Australian news, and some related international items

Senate Report on Selection Process for Nuclear Waste Facility in South Australia

The report is at

It is 77 pages. I confess to have only skimmed through it at this stage.  It appears to be a careful attempt to bless the process, while not having a real opinion about it, one way or the other.  To be fair, it does contain a few questions, does not appear to be a “full go ahead” recommendation.

Coalition Senators Senator Jane Hume Senator Dean Smith put in Additional Comments. Short and not very interesting.

Greens, Senator Hanson-Young put in a longer Dissenting Report report, strongly criticising the process.

Senator Rex Patrick put in Additional Comments, also criticising the process


Chapter 2 Community sentiment

  1. 22. Recommendation 1 2.67 If a National Radioactive Waste Management Facility were to be sited in an agricultural region, the committee recommends that the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science work with local stakeholders, so that part of the remaining 60 hectare buffer zone can be used to grow and test agricultural produce, in order to reassure the community and agricultural markets that the produce from the surrounding region does not contain excessive amounts of radiation and is safe for consumption.
  2. 23 Chapter 3 Indigenous support
  3. 31 Recommendation 2 3.40 The committee recommends that the Minister intensify and expedite efforts to fully engage with the Indigenous stakeholders near Kimba and Hawker so that comprehensive heritage assessments for all nominated sites can be completed
  4. 33 Chapter 4 Financial compensation and incentives to communities

p.36. 4.22 The committee notes that it is unfortunate for a former politician, particularly one with significant exposure to the nuclear waste issues, to place the government in the invidious position of p. 37 deciding whether he should receive financial compensation for hosting a NRWMF on his property, thereby further politicising an already contentious process.

Recommendation 3 4.25 The committee recommends that the government undertake an independent valuation of the land to be acquired to ensure that the financial compensation is consistent with the original proposal to compensate the landholder at four times the land value.

  1. 43 Chapter 5 General comments about the site selection process
  2. 49 Recommendation 4 5.35 The committee recommends that the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science make submissions received during the consultation process publicly available in the circumstances where the authors originally intended for their submission to be made public. ((That requirement has apparently been fulfilled)
  3. 50 Recommendation 5 5.37 The committee recommends that the Office of the Chief Economist within the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science undertake a policy evaluation of the first two phases of the site selection process for a National Radioactive Waste Management Facility.

The committee made no other general recommendation)


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

Peter Malinauskas, South Australia’s Labor leader says the nuclear waste selection process is wrong

Katrina Bohr No Nuclear Waste Dump Anywhere in South Australia, 12 Aug 18 

Had an extensive conversation in person with Peter Malinauskas, SA State Opposition Leader.

I shared my concerns for the people in the communities, and the process that’s been imposed on them.
He agreed that the process is wrong, and gave me his word, that the issue will be brought up in Parliament as soon as it returns.

He was shocked to hear how people’s health and lives are being affected. 
I’m holding him to his word!

August 13, 2018 Posted by | Federal nuclear waste dump, politics, South Australia | Leave a comment

Earthquakes: another good reason to not establish a nuclear waste dump in the Flinders Ranges

Lyn Blume Fight To Stop Nuclear Waste Dump In Flinders Ranges SA Here is another good reason to not dump nuclear waste in SA as this is a seismic region in Australia, here is the most recent record. Earthquake Details
NW of Blinman, SA
Origin (UTC): 06/08/2018 22:35:45 Epicentral Time: 07/08/2018 08:05:45
Longitude: 138.511 Latitude: -31.000
Magnitude: 2.4 (ML) Depth: 10 km

Event Id: ga2018pkbnhd Blinman is a town deep in the Flinders Ranges, in the mid-north of South Australia. It is very small but has the claim of being the highest surveyed town in South Australia. It serves as a base for large acre pastoralists and tourism. The town is just north of the Flinders Ranges National Park, is 60 kilometres(km) north of Wilpena Pound and 485 km north of Adelaide.….

