Antinuclear

Australian news, and some related international items

Kimba agricultural group supports nuclear waste stored at Lucas Heights, rejects dump on farming land.

NO WASTE NO WAY: No Radioactive Waste on Agricultural Land in Kimba or SA President Peter Woolford says ILW should not be stored at Kimba. 

Waste war over Kimba  https://www.whyallanewsonline.com.au/story/7469993/waste-war-over-kimba/?fbclid=IwAR0kw1aDb_t9KiGaLWcEdC7UgEqGYVPGtSUYu6quCNKxi5hDXEGWH2r88KE

  An anti-nuclear group are holding onto hope that the federal government will reconsider storing intermediate level waste (ILW) in Kimba, after attending a meeting in the rural town on Thursday.

The No Radioactive Waste on Agricultural Land in Kimba or SA are seeking answers as to why the government are planning to store ILW at Kimba as opposed to Lucas Heights.

It comes following a recent Parlimentary hearing where the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANTSO) revealed it had the capacity to store ILW at Lucas Heights for “decades to come”.

President Peter Woolford said the group put this to the combined Kimba Consultative Committee (KCC) and Kimba Economic Working Group (KEWG) when they met in Kimba.

They also questioned if the recent nuclear-powered submarines deal made by the federal government would see submarine waste stored at Kimba, and if it was a gateway to a domestic nuclear industry.

“They indicated that no high-level waste would come to Kimba,” he said.

“When you look at what’s going on with ANTSO and the money being spent there for extended storage of intermediate level waste it makes sense to keep the waste there until a permanent dispoal site is found.”

Mr Woolford said storage of nuclear waste from decommissioned submarines would have been an essential part of the federal government’s plans.

“Obviously people are concerned about that because it is an issue…there has to be a waste pathway for all that waste and there isn’t one at the moment,” he said.

With Federal Resources Minister Keith Pitt intending to declare Kimba as the site for the Nuclear Radioactive Waste Management Facility (NRWMF), Mr Woolford believes there’s still time to prevent storage of ILW on agricultural land.

“The reality is the Minister has to declare the site, which could be this week, once they do that the Commonwealth can acquire the land,” he said.

The facility is coming here it’s just the matter of what’s stored in it … I can’t speak for everybody but at the present time it makes perfect sense that ILW stays in ANTSO.”

Minister Pitt has been contacted for comment.

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

Nuclear waste shipment to come from UK to Lucas Heights

Australia to receive UK nuclear waste shipment amid bitter dispute over national storage facilityTwo-tonne load to be stored at Sydney’s Lucas Heights until national facility built in several years https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2021/oct/21/australia-to-receive-uk-nuclear-waste-shipment-amid-bitter-dispute-over-national-storage-facilityTory ShepherdThu 21 Oct 2021 Two tonnes of nuclear waste will be shipped from the United Kingdom to Australia next year as debate continues over a national storage facility.

The shipment of four 500kg canisters inside a forged steel container called a TN-81 is part of a waste swap deal with the UK.

The intermediate-level waste is to be stored temporarily at Sydney’s Lucas Heights facility then sent to the national radioactive waste management facility the federal government plans to build near Kimba in South Australia

However that project is the subject of a bitter dispute, and is years away. It will take several years for all the regulatory approvals to pass, and the government has declined to nominate when it will start construction.

In 1996 Australia sent spent fuel rods from its Hifar reactor – the predecessor to the existing Opal multi-purpose reactor – to the UK to be recycled into fuel for nuclear power plants. The “radiologically equivalent” waste will be sent to Australia under the 2022 waste repatriation project.

The Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency (Arpansa) reported this week that it is working with the UK’s Office for Nuclear Regulation “for the inspection of radioactive waste containers, set to return to Australia from the Sellafield Reprocessing Plant”.

The waste relates to the processing of spent fuel sent to the UK in earlier years from Australia’s former research reactor,” Arpansa said.

The Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (Ansto) says it successfully repatriated radioactive waste from France to Australia in 2015 and that the TN-81s had been used successfully in 180 nuclear shipments around the world.

The federal government says Lucas Heights does not have the room or the approvals to store the nation’s nuclear waste, which is spread across more than 100 sites, so it will commission a purpose-built dump. It settled on a site at Napandee, near Kimba in South Australia.

That plan has been deeply divisive.

A ballot run by the Australian Electoral Commission found more than 60% of people in the Kimba council area supported the facility, which would store mostly medical waste that is currently in separate sites all over the country.

But the traditional owners, the Barngarla people, say many were excluded from that ballot because they lived outside the council area. In a separate ballot, Barngarla voters unanimously rejected the proposal.

Chair of The Barngarla Determination Aboriginal Corporation, Jason Bilney, later welcomed amendments to the legislation that leave open the possibility of a judicial review.

Federal resources minister, Keith Pitt, has announced his intention to declare that Napandee will host the site. Before that declaration is made, however, there has been a consultation process for anyone who has a legal right or interest in the proposal.

Submissions to that consultation will close on Friday.

Pitt will consider any comments, and if he goes ahead and declares Napandee as the site, the federal government plans to acquire the land and begin preparations to build the facility – barring legal challenges.

Conservation Council of SA chief executive officer, Craig Wilkins, said the UK shipment highlighted the overall issues with creating a national facility. The facility will mostly store low-level waste but will temporarily store intermediate-level waste such as that coming from the UK.

Wilkins says Lucas Heights should store all waste until a permanent facility can be built.

“If this is genuinely our waste and we have a responsibility to look after it, then we need to do that properly,” he said.

“We need a genuine, long-term national approach to dealing with our waste, rather than this ad hoc temporary fix of shifting some of the waste across to SA to temporarily park it in above-ground sheds while they work out what to do with the waste long term. It makes sense to get the long-term solution first.”

