Antinuclear

Australian news, and some related international items

The Greens oppose nuclear waste dump on Kimba, South Australia

May 5, 2022 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Federal nuclear waste dump, politics | Leave a comment

Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency Key explanatory ARPANSA quotes on nuclear waste management in Australia.

ARPANSA approves nuclear waste storage at Lucas Heights, Sydney until 2037 [So Kimba dump not only unwise, but also unnecessary]

In light of the established feasible alternative for decades of Extended Storage of ANSTO nuclear wastes at the existing Lucas Heights site there is now no credible reason to proceed with proposals for indefinite above ground storage of ANSTO nuclear wastes at Napandee near Kimba on Eyre Peninsula in SA.
Secure storage of ANSTO nuclear waste at Lucas Heights has been extended out to 2037 by the federal nuclear regulator ARPANSA (16 March 2022) see: 

ARPANSA approves siting licence for ANSTO waste facility | ARPANSA

An important consideration in granting the ILWCI siting licence was the conceptual safety and security design of the facility“, says Dr Carl-Magnus Larsson, Chief Executive Officer of ARPANSA. 

This follows a $60 million investment by the federal gov in extended storage at Lucas Heights, made last year.

A detailed Statement of Reasons and the Regulatory Assessment Report for the newly issued licence to site the ILWCI Facility at Lucas Heights can be found in the following documents:

PDF
                              icon Regulatory Assessment Report – A0339 Siting Licence for ILWCI FacilityPDF iconCEO Statement of Reasons – A0339 ILWCI Facility Siting Licence Application –

Unions SA have a clear position (March 2022): 

“Unions SA stands with Traditional Owners in rejecting nuclear waste dump

The Liberals want to dump nuclear waste in Kimba, South Australia.

Don’t let them!

We stand with the Traditional Owners against the dump.

This election, stand up for SA’s future.”

SA Unions > SA Unions stands with Traditional Owners in rejecting nuclear waste dump

For further info see David Noonan Submission No.1 to the CEO of ARPANSA (Nov 2021) on the Feasible Alternative of storing ANSTO’s “highly hazardous” nuclear fuel waste and ILW at Lucas Heights:
Public Submission 1 (arpansa.gov.au)

ConclusionExtended storage of ANSTO’s ILW on-site at Lucas Heights is a warranted public interest

measure and a necessary Safety Contingency until availability of a final disposal option.

For further info see David Noonan Submission No.1 to the CEO of ARPANSA (Nov 2021) on the Feasible Alternative of storing ANSTO’s “highly hazardous” nuclear fuel waste and ILW at Lucas Heights:
Public Submission 1 (arpansa.gov.au)

ConclusionExtended storage of ANSTO’s ILW on-site at Lucas Heights is a warranted public interest

measure and a necessary Safety Contingency until availability of a final disposal option.

And a 2 page Brief:”Why impose indefinite storage of ANSTO nuclear waste onto SA when its already in secure Extended Storage at Lucas Heights?” 

 (DN, August 2021)

citing Recommendations by MAPW:

• an open and independent review of nuclear waste production and disposal in Australia, and • progressing a shift to cyclotron rather that reactor-based production of isotopes for nuclear medicine as rapidly as feasible.–

April 2, 2022 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Federal nuclear waste dump | Leave a comment

Australian Radioactive Waste Agency – a couple of English nuclear waste officials conning the Australian public?

This should send shivers up any Australian’s spine! Nuclear Fuel Cycle Watch Australia, https://www.facebook.com/groups/1021186047913052 Kazzi Jai 28 Mar 22

This has scary echoes of Maralinga…..

We have the newly appointed CEO of Australian Radioactive Waste Agency – Sam Usher – who comes from the UK after working at Dounreay and Sellafield, and is now appointed to the newly created role of the CEO of ARWA in Australia, but has returned back to the UK to come back mid year…..doing a Memorandum of Understanding….. with the CEO David Peattie of Nuclear Decommissioning Authority Cumbria!

Sellafield is in Cumbria UK by the way…..

Despite the Memorandum of Understanding NOT being released to the Australian Public….we have an English man from Cumbria, doing a deal with an English man from Cumbria regarding AUSTRALIA’S INTERESTS!

And it will ALL LAND IN THE TINY COUNTRY TOWN OF KIMBA – in a TOTALLY ALL ABOVE GROUND NUCLEAR DUMP!

NO, NO, NO! ….They say – The nuclear dump won’t take nuclear waste generated from overseas!

Really? Then what is the SUBSTITUTED NUCLEAR WASTE or what they now call RADIOACTIVELY EQUIVALENT NUCLEAR WASTE called which landed in Port Kembla a couple of weekends ago in a second TN-81 CASK!

Whatever name you want to call it – it IS Nuclear Waste generated from overseas – from nuclear power and nuclear weapons generation from overseas! It is not our nuclear waste – it is overseas generated waste!

As much as ARWA wants to appear “established” it isn’t. It still remains bluff and bravado – acting as if everything is going as it should…..but it isn’t, and may never get there.

March 28, 2022 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Federal nuclear waste dump | Leave a comment

Friends of the Earth Australia’s Submission to Environment Minister calls out the dishonesty in the proposal for a national nuclear waste dump at Kimba, South Australia

Provide reasons for why you believe this is/is not a controlled action.

