Australian news, and some related international items

Farmers, Traditional Owners fight radioactive waste dump

Farmers, Traditional Owners fight radioactive waste dump, Renfrey Clarke, Adelaide, September 8, 2020

In a marginal grain-growing district of South Australia’s Eyre Peninsula, construction for a national repository for Australia’s radioactive wastes will begin soon — or so the federal government hopes.

A 160-hectare tract of farmland has been purchased near the small town of Kimba and, as inducement to deliver support for the plan, local residents have been promised a $31 million “community development package.” A non-binding ballot conducted last November among residents of the Kimba District Council area recorded 62% in favour of the scheme.

But opponents of the dump remain active and vocal. As well as farmers and townsfolk concerned for their safety and for the “clean and green” reputation of the district’s produce, those against the plan include the Barngarla First Nations people, who hold native title over the area.

Critics argue that last year’s ballot sought the views of only a narrow section of the people affected. In particular, members of the Barngarla people, who do not live locally, are angry at being excluded.

The federal Coalition government, however, has not been deterred. In June, the House of Representatives passed a set of amendments to the legislation governing the scheme. These changes would strip opponents of the dump — including the Barngarla — of the right to mount legal challenges.

The amendments still have to pass through the Senate. But, confident of victory, in July the government set up the Australian Radioactive Waste Agency as part of the Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources. With its base in Adelaide, and a satellite office in Kimba, the agency is to “lead the process to deliver” the waste dump.

Low and intermediate-level wastes

In volume terms, the great bulk of the radioactive waste currently produced in Australia results from nuclear medicine, and is considered low-level. These materials do not require shielding in handling or storage, but must be kept secure until the radioactivity has decayed to the point where they can safely go to landfill. At present, these wastes are stored at more than 100 sites around the country, mostly in hospitals or universities.

The amount of low-level waste created here each year is about 40 cubic metres, roughly three truckloads, suggesting that the need to collect these materials into a centralised store is questionable.

More than likely, the risks of shifting these wastes exceed those of keeping them where they are for the decades needed until their radioactivity falls to natural background levels.

There are also intermediate-level wastes. These accumulate at a rate of about five cubic metres a year, and are in a very different category. Highly dangerous, they require shielding, and must be kept secure for as long as 10,000 years. They consist almost entirely of spent nuclear fuel from the research reactor at Lucas Heights, near Sydney, returned after reprocessing in Europe and currently stored on the reactor premises.

The waste dump planned for the farm property Napandee, near Kimba, is meant to provide a permanent home for Australia’s low-level wastes — but not for the intermediate-level materials. The latter are to be held in above-ground canisters at the facility until permanent storage provisions have been made.

Will this “interim” storage turn out to be permanent?

Kimba is remote enough that the temptation will be great for governments to leave these dangerous, long-lasting materials there indefinitely.

Meanwhile, if the Napandee dump is to hold the intermediate-level wastes for only a few decades, where is the need to move these materials there at all? The store at Lucas Heights has room to hold the wastes for many years to come, while permanent disposal methods are being devised and tested. Simply keeping the materials on site would avoid the risks of multiple handling and long-distance transport.

Community rifts

In Kimba, the social rifts from years-long disagreements over the dump remain painful. Many local people look to the facility to sustain a town that is steadily declining as farmers are compelled to “get big or get out”, and as the regional population shrinks.

Farmer Heather Baldock, who supports the dump, lamented to a Senate committee hearing in August: “We lose students, youth, neighbours, friends, sporting club members, emergency service volunteers … We gain more empty houses and property for sale.”

The federal government has suggested that a total of 45 jobs will be created by the facility — a big boost for a town of barely 600 people. Many of these jobs, however, will likely be part–time, or will be performed on a fly-in-fly-out basis.

The $31 million community package will create excellent town amenities, but not a long–term basis for the local economy. It will not solve the worst problem confronting regions like northern Eyre Peninsula: global warming, which raises temperatures, reduces already sparse rainfall and sends farmers into crippling debt.Opponents of the dump, meanwhile, speak bitterly of the deceits by a government determined to impose its scheme regardless of local objections.

Farmer Peter Woolford, who heads the group No Radioactive Waste on Agricultural Land in Kimba or SA, told the Senate hearing: “The path that the federal government has taken … has been a long road of propaganda, manipulation and promises without justification.”

The flow of information to the community, Woolford noted, has been tightly controlled and almost entirely narrated by the department. “No assistance, practical or financial, has been given to provide independent advice. Every speaker who has visited Kimba at the expense of the government has been a supporter of the proposal.”