International best practice is to bury the waste in a deep disposal site in the safest place in the country, he said. “That work hasn’t been done yet, and until it’s done the waste should stay … at Lucas Heights.”

The government says waste from more than 100 sites needs to be consolidated in a purpose-built facility and that neither Lucas Heights nor the CSIRO storage site at Woomera were intended for permanent storage.

The industry department argues Lucas Heights “is not large enough” because any free space is needed for an expansion of research activities, and that it is only licensed for temporary storage.

Debate over nuclear storage continues, as does debate over Australia’s planned acquisition of nuclear-powered submarines, and debate over whether Australia needs nuclear power.

October 21, 2021 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Federal nuclear waste dump | Leave a comment

Kimba Consultative Committee living in la la land over the prospect of stranded nuclear wastes.

A VIEWING PLATFORM……Soooooo….let me get this right….People from around the world, will come flooding into Kimba (this is paraphrasing Adi Paterson’s claim that it will be a “tourist” attraction), to “view” the dump from a viewing platform!!!

And it gets better – “Members seem to be strongly for the visitor centre in the township and liked Mr Osborn’s idea about the viewing platform. It was also raised that they did not want to see the visitor centre offer coffee or lunch, as it would affect local businesses.” 

Kazzi Jai  Fight to stop a nuclear waste dump in South Australia, 8 Oct 21,

For those time poor, here is a brief summary of the latest minutes of the Kimba Consultative Committee August 26th 2021

1. Downplaying Judicial Review….What a surprise! Biggest laughable line – “Choosing Napandee is an educated decision based on in-depth community consultation and extensive technical assessment work undertaken over a 4 year period, which started with voluntary land nomination by the owners of land.”!!

2. Cultural Heritage Assessment….to be done AFTER site acquisition because apparently “the work is quite costly and it would be prudent to wait until the site is acquired to spend further public money on this activity.”!! 

3. Fluff words – no substance – “ARWA will work with ANSTO, CSIRO, and others to develop this research and implement an Australian appropriate disposal pathway in due course” – with respect to the “temporary” storage of Intermediate Level Nuclear Waste!

NOT ONE RED CENT SPENT YET TO DEAL PROPERLY WITH INTERMEDIATE LEVEL NUCLEAR WASTE – SO NOT GOING TO HOLD ONE’S BREATH ON THIS “PROMISE”….ALWAYS “LOOKING INTO IT” SEEMS TO BE THE FALLBACK ANSWER TO “APPEASE” PEOPLE….FROM WHAT WILL BE IN FACT STRANDED WASTE!!!!! ….Again….why is there no mention of a HOT CELL should the Intermediate Level Nuclear Waste be stored in Kimba? TN-81 casks ONLY have a 40 year lifetime manufacturer’s warranty. Given that it will now NOT be ANSTO’S PROBLEM – THEY ARE ONLY THE CUSTOMERS……WHERE DOES THIS LEAVE THE TN-81 WASTE??

4. Seems there is a REDUCTION in ACTUAL SECURITY already happening BEFORE EVEN DECLARATION OF THE SITE HAS HAPPENED!!…..”There were questions around the police presence in the community with an influx of people for construction, and whether this is something that has been considered. Mr Osborn said that this is something that needs further discussion with South Australian Police and Council. There will be security at the site, however it is yet to be decided if it will be Australian Federal Police (AFP).”
5. “Mr Osborn said that he envisaged a visitor centre in town and the possibility of there being a viewing platform at the facility where people can look over the site to get a birdseye view.”

A VIEWING PLATFORM……Soooooo….let me get this right….People from around the world, will come flooding into Kimba (this is paraphrasing Adi Paterson’s claim that it will be a “tourist” attraction), to “view” the dump from a viewing platform!!!

And it gets better – “Members seem to be strongly for the visitor centre in the township and liked Mr Osborn’s idea about the viewing platform. It was also raised that they did not want to see the visitor centre offer coffee or lunch, as it would affect local businesses.”  https://www.facebook.com/groups/344452605899556

October 9, 2021 Posted by | Federal nuclear waste dump, South Australia | Leave a comment

Dr Margaret Beavis on why nuclear waste is best kept at Lucas Heights, and on the advantages of cyclotrons.

concerningly, in terms of nuclear medicine, ANSTO has proved an unreliable supplier with multiple outages and supply shortages in the last few years. You will find references to that in our submission. When you’re sourcing from a single nuclear reactor, one break in the chain shuts down the whole process. If technetium were instead sourced from multiple cyclotrons, which could be based in hospitals around Australia at not a huge cost—certainly much less than a nuclear reactor—if one of these cyclotrons broke down, there would be multiple other cyclotrons to supply technetium. 

Dr Carl-Magnus Larsson, head of ARPANSA, – the ‘waste could be safely stored at Lucas Heights for decades to come’. He said that there was no urgent need for relocation of this waste and that ARPANSA has not raised any safety concerns regarding storage of waste at the interim waste facility [at Lucas Heights]

PARLIAMENTARY STANDING COMMITTEE ON PUBLIC WORKS Intermediate level solid waste storage facility, Lucas Heights, New South Wales (Public) MONDAY, 13 SEPTEMBER 2021  BEAVIS, Dr Margaret, Vice President, Medical Association for Prevention of War (Australia) [by audio link] RUFF, Dr Tilman, AO, Member, Medical Association for Prevention of War (Australia) [by audio link]  

Dr Beavis, Thank you for the opportunity to speak today. MAPW supports the construction of a new facility at Lucas Heights. As noted in ANSTO’s submission, there will be minimal expected impact on the community, and ANSTO has an excellent record of managing this waste on site. This contrasts with the massive distress and community division a succession of nuclear waste storage proposals have caused in regional and remote Australia.