August 13, 2018 Posted by | Federal nuclear waste dump, safety, South Australia | Leave a comment

Ian Carpenter, Chelsea Haywood, John Hennessy and Janice McInnis’ submission, attacking Flinders Ranges Action Group

Ian Carpenter, Chelsea Haywood, John Hennessy and Janice McInnis sent in another submission to the Senate, on 19 July – Submission to Senate Inquiry on Selection Process for Nuclear Waste Facility They call themselves “Say Yes to 45 Jobs”. This submission consists entirely of criticism of, indeed an attack on, the Flinders Local Action Group (FLAG), (no mention of jobs, or any other aspect of the process)  . They claim that FLAG used deceptive means to oppose the nuclear waste plan for Wallerberdina. They criticise the FLAG survey, FLAG’s distribution of petition forms, and FLAG’s submission to the Senate. They criticise Flag’s criticising of the Barndioota Consultative Committee (BCC) and od DIIS personnel. “FLAG have no regard for the truth or scientific fact”. They single out Dr Susan Anderson. They include FLAG’s brochure, with survey questions. (I have not, so far, been able to copy this submission)


August 13, 2018 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Federal nuclear waste dump | Leave a comment

Angelina Stuart wants the nuclear waste facility, to provide jobs for her children and grandchildren

ANGELINA STUART – Submission to Selection process for a national radioactive waste management facility in South Australia Submission 112

My name is Angelina Stuart, formally McKenzie, and I am the oldest sister of the McKenzie family. I was born in January 1943 on the land. My mother and father were living on the eastern side of the Flinders Ranges. That’s named Viliwarinha and it’s my birthplace – I was born out where the dingos were howling.

My late father was a strong Adnyamathanha man. As me and my siblings travelled through the Flinders Ranges, Dad would tell us Dreamtime stories about certain places. We were told the stories of the landscape that gave us a map of the area – the hills and creeks, these were the stories my dad told us. My dad made recordings and we still have his voice to listen to today.

My two older brothers and one sister who has now passed on, were born in the heart of the Flinders Ranges as well in 1938, 1940, and 1949, and I was born in 1943. Two siblings were then born in 1947 and 1950 in Beltana. There were 4 born in Hawker in 1944, 1952, 1956 and 1959. When we moved to Port Augusta, and that was the first time I saw Wallerberdina. After that, 3 siblings were born in Port Augusta, along with my five children.

I moved back to the land in 1998 to Yappala Station, next to Wallerberdina. In the mid-nineties I was one to put a claim for Station.

It is very upsetting to me that stories are being told that shouldn’t be told, and that stories are being said are ours, even though they are not our stories. The one that is distressing, is the story of the seven sisters because it isn’t our story – my father told me the Dreamtime story, and it was a different story. The story being told of the seven sisters isn’t right – it belongs to the other side of Lake Torrens, not near Wallerberdina.

On this land, this site at Wallerberdina, I’ve been out there with the heritage assessment with RPS. I know where they walked, and where the site is, and there are no visuals sites on the ground, I didn’t see anything. Any little cuttings would be from people passing through. It’s a lie to say the stories and lore of the land would disappear if a facility was built on Wallerberdina.

This process has given everyone a chance to sit down and meet. I really appreciate that we’ve been able to sit down and talk, and share our culture. If the facility did go ahead, I would want to see work done by Adnyamathanha to explain to non-Indigenous and other groups the value of our land, the spiritual side of it, so that the lore of the land and the tradition of the area around it is carried on. It is still there and it will always be there.

Thinking about my grandkids and great grandkids, I want to see development on the land, so that they can return to the land and surrounding areas, and so they can come back and get opportunities of employment. They need to be able to come back to the land.

