Australian news, and some related international items

Nuclear waste dumping decisions promoted as just a “local” issue – Australia unaware

How a planned nuclear waste dump in the tiny SA town of Kimba impacts us all, Independent Australia,  Should a remote farming community in South Australia be charged with the momentous decision of storing radioactive waste? Noel Wauchope reports.

THE AUSTRALIAN GOVERNMENT’S drive for a national radioactive trash dump continues.

It is being depicted by the Federal Government and the media as not a national matter. Indeed, it’s now not even a State matter concerning South Australia. It is now portrayed as just a local matter for small rural areas such as Kimba — population 1,100.

However, an opinion poll in Adelaide Now showed strong rejection of the plan for a nuclear waste dump at Kimba.

Kimba is an agricultural area, most noted for bushfires (Kimba means “bushfire”), wheat farming and a giant statue of a galah.

At the moment, Kimba is well in the running to host the national radioactive trash dump. In 2017, a Kimba town vote favouring this was 396 to 294 in favour. Not an overwhelming endorsement from this small community, but enough to keep enthusiasm for the project going, seeing as the matter is apparently of little concern to the rest of the State or the nation.

How come that Kimba is such a likely place for the dump?

Australia’s nuclear lobby has for decades been pursuing its plan for importing nuclear waste. In more recent years, this nuclear push has also turned its focus towards a dump for Australia’s own nuclear waste. The Australian Government, directed by its statutory body Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO), joined in this because ANSTO is obligated by contract to deal with the high-level waste returning to Australia from processing in France and the UK. This waste is currently stored in containers at Lucas Heights in Sydney……….

in 2018, ANSTO and the ever-persistent nuclear lobby are going for what appears to be a moderate aim — the same old “low level” nuclear waste dump that Howard sought in 1998. The National Radioactive Waste Management Act 2012 stressed the idea that the selection of a site should be “consent-driven” — though, in fact, it gives the Federal Government extraordinary powers to override state/territory governments, councils, communities, traditional owners and, indeed, anyone else.

With the emphasis on landowners volunteering sites – and with financial inducements offered – rural South Australians were encouraged to come forward.

The Turnbull Government claimed it had:

‘ … widespread support from direct neighbours of the nominated properties.’

Farmer Jeff Baldock nominated his property – and will be paid four times its value – if his offer is successful. Wallerberdina Station, near Hawker, has volunteered. Both communities can expect $2 million in government grants plus a $10 million fund for community development for the chosen site.

No wonder that there’s enthusiasm for the project in this somewhat economically stressed area. However, strong opposition to the dump continues from traditional owners the Adnyamathanhapeople and from 204 paid-up members of the Kimba local group, No Radioactive Waste Facility for Kimba District.

The process has been fraught with problems, starting with the problem of overriding South Australia’s law against setting up nuclear waste facilities.

Because the discussion has been confined to communities in the region, there is little input from experts other than those provided by ANSTO. Farming community members have been transported to Lucas Heights at ANSTO’s expense and given reassuring technical information on nuclear waste storage in canisters. ANSTO medical and nuclear experts have been running science lessons in schools and offering hopes of scholarships to ANSTO.

A very problematic area, indeed, is the fraudulent story about storage of “low-level medical wastes” being the purpose of the facility. The practice of nuclear medicine has in no way been adversely affected by the absence of a national repository and it won’t in any way benefit from the establishment of a repository thousands of kilometres away from Lucas Heights. The real need is to store the processed spent fuel rod waste returning to Lucas Heights from France and the UK. This is classified by the French Nuclear Safety Authority (ASN) as “high level” waste.

An equally problematic area is in the temporary nature of the planned waste storage. This long-lasting radioactive trash will require burial for its thousands of years of toxicity. Kimba – or whichever area ends up with this facility – is facing the risk of “stranded” nuclear waste.

An Adelaide Now article (no longer available online) quoted a local teacher, Meagan Lienert, assuring us that she has done the research and that the waste facility would not affect the local farming environment. This illustrates a major problem with the way that this issue is being pitched to the locals.

As food produce marketing expert Kristen Jelk discussed in community discussions last year on the South Australian Government site, ‘Your Say’ the perception of clean, green South Australia is all-important. The presence of a nearby nuclear waste dump would ruin that market.

Similarly, Kimba farmer Justine Major wrote to the Eyre Peninsula Tribune, concerned about the image of the local agricultural produce if the radioactive dump should go ahead.

While some in Kimba, including its Mayor, are keen for further investigation of the project as a promising boost for the local economy, are they aware of the irony in that Kimba was, in 2017 State winner of KESAB’s Sustainable Communities top town? This award honours the community that does the most to protect the environment and embrace sustainability.

They hope to go on to win the Australian title.

The Federal Government has set up consultative committees at the local level to advise on the radioactive waste facility proposal. Perhaps it is time for the rest of Australia to have a say.,11102


January 17, 2018 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Federal nuclear waste dump | Leave a comment

Brett Stokes – a reminder about ANSTO and its zeal for the nuclear industry

Brett Burnard Stokes about ANSTO 15 Jan 18 
(a) government backed nuclear corporation ANSTO are spending lots of money to establish a nuclear waste dump in South Australia,

|(b) there are laws in SA against nuclear waste dumps (see ) including a provision that no public money be spent promoting nuclear waste dump.

