Antinuclear

Australian news, and some related international items

Submission: Leon Ashton opposes ANSTO’s flawed plan to set up a stranded nuclear waste dump at Kimba, South Australia

it is only a temporary measure until the other temporary measure of storing I.L.W. Is built. How many more temporary storage facilities will need to be constructed before a permanent disposal plan is found?   

 Leon Ashton, 23 Jul 21, TO PARLIAMENTARY STANDING COMMITTEE ON PUBLIC WORKS CURRENT ENQUIRY: AUSTRALIAN NUCLEAR SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY ORGANIZATION INTERMEDIATE LEVEL SOLID WASTE STORAGE FACILITY LUCAS HEIGHTS NSW I   I wish to make a submission to the public works committee in regards to the above matter. The biggest concern that I have with this application by ANSTO is that it appears as if it will still be built with a view that it is only a temporary measure until the other temporary measure of storing I.L.W. Is built. How many more temporary storage facilities will need to be constructed before a permanent disposal plan is found.   

  Dr. Allison McFarlane, a leading proponent from the Obama administration on Worlds Best Practice, (WBP) for the permanent disposal of nuclear waste has said high and intermediate level waste must be buried below the ground at a depth of 500 and 250 metres in deep stable granite. Why is this so hard to find in Australia. There must be several hundred sites in the Woomera Prohibited Area alone that would fit the bill. The millions and millions of tax payers dollars spent by this department in kicking the can down the road is disgraceful. It could have been put to good use to bring all vested parties together to follow W.B.P. For a permanent home for all our own nuclear waste.

We have heard this government department DISER argue that we do not have enough I.L.W. To warrant the cost of a deep permanent disposal site however, the hundreds of millions of dollars being spent at present do nothing to address the inevitable. Further more, the people of Kimba and Quorn and Hawker who have tried to seek answers to so many unanswered questions by this department, have realised long ago that there will never be a amicable outcome for any community if the I.L.W. Is moved from one temporary storage to another purely for political purposes. The trust that must be sought from any community has been destroyed forever. If an application is granted to temporarily store I.L.W. For more years at Lucas Heights, then how will this effect the Low Level Waste dump at Nappandee if it is approved and not the I.L.W. Storage approved? 


Dr. Adi Patterson, the CEO of ANSTO has already stated that if any community does not get the I.L.W storage, there will be no economic benefits to the community. ANSTO has stated that this application if granted will be the cheapest option as it will be in their existing premises. How ever, as there are no increase in personnel numbers to put the I.L.W. in a new shed, why then are DISER falsely claiming a number of 45 jobs to guard the I.L.W at any other temporary storage site? This was stated by the federal minister for the environment Matt Canavan. Stating the only reason the massive job structure changed when trying to find a site for the Low Level Dump went from 8 to 45 was purely because he had decided the I.L.W would go to the site as well. 

July 25, 2021 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Federal nuclear waste dump | Leave a comment

Submission: Flinders Local Action Group points out the flaws in ANSTO’s nuclear waste plan

Intermediate Level Waste is the key element of greatest concern in the current NRWMF proposal.
ANSTO has informed to us that Intermediate Level is the most dangerous and long-lived nuclear waste in Australia, with a toxic life in excess of 10,000 years. Our research tells us that in Europe little distinction is made between Intermediate and High Level waste – both remain potentially extremely dangerous over enormous time periods.

Submission to the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Public Works, Greg Bannon, (On behalf of the Flinders Local Action Group 23 July 21,

SUBJECT: Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO) Intermediate Level Solid Waste (ILSW) Storage Facility Lucas Heights, NSW


INTRODUCTION: The Flinders Local Action Group (FLAG) welcomes the opportunity to make a submission to this Public Works Standing Committee.

FLAG was formed to challenge the 2015 nomination of Wallerberdina Station in the Flinders Ranges district, and its inclusion on the shortlist of three potential South Australian sites for the proposed National Radioactive Waste Management Facility (NRWMF). The Group is made up of indigenous and non-indigenous members of the community.

We have become very well informed on the NRWMF proposal, seeking out and researching information from independent sources to weigh up against what has been provided to the community by the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science (DIIS – now the Department of Industry, Science, Energy & Resources, DISER). As both the proposer and promoter of the NRWMF, the Department cannot claim any sort of neutral position.

SUMMARY:
• ANSTO’s preferred Option 2 must be considered on the basis that interim storage will be until a permanent disposal site has been established. This would provide the licensing pathway to disposal required by the independent regulator, ARPANSA.
• There is no logic or economic sense in double-handling ILW from temporary storage at Lucas Heights to further temporary storage somewhere else, in preparation for yet another transfer to a third location for final disposal at some time in the future.
• There is no economic sense in establishing a facility for low level waste alone when a disposal site, critical for ILSW and more than suitable for LLW, is still to be established.

SUBMISSION POINTS:
Temporary Intermediate Level Solid Waste (ILSW) Storage:

The Department has guaranteed that all waste to be received at the NRWMF will be in a dry, compacted or compactable form. ANSTO defines ILSW as the result of conditioning Intermediate Level Liquid Waste under the Synroc process. In solid or liquid form, it is still Intermediate Level Radioactive Waste (ILRW). We do not accept any difference between what we have been opposing and refer to as ILRW, and ILSW.