 I’ll now address the sort of individual criteria of the committee. The stated purpose and suitability: the facility is needed and the proposal is suitable. You’ve already heard Dr Carl-Magnus Larsson, head of ARPANSA, say that the ‘waste could be safely stored at Lucas Heights for decades to come’. He said that there was no urgent need for relocation of this waste and that ARPANSA has not raised any safety concerns regarding storage of waste at the interim waste facility [inaudible] ANSTO. Addressing the need for the work: clearly intermediate level waste has to be stored safely and securely. It’s radioactive for over 10,000 years. Putting that in perspective, the Egyptian pharaohs were about 5,000 years ago, so it needs to be kept safe for a very long time. 


Addressing cost effectiveness: this plan may prove to be very cost effective if, as a result of the extra capacity, there is time for an open and independent inquiry looking at world’s best practice management of nuclear waste. Given current world’s best practice standards, it’s very likely that the plan to move the waste will not proceed. 

At some point ANSTO does indeed need to address the proper disposal or long-term management of intermediate waste. Countries, such as Finland, have spent decades researching how best to do this, and Australia could learn a lot from their research and expertise. In terms of the current and prospective value of the work, as noted, this work may provide breathing space enabling the open—and I stress—independent review of the claimed need for a temporary storage facility in South Australia.


 The work would have even greater value if waste production was also reviewed and curtailed. If this were done, the proposed new site at Lucas Heights would take much longer to fill and be available for a much greater time frame. 


It’s worth remembering that the first principle of managing toxic waste is to reduce production. Currently ANSTO is rapidly expanding production of the nuclear medicine isotope called technetium-99 precursors, which is the most commonly used isotope. This export business continues because it is very heavily subsidised. There’s no cost-benefit analysis and no attempt at full cost recovery. Historically Australian supply has been one per cent of the world supply and, as a doctor, I support nuclear medicine. One per cent of the world’s supply has been what Australia has needed. 

ANSTO is in the process of increasing from that one per cent for the last few years and aims to produce 25 to 30 per cent of global supply, with very little acknowledgement of the massively increased quantity of intermediate waste that this will generate. 


On top of that, concerningly, in terms of nuclear medicine, ANSTO has proved an unreliable supplier with multiple outages and supply shortages in the last few years. You will find references to that in our submission. When you’re sourcing from a single nuclear reactor, one break in the chain shuts down the whole process. If technetium were instead sourced from multiple cyclotrons, which could be based in hospitals around Australia at not a huge cost—certainly much less than a nuclear reactor—if one of these cyclotrons broke down, there would be multiple other cyclotrons to supply technetium. 


Additionally, clean cyclotron production of technetium has recently been approved through all the health hurdles in Canada. It’s being implemented now there. This should rapidly become the future of isotope production. It avoids the high cost and the serious accident and terrorist risk inherent in nuclear reactors. It has no weapons proliferation potential, and it creates very little nuclear waste. You can use pre-existing cyclotrons. There are already cyclotrons in hospitals making other isotopes. Japan, the US, the UK and several European  countries are all looking into implementing more reliable, safer, cheaper and much cleaner cyclotron production of technetium-99  https://parlinfo.aph.gov.au/parlInfo/download/committees/commjnt/cfc4f9dc-b73c-4166-b484-eeaddcab5bc0/toc_pdf/Parliamentary%20Standing%20Committee%20on%20Public%20Works_2021_09_13_9111.pdf;fileType=application%2Fpdf?fbclid=IwAR0ZzP4j5ukpfZOgyipP2ak92avAEz19B2wqC_Zz4bcbCDXGB9cRcT2siFo#search=%22Australian%20Nuclear%20Scie

October 7, 2021 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Federal nuclear waste dump, health | Leave a comment

Danger in transporting nuclear wastes from Lucas Heights, and ANSTO’s conflict of interest.

profoundly increased risks to the security of nuclear material that occur during transport, which are obviously minimised if they stay at Lucas Heights, and that’s one of the key reasons that we’re in favour of extended interim storage at Lucas Heights rather than anywhere else.

They [ANSTO] are a nuclear operator, so of course they’re organisationally, professionally, bureaucratically and budget-wise invested in nuclear technology.……..They have no expertise or interest, and no history, in alternative technologies. So I think, from an institutional point of view, there’s probably a pretty clear conflict of interest here.  – Tilman Ruff

 PARLIAMENTARY STANDING COMMITTEE ON PUBLIC WORKS Intermediate level solid waste storage facility, Lucas Heights, New South Wales (Public) MONDAY, 13 SEPTEMBER 2021  BEAVIS, Dr Margaret, Vice President, Medical Association for Prevention of War (Australia) [by audio link] RUFF, Dr Tilman, AO, Member, Medical Association for Prevention of War (Australia) [by audio link]  

Dr Ruff: Very briefly, I want to add one important element for the committee’s deliberations that would support not just the proposed facility—as the previous witness and, I think, most of the submissions that you’ll be deliberating on today have supported—but ongoing interim storage of Australia’s intermediate-level nuclear waste at Lucas Heights, and whatever facilities are planned or put in train now should be amenable to implementing that capacity. 


The particular reason I just want to draw your attention to is the profoundly increased risks to the security of nuclear material that occur during transport, which are obviously minimised if they stay at Lucas Heights, and that’s one of the key reasons that we’re in favour of extended interim storage at Lucas Heights rather than anywhere else. But it would be a major concern for reliance on a plan to shift that waste—uncertain, as highlighted—to anywhere else but particularly to somewhere as distant as South Australia with either very long road transport through multiple states or sea transport through ports.

