* In the UK, the estimated cost of the only two reactors under construction is A$25.9 billion per reactor. A decade ago, the estimated cost was almost seven times lower. The UK National Audit Office estimates that taxpayer subsidies for the project will amount to A$58 billion, despite earlier government promises that no taxpayer subsidies would be made available.

Nuclear power has clearly priced itself out of the market and will certainly decline over the coming decades. Indeed the nuclear industry is in crisis ‒ as industry insiders and lobbyists freely acknowledge. Westinghouse ‒ the most experienced reactor builder in the world ‒ filed for bankruptcy in 2017 as a result of catastrophic cost overruns on reactor projects. A growing number of countries are phasing out nuclear power, including Germany, Switzerland, Spain, Belgium, Taiwan and South Korea.

Rising power bills: Laws banning nuclear power should be retained because nuclear power could not possibly pass any reasonable economic test. Nuclear power clearly fails the two economic tests set by Prime Minister Scott Morrison. Firstly, nuclear power could not possibly be introduced or maintained without huge taxpayer subsidies. Secondly, nuclear power would undoubtedly result in higher electricity prices.

Nuclear waste streams: Laws banning nuclear power should be retained because no solution exists to for the safe, long-term management of streams of low-, intermediate- and high-level nuclear wastes. No country has an operating repository for high-level nuclear waste. The United States has a deep underground repository for long-lived intermediate-level waste ‒ the only operating deep underground repository worldwide ‒ but it was closed from 2014‒17 following a chemical explosion in an underground waste barrel. Safety standards and regulatory oversight fell away sharply within the first decade of operation of the U.S. repository ‒ a sobering reminder of the challenge of safely managing dangerous nuclear wastes for tens of thousands of years.

Too dangerous: The Fukushima and Chernobyl disasters results in the evacuation of over half a million people and economic costs in the hundreds of billions of dollars. In addition to the danger of nuclear reactor meltdowns and fires and chemical explosions, there are other dangers. Doubling nuclear output by the middle of the century would require the construction of 800−900 reactors. These reactors not only become military targets but they would produce over one million tonnes of high-level nuclear waste containing enough plutonium to build over one million nuclear weapons.

Pre-deployed terrorist targets: Nuclear power plants have been described as pre-deployed terrorist targets and pose a major security threat. This in turn would likely see an increase in policing and security operations and costs and a commensurate impact on civil liberties and public access to information. Other nations in our region may view Australian nuclear aspirations with suspicion and concern given that many aspects of the technology and knowledge-base are the same as those required for nuclear weapons.

Former US Vice President Al Gore summarised the proliferation problem: “For eight years in the White House, every weapons-proliferation problem we dealt with was connected to a civilian reactor program. And if we ever got to the point where we wanted to use nuclear reactors to back out a lot of coal … then we’d have to put them in so many places we’d run that proliferation risk right off the reasonability scale.”

Too slow: Expanding nuclear power is impractical as a short-term response to climate change. An analysis by Australian economist Prof. John Quiggin concludes that it would be “virtually impossible” to get a nuclear power reactor operating in Australia before 2040. More time would elapse before nuclear power has generated as much as energy as was expended in the construction of the reactor: a University of Sydney report concluded that the energy payback time for nuclear reactors is 6.5‒7 years. Taking into account planning and approvals, construction, and the energy payback time, it would be a quarter of a century or more before nuclear power could even begin to reduce greenhouse emissions in Australia (and then only assuming that nuclear power displaced fossil fuels).

Too thirsty: Nuclear power is extraordinarily thirsty. A single nuclear power reactor consumes 35‒65 million litres of water per day for cooling.

Water consumption of different energy sources (litres / kWh):

* Nuclear 2.5

* Coal 1.9

* Combined Cycle Gas 0.95

* Solar PV 0.11

* Wind 0.004

Climate change and nuclear hazards: Nuclear power plants are vulnerable to threats which are being exacerbated by climate change. These include dwindling and warming water sources, sea-level rise, storm damage, drought, and jelly-fish swarms. Nuclear engineer David Lochbaum states. “I’ve heard many nuclear proponents say that nuclear power is part of the solution to global warming. It needs to be reversed: You need to solve global warming for nuclear plants to survive.”

In January 2019, the Climate Council, comprising Australia’s leading climate scientists and other policy experts, issued a policy statement concluding that nuclear power plants “are not appropriate for Australia – and probably never will be”.

By contrast, the REN21 Renewables 2015: Global Status Report states that renewable energy systems “have unique qualities that make them suitable both for reinforcing the resilience of the wider energy infrastructure and for ensuring the provision of energy services under changing climatic conditions.”

First Nations: Laws banning nuclear power should be retained because the pursuit of a nuclear power industry would almost certainly worsen patterns of disempowerment and dispossession that Australia’s First Nations have experienced ‒ and continue to experience ‒ as a result of nuclear and uranium projects.