As a significant “nuclear action” under the EPBC Act this Nuclear Radioactive Waste Management Facility (NRWMF) Referral is a “Controlled Action”.

IT REQUIRES A FULL ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT ASSESSMENT / STATEMENT (EIA/EIS) AT THE HIGHEST LEVEL OF PUBLIC ASSESSMENT.

In a nuclear action “the whole environment” is the “Matter of National Environmental Significance” protected under the EPBC Act. An EIA/EIS is warranted to cover the scope of this protected matter.

The behaviour of the Morrison government and the Australian Radioactive Waste Agency (ARWA) in relation to the imposition of a national nuclear waste dump in SA has been disgraceful. If Minister Sussan Ley is minded to require anything less than a full EIA/EIS at the highest level of assessment, she should consider the following:

1. The new South Australian government is clearly opposed to the dump, primarily because of the crude racism of the Morrison’ government’s willingness to impose a dump on Barngarla country despite the unanimous opposition of Barngarla Traditional Owners. Expect a hardening of that opposition if anything less than a full EIA/EIS is required.
2. Media silence is far from guaranteed as evidenced by the extraordinary recent coverage in The Australian and The Advertiser ‒ both Murdoch publications ‒ regarding BHP’s mismanagement of the Olympic Dam mine and in particular its mistreatment of Traditional Owners:
https://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/mining-energy/dam-busters-aborigines-battle-bhp-over-water-rights/news-story/5771234ab2fca122009e83720ecbaf01
https://todayspaper.adelaidenow.com.au/infinity/article_popover_share.aspx?guid=23a5b7bd-e6d5-4a82-972e-347f65874b3a

And also widespread national and international media coverage of Rio Tinto’s crimes at Juukan Gorge.
3. Community opposition to the dump in South Australia is building. Expect it to build further if anything less than a full EIA/EIS is required.

Australian Radioactive Waste Agency (ARWA) is the ‘proponent’ in this NRWMF Referral, as a non-independent office of the Industry Department. The Environment Minister must not make a decision to approve and allow the nuclear dump to proceed on the inadequate limited basis of non-independent input by the proponent, or on the basis of anything less than a full EIA/EIS at the highest level of assessment.

A public impact assessment must be carried out under the Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act ( EPBC Act). ARWA wants something less than a full EIA/EIS due to a separate ARPANSA licensing process, but the ARPANSA process covers different issues, under different legislation, and in no way could substitute for a full EIA/EIS under the EPBC Act. The ARPANS Act does not protect nor assess ‘the whole of environment’ protected matter involved here under the EPBC Act.

ARWA’s claim there is no alternative to the proposed dump is dishonest and Minister Ley is obliged to call out that dishonesty. Many alternatives are available. See for example the proposals in the paper online at:
https://nuclear.foe.org.au/wp-content/uploads/Responsible-Radioactive-Waste-Management-The-need-for-an-Inquiry-Final.pdf

In particular, the implicit claim that there is no alternative to ongoing storage of intermediate-level waste (ILW) at ANSTO is absurd and dishonest. Clearly ILW should remain at ANSTO because: a large majority of ILW is already stored there (well over 90 percent measured by radioactivity); Australia’s nuclear expertise is concentrated at ANSTO; security at ANSTO is vastly superior to that proposed at the Kimba dump site; it avoids unnecessary transportation; it avoids unnecessary double-handling given that the final disposal site for ILW will not be at Kimba (and could easily be in NSW or any state/territory).

The proposal to store ILW at Kimba is absurd and must be clearly rejected by Minister Ley.

March 22, 2022 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Federal nuclear waste dump, opposition to nuclear, politics | Leave a comment

South Australian Unions stand with Traditional Owners in rejecting nuclear waste dump

South Australian unions have unanimously supported a motion standing with Traditional Owners to reject a proposed nuclear waste dump in Kimba on the Eyre peninsula and have called on the Marshall Government to do the same.

SA Unions Secretary Dale Beasley said the that South Australian labour movement stood shoulder to shoulder with the Barngarla Traditional Owners in their opposition to the Federal Government proposal to build a nuclear waste dump on the Eyre Peninsula.

“South Australian unions are completely united in their support of the Barngarla Traditional Owners and their opposition to the proposed nuclear waste site at Kimba.

“It is simply extraordinary that the Federal Government would seek to impose a nuclear waste dump on South Australia with inadequate consultation, long term planning and against the wishes of Traditional Owners.

“What’s even more astonishing is Steven Marshall’s abject failure to stand up to Canberra, to stand up for the best interests of South Australians and publicly oppose this nuclear waste dump in South Australia.

When asked about the proposal to build a nuclear waste dump in South Australia Mr. Marshall was quoted in 2020 as saying “finally, a decision has been made and we now get on with it.”

“We have in South Australia a shameful legacy of imposing the impact of nuclear technology on aboriginal communities. Decades after the end of British nuclear tests around Maralinga, radioactive particles containing plutonium and uranium still contaminate the landscape.[i] Given that history, we would have expected Steven Marshall to stand up for the Barngarla Traditional Owners.

This is not the first time Steven Marshall has failed South Australian Aboriginal people. In 2018 he remarkably closed off treaty negotiations with Aboriginal groups, saying he had “other priorities”, having described the process as a “cruel hoax.”

“Aside from being fiercely opposed by the Barngarla Traditional Owners, there are very real concerns around the safety and security of the nuclear waste and its transport 1,700km across Australia to be stored at Kimba, SA.

