Australian news, and some related international items

Karina Lester: the Anangu story, and the Aboriginal fight against nuclear waste dumping

Karina Lester: Aboriginal people do not want a nuclear waste dump in South Australia Karina Lester, The Advertiser June 28, 2017 IT was a huge honour to travel to New York for United Nations negotiations on a historic treaty to ban nuclear weapons — a long journey from Walatina in the Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara Lands in far north west South Australia.

June 30, 2017 Posted by | aboriginal issues, AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Federal nuclear waste dump, personal stories, South Australia | Leave a comment


NO RADIOACTIVE WASTE ON AGRICULTURAL LAND  IN KIMBA OR SA, President, Peter Woolford, Secretary Toni Scott, 28 June 17, It is impossible to find words to properly describe how utterly disappointed we are that Minister Canavan has seen fit to progress the two current sites nominated in Kimba to house the National Radioactive Waste Facility to phase two of the selection process.

We trusted the Minister’s promise that he would not progress the sites without proof that broad community support existed, which he had numerous times referred to as needing to be in the vicinity of 65%, a figured which we firmly believed should be the lowest possible definition of “broad’.

Last weeks community ballot returned a result of 57% Yes – 42% No. This result clearly indicated what those of us living in Kimba already know all too well, that our community is completely divided over this issue. The Ministers decision shows a complete lack of understanding and consideration of the impact that this proposal has had on our community over the past two years, and that this division will now continue to escalate.

Minister Canavan has repeatedly promised that he will not impose this facility on a community that doesn’t want it, yet has progressed nominations in Kimba where it is proven that 42.2 % of us do not. Our Community has been lied to. more


June 28, 2017 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Federal nuclear waste dump, South Australia | Leave a comment

Minister For Nuclear and Coal, Matt Canavan pushes forward with Kimba radioactive trash dump plan

SENATOR THE HON MATTHEW CANAVAN,Minister for Resources and Northern Australia 27 June 2017  KIMBA SITES TO PROCEED FOR CONSIDERATION FOR NATIONAL RADIOACTIVE WASTE MANAGEMENT FACILITY Two proposed sites for a radioactive waste management facility at Kimba will proceed to the next phase of assessment.

The Government has accepted the nominations of land at Napandee and Lyndhurst under the National Radioactive Waste Management Act 2012.

 This decision was made after considering direct representations, the results of an independent postal ballot, and submissions in a more than 90-day consultation process.

Kimba voters were asked, in a poll conducted by the Australian Electoral Commission on behalf of the Kimba District Council, Do you support a nomination for a site being progressed to Phase 2 for further consultation for a National Radioactive Low/Intermediate Level Waste Management Facility?

The AEC declaration reported that of the 690 formal votes, there were 396 ‘Yes’ votes and 294 ‘No’ votes, giving a total in favour of proceeding of 57.4 per cent. The Department of Industry, Innovation and Science community consultation found widespread support from the direct neighbours of the nominated properties, with all but one direct neighbour supporting the assessment moving to the next phase.

In-depth consultation and technical assessments of the Kimba sites will now be undertaken.

Phase Two will engage people with all views.  The Kimba community will have another chance to express their views before a decision is made about the suitability of either of the sites to host a National Radioactive Waste Management Facility.

This does not change the Phase Two consultation that continues at Wallerberdina Station in South Australia after the community earlier demonstrated broad support for the discussion.

This next phase in Kimba will include:

  • Progression of a $2 million Community Benefit Package to fund local projects;
  • Employment of a Local Community Liaison Officer who will act as a conduit between the Government and community;
  • Creation of a Kimba Consultative Committee who will gather views about the project; and
  • The extension of the local project office, with staff continuing to be onsite regularly to answer questions as the site process progresses.

“Nuclear medicine is needed by one in two Australians on average, for diagnosis and treatment of heart, lung and skeletal conditions and a variety of cancers, and along with that comes radioactive waste,” Minister Canavan said.

“Radioactive waste is currently stored in more than 100 locations around the country, and international best practice is that it be consolidated into a single, safe and national facility.

“Progression to Phase Two does not constitute a final decision, rather, we now know that across the community there is broad support for continuing this conversation, and that is what we will do.

“I would like to thank everyone in Kimba for their involvement in this nationally significant discussion.”

At Wallerberdina Station, a process including a heritage assessment, technical studies and community consultation is continuing.