(c) in contempt of SA laws, ANSTO has spent millions of dollars of public money on propaganda campaigns in South Australia, targetting various places with three sites active now, two in Kimba and one in the Flinders.

(d) ANSTO have run polling a while back, where the results were pretty marginal … and way short of “clear local consent” to proceed.

(e) ANSTO want to pretend that there is “clear local consent” so they are lying and also changing the rules,

(f) ANSTO have dodgy expansionary business plans involving huge export earnings from “medical isotopes” they plan to make at Lucas Heights.
If they do this, it will produce a lot of waste that they do not want to keep at Lucas Heights where there is room.
The business plans are dodgy on many levels.

(g) ANSTO are bullies with lots of cash.

January 14, 2018 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Federal nuclear waste dump, politics | Leave a comment

Lest we forget: South Australians consistently reject hosting a nuclear waste dump

January 14, 2018 Posted by | Federal nuclear waste dump, South Australia | Leave a comment

Jeff Baldock looks to four times value of his land to host nuclear waste dump: others not so keen.

Opinion poll results 8 Jan 17 “3.30 pm – “NO vote is currently up to 76.75%

The Advertiser, South Australia is running an opinion poll –  Should a nuclear waste facility be built at Kimba? on their article
As choice of nuclear waste facility starts narrowing, people of Kimba are either excited or disgusted

[Ed note 12 Jan – at a later date, the “NO” vote jumped to 85%]

Jeff Baldock and family:  A Kimba nuclear waste dump on their property would be a bonanza for them

But what would it do for the market’s perception of South Australia’s farm produce?

January 8, 2018 Posted by | Federal nuclear waste dump, South Australia | Leave a comment

Keep ANSTO’s deadly radioactive waste at Australia’s only accepted high grade nuclear waste dump, Lucas Heights. 

Paul Waldon, Fight To Stop Nuclear Waste Dump In Flinders Ranges SA Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organization, founded 1987… Australian Atomic Energy Commission, established 1952… Atomic Energy Policy Committee, created 1949…

How long it was on the drawing board is unknown. However the locals willingness to embrace and accept a nuclear waste producing machine with its ever growing stockpile of manufactured waste in their region is alive and strong.

For 69+ years the facility has been endorsed every time someone relocates to Lucas Heights/Barden Ridge and surrounding burbs,, or when a contract for a house or business in the area has been secured. 69 Years is along time in the cycle of a persons life, and presents a question:are there any surviving post nuclear residents residing in the district? So keep ANSTO’s deadly radioactive waste at Australia’s only accepted high grade nuclear waste dump, Lucas Heights.

January 8, 2018 Posted by | Federal nuclear waste dump, New South Wales | Leave a comment

Kimba town hopes to win top environmental award – but wants nuclear waste dump !!

where do we want to see Kimba in 300 years?  We’ll be a national centre for rubbish.

The community is a finalist for the Australian title of KESAB’s Sustainable Communities top town…..the award   honours the community that does the most to protect the environment  [!!!]

As choice of nuclear waste facility starts narrowing, people of Kimba are either excited or disgusted,  Erin Jones, Sunday Mail (SA) January 6, 2018 IF there are two words that can split an already isolated South Australian town and destroy lifelong friendships, they are “nuclear waste”.

Kimba, on the northern edge of the Eyre Peninsula’s vast grain-growing belt, is home to two of the three proposed sites where the nation’s radioactive waste might be stored.

Most city slickers probably only know about the town because of its giant silo artwork or the ageing giant galah structure. But it is where farming is the lifeblood of the community and where the proposal to use agricultural land as a nuclear site weighs heavily on some residents in the town of 650.

“We were a really tight-knit community but now we’re just a town,” says farmer Amy Koch. “We’re not even a community anymore.”

Everything changed two years ago when the owners of two farms nominated to be the site for a nuclear waste repository. The move has had a polarising effect. Long-time friendships have broken down, businesses have been boycotted and people deliberately avoid each other in the street and at events.

Mrs Koch’s friend, Rachel Yates, also a farmer, says the division between residents is palpable.

“When you go into town, you make sure you know a friend is going to be there and you have someone to talk to,” Mrs Yates says. “I’ve never seen anything like this that has divided the whole town.” The women are part of No Radioactive Waste on Agricultural Land in Kimba or SA — a group started in response to the two farming families offering their land.

If approved, the successful farm will hold low-level waste from the Lucas Heights nuclear facility, in NSW, and Australia’s intermediate-level waste such as that from industrial, medical and research applications. (Ed. note: no mention of the high level nuclear waste from the Lucas Heights nuclear reactor, which will also come)

Many see the facility as a way forward, helping to boost the local economy and creating jobs.

Others say there will be little economic benefit and the town’s reputation will be tarnished.

