Australia should take back its legally obligated nuclear waste, then shut down Lucas Heights reactor

radioactive trashAustralia must face up to the reality that its radioactive trash that originated in Lucas Heights must come back to this country. It’s not a large amount, and probably could be safely stored at Lucas Heights.

Relatively safely, that is, because it will remain toxic for thousands of years.

Australians need to wake up to the distinction between this situation, of legal obligation to have wastes
returned, and the cranky South Australian plan to be the only nation in the world to actually INVITE in the world’s radioactive trash.

In a reasonable world, in which future generations are considered, the sane thing to do is to shut down the Lucas Heights nuclear reactor, and stop making this trash.

The cry will rise up –  “medical benefits, blah blah”. Well the medical isotope thing was the fig leaf tacked on to the nuclear reactor. Medical isotopes can be made by a speciaLised cyclotron, as is being done in Canada. Sure, that’s expensive, FOR THIS GENERATION. The current system’s plan is to pass on the costs to our grandchildren and beyond. So yes, it LOOKS cheaper.

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3 Responses to “Australia should take back its legally obligated nuclear waste, then shut down Lucas Heights reactor”

  1. Mamoo Jungala Says:

    You talk of our legal obligation to accept back our radioactive trash, what about our moral responsibility for uranium exports?
    We mine + distribute this poison so are complicit in distributing ever increasing global accumulations of concentrated ionising radiation.
    Aren’t we also obligated to put that back in the ground?

    • Christina MacPherson Says:

      If we ever really talked about morals and ethics, we could say that Australia might take back radioactive trash from some country that lacked any stable geology, suitable for deep burial (perhaps Japan), UNDER A SPECIAL CONDITION. The condition would be that we would take back such trash only from a country that permanently shut down all nuclear industry.

      Of course, at the same time, Australia’s ethical responsibility would be to stop uranium mining, and shut down our own little “foot in the nuclear door” the Lucas Heights research reactor.

      A strong reason for not importing radioactive trash is in the dangers posed by the transport of such material.

  2. Mamoo Jungala Says:

    So called ‘stable geology’ for repositories is yet to be determined.
    Agree to leaving it in the ground.
    Dangers of shipping real, however dangers of the current many widespread + nearly overflowing facilities may out-weigh this.

    Hypothetically, when our campaign to shut the nuclear industry down succeeds then one of the compromises way well be Oz taking back what we sent + putting it back where it came from.

    Otherwise + success is probably impossible.

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