August 13, 2018 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Federal nuclear waste dump | Leave a comment

Submission from Azark, Leonora, Western Australia: wants the nuclear dump, scathing about the Kimba wastes plan

  1. The Department has completely stage managed the initial identification and nomination of the current sites at Kimba and all the accompanying procedures for the Kimba community before the nominations were made
  2. It has similarly staged managed all subsequent aspects of the nominations including such things as selecting and effectively running the various community advisory groups including preparing meeting agenda and minutes



This submission is made by Azark Project Pty Ltd (ACN 618 973 792) on behalf of itself and Shire of Leonora and Goldfields Carbon Group Pty Ltd as the joint participants in and proponents of what is known as the Azark Project.

The Azark Project relates to the nomination of a previously identified and examined area of land near Leonora in the Eastern Goldfields of Western Australia as the site for selection by the federal government for the national for a national radioactive waste management facility.

In addition the Azark Project includes the possible development at that site of an underground nuclear waste disposal facility as a commercial enterprise.


It is submitted that the selection process adopted by the federal Department of Industry Innovation and Science and its responsible minister for the selection of a site for a national radioactive waste management facility at Kimba and Hawker in South Australia is completely inappropriate and lacks any proper and thorough investigation and assessment.

It seems that the selection of a site at Kimba is a predetermined decision by the federal government irrespective of the site suitability and the strong objections of a large community group which makes a complete mockery of the selection process.

Moreover the federal government has seemingly no regard to the financial aspects involved as it is intent on unnecessarily wasting taxpayers’ money by literally buying the support of the community while failing to properly assess and consider the far cheaper and technically superior option and advantages of the Azark site at Leonora in Western Australia.

The events and reasons for that submission are more full explained in the following notes on the respective nominations.

The overall submission is that the process by which the federal government is determining the site is neither appropriate nor thorough and fails to properly deal with the referred terms relating to financial compensation and the definition and determination of broad community support including indigenous support and consequently it is submitted that the process relevant to the Kimba and Hawker nominations has become a farcical exercise. Continue reading

August 11, 2018 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Federal nuclear waste dump | Leave a comment

Azark compares Western Australian site with South Australian sites for nuclear waste dump

(Azark-) No interference with the heritage sites area would exist  • No other heritage problems .   No watercourses or other issues with water or flooding since well above the floodplain in low rainfall region. nominated site is geologically completely stable and free of all seismic activity as granite hard rock which has not moved for 2.6 billion years.
Submission AZARK PROJECT to Senate Inquiry (submission No 110) Attachment 1
 (SOUTH AUSTRALIA) AZARK SITE COMMENT Size 6,300 ha 3,000 ha Only 100 ha at most required for the facility, but whole area is typographically the same throughout Topography Relatively flat and dry Totally flat and dry Entire Azark nominated site and surrounding land is granite hard rock 4km deep throughout and well above the floodplain Being hard rock granite, there is no water table

Continue reading

August 11, 2018 Posted by | Federal nuclear waste dump, Western Australia | Leave a comment

Leonora W.A. site geologically, environmentally better suited to waste dump than is Kimba S.A.

 these seismic surveys are many times more intensive and informative than what has been suggested for Kimba (and Hawker)
The Azark Project has on several previous instances fully documented all of the features and attributes of its site and the availability of all infrastructure and services and manpower which would fully support and cater for the construction and operation of both an above or below ground facility
 AZARK PROJECT LEONORA  Submission to Senate (no. 110) Attachment 3 National Radioactive Waste management Facility Site Charcterisation Project   Comparison of the site characterisation by AECOM of Kimba with the Azark Project site

Technical assessment information for the Azark Project at Leonora compared to the AECOM Characterisation Project for Kimba – February 2018

Seismic Survey Continue reading

August 11, 2018 Posted by | Federal nuclear waste dump, Western Australia | 2 Comments

Extracts from today’s Webinar about Managing Australia’s Nuclear Wastes

transcribed by Noel Wauchope 10 August 18 

Dr Margarert Beavis : –

“Less than 1% of the total wastes of the nuclear reactor comes from medical use… For Intermediate Level Waste, (ILW) ARPANSA says repeatedly that there is no urgency for a news interim waste facility.  Internationally,  ILW is stored near reactors….