“The potential and associated risks attached to the transportation and storage of nuclear waste are well documented, yet there has been an absence of consultation with the communities through which this waste will transit. This is an issue for all South Australians.

“The plan to store the nuclear waste, which must be isolated from the environment for a minimum of 10,000 years, will see serious consequences for South Australians for many generations to come.

“South Australian unions join with the Traditional Owners and the South Australian Community in complete opposition to the dangerous proposal and call on the Marshall Government act in the best interests of our state and publicly state its opposition.”

March 15, 2022 Posted by | Federal nuclear waste dump, South Australia | Leave a comment

The Kimba nuclear waste dump was NEVER about the supply of nuclear medicine.

Kazzi Jai  Fight to Stop a nuclear waste dump in the Flinders Ranges 4 Mar 22, https://www.facebook.com/groups/941313402573199

Time is running out, but we’re not going away. Our community is committed to our part in providing surety of supply for nuclear medicine provision for the benefit of every Australian, who, on average, will use nuclear medicine at least once in their lifetime.

The irony that neither federal nor state governments can provide our town and our community with base-level GP and emergency medical access is, quite frankly, unforgiveable and unacceptable to our community…..”* Mayor Dean Johnson opening remarks…

Wow!! So the “promises” are disappearing now Mayor Johnson??

Here’s a heads up – The Nuclear Waste Dump was NEVER about surety of supple of nuclear medicine!!!

Matt Canavan said so…ANSTO said so….DIIS said so – NEVER ABOUT SURETY OF NUCLEAR MEDICINE!

*Transcript excerpt from “General practitioner and related primary health services to outer metropolitan, rural and regional Australians” – Senate Inquiry Whyalla Session March 1st 2022

March 5, 2022 Posted by | Federal nuclear waste dump, South Australia | Leave a comment

Meet Australian Public Affairs, the lobbying firm that pushed the Kimba nuclear waste dump for the Federal Government.

The representation by Australian Public Affairs of companies working within or directly linked to the energy, mining and uranium mining industries—many of which obviously have an interest in a nuclear waste dump—does not appear to have been disclosed to the public at any stage of their lobbying work for the federal government on the campaign for a national nuclear waste management facility.

Meet the lobbying firm that pushed the Kimba nuclear waste dump for the Federal Government while claiming “commitment to Indigenous Australians”. Matilda Duncan, 24 Feb 22,

Australian Public Affairs company officers: Tracey Cain, Phillip McCall, Kathryn Higgs, Nick Trainor, Paula Gelo, Matthew Doman, Dominique Wolfe,

Having pocketed six years worth of consulting fees campaigning on behalf of the federal government for their proposed nuclear waste dump in SA, Australian Public Affairs claims “success” as the Barngarla people of the Eyre Peninsula continue to fight the dump through the courts.

It’s a grim project brief few public relations firms would want: convince Australia it’s acceptable to establish not just a national nuclear waste dump, but an international dump site that would potentially accept nuclear waste from the United Kingdom and France.

The requirements of the job: advocate for a radioactive waste facility being built in the middle of one of Australia’s largest wheat and agricultural belts. Urge locals to support a nuclear waste dump near Kimba, despite the site neighbouring both a conservation park and a national park. Avoid publicly questioning why the company the federal government hired to assess the shortlisted dump sites has a U.S. parent company that manufactures nuclear weapons.

Think up methods of pushing the dump in a state that has already been subjected to the stress of a government nuclear waste dump site selection process an inexplicable 4 times in 23 years—and rejected it, to the point the Olsen Government passed legislation to prevent radioactive waste being brought into the state: the Nuclear Waste Storage Facility (Prohibition) Act 2000, which was subsequently strengthened by the Rann Government.

Sell the nuclear dump to the public in a state in which traditional owners have already been subjected to decade upon decade of trauma thanks to the nuclear industry and materials for nuclear weapons being sourced from their lands. Avoid mention of the damaging mining conducted at Radium Hill, the uranium mining that continues to this day at Olympic Dam, the grotesque takeover of land to establish a weapons testing range double the size of England, or the hideous government decision to allow Britain to test 7 atomic bombs at Maralinga and Emu Field without adequately warning the Indigenous people living there—bombs that, in a full circle of destruction, were made using uranium sourced from Radium Hill.

In the face of this depraved and dark history of governmental abuse, the job: tell the locals it will be worth it because the nuclear waste dump will bring “45 jobs”.

Tracey Cain and Alastair Furnival willingly took on the work.

For the past seven years, their lobbying firm Australian Public Affairs has been working behind the scenes for the Federal Government, providing media and campaign strategy advice to help the government promote the nuclear waste dump—presented as the “National Radioactive Waste Management Facility”—and steer them through what continues to be a long, flawed and troubled dump site selection process.

A married couple, Cain and Furnival share a property worth $5 million in Cremorne and equal ownership of Australian Public Affairs Pty Ltd. Furnival is also a staffer at another consulting firm, Elevate Consulting.

Their company made national headlines in 2014, during Furnival’s time as a federal government staffer. That year, Cain and Furnival’s company was lobbying for the junk food sector, representing Cadbury, the Australian Beverages Council and Mondelez Australia (formerly Kraft), while Furnival was working as chief of staff for the federal assistant health minister, Fiona Nash.