Third-generation farmer Jeff Baldock defends his decision to offer 100ha of his Napandee property, 25km northwest of Kimba, despite some resistance.“When this process first started I felt physically ill going to Kimba and my family would feel really uncomfortable going to functions,” he says.“Twelve months ago I asked if it’s worth it but one of our neighbours said ‘If you believe in it you just have to keep going’. “Now we feel more than happy to go to town.

“Ninety per cent of people are still chatting away merrily to whoever but there is a group that has decided that they don’t want to be a part of that.

“I still say ‘G’day’ to everybody — if they choose not to say it back, that’s up to them.”

Mr Baldock and his wife, Jenny, nominated another of their properties last year but it was ruled out by the Federal Government following the assessment process and opposition.

As a result, they nominated their Napandee property, where they live with their children and five grandchildren. If successful, they will be paid four times the value of the land — believed to be about $400,000 — and Mr Baldock says they aim to crop the site’s 60ha buffer zone to put money back into the community through the local Agricultural Bureau and Lions Club.

But Mr Baldock believes the real benefit of the repository will be for the town’s residents in safeguarding them financially in the event of drought.

About 50 per cent of residents are employed in agriculture, according to figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics. “This is an industry that doesn’t rely on agriculture, that’s the big thing,” Mr Baldock says.

“Seven of the last 10 years have been good but it won’t keep going that way and it might be a bit ugly if we have two or three droughts.

“We see this as drought-proofing the community.”

An Electoral Commission ballot of Kimba residents found 57 per cent of the 698 respondents — there are 1100 residents in the council area — agreed the sites should progress to the next round of consultation.

The process included a 90-day consultation period and the Government said there was widespread support from direct neighbours of the nominated properties, with all but one supporting proceeding to the next phase.

The Kimba properties have now joined Wallerberdina Station, near Hawker, to advance to stage two of consultation but the Flinders Ranges site is facing strong opposition from the Adnyamathanha people — the traditional owners — for cultural reasons.

Both communities now have access to $2 million worth of grants — from the Government’s community benefit fund for local projects to create economic or social benefits — in recognition of any disruption during the assessment process.

A $10 million fund for community development projects has been promised to the area of the final chosen site — expected to be announced in the second half of this year — which critics fear is a sweetener to encourage the waste facility’s approval.

Michelle Rayner believes the nuclear debate has already had positive benefits in town, including accommodation being filled with government workers and the media visiting on a regular basis.

Mrs Rayner, who owns Eileen’s cafe just off the main street, and her husband, Brett, proposed their Lyndhurst farming property as the other potential site to become the repository. That decision resulted in them being castigated by former acquaintances. but Mrs Rayner said the town needed something to boost its economic prospects.

“My husband wasn’t interested in it all initially but then he came to a community meeting and was blown away by the opportunities for the town,” she says.

“To become a government town, you’re guaranteed to have a decent hospital, better infrastructure and better internet communications.”

The Federal Government says wherever the facility is located, it will bring a minimum of 15 jobs in
administration, waste management and security.

As well, a facility of this scale would likely have additional investment in infrastructure such as roads and telecommunications.

Mayor Dean Johnson does not skirt around the issues and the importance of finding new ways to bring more people to the town, which currently has dozens of empty houses. “The truth is our population is on a slow decline and if we can’t turn that around our sustainability will be questioned,” he says.

“While we have the agriculture roots — and it will always be the main industry in Kimba  [Ed note: Not when then market learns about the radioactive trash dump nearby]— any opportunity to diversify the economy and bring more jobs into the town should be investigated.

“That’s not saying this definitely is the thing but we believe we have to investigate it fully and the community has supported that view.”

The stage two consultation process was announced in June and, last month, 16 community members were appointed to a local consultative committee by the Federal Government.

In total, 51 people applied and explained why they wanted to be part of the committee to act as a link to
the government, the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science and residents.

The committee is to provide advice on jobs and business opportunities, relay information on the project’s technical aspects and review nominations for the $2 million community benefit fund.

TEACHER Meagan Lienert — one of the committee members — supports the waste facility because of the benefits she believes it will bring, especially to the school’s 174 students.

She says medical and nuclear experts had run science lessons at the school and there was talk of access to scholarships at the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation, at Lucas Heights.

But she understands some people fear nuclear waste because they believe it will affect farming land.

“From my research, I can see the facility is safe and I know it won’t have any affect on the things around it but the fear some people have is real,” Mrs Lienert says.

“I don’t take that away from anyone but I hope to be able to help people gain a bit of understanding and perhaps relieve some of that fear through the consultative committee.”

No Radioactive Waste on Agricultural Land in Kimba or SA secretary Toni Scott is also on the consultative committee and raises concerns about whether the process will be fair.

Mrs Scott says there is a struggle to get information from the Government on why federal land is not used and how many jobs the waste facility will create, saying the number has fluctuated from 15 to 30.

“How do we trust the Government building this facility when we can’t even trust the process?” Mrs Scott says.

“We’re trying to get in writing that if there’s another vote what percentage the Minister needs for this to go ahead. The department head said he would need more than 65 per cent to build the facility but it has never reached 60 per cent.”

FOR two years, Mrs Scott has represented the group’s 204 financial members to oppose the facility, including making representations at Parliament House in Adelaide and Canberra.