In line with the relevant legislation, the Federal Government can continue to accept and assess any new nominations until a final decision is made on the location of the facility.

For more information on the National Radioactive Waste Management Facility and site selection process, go to

June 28, 2017 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Federal nuclear waste dump, South Australia | Leave a comment

Kimba community divided over federal nuclear waste dump plan – fairly narrow “yes” vote

Kimba votes yes to radioactive waste dump in Eyre Peninsula, Polly Haynes, The Advertiser, June 22, 2017 

 RESIDENTS of Kimba have voted in favour of building a radioactive waste dump in their Eyre Peninsula district. Posted on the council’s website, the interim results for the postal ballot on the National Radioactive Waste Management Project show 698 ballot papers were received by the Australian Electoral Commission.

Of those, 396 voted for and 294 voted against, while eight ballot papers were informal votes.

The Federal Government is considering two properties near Kimba, in addition to a previously short-listed block of land at Barndioota, near Hawker in the Flinders Ranges.

In March, the Kimba Council called in the Australian Electoral Commission to run a postal vote of the 1100-strong community on the options. At the time, Mayor Dean Johnson said he believed there was strong support in the community for the two local sites to be formally considered. This morning he said: “The numbers are what they are… in the end the people have voted.”

However, a group opposing the dump — No Radioactive Waste on Agricultural Land in Kimba or SA — said the results of the vote showed the community was still divided.

“There has been no shift in community sentiment over the past two years,” a statement said. “Despite the Working for Kimba’s future group’s claims of a large swing toward support … results from three rounds of consultation and surveying show sentiments much the same as previously recorded.”

“This last consultation has resulted in a waste of government time, money and resources. Not to mention unnecessary pressure and stress on our already fractured community.”

The Federal Government is expected to make a decision early next year on the location for the centre, which will host radioactive waste currently held at sites around Australia.

The centre will initially store low and medium-level waste before a second purpose-built centre is opened for the medium-level waste.

Opponents of the waste dump say Australia’s radioactive waste should be centrally stored at the Lucas Heights nuclear reactor campus in Sydney.

Conservation and anti-nuclear groups have petitioned the Federal Government to scrap any plans for a dump at Kimba.

The groups, including Conservation SA, Friends of the Earth and the Australian Conservation Foundation have lodged a submission with the federal Department of Industry, Innovation and Science calling on the government to abandon any plans for a dump at Kimba.

Friends of the Earth campaigner Jim Green says the process to find a dump site had been flawed and divisive.

“The Federal Government has consistently misled Kimba residents about its intentions. Residents have been repeatedly told that the above-ground store for long-lived intermediate-level waste (including spent nuclear fuel reprocessing waste) would hold waste for ‘several decades’ until a deep underground disposal facility is available,” Mr Green said.

“But in fact, several documents from the national regulator ARPANSA indicate long-term storage for 100 years or more. Moreover the Federal Government has no idea what sort of deep underground disposal facility might be built, where or when it might be built, and ‒ incredibly ‒ the Federal Government is doing next to nothing to progress the matter.”

 Australian Conservation Foundation campaigner Dave Sweeney said radioactive waste was a national issue that demanded the highest level of inclusion and scrutiny.

“All Australians have a right to be involved to help make sure that this difficult issue is given the best possible consideration,” he said. “What is planned is a national radioactive waste facility so while local community consultation is useful, an evidence based, national conversation is essential.”

June 23, 2017 Posted by | Federal nuclear waste dump, South Australia | Leave a comment

Kimba vote to investigate nuclear waste facility, but opposition to this is strong

Kimba votes to investigate nuclear waste facility on Eyre Peninsula, The Australian, June 23, 2017,  MEREDITH BOOTH, Reporter, Adelaide, @MeredithBooth

The thought of having a nuclear waste ­dump in your backyard would be a step too far for many.

But for wheat farmer Andrew Baldock and the majority of his fellow residents in the shrinking rural South Australian town of Kimba, the promise of a $10 million community fund and better internet was enough to convince them that the positives outweighed the negatives.

Mr Baldock, a father of two, hopes Kimba’s “yes” vote for a nuclear waste dump on South Australia’s Eyre Peninsula will kickstart the town’s shrinking rural economy, which has seen a steady exit of businesses and people over the past two decades.