According to media reports, Senator Nash and Furnival intervened to pull down a food health star rating website less than 24 hours after it was launched, despite it having been in development for two years and approved by state and territory food ministers.

Furnival owned half of Australian Public Affairs while intervening in public policy decisions as Nash’s chief of staff. Furnival resigned in the wake of the scandal.

FEDERAL GOVERNMENT STAFFERS VS. LOBBYISTS WRITING SPIN

The Morrison Government appear to have given Australian Public Affairs plenty of latitude to complete their work promoting the nuclear waste dump, extending permission to act directly as Government spokespeople.

Numerous times over the past 2 years, media enquiries about the national nuclear waste management facility sent to the federal Department of Industry, Innovation and Science (DIIS) and it’s superseding [new] department have been responded to directly by an Australian Public Affairs staffer rather than federal government staff.

Media enquiries from this journalist were responded to directly by Australian Public Affairs Director Nick Trainor, who in an introductory email two years ago claimed to “work with” the federal government.

Trainor provided a response on behalf of DIIS and the “National Radiactive Waste Management Facility Taskforce” in that email, without disclosing that he was in fact working for a lobbying firm representing the federal government on the nuclear waste dump project…………………………………

A DISAPPEARING ETHICS POLICY

Sometime after 2015, Cain and Furnival removed an ethics policy for Australian Public Affairs from their company website.

The policy claimed Australian Public Affairs was ‘committed to an ethical and quality approach to servicing our clients’. The company would ‘refuse causes, ideas or programs which pose harm to the community’, the policy claimed, ‘never promote deception or unsupportable claims’ and ‘at all times act as a leader in the pursuit of ethical practice.’……………………………………

Australian Public Affairs’ Deputy CEO, Phillip McCall, previously worked for the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO) with oversight of the Lucas Heights nuclear reactor . APA’s client list has also included mining, gas and energy giants such as Santos—Australia’s second largest independent oil company and owner of the Moomba oil and gas fields in South Australia’s north-east.

APA staff were registered as lobbyists with the South Australian Government on Santos’ behalf from 2017 to late 2018. Uranium mining exploration projects in Santos’ Moomba gas fields were announced the following year, in 2019

APA also represented Santos on their Narrabri coal seam gas project.

Earlier this year—as their work for the Morrison Government on the nuclear waste dump continued—Australian Public Affairs began representing MaxMine (Resolution Systems), a mining technology company with offices in South Australia and South Africa. The company claims its “mission is to become the world’s biggest miner without owning a mine.”

MaxMine has been linked to Andrew Forrest’s Fortescue Metals Group, after—according to MaxMine’s own promotional material—conducting work on their technology with Fortescue in 2010.

WASTE DUMP POLITICAL CONNECTIONS

Andrew Forrest has invested in uranium mining for years. In 2014, he bought EMA, the company that owned uranium deposits at Mulga Rock in Western Australia. Just two months ago, a new uranium mining operation commenced there. Forrest’s private company, Squadron Resources, has an interest in the uranium mining company working at Mulga Rock, Vimy Resources.

The former Premier of South Australia, Jay Weatherill, was appointed to a CEO Position with Andrew Forrest’s Minderoo Foundation after he left public office.

Weatherill was behind the “unusual step” of setting up a Royal Commission in 2015 to consider South Australia’s potential role in the nuclear industry—despite the aforementioned decades of proposals for nuclear waste dumps being rejected by the community and legislation being enacted to ban nuclear waste being brought into the state. Weatherill spen much of his time as Premier pushing a proposal for a high-level nuclear waste storage facility in South Australia.

Weatherill has further personal connections to the current nuclear waste dump proposal. During his tenure as SA Premier, his wife Melissa Bailey was appointed to a position at AECOM Australia Pty Ltd—the company commissioned by the federal government to write site assessment reports for each of the shortlisted nuclear waste dump sites, covering topics like environmental impacts, climate change and wildlife impacts…………………………..

Questioned about the employment of Jay Weatherill’s wife at AECOM Australia Pty Ltd and why the federal government hired the company to assess the nuclear waste dump sites despite its association with nuclear weapons development, Australian Public Affairs responded on behalf of the federal government to both queries with the same phrase: “AECOM Australia Pty Ltd was selected to provide the required services through an open tender process and evaluation conducted in accordance with an approved procurement plan.”


The representation by Australian Public Affairs of companies working within or directly linked to the energy, mining and uranium mining industries—many of which obviously have an interest in a nuclear waste dump—does not appear to have been disclosed to the public at any stage of their lobbying work for the federal government on the campaign for a national nuclear waste management facility.

THE KIMBA COUNCIL

Remarkably, Cain has already claimed her company’s work on the government’s nuclear waste management facility project to be a “success”—even as the Traditional Owners, the Barngarla people, are again challenging the project through the courts.

For years the Barngarla people have repeatedly stated they have not been consulted about the storage of radioactive waste on their land. Representatives of the Barngarla people were excluded from a community vote to gauge local support for the nuclear waste facility—after the District Council of Kimba decided to exclude native title holders from the vote.

Despite major mainstream news outlets including the ABC, Guardian, Channel Ten’s The Project and NY Times visiting Kimba and publishing coverage of Jeff Baldock—the man who volunteered to sell his land at Napandee to the government for the nuclear waste management site—no attention was given by these outlets to his relative and business partner Graeme Baldock, a member of the Kimba Council that determined the Barngarla people would be excluded from the community vote on the nuclear waste dump………..