Ballot manipulation

Opponents of the scheme are especially angry at the way the terms of last year’s ballot were manipulated. Rejecting a call for voting to be open to all residents within a 50-kilometre radius — a far more meaningful measure of the people for whom Kimba is the local hub — the government and the Kimba District Council insisted on the smaller area within the council boundaries. If the 50-kilometre boundary had applied, critics argue, the vote would have failed.

Particularly impressive has been the resolve of the Barngarla people to have their say in deciding the outcome. In 2018, the Barngarla fought and lost a court case against the district council, demanding to be included in the prospective ballot.

Excluded from the official vote, the Barngarla Determination Aboriginal Corporation organised its own independently-run ballot. This recorded a total of 83 members against the dump and zero in favour. A recent letter from the Barngarla to the federal resources minister stated: “The systematic racist behaviour by your government is a stain on the collective consciousness of this country.”

In any case, opponents of the dump ask why “community support” for the dump should be measured only by the views of a few hundred people. Why should the decision not be one for the whole population of South Australia — where indications are that the idea of hosting a radioactive waste dump is highly unpopular?

As Woolford pointed out, of 2789 submissions received in a public consultation 94.5% oppose the facility.

September 10, 2020 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Federal nuclear waste dump, opposition to nuclear | Leave a comment

The nuclear stigma – some Kimba residents selling their assets before the nuclear dump sets sail?

Paul Waldon   Fight to Stop A Nuclear Waste Dump in South Australia , 8 Sept 20 
Painful to see when you don’t know if it’s Kimba’s pro or an anti nuclear dump dichotomy selling up their assets before the ship sinks. The town of Kimba poisoned by the kafkaesque promotion of a radioactive dump looks to be losing Eatts Hardware with Elders conducting an auction sale on the 18th of October.
The Nuclear Stigma not only eroding personal assets but also that of businesses belonging to both the people that have decried a radioactive dump for their town, plus those who care to embrace it but want to move on.
Oh yeah we have even seen a farmer come nuclear profiteer list a sizable parcel of land, which some people may say “he’s blazing a trail for a quick escape.”

September 10, 2020 Posted by | Federal nuclear waste dump, South Australia | Leave a comment

Australia’s National Radioactive Waste Management Taskforce plays deceptively with statistics

Kazzi Jai  Fight to stop nuclear waste dump in the Flinders Ranges

There are so many things which are really wrong with this flawed proposal….

One thing which keeps rearing its ugly head is the “selective” way that DIIS and its promoters use percentages to support their arguments. Take this extract from Sam Chard in a newspaper called “Echo Daily” from last month….

The co-location of low and intermediate level waste at the facility has been the basis of the facility proposal since 2015 and the Kimba community was well informed about the proposal, in advance of their local council ballot.
Sixty-two per cent of respondents from the Kimba community supported the proposal moving ahead – 90.41 per cent of eligible locals participated in the ballot.

39.71 per cent of the Barngarla Determination Aboriginal Corporation voted against the proposal in their own ballot – 58.38 per cent did not respond.”

Apart from the fact that THIS proposal is the EXACT SAME PROPOSAL put forward FORTY YEARS AGO….and the “assumption” that the Kimba community was well informed (how EXACTLY did they determine the level of being “informed”?)…what really irks me most is the use of PERCENTAGES!

And not only that – BUT THE SELECTIVE USE OF NUMBERS IN WORDS AND FIGURES! Unless you are being a Secret Squirrel – you need to be CONSISTENT with YOUR NOMENCLATURE!

It needs to read….
” 61.58% of respondents from the Kimba community supported the proposal moving ahead – 90.41% of eligible locals participated in the ballot.
39.71% of the Barngarla Determination Aboriginal Corporation voted against the proposal in their own ballot – 58.38% did not respond – BUT 0% VOTED FOR THE DUMP!”

Or even better yet – “100% of the respondents of the Barngarla Determination Aboriginal Corporation voted against the proposal in their own ballot”….

And include….“In fact, there was no BROAD COMMUNITY CONSENT achieved in the Kimba community at all, as the MINIMUM of 2/3RDS or OVER 66.67% WAS NOT ACHIEVED IN THE COMMUNITY BALLOT!”

September 8, 2020 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Federal nuclear waste dump | Leave a comment

Indecent haste in Australian government’s push for law making Napandee the nuclear waste dump. What’s going on?

New nuclear legislation set to provide toxic dumping ground in South Australia, Independent Australia, By Noel Wauchope | 

UNDER THE PRESSURE of The Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO), The Australian Government is in a hurry to get a new bill passed. It’s not really a new bill, it’s actually a new bit tacked on to an existing one. It’s called the National Radioactive Waste Management Amendment (Site Specification, Community Fund and Other Measures) Bill 2020.