To give one example (among many), the National Radioactive Waste Management Act dispossesses and disempowers Traditional Owners in many respects: the nomination of a site for a radioactive waste dump is valid even if Aboriginal owners were not consulted and did not give consent; the Act has sections which nullify State or Territory laws that protect archaeological or heritage values, including those which relate to Indigenous traditions; the Act curtails the application of Commonwealth laws including the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Heritage Protection Act 1984 and the Native Title Act 1993 in the important site-selection stage; and the Native Title Act 1993 is expressly overridden in relation to land acquisition for a radioactive waste dump.

No social license: Laws banning nuclear power should be retained because there is no social license to introduce nuclear power to Australia. Opinion polls find that Australians are overwhelmingly opposed to a nuclear power reactor being built in their local vicinity (10‒28% support, 55‒73% opposition); and opinion polls find that support for renewable energy sources far exceeds support for nuclear power (for example a 2015 IPSOS poll found 72‒87% support for solar and wind power but just 26% support for nuclear power). As the Clean Energy Council noted in its submission to the 2019 federal nuclear inquiry, it would require “a minor miracle” to win community support for nuclear power in Australia.

The pursuit of nuclear power would also require bipartisan political consensus at state and federal levels for several decades. Good luck with that. Currently, there is a bipartisan consensus at the federal level to retain the legal ban. The noisy, ultra-conservative rump of the Coalition is lobbying for nuclear power but their push has been rejected by, amongst others, the federal Liberal Party leadership, the Queensland Liberal-National Party, the SA Liberal government, the Tasmanian Liberal government, the NSW Liberal Premier and environment minister, and even ultra-conservatives such as Nationals Senator Matt Canavan.

The future is renewable, not radioactive: Laws banning nuclear power should be retained because the introduction of nuclear power would delay and undermine the development of effective, economic energy and climate policies based on renewable energy sources and energy efficiency. A December 2019 report by CSIRO and the Australian Energy Market Operator finds that construction costs for nuclear reactors are 2‒8 times higher than costs for wind or solar. Levelised costs for nuclear are 2‒3 times greater per unit of energy produced compared to wind or solar including either 2 hours of battery storage or 6 hours of pumped hydro energy storage.

Australia can do better than fuel higher carbon emissions and unnecessary radioactive risk. We need to embrace the fastest growing global energy sector and become a driver of clean energy thinking and technology and a world leader in renewable energy technology. We can grow the jobs of the future here today. This will provide a just transition for energy sector workers, their families and communities and the certainty to ensure vibrant regional economies and secure sustainable and skilled jobs into the future. Renewable energy is affordable, low risk, clean and popular. Nuclear is not. Our shared energy future is renewable, not radioactive.

More Information

* Don’t Nuke the Climate Australia, www.dont-nuke-the-climate.org.au

* Climate Council, 2019, ‘Nuclear Power Stations are Not Appropriate for Australia – and Probably Never Will Be’, https://www.climatecouncil.org.au/nuclear-power-stations-are-not-appropriate-for-australia-and-probably-never-will-be/

* WISE Nuclear Monitor, 25 June 2016, ‘Nuclear power: No solution to climate change’, https://www.wiseinternational.org/nuclear-monitor/806/nuclear-power-no-solution-climate-change

Dr. Jim Green is the national nuclear campaigner with Friends of the Earth Australia.

February 27, 2020 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, business, climate change - global warming, politics, safety, wastes, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Barngarla Aboriginal Corporation lobby Senators- to oppose Bill to set up Kimba nuclear waste dump

February 27, 2020 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Federal nuclear waste dump, politics | Leave a comment

Kimba nuclear waste dump – a total mishandling of the truth from Australian government.

February 25, 2020 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Federal nuclear waste dump, reference | Leave a comment

The Kimba nuclear waste dump will take a huge toll on the Murray River’s water

Annette Ellen Skipworth    No Nuclear Waste Dump Anywhere in South Australia, 25 Feb 20
Where is the water coming from to compact the nuclear dump site and the 31 kms of dirt road to the dump site.
I spent some time as a remote road contractor and I learnt a little bit about roads and site works.
To take the weight of the truck load, a road has to be compacted to gain the strength to take the semi plus the load on the tray.
From asking questions and scouring internet sites, I have found out, the casks containing the high grade nuclear waste.. excuse me ..the intermediate nuclear waste are very very heavy.
Now when we were building a road for a mine where the loads were heavy, we used a huge amount of water so the road doesnt blow out.
It wasn’t advisable to use water that is very salty.. it rises to the top and makes the road slippery.
As Kimba’s only water supply comes from the precious Murray River, and the local underground water is salty and unusable.. where is the water needed coming from?
I think you lot in Kimba that want to host a nuke dump and think it will only affect Kimba are very naive..  https://www.facebook.com/groups/1314655315214929/

February 25, 2020 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, environment, Federal nuclear waste dump | Leave a comment

Whyalla urgently needs a policy to prevent becoming the radioactive trash port

Kazzi Jai shared a post. Fight To Stop Nuclear Waste In The Flinders Range· February 23 

“A question was asked to (Whyalla) council regarding potential use of the port for the transport of intermediate level waste. The response is on the council website under Council Meeting Minutes Monday 17/2/20. There is no current policy.