Graeme and Jeff Baldock had previously purchased thousands of hectares of land in the region near Kimba—in the region where the dump site is set to be established—according to information published in 2015 by the Baldock family farming company, Karinya Agriculture.

A member of the District Council of Kimba since 2010, Graeme Baldock was communicating directly with the federal government agency responsible for the nuclear waste management facility site selection process, the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science (DIIS), between 2017 and 2019.

In response to a freedom of information application made in early 2020 seeking access to Graeme Baldock’s emails with DIIS over two years, DIIS stated that the “documents contain personal information of certain individuals” and due to privacy provisions in freedom of information legislation, “8 third parties” would need to be consulted before the government might consider releasing the documents.

The Department of Industry then sought to impose administration charges of $500 to process the request for Graeme Baldock’s emails.

“COMMITTED TO CLOSING THE GAP”

As the Barngarla traditional owners pursue some semblance of justice through the courts, Tracey Cain continues to advertise her company’s services in the “Indigenous Affairs sector” today, writing: “Australian Public Affairs has extensive communications expertise with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples, on behalf of traditional landowners and Indigenous organisations, and for governments, corporates and NFPs wishing to engage with these communities.”

It’s not just the Barngarla people APA’s work on the nuclear waste dump process has affected—the traditional owners of other sites shortlisted for the dump, like South Australia’s Adnyamathanha people, have already publicly described the stress it caused. “The emotional stress we’re feeling is off the charts,” Regina McKenzie, an Adnyamathanha traditional owner, told the ABC in 2016. “We’re still the custodians here; we’ve always looked at it that way.”

Australian Public Affairs’ company spiel continues: “Within this work, APA is particularly committed to social and economic initiatives which support the Closing the Gap agenda, to provide Indigenous Australians with the same level of opportunity as the rest of the nation: including in health, mental health, education and social policy.”

In another section of APA’s website, the company characterises an “increase in environmental concern – not least amongst farmers and indigenous communities” as leading to “a rise in red tape and cost of compliance”.

In addition to APA working on projects that have contributed to the disenfranchisement of Indigenous communities, Furnival—Cain’s husband and co-owner of Australian Public Affairs—worked for the Abbott Government, an administration that cut $535 million from Indigenous programs.

Cain was contacted for comment about her husband’s role with the Abbott Government and asked if APA staff were directly involved with negotiations with the Barngarla people and other local communities involved in the nuclear waste dump site processes.

Cain was asked if Australian Public Affairs staff made it clear to these communities that they were a lobbying firm, not federal government staffers, when responding to their enquiries and concerns about the nuclear waste dump. She did not directly address these questions.

HISTORY REPEATING

Australian Public Affairs is not the only public relations firm to have chosen to assist the Government to continue perpetuating the toxic legacy of uranium in South Australia. Michels Warren have taken on the task too—an Adelaide PR firm that first represented the Howard Government during their attempt to establish a dump in South Australia from the late nineties until at least 2004. Freedom of information applications revealed the company’s dirty campaign to “soften up the community” and sell something its own staff knew had no benefit to South Australians: “The National Repository could never be sold as “good news” to South Australians. There are few, if any, tangible benefits such as jobs, investment or improved infrastructure. Its merits to South Australians, at the most, are intangible and the range and complexity of issues make them difficult to communicate.”

Despite having their ugly tactics exposed, Michels Warren chose not to leave their involvement with the nuclear industry and nuclear waste in the past. They went on to represent the Weatherill Government’s aforementioned unusual Royal Commission into nuclear power in 2016—a decision that might be explained, in part, by their previous campaigning on behalf of the corporate owners of the Beverley and Honeymoon uranium mines in South Australia.

 IRATI WANTI

Almost two decades ago, the Kupa Piti Kungka Tjuta, a council of senior Indigenous women based near Coober Pedy in South Australia, were into their eighth year of fighting the Howard Government proposal to dump nuclear waste from the Lucas Heights nuclear reactor on their traditional lands.

In April 2003, the council’s founders, Eileen Kampakuta Brown and Eileen Wani Wingfield, received the Goldman Prize for environmental activism—an award akin to the Nobel Prize—and $US125,000 to continue their campaign against the nuclear waste dump. The women were fighting the Howard Government into their seventies, with a campaign slogan of “Irati wanti” which roughly translated as “The poison – leave it”.

The founder of the prize, Richard Goldman, said the women had been chosen for a campaign that “exemplifies how much can be accomplished when ordinary people take extraordinary action to protect the health of our planet”.

Mrs Brown said at the time that she was talking on behalf of her ancestors so that her children and grandchildren might also be able to live on the land, telling the Sydney Morning Herald in 2003 through her granddaughter: “There’s a lot of life out there.” https://matildaduncan.net/stories/22/feb/23/australian-public-affairs-tracey-cain-nuclear-waste-dump

February 24, 2022 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Federal nuclear waste dump, spinbuster | Leave a comment

Nuclear Waste Dump Plan for Kimba – Craig Wilkins of Consrvation Council of South Australia

Monday 21st February 2022 on Peter Goers’ program ABC 891 with Conservation Council of South Australia CEO Craig Wilkins to discuss the Nuclear Waste Dump at Kimba.