The amendment does two important things: it selects a definite place in South Australia, a farmer’s property called Napandee, as a radioactive waste dump and it removes the possibility of a judicial review of that selection.

The proposed dump is an “interim” radioactive waste facility.

It would consist of two parts:

  1. Temporary above-ground storage for what is known as low-level waste (LLW). LLW is a general term for a range of objects that are radioactively contaminated, but not considered to be highly radioactive nor toxic for thousands of years.
  2. A “temporary” above-ground storage for intermediate-level waste (ILW). ILW is a term for a mix of wastes that contains some very long-lived highly toxic radioactive matter, that does require isolation for thousands of years. While this amount would be smaller in volume, it would be far more significant. 95 per cent of this radioactive content would be spent nuclear fuel rods from ANSTO’s nuclear reactor at Lucas Heights, Sydney.

At present, these highly radioactive wastes are stored in giant canisters at Lucas Heights, where there is ample space for further canisters and experienced and skilled staff to monitor them and provide security.

ANSTO has plans to expand its operation and CEO Dr Adi Paterson’s dream of a world-leading business in exporting radionuclides for medicine and industry. Meanwhile, international nuclear security obligations demand that Australia develop a plan for the permanent disposal of nuclear wastes.

Unfortunately, this Napandee plan does nothing towards meeting these obligations. ……….

There is no plan whatsoever for the permanent disposal of this highly radioactive trash.

There’s a vague story that these wastes will later be moved from Napandee to a permanent disposal — anything from 40 to 300 years. They are most likely to suffer the fate of other such facilities in the USA and other countries and become stranded wastes…….

There was a heavy emphasis on “medical” wastes. But the reality is that the vast majority of wastes from nuclear medicine are very short-lived radioisotopes, that have no need to be transported thousands of miles and are routinely disposed of close to places such as hospitals where they are used.

A ballot was held in the area, of ratepayers only, on whether or not to support the project. Some residents close to the property were excluded, as were the Native Title holders, the Barngarla Aboriginal community. The vote result, from 824 voters, was 452 “yes”. The Barngarla held their own vote — 80 Barngarla voted, with the unanimous result of “no”.

The whole issue of the transport of the nuclear wastes and their “temporary” dumping does concern also the region, the state of South Australia and the nation. The decision should not be made solely by 452 ratepayers in one small rural area………

Non-ratepayers did not get a look-in. In this modern, almost Trumpian paradigm, outsiders such as economists, environmentalists, medical experts, sociologists and independent radiation experts are seen as “the elites” that can’t be trusted. Unfortunately, independent overseas experts on nuclear waste management have been excluded, too. Apart from the problems raised for the town and region of Kimba itself, there are serious questions about the appropriateness of the planned system, the area environmentally and geologically……..

Of course, this plan is confined to nuclear wastes produced in Australia. For now.

The plan is obviously helpful to ANSTO. They can pass this uncomfortable buck of 10,000 year-lasting radioactive wastes on to a distant South Australian rural community. It will then be managed and funded by whom? The South Australian and Australian tax-payers.

This will take the pressure of ANSTO, make it look as if they’re doing something about their radioactive trash and avoid any Lucas Heights, or rather Barden Ridge fuss, as they expand their operations. (The residential area previously part of Lucas Heights was renamed Barden Ridge to increase the real estate value of the area, as it would no longer be instantly associated with the nuclear reactor.)

It’s not so helpful to South Australia, or to Australia. The best solution is to leave those nuclear reactor wastes safely stored at Lucas Heights for the time being and to develop a national discussion and plan for what to do with those wastes for permanent disposal. Under this present, rather rushed scheme, Resources Minister Keith Pitt, Dr Paterson and the whole crew of the NRWMF will be dead and gone, long before the stranded wastes at Napandee will be properly dealt with.

A solution for the common good is what’s needed, not just a solution that suits ANSTO. ANSTO is a statutory body — a case of the tail wagging the dog, perhaps?

The National Radioactive Waste Management Amendment (Site Specification, Community Fund and Other Measures) Bill 2020 has been passed by the House of Representatives. It will be debated in the Senate later this year.

Meanwhile the Senate Economics Legislation Committee is holding an Inquiry into this bill…….

it gets interesting. Suddenly, a public hearing becomes private. The topic for this new secrecy was the discussion of some documents from the NRWMFT that had been requested by the Committee and received only a very short time before the hearing. The documents were heavily redacted. They relate to the process by which the Napandee site was selected. How spontaneous was the farmer’s offer of his land? What roles did the NRWMFT, ANSTO and the Industry Department, play in instigating this offer?