Kimba’s 700 residents have for years been divided on whether to allow a waste dump near the town, but this week voted 396 to 294 in favour of advancing consultation on building a low- and medium-level facility on the town’s edge.

Mr Baldock and his brother stand to inherit from their parents one of the two farms nominated to house the nuclear waste dump……..

A series of rejected sites was put forward between 1991 and 2004 and the Northern Land Council put forward Muckaty Station in the Northern Territory in 2005. But nine years of opposition, including a Federal Court challenge, saw the NLC withdraw its nomination in 2014 and a fresh search began.

The result of the Kimba vote, reported by the Australian Electoral Commission yesterday, is in line with the opinion polls that have pitted neighbour against neighbour in the rural service centre over the past two years.

Farmer Peter Woolford, part of opposition group No Radio­active Waste on Agricultural Land in Kimba or SA, said the vote had not changed anything and he expected continued railing against the project. “The opposition is still strong,” he said. “The results of the vote showed the community was still divided.”

June 23, 2017 Posted by | Federal nuclear waste dump, South Australia | Leave a comment

Strong calls to have Kimba nuclear dump plan dumped

Groups call for nuclear dump to be dropped  Conservation and anti-nuclear groups have petitioned the federal government to scrap plans for a low-level nuclear waste dump on South Australia’s Eyre Peninsula.

The groups, including Conservation SA, Friends of the Earth and the Australian Conservation Foundation have lodged a submission with the federal Department of Industry, Innovation and Science calling on the government to abandon any plans for a dump at Kimba.

Farming land near Kimba is one of two sites being targeted for the dump, the other near Hawker in SA’s Flinders Ranges.

 Friends of the Earth campaigner Jim Green says the process to find a dump site has been flawed and divisive.

He says most of the waste is located at the Lucas Heights reactor site south of Sydney and that is where it should stay.

Australian Conservation Foundation campaigner Dave Sweeney said radioactive waste was a national issue that demanded the highest level of inclusion and scrutiny.

“All Australians have a right to be involved to help make sure that this difficult issue is given the best possible consideration,” he said.

“What is planned is a national radioactive waste facility so while local community consultation is useful, an evidence based, national conversation is essential.”

June 21, 2017 Posted by | Federal nuclear waste dump, South Australia | Leave a comment

South Australians very definitely dumped the nuclear dump plan, but a new battle looms.

Australia’s handful of self-styled ‘ecomodernists’ or ‘pro-nuclear environmentalists’ united behind a push to import spent fuel and to use some of it to fuel Generation IV fast neutron reactors. They would have expected to persuade the stridently pro-nuclear Royal Commission to endorse their ideas. But the Royal Commission completely rejected the proposal

Another dump proposal is very much alive: the federal government’s plan to establish a national nuclear waste dump in SA, either in the Flinders Ranges or on farming land near Kimba, west of Port Augusta.

How the South Australians who dumped a nuclear dump may soon have another fight on their hands   15th June, 2017  The rejection of a plan to import vast amounts of high-level nuclear waste from around the world for profit was a significant result for campaigners but that threat is still far from over, writes JIM GREEN

Last November, two-thirds of the 350 members of a South Australian-government initiated Citizens’ Jury rejected “under any circumstances” the plan to import vast amounts of high-level nuclear waste from around the world as a money-making venture.

The following week, SA Liberal Party Opposition leader Steven Marshall said that “[Premier] Jay Weatherill’s dream of turning South Australia into a nuclear waste dump is now dead.” Business SA chief Nigel McBride said: “Between the Liberals and the citizens’ jury, the thing is dead.”

And after months of uncertainty, Premier Weatherill has said in the past fortnight that the plan is “dead”, there is “no foreseeable opportunity for this”, and it is “not something that will be progressed by the Labor Party in Government”.

So is the plan dead? The Premier left himself some wriggle room, but the plan is as dead as it ever can be. If there was some life in the plan, it would be loudly proclaimed by SA’s Murdoch tabloid, The Advertiser. But The Advertiser responded to the Premier’s recent comments, to the death of the dump, with a deafening, deathly silence.

Royal Commission

It has been quite a ride to get to this point. Continue reading

June 16, 2017 Posted by | Federal nuclear waste dump, reference, South Australia, wastes | Leave a comment

Senator Scott Ludlam probes the Australian government’s plan to dump Lucas Heights’ nuclear waste on rural South Australia

Assuming that the long-lived intermediate-level stuff does go to the sites that you are busy characterising at the moment, how long is it envisaged that it actually stays there before it gets taken somewhere else?