Also presentation by Greg Bannon Flinders Local Action Group too, and others who contributed to the program. Interesting that Resources MinisterKeith Pitt, Sam Usher CEO · Australian Radioactive Waste Agency and MP Rowan Ramsey were no shows although they were invited to be involved!

The Conservation Council of South Australia has produced a new booklet on Nuclear waste – domestic Australian issues. Craig Wilkins was the prime author, though not the only author’

Transcript of interview. (basically accurate, but not absolutely word perfect)

CRAIG WILKINS: The book asks what is the best solution for Australia’s radioactive wastes. International best practice is to bury it deeply. That’s not the chosen option. Big difference between the low level waste and intermediate level waste.

PETER GOER. Kimba is very divided – hsad 300mm of rain.   We had calls from farmers asking what will happen if nuclear waste is buried there.

CRAIG WILKINS: Wallerberdina was rejected for a site because it was recognised as a flood plain area.

PETER GOER. Govts have seized on this idea and pushed through.  The benchmark of 65% community agreement was lowered as only 62% agreed.   What’s to stop us importing nuclear waste from overseas in the future?

CRAIG WILKINS This is what is called ”project creep”. The rules change over time. People are concerned about this, particularly the Bangarla who were given native title to this region 2015,  – this is one of the first true tests, about how seriously we consider that issue of native title. They did ask to be polled. but were deliberately excluded from the vote. They are fighting this legal battle now, in the Supreme Court. They say they weren’t consulted.

PETER GOER. you cite theUN declaration on the rights of indigenous peoples. tates should ensure that no storage of hazardous materials should be sited on indigenous land The former SA govt voted not to have a nuclear dump in SA. SA has not been consulted, only Kimba people have been consulted. Politicians have come on this show and mocked people who don’t live in Kimba, even though it’s a state issue, it’s a national issue surely.  This material is either to come by sea, or be trundled through 3 states to get here.

GREG BANNON of Flinders Action Group – This site is in the wrong place. It’s just not scientific.The Whole approach  has been to find a swilling community, and then try to make the facility  fit the geology there for a nuclear waste site. It’s just not scientific.    In the last month, Kimba has received record rain.  One of the IAEA guidelines state that a nuclear waste facility should not be sited where you’ve got cross country water flow, or subsoil water, – water table underneath. When the Industry Department had their sites examined by AECOM, they produced 3 reports –    the recent floods should be factored in.

Philippa.  phoned in – pointing out the success in Canada, marketing radioactive isotopes made not from a nuclear reactor, but from cyclotrons.  She mentions the risk of this dump becoming the thin end of the wedge – for importing other countries’ nuclear wastes.

Calls in, especially pointing out the risk to the Eyre Peninsula community   region’s clean reputation as an agricultural area.

PETER GOER. Also  this has divided Kimba. calls in – suggesting that Kimba has been bribed.  A struggling rural community – the promise of more and more money, and jobs. Also questions about how the promised jobs might not materialise –  larger waste facilities oversea employ fewer people than promised for this facility. Hard for people of Kimba to turn their backs on these ”rivers of gold”

CRAIG WILKINS It has been a disappointing process. The community there, like every other SA community, deserves a decent medical facility, decent services –  there’s been a package of support being offered, in return for them accepting this facility.- which contains investments by govt that should be standard for any community. That makes it a very challenging position for the Kimba people – to work out whether to accept it or not. There’s nothing more divisive than this whole question of nuclear facilities.  A previously very close-knit  community has had this bomb placed in the middle of  it and it has really divided them. It is a terrible shame.

PETER GOER.I do feel for the people of Kimba.  Soon Kimba is going to be known world-wide as the nuclear dump town, not the town that’s halfway across Australia, not the home of the big galah.  …..perhaps the butt of many jokes  Kimba. will be known for that one thing.

CRAIG WILKINS. Places associated with nuclear activity very soon get that name,  rather than being known as a        very successful agricultural region, rural town of the year fantastic people …

PETER GOER. Rowan Ramsey pointed out that the population of Kimbawas very knowledgeable.

CRAIG WILKINS. Queried this  – suggested that the truth was stretched.

Many calls in, mainly supporting the Conservation Council’s case 

CRAIG WILKINS responding to questions on waste disposal –   old mining sites not  necessarily a solution –   much research has to be done.

Kimba doesn’t have to accept this plan. It is not the solution, and is placing this community at a disadvantage.

February 22, 2022 Posted by | Federal nuclear waste dump, South Australia | Leave a comment

The writing is on the wall ‒ Kimba radioactive concerns move to South Australia’s political centre

The controversial federal government plan to dump and store radioactive waste near Kimba on the Eyre Peninsula is the focus of new posters appearing across Adelaide’s central business district this week.

The posters ‒ an initiative of the Don’t Dump on SA (DDSA) network ‒ are part of a growing effort calling on Premier Steven Marshall to support the South Australian law, community and environment and send a clear message of opposition to Canberra ahead of the March 19 state election.

The move comes following last week’s Legislative Council vote where Liberal politicians refused to join SA Green and Labor representatives in condemning the federal waste plan.

“For over two decades there has been bipartisan opposition to federal government plans to make SA the nation’s radioactive waste zone,” said DDSA member Dr. Jim Green. “Last week Premier Marshall walked away from this protection and from the commitment that he made ahead of the last state election that he had “a much greater ambition for our state” than to be a nuclear waste dump.

