Australian news, and some related international items

Lucas Heights is the obvious place for a National Radioactive Waste Management Facility

Gary See Fight To Stop Nuclear Waste Dump In Flinders Ranges SA, November 15  

ANSTO at Lucas Heights are supposedly short of space to keep radioactive waste, but they are literally next door to a landfill site that is near to being closed. Anyone know if they’ve ever considered building a National Radioactive Waste Management Facility  there?
It would seem a logical place for it.

Ed. note  The Australian Government has made sure to get this sewn  up.  The Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency (ARPANSA) has licensed the Lucas heights campus of ANSTO to store nuclear wastes only on a TEMPORARY basis, and on condition that a plan is developed for “a final pathway” for its disposal.


November 17, 2017 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Federal nuclear waste dump | Leave a comment

High level nuclear wastes, planned for South Australia dumping, but not mentioned by Australian Government

Tim Bickmore Fight To Stop Nuclear Waste Dump In Flinders Ranges SA  November 15 

What the Barndioota Consultative Committee was presented in August 2017 regarding the nature of material storage in the proposed suppository. The guidelines (Waste Acceptance Criteria = WAC) are yet to be formalised, so we are expected to accept the unknown.
No reference to the decommissioned HIFAR & MOATA Reactors demolition waste – hunks of steel & concrete of unknown volume – & no mention of returned processed fuel.…/4.%20WAC%20presentatio…

November 17, 2017 Posted by | Federal nuclear waste dump, South Australia | Leave a comment

Federal radioactive waste in South Australia : three sites, two years, one message

  This week marks two years since the federal government announced its six shortlisted sites across Australia for the development of a National nuclear waste dump. Three of those sites were in South Australia and today both the Flinders Ranges and the Kimba agricultural region remain under threat.

The planned National Radioactive Waste Management Facility (NRWMF) project has been met with contest and concern from community members and state and national environment groups.

The waste issue is also set to be highlighted in the March state election with all SA politicians and hopefuls facing calls to explicitly back existing state legislation that makes any such dump illegal. Conservation SA was pleased to see an article in yesterday’s Australian newspaper disclosing Premier Jay Weatherill’s support for the Flinders Ranges community in their campaign against a radioactive waste dump in a letter to Prime Minister Turnbull urging him to respect Aboriginal opposition to the planned dump.

Regina McKenzie, Adnyamathanha Traditional Owner who lives next door to the Barndioota site and is a member of the Flinders Local Action Group (FLAG) said “The Liberal government’s plan is impacting the mental health and well being of the people in the Flinders Ranges and Kimba communities. We are happy that Premier Weatherill has opened his ears to us and is urging Malcolm Turnbull to do the same. For two years we have said no and we continue to say no.”

Kimba farmer Peter Woolford, chair of No Radioactive Waste on Agricultural Land In Kimba or SA, a group that formed around the issue, said “Two years on and the Commonwealth government continues to apply pressure to our small vulnerable community. The uncertainty, stress and toll this has taken on people within Kimba is immeasurable.

“Ministers and the Department of Industry, Innovation & Science state broad community support is critical for the facility, yet Kimba has continually been contested with strong opposition being maintained. The recent poll was clear that nearly half the community are opposed to siting a nuclear waste dump on farming land even with “disruption” money offered to communities to stay in the process.

“Current legislation in South Australia needs to be upheld and the Commonwealth should not ‘impose’ a national waste facility onto any unwilling community”, he said.

Radioactive waste dumps for non-SA wastes are illegal in SA. In response to earlier federal moves to dump waste in SA, state Parliament passed a law to say No: The Nuclear Waste Facility (Prohibition) Act 2000. This Act is “to protect the health, safety and welfare of the people of South Australia and to protect the environment in which they live by prohibiting the establishment of certain nuclear waste storage facilities in this state.”

The majority of Australia’s radioactive waste is currently securely stored at the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation’s (ANSTO) site at Lucas Heights, in southern Sydney. ANSTO says it “is capable of handling and storing waste for long periods of time.” ANSTO produced the waste and they are best placed to manage it until a proper disposal approach is agreed. The current substandard plan does not meet world’s best practice and there is no need for short term approaches to this long term issue.

Mara Bonacci, Nuclear Waste Campaigner at Conservation SA said “The current process is flawed and divisive and targets vulnerable remote communities. In the two years since the six shortlisted sites were announced, the government has got no closer to securing a site. In fact, the site nomination process is still open.  The government has only succeeded in causing stress and division in the areas it has targeted. It is time to stop the clock and adopt an evidence based approach to waste management.