ANSTO is expanding nuclear activities, which will mean massive increases in wastes.

Information about nuclear medicine has been over-blown. It’s very clear that nuclear medicine will continue regardless of the dump”

Cyclotrons are the  fastest growing area of producing nuclear medicine. Canada and UK are phasing in cyclotrons. ANSTO’s massive reactor plans mean not only more ILW, but also massive costs. Selling nuclear medicine gets back only 10% of the costs of managing the wastes”

“for informed consent, people need excellent information. Tours offered to ANSTO, not to Woomera. People told by Bruce Wilson “this site will not leak”

Scott Ludlam

“The argument “that ILW has to be moved – that is contestable.  If it is perfectly safe,as claimed, why the push for moving it far away?  We should not have the process for an interim site before having the process for permanent disposal. Is it a case of ‘out of sight out of mind’ “

“What’s the definition of ‘Broad Community Support’ ? What will you do if both communities (general and indigenous) are not broadly supportive?

The material will be dangerous for 10,000 years. On a politicaland electoral basis- we do have time. You are not letting medicine down if you think that this interim waste dump is not an appropriate thing to do.

Jim Green. –

Reminds about the “-overarching legislation- allows Federal government to override local communities and State governments. Overrides legislation on Aboriginal rights. There’s a need to remove undemocratic aspects of the National Radioactive Waste Management Act” (Bruce Wilson then criticises Jim Green’s ‘very emotive language’)

“About the operation of the facility. It will not be operating all of the time. There will be several dozen jobs over the first 3 or 4 years. .. Wates volume – one truckload every 10 weeks. For 90% of the time, workers would be doing nothing. The fcaility is likley to be opened once every 3-5 years. That was the government plan – it based its estimates on facilites overseas. But they are not comparable, (much greater). At most there’s be a handful of security jobs. (Dr Adi Paterson answered this with an expansive vision of the dump being the centre of a scientific mission, and “a really cool form of tourism”)

Many traditional owners would say that they have been treated disgracefully by the Department”

Dave Sweeney.
it is incumbent on the proponent to demonstrate the need for an activity. There has been no pre-study of the net benefit. The regulator wants 2 separate licenses  – for Low Level Wastes (LLW) and Intermediate Level Wastes (ILW) There should be 2 separate debates. There should be a detailed business case –  We are told that this is an internal matter – a matter for cabinet.

You need to select the pathway (to final disposal) , including the transport route, before selecting the interim waste facility site.  We have 10,000 years lasting wastes, yet the Minister wants a decision on 20 August.  A purpose built national radioactive Waste Facility demands a higher level of scrutiny.”

“Nuclear medicine has been used as the argument, time and time again –  that people who don’t support the nuclear waste dump are not supportive of nuclear medicine”

Sweeney spoke of the”power imbalance” “hard for Aborigines,  for a farmer working 12 hours on a header – to go against detailed information from the State.”

August 10, 2018 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Federal nuclear waste dump | Leave a comment

Dave Sweeney urges Federal government to pause and consider, rather than rushing into nuclear waste dumping in Kimba

Slow down nuclear process: Sweeney, Whyalla News, Louis Mayfield 7 August 18  An environmentalist is urging the federal government to slow down their site selection process for the National Radioactive Waste Management Facility as a community vote looms for Kimba and Hawker.

August 10, 2018 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Federal nuclear waste dump | Leave a comment

The Maritime Union of Australia (MUA) Says No To Nuclear Ports In South Australia 

MUA Says No To Nuclear Ports In South Australia 8 Aug 18

The Maritime Union of Australia (MUA) is continuing its long-running stance against the shipping of any nuclear material in or out of South Australia.