 The two global databases on nuclear accidents and trafficking are run out of the United States. The public one and the International Atomic Energy Agency both highlight, including in their most recent reports, that around half of the total reported incidents with nuclear materials occur during transport, and they highlight this as a particular vulnerability. Lucas Heights has, to my knowledge, been the subject of six publicly known terrorist threats. A couple of them have involved identification of explosive materials on or near the site. A couple have involved prosecutions of people with clear evidence of significant stages of planning. If that’s an issue at Lucas Heights, then the vulnerability of transport is particularly highlighted. 

And it’s clear in both the reports that I mentioned that there are well-organised terrorist groups of various kinds around the world that are interested in, and have a demonstrated track record in seeking to acquire, nuclear materials suitable for, essentially, dirty radiological bombs, and intermediate-level nuclear waste would be very suitable for that purpose. So that’s one of the key factors why, from a health point of view, we’re particularly concerned that multiple handling and, particularly, long-distance transport of hazardous nuclear waste be minimised.

Dr Beavis: The recommendations of MAPW ask for an open and independent review of nuclear waste production and disposal, and also that the committee recommend inquiry and research into shifting to cyclotrons rather than reactor based production of isotopes for nuclear medicine in a phased and transition manner. We’re not talking about anything that would threaten nuclear medical supplies but, as rapidly as is feasible, to reduce the amount of waste that is produced.

Dr Beavis: It’s a very complex market. Every year, the OECD and Nuclear Energy Agency—they haven’t done it last year—put out a report on the supply of medical isotopes, and there’s been a recurring theme on the problems with full-cost recovery and the problems with supply security. I’ll just read you a bit from the 2019 report which I have in front of me which says that governments are not always aware of the extent to which molybdenum-99 production—that’s the technetium precursor—relies on subsidies. I think all of us are aware. 

The report goes on: Some governments were essentially subsidising the production of Mo-99 that was exported to other countries, thus subsidising imaging services in importing countries. And this report is very keen for full-cost recovery, or FCR so they’re trying to stop countries heavily subsidising exports because it’s making the provision of new suppliers not cost competitive. I’ll read a little further: Other countries have decided to allow older facilities that were operating below FCR— that’s full-cost recovery— to cease operations and have not subsidised extensions of their working lifetime. While this increased the risk of insufficient supply or challenged reserve capacity, decisions to end the operation of facilities … have been helpful in achieving the six NEA— the Nuclear Energy Agency—  policy principles … by removing subsidised services from the market. These actions also reduced the level of subsidised reserve capacity and reduced perceived overcapacity within the market.


 I can read you more, but, basically, what they’re saying is that, because nuclear reactors are very, very expensive to set up, Australia is actually going down the path that Canada chose not to continue in the late 2000s. In 2009  and 2010, there was a massive global shortage of nuclear medicine for this technetium isotope. That was because the Canadian reactor supplied about 25 to 30 percent of the market. Canada has chosen not to replace those reactors for a number of reasons but not least because they were tired of accumulating all the nuclear waste from the export business of isotopes around the world.

In fact, the OECD and the NEA are advocating that we should not be continuing to subsidise these nuclear medicine suppliers. It also means that, if you rely on a reactor, when that reactor breaks down, your tendency to create havoc in the global markets is much greater. It would be much better if there were decentralised, much cleaner production of isotopes. 


But, because we have a reactor and because ANSTO, as a business entity, has decided that it wishes to increase its market share—which, as a business entity, it’s certainly entitled to do—it means that the Australian public is left with a great deal of waste. It’s going to double the waste inventory, as you’ve heard, without really any social licence to do so.


 Given that the OECD and the NEA are saying that we should not be continuing to subsidise this, I think what we need to do, as I said, is a phasing transition. We need a phased and coordinated reduction in Australia’s production isotopes for an export business, and, for Australian owned nuclear medicine suppliers, we actually need to decentralise. Cyclotrons are about the size of a four-wheel drive and cost in the order of—actually, I shouldn’t get into that, but it would be less than $5 million per cyclotron to have the work done and dusted. They are much cheaper to run, they don’t produce the waste, they don’t leave us with 10,000-year intermediate-level waste doubling in the next few decades. So I think it’s something Australia should be looking at. I think the huge subsidies that are going into this export business—I’ll backtrack. With new technologies and cyclotrons now being demonstrated to work in Canada, we need to have a review of how we produce our nuclear medicine so that we can have more reliable, safer and cleaner supplies.

 Mr ZAPPIA: Again, Chair, I would have had lots, but I will ask just one question based on those last few comments. Doctor, why do you believe that ANSTO is not going down the path that Canada has gone down and the path that you’re recommending—that is, to increase the production of cyclotrons as opposed to isotopes?

Dr Beavis: I would be hesitant to second-guess how ANSTO thinks. I find that a difficult question. They may wish to increase the income that comes into ANSTO as a natural entity. I think they are not factoring in the cost of the waste. They’ve said explicitly they do not want responsibility for this waste that they are generating, and I think  if you don’t have to worry about the waste, then putting subsidised material out into the global community—

Dr Ruff: If I could add to that very briefly: without wanting to speak for ANSTO, I think the institutional context is worth looking at. They are a nuclear operator, so of course they’re organisationally, professionally, bureaucratically and budget-wise invested in nuclear technology. Setting up a reactor is very expensive. The OPAL reactor cost at least $400 million, so there’s a very high upfront cost, and they, presumably, like most other reactor operators, want to operate it as long as possible. They have no expertise or interest, and no history, in alternative technologies. So I think, from an institutional point of view, there’s probably a pretty clear conflict of interest here. 


That’s why we’re deeply concerned that, in Australia, we’re being left behind with emerging technologies. Australian medicine is very well placed. Cyclotrons are already dispersed in pretty much all of the major hospitals around capital cities because they produce isotopes for PET scans and other modern nuclear medicine interventions. But that’s probably not an enterprise that ANSTO would be essentially involved in, and I suspect that’s the context in which you’re not hearing a peep from them or any active interest in progressing and advancing implementation of much safer technologies of the future. 