Intermediate Level Waste is the key element of greatest concern in the current NRWMF proposal.
• ANSTO has informed to us that Intermediate Level is the most dangerous and long-lived nuclear waste in Australia, with a toxic life in excess of 10,000 years. Our research tells us that in Europe little distinction is made between Intermediate and High Level waste – both remain potentially extremely dangerous over enormous time periods.

Until now, the only plan for ILSW has been to remove it from temporary storage at Lucas Heights and transport it halfway across the country to a proposed NRWMF – still to be established. There it will remain in further temporary storage, for an undefined period, colocated
with Low Level Radioactive Waste.


• Temporary storage does not solve the national problem, which is the permanent, safe disposal for all of Australia’s nuclear waste, including the most dangerous and long-lived category, ILSW.


• ANSTO’s submission to the Standing Committee outlines five options “to assess the most efficient and effective approach to the design and construction of new storage capacity”.

We note that Option 2 (4.1.2. – ANSTO submission) “provides a direct continuation of existing operations for storing waste…(with the)…benefits of low capital outlay…minimalorganisational change…at low business risk make this the preferred option”.
• This would be of great encouragement to our Group if it means that ANSTO intends to continue interim storage of ILSW at Lucas Heights until the promised “single, state-of-the-art, world’s best practice radioactive waste management facility” (quotes from DIIS information) for the permanent disposal of both waste categories, ILW and LLW, is established.
• After more than 60 years of producing nuclear waste and 40 years of failed attempts to establish a national nuclear waste facility it is hard to accept that the only plan for the country’s most dangerous radioactive material continues to be temporary storage for an indefinite period of time. This would be a classic example of that over-used metaphor “kicking the can down the road”

National Radioactive Waste Management Facility:
If ILSW remains at Lucas Heights until a permanent disposal site is established, there is no necessity
for a facility to separately manage Low Level waste.
• The flaw in the NRWMF proposal has always been that, despite the Department’s assertion to the contrary, there was never to be a single national facility. Low level waste would be disposed of there, with Intermediate Level co-located alongside on a temporary basis, for an indefinite period, until a disposal facility was established somewhere else.
• The economic benefits promoted to the community from a nearby NRWMF were promised because the decision was announced to co-locate Intermediate Level Waste at the same site.
This was the reason given to both communities, Flinders and Kimba, for the Ministerial announcement that the 15 full-time equivalent jobs initially promised were suddenly increased to 45 along with a number of other economic incentives.
•Any site that is suitable for the permanent disposal of ILSW is suitable for the disposal of Low
Level waste.

CONCLUSION:
Our Group readily accepts the benefits that result from Australian atomic research and the production
of medical isotopes. We accept the need for a NRWMF to consolidate and dispose of all the
country’s nuclear waste in one location.


What is hard to accept, and still being experienced, are the disruptive and divisive effects this
process has had on our communities. Inflated promises of economic benefits have raised overly
optimistic expectations in some people. Cold, hard logic shows that these expectations will not be
met by the model that is currently being proposed.

July 24, 2021 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Federal nuclear waste dump | Leave a comment

Federal Inquiry into ANSTO nuclear waste storage, submissions due by 30 July 2021

David J Noonan B.Sc., M.Env.St.,Independent Environment Campaigner and Sole Trader Consultant, A ‘Voice’ of the No Dump Alliance 24 July 21

There is a federal Inquiry into ANSTO nuclear waste storage,
Open for submissions to Friday 30 July, at: pwc@aph.gov.au

see more info on the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Public Works Inquiry webpage: 
Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation Intermediate Level Solid Waste Storage Facility Lucas Heights, NSW – Parliament of Australia (aph.gov.au)
FOE has prepared a short letter of submission option, at: 
Nuclear Waste Submission – Friends of the Earth Melbourne (melbournefoe.org.au)for longer submission info suggestions – see input by David Noonan available at:
Noonan-PWC-Inquiry-submission-ANSTO-ILW-July2021.pdf (foe.org.au)

my Recommendations are below (if you make any usage its best in your own words)

RE: Extended storage of ANSTO’s ILW on-site at Lucas Heights is warranted until availability of a final disposal option. The indefinite Store for ANSTO nuclear fuel waste & ILW in SA is untenable.

Dear SecretaryPlease consider this Submission (22 page pdf) with five Recommendations (see p.4) and the request for public release of key ANSTO ILW Reports and further information sought from ANSTO (see p.5-6).

Recommendations to the Public Works Committee Inquiry:

Recommendation 1: ANSTO’s proposed public works on Intermediate Level Waste (ILW) storage must be altered to provide for the necessary and proper Contingency to retain ILW on-site in safe and secure extended storage at Lucas Heights “until the availability of a final disposal option”.

Recommendation 2: ANSTO must not pre-empt ARPANSA Licensing decisions. ANSTO must plan for the valid Contingency that an ARPANSA Approval for proposed indefinite duration above ground nuclear fuel waste and ILW storage in SA may not be granted.

Recommendation 3: The PWC must require and confirm the suitability of any assented ANSTO public works to provide for – and comply with – the necessary Contingency to retain ILW on-site at Lucas Heights until a final disposal option is available.

Recommendation 4: Transparency requiresANSTO must release key ILW Reports and further information to provide an adequate basis for informed decision making in consideration by the PWC and to facilitate informed public interest input to this Inquiry. Including: Two ANSTO Intermediate Level nuclear waste Reports required as part of ARPANSA Licensing Conditions and due to the regulator by 30 June 2020, AND the formal response(s) by ARPANSA.