The Turnbull Government has shortlisted three sites in South Australia that could be used to permanently hold low-level nuclear waste and temporarily store intermediate-level waste.

Two of these sites are at Kimba, on the Eyre Peninsula, while a third is near Hawker, in the northern Flinders Ranges.

Whyalla, Port Lincoln and Port Pirie were named as potential nuclear waste ports in three “Site Characterisation, Technical Reports” released by the Federal Department of Industry in July.

MUA South Australian Branch Secretary Jamie Newlyn said MUA members are long time opponents of Nuclear Waste Storage in Australia and led the charge against the former SA Government’s International Waste Dump Royal Commission and consequent citizens’ jury.

“The Turnbull Government’s recent declaration that sites in Kimba and Flinders Ranges could be used to store intermediate-level nuclear waste is incredibly concerning,” Newlyn said.

“The MUA is further alarmed that the Federal Department of Industry has identified Whyalla and Port Pirie – where our members currently work – as potential ports to unload this toxic and unsafe material.

“The MUA, along with the mayors of Port Pirie and Whyalla, have been blindsided by this announcement yet the safety of port workers and the communities through which this hazardous material is transported is critical.

A postal ballot will begin in Kimba and Hawker on August 20 to determine public support.

Federal Minister for Resources Matt Canavan has said the facility would need “broad community support” to go ahead, noting that he will take into account the views of neighbouring landholders and the Adnyamathanha Traditional Lands Association (ATLA).

Before the ballot, a Senate inquiry into the site selection process, which includes the impact a community benefits program is having on support, will hand down its findings.

“The Turnbull Government is dividing communities, dividing families and dividing friendships over this decision and are trying to ruin the fabric of these country areas,” Newlyn said.

“The MUA will be discussing this with our members in the region to explain the dangers and we are confident that our decisions will again be on the right side of history.

“The MUA is well-known for taking a strong stand against South Africa’s apartheid regime, supporting Indonesian independence, demonstrating against the Vietnam War and refusing to load pig iron to Japan in the lead-up to World War II.”

August 10, 2018 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Federal nuclear waste dump, opposition to nuclear | Leave a comment

Whyalla’s port could be used to receive and ship nuclear waste to and from a waste management facility

NUCLEAR TRANSPORT, Whyalla News (print edition, 9 Aug 18 ) Whyalla’s port could be used to receive and ship nuclear waste to and from a waste management facility, according to a report by the Federal Industry Department (DIIS).

But the federal government, who have plans to establish a National Radioactive Waste Management Facility (NRWMF) in Kimba or Hawker, have poured cold water on the idea.

Whyalla, Port Lincoln and Port Pirie were named as potential nuclear waste ports in three “Site Characterisation, Technical Reports” released by the Federal Industry Department (DIIS) in July.

A shipment of nuclear waste is due from Sellafield in UK and a shipment out of Port Kembla is planned from the ANSTO Lucas Heights reactor of nuclear waste received from France in 2015.

“There is potential to have waste shipped from Port Kembla, NSW to key port locations such as Whyalla, Port Pirie and Port Lincoln,” say DIIS in their site characterisation report for Lyndhurst.

“From here, waste would either be shipped via road or rail to the waste facility location. This may be necessary for the transportation of TN81 containers.”

But Member for Grey Rowan Ramsey there wouldn’t necessarily be enough waste to be shipped via sea.

“Any discussions about use of ports are only possible options,” he said.,

Friends of the Earth environmentalist David Noonan believes the federal government could face ‘serious obstacles’ to secure the use of a port to move nuclear waste.

“These targeted port communities are denied a say in Minister Canavan’s pending decision on siting a Federal dump in South Australia,” he said.

“They haven’t been consulted on use of their ports, and are excluded from ‘votes’ in the Hawker and Kimba districts between August and September on whether or not to locate a NRWMF in those areas.

Mr Noonan claimed that the federal government had been targeting ports to transport nuclear waste in South Australia for over two years.