“The key concerns we have are for our farming and our produce; we live in a big country and only 4 per cent is arable farming land — and we sit within that,” she says. “We think we don’t need to risk productive land when there is so much non-arable land. They should try a bit harder to find a suitable site because people aren’t very happy here and it feels like two years of a government process has been forced upon you.”

Kimba farmer and former federal Liberal MP Barry Wakelin is a member of the anti-nuclear group and believes the Government is struggling to find a suitable site — an issue plaguing successive governments since 1992.

“This is their third go after Woomera, Mataranka, and now we have the Kimba/Hawker situation,” Mr Wakelin says.

“The Federal Government has so many other options; it’s absurd to have a community divided on this issue.

“The other thing that weighs heavily on people’s minds is where do we want to see Kimba in 300 years?
We’ll be a national centre for rubbish.” Federal Minister for Resources Matt Canavan told the Sunday Mail 
no final decision on the site had been made. He says the Kimba community will get another vote on whether they support a facility — but says there is no “arbitrary figure” which will determine whether it will go ahead.

“The people of Kimba will have a chance to have their say again through another vote after this more comprehensive consultation period concludes,” he says. “There is no arbitrary figure for each step but I have always said there must be broad community support.” Mr Canavan says the process has been rigorous and transparent and a decision would not be made without consultation.


KIMBA locals are forever trying to attract more visitors to their town — and now their efforts are gaining national attention.

The community is a finalist for the Australian title of KESAB’s Sustainable Communities top town — previously the Tidy Towns competition — after being named state winner in November.

The award — to be announced in April — honours the community that does the most to protect the environment, enhance their town and embrace sustainability.

Kimba Community Development Group chairwoman Heather Baldock says their entry included the Igniting Kimba arts project, which included stunning artwork on the town’s grain silos — a refreshing foil to the better-known but now tired-looking Big Galah.

“In a community where sport has always been important, art adds a whole other element to our community and it’s excited the locals even more than we expected,” she says.

“The media interest from across Australia regarding our silo art has been amazing and I think it’s something the whole community is quite proud of.

“We saw a 35 per cent increase in traffic when it was finished (in September) which was over 600 vehicles, so we’re pretty pleased with that.

“Anything that can make people stop for an extra night or two will help us economically because we have businesses that are struggling.”

The award also recognises the town’s grey nomad program, encouraging travelling retirees to work alongside local volunteers, pass on skills and, in return, stay for free…..http://www.adelaide a/as-choice-of-nuclear-waste-f acility-starts-narrowing-peopl e-of-kimba-are-either-excited- or-disgusted/news-story/ 8460ea159b77d47d915dc0abfc362b 37

January 8, 2018 Posted by | Federal nuclear waste dump, South Australia | Leave a comment

Timeline of present and recent plans to dump radioactive trash in the Flinders Ranges

As choice of nuclear waste facility starts narrowing, people of Kimba are either excited or disgusted, http://www.adelaide a/as-choice-of-nuclear-waste-f acility-starts-narrowing-peopl e-of-kimba-are-either-excited- or-disgusted/news-story/ 8460ea159b77d47d915dc0abfc362b 37Erin Jones, Sunday Mail (SA)
January 6, 2018 “………..1998:
 The Howard Government announces plans for two low-level nuclear waste sites in SA, both at Woomera. Low level nuclear waste includes items like contaminated clothing, rags, tools, medical tubes and swabs.

2003: The SA Government passes a Bill banning the establishment of a low-level waste dump, but the Commonwealth tries to acquire the land at Woomera.

2004: The Federal Court rules that the acquisition is unlawful and the Commonwealth abandons its SA plans.

February, 2015: SA Premier Jay Weatherill announces a royal commission into the role the state could play in the nuclear future, including establishing a high-level waste facility in SA. High level waste includes spent nuclear fuels and waste from the vitrification process.

May, 2015:Mr Weatherill decides upon a citizen’s jury process, to decide whether SA should pursue a high-level dump.

November, 2015:Six sites across Australia, including two at Kimba and one in the Flinders Ranges, are short-listed for a low-level nuclear waste site.

April, 2016: Wallerberdina Station, near Hawker, in the Flinders Ranges, goes to the next stage of the consultation phase — ahead of the five other sites.

November, 2016:The majority of Citizen’s Jury participants vote against a high-level waste dump.

June, 2017 Mr Weatherill formally abandons his high-level nuclear waste push.

■ Two more properties at Kimba nominate to be a low-level nuclear waste site and also progress to the next stage of consultation.   http://www.adelaide a/as-choice-of-nuclear-waste-f acility-starts-narrowing-peopl e-of-kimba-are-either-excited- or-disgusted/news-story/ 8460ea159b77d47d915dc0abfc362b 37


January 8, 2018 Posted by | Federal nuclear waste dump, South Australia | Leave a comment

Aboriginal anger over lack of action to stop Scots nuclear waste transfers

Ms McKenzie said: “Australian Aboriginal people live in a land that they are the first people, yet our culture belief, our religion is ignored, our heritage and burial sites desecrated, we have never been acknowledged in the constituion. This act of placing a nuclear waste dump on the Adnyamathana nations country is cultral genocide.