As a community we should have a policy. We should be standing up on behalf of the divided Kimba community and refuse the use of the port and surrounding roads and rail. It is the responsibility of the council to represent the community, not to bow down and take orders from the state government.” – Mr Andrew Williams.

Link source to Minutes: http://www.whyalla.sa.gov.au/…/council%20minutes%20-%20PUBL…

https://www.facebook.com/groups/941313402573199/

February 25, 2020 Posted by | Federal nuclear waste dump, South Australia | Leave a comment

Bill in Aust Parliament names South Australia as the Nuclear Waste State

the Bill  makes provision for the Federal gov. to pass Regulations to name and over-ride specific State Laws.  For instance, it may be the case that the Federal gov. requires to pass a Regulation to name and over-ride the public interest protections in the SA “Nuclear Waste Storage (Prohibition) Act 2000”, and potentially to also do so regarding the SA “Aboriginal Heritage Act 1988”.

David Noonan, 24 Feb 20, Bill names SA as the Nuclear Waste State:

The Bill specifies South Australia as a nuclear waste dump state.

And specifies Napandee near Kimba as a Nuclear Waste Store – which effectively also targets Whyalla Port for multiple nuclear waste shipments.

The Bill has been to the HoRep’s and now goes to the Senate:

to enable the decision about the location of the facility to be subject to Parliamentary scrutiny”

(see the Bill Explanatory Memorandum Outline p.1).

See https://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Business/Bills_Legislation/Bills_Search_Results/Result?bId=r6500

For access to the doc’s and to speeches, and to Track the Bill – so as to receive e updates…

The Bill is expected to be Referred by the Aust Greens around Wed 26th Feb to a short Inquiry by the Senate Standing Economics Legislation Committee. The Bill may go to a vote in Senate in the last week of May.

If the Bill is passed, the Federal gov. then instigates a Licensing process on the NRWM Facility by the nuclear regulator ARPANSA, and in parallel makes a referral for environment assessment of the proposed NRWM Facility under EPBC Act.

ARPANSA are expected to conduct separate Licensing processes for the above ground interim Nuclear Waste Store, and for the so-called Low-Level Waste Disposal Facility. ARPANSA may require the Federal gov. to make separate Licensing Applications for the two types of waste facilities.

The Federal gov. can-not assume that both facilities will be approved by the regulator.

It is arguably likely that Licensing for the NRWM Facility, and in particular for above ground interim Nuclear Waste Store, should and will fail – leaving the amended Act stranded will a failed single specified site and no provision for consideration of any further siting elsewhere in SA or in other States / Territories.

However, the Bill is said by the Minister and the Department to provide ‘certainty’.

Notes on Bill:

“NATIONAL RADIOACTIVE WASTE MANAGEMENT AMENDMENT (SITE SPECIFICATION, COMMUNITY FUND AND OTHER MEASURES) BILL 2020”

The Bill names and specifies South Australia, and omits “the State or Territory”, for siting a NRWM Facility and to register acquired lands;

The Bill specifies Napandee as the NRWM Facility site and amends the 2012 Act to that effect as a single site;

The Explanatory Memorandum (EM, Outline p.2) says: “Additional land will not be able to be acquired to establish a second facility”;

The Bill “Notes on Clauses” p.22 states: “Once established, it is expected to be in operation for 100 years.”

The Bill “Notes on Clauses” p.14 claims: “there is broad support in the community for the project.”

 The Bill strengthens the Commonwealth powers to use the 2012 Act to over-ride State laws and to impose the NRWM Facility on unwilling communities;

The Bill specifically asks Senators to vote to approve a set of powers to over-ride any State law (or other Cth law), Continue reading

February 24, 2020 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Federal nuclear waste dump, politics | Leave a comment

Barngarla Aboriginal people take legal action against Australian govt’s planned Kimba nuclear waste dump

February 24, 2020 Posted by | aboriginal issues, AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Federal nuclear waste dump, legal, politics | Leave a comment

No, Mr Baldock, our children do not deserve this dirty, long-lasting, nuclear trash dump

Paul Waldon  Fight To Stop A Nuclear Waste Dump In South Australia, 21 Feb 20, People leaving, property values dropping, large tracts of land hitting the market, children’s heritage being sold and/or eroded, a once strong community now divided, people happier to shop outside their community, these are the trademarks of a dying town with poor opportunities.

An aggressive social cancer fueled by a desperate and ignorant nuclear embracing dichotomy trying to grasp the doctrines of the indentured servitude bound nuclear coterie with a vested interest spouting factoids will surely fail to attract new business and people to the region.

Meanwhile Andrew Baldock, nuclear profiteer, social axe man has continued to state “We are doing this for the children!”

Well Baldock my children, my children’s children’s children don’t deserve this.   https://www.facebook.com/groups/941313402573199/

February 22, 2020 Posted by | Federal nuclear waste dump, South Australia, spinbuster | Leave a comment