Recommendation 5: The PWC Inquiry should consider that proposed indefinite storage of ANSTO nuclear fuel waste and ILW in SA is untenable and compromises safety and security in SA. ANSTO’s premise to transfer ILW into indefinite storage in regional SA is contrary to International Best Practice (IBP) and does not comply with ARPANSA Committee advice.

In ConclusionExtended storage of ANSTO’s ILW on-site at Lucas Heights is a warranted public interest measure and a necessary Contingency until availability of a final disposal option.

ANSTO’s public works are premised on an il-considered, unassured and arguably untenable transfer of ILW into indefinite storage of ANSTO nuclear fuel waste and ILW in regional SA.

I have provided a range of public Briefing materials, for instance: “Nuclear Waste Store siting at Napandee also targets the Port of Whyalla” (see p.21-22).

July 24, 2021 Posted by | ACTION, Federal nuclear waste dump | Leave a comment

Barngarla native title owners were excluded from decision-making on Kimba nuclear waste plan.

Barngarla people say their votes weren’t counted in Kimba nuclear dump census, The Advertiser 22 July 21

As SA awaits confirmation on a location of a national nuclear waste dump near Kimba, traditional owners say they weren’t included in a vote on the contentious project.

A First Nations people say their voice wasn’t heard in the proposal to create a permanent, national nuclear waste storage facility, despite a census of the nearest township.

The plan cleared a major hurdle in June, with a shortlist of sites passing the Senate on June 21.

Federal Resources Minister Keith Pitt expected to name Napandee farm, near Kimba on the Eyre Peninsula as the likely choice in the coming weeks.

The debate about the facility centres on a 2019 census by the Australian Electoral Commission, which found more than 60 per cent of Kimba residents were in favour of the facility.

However, the body for the local Indigenous community, the Barngarla Determination Aboriginal Corporation said their voices on the proposal were not heard.

Group chair Jason Bilney said the Kimba ballot did not account for the First Nations people, who have a significant stake in the land, and in the Dreaming stories associated with it.

“The simple fact remains that even though the Barngarla hold native title land closer to the proposed facility than the town of Kimba, the First Peoples’ for the area were not allowed to vote,” he said.

“It’s a cop out to say we weren’t on the electoral roll, we had to do a separate vote, but how do we guarantee our votes are combined,” he said.

The bill allowing construction of the facility only passed the senate last month, after a clause was introduced which allows judicial review for those opposed to any decision.

“They tried to take the umpire out in the fourth quarter, so we’re glad to have had that amendment included, it‘s a win for democracy,” Mr Bilney said………….

Mr Bilney said if a proper heritage assessment and consultation with the Barngarla people had occurred, the dialogue could have been less combative.

“It’s about being open and transparent, it should have been put to us and all South Australians affected, what about all the towns who will now have nuclear waste trucked through, where was their say,” he said.

If we’d been consulted and a part of the process from the beginning, it could have been a different story.
“A lot of our people remember the impacts up in Maralinga, my grandfather was from up there and we remember some of the impacts and cancers that came about in the years after.

“They didn’t have a right back then, so we’re fighting for our say now.”

South Australia has a chequered nuclear history, with long term effects of radiation at the Maralinga bomb site and dumping at the Arkaroola mine in the Flinders Ranges marring public confidence in anything nuclear.

https://www.adelaidenow.com.au/messenger/port-lincoln/barngarla-people-say-their-votes-werent-counted-in-kimba-nuclear-dump-census/news-story/1bfeeac4e42e268b0f9e6729b82d8e7f

July 22, 2021 Posted by | aboriginal issues, AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Federal nuclear waste dump | Leave a comment

Opposition to nuclear waste transport through the port of Whyalla, South Australia

Push for nuclear port no-no, Whyalla News, Louis Mayfield  21

A Whyalla resident passionate about the issue of nuclear waste storage has called for the Whyalla City Council to move a motion against transporting nuclear waste through the steel city’s port.

Andrew Williams, who has written to the Whyalla News on the issue in the past, delivered a presentation to council during their meeting on Monday.

Mr Williams said the federal government intended to override state laws in order to transport nuclear waste through South Australia, with the Whyalla Port being a “target port” for transportation.

“The federal government have said they will ensure appropriate consultation where there is significant public interest,” he said.

It is necessary for more public interest, especially in Whyalla as Department of Industry reports name the Whyalla Port to take shipments of nuclear fuel wastes.”

Mr Williams further outlined his concerns around storing intermediate level nuclear waste (ILW) at a Nuclear Radioactive Waste Management Facility (NRWMF) at the Napandee site near Kimba.

“The intermediate level waste consists of reprocessed spent fuel rods and reactor waste and some legacy waste which must be kept contained and secure from the environment for 10,000 years,” he said.

“Storage will require double handling of ILW which is not world’s best practice. The issue has been presented as a local economic development opportunity rather than a National Dump which will affect many generations to come.”………https://www.whyallanewsonline.com.au/story/7351332/?fbclid=IwAR1Wk-SzqygZroJ14ZA2g4_VmixtphFkTOFKKzTMnJxlHIcxiMQAwotNN4Y

July 22, 2021 Posted by | Federal nuclear waste dump, Opposition to nuclear, South Australia | Leave a comment

Port at Cape Hardy could be the entrance place for radioactive waste transport to Kimba, South Australia.