“The United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Article 29.2 says that governments must get consent from traditional owners to place any toxic substances on country, which never happened 
“Please dont impact Aboriginal people like Britons did with Maralinga, when they tested the atomic bomb. Don’t destroy culture.

Video: Aborigine anger over lack of action to stop Scots nuclear waste transfers
Martin Williams ,January 2018…/15808815.Video__Aborigine_…/
CAMPAIGNERS have accused the Scottish Government of a lack of decisive action following protests over plans to dump nuclear waste from Dounreay at a sacred Aboriginal burial place.
Ministers have come under fire for failing to review proposals for a sacred area of Wallerberdina, 280 miles north of Adelaide, to become a potential location for Australia’s first nuclear dump.

It came despite Aborigine tribes people providing a video appeal to the officials to stop the dumping.
Campaigner Gary Cushway, a dual Australian-British citizen living in Glasgow, pressed the point in a meeting with the Government which was arranged after he wrote to First Minister Nicola Sturgeon over the controversy.
Wallerberdina is said to include Aboriginal burial mounds, fossilised bones and stone tools.
But it has been earmarked as part of a deal that returns spent fuel processed at the nuclear facility currently being decommissioned at the nuclear site in Caithness to its country of origin.
Mr Cushway said he was “disappointed” by the “lack of decisive action” after asking that the Government review the agreement.

Aborigines provided a video appeal to the Scottish Government to stop the dumping in an area 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.
The video, which came in the form of a documentary, highlighted one Aborigine speaking in the Adnyamanthatha language saying, “the poison, leave it alone” and “we don’t want it”.

The proposed dump site is next to an indigenous protected area where Aborigines are still allowed to hunt, and is part of the traditional home of the Adnyamathanha people, one of several hundred indigenous groups in Australia.
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. Continue reading

January 6, 2018 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Federal nuclear waste dump | Leave a comment

The politics behind the nuclear push in South Australia is complicated indeed.

 Some nuclear-free sleuths on the Facebook site Nuclear Fuel Cycle Watch South Australia– help unravel the complexities.

While the South Australian Liberal Party’s official position was opposition to the Labor government’s 2016 plan to import nuclear wastes, Liberal politicians as well as Labor were funded by the Taiwanese government for trips to Taiwan to promote the cause of importing nuclear wastes.

MPs and MLCs visiting Taiwan:

During the financial year 2014-2015, Tom Kenyon and his wife received travel, accommodation and food courtesy of the Government of Taiwan. The Members Register of Interests for that year contains the information in the clipping below.

UPDATE – Other Parliamentarians to visit Taiwan and discuss nuclear industry include:

– Tom Kenyon (Newland) in 2006 (funding: GoT)
– Liz Penfold (Flinders) in 2007 (funding: unknown)
– Trish White (Taylor) in 2006-2007 (funding: GoT)*
– Michael Atkinson in March 2011 (funding: GoT)*
– Stephen Griffiths in March 2011 (funding: GoT)*
– Tom Kenyon (Newland) in 2014-2015 (funding: GoT)
– MLC Tung Ngo in 2016 (funding: unknown)

* Those marked with ‘*’ have not had the purpose of their travel confirmed.

Tom Kenyon’s visit to Taiwan in 2006, during which he claims he embraced the idea for South Australia to import spent nuclear fuel for storage and disposal, was paid for by the Government of Taiwan.

The supporting evidence was found in the 2007 Members Register of Interests, held by the SA Parliament.

Thanks to Sandra Kanck for suggesting that the Register might contain such details, and to the administrators at the SA Parliament for making past Members Registers of Interests available at my request.

Dan Monceaux  , 6 Jan 18   Trish White also travelled to Taiwan in 2006-2007 at the expense of the Government of Taiwan. It was documented in an Erratum to the Members Register of Interests for that year.

More recently, White was a signatory on the latest Open Letter hosted by Bright New World, calling for the door to be kept open on the consideration of spent nuclear fuel importation to SA.

Her Wikipedia biography states that she was an engineer and project manager before entering the SA parliament. She also worked with DSTO. After leaving the Parliament, she became a senior exec. with engineering consultants, WorleyParsons.

I wonder if she traveled with Tom Kenyon on this occasion?