Mr B Wilson: We cannot give a definitive answer on that because we have not commenced a process to identify a permanent disposal solution for the long-lived intermediate-level waste—

Senator LUDLAM: Ouch!

if the really dangerous intermediate-level stuff is to be stored there you cannot tell them how long it is meant to be there for

so we kind of do not really know what is going on there or how long it is meant to be there for.


 Full Transcript here:;fileType=application%2Fpdf

Senator Canavan: I have been to Hawker and I am going there again tomorrow, and I would like to put on record my thanks to many in the Hawker community who engage in this process. Some have certainly changed their mind as they have come to have more understanding of it. I think you have probably been to Lucas Heights, and it I think it makes a big difference to people when they see it. There is a lot of misinformation spread about this, and we are trying to engage with people in a genuine way in good faith to give them the information to make informed decisions.

Senator LUDLAM: Who is spreading this information, Senator Canavan?

Senator Canavan: I hear it from time to time. I do not have any particular allegations to make about individual groups here, but you do hear lots of information from time to time about the potential danger of this material. But, of course, as you would probably know, much of the low-level waste is stored safely at Lucas Heights, a place where people go to and from work every day. 

Senator LUDLAM: That begs the question of why it needs to move. ……

Senator LUDLAM: Staying in South Australia: has there been any consideration at all—this is for the department or the minister, whoever wants to take this one on—of the tension between the proposed national radioactive waste facility and the existing South Australian legislation, which would be the Nuclear Waste Storage Facility (Prohibition) Act 2000? The tension between the fact that your entire project is presently illegal under South Australian law: what is being done about that?

Mr B Wilson: We are certainly aware of the South Australian prohibition under their law. However, the National Radioactive Waste Management Act that we operate under overrides South Australian law. 

Senator LUDLAM: And that is it? You are just going to squash them? Or are there discussions progressing with the South Australian government?….

Senator LUDLAM: Is the department, or you, Senator Canavan, or any of the federal agencies or other actors in communication with the South Australian government environment or heritage departments, or representatives of any body, actually, in relation to the tension between the two acts?

Senator Canavan: I have raised it with the South Australian government. They have indicated that they may seek to make changes. I am not aware of the status of that at the moment. Obviously, they have their own process, which is a separate to ours, on radioactive waste. Certainly, the issue has been raised. Mr Wilson is also right that we are confident that is not a barrier to this project. But Mr Wilson will be giving you that.

Mr B Wilson: We engage—I would have to characterise it as infrequently—with the South Australian government. It is more in the line of updating where we are. We have not had any recent engagements. They are certainly very well aware of the prohibitions under their law about what the South Australian government and its officials can do in this space….

When I said that the National Radioactive Waste Management Act overrides South Australian law, that is the fact. But what we are trying to do in the development of this project is to develop it and act in a way that is consistent with requirements under other South Australian legislation. For instance, in terms of Indigenous heritage protection and other aspects. While we are not necessarily bound by those laws we want to act in a way that is consistent with them.

Senator LUDLAM: With waste that is as dangerous as this, I am very glad to hear it! Is the department still accepting site nominations?

Senator Canavan: The government remains open to further nominations, as we announced on selecting the Hawker site last year. But the ones we have announced are those that we are proceeding with at this stage.

Senator LUDLAM: Wallerberdina and two at Kimba. Continue reading

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

IMPOSITION of ANSTO reactor nuclear wastes onto South Australian community

28 May 2017, Submission by David Noonan, B.Sc., M.Env.St.  To:Senator The Hon Matthew Canavan  RE: Proposed Federal government imposition onto community in South Australia of an illegal “100 year” Store for ANSTO’s “10 000 year” irradiated Nuclear Fuel Wastes.

Storage of nuclear wastes affects the rights, interests and safety of all South Australians and is prohibited in our State under the Nuclear Waste Storage (Prohibition) Act 2000.

Proposed imposition of ANSTO reactor nuclear wastes is a major public interest concern in SA and detracts from public trust and confidence in the Federal government, in ARPANSA and in ANSTO.