Mr Ramsey said there had been no decision to locate the facility in South Australia so far.

“Two communities are to vote later this month as to whether they are willing to host the facility. If neither agrees there is no project,” he said.

Mayor Lyn Breuer said she would not commit to supporting the use of Whyalla’s port for transporting nuclear waste until the council received a guarantee it would be safe.

“While I don’t think it would have any significant environmental impact on our community barring an accident, this would require significant community consultation,” she said.

“In the past Whyalla has opposed any nuclear or radioactive shipping in this region.”

August 10, 2018 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Federal nuclear waste dump | Leave a comment

Kimba nuclear waste dump proposal is in breach of International Atomic Agency Safety Guide



2.22 In the classification scheme set out in this Safety Guide, low level waste is waste that is suitable for NEAR SURFACE DISPOSAL. This is a disposal option suitable for waste that contains such an amount of radioactive material that robust containment and isolation for limited periods of time up to a FEW HUNDRED YEARS are required.

This requirement is pretty much copied into the ARPANSA Guide under the heading of LOW LEVEL WASTE (LLW) at page 13 in Section 3.2


2.28 Intermediate level waste is defined as waste that contains long lived radionuclides in quantities that need a greater degree of containment and isolation from the biosphere than is provided by NEAR SURFACE DISPOSAL. Disposal in a facility at a depth of between a FEW TENS AND A FEW HUNDREDS OF METRES is indicated for ILW.

Again practically the same description is given on page 15 of ARPANSA Guide under the heading of INTERMEDIATE LEVEL WASTE.

As both IAEA and ARPANSA clearly say BOTH LLW and ILW has to be “near surface disposal” and certainly not above ground as proposed by the Department on behalf of the federal government.

The IAEA promotes adherence to and implementation of international legal instruments on nuclear safety adopted under its auspices.

August 10, 2018 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Federal nuclear waste dump | Leave a comment

Highlights of Australian Government Nuclear Information Session in Kimba

Dave Sweeney, 8 Aug 18  an update of the highlights from last night’s federal agency forum in Kimba:

Between 120-150 people put in three hours in a very cold hall listening to presentations from ARPANSA, ANSTO, DIIS and others then to responses to pre-submitted questions.

As usual there was considerable running down of the clock and unrelated/ off the mark responses – but still a fair bit of interest and use, including:


  • no urgency to move ILW from Lucas Heights – this was clear and repeated – proponent would need to prove need/ rationale and safety case
  • new ARPANSA code has reaffirmed that siting on agricultural land is less preferred (nb: this is guidance, not a requirement)
  • will require two separate license applications for LLW and ILW as they have different requirements
  • 12-18 months further work required on Woomera waste characterisation


  • lots of detailed nuclear medicine/ science application talk – scant explanation of need to move ILW
  • CEO agreed with ARPANSA that current ILW storage at LH is ‘safe’
  • including already returned reprocessed waste returns there is a maximum of five TH81 casks of ILW over the next forty years


  • ‘possible no current site will be selected
  • uncertainty re transport route and use of local ports
  • intention is to amend the NRWM Act to make the community benefit fund larger and more directed by some form of community input – but only post site selection
  • Minister is the sole decision maker and they are expecting some ADJR challenge
  • ballot is ‘Kimba’s last chance’ – there will no further offers or re-visiting if not supported
  • Minister wants to make a decision in October

August 8, 2018 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Federal nuclear waste dump | Leave a comment

Western Australia based Azark wants nuclear waste dump site to be Leonora, W.A.

Calls for a nuclear waste facility in WA. Business News Western Australia, 7 August 18 Western Australia based Azark projects is calling on the Federal government to review its preference for a nuclear waste storage facility in South Australia, with the George Gear led company  proposing Leonora as a more suitable location…….

August 8, 2018 Posted by | Federal nuclear waste dump, Western Australia | Leave a comment