Taiwanese energy firm rejects Martin Hamilton-Smith’s claim it would help set up SA nuclear waste dump, Daniel Wills, State political editor, The Advertiser, 15 Dec 2016  TAIWAN’S state-owned energy company has bluntly rejected Investment and Trade Minister Martin Hamilton-Smith’s claim the country would consider paying to help set up a nuclear waste dump in SA, saying in a letter that it “hereby declares this is a false information”.
Just days after Premier Jay Weatherill’s citizens’ jury last month overwhelmingly dumped on plans for nuclear storage in SA, amid concerns about trust, Mr Hamilton-Smith insisted he had met with Taiwanese officials who expressed a “clear message” of interest in investment.
“There’s clearly a demand and our neighbours may be in a position to put hundreds of millions, if not billions, into infrastructure and then paying to dump waste on an ongoing basis,” he said.
However, correspondence from state-owned power company Taipower and the country’s Atomic Energy Council to government party MP Su Chih-Feng rejects Mr Hamilton-Smith’s claim.
While they note there was a meeting with Mr Hamilton-Smith on November 10, Taipower says his spin of the events in Adelaide three days later was “a false information”.
The translation from Mandarin to English was done by a Taiwanese NGO and provided to The Advertiser by antinuclear activists Friends of the Earth Australia. It states Taipower was interested in using a dump which had been established, but not paying to help set one up.
“A foreign solution is one of the options for Taipower. However, foreign solution is also sensitive case in terms of international relationships,” the letter states.
“Therefore, foreign solutions should carefully consider both domestic and foreign regulations.
“Foreign solutions is a sensitive case with a lot of uncertainties.
“Taipower will consider to be a ‘customer’ after the country has developed a disposal facility.”
Taiwan’s Atomic Energy Council also said Mr Hamilton-Smith’s claim was “a false information”………/87d59e1b045388a83ead14d..

In an earlier Advertiser report  –  “Investment and Trade Minister Martin Hamilton-Smith said he was delivered a “clear message” that the tiny island nation would be interested in investing in nuclear storage infrastructure and making ongoing payments to dump waste overseas.”    “our neighbours may be in a position to put hundreds of millions, if not billions. into infrastructure” –

January 6, 2018 Posted by | South Australia, wastes | 1 Comment

In 1995 the Australian government knew that Sydney’s Lucas Heights high level radioactive trash was a problem


Spent nuclear fuel storage Damien Murphy,

Spent nuclear fuel storage at Sydney’s Lucas Heights was destined to be full within three years, cabinet was told in a December 1995 minute.

The cabinet agreed the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation should cost proposals to have Britain reprocess their spent fuel in Scotland, return all American spent fuel to the United States and not accumulate spent fuel beyond the capacity of existing storage.

Cabinet wanted the information for consideration in the 1996-97 budget.

The minister for primary industries and energy, Bob Collins, and the minister for industry, technology and commerce, Peter Cook, told cabinet that reducing spent research reactor fuel holdings would be welcomed by the community at Lucas Heights although any operations involving radioactive materials were likely to be opposed by groups that object to nuclear activities.

December 31, 2017 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Federal nuclear waste dump | Leave a comment

Federal Nuclear Waste Dump: Locals NOT WELCOME to attend the Barndioota Consultative Committee December Meeting

Tim Bickmore, Fight To Stop Nuclear Waste Dump In Flinders Ranges SA, 14 Dec 17, This week some locals tried to attend the Barndioota Consultative Committee December Meeting – but were not welcome. They were advised that 1] there were no protocols for allowing such, & 2] should the BCC formulate observer guidelines then there was a high probability that peeps would need to sign a confidentiality agreement.

This is a joke, right? Isn’t it a foundation purpose of the committee to provide an interface? What business could they have which requires official secrets remain hidden from the rest of us?…/Barndioota%20Consultat…

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


 by ENuFF(Everyone for a Nuclear Free Future SA) November 2017.In 2015 the SA Weatherill government established the SA NUCLEAR FUEL CYCLE ROYAL COMMISSION (RC). The following year, the government adopted 9 out of 12 of the RC’s recommendations including to expand uranium mining and to collaborate with the federal government on nuclear power developments. A proposal to remove the state’s Nuclear Waste Storage Prohibition Act and, thereby, allow the state to pursue an international highlevel radioactive waste (HLW) dump was not adopted.

Less publicised, the RC’s Report also recommended that the government pursue the disposal of Australia’s own radioactive waste in SA; hardly a novel idea! (Previous attempts have been made, and failed.) And, this recommendation was adopted.

Running in parallel with the RC; confusing many people, the federal government was, again, doing just that: seeking a ‘suitable site’ for shallow burial of decades of Australia’s accumulated low-level waste(LLW) and indefinite storage (co-location) of long-lived and highly hazardous intermediate-level waste (ILW).

A short list of three sites was selected; all in SA: one at Barndioota in the Flinders Ranges – traditional land of the Adnyamathanha people – and two sites at Kimba.

A decision about a final site in SA for the nation’s waste is imminent. State politicians are surprisingly mute about such an important decision. Clearly they do not want this issue raised in the forthcoming (March 2018) state election.

So where has Australia’s radioactive waste come from? Australia has been accumulating nuclear waste since the Cold War era of the late 1940’s. Initially, it is mostly this legacy waste that would be destined for a national waste dump.

During the post-World War 11 and Cold War decades,  Australia mined and milled uranium for US and UK bomb projects; provided sites at Monte Bello, Emu Fields and Maralinga for British atomic bomb tests; established a research reactor at Lucas Heights and developed the Woomera Rocket Range. The forerunner to the CSIRO and a number of nuclear physics research laboratories at universities, especially at the ANU, were also conducting nuclear-related research. The facilities mentioned above were developed in close collaboration with the UK’s quest to develop and test atomic weapons, and the means to deploy them. They all produced and/or stored radioactive waste. There was no thought about what to do with the waste.