“A positive outcome of the Legislative Council vote was that the Labor Party reaffirmed its opposition to the proposed nuclear dump. MLC Kyam Maher highlighted Labor’s policy that Traditional Owners should have a right of veto over nuclear projects.”

The federal waste plan at Kimba is facing growing scrutiny following recent extensive flooding of the region and a Federal Court challenge by the Barngarla Traditional Owners.

“Barngarla people have been actively excluded from the area’s community ballot and the wider SA community has not had a say,” said DDSA representative Sister Michele Madigan.

“The federal waste plan poses a very serious and long-lasting risk to people and the environment and demands the highest level of transparency and rigour. Sadly, so far it has been a political football played with moving goalposts. It is time Premier Marshall blew the whistle and demanded an end to this move.”

The posters will remain in 30+ sites around Adelaide until the election and will be complemented with a range of community outreach initiatives in the lead up to the state election.

February 17, 2022 Posted by | Federal nuclear waste dump, politics, South Australia | Leave a comment

South Australian Labor supported Greens. motion opposing SA as nuclear waste dump, but Liberals SA Best and Advance SA blocked it.

10 Feb 22, Liberals and crossbench block Greens motion calling for SA to reject Federal Government’s attempt to turn the state into nuclear waste dumping ground

Today, the Liberals along with SA Best and Advance SA voted against a Greens motion condemning the decision by the federal government late last year to dump nuclear waste in Kimba.

“South Australians could not have been clearer.  We do not want dangerous radioactive waste being dumped in farming country against the wishes of the Barngarla – the area’s Traditional Owners,” said SA Greens spokesperson for Energy, Robert Simms MLC.

“It is tremendously disappointing that the Liberals, SA Best, and Advance SA have ignored the pleas of the Traditional Owners, and instead given their tick of approval to put a radioactive waste dump in the heart of our food bowl that puts at risk our clean, green reputation and our state’s key grain export industry.

“A wide-ranging parliamentary inquiry must occur to not only consider the implications of the federal government’s decision to dump radioactive waste on Kimba on SA’s Eyre Peninsula, but also hear the concerns of the Barngarla People – and no further action should be taken until that process has concluded, “ Mr Simms said.

The motion moved today by Robert Simms MLC, was only supported by the Greens and SA Labor.

February 10, 2022 Posted by | Federal nuclear waste dump, politics, South Australia | Leave a comment

Flooding the planned nuclear waste dump area

Kimba-Rusall Rd 22 February 22

Flooding the Dump Michele Madigan, Sunday Mail, 6 Feb 22,

Well surely that has settled the matter- the Kimba region is a totally unsuitable site for where the federal government is proposing to dumping the nation’s highest-level radioactive waste.

 Just out of Kimba, at Buckleboo where the proposed Napandee site actually is, neighbours recorded 185 mm in just the first recent downpour.  Some areas received up to 300mm in two days. The Kimba mayor reported ‘massive damage to our roads and general infrastructure.’

 The federal government is planning to transport this dangerous radioactive waste half way across the country to simply store it above ground for at least 100 years. The storage sheds will be designed with water outlets to leak.

 Despite government assurances, 90% of the waste, measured by radioactivity, is intermediate level waste – toxic for an unimaginable 10,000 years.

 In these times of galloping climate change it is certainly optimistic to be talking about ‘once in 100 years’ downpours. How much safer to keep it where it is manufactured in ANSTO’s solid buildings in Lucas Heights outer Sydney, with its on-site nuclear experts and highest-level security.(added ? )

February 7, 2022 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, climate change - global warming, Federal nuclear waste dump | Leave a comment

Channel 10’s ”The Project” did have the guts to show Australia the Kimba nuclear waste dump story

How happy was the nuclear lobby, to keep this under wraps from the Australian public.!

In typical form, the nuclear lobby chooses a rather remote small rural community, and then blankets thenm with propaganda from ANSTO and any other pro nuclear institution they can find. Only the pro nuclear spin got to that community.along with lovely financial ”incentives”.

In the current floods, no media mention is made of the clear threats to a Napandee nuclear waste dump, from flooding – to add to the other threats, such as the ruination of the local agricultural reputation.

Only Channel 10 has had the guts. And I write as a person who is biased against the commercial TV channels. Always a fan of the ABC – I now see it as a rather timourouis organisation, always in dread of having their funding cut – as the Scott Morrison government continues in the good old Liberal tradition of death to the ABC by a thousand cuts.

February 2, 2022 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Federal nuclear waste dump, media | Leave a comment

Does Channel 10’s ”The Project” have the guts to tell the truth about the government’s planned Kimba nuclear waste dump?

You would have thought, with the present flooding of the Kimba area, and indeed, of much of Northern South Australia, that concern about planning a nuclear waste dump there would be an ‘‘urgent item of news”

Indeed, Channel 10’s ”The Project” had 2 hours of interview s about the dump sll ready.

In a rare media event, they had interviewed No Dump advocates Kimba farmers Peter & Sue Woodford & Barngarla Traditional Owner Jason Bilney 

Of course they’d also interviewed pro-dumpers.

But anyway, Channel 10 decided that this matter is not ”urgent” – and it’s gone on the back burner.