Paul Waldon .  Fight to Stop a nuclear waste dump in South Australia, 22 July 21, Fear of Whyalla as a port for receiving ANSTO’s radioactive waste has strongly been suggested recently. Mr Paterson responded to Sarah Hanson-Young’s question by saying that residents of a port town would be consulted before any such plan.

However I for one don’t believe Whyalla is on the cards, I believe the chosen port would likely be Port Hardy.

The Sentient Group (incorporated in the Caymen Islands) is the parent entity of Iron Road Limited. Iron Road put forward a plan to develop Port Hardy as a export terminal. So why would there be two deep water ports to service one region. Yes, there is only 78 kilometers from Iron Roads mining site at Warramboo and Kimba the proposed site for ANSTO’s radioactive waste.

So is there anything in it for the mining industry??? I don’t know, but it has been claimed that Iron Road is the states biggest mining operation outside Olympic Dam.

Moreover, in May 2017 when the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science proposal to burden an unwilling community in South Australia with their radioactive waste was just heating up Iron Road Limited became the beneficiary of a 21 year mining lease for magnetite mining and mineral processing. Which had 127 compliance conditions flagged.

But wait there’s more, the federal government also announced a 25 million dollar grant commitment to support development of Iron Roads Cape Hardy port precinct.

I’m not implying that Iron Road and the government are in bed together, but wouldn’t it make sense that while lanthanides are leaving a port the government would allow actinides to enter. more https://www.facebook.com/groups/344452605899556

July 22, 2021 Posted by | Federal nuclear waste dump, South Australia | Leave a comment

South Australian law demands an Inquiry into the Federal government’s nuclear waste storage plan

Robyn Wood, 10 July 21 The SOUTH AUSTRALIA NUCLEAR WASTE STORAGE FACILITY (PROHIBITION) ACT 2000, Section 14 states:If a licence, exemption or other authority to construct or operate a nuclear waste storage facility in this State is granted under a law of the Commonwealth, the Environment, Resources and Development Committee of Parliament must inquire into, consider and report on the likely impact of that facility on the environment and socio-economic wellbeing of this State.
https://www.legislation.sa.gov.au/LZ/C/A/NUCLEAR%20WASTE%20STORAGE%20FACILITY%20(PROHIBITION)%20ACT%202000.aspx?fbclid=IwAR0jBfTQuytzlMroTWvPAkMXZraWTDPbKfYim5rrdgPl95UtR3eBSuvIOv4

July 10, 2021 Posted by | Federal nuclear waste dump, South Australia | Leave a comment

Barngarla Determination Aboriginal Corporation (BDAC) will take legal action against nuclear dump plan if Resources Minister Keith Pitt names Napandee as the site

Barngarla will pursue judicial review if Napandee site named. https://www.portlincolntimes.com.au/story/7330119/barngarla-may-seek-legal-review/?fbclid=IwAR28Hj_22In6jE2Vd3s7ZrWBtOe0nHJxbyqdKk_xXF6hXv8Z-TNbEtBu5CEMembers of the Barngarla Determination Aboriginal Corporation (BDAC) have said the outcome of the nuclear waste amendment bill was the result they were hoping for.

The National Radioactive Waste Management Amendment (Site Specification, Community Fund and Other Measures) Bill 2020 was passed by the Australian Parliament on June 22.

The BDAC had previously raised concerns about the absence of a judicial review process by naming the Napandee site in the proposed legislation.

“The government sought to change the law to remove our democratic right to judicial review of their actions so that no court could ever assess what had been done,” they said in a previous statement.

However BDAC chair Jason Bilney said the bi-partisan support the bill received in parliament was what they were looking for, as changes were made to the bill to reinstate the ability to pursue a judicial review of the site selection process.

The bill was initially tabled in parliament in February 2020 with the intention to name the Napandee site near Kimba within the legislation.

Now federal resources minister Keith Pitt will be required to name the host site through ministerial decision, which will allow for a potential judicial review of the site selection process in future.

Mr Pitt is also not bound to name one of the three sites currently shortlisted.

Mr Bilney said it had been a “long, hard battle” for 15 months, and that he and others were in Canberra that week as the bill went through.

“It’s a good outcome for the Barngarla people, but also all Australians because it affects all Australians,” he said.

The BDAC have stated since the passing of the bill that if there is a declaration of the Napandee site, the BDAC will seek a judicial review.

“The Barngarla and farmers worked together and the senate did not agree to pass any bill which removed judicial review,” they said.

“We had certain demands, which amounted to removing site specification in the bill and removing Schedule 1.

“The government gave in to these demands and effectively amended their own bill to reflect what Barngarla, Labor and the cross bench had said we required.

“So, we have no issues with the new bill, as it is the bill that we demanded occur.

“Namely, it preserves judicial review.

“In simple terms, we won this battle in parliament and we are very grateful for Labor and the cross bench, including senator Hanson’s One Nation, the Greens, and senator Patrick.”

We even had the Explanatory Memorandum further amended to make it clear that the Minister was not limited to just the three sites in the Table and that the Table was purely a historical record.