The National Radioactive Waste Management Facility (NRWMF) comprises two co-located waste management facilities: an above ground 100 year Store for wastes that ARPANSA states require isolation for 10 000 years, AND a Disposal Facility for wastes requiring isolation for up to 300 years.

This submission focuses on the proposed imposition of the illegal Store & consequences thereof.

The Store is primarily for ANSTO irradiated Nuclear Fuel Wastes (NFW) and other existing and proposed reactor wastes, with only minor projected future arising’s of Intermediate Level Wastes (ILW) from States & Territories or from other Commonwealth agencies.

ARPANSA’s CEO (May 2015) has formally considered the proposed NRWMF Store and stated:

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

This indefinite storage plan compromises safety in importing nuclear waste to SA without a waste disposal capacity or even a requisite program for disposal of NFW and ILW.

ARPANSA’s Radiation Health and Safety Advisory Council (April 2010) has provided formal advice which concluded: “that Australia’s current policy of indefinite storage for intermediate level waste does not appear to be consistent with International best practice.”

The import, transport, storage and disposal of ANSTO irradiated Nuclear Fuel Wastes is illegal in SA and was prohibited under the leadership of Liberal Premier John Olsen in 2000:

“The Objects 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”

Since April 2016 the NRWMF project has exclusively targeted community and environment in SA in an attempt to again impose an illegal Store for ANSTO’s irradiated Nuclear Fuel Waste in our State. 2

The Minister’s release “Kimba 90-day consultation begins”(20 March 2017) invited submissions on potential approval under the National Radioactive Waste Management Act 2012 of two nominated sites near Kimba for assessment as potential sites for the proposed NRWM Facility.

This is in-parallel with the Federal government targeting the iconic Flinders Ranges on the country of the Adnyamathanha people in a serious threat to their human rights and cultural interests.

These are fundamentally State level public interest issues and represent a multi-generational threat to community in SA: including intended Federal requisition of an as yet unnamed SA port for imposition of decades of irradiated Nuclear Fuel Wastes imports, along with affected stakeholders on transport routes, in addition to the rights & interests of community around a potential Store site.

The Federal government has unacceptably failed to take up the recent Advice of the ARPANSA Nuclear Safety Committee (4 Nov 2016) for transparency and for the essential “ongoing requirement to clearly and effectively engage all stakeholders, including those along transport routes”.

This Store also exposes SA to unresolved security and potential terrorist risks in shipping, transport and indefinite above ground storage of irradiated Nuclear Fuel Wastes and other reactor wastes.

However, Lucas Heights is Australia’s best placed institution and facility to responsibly manage ANSTO’s Nuclear Fuel Wastes and can do so through-out the operating period of the Opal reactor.

An “Interim Waste Store” built at Lucas Heights in 2015 has a design life of 40 years and an approved purpose to take both the Nuclear Fuel Waste from France (NFW received Dec. 2015) and NFW to be received from the UK in circa 2020. The ARPANSA license for this Store “is not time limited” and has Contingency options to retain these NFW’s at ANSTO “until the availability of a final disposal option”.

The policy agenda to impose a NFW Store in SA is a flawed, unnecessary, contested and unsafe plan.

A broad public interest campaign protected SA rights and interests from prior Federal government attempts to impose nuclear waste facilities onto our State over 1998 to 2004 – and can do so again.

That “National Store Project” was abandoned – just as this NRWMF Store will have to be set aside.

Further, the Federal government’s flawed policy agenda for imposition of nuclear waste effectively precludes a long term resolution to Australia’s “low level” radioactive waste responsibilities.

The Minister has an obligation to learn the lessons from experience in failure of prior projects in Australia and internationally and not to deny or override key public interest community concerns.

My background includes experience as an Australian Conservation Foundation (ACF) Campaigner over 1996 to 2011 based in Adelaide.


May 29, 2017 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Federal nuclear waste dump, South Australia | Leave a comment

When a dump has a nuclear accident where do you think they will abandon the waste?