Mr ZAPPIA: , what is the significant objection to something that’s in the heart of Sydney, fundamentally, and that has been managed safely for a significant amount of time versus something in a far less densely populated area? What’s the basis for the objection? 


Dr Beavis: I think the expertise and security at ANSTO is far greater. I also think the risks from this waste pale into insignificance compared to the risks of the nuclear reactor. So, if you’re going to be keeping one large facility secure, you may as well keep it all there. The regulator has said quite clearly that there’s sufficient space at Lucas Heights to store this waste for decades to  come.  https://parlinfo.aph.gov.au/parlInfo/download/committees/commjnt/cfc4f9dc-b73c-4166-b484-eeaddcab5bc0/toc_pdf/Parliamentary%20Standing%20Committee%20on%20Public%20Works_2021_09_13_9111.pdf;fileType=application%2Fpdf?fbclid=IwAR0ZzP4j5ukpfZOgyipP2ak92avAEz19B2wqC_Zz4bcbCDXGB9cRcT2siFo#search=%22Australian%20Nuclear%20Scie

October 7, 2021 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Federal nuclear waste dump, politics | Leave a comment

Kimba nuclear waste dump is absolutely not a foregone conclusion – David Noonan.

ANSTO have made decisions on the location of this new facility relative to the existing facility, and they’ve made that decision in terms of how much waste there will be and for how long they consider it to be their responsibility to retain those wastes on site. I think that those evaluations should have been made with the primary safety contingency in mind to retain not just existing waste and the next decade’s waste, but—if their intention is to operate the OPAL reactor through to 2057 under this existing licence—the full complement of waste that they intend to produce.

Parliamentary Standing Committee on Public Works 13/09/2021 Intermediate level solid waste storage facility, Lucas Heights, New South Wales, NOONAN, Mr David, Private capacity [by audio link]

Mr ZAPPIA: Mr Noonan, you expressed some concerns about the facility in South Australia proceeding. What are those concerns? That is, why do you believe that it is still not a foregone conclusion that that facility will be built?


Mr Noonan : In a number of respects it’s absolutely not a foregone conclusion. You should first consider prior evidence that with all of the power and influence of the Howard federal government, which tried between 1988 and 2004 to do, analogously, the same imposition of ANSTO nuclear waste on South Australia, and they failed. They had to abandon their plan and proposal. They recognised it was flawed and electorally unacceptable in the lead up to the 2004 federal election.

Secondly, it’s illegal in South Australia. The plan as proposed by ANSTO—the import, transport and storage of nuclear waste—was made illegal by the previous South Australian Liberal Premier, John Olsen AO. He passed legislation that prohibits the import, transport and storage of those wastes. So it’s against the law. It’s against the will of the parliament and the people in South Australia. It’s highly publicly contentious. The South Australian opposition ALP oppose the plan. They say that the process is flawed.

Federal Labor have raised some concerns about the double-handling and the failure of the government to further any proposal to reach a waste-disposal isolation capacity. There are significant concerns at the public level that it’s untenable and unacceptable, in terms of safety and security for SA, to simply bring ANSTO’s nuclear waste complement over to SA and store it above ground, potentially indefinitely—for up to 100 years, according to the regulator—in what is effectively a fancy shed in regional SA, on agricultural land, against the will of traditional owners, compared to the safety and security that is already provided for at Lucas Heights.

ARPANSA hold the deciding factor, essentially, on whether licences are ever granted in future to site, construct and operate the proposed store that ANSTO’s plans—the works before you—rely on. In terms of democracy within South Australia, and in terms of the consideration that your committee and ANSTO should have to give to not pre-empt ARPANSA’s future licensing decisions, I think there are multiple time lines and tests that would have to be passed by ANSTO’s plan to transfer waste to South Australia before that could ever be relied upon, and one of those tests is the South Australian election early next year.

…….. Mr PASIN: You’re obviously concerned about an engineering matter that would prevent it operating in the long term. I would have thought that, whether you’re storing waste for a short period or a long period, a facility like this would have to be engineered to similar standards, wouldn’t it?

Mr Noonan : For instance, ANSTO have made decisions on the location of this new facility relative to the existing facility, and they’ve made that decision in terms of how much waste there will be and for how long they consider it to be their responsibility to retain those wastes on site. I think that those evaluations should have been made with the primary safety contingency in mind to retain not just existing waste and the next decade’s waste, but—if their intention is to operate the OPAL reactor through to 2057 under this existing licence—the full complement of waste that they intend to produce. They should have to show a plan and a capacity to retain those wastes at Lucas Heights for the period required, and I don’t know if the existing works as proposed match that public purpose….  https://parlinfo.aph.gov.au/parlInfo/search/display/display.w3p;db=COMMITTEES;id=committees%2Fcommjnt%2Fcfc4f9dc-b73c-4166-b484-eeaddcab5bc0%2F0001;query=(Dataset%3Acommsen,commrep,commjnt,estimate,commbill%20SearchCategory_Phrase%3Acommittees)%20CommitteeName_Phrase%3A%22parliamentary%20standing%20committee%20on%20public%20works%22;rec=4

October 4, 2021 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Federal nuclear waste dump | Leave a comment

ARPANSA may not give licence for Kimba nuclear waste dump. Nuclear wastes best managed at Lucas Heights


ANSTO’s proposed public works appear premised on an ill-considered, unassured and, arguably, untenable proposed transfer of intermediate-level waste into indefinite above-ground storage in South Australia. That’s a plan which may never come to fruition, just as the prior proposal by then Prime Minister Howard’s federal government to impose transfer and storage of ANSTO’s nuclear waste into South Australia, which was run between 1998 and 2004, had to be abandoned as a flawed proposal.