July 8, 2021 Posted by | aboriginal issues, AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Federal nuclear waste dump, legal | Leave a comment

Premier Marshall should stand up for South Australia: Reject the federal Liberal’s unlawful, unfair, unsafe and unnecessary nuclear waste dump plan for SA

Premier Marshall should stand up for our State: Reject the federal Liberal’s unlawful, unfair, unsafe and unnecessary nuclear waste dump plan for SA

David Noonan, July 2021  Premier Stephen Marshall must stand up for South Australia’s interests and push back on federal Liberal government imposition of an unlawful nuclear waste dump in our State.

Premier Marshall should stand up for our State: Reject the federal Liberal’s unlawful, unfair, unsafe and unnecessary nuclear waste dump plan for SA

David Noonan, July 2021  Premier Stephen Marshall must stand up for South Australia’s interests and push back on federal Liberal government imposition of an unlawful nuclear waste dump in our State.

  • 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.
  • As Premier you should give all South Australian’s a Say and take action to instigate a required public inquiry into the impacts of a nuclear waste storage facility on the environmental and socio-economic wellbeing of this State. The NUCLEAR WASTE STORAGE FACILITY (PROHIBITION) ACT 2000, Section 14 states:
  • If a licence, exemption or other authority to construct or operate a nuclear waste storage facility in this State is granted under a law of the Commonwealth, the Environment, Resources and Development Committee of Parliament must inquire into, consider and report on the likely impact of that facility on the environment and socio-economic wellbeing of this State.

The Port of Whyalla is targeted for shipments of ANSTO nuclear fuel waste and communities along proposed nuclear waste transport routes across our State all have a right to have a Say.

Nuclear waste dumping is a Human Rights issue for our fellow Indigenous South Australian’s. As Minister for Aboriginal Affairs, Stephen Marshall should support the Barngarla People’s right to say No to nuclear waste storage on their country:

  • The “United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People” (2007) Article 29 calls on States “to ensure that no storage or disposal of hazardous material shall take place in the lands or territories of indigenous peoples without their free prior and informed consent.”
  • The federal Liberal government proposes to ship and truck nuclear waste across SA into indefinite above ground storage in a fancy shed at Napandee on Eyre Peninsula – without any capacity or even a plan for its eventual permanent disposal.
  • SA’s clean green reputation, and our prime agricultural lands and farming communities, deserve better than untenable imposition of toxic nuclear wastes in a shoddy reckless federal plan to park and dump wastes that require isolation from the environment for 10,000 years.95 per cent of Intermediate Level Waste (ILW) in Australia are owned by Commonwealth government agencies, the vast majority is produced and held at ANSTO’s Lucas Heights reactor facility in Sydney – where it should stay in secure extended storage.
  • The federal Budget provided $60 million for further decades of extended storage capacity for ILW at ANSTO Lucas Heights, building onto the operation of existing stores to 2026.
  • In 2015 a separate Interim Waste Store for ANSTO nuclear fuel waste was built at Lucas Heights with a design capacity for 40 years. This store received a shipment of reprocessed nuclear fuel waste from France in 2015 and is intended to now receive a shipment from the UK in 2022, and is safety rated to 2055.
  • The CEO of the federal nuclear regulator ARPANSA stated in evidence to a Senate Inquiry in 2020: “Waste can be safely stored at Lucas Heights for decades to come.”
  • The federal Liberal government proposes to bring all these nuclear wastes to SA, along with decades of ANSTO’s further proposed nuclear waste production and future shipments of ANSTO reprocessed nuclear waste from France.

Premier – Stand up for our State!

July 3, 2021 Posted by | Federal nuclear waste dump, Opposition to nuclear, South Australia | Leave a comment

Napandee still the targeted site for nuclear waste? South Australia’s radioactive nightmare.

The Senate’s nuclear waste dilemma, Pearls and Irritations, By Noel Wauchope, Jun 27, 2021 ”……….. Australia’s obligations mount – to have some credible plan for long term management of its nuclear waste from its present Opal, and previous HIFAR nuclear reactors.The new amendment made this very significant change – and a real career-on -knife edge situation for Keith Pitt. Instead of specifying Napandee as the site for – let’s face it – just another temporary nuclear waste dump – the Bill now says that a selection is to be made from one of the listed sites. …

Well this seems to boil down to just one site anyway……… after all the promotional activity, and significant funding already granted to Kimba, it looks as if Napandee is still the targeted site….

Legal challenges to this site selection ? …….. the first consideration will be the Barngarla Native Title Owners………. [There]  are farmers, local residents and business leaders, who are asking the government for funding for an independent review and assessment of the dump project. Up till now, information on the project has been confined to government and ANSTO promotion of the dump as a ”medical necessity” for Australia.

Then there are residents of the wider Eyre Peninsula, who have had no say in the Kimba decision. There are the various communities whose residents are likely to object to having radioactive waste transported through their area. There’s South Australia, too, which has clear laws prohibiting the establishment of a nuclear waste dump in that State, the Nuclear Waste Storage Facility (Prohibition) Act 2000.

But even those who have no ”local” interest in this project have been raising objections, with that rather old-fashioned motivation – the greater good. Thirteen of Australia’s top non government organisations rejected the Napandeed plan and the original Act as deeply flawed There were many submissions to the Senate Committee’s Inquiry into the plan, raising well-argued doubts about economic problems with the plan, about geological unsuitability of the location, environmental risks, and the likely outcome of Kimba being burdened with ”stranded wastes”

It is an issue of national concern, but it has been pitched by the government as a matter only for the 824 eligible voters of the Kimba Shire.


