Antinuclear

Australian news, and some related international items

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. https://www.facebook.com/groups/344452605899556/

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;

FACT 7 – GLOVES & GOWNS WILL BE A MINOR FRACTION OF THE LOW LEVEL WASTE INVENTORY.https://www.facebook.com/groups/344452605899556/

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 https://independentaustralia.net/environment/environment-display/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………..https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/apr/04/whod-want-to-dump-australias-nuclear-waste-here-well-this-guy?CMP=share_btn_tw

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

Radioactive Repeat: federal radioactive waste Groundhog Day increases uncertainty

A small town on South Australia’s Eyre Peninsula is again in the frame as a site for Australia’s nuclear waste despite being ruled out of consideration less than one year ago because of deep community concern and opposition to the plan.

Yesterday federal Resource Minister Matt Canavan formally accepted two revised site nominations and initiated a 90 day process to measure community views on a planned facility for the disposal of low level and extended storage of higher level radioactive wastes. Last April two previously nominated sites in the region were ruled out of federal consideration.

“This plan is simply not the best way to advance responsible radioactive waste management in Australia”, said ACF nuclear campaigner Dave Sweeney.

“Revisiting a community that has already made its view clear looks more like Canberra’s frustration than community consultation.

“Less than a year ago Minister Canavan’s predecessor Josh Frydenberg ruled the Kimba region out, now it is back on the table. This radioactive waste is a direct hazard for many thousands of years – far longer than any politician’s promise.  Short term thinking about long term waste is not good policy or practise.”

ACF joined other environment and public health representatives in the Kimba area last week in a visit that included a public meeting, stakeholder meetings and a regional tour. There is clear and continuing community concern and opposition to the waste plan.

The plan will put further pressure on an already stressed community and further highlights the continued uncertainty in the governments wider approach given it is also exploring a controversial site in the Flinders Ranges at the same.

“There has never been an independent assessment of long-term management options in Australia, rather just a decades long search for a postcode,” said Dave Sweeney. “It is time to stop repeating past mistakes and adopt a new and better approach”.

ACF supports a wide civil society and stakeholder call for Australia’s radioactive waste to be managed in improved storage facilities at existing federal sites to allow for a credible, comprehensive and open exploration of the full range of future management options.

March 21, 2017 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Federal nuclear waste dump, South Australia | Leave a comment

Federal Government running amok in SA communities over nuclear waste

The Federal Government’s decision to advance two sites at Kimba on the Eyre Peninsula for assessment to house Australia’s nuclear waste will cause stress, division and uncertainty for SA communities.

Less than a year ago two proposed sites near Kimba were removed from a national shortlist because of community opposition.

“The Federal Government is toying with the lives of South Australian communities,” said Conservation SA Chief Executive Craig Wilkins.

“Kimba’s original nominations were scrapped due to a lack of broad community support and that opposition remains. This process is damaging and dividing our towns. It is thoughtless, inconsiderate and inconsistent.”

The planned national facility would store intermediate level radioactive waste currently at Lucas Heights in Sydney and dispose of low level waste and contaminated soil from Woomera.

Wallerberdina, a highly contested site in the Flinders Ranges, has been the focus of the federal site search to date and remains on the table despite community opposition.

“The expansion of the site search to Kimba is also a federal vote of no confidence in the Wallerberdina site,” said Mr Wilkins.

“Instead of causing more division and stress across our regional communities the Federal Government should take all the sites off the table. We need a responsible and inclusive approach to radioactive waste management where a proper process is prioritised over our key farming and tourist postcodes.”

South Australia has a history of resistance to radioactive waste projects, from defeat of a plan to establish a facility in the north of the state under the Howard Government to widespread public backlash over the recent push to import and store international nuclear waste.

“We have long-standing state legislation that prevents the establishment of radioactive waste dumps. We will use this and more in our work to support regional communities and keep South Australia free of nuclear waste dumps,” concluded Mr Wilkins.

March 21, 2017 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Federal nuclear waste dump, South Australia | Leave a comment

Sydney Morning Herald on radioactive waste dump – ignores Lucas’ Heights’ high level nuclear reactor waste

Controversial nuclear waste plans back under the spotlight, SMH,  Steven Trask , 14 Mar 17  Issues at two of Australia’s largest radioactive waste storage facilities have put a controversial government plan back under the spotlight.