But instead, they’ve managed to put a reassuring spiel from The Australian Radioactive Waste Agency, (just in case the wider world in Australia might get a bit worried about the situation)

  • Roni Skipworth, No nuclear waste dump anywhere in South Australia , 31 Jan 22, Was told today the Interviews Peter and Sue were involved with was 2 hours long and was suppose to be shown tonight on the Project though they got a message saying they will view it later in the week as an urgent report needed to go first.
  • Let’s see how long they take to telecast it and also they just didn’t interview the Woolfords from No Nuclear Waste Dump on Agriculture Land. They interviewed the Yes Group also where Ramsay visited Kimba as well to put his bit in. Be interested to see what replaced the time slot tonight. This interview should had happened 6 years ago not just now!
  •  https://www.facebook.com/groups/1314655315214929

January 31, 2022 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Federal nuclear waste dump, media | Leave a comment

Floods at Kimba: serious doubts that the Australian government has a plan for nuclear waste dump vulnerable to flooding

NUCLEAR WASTE AND FLOODS

Nuclear waste and floods

1. Preventing problems at a nuclear waste dump/store from flooding should be manageable, if and only if project management oversight and regulation is up to the task.

There are serious questions about whether management and regulation of the Australian government’s proposed national nuclear waste dump/store at Kimba in SA would be adequate. The most relevant case study in Australia is the flawed ‘clean up’ of the Maralinga nuclear test site in the late 1990s, overseen by the federal government. Everything that could go wrong, did go wrong. There has been no honesty or transparency about the failures at Maralinga, no attempt to learn from mistakes. Successive governments have simply lied about the problems and tried to cover them up. Expect the same at Kimba. https://nuclear.foe.org.au/flawed-clean-up-of-maralinga/


2. The proposed Kimba dump will be designed to leak.
 Either barriers prevent leakage, in which case there is a risk of accumulation of infiltrated water resulting in corrosion of waste drums and other such problems. Or, as is the case with the Kimba proposal, there will be water outlets, i.e. it is designed to leak.

3. Even with the expertise and resources available to ANSTO, and the importance of safely managing irradiated/spent nuclear fuel, water infiltration has been a problem at Lucas Heights. In early 1998, it was revealed that “airtight” spent fuel storage canisters had been infiltrated by water – 90 litres in one case – and corrosion had resulted. When canisters were retrieved for closer inspection, three accidents took place (2/3/98, 13/8/98, 1/2/99), all of them involving the dropping of canisters containing spent fuel while trying to transport them from the ‘dry storage’ site to another part of the Lucas Heights site. The public may never have learnt about those accidents if not for the fact that an ANSTO whistleblower told the local press. One of those accidents (1/2/99) subjected four ANSTO staff members to small radiation doses (up to 0.5 mSv).

4. One example of flooding compromising nuclear waste: Flooding at Nine Mile Point. In July 1981, water flooded the Radwaste Processing Building containing highly radioactive waste for Unit 1 at the Nine Mile Point nuclear plant in upstate New York. The flood tipped over 55-gallon metal drums filled with highly radioactive material. The spilled contents contaminated the building’s basement such that workers would receive a lethal radiation dose in about an hour. The Unit 1 reactor had been shut down for over two years and was receiving heightened oversight attention when the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) investigated the matter. But the NRC was reacting to a television news report about the hazardous condition rather than acting upon its own oversight efforts. The media spotlight resulted in this long over-looked hazard finally being remedied. https://allthingsnuclear.org/dlochbaum/flooding-at-nine-mile-point

5. Another example: Federal health officials agree radioactive waste in St. Louis area may be linked to cancer. The US government confirms some people in the St. Louis area may have a higher risk of getting cancer. A recent health report found some residents who grew up in areas contaminated by radioactive waste decades ago may have increased risk for bone and lung cancers, among other types of the disease. The assessment was conducted by the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, a branch of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Tens of thousands of radioactive waste barrels, many stacked and left open to the elements, contaminated the soil and nearby Coldwater Creek which sometimes flooded the park next to people’s homes. https://www.cbsnews.com/news/radioactive-waste-cancer-federal-health-officials-acknowledge-possible-link/

January 31, 2022 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, climate change - global warming, Federal nuclear waste dump | Leave a comment

Kimba and the South Australian government must protect this precious agricutural region from nuclear waste dump’s danger of ground contamination.

Peter Remta, 29 Jan 22, Someone from Kimba should formally request the deputy premier what his government will do to ensure that the nuclear waste management facility at Napandee or anywhere else within the Eyre Peninsula will not lead to any radioactive ground contamination 

This is an issue entirely within the constitutional competence and responsibility of the state government and it cannot rely on the federal government to provide a solution

The radioactive contamination of prime rural land within the Kimba district and further afield would be a disastrous outcome for the state’s economy and population with the likelihood of the destruction of its agricultural industry 

The satisfaction of the resulting and incalculable claims for compensation due to the contamination would no doubt be completely beyond the state’s  financial resources

There is now a strong possibility of radioactive ground contamination due to the significant flooding and the use of an above the ground facility of escape or leakage of the nuclear waste if the facility were established 

The risks involved and the safety measures to overcome them are far too uncertain making it completely unacceptable to have the government’s proposed facility at Napandee

The risk will be incapable of elimination by the existing methods of containing the waste without using effective and proper geological burial in a suitable location

This request should be by way of addressing what the deputy premier raised in his letter posted by Karen Gray on Facebook on 13 January 2022

January 29, 2022 Posted by | Federal nuclear waste dump, South Australia | Leave a comment