Looking at this in the wider and historical context, the plan is not so new. The federal government and ANSTO have been aiming for years to transfer the responsibility of the reactor wastes to some distant location, preferably out of New South Wales. ANSTO, under the recently departed CEO Dr Adi Paterson had grand plans for expanding its operations, to build a marketing empire for medical radioisotopes, This is a dubious plan, as now these isotopes are being produced in a safer, more practical way, using non nuclear cyclotrons.

A greater dream, (or perhaps nightmare) lies behind the nuclear lobby’s push for a radioactive waste dump. It’s the idea, promoted by the company PANGEA, in 1999, of Australia becoming the importer of international nuclear waste – the world’s nuclear waste hub. PANGEA has been reborn as ARIUS, with the same dream. In 2016, that dream was pushed by the South Australian Nuclear Fuel Cycle Commission, which failed to convince South Australians. Two Citizens Jury processes rejected the plan, and the South Australian Premier Steven Marshall announced that it was definitely axed.

There’s still more. The dream of plutonium and other end products of nuclear reactors coming to Australia was tied to the aspirations for an Australian nuclear future, first with the goal of the full nuclear fuel cycle, with advanced nuclear reactors, small nuclear reactors, thorium reactors, (that need plutonium to kick-start the fission process), nuclear submarines, nuclear-propelled spacecraft and so on……..

[Ed. note – the Bill was passed by the Senate on 22nd June]

Australian Conservation Foundation Nuclear Free Campaigner David Sweeney said “The return of legal review is important but it is extraordinary that the Minister ever thought its removal was reasonable,” Mr Sweeney said.“A day in court is a fundamental right and to seek to remove this was deeply flawed – as is the government’s wider plan.”

The ACF along with other peak environmental, health and community organisations, has spelt out its objections in a document on its website, stating that the plan for the Kimba waste dump is unnecessary and deeply flawed. More importantly, they are calling for what is instead really needed . They demand a properly funded and expert independent review of Australia’s radioactive waste management, based on evidence and global best practice.
 https://johnmenadue.com/the-senates-nuclear-waste-dilemma/

June 28, 2021 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Federal nuclear waste dump, politics | Leave a comment

South Australian Minister Dan van Holst Pellekaan shuns Supreme Court Justice’s ruling to release Kimba nuclear documents

Senator Rex Patrick  (at left) 27 June 21, MIN It’s an extremely disturbing state of affairs when a Minister of the Crown simply ignores a Supreme Court Justice’s ruling.

You might recall late last year, Minister Dan van Holst Pellekaan denied me access to documents related to the Kimba National Radioactive Waste Management Facility in what I thought was an incompetent Freedom of Information (FOI) decision.

When I made an application to the South Australian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (SACAT) to challenge his decision, I was unbelievably threatened with costs. I ignored the Ministerial bullying. The challenge was heard by Supreme Court Justice Judy Hughes (sitting as the President of SACAT) who found the document I was after was NOT exempt from release under FOI. Orders to that effect were issued on 17 May 2021.I did not expect the document to be provided to me until the appeal time (1 month from the making of the decision) had expired.

It has now expired, and I have made a demand for the documents, but the Minister is refusing to abide by Her Honour’s decision.It looks like I’ll have to go to court to enforce the order.

June 28, 2021 Posted by | Federal nuclear waste dump, South Australia | Leave a comment

First Nations and Farmers condemn the federal government’s selection process for nuclear waste dump

Barngarla criticise Kimba waste site process, Port Lincoln Times, Louis Mayfield  JUNE 24 2021  Members of the Barngarla Determination Aboriginal Corporation (BDAC) have launched a scathing attack on the federal government’s process of selecting a site near Kimba to establish a radioactive waste dump.

A joint statement released by the First Nations corporation and the No Radioactive Waste on Agricultural Land in Kimba or SA group outline several issues with the government’s consultation process.

In the media release the two bodies claim that the government has “completely and utterly miscarried” the site selection process by not allowing First Nations people to vote in the community ballot.

“The simple fact remains that even though the Barngarla hold native title land closer to the proposed facility than the town of Kimba, the First Peoples for the area were not allowed to vote,” they said.

“They prevented Barngarla persons from voting, because native title land is not rateable. They did not allow many farmers to vote, even though they were within 50km of the proposed facility, because they were not in the Council area.

“They targeted us, because they knew that if they had a fair vote which included us, then the vote would return a “no” from the community.”

The results of the Kimba community ballot demonstrated a “majority support” for the federal government’s proposed nuclear facility, with 61 per cent voting in favor of the dump.

Further criticism was directed at a lack of consultation with communities that will be affected by the transport of nuclear waste to the facility.

“Those communities, where the waste will be transported through, have had no right to have a say. South Australians more broadly have had any rights to have a say,” they said………..

Minister Pitt said the specific transport routes from radioactive waste storage locations around Australia would be determined once a decision has been made on a site for the facility.

The National Radioactive Waste Management Amendment (Site Specification, Community Fund and Other Measures) Bill 2020 was passed by the Australian Parliament on Tuesday……….

After a 60-day period period, the Minister can then declare a site and acquisition of a site by the government for the purpose of hosting the National Radioactive Waste Management Facility.