For years the federal government has tried in vain to build a national dump for the country’s nuclear waste.  Staunch opposition from prospective locations has repeatedly stalled the project, which opponents believe is an environmental disaster waiting to happen.

Each year Australia produces about a shipping container full of low and intermediate-level waste through industrial, medical and research applications. Much of the country’s waste is stored at a CSIRO facility in Woomera, South Australia, and a government warehouse in Lucas Heights, Sydney.

Lucas Heights is approaching full capacity and Fairfax Media has revealed significant concerns about conditions at the CSIRO facility…….

The search for a publicly acceptable site to store nuclear waste has plagued successive governments since the doomed National Repository Project in 1992.

Started by the Labour government in 1992, the project was wound-up without success in 2004 by Liberal Prime Minister John Howard. ……

Last week the government announced two sites in Kimba, South Australia, had been formally nominated by landowners to host the National Radioactive Waste Management Facility…….http://www.smh.com.au/national/controversial-nuclear-waste-plans-back-under-the-spotlight-20170308-gutd72.html

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

UNDEMOCRATIC NUCLEAR WASTE LAW DISEMPOWERS COMMUNITIES AND TRADITIONAL OWNERS

Friends of the Earth Australia is today releasing a detailed report on the National Radioactive Waste Management Act 2012 (NRWMA). The report ‒ written by Monash University fifth-year law student Amanda Ngo ‒ comes against the backdrop of the federal government’s targeting of a site near Hawker in SA’s Flinders Ranges for a national radioactive waste store and repository.

The NRWMA is heavy-handed, undemocratic legislation that gives the federal government the power to extinguish rights and interests in land targeted for a radioactive waste facility. In so doing the Minister must “take into account any relevant comments by persons with a right or interest in the land” but there is no requirement to secure consent. Traditional Owners, local communities, pastoralists, business owners, local councils and State/Territory Governments are all disadvantaged and disempowered by the NRWMA.

The NRWMA disempowers Traditional Owners ‒ in this case Adnyamathanha Traditional Owners ‒ in multiple ways, including:

  • The nomination of a site for a radioactive waste facility is valid even if Aboriginal owners were not consulted and did not give consent.
  • The NRWMA has sections which nullify State or Territory laws that protect the archaeological or heritage values of land or objects, including those which relate to Indigenous traditions.
  • The NRWMA curtails the application of Commonwealth laws including the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Heritage Protection Act 1984 and the Native Title Act 1993 in the important site-selection stage.
  • The Native Title Act 1993 is expressly overridden in relation to land acquisition for a radioactive waste facility.

Adnyamathanha Traditional Owners have been clear in their opposition to the planned radioactive waste facility in the Flinders Ranges. “I call upon the Federal and State Governments to put an end to this volatile position that the Adnyamathanha people are facing,” said Adnyamathanha Traditional Owner Enice Marsh. “Native Title and the Aboriginal Heritage Act are not protecting our land. This needs a complete review or a Royal Commission. The Barndioota site in the Flinders Ranges must be struck off as a potential radioactive waste dump site and the National Radioactive Waste Management Act needs to be amended to give us the right to say ‘no’.”

Adnyamathanha Traditional Owner Regina McKenzie, who lives on Yappala Station near the proposed dump site, said: “The NRWMA is a political attack on Adnyamathanha women’s spiritual beliefs. The destruction of our culture and significant woman’s sites is a form of assimilation and thus breaches Article 8.1 of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. The NRWMA also breaches Article 25 of the UN Declaration which refers to our spiritual relationship with the land and the right to maintain and strengthen our culture. This is a breach of our Aboriginal human rights and our people and amounts to cultural genocide.”

The NRWMA has been criticised in both Senate Inquiries and a Federal Court challenge to an earlier federal government attempt to impose a national radioactive waste facility at Muckaty in the Northern Territory.

The NRWMA also puts the federal government’s radioactive waste agenda above environmental protection as it seeks to curtail the application of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999.

Dr Jim Green, national nuclear campaigner with Friends of the Earth Australia, said: “A senior government official claims the NRWMA is based on ‘world’s best practice’. In fact, the legislation systematically disempowers local communities and Traditional Owners and weakens environmental protections. It needs to be radically amended or replaced with legislation that protects the environment and gives local communities and Traditional Owners the right to say no to nuclear waste dumps.”

