Archive for the ‘South Australia’ Category

Nuclear waste dump for South Australia? Deafening silence by politicians and journalists

March 16, 2018

MOSS, No Nuclear Waste Dump Anywhere in South Australia

16 Mar 18 You could be forgiven for thinking that even the journalists are too afraid to ask this question, the silence has been deafening.

“What is each parties position when it comes to defending the South Australian Nuclear Waste Storage (Prohibition) Act 2000?”

The single most important issue in the history of South Australia, as it has significant impact on our future generations, has been ignored by all parties as an election issue. South Australia has a law prohibiting the development of a nuclear waste dump, yet the Federal Government is currently making plans to override it and build a nuclear waste facility in the heart of our prime farming land in Kimba, South Australia and also the Flinders Ranges only 40km from Wilpena Pound. Which party will uphold this law and why hasn’t any party put it on the agenda for this election. Please don’t suggest it’s a Federal issue, because it’s not. A nuclear waste dump for South Australia is breaking one of our own existing laws so it is very much a State Government issue.

We heard Nick XenophonSteven Marshall and Jay Weatherill on the ABC Adelaidethis morning and thought some hard hitting questions would be asked but instead heard a continuation of the “Cat Fight” we have been hearing for some time now. I’m thinking we need another Laurie Oaks.

Nuclear Waste Storage (Prohibition) Act 2000

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7 News Adelaide 9 News Adelaide Ten Eyewitness News Adelaide A Current Affair 60 Minutes Australia Wilpena Pound Resort – Flinders Ranges, SA No Dump Alliance No Nuclear Waste Dump in Flinders Ranges Nuclear Free Adelaide – No Nukes HereFlinders Local Action Group: FLAGDr Helen Caldicott

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South Australia: political parties and nuclear waste dumping

March 15, 2018

South Australia election: this state must NOT become a national nuclear garbage dump

March 5, 2018

Where are South Australia’s political leaders on this? Hiding?  –   with the exception of The Greens, sweeping the nuclear waste issue under the carpet!

South Australia – uniquely beautiful, and with a proud history. – IT MUST NOT BECOME A NATIONAL NUCLEAR GARBAGE DUMP

Yet this is the Federal Government’s plan –  to transport Lucas Heights so-called “Intermediate Level Nuclear Wastes” for thousands of kilometres across this great continent, – past cities, villages, rivers , bridges – to be placed on agricultural land, near Aboriginal historic sites. And to be placed so-called “temporarily”, to become STRANDED WASTES. There is no plan for eventual deep permanent disposal.

The Federal government calls this “medical” wastes. Yet the vast bulk of medical radioisotopes have short half lives –   a few hours to a few days. So much more sensible to store those wastes close to the point of use.

The Australian government agreed in the 1950s to the principle that nuclear wastes should be stored close to where they are produced.  (NOT 2000km away!)

And – they’re telling us that this  is not a National issue, not a State issue, not even a Regional issue.

Heck – the decision is just up to a few greedy white Australians to offer to host the dump – and to ANSTO to bribe a few locals, and to the local Aboriginal community to be riven with anxiety over this

Book: How South Australians Won the Campaign Against an International High-level Nuclear Waste Dump

February 10, 2018

8 Feb 18 Three years ago today SA Premier Jay Weatherill announced a Royal Commission into the nuclear industry and a major community campaign against plans for an international high level radioactive waste dump began.

The No Dump Alliance (NDA) has today released a book about this campaign. To view the book, click here. ‘Standing Strong’ covers the key issues championed by Aboriginal and civil society groups opposed to the plan including the lack of Traditional Owner consent, dubious economics, the risks to people and the environment and the impact on future generations.

The book shows how South Australians hit the streets, organised community meetings, got involved online, signed postcards, attended information sessions, door-knocked MP’s and breathed a sigh of relief in June 2017 when the Premier conceded that the plan was “dead” and that his government would not pursue the plan.

“This book documents how our community said no to the threat of radioactive waste,” said Yankunytjatjara woman and NDA spokesperson Karina Lester.  We know nuclear is not the answer for our lands and people, we have always said no. It is important that all politicians get the clear message that nuclear waste and nuclear risk is not wanted in SA.”

Today’s launch and anniversary comes amid escalating efforts to oppose Canberra’s plan to store and dump federal radioactive waste in regional SA.