Paul Waldon, Fight To Stop Nuclear Waste Dump In Flinders Ranges SA, 15 Apr 17

When a dump has a nuclear accident where do you think they will abandon the waste?
Andrews accepted the barrels of waste from the same batch that had the release of material that contaminated the WIPP. this site wasn’t constructed to accommodate this waste which does increase the problems of waste management, and the WIPP doesn’t want them back.
St Louis has a underground fire which has been burning for 5 years releasing radioactivity, and one man with a vested interest in the company handling it is Bill Gates who has turned a deaf ear, maybe to optimize his profits.
Beatty in Nevada had explosions and fires in their nuclear dump with the closure of 140 miles of highways.
Now Holtec the same company who makes dry casks and was or is known to be in bed with Westinghouse on this venture and trading as Eddy Lea Energy Alliance have purchased land less than 40 miles from the WIPP and waiting for the licence approval and a change to the Nuclear Waste Policy Act for their nuclear parking lot to start accepting nuclear waste to reside above ground.
Some communities around these sites have already suffered, like very rare cancer clusters in St Louis which have shown up many thousands time more frequently in residents.
So if Kimba or Hawker are to have a nuclear fire in the future do you believe the waste will be returned to ANSTO the only current high grade nuclear dump in Australia or will they open up another dump in a neighbouring community.

April 15, 2017 Posted by | Federal nuclear waste dump | Leave a comment

Kimba South Australia: Neighbours still opposed to nominated nuclear waste facility sites

Mrs Woolford said she and other members of the No Radioactive Waste on Agricultural Land in Kimba or SA group had tried to organise a community forum with all sides represented but said the government did not want to participate.

“A debate with everyone represented would be a fair way for the government to allow people in the community to make up their minds, not just a continuous sell of the alleged benefits. 

“People should have the right for their government to provide all sides not just one to suit its purpose,” Mrs Woolford said. .

Neighbours in Kimba are still opposed to nominated nuclear waste facility sites, Eyre Tribune, 10 Apr 2017, DISTRUST in the federal government and the process of nominations in the search for a national low to intermediate radioactive waste site are just some of the reasons Austin Eatts is against the facility being placed at Kimba.

Mr Eatts is a direct neighbour to one of the newly nominated sites in the Kimba district and said the national nuclear waste facility was not something rural or regional people should be responsible for.

He said Eyre Peninsula had a long memory for the impact of politicians’ “dishonesty” during and after nuclear bombs were tested at Maralinga, to the north west of Eyre Peninsula   “There is a long history of dishonesty about politicians, they told us then and after that Maralinga was safe. “This is the same message they are giving us now, things will be safe, why should we believe them?“My feelings about Eyre Peninsula and the state having anything nuclear has not changed since then,” Mr Eatts said.

He said he did not want the responsibility of making a decision that would impact generations for hundreds of years not only for Kimba or Eyre Peninsula residents but statewide.

“Once we accept this site here, we have opened the door to further nuclear activity.”

Mr Eatts said the vote to be undertaken by the South Australian Electoral Commission would settle the issue for him however he was concerned if the vote was against further progression it would not be the end of the matter.

“Will it be the end of it for those who want it?  “They have already brought it back once after we settled it as a community we didn’t want it,” he said.  “Two million dollars (offered to the community by the government) is a lot of money to you and I but for a community it is not much and no amount of money will fix the division in the community.”  Continue reading

April 14, 2017 Posted by | Federal nuclear waste dump, South Australia | Leave a comment

Medical waste will be only a minor fraction of the nuclear waste planned for outback South Australia

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

Don’t get sucked in by the “medical gloves & gowns” Canberra con-job:

FACT 1 – South Australia’s current hospital waste storage regimen WILL REMAIN in-situ;

FACT 2 – Radioactive metal from the 1940’s British Montebello Atom Bomb Tests IS DESTINED for the suppository;

FACT 3 – Radioactive concrete & steel from the de-commissioned Lucas Heights HIFAR reactor WILL ALSO be supposited;

FACT 4 – If/when the 10,000 Woomera barrels arrive, Radon gas WILL LEAK. This heavy invisible radioactive odourless & poisonous gas flows like water & accumulates in low-lying areas;

FACT 5 – The so-called Intermediate Level Waste ALSO RELEASES invisible radioactive odourless gasses;

FACT 6 – The lowest area in the Wallerberdina precinct is the Hookina Creek line;


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

Does Australia REALLY need a radioactive waste facility in outback South Australia?

the biggest unanswered question is whether the planned facility is the best way to manage Australia’s radioactive waste. Extraordinarily, that question has never been asked.

ANSTO [in Sydney]  is better placed than a pastoral station or the back paddock of a wheat farm to house this material.