 Following the dropping of the atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, many in military and government circles considered that the next war would be fought with nuclear weapons.

Some influential Australian politicians and scientists considered that Australia, too, should eventually produce its own bombs and nuclear power reactors. For example secret work on centrifuge uranium enrichment technology, ostensibly, to reduce the ‘lead-time’ required to develop weapons, was being conducted by the Australian Atomic Energy Commission (AAEC) in the 1960s. However, until now, apart from research reactors, such nuclear dreams have not yet come to fruition.

Since the 1970s after much controversy, a new era of uranium mining creating millions of tonnes of radioactive tailings has commenced; the oldest reactor at Lucas Heights(HIFAR) has been de-commissioned, the Moata reactor is due for decommissioning and a third reactor – the OPAL – has been built; all with no long-term plans for the waste.

A group of nuclear enthusiasts, undeterred by the intractable nature of nuclear waste and catastrophic nuclear accidents, is determined to take Australia further down the nuclear road. They wish for Australia to build nuclear power stations and nuclear submarines.

According to ANSTO (formerly AAEC), the organisation responsible for operating the Lucas Height’s OPAL research reactor, the nuclear isotopes currently being produced are for nuclear medicine; engineering; making our food more nutritious and undefined research. No reference is made about defence-related research, from either the past or present (ENuFF considers that at least 50% of Australia’s radioactive waste could have been created by defence activities. However, it is difficult to verify this.)

In spite of a backlog of decades of waste, no federal government has succeeded in persuading any community to willingly host either the LLW or the much more hazardous and long-lived ILW. Yet ANSTO is in the process of significantly expanding OPAL’s production of medical isotopes for export, thereby, increasing future highly hazardous spent fuel and reprocessed spent fuel waste.

Where is Australia’s waste currently located? It is estimated that there are around 100 sites; many of them in hospitals, universities and engineering businesses, generally holding very small amounts. Such wastes are the responsibility of the state in which they were used. But, the majority of the waste, both in terms of its quantity and level of radioactivity, is held at a number of federally controlled sites including Lucas Heights, Woomera, Radium Hill, Maralinga, St Mary’s in suburban Sydney and Amberley Air Force Base. Waste from these sites is a federal responsibility.

Like a dirty old can being kicked down the road, Australia’s radioactive waste has been moved from one temporary site to the next: for example, waste stored at Derrimut near Melbourne was shifted to St Mary’s in suburban Sydney. From St Mary’s it was moved to Woomera. CSIRO waste from Fisherman’s Bend was moved to Lucas Heights and, after three years, moved again to Woomera, where it has been ‘temporarily’ stored for the past 23 years.

And how is the waste being managed? Records for some of it are lost. Aircraft washings, following the atomic bomb tests, ended up in the Pacific Ocean. Waste from the first decade of Lucas Height’s operation was buried on site. Radioactive valves were buried in old paint tins at Derrimut. At Hunters Hill it was simply forgotten, until rediscovered when building work on a new development commenced there. The Fisherman’s Bend waste is currently stored in 10.000 corroding metal drums housed in a tin shed at Woomera, where the Defence Department doesn’t want it, and where it is leaking Radium-226. Uranium tailings exist in massive and growing quantities; they are stored in ‘dams’ which leak into surrounding soils and ground water when wet, or are blown away when dry and powdery. Uranium tailings, like higher levels of waste, remain radioactive for hundreds of thousands of years.

Meanwhile, the English routinely release waste into the Irish Sea and wanted to wash their hands of the Maralinga site. The Americans have polluted many sites: the Colorado River, Hanford, swathes of Nevada and the Marshall Islands to name just a few. The Russians, too, have a long history of radioactive pollution, most infamously the poisoning of Belarus and Ukraine from the Chernobyl disaster, and the Mayak region from their bomb programme. The Japanese do not know what to do with waste from their nuclear reactors, let alone from the Fukushima multiple melt-downs, that is, apart from releasing it into the Pacific Ocean.

Would a permanent dump for Australia’s LLW waste at Barndioota or Kimba be any better managed? Who Knows? But the highly hazardous waste, including reprocessed spent fuel classified by ANSTO as ILW but by France as HLW, would be kicked further down the road and stored ‘temporarily’ at the proposed national dump. There it would remain, until a permanent repository for hundreds of thousands of years is planned and built hundreds of metres below the ground.

The federal government insists that many other countries have successfully resolved their radioactive waste issues. But, they have not. Why else is there ongoing interest in the establishment of an international waste dump in Australia as recommended by the RC? A national radioactive dump could well become an opportunity to leapfrog into just such an international waste project, as proposed by state Liberal Party adviser Richard Yeeles.



December 12, 2017 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Federal nuclear waste dump, reference | Leave a comment

Call For Senate Inquiry Into South Australia’s Nuclear Dump Sites

Going Ballistic Over “Pathetic” Nuclear Dump response

*Call For Senate Inquiry Into SA’s Nuclear Dump Sites After Minister Squibs on Senate Documents Order

NXT Senator Rex Patrick and SA-Best Leader Nick Xenophon say the only way to get answers for the communities of Kimba and Hawker on the reasons their townships were selected as a potential radioactive waste dump sites is through a Senate inquiry into the consultation and selection process.