This story Scathing attack on radioactive waste process first appeared on Whyalla Newshttps://www.portlincolntimes.com.au/story/7312689/scathing-attack-on-radioactive-waste-process/?fbclid=IwAR0bdbcqMq8QRGHYeBnwFNFlKHydpL-QEX8AfcaRdvjRxdJvOl2xOxDnDCs

June 28, 2021 Posted by | aboriginal issues, Federal nuclear waste dump, politics | Leave a comment

Senator Rex Patrick explained how the government’s nuclear waste process was a botched job.

there were a number of people who were quite  close to the facility who were unable to express their view in the vote because they lived outside the council area—the voting area—so they were excluded. Lots of people were excluded from the vote. We ended up with a  completely flawed process. 

Senator McAllister did a fantastic job drawing out in the committee stage that this bill, as it originally entered  the Senate, was about ousting the jurisdiction of a court to deal with a botched process. This bill now, as a ruse,  says that it’s about maybe three sites, again, when we know the government is going to select Napandee. That’s  what’s going to happen as a result of this.

Senator PATRICK (South Australia) Senate 21 June 21, (18:26): I rise to speak on the National Radioactive Waste Management  Amendment (Site Specification, Community Fund and Other Measures) Bill 2020. I want to go back a bit in  history so that the chamber’s aware of how we got to where we are today, because the bottom line is that this bill  is a bit of a ruse, a facade. I need to ground that properly in order for people to understand exactly what I’m  talking about. 

We’ll go back to 2012, the bill where we’re seeking to establish a national radioactive waste management facility. I might point out that I’m in favour of such a facility. I think we need a facility. We do need to take  responsibility for our own radioactive waste. In terms of the safety aspects and the philosophy,………….

Firstly, the concept behind the whole process is fundamentally flawed. Instead of selecting the best site for a  facility in Australia, we kind of had a raffle and said, ‘Who wants to have a site in their backyard?’ or ‘Who wants  to have a site on their land?’ Of course people put up their hand, but that’s not the best way to select the best  location. It’s like trying to say, ‘Let’s build a highway, and we’ll go out and see who wants to have their house  knocked down to have the highway run somewhere.’ That’s not the way in which you tackle a project. You work  out the best route and then you deal with the issues along the way. That’s not what we’ve done in this process.  We’ve just said, ‘Anyone who wants to stick up their hand, we’ll have a look at your property and see if it fits.’ It’s  not the best way to do it.  

……….what we should have done is look around the country and ask, ‘Where is the best site? What are the best  characteristics for a site for a radioactive waste management facility?…..

Continue reading

June 28, 2021 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Federal nuclear waste dump, politics | Leave a comment

Senator Hanson-Young outlined the shambles that the nuclear waste siting process has been

This bill is a disgrace. It is an affront to community consultation, it is an affront to the best available science  and it is an affront to the promise, the long-held promise, that this country would get serious about a long-term  permanent solution to dealing with the waste that we have. Of course we have a responsibility. We create nuclear  waste; we need to store it properly. It is of course incredibly toxic. That’s why it is difficult to do. It is also why  you don’t see the Prime Minister advocating that they build a nuclear waste dump in his electorate, where Lucas  Heights actually is.

This bill is a disgrace. It is an affront to community consultation, it is an affront to the best available science  and it is an affront to the promise, the long-held promise, that this country would get serious about a long-term  permanent solution to dealing with the waste that we have. Of course we have a responsibility. We create nuclear  waste; we need to store it properly. It is of course incredibly toxic. That’s why it is difficult to do. It is also why  you don’t see the Prime Minister advocating that they build a nuclear waste dump in his electorate, where Lucas  Heights actually is.

This has been a disgraceful process, and still the South Australian community are left in the dark. How is this  going to be transported? How often are we going to have trucks and ships full of nuclear waste coming into our  state, coming into our towns? What are the people of Whyalla meant to do—not to mention the towns and  communities where this dump is built?

We’re not going to. We’re going to fight this. We want a proper process. We want independent expert advice,  not special favours from national ministers, and we want our state’s reputation for having a clean, green, food,  wine and tourism industry protected. It’s only the Greens who are standing up for this in our state of South  Australia. 

HANSON-YOUNG (South Australia) Senate 21 June 21, (12:28): I rise today to speak on the National Radioactive  Waste Managemn Greens and my constituents in South Australia, who, of course, are outraged that once again we  see the two big parties working together to dump on our state.

This is an example of what happens when Labor  and Liberal get together: they’ve got more votes on the eastern seaboard than they do in South Australia, so they  dump on SA. That’s what they’re doing here today. 

Continue reading

June 28, 2021 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Federal nuclear waste dump, politics | Leave a comment

Senator Rex Patrick explained why the Woomera prohibited area would be a more suitable site for a nuclear waste dump

Senator PATRICK (South Australia) Senate 21 June21, (19:50): I think Industry did make inquiries to the Department of  Defence. In a two- or three-page submission, they sought to rule that out. You’ll be aware that the committee that  examined this piece of legislation took a trip to Woomera and had a look at the site. I note in your speech in the  second reading debate you said that Woomera was not suitable; it’s a test range. Just to inform you, Minister—you  may already know this—Woomera is 13 per cent of the area of South Australia. It is twice the size of Tasmania.  It’s beyond comprehension that anyone would accept from the Department of Defence the idea that you can’t fit a  facility there. It is a massive area. If you look to the north-eastern corner of the Woomera prohibited area, you will  find there’s a uranium mine at Roxby Downs. It’s something like 20 or 30 kilometres inside the WPA. There is a  community that clearly doesn’t have any particular issue with radioactive material, noting that their livelihoods  depend on that. I’m sure you’ve been up there, as I have, to Roxby and the Olympic Dam. 