So many questions surround this plan:

August 31, 2020 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Federal nuclear waste dump, secrets and lies | Leave a comment

Kazzi Jai reports on the latest Senate hearing on Nuclear Waste Amendment Bill

Kazzi Jai Fight To Stop Nuclear Waste In The Flinders Ranges, 28 Aug 20, I will try and keep this summation as brief as possible regarding the Senate Hearing with DIIS this morning.
In DIIS’s opening statement, Sam Chard stressed that “No community consultation is required by legislation”. This became a RECURRENT claim by Sam Chard (Sam Reinhardt said very little for the whole hearing). Seems they found a new catch phrase.
Senator Patrick was less than impressed by the hiding behind the confidentiality of “frankness and candor” claim between DIIS and Minister’s dealings which was used in the tabled documents from last hearing, regarding discussions about the amendments to the Bill.
Senator McAllister questioned why the legislation does not address the types of waste involved LLW and ILW – it is simply denoted as “nuclear waste” – why is there no distinction noted in legislation?
Then went onto what is DIIS going to do with ILW? According to Sam Chard AFTER the LLW is dealt with at the new facility, then ANSTO and CSIRO are going to work on developing a permanent disposal plan for ILW, through the ARWA, as a Research and Development project.
(This is interesting since CSIRO has so many Government cuts in funding, and ANSTO is keen to get the waste off their own books – do you think the Government is going to be in a hurry to deal with it any time soon?).
Anyway, ARWA will eventually become a non-corporate entity under its own legislation – which should happen down the track…Sam Chard is currently the General Manager for ARWA, and there will eventually be a CEO appointed. But currently right now it is under DIIS. (Sam Chard is now the General Manager for ARWA and Sam Reinhardt is now General Manager for DIIS).
Senator Antic ran through the numbers of jobs with Sam Chard – 45 jobs of which 34 will come from the “existing local community” and 11 will come from “outside”…..Then Sam Chard went on to talk about AWRA with 35 FTE for 2022/23 …I will leave the details for the hansard transcript, I believe it was 14 security + 13 waste handling + 8 site management+ 5 environmental protection + 5 radioactive protection for the NRWMF… but for AWRA “roughly” CEO + 16 safety and tech + 10 corporate engagement + 7 construction and engineering and 2 of these would be in the Kimba community (that doesn’t add up to 35…so wait for hansard!)
Then a long talk about maritime workers and Port Kembla and the number of shipments predicted for TN-81 “flask” as Sam Chard called it. Have had 10 x shipments since 1963 with no safety incidents for shipments of spent nuclear fuel to go overseas for reprocessing. Expect the reprocessed spent fuel waste to be returned every decade or two decades.
Senator Gallacher asked about Community Engagement with regard to the changes of Schedules for the Bill – and was told that the Department released an Explanatory Memorandum which would be understood by a layperson…. and that the community fund would be enshrined, and the site selection would be scrutinized.
He then ask if it was a one way investment to get a yes vote? He said it was the Department’s duty to present facts and information. The Dept said that they indeed facilitated David Sweeney, Peter Karamoskos, Margaret Beavis and Victor Gostin through webinars.
His last comment was to ask if the Dept as public servants believed they delivered a Fair and Equitable proposal without fear or favour to the community – which Sam Chard answered yes.
Senator Patrick asked Sam Chard some details of her answers from the last Hearing….which had changed in the interim through letters submitted regarding clarification between the Senate and the Department. All centres around whether it was intentional to remove scrutiny and judicial review through not using section 14 of the current act.
He got somewhat heated by reminding DIIS that their obligation is to tell the truth and not to protect the Minister!
Again, Sam Chard invoked her go to answer…”No requirement for community consultation under legislation” which is the 2012 Act…and I “believe” she added that even under judicial review “community consultation” would not be entertained because it was not stated in legislation!
That’s where the BREAK suddenly occurred for “technical reasons”….
Back on board, Senator Patrick reiterated that the Amendments seek to deny people the judicial review right which stand under the current Bill. That, Senator Patrick said, the Minister in first documents published set up framework under his Ministerial word that there was a commitment for community consultation.
Again Sam Chard said “Community consultation was not a requirement under legislation”..
Senator Patrick reiterated that under Common Law people are allowed confidence and trust.
Sam Chard said that the Bill under its current form gives no provision for community fund and that it was a commitment of the Minister and that the COMMUNITY WANTED [?] the fund enshrined in legislation.
Senator McAllister addressed again details about the permanent siting of the ILW. Was told that there are few precedences for what is Australia’s situation.
That Australia DOES NOT produce HLW, whereas ILW in other parts of the world is coupled with HLW…
Sam Chard talked about LLW (quantity wise – NOTE not radioactive wise) constituting 3/4 of holding and that International Best Practise and International Obligations and Safe and Secure requirements give the facility a substantive purpose.
ILW constitues 1/4 of holdings and…. 96% is solid and constitutes gloves/gowns and building rubble….3% is liquid which will be put into “vitrified glass being synroc”…and 1% TN-81 cask….on a Temporary Basis at the facility.
The aim is to co-locate the ILW with the LLW and the waste from 100 different locations around Australia. That “we” have made commitment that there would be no liquid waste at the facility.
ANSTO provided advice that their storage facilities would be COMPLETELY FULL BY 2030 (which by the way is ONLY partly true, but forgot to include that all they would need to do is apply for licencing and building of more storage in Lucas Heights, which ARPANSA already has said would be granted!!)
That the regulatory approvals and availability for proposed Kimba Facility would run VERY CLOSE to the 2030 deadline!
Senator Patrick then addressed whether there were settled transport routes – there aren’t!
Senator Gallacher asked if there was a specialisd transport function involved, whereupon Sam Chard answered that waste and nuclear material is transported by road and rail methodologies done every day. (side stepped the question – what a surprise).Senator Gallacher “assumed” it was not an issue – which Sam Chard did not correct or add to.
So if you got to the end of this summation – congratulations!
Please make sure you read the ACTUAL transcript when it is released, because all of my notations will probably make more sense!!
This was totally my understanding of what happened today, from my own notes, and is in no way a COMPLETE record of what went down, but only to give an overview for those who requested it! Hope it makes sense!