“The waste can and should remain secured and monitored at Lucas Heights until a dedicated public review of the full range of options for radioactive waste management is carried out. The focus needs to shift from targeting SA to establishing a fair, open and responsible process for the management of Australia’s most hazardous waste”, she concluded.


November 15, 2017 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Federal nuclear waste dump | Leave a comment

Australian Aboriginal concerns will now be addressed in Scotland discussions on destination of reprocessed nuclear wastes

Herald 13th Nov 2017, ABORIGINES challenging proposals to dump nuclear waste from northern Scotland to a sacred Australian site have won a breakthrough meeting with
government officials about their concerns.

Wallerberdina, 280 miles north of Adelaide, has been identified as a potential location for Australia’s
first nuclear waste dump as part of a deal that returns spent fuel processed at the nuclear facility currently being decommissioned in Dounreay, Caithness, to its country of origin.

This is despite claims that it is a priceless heritage site rich in archaeological treasures including
burial mounds, fossilised bones and stone tools. Some have claimed the
impact would be similar to “building a waste dump at the heart of the

Campaigners who have appealed to the Scottish Government to halt
the plans to ship nuclear waste processed at Dounreay in Caithness to
Australia, have now been told that their concerns should be addressed
before any final decision is taken.

The Dounreay Waste Substitution Policy, agreed in 2012, sees waste from Australia, Belgium, Germany and Italy processed at the Scottish facility to make it safe for storage after being
returned to its country of origin. Campaigners have complained that the
intended South Australian destination forms part of an Aboriginal heritage
site rich in burial mounds, fossilised bones and stone tools.

November 15, 2017 Posted by | Federal nuclear waste dump, South Australia | Leave a comment

South Australian government: local Aboriginal community has final veto on nuclear waste suppositary

Tim Bickmore shared ENuFF South Australia‘s post. No Nuclear Waste Dump Anywhere in South Australia, 13 Nov 17 

Oct 24 letter from SA Premier J to the PM regarding proposed radioactive waste suppository in the Flinders Ranges.
“….. the South Australian government committed to provide a local Aboriginal community with a final veto right over any future facility proposed on their lands.
I recommend the Commonwealth Government now consider adopting a similar policy position ….”

November 13, 2017 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Federal nuclear waste dump, South Australia | Leave a comment

Dean Johnson, Kimba mayor, ecstatic about Kimba getting Federal govt bribe for radioactive trash dump search

Make the most of the funding for Kimba  Eyre Peninsula Tribune Kathrine Catanzariti , 7 Nov 17 

November 8, 2017 Posted by | Federal nuclear waste dump, South Australia | Leave a comment


1st November 2017, Nuclear Fuel Cycle Watch   The Greens Bill to finally end wasteful government spending on the proposed South Australian international nuclear waste dump passed through the upper house late tonight. As the Bill had support from the Government, we expect it to also pass the lower house in coming weeks.

“I’m delighted that this sorry saga of wasted public funds is now over”, said Mark Parnell MLC, Greens SA Parliamentary Leader. “Now that the dump has been comprehensively dumped, it is important to draw a line under any further public spending on this ill-conceived project. We don’t have final figures on what was spent on this folly but at least $14 million is a conservative estimate.

“The Greens’ Bill strengthens existing laws against using public money to “encourage or finance nuclear waste storage facilities” by removing the reference to spending money on further public consultation and debate over the dump. Of course, if a future government wants to spruik the merits of turning SA into the world’s nuclear dumping ground, they can always come to Parliament for approval. In a democracy, that’s the right approach.

Importantly, the Greens’ Bill does not prevent the Government managing or sharing the information that has been gathered over the last 2 years or engaging with the Federal Government over plans for a separate national nuclear waste dump in South Australia.

“The Greens will continue to oppose plans to send Lucas Heights’ intermediate-level nuclear waste to the Flinders Ranges or Kimba pending a proper review of Australia’s stores of domestic nuclear waste and how to deal with them. The State Labor Government in the past has fought tooth and nail to stop the Federal Government dumping domestic nuclear waste in our State. Spending public money to deal with other State and Territory governments in relation to nuclear waste will still be allowed.

The Greens now urge all political parties to focus on supporting industries and opportunities that will enhance our State, rather than those which risk South Australia’s economy, environment and reputation”, concluded Mr Parnell

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

Holtec casks for wastes (as intended by Nuclear Royal Commission for South Australia) now found to have faults

Dry Cask Risks Not Known When Design Approved by NRC, 2 Nov 2017Former Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) Administrative Judge Dr. Peter Lam discloses that the vulnerabilities of Diablo’s Holtec dry cask nuclear waste storage system to stress corrosion cracking – recently documented by Donna Gilmore – was not known to decision-makers 20 years ago, when the NRC approved the design.