I also heard during your speech in the second reading debate the idea that we were going to mix a radioactive  waste site with a missile firing range. This has all been dealt with by the committee. The Department of Defence  advises that, whenever they conduct a missile firing, they have a safety template. So they lay out the area for  which there is a danger so that if a missile, aerial vehicle or drone goes rogue it will actually most likely land in  that particular safety template. The Department of Defence provided the committee with an overlay map of all of  the safety templates that have been used since 2014, and there are massive areas of the Woomera prohibited area  that, in actual fact, do not overlap with any test sites. It’s an area that is remote. It’s not on prime agricultural land.  There is quite a thick study that shows that it’s quite feasible. It’s done all of the geological work and all of the  safety work. On the idea that you can’t find a location there, this is Defence defending Defence land like no other.  This is the department that came to the government in 2009 and said, ‘Let’s have a $12 billion Future Submarine  project,’ and then that project got estimated up to $50 billion and then grew to $89 billion and now we have to pay  an extra $10 billion to extend the life of the Collins class in order to get it to the point where it can last until the  future submarines arrive sometime after 2035. This is the same department you’re talking about. It’s clearly  incompetent in relation to these sorts of projects. 

Any person could reasonably go up to Woomera, have a look at the sites and have a look around the airfield up  there. You’ll see that there are ammunition areas and fuel storage areas, all of which are manageable from an  aircraft perspective well away from the range. We’ve got the road to Roxby Downs that’s a stone’s throw from the  airfield. It’s never been shut, under the various rules. There’s lots and lots of space up there. You’ve got a list of  three sites that appear to be face-saving sites. Why wouldn’t you simply accept the possibility that Woomera is not  a bad facility? Remember, at the start of this we ended up with the three sites that you have named in your table,  in the amendments, by asking people whether they’d want to have their land as a radioactive waste management  site—not by looking and asking, ‘What’s the best place to put it?’ but simply, ‘Who wants to have one—which  landowner wants to sell their land at four times the market rate to have a facility?’ So they can move on and go  somewhere else and leave behind a facility. 

I’ve got an amendment on the sheet, and that amendment includes consultation with Indigenous parties and  indeed the community. It beggars belief that the government doesn’t want to add another potential site where there  could well be broad community support, where in the past proper studies have been done that say that this can go 

there. It’s a government that seems to be scared of the Department of Defence and takes a two- or three-page  submission to rule out something—afraid of the brass, afraid of the shiny uniforms—and basically takes at face  value what they’ve said yet doesn’t listen to the community in Kimba and what their concerns are. That doesn’t  seem to matter. 

I’m left flabbergasted as to why it wouldn’t be considered, particularly in circumstances where there are two  radioactive waste sites up in the Woomera Prohibited Area. Hangar 5 has 10,000 CSIRO drums sitting there that  will have to be moved at cost. Koolymilka has defence waste that includes intermediate-level waste. That’s  somehow managed to survive for 20 years—longer, actually—without causing interruption to the operations up in  the Woomera Prohibited Area. So, I wonder, Minister: how do you reconcile the fact that we’ve had radioactive  waste up there since the 1990s, yet Defence have been able to operate perfectly well with the two facilities that we  have up there? I wonder whether you can reconcile that. 

Senator PATRICK: I don’t mean to ambush you, Minister, but I have two amendments on the table that look  at Woomera as a site. I don’t think it’s an unreasonable question to ask, noting that in your second reading speech  you said that a radioactive waste site is not consistent with the operations at Woomera, when in fact we’ve had  radioactive waste stored at Woomera since about the mid-nineties. It may well be that it will continue to be stored  there, because the waste at Koolymilka is not suitable to be shifted, in which case the whole thing becomes a bit  of a shambles with Defence saying, ‘We can’t have it here,’ knowing full well that it’s going to stay there. That’s  the burden of my question. I don’t think it’s unreasonable to ask that question, noting I have a couple of  amendments on the table that look at Woomera, which you’re knocking out for what appears to be quite shallow  reasons. If you’ve gone through the process completely—not you personally, Minister—if the department has  gone through the process or the minister has gone through the process properly, when that advice came back from  Defence you would think that you might have challenged some of it, particularly to get an understanding of  whether or not that waste will go to, presumably, Kimba. Maybe we can start with hangar 5. Hangar 5 has 10,000  drums of low-level radioactive waste that is stored very close to the range head. Perhaps you can say whether it’s  the intention that that material, noting it’s in a pretty perilous state—I know CSIRO is working to tidy that up—go  from hangar 5 at Woomera to the new facility? ………….

Senator PATRICK (South Australia) (20:04): In some sense, the question is as much about Woomera as it is  about Kimba because if the circumstances are that you can’t store that particular type of waste—as I said, there are  small amounts of plutonium stored there—then, in fact, you’re going to be in a situation where you have a facility  at Kimba, presumably, but you still have a radioactive waste storage area in the very place that Defence says it  can’t exist, because it’s not consistent with their operations. I wonder if that question was ever asked of Defence in  order to test their assertions in relation to the claim that you can’t put this waste there. Is it the intention of the  government to close the Koolymilka site at Woomera and in what time frame?

June 28, 2021 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Federal nuclear waste dump, politics | Leave a comment