Both Senator Patrick and his SA-Best colleague, Nick Xenophon, are gobsmacked at the totally inadequate response by Senator Matt Canavan, the Minister for Resources and Northern Australia, to a Senate order to produce all the documents he used to determine there was ‘broad community support’ to continue exploring Kimba as a site for the low-level waste dump.

On Wednesday Senator Patrick successfully moved the motion for the Minister to make public all the information gathered by Government departments.

Earlier in the year the Minister advised he would need a figure in the range of 65% community support to progress plans in Kimba. Three ballots have been run in Kimba and none have reached 60%.Yet despite not hitting the criteria he set himself, the Minister selected two Kimba sites for further assessment.

Senator Patrick sought the Senate order after the Government refused to provide a local community member with a definition of ‘broad community support’ under freedom of information laws.

 “When I asked for all the information used by Minister Canavan on how he came to make his determination to proceed to the next phase of consultation, all I got was a disingenuous response saying that there was no threshold which constituted ‘broad community support,” Senator Patrick said.

Nick Xenophon said: “None of the information used to make the decision was provided. We need to see and share with the community what was put to him to make his decision.”

Senator Patrick will move for the Senate inquiry into the contentious issue when parliament resumes next year.

 “If I cannot get satisfactory answers, then there’s no choice but to ask the Senate to look into the process undertaken to date and the Government’s reasoning in moving forward to the next stage of the assessment despite the deep division in the community,” he said.

“I made it very clear to the Government during my first speech in the Senate that I had a strong interest in accountability and transparency.

“I want to work constructively with this Government but my enthusiasm to do so is contingent on them embracing a key principle of responsible government – openness and transparency.

“When it comes to decisions made about the people and supposedly for the people, they must be open about them, particularly when it comes to a nuclear dump site, “ said Senator Patrick.     Follow links to the response from Minister Canavan and Senator Patrick’s Senate motion

December 9, 2017 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Federal nuclear waste dump, politics | Leave a comment

Over 1000 protest in Adelaide against Federal nuclear waste dump plan


1000+ at an Adelaide rally yesterday to protest Canberra’s plans to dump Sydney’s nuclear waste in SA … People travelled from Hawker and Kimba regions of South Australia today to come and protest about the Federal Government’s plans to dump nuclear waste around their land and farms. All the speakers were very angry and cynical about the way that the Federal Government was behaving towards the people in this State.

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

Proposed Federal nuclear waste dump threatens South Australia’s environment and economy

Susan Craig Fight To Stop Nuclear Waste Dump In Flinders Ranges SA November 22 

Fliinders Ranges and Kimba. I urge you to read this post and then join us in a rally 2nd December, Parliament House.
We have some really amazing and prosperous industries in our state due to our clean and green environment, but this proposed radioactive waste dump is dirty, dangerous and irrevocable and will threaten what we all have today and for our families into the future.
• In response to earlier federal moves to dump radioactive waste in SA our Parliament passed the Nuclear Waste Facility (Prohibition) Act 2000. The objectIves of this Act are “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.” This law is sensible and powerful and we want all our state politicians to use it to stop the federal government imposing a nuclear waste dump on SA.
• The current uranium waste storage facility is at Lucas Heights, NSW which has the capacity to continue storage for another 30 years. We are asking that this facility continue to be used until we have established a sound and safe resolution for the disposal of this waste and in collaboration with community and all interested parties.
• The waste dump proposed is not for underground storage, but rather a precarious and interim above ground storage site.
• Should the waste dump for Flinders Ranges be achieved, it will open the flood gates for the world to use South Australia as a dumping ground for many years to come, knowing they can dispose of their radioactive waste away from their own countries.
• South Australia has WORLD CLASS agriculture, food, wine, fibre and forestry industries.
• These industries are S.A’s LARGEST EXPORT INDUSTRIES and our products are transported directly to more than 100 countries.
• Our production systems are sustainable and makes use of CLEAN and SAFE environments.
• These industries are well supported and well positioned to meet the GROWING GLOBAL demand for CLEAN and SAFE food and wine.
• The total value of Australia’s farm exports is expected to hit a NEW RECORD OF $48.7 BILLION in 2016-17, $1 billion higher than the previous year.
• The value of Australia’s agricultural sector is tipped to BREAK ANOTHER RECORD this financial year, peaking at $63.8 BILLION
• Gross wine revenue increased by $329 million to $2.11 BILLION
• The value of wine exports increased by $119 million to $1.34 BILLION
• The value of the tourism market in the FLINDERS RANGES is worth $421 MILLION
• FLINDERS RANGES is the SECOND MOST VISITED regional site in South Australia.
• The value of S.A’s tourism market is worth $6.3 BILLION
• These industries show significant growth on previous years and forecast to CONTINUE GROWING, but a radioactive waste facility in our state will threaten all of this.
• Say NO to nuclear waste in South Australia and keep our farming, our tourism, our people and our future safe. #dontdumponsa #sa2good2waste

November 26, 2017 Posted by | Federal nuclear waste dump, South Australia | Leave a comment