August 29, 2020 Posted by | Federal nuclear waste dump, politics | Leave a comment

South Australian MP Peter Treloar says “Kimba nuclear waste dump is a federal issue”, but he’s fine with it anyway

Kimba nuclear waste site OK with Member for Flinders ahead of proposed new electoral boundaries, ABC, ABC Eyre Peninsula, By Evelyn Leckie and Gary-Jon Lysaght 28 Aug 20

With proposed electoral boundaries changing for the Eyre Peninsula, local MP Peter Treloar is poised to take on a community that remains divided on hosting the country’s nuclear waste.

Key points:

  • Proposed electoral boundaries may lead to Kimba falling within the state seat of Flinders
  • Peter Treloar is poised to take on Kimba’s nuclear waste storage issues
  • The Kimba community remains divided on the region’s nuclear waste site

The Member for Flinders, whose electorate is slated to include Kimba after the redistribution, said although the nuclear waste dump was ultimately a federal issue, he had no problem with its proposed location.

“The Kimba community have decided themselves that they’re prepared to be accepting of that, so this process is playing out in the federal jurisdiction,” Mr Treloar said………

Earlier this year a cross-party parliamentary committee found “significant risk” that local Indigenous groups were not consulted about the nuclear dump to a standard required under international law. ……

August 29, 2020 Posted by | Federal nuclear waste dump, South Australia | Leave a comment

Australia’s Dept of Industry hiding the facts on choice of Kimba nuclear waste site

Kazzi Jai No Nuclear Waste Dump Anywhere in South Australia, 22 Aug 20, 

DIIS: This is the statement we are going to hide behind. If we repeat it often enough people will just give up and stop questioning us…..surely?
It is a longstanding practice not to disclose information about the operation and business of the Cabinet, including if or when a matter went to Cabinet, as to do so could potentially reveal the deliberations of the Cabinet, which are confidential.”

FRIDAY NIGHT QUIZ QUESTION: How many times did the DIIS quote this EXACT SAME STATEMENT in their “Answers to Questions Notices” tabled recently for the Senate Inquiry?….more

August 22, 2020 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Federal nuclear waste dump, secrets and lies | Leave a comment

Reject the racist, undemocratic National Radioactive Waste Management Amendment Bill 

National nuclear waste dump emergency

Voices are getting louder calling for the Federal government to abandon plans for a national nuclear waste dump near Kimba on the Eyre Peninsula in South Australia.  On the 11 June, the National Radioactive Waste Management Amendment Bill is seeking to cement Kimba as the nuclear dump site through the House of Representatives. The draft legislation also removes rights of judicial review for Barngarla Traditional Owners and communities opposed to the dump plan. Importantly, Labor MPs and most of the crossbench spoke against the Bill, which is now the topic of a Senate Inquiry pending a Senate vote.  