As the CEO of ARPANSA has said, nuclear waste can be safely managed at ANSTO at Lucas Heights for decades to come. With respect, that should be the premise on which your committee addresses the works before you.

Parliamentary Standing Committee on Public Works 13/09/2021 Intermediate level solid waste storage facility, Lucas Heights, New South Wales

NOONAN, Mr David, Private capacity [by audio link] Mr Noonan : I have nearly 25 years experience of following nuclear waste issues in Australia, both in capacity, working for non-government organisations, and more recently as an individual—an independent consultant and campaigner.

My first key point is that the primary premise that your committee should consider, evaluate and scrutinise of ANSTO’s proposed works is in terms of the safety contingency set by the independent regulator ARPANSA to retain ANSTO’s nuclear waste at Lucas Heights until the availability of a final isolation and disposal option. With respect, I think that should be the primary matter that should have been addressed by ANSTO in their submission to you and apparently was not.

My second key point is that, in contrast, ANSTO, as, with respect, a vested-interest proponent, presents a plan of proposed works that relies on proposed transfer of intermediate-level waste into indefinite above-ground storage in South Australia—potentially for up to 100 years. Firstly, I’d say that is arguably untenable, and I’d welcome a question line on that if it suits the committee. Secondly, it appears to pre-empt the proper role of ARPANSA licensing decision-making. ARPANSA have said that they will require separate licence processes to assess potential siting, construction and operation of a proposed store for ANSTO intermediate-level waste in South Australia. ANSTO don’t have a right, in the design of their plan and works toward you, to pre-empt a potential grant of outcome to that, and ARPANSA have been clear that they may or may not grant those licences in future.

Thirdly, your mandate as a committee goes to both scrutinising and assessing proposed works. But it holds a fundamental provision, in that you have a right to alter the proposed works—and I would ask you to consider doing so—to make them best comply with the suitability of the overarching purpose of meeting the best public value in the proposed works and the best cost-effectiveness in expenditure of public funds. With respect, I would say that that assessment and the scrutiny which you provide to ANSTO’s application should be in terms of their capacity and willingness to match the safety contingencies set by the independent regulator to retain intermediate-level waste on site at Lucas Heights until availability of a final isolation and disposal option.

Fourthly: I think the scrutiny that your committee would conduct is best served by the highest level of transparency. In that respect, I would call for you to ask ANSTO to publicly release two fundamentally important reports with regard to their planning and capacities to manage intermediate-level waste at Lucas Heights that were due under their licensing conditions. These reports were due to the independent regulator mid last year, in June. Those reports, as far as I’m aware, are not before your committee in the public evidence, and they should be. With respect, I think they should have been available for members of the public to scrutinise in their preparation of submissions to you. Further, in terms of transparency, it would be best if you could bring onto the public record ARPANSA’s evaluation of those ANSTO reports on their plans and capacities to manage intermediate-level waste at Lucas Heights. Preferably, you would hear from the regulator, ARPANSA, given their overarching role in these public interest issues. They would give evidence before you as a witness, for instance, or you could at least put questions to them.

In conclusion, I would present that ANSTO’s proposed plan fails to meet the proper safety contingency for extended storage of intermediate-level waste on site at Lucas Heights. This is, with respect, the primary purpose and warranted public interest measure by which their work should be scrutinised, assessed and evaluated by your committee. In my view and experience, ANSTO’s proposed public works appear premised on an ill-considered, unassured and, arguably, untenable proposed transfer of intermediate-level waste into indefinite above-ground storage in South Australia. That’s a plan which may never come to fruition, just as the prior proposal by then Prime Minister Howard’s federal government to impose transfer and storage of ANSTO’s nuclear waste into South Australia, which was run between 1998 and 2004, had to be abandoned as a flawed proposal.

The then Prime Minister gave assurances that it wouldn’t be renewed for South Australia, and yet we have to face this federal government’s policy agenda to transfer waste out of Lucas Heights unnecessarily when, arguably, it could be safely and securely managed. As the CEO of ARPANSA has said, nuclear waste can be safely managed at ANSTO at Lucas Heights for decades to come. With respect, that should be the premise on which your committee addresses the works before you…. https://parlinfo.aph.gov.au/parlInfo/search/display/display.w3p;db=COMMITTEES;id=committees%2Fcommjnt%2Fcfc4f9dc-b73c-4166-b484-eeaddcab5bc0%2F0001;query=(Dataset%3Acommsen,commrep,commjnt,estimate,commbill%20SearchCategory_Phrase%3Acommittees)%20CommitteeName_Phrase%3A%22parliamentary%20standing%20committee%20on%20public%20works%22;rec=4

October 4, 2021 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Federal nuclear waste dump, politics | Leave a comment

To be internationally credible, ARPANSA (Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency) needs to include detail on radionuclides in Intermediate Level nuclear waste

If it were included by ARPANSA in the latest edition of the Safety Guide for Classification of Radioactive Waste, Radiation Protection Series No. 20 (RPS 20) then ARPANSA would have been required at least on request to disclose the inventory and mobility of the radionuclides in the intermediate level waste which would be made extremely difficult for ANSTO to pursue a facility at Kimba and previously Hawker due to the lack of proper planning and design of the facility structure 

It would have also made it difficult to keep claiming that the reprocessed waste from France was of intermediate level as classified by ANSTO when the French then and still now insisted that it was at lower end of high level waste 

As pleasant as its people may be at ARPANSA it still has a long way to achieve international credibility .

In April 2010, ARPANSA published the Safety Guide for Classification of Radioactive Waste, Radiation Protection Series No. 20 (RPS 20). This guide sets out non-prescriptive, best-practice guidance for classifying radioactive waste and was based on the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)’s General Safety Guide: Classification of Radioactive Waste, GSG-1 (IAEA 2009).

