First a Federal nuclear waste dump for South Australia – then the commercial waste importing plan?

zombie-rising-wastes

It seems there is no way that the federal plan could develop into that grandiose project [the South Australian Nuclear Fuel Chain Royal Commission importing plan].

But the federal nuclear waste project starts the process in some important ways.

Environmentalists had better stop rejoicing and start examining the machinations behind the Federal Government plan.

Exhuming South Australia’s nuclear waste import dump plan, Independent Australia,  7 December 2016,  The SA nuclear waste dump may be dead in the water but a nuclear waste import plan may now be a Federal affair, writes Noel Wauchope.

POLITICAL SUPPORT for South Australia’s nuclear waste import project has collapsed……..

You would think that, with an election coming up in 2018, Jay Weatherill might ponder on the advantages of making a gracious retreat, respecting the remarkably strong recommendation from his own Citizens’ Jury, that the international nuclear dump was not to go ahead “under any circumstances“.

But Jay Weatherill is persisting with the plan, even though it is a bell tolling his political suicide. We can only suspect that Weatherill has some very poor advisers, or that he is beholden to the nuclear lobby.

Let not the anti-nuclear movement rejoice

The plan for importing nuclear waste to South Australia has been several decades in the making and this recent government push has cost at least $13 million. The nuclear lobby is not giving up so easily. The focus now shifts to the plan for a Federal Government nuclear waste dump in Barndioota.

 

It would be naive to think that these two plans are not connected.

Australia has a relatively small but enthusiastic pro-nuclear lobby, led by Ben Heard and Barry Brook. Ben Heard – who has just started a pro-nuclear group seeking charity status – made the connection between the two waste dump plans, explaining why South Australia could take not only Australia’s but also the world’s nuclear waste.

It is a simple, and in a way logical, idea to say that once a place is radioactively polluted, well, why not choose that place to dump more radioactive pollution? ……..what if we got a nuclear waste dump in South Australia? One that started out storing “low level medical” nuclear waste but then got “intermediate level” nuclear waste originally derived from Sydney’s Lucas Heights nuclear reactor? Especially as medical nuclear wastes are so short-lived — radioactivity lasting generally for just hours, or a few days, it would be pretty silly to have a great big repository site, with not enough wastes to fill it.

……..if medical wastes are radioactive for only hours, or a few days, why would they need to be transported for thousands of miles across the continent? They are produced in very small quantities and currently stored near the point of use — in hospitals. (There’s actually a strong argument for the use of non-nuclear cyclotrons to produce these isotopes close to the hospitals, rather than at the centralised nuclear reactor at Lucas Heights in Sydney.)

So, an underground nuclear waste facility for medical wastes, at remote Barndioota, in South Australia, doesn’t seem necessary.

But then there’s the processed nuclear waste returning to Lucas Heights, from France and the UK. The Australian Government describes this as intermediate-level waste that isn’t harmful unless mismanaged. The French Nuclear Safety Authority (ASN) has classified it as high-level (long-life) waste according to standards set by ANDRA, the French national radioactive waste management agency. High-level waste is ANDRA’s most severe nuclear waste classification.

Nuclear Shipment Truth Exposed

It is pretty clear that the purpose of the proposed Barndioota nuclear waste dump is the disposal of Australia’s intermediate to high-level waste returning from overseas…….

It seems there is no way that the federal plan could develop into that grandiose project [the South Australian Nuclear Fuel Chain Royal Commission importing plan].

Federal nuclear waste project to start the process

But the federal nuclear waste project starts the process in some important ways.

First, the plan must navigate several legal difficulties. In 2010, former premier Mike Rann brought in laws to prevent a national nuclear waste dump being placed in South Australia — laws which would have to be repealed before the Federal Government could proceed. Federally, the National Radioactive Waste Management Act 2012 did water down prohibitions on nuclear waste dumping but there are still provisions that have to be overcome, particularly in relation to Aboriginal rights.

Secondly, there is that Aboriginal question. I think that the State and Federal governments are justifiably wary of the opposition they might meet from Indigenous communities — and they are working on that problem. The South Australian Government recently imposed Aboriginal Regional Authorities upon the State’s Indigenous communities. These are being used to fast-track and rubber stamp development over much of the land. They would be integral to Jay Weatherill’s strategy of manufacturing consent……

An unspoken part of the process must surely be the development of the Federal Government’s nuclear waste facility in South Australia, which would conveniently overcome some big hurdles and would make that State look like an attractive place for a nuclear hub.

Environmentalists had better stop rejoicing and start examining the machinations behind the Federal Government plan. https://independentaustralia.net/politics/politics-display/exhuming-south-australias-nuclear-waste-import-dump,9814

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