In response, the Barngarla Determination Aboriginal Corporation states: “It remains shocking and saddening that in the 21st Century, First Nations people would have to fight for the right to vote in Australia and that the Federal Government would deliberately remove judicial oversight of its actions in circumstances where the Human Rights Committee, a bipartisan committee no less, has considered the process flawed.’’

Please add your name to this online letter asking Senators to reject the racist, undemocratic National Radioactive Waste Management Amendment Bill here

If you would like to contact Senators directly, you can find contact details here

Please add your name to an online letter to SA Premier Steven Marshall here or email Premier Marshall at

Watch & share: Barngarla Judicial Review Rights: point of no return

Watch NITV story: Barngarla continue fight against plan to dump nuclear waste on Country

Read ‘Much at stake for Barngarla Country’ Michele Madigan’s article in Eureka Street

August 20, 2020 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Federal nuclear waste dump | Leave a comment

Conflict of interest in Kimba Community Liaison Officer’s connection to nuclear waste dump push

Kazzi Jai, Fight to Stop a Nuclear Waste Dump in South Australia, 20 Aug, 20
 Seems Mayor Dean Johnson’s recent comment about “failing the pub test” has shown up more FLAWS in this WHOLE PROCESS…
How does a person secure the Community Liaison Officer job in Kimba, when they and their partner MANAGE the local pub in Kimba and their partner openly submits support for the dump – submission 83 of the previous Inquiry* !This fact was addressed in Submission 44 of the previous Inquiry*…..”The Community Liaison Officer was supposed to be a person with neutral views but to no surprise the Department employed a local who has been openly supportive of the facility. Community members who are opposed find it difficult to speak openly with the Liaison officer about their concerns.”

Here is what the Community Liaison Officer job was meant to entail: Job Description……”The Community Liaison Officer will represent a project, through consultation activities including meetings with members of the public, information sessions, and presentations. The Officer must possess local knowledge and be of an approachable demeanor to ensure meaningful engagement with all interested community members.”

Desired Skills and Abilities:…..”Ability to be approachable by all members of the Kimba community, regardless of their views on the Project, to provide information about the Project in a professional and independent manner.”

This really in fact comes as no surprise, given what actually happened in Hawker at the SAME time with THEIR Community Liaison Officer! – Submission 109 of previous Inquiry*

*Senate Committee Inquiry on Selection Process for Nuclear Waste Dump Site, August 2018

Submissions – Parliament of Australia

August 20, 2020 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Federal nuclear waste dump | Leave a comment

17 August: The Senate Nuclear Waste Inquiry- Public Hearings go Secret


This is my impression of events

The public hearing on August 3.;query=Id%3A%22committees%2Fcommsen%2Fa4d64368-7fea-4fb0-b04e-5e0ea529799a%2F0000%22
The Senators asked for documents, (relating to the selection of Napandee, and in view of the Amendment meaning no judicial review of that decision).
The heavily redacted documents were supplied at some absurd time, like 20 minutes before the hearing.
The Department of Industry requested that these documents be discussed at the next (public) hearing, on 17 August
11  a.m – 1.30 pm. – to be held in private. That was accepted (Why?)
Now all mention of this meeting has vanished from the Parliament website. 
I read today a news item of a Council Nuclear Hearing in UK, where it was decided to hold the public hearing in private.  At least in the UK, the public even gets to know that the private public meeting is on –  the Australian public remains blissfully unaware.  

August 17, 2020 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Christina reviews, Federal nuclear waste dump | Leave a comment

Senate Nuclear Waste Inquiry gets vague and incomplete answers from Department of Industry

It is difficult to understand why important legislation now before Parliament should include or involve information that cannot be publicly disclosed as this is completely counter to the open and uninhibited nature of parliamentary business and the inquiry committee would at the very least be given a summary of the suppressed information which could then be dealt with by the privileges committee.

If it is being suggested that legal privilege is needed with respect to a judicial review preventing the development of the facility then surely this must be part of the legislative process in dealing with the bill since one of the central issues is eliminating any rights of judicial or administrative review


Peter Remta, 13 Aug 20, My comments on some of the written answers by the department to the questions put on notice at the Senate committee hearing on 30 June 2020.


Answer to Question by Senator Hanson-Young:
Question: What does ANSTO understand is the proportion of your waste that would make up what is stored at the Kimba site?
As per the Australian Radioactive Waste Management Framework dated April 2018, it is anticipated that the wastes resulting from ANSTO’s operations anticipated that the wastes resulting from ANSTO’s operations and nuclear medicine production will account for approximately 78 per cent* of all wastes that would be managed at the National Radioactive Waste Management Facility(NRWMF).