October 4, 2021 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Federal nuclear waste dump | Leave a comment

When talking about nuclear waste and radioactivity, blurring the figures is a good pro nuclear strategy!


Kazzi Jai
  Fight to stop  nuclear waste dump in  South Australia , 3 Oct 21, · Something which really ticks me off is when percentages are quoted WITHOUT giving the actual figures involved AS WELL!

Case in point – Hef Griffiths is quoted in the latest minutes (August 2021 Kimba City Council) as saying….

Mr Griffiths said that there is a lot of information about ILW remaining radioactive for 10,000 years, however the material that remains from synroc and reprocessing that’s returned from France indicates that after 300 years 99% of the radioactivity will have decayed away. After 600 years, 99.9% will have decayed away.”

Okay – let us assume that the highest upper level of ILW classification is 10^4 TeraBequerels/m3….which is the same as 10^16 Becquerels/m3.

Now it is IAEA and ARPANSA who choose to use Becquerels, so we will stick with those units. Becquerels are the International Unit (SI Unit) for radioactivity activity. It is defined as the number of times each second a nucleus in radioactive material decays and releases radiation. The higher the number of Becquerels, the more radioactive the material is. However, it is a very small unit.
37 billion Becquerels = 1 Curie. It can be written as 3.7 x 10^10 Becquerels or disintergrations per second…… Be mindful that 1 Curie of any radioactivity – alpha, beta or gamma – will fry you.

Okay….so let’s use some easy figures to get my point across.
Let us use hypothetically for example 100 TeraBecquerels as the nuclear waste in question for ease of mathematics. This would technically fall within the category of ILW in Australia, under Australia’s criteria.
It is sitting there, in its shielded cask.

What Hef Griffiths is saying is that in 300 years (approximately 12 generations of future people from us today – or looking back BEFORE European Colonization of Australia – to put it in perspective) that 99% of that waste would have decayed away. I will give him the benefit of the doubt, since AGAIN this information IS NOT REFERENCED, but that means that 1% activity REMAINS! So….that 100 TeraBecquerels of nuclear waste now measures 1 TeraBecquerel!! That is by no means SAFE to handle without shielding EVEN AT THAT STAGE….AND IS NO WHERE NEAR BACKGROUND LEVELS!!

Hopefully that puts this type of PRESENTATION IN CONTEXT!!
Percentages are OFTEN used to HIDE REAL TIME FIGURES!

This is NOT unique to the Nuclear Industry – it is a ploy often used in Politics to HOODWINK people to thinking that the figures ARE NOT IMPORTANT AT ALL – when in fact THEY ARE!!

ALWAYS ASK FOR EXACT FIGURES, WHEN PERCENTAGES ARE QUOTED!!

This was the SAME CASE when it came to the “Community Support” assessment – PERCENTAGES AGAIN ONLY QUOTED!

When they do this – THEY ARE TRYING TO GET AWAY WITH SOMETHING!!  https://www.facebook.com/groups/344452605899556

October 4, 2021 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Federal nuclear waste dump, spinbuster | Leave a comment

Napandee radioactive waste dump plan – a nuclear waste of money.

“A Nuclear waste of money – Greenies”The Advertiser 14Sept 2021 p.9  MICHELLE ETHERIDGE 

RADIOACTIVE waste should be stored at an expanded nuclear medicine production site in Sydney, rather than shipped to Kimba, opponents of the Eyre Peninsula project say. 

The federal government has set aside $59.8m over four years for an expansion of “temporary” nuclear waste storage at Lucas Heights, NSW. During a parliamentary committee hearing on Monday, conservation groups argued the project rendered unnecessary a plan to move intermediate-level waste to a new facility near Kimba, where it is to be stored for several decades. 

The federal government says space for some types of nuclear waste at Lucas Heights will be exhausted by 2027 and the expansion will provide at least a further 10 years’ capacity until the new national radioactive waste site planned for Napandee, near Kimba, is operational about or after 2030. Conservation SA chief executive Craig Wilkins, said his organisation supported keeping the waste at Lucas Heights until a longterm deep geological (underground) repository was found. 

“I and others are genuinely scratching our heads as to why this waste from ANSTO (Australian Nuclear Science and Technology) is being transferred from one temporary place that’s safe and secure to another place on an interim basis. This is … a phenomenal waste of money,” he said. 

The Australian Conservation Foundation’s Dave Sweeney said waste could become stranded at Kimba in the absence of a long-term plan. ANSTO staff said the new Lucas Heights facility would have a life of about 50 years

September 14, 2021 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Federal nuclear waste dump, politics | Leave a comment

Radioactive waste dump plan puts the Eyre Peninsula’s reputation at risk, lacks genuine community consent

Stock Journal, Terry Schmucker, Cootra 2nd September 2021 The radioactive waste site at Napandee does not have genuine community support. Farmers and farmland within as little as 20 kilometres from the radioactive waste dump at Napandee were not included in the official community vote.

Voting was centred on the Kimba local government area, which splits the community near the waste dump by the local council boundary. The vote also excluded Native Title holders because their traditional land extends beyond the council area and they live outside the district.Temporarily storing intermediate level waste at the headwaters of the Eyre Peninsula will seriously impact on the reputation of our prime food production from our agriculture and fisheries.  https://www.facebook.com/groups/344452605899556

September 6, 2021 Posted by | Federal nuclear waste dump, South Australia | Leave a comment

Agricultural land deserves protection from radioactive pollution

Barry Wakelin, Kimba. Stock Journal 2nd September 2021. The decision to place intermediate level waste at Kimba for a temporary period of a few decades makes it sound like the national green movement versus 54 per cent of the total Kimba community who said yes to a huge amount of taxpayer funding per vote.