Advantages of storing it at the ANSTO facility include that

  • it enjoys assured tenure there;
  • has a secured site with a high-level Australian Federal Police presence;
  • is currently building new storage capacity;
  • has already received reprocessed spent nuclear fuel returns from Europe;
  • has the best radiation monitoring and nuclear response capacity in the nation; and
  • the fact that the waste is there now answers double handling and transport concerns.

Importantly, the Federal nuclear regulator – Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency (ARPANSA) – has confirmed there is no regulatory constraint to the waste continuing to be managed at ANSTO “for decades“.

Picking the postcode for a radioactive wasteland,10177  Dave Sweeney 5 April 2017, ‘The Federal focus on finding a postcode for a [nuclear waste] facility has been at the expense of independently testing the assumptions behind the need for one.’

ACCORDING to the fridge magnets and stickers in the shop beside the ageing Big Galah sculpture, the small farming town of Kimba in South Australia’s Eyre Peninsula is the half way point on the east-west journey across Australia.

But right now, the local talk is more about half-lives, following the recent decision by Federal Minister for Resources Matt Canavan to further explore two places in the region as possible sites for a national radioactive waste facility.

The search for a place for Australia’s radioactive waste has been in train – and often off the rails – for more than 20 years. Over that time, successive Federal governments have had multiple fights at multiple sites — mainly across South Australia and the Northern Territory. Currently, there are three South Australian sites under consideration.

For the better part of a year, a site near Hawker in the Flinders Ranges has been under examination. The site, on a pastoral station leased by former Liberal senator and long-time nuclear facility supporter Grant Chapman has been strongly contested by many in the wider community. Critical voices include local Adnyamanthanha Traditional Owners, pastoralists and people concerned about the impacts of the region’s steadily growing tourism sector.

Now the inclusion of two parcels of agricultural land at Kimba has seen new tension in a town that has previously been highly divided over the Federal plan.

Last year, two previously nominated Kimba land options were not taken further by then Minister for Resources Josh Frydenberg because of a lack of community support.

However, supporters of a facility have made a new pitch and have found an ear in the new minister.

The planned facility would be in two parts — a repository for the disposal of low-level radioactive waste (LLW) and an above ground store to hold the more serious and problematic long-lived intermediate level waste (ILW). The store would operate for 100 years, at which time a decision would be made about how and where to future manage this long-lived waste, which needs to be isolated from people and the wider environment for thousands of years.

For a project that has had many configurations over many years, there remains considerable uncertainty about the plan.

Part of the series of unanswered questions include:

  • final facility design;
  • acceptance criteria;
  • employment and governance arrangements; and
  • longer term plans for managing Australia’s highest level radioactive waste.

Continue reading

April 7, 2017 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Federal nuclear waste dump, South Australia | Leave a comment

ANSTO admits that Federal waste plan is for reactor generated wastes, and that no longterm disposal plan exists

Who’d want to dump Australia’s nuclear waste here? Well, this guy. At Kimba in the heart of the country, a community is divided – in one case literally so – over a plan to deposit the national stockpile of radioactive waste, Guardian, , 4 Apr 17   “…..Hefin Griffiths, chief nuclear officer at the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation, says the facility is needed for the organisation’s gradually accumulating stockpile of radioactive waste at Lucas Heights, where measures are being rolled out to temporarily increase storage space at the 70-hectare site, which is reaching capacity this year.

According to Griffiths, most the waste earmarked for the new facility would be of low-level radioactivity, such as clothes worn by people working in nuclear medicine, or soil now stored at Woomera.

That would only be hazardous for a “short period”, he says, but the intermediate-level waste needs to be stored for far longer. “We’ve got reprocessed residues that have come back from France which will remain radioactive for many thousands of years,” he says.

The returned waste consists of 20 canisters containing 170 litres each, generated by the High Flux Australian reactor, which ran for nearly 50 years before being decommissioned in 2007.

Intermediate-level waste will continue to be generated by the Open Pool Australian Lightwater research reactor and the under-development Synroc waste treatment plant.

The proposed nuclear waste management facility would hold this intermediate waste above-ground for a few decades until a longer term solution can be found. Griffiths says another structure along the lines of the $5.3bn deep-storage facility in Finland will eventually need to be built.

As for the facility that would hold the waste in the meantime, Griffiths says only a detailed technical assessment could confirm Kimba’s suitability, but proximity to agricultural land and the 1,700km journey from Lucas Heights would not be insurmountable obstacles.