*This figure is subject to revision as more information becomes available…….

Answers to Questions 4, 5 and 6 by Senators McAllister and Patrick:
From the rather vague and incomplete answers to the specific questions posed by Senator McAllister it appears that the bill for amending the present legislation was hastily put together with little time for proper planning.

It is easier to fully quote the parts of the department’s answer:

Over the life of the program the department has briefed respective Ministers on risks to the National Radioactive Waste Management Facility development associated with judicial review.

On 31 July 2019, the department provided a brief to the former Minister for Resources and Northern Australia, the Hon Matthew Canavan, which also noted the potential to specify a site in the National Radioactive Waste Management Act 2012 (the Act).
On 20 August 2019 the Minister wrote to the Prime Minister seeking amendments to the National Radioactive Waste Management Act 2012 (the Act).

On 21 and 22 August 2019, at community forums in Kimba and Hawker, Minister Canavan indicated that Parliament would have a role in the site selection decision making process.

On 30 September 2019, the Prime Minister responded to the Minister’s letter of 20 August 2019. On 17 October 2019 and on 4 November 2019, the department provided further briefs to the Minister on potential amendments to the Act.

On 8 November 2019, the Minister wrote to the Prime Minister seeking policy authority to develop legislative amendments.

The answer then went on to say that it was the practice not to disclose information about the business of the cabinet and that certain sensitive information contained in some documents to be given to the committee on a confidential basis which would not be in the public interest to reveal and has therefore been redacted

It is difficult to understand why important legislation now before Parliament should include or involve information that cannot be publicly disclosed as this is completely counter to the open and uninhibited nature of parliamentary business and the inquiry committee would at the very least be given a summary of the suppressed information which could then be dealt with by the privileges committee.

If it is being suggested that legal privilege is needed with respect to a judicial review preventing the development of the facility then surely this must be part of the legislative process in dealing with the bill since one of the central issues is eliminating any rights of judicial or administrative review

The forums on 21 and 22 August last year only dealt with ensuring that the government’s grants would be paid direct to the communities and not the state  government as this was a major concern to the members of both communities,

To protect their position Minister Canavan undertook to enshrine the the grants payments to the communities through appropriate legislative action but there was nothing along the lines suggested by the department’s answer.

From the totality of all that has been said or done by the department and ANSTO it is quite clear that they want to pursue their own means of identifying an appropriate site and method for the permanent disposal of the local intermediate level waste. Continue reading

August 15, 2020 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Federal nuclear waste dump, politics | Leave a comment

Kimba area locals point out the unsolved problems of nuclear waste transport to Napandee

Kazzi Jai Fight To Stop A Nuclear Waste Dump In South Australia, 11 Aug 20

You know what “fails the pub test”? The concern by AECOM that the nuclear waste might actually go through Kimba! Too bad the other towns it WILL go through!

Noted disadvantages are that waste might pass close to Kimba … (after actually coming through a number of other locations)

Katrina Bohr The Napandee site is referred to as central South Australia. Got that wrong for starters. This assessment indicates that the proposal is for ILW to be either shipped or transported by rail from the east. The Maritime Workers Union have stated opposition to transporting nuclear waste.
Jenny Bourne If they rail to Port Augusta they’d have to unload by crane in the middle of town!! Right outside many homes. Certainly both road and rail would involve transporting through Port Augusta.
  • Annette Ellen Skipworth Thats a lot of road to upgrade to take the weight of the canisters ..
    Loads of Murray water..
    Who is paying to upgrade the roads..
    Government or local council and the maintenance of said roads.. 100 years i believe to dump will operate..
    Roni Skipworth Criterion 2 what hogwash to rail the Waste from Port Lincoln. Still has to go to Kimba Silos as we don’t have a RAILWAY SYSTEM ANYMORE being closed down by Viterra last year n all grain movement is trucked along our 3 local highways on dirt roads all over EP.
    Looks like no one has worked out the transport side of things yet and why should we the locals who like using these dirt roads to get from A to B put up with these Trucks fucking them up so we can’t use or then not allowed cos of the Dump

August 11, 2020 Posted by | Federal nuclear waste dump, South Australia | Leave a comment

Problematic selection of “community” in decision to site nuclear waste dump at Kimba. South Australia

Kazzi Jai  Fight To Stop A Nuclear Waste Dump In South Australia 9 Aug 20 

There’s something that has been bothering me for some time…..This is a copy of a table from page 9 of the Phase 1 Document released in April 2016 by the Minister at that time Josh Frydenberg. Even with the “service towns” included for some of them – and of those, some of them DEFINITELY OUTSIDE the so called 50 km radius of the sites….doesn’t it seem interesting that the LEAST POPULATED SITES remained those IN SOUTH AUSTRALIA!