Dr. Lam’s disclosure seems to throw into serious question the validity of the design basis of all planned and existing nuclear waste storage systems in California and elsewhere.

This is number four of four excerpts, posted as a public service by EON, from the video coverage of the Oct. 19, 2017 meeting of the Diablo Canyon Independent Safety Committee.

For more info:

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

Nuclear fuel waste: Extended Storage at Lucas Heights or target SA?

The proposed Intermediate Level Waste Store is predominantly for ANSTO reactor wastes

Briefer (Nov 2017) by David Noonan, Independent Environment Campaigner   The Federal government has divided Australian community and is compromising safety in proposed import and indefinite above ground storage of ANSTO nuclear wastes in South Australia.

Since April 2016 the Federal government has solely targeted regional communities in SA for a proposed above ground Store to take irradiated Nuclear Fuel Waste (NFW) and long lived Intermediate Level Waste (ILW) from the ANSTO Lucas Heights reactor facility in NSW.

The ARPANSA CEO formally considered this proposed NRWMF Store and stated in May 2015:

“This plan will have the provision for ILW storage above ground for approximately 100 years.”

This nuclear waste storage plan compromises safety by importing long lived reactor waste to SA without any waste disposal capacity or even a program or plan for potential disposal of NFW and ILW. Safety requires these nuclear wastes are isolated from the environment for over 10,000 years.

The proposed 100 year Store in SA for 10,000 year nuclear wastes is a divisive, unsafe and unnecessary plan – given ANSTO’s capacity to retain these nuclear wastes at Lucas Heights.

Federal Contingency options to store Nuclear Fuel Wastes at Lucas Heights: Continue reading

November 1, 2017 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Federal nuclear waste dump, South Australia | Leave a comment

ANSTO calls High Level Nuclear Waste – “Intermediate Level” – fooling the public

Steve Dale Nuclear Fuel Cycle Watch South Australia  21 Oct 17 Lest we forget. The ore we dig up from Roxby has a radioactivity of about 80 Becquerels per gram. The vitrified waste we received back from France has a radioactivity over one Billion Becquerels per gram (one GigaBq/gr). France considers this High Level Waste – but our political system has allowed this to be defined as “Intermediate” – incompetence? corrupt? I will let you decide. (image from…/2006_summar…/files/docs/all.pdf)

October 20, 2017 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Federal nuclear waste dump, reference, spinbuster | Leave a comment

Business South Australia – still a strident voice for the nuclear lobby

Nuclear fight isn’t over, vows Business SA, Business SA has vowed to continue the nuclear waste dump fight after the next election, with boss Nigel McBride slamming the state’s politicians for killing off the debate because of populist politics,In Daily, Tom Richardson, 19 October 17 . 

The recommendation received majority support, with Labor, Liberal and Greens MPs backing it and the Australian Conservatives MLC dissenting.

Greens MLC Mark Parnell went further, pushing to reinstate laws that would prevent any Government consulting publicly on the merits of a nuclear waste storage.

But McBride today hit out at the political consensus, warning it set a dangerous precedent of shutting down mature debate on complex issues…….

He said the state had already spent at least $14 million of taxpayers’ money on the Royal Commission – let alone subsequent community consultations………

he reserved particular scorn for Weatherill’s bid to hasten the decision process through a series of citizens’ juries…….

McBride was among those who spoke at the jury sessions, and described the jurors as “intelligent, thoughtful, questioning, decent members of the public”……..

Despite being a long-time advocate for exploring nuclear waste storage in SA, McBride was among the first proponents to declare the plan “dead” after the state Liberals last year withdrew bipartisan support……..

October 20, 2017 Posted by | politics, South Australia, wastes | Leave a comment

No more money for investigating nuclear waste importing – South Australian Parliamentary Committee report

No more cash for nuclear vision as parties conspire against waste dump. In Daily, Tom Richardson , 18 Oct 17  A parliamentary inquiry into Jay Weatherill’s doomed nuclear waste repository has told the State Government not to spend another cent of public money on the plan, with MPs from both major parties conspiring to drive the last nail into the project’s political coffin.The final report of a committee established to review the findings of former Governor Kevin Scarce’s Nuclear Royal Commission, tabled in parliament yesterday, makes only one recommendation: “That the South Australian Government should not commit any further public funds to pursuing the proposal to establish a repository for the storage of nuclear waste in SA.”