Craig Wilkins, the chief executive of the Conservation Council of South Australia, argues a study should be undertaken on the prospect of storing the waste at Lucas Heights, close to nuclear experts, rather than “out of sight, out of mind”.

“We also have concerns about how incredibly divisive this process is on communities already doing it tough,” he says. “When you have individual landowners putting it forward to kickstart the local conversation it pits neighbour against neighbour.

“Last time it nearly tore Kimba apart. It is clear from last time there is significant community opposition.”

Successive federal governments over decades have failed to lock down a remote-area site to store nuclear waste because of regional opposition, and in a separate process the SA Labor government has struggled to sell a plan to develop a high-level nuclear waste storage facility, with a citizen’s jury last year resoundingly rejecting the concept.

Kimba was first floated as a potential location by the Liberal federal member for Grey, Rohan Ramsay, who in 2015 volunteered his property near the town before it was rejected owing to perceived conflict of interest………..

April 7, 2017 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Federal nuclear waste dump, South Australia | Leave a comment

Some enthusiasts for nuclear waste dump at Kimba, but many opponents

The couple [ Megan and Matt  Lienert]say the federal government consultation process has only tried to sell the positives. “It’s like they’re here to sell a car,” James says. “Oh, you don’t want it? Here’s some free seat covers.”

Jacinta jumps in: “Here’s $2m to go to the next stage.

“[The federal government provides] the facts from one side, that’s all we’ve got since day dot. They don’t bring anybody here so people can make an informed decision.

 “We’re not stupid just because we live out here – we can make informed decisions, but we need the facts to do that … if they’d had a group for it and a group against it, the community go discuss it and come back and decide. That would have been much fairer and it wouldn’t have destroyed the place.”
Leading the local fight against the facility is the No Radioactive Waste on Agricultural Land in Kimba or SA committee, which believes the media has underplayed rather than overplayed the conflict.

Who’d want to dump Australia’s nuclear waste here? Well, this guy At Kimba in the heart of the country, a community is divided – in one case literally so – over a plan to deposit the national stockpile of radioactive waste, Guardian, , 4 Apr 17,  At a point almost halfway between the east and west coasts of Australia, a mob of emus scamper along the Napandee property fenceline. The mallee scrub out this way appears otherwise deserted, the kind of remote location where one could hide a dead body and get away with it – but what about an entire country’s radioactive waste?

Landowner Jeff Baldock is determined to find out. Speaking in a considered gravelly tone through a bristling grey moustache, the third-generation farmer has an Ian Chappell-esque air about him as he defends the decision to formally nominate his land in Kimba, South Australia, as a site for the federal government’s national radioactive waste management facility. It would serve as a repository for intermediate-level waste from the Lucas Heights nuclear site in New South Wales and low-level waste from across Australia.

“We’ve got five grandkids living here on the properties with us,” he says. “If we thought it was dangerous we wouldn’t do this. If I thought it’d upset our grain or sheep we wouldn’t be doing it.”

If his property is selected, Baldock stands to be paid four times the value of 100 hectares of the land, but he says the real advantage would be providing economic benefit to the thousand or so residents of a struggling agricultural district.

“It’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for our town – sorry, our community,” he says. “The antis talk about farmers versus the townies. To me it’s one community.”

It isn’t the first time Baldock has nominated land for consideration. Last year the federal government ruled out another property of his after the assessment process was abandoned because of local resistance. But Baldock says those against the proposal didn’t give it a chance………

In nominating again along with another landowner, Baldock has reopened wounds that were only just starting to heal in a community tightly bound by the challenges of an isolated life in the northern reaches of the Eyre peninsula. Last year Kimba held two of the six possible locations flagged by the government for the nuclear waste site, with one other in SA, and one each in Queensland, NSW and the Northern Territory.

Only one of those, the Barndioota site in SA’s Flinders Ranges, advanced to stage two, but it is meeting considerable resistance from Adnyamathanha traditional owners owing to its proximity to significant Indigenous cultural sites. The return to Kimba suggests the choices are narrowing – or vanishing. In March the resources minister, Matt Canavan, launched the new consultation on Kimba, …….. Continue reading

April 7, 2017 Posted by | Federal nuclear waste dump, South Australia | Leave a comment