It was ULTIMATELY decided by Matt Canavan, as Minister, that Kimba would only have its Council boundary as the community ballot area, and not have the 50km radius involved at all!

And remember during all of this that the South Australian Royal Commission into the Nuclear Fuel Cycle was running AT THE SAME TIME – March 2015 to May 2016!

No wonder people thought that the nuclear dumps were one in the same! And they had thought it had ALL been dealt with when the Citizen’s Jury came back with an over two-thirds majority (70%) saying NO MEANS NO!


August 10, 2020 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Federal nuclear waste dump | Leave a comment

Call for public release of ANSTO Nuclear Waste Reports and ARPANSA’s Response

To: The Secretary, Senate Standing Economics Legislation Committee of Inquiry  National Radioactive Waste Management Amendment Bill 2020

RE: David Noonan Supplementary Public Submission No.6.1

Call for public release of ANSTO Nuclear Waste Reports & ARPANSA’s Response; the Department fails test of transparency; and Concern over EPBC Act amendments to affect NRWMF assessment

Dear Secretary

Please consider matters raised in this Supplementary Submission, following my Public Submission No.6. in February 2020.

  1. Important ANSTO ILW nuclear waste reports due to ARPANSA by 30 June must be made public ASAP – along with the ARPANSA response, to provide for proper public scrutiny in this Inquiry.
  2. The Department has failed the test of transparency in its treatment of public submissions.

Note: Attachment of the Department’s redacted copy of my submission, to show the extent of redactions made, in blacking out over 50 public source quotations, without a proper basis to do so.

  1. Concern over proposed rushed changes to the EPBC Act to affect assessment & approvals of the NRWMF.

First: There are public interest concerns the scope of EPBC Act “whole of environment” nuclear action assessments will be replaced by new National Standards based on ARPANSA Codes, with limited “graded” assessments and use of pro-nuclear industry standards of IAEA origin.

Second: It should be no surprise that a Bill to amend the EPBC Act transfers EPBC Act assessment and approval of the NRWMF over to ARPANS Act Licensing.

Recommendation of this Supplementary Submission on assessment and approval of the NRWMF:

This Inquiry should investigate and report on the potential impact of pending changes to the EPBC Act on assessment & approval of the NRWMF, as flagged for introduction in a Bill in late August.

The Committee should call for EPBC Act “whole of environment” assessment of the NRWMF to be retained. The Committee should oppose potential transfer of EPBC Act environmental assessment of the NRWMF over to ARAPNS Act Licensing, Codes and Guides and limited “graded” assessment.

In Conclusion: The Committee must at a minimum reject the Bill’s proposal to legislate for specified siting of the NRWMF, and therefore of unnecessary less safe and more insecure imposition of above ground indefinite storage of ILW, at Napandee near Kimba on Eyre Peninsula in South Australia.

Rights to Judicial Review and Procedural Fairness must be retained for public interest reasons.

Please feel free to contact regarding any aspect of this public submission, by Mobile, Text or E-Mail.

Yours sincerely

Mr David J Noonan B.Sc., M.Env.St.

Independent Environment Campaigner and Consultant (ABN Sole Trader)


August 6, 2020 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Federal nuclear waste dump | Leave a comment

Napandee nuclear waste dump – potential impact on the neighbouring Pinkawillinie Conservation Park and Gawler Ranges National Park

Kazzi Jai  No Nuclear Waste Dump Anywhere in South Australia 5 Aug 20  Not sure if this is relevant or not…but someone (not me, but wish I did) actually accessed FOI regarding the IMPACT or POSSIBLE IMPACT on the neighbouring Pinkawillinie Conservation Park and Gawler Ranges National Park with respect to the proposed Napandee site….and here is the DIIS reply…

Remember that these two parks, although neighbouring in the absolute sense of the definition, were not allowed to put in submissions against the nuclear dump being situated as a neighbour as they are State Owned, and it was decided by DIIS that they could not make a submission.…/200220-disclosure…
Actually…thinking along those lines…as they are State Owned…shouldn’t the PEOPLE OF SOUTH AUSTRALIA then have a justified say in this dump as VALID DIRECT NEIGHBOURS using the DIIS paradigm? Because these Conservation and National Parks BELONG to the PEOPLE of South Australia!

Oh…that’s right….”Ever Shifting Goalposts”!…/200220-disclosure…  more

August 6, 2020 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Federal nuclear waste dump | Leave a comment