 Amanda Ngo’s paper, ‘National Radioactive Waste Management  Act 2012′, is posted at http://tinyurl.com/nrwma-2017

March 13, 2017 Posted by | aboriginal issues, AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Federal nuclear waste dump, reference | Leave a comment

Incompetent management of CSIRO’s nuclear waste – used by ARPANSA to promote South Australian Hawker waste dump plan?

This article looks like one of those softening up articles that ANSTO and ARPANSA like to put  out –  to persuade the Australian public that a radioactive waste dump is needed, in the beautiful Flinders Ranges.

It’s time that we all really woke up to the fact that the nuclear industry, its ignorant lobbyists and craven politicians, are incompetent simpletons regarding the global nuclear mess, and should not be trusted with their decisions that are aimed at furthering this toxic industry.

Rusted barrels of radioactive waste cost CSIRO $30 million  Steven Trask, Canberra Times, 7 Mar 17 

CSIRO faces a $30 million clean up bill after barrels of radioactive waste at a major facility were found to be “deteriorating rapidly” and possibly leaking.

An inspection found “significant rusting” on many of the 9,725 drums, which are understood to contain radioactive waste and other toxic chemicals.

CSIRO flagged a $29.7 million budget provision for “remediation works” at a remote location in its latest annual report.  Fairfax Media can reveal the work will take place at a CSIRO facility located on Department of Defence land near Woomera, South Australia.

The Woomera facility is currently one of Australia’s largest storage sites for low and intermediate-level radioactive waste.  A damning report of the Woomera facility was issued by the Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency (ARPANSA) after an inspection in April last year.

“Evidence was sighted that indicates the drums are now beginning to deteriorate rapidly,” read the report, seen by Fairfax Media.  “Significant rust on a number of the drums, deterioration of the plastic drum-liners and crushing of some stacked drums was observed.” Tests confirmed the presence of radioactive isotopes at one location and inspectors said there was a possibility the drums were leaking.

“Although unlikely, there is the possibility that the presence of deceased animals such as rodents and birds may indicate that some of the drums, which contain industrial chemicals, may be leaking into the environment.”

The mixture of water and concentrated radioactive material inside some of the drums also had the potential to produce explosive hydrogen gas, inspectors found.

They also noted CSIRO had little knowledge of what was inside many of the barrels, some of which are believed to date back more than 50 years.

“Without full knowledge [of] the contents of the drums, risks cannot be fully identified and risk controls cannot be appropriately implements to protect people and the environment,” inspectors noted in the report.

Many of the drums are understood to contain contaminated soil generated by government research into radioactive ores at Melbourne’s Fishermans Bend throughout the 1940s and 1950s.

The toxic soil was discovered by the Department of Defence in 1989, who sent it to Sydney’s Lucas Heights facility before it was palmed off to Woomera in 1994.

An ARPANSA spokeswoman said the $29.7 million estimate would cover the characterisation, handling, re-packaging and storage of the toxic material.

“As a result of an ARPANSA inspection in 2016, it was recognised that additional work was required to scientifically characterise some of the contents of the legacy materials more accurately,” she said.

“The work that needs to be undertaken is significant.”

A spokesman for CSIRO said the first phase of the three-year clean up would begin next month.

“CSIRO currently has a radioactive waste store located on defence land at Woomera, South Australia. The store currently has 9,725 drums of long-lived waste,” he said…..

The country’s other major radioactive waste storage facility at Lucas Heights, Sydney, is rapidly approaching full capacity. Coupled with issues at the CSIRO site, the revelations highlighted the urgent need for a national radioactive waste storage solution, experts said.. http://www.canberratimes.com.au/national/rusted-barrels-of-radioactive-waste-cost-csiro-30-million-20170307-gusb6v.html

March 13, 2017 Posted by | Federal nuclear waste dump, South Australia | Leave a comment

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

wine threat

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

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

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

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

logo-ANSTOhighly-recommendedTo ANSTO, ARPANSA & the DEPARTMENT OF INDUSTRY, INNOVATION and SCIENCE

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

We would like some straight answers to the following questions:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Question: Is food irradiation occurring in Australia?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

STOP PRODUCING THE WASTE, THEN WE WILL TALK ABOUT DISPOSAL

 

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