The recommendation was endorsed by Liberal, Greens and Labor members of the committee – surprisingly, including even outspoken nuclear advocate and Labor whip Tom Kenyon………

Earlier this year, InDaily revealed Weatherill’s declaration that the project would not be revisited by his Government.

But the work of the committee has continued, with the inquiry hearing “concerns from witnesses that if market conditions changed, for example through competition or changes in technology, the state may be left with a facility which, from an economic and financial perspective, is a break-even proposition at best”.

“Further, while no direct losses would be incurred, there could be significant costs attached to losing other, potentially higher value, investment opportunities,” the report stated.

“Further still, the minimum pre-commitment, or baseline viability, does not mitigate risk of writing-off pre-commitment expenditure estimated at roundly $600 million if the facility did not proceed.”

The committee noted “the possibility of a customer country unilaterally deciding not to send waste to SA despite contractual agreements to do so which, depending on the timing of the risk impact, could leave the facility significantly under-funded”.

Greens committee member Mark Parnell, a consistent opponent of the repository plan, said today “the project was ill-conceived from the outset”.

“The whole exercise has been a colossal waste of millions of dollars of taxpayers’ money, but it’s now good the process has finished and we can move on to talking about more realistic projects that will create employment and opportunity for South Australians,” he said.

Calling the inquiry’s recommendation the “second-last nail in the coffin”, Parnell insisted the Government must now reinstate Section 13 of the Nuclear Waste Storage Facility (Prohibition) Act of 2000, which was repealed last year.

The law prevented the Government from consulting on the merits of a nuclear waste storage facility, holding that “no public money may be appropriated, expended or advanced to any person for the purpose of encouraging or financing any activity associated with the construction or operation of a nuclear waste storage facility” in SA.

Parnell has his own legislation before parliament to re-establish the original act, saying “we need to fix the legislation to make sure no future government comes back with a project like this, without coming to parliament first”……..


October 18, 2017 Posted by | NUCLEAR ROYAL COMMISSION 2016, reference, South Australia, wastes | Leave a comment

South Australian Labor commends Weatherill govt on acknowledging Citizens Jury outcome – no nuclear waste importing

In addition to the parliamentary committee report released today …

Motion / resolution passed unanimously by the Australian Labor Party SA Branch, State Convention 2017 
13 October 2017
Motion 22. MUA
Federal Nuclear Waste Dump
Andrew AllisonNuclear Fuel Cycle Watch South Australia-18 Oct 17  -South Australian  Labor congratulates the Weatherill government for acknowledging the Citizens Jury outcome to reject the establishment of the nuclear dump, which reflected a majority of the state’s residents, some two thirds of Jury participants. The Weatherill Government is to be commended for acknowledging the community, social and environmental concerns.

SA Labor calls on the State Government to oppose any future proposal for a South Australian nuclear dump and storage site. lt is recognised that the Federal Government is indicating they will advocate for a nuclear waste dump in our state. The SA Labor Government and Party will publicly oppose any proposal of this nature, and take this position based on the findings, evidence and community concerns presented during the Citizens Jury.
SA Labor continues to acknowledge, respects and endorse the ALP National Platform on Nuclear Waste.

October 18, 2017 Posted by | politics, South Australia, wastes | Leave a comment

Australian govt changing electoral boundaries, in effort to get support for radioactive waste dump in South Australia?

Fight To Stop Nuclear Waste Dump In Flinders Ranges SA  
 Gayle Macey No! This has to be a State Referendum with no exclusion. This business of governments chanting boundaries etc, to hopefully give themselves a better chance of getting their own way, has to stop. Good luck with all of this.
 Sandra Hill Disgusting. Why don’t they find somewhere near Canbera. S.A is not their dumping ground!!

October 16, 2017 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Federal nuclear waste dump, politics, South Australia | Leave a comment

Hypocrisy of Gareth Evans – supposedly promotes nuclear disarmament, but now plugging for nuclear waste importing

Nuclear power and nuclear weapons are intrinsically connected. The shonky 2016 South Australian plan to import nuclear wastes was intended to promote the global nuclear industry, as Gareth Evans well knows

Paul Waldon Fight To Stop Nuclear Waste Dump In Flinders Ranges SA, 7 Oct 17 Thursdays Advertiser story: Gareth Evans calling to resuscitate the dead program of South Australia being the worlds nuclear waste dump with desire to debate on something that should remain buried, or is he a “Mass Debater” trying to satisfy himself. However he has condemned the “NIMBY’s”, who he has claimed employed arguments by activists for their roll in the death of a program he supports.

October 7, 2017 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, wastes | Leave a comment