There is just one farmer beneficiary for material that the Department of Defence says is too dangerous for its Woomera prohibited area and which 70pc of South Australians say no to .

A 400-strong group with a focus on respect for and representation of agriculture to achieve no nuclear waste on SA agricultural land has fought a six-year campaign against Australia’s most powerful political machine, known as the Australian federal government, who are yet to explain why they are in defiance of their own National Health & Medical Research Council guidelines of placing nuclear waste on agricultural land, which is 4.5pc of SA

.

Why, never on their own federal government-controlled land? The federal parliament now has two “temporary sites” for Intermediate Level Nuclear Waste (ILW) , one at the government-owned nuclear reactor site until 2037 and one at Kimba, while never seeking a permanent disposal site for ILW, even though a promise was made to find that permanent site, prior to commissioning the OPAL nuclear reactor almost 15 years ago at Lucas Heights in Sydney. https://www.facebook.com/groups/344452605899556

September 6, 2021 Posted by | Federal nuclear waste dump | Leave a comment

Napandee nuclear waste site is in fact on farming land, and all too close to the town of Kimba

Roni Skipworth No nuclear waste dump anywhere in South Australia , 2 Sept 21,

Not many people know where the nominated site ‘Napandee property’ is. Let me assist with showing you where this property is, there is a purple cross showing this property on a map. The land is not a flat unproductive site as stated in many reports as last time we travelled pass there were many sheep eating its grass  https://www.facebook.com/groups/1314655315214929

September 2, 2021 Posted by | Federal nuclear waste dump, South Australia | Leave a comment

Scrutiny on possible fraud in the process of the government bribery grants for South Australian communities to accept a nuclear waste dump

Recently information has become available that has indicates a new path of attack against the planned nuclear waste dump in South Australia.

It is is being reported to the Federal Police Fraud Investigation Branch that several individuals made application for a
community grant fraudulently. These individuals participated in a conspiracy with a “resource agency” who
assisted in making application for the grant fraudulently on behalf of an “Aboriginal Corporation” that does not meet the requirements or criteria for the grant.

Grant approval was obtained successfully and was publicly announced. What this proves is that the entire process was rushed and the money grab that divided and separated local communities was able to be manipulated so easily that some unscrupulous people could illegally take advantage.

The federal police will have all the available evidence shortly (there is a lot) and the corporation and persons involved
in the fraudulent funding application will be held to account and prosecuted under federal law.    A win for transparency in the local area.

But it will be a bigger win for the overall fight because it would put the entire grant bribery process and purpose under scrutiny. Hopefully it will lead to very publicly broadcasted news stories following the progress of the investigation and prosecution proceedings.

September 2, 2021 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Federal nuclear waste dump, secrets and lies | Leave a comment

20 reasons why the Lucas Heights unviable production of medical isotopes is a sham and a dud.

The claim by Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO) that it requires additional storage
capacity for intermediate level nuclear or radioactive waste at its Lucas Heights operations is completely false and consequently unjustified in all respects.
REASONS

  1. The present storage capacity at Lucas Heights is more than adequate for many years and even decades – this is the view of the Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency (ARPANA) as the regulator and licensing authority
  2. The main undertaking representing 80% of its total operations and activity by ANSTO at Lucas Heights is the
    production of nuclear medicineThe main undertaking representing 80% of its total operations and activity by ANSTO at Lucas Heights is theproduction of nuclear medicine
  3. Only some 10% of this production annually is for local use in Australia
  4. The remainder is sold overseas but it is a very limited market
  5. The predominant purchasers of this production of nuclear medicine are third world countries
  6. These countries cannot afford to pay ANSTO for this nuclear medicine and hence it is treated as additional foreign aid by Australia
  7. The manufacture of nuclear medicine even in fully and proper commercial circumstances is a large loss making proposition
  1. It is estimated from authoritative overseas research that revenue from isotope production for nuclear medicine would likely offset only approximately 10% to 15% of the costs of the reactor used for the production and this does not include all the other costs associated with the production

9. Added to this ANSTO is regarded by world standards as an extremely high cost manufacturer of nuclear medicine

  1. ANSTO is fully funded as to its existence and operations by the federal government

11. On top of this ANSTO has proved to be a less than efficient producer of nuclear medicine due to the instances of shutting down of its reactor at Lucas Heights

  1. When this has occurred ANSTO purchased the nuclear medicine isotopes from overseas which has proved to be more efficient and cheaper than local production
  1. It was reported that ANSTO received $238 million last year as its annual funding from the federal government
  1. ANSTO because of this funding has no incentive or need to achieve profitability particularly in its production of nuclear medicine which represents its major undertaking and operational activity
  1. In any case there is a strong move in medicine throughout the world away from using nuclear medicine in all diagnosis and treatment due to its harmful nature
  1. Some countries are virtually banning nuclear medicine both in its manufacture and its use locally and for export because of its inherent dangerous nature
  2. An alternative permanent disposal would be better.
  1. The indisputable conclusion internationally is that the use of nuclear medicine generated by reactors is rapidly declining to a level where its future production will no longer be viable
  1. In view of the foregoing there are no justifiable or valid reasons or pretext for :
    (a) the continued production by ANSTO of nuclear medicine by using a nuclear reactor for whatever reasons at Lucas Heights or elsewhere in Australia;
    (b) the continuing loss making production of nuclear medicine by ANSTO at Lucas Heights for export overseas;
    (c) the need to increase the storage capacity at Lucas Heights for intermediate level waste generated by the production of nuclear medicine; and

20 No pretext for the establishment whatsoever of the nuclear waste management facility by the federal government at Napandee

August 31, 2021 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, business, Federal nuclear waste dump, secrets and lies | Leave a comment