The NDA has joined with communities in both the Flinders Ranges and Eyre Peninsula in welcoming recent comments from Premier Weatherill against future nuclear waste plans. The Premier has said that the government will consider legal action against the federal government to stop the attempt to impose a national nuclear waste dump in SA. The NDA also welcomes the successful move by NXT Senator Rex Patrick, with Labor and Greens support, to establish a Senate Inquiry into the planned national nuclear waste dump.

“Over the past three years a risky plan to import global radioactive waste was clearly defeated”, said nuclear campaigner and NDA spokesperson Dave Sweeney. “This was an important and comprehensive community victory.”

“Today the challenge is to convince Canberra to start treating radioactive waste responsibly and the SA community respectfully because SA is simply too good to waste.”

‘Standing Strong’ is dedicated to the life and work of Yami Lester – Yankunytjatjara Elder and Land Rights activist who sadly passed away in July 2017.

The No Dump Alliance will continue its work on nuclear issues in South Australia.

South Australian opinion polls consistently show rejection of nuclear waste dumping

January 14, 2018

Now illegal for South Australian govt to spend money to promote nuclear waste importing

November 29, 2017

29 Nov 17, Today the Lower House of the SA Parliament passed my Greens Private Members Bill to remove the clause in the Nuclear Waste Storage Facility (Prohibition) Act 2000 that allowed the Government to spend public money on spruiking the benefits of an international high-level nuclear waste dump in SA.

That means that this will now become South Australian law as it has passed both Houses of the SA Parliament.

The Government will no longer be able to spend public money on pursuing an international nuclear waste dump.

With the focus now on fighting the Turnbull Federal Government’s plans for an intermediate-level nuclear waste dump in Kimba or the Flinders Ranges, it’s important to show your opposition to these plans. Come along to the “Don’t Dump on SA Rally” at 11am this Saturday, 2 December 2017 on the steps of Parliament House.

I will be speaking at the rally, outlining the Greens position on this important issue.

The Greens stand with the people of South Australia who choose a nuclear-free future for our State.

South Australian couple welcome nuclear waste: have no idea of its radioactive and long lived toxicity

August 2, 2017
 
L-R ANSTO’s Chief Nuclear Officer Hef Griffiths; Michelle Rayner; Brett Rayner   with the most radioactive waste on site at ANSTO:
Steve Dale Fight To Stop Nuclear Waste Dump In Flinders Ranges SA    The container pictured contains 15 Petabecquerels of radioactivity. If the walls weren’t 20cm thick solid steel it would kill any who stood too close for too long. Estimates are around 20 Petabecquerels of Cesium-137 contaminated the land and sea around Fukushima. There’s enough radioactivity in that high level waste container to Fukushima all the farmland, fisheries and tourism around Kimba. more https://www.facebook.com/groups/344452605899556/

South Australian couple Brett and Michelle Rayner thrilled at thought of hosting nuclear waste dump on their land

August 2, 2017

Last Friday, landowners who volunteered a site for the National Radioactive Waste Management Facility made a trip to Australia’s home of nuclear science, the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO).

Brett and Michelle Rayner, who volunteered part of their property for consultation on the national facility, toured ANSTO, meeting with ANSTO’s CEO and the local Mayor.

Brett said that the experience showed him that the waste was even safer than he thought.

“I was originally against the proposal, but after attending the community meetings I got the information and could see that there are no safety risks and there is opportunity for our community,” he said

“Based on that I volunteered my land, but coming to ANSTO and seeing this operation in person has really confirmed for me that this waste can and is being safely managed,” he said.

Being able to walk up to the intermediate level waste and touch the container it’s stored in, and to hear and see the different ways that the waste is treated to make it safe, was amazing.

“There is so much more done with this one reactor than I even imagined, so it was great to be able to come, see the way things are done here, and ask all your questions.”

Michelle said that she really enjoyed the opportunity to come and see the reality of what waste storage looks like.

“What’s done at ANSTO is just mind-blowing, and what stood out is the wide variety of research that goes on here, that people maybe don’t realise the huge contribution nuclear science makes.”

Michelle said that she really enjoyed the opportunity to come and see the reality of what waste storage looks like.

“It has been extremely informative, it’s really opened our eyes to how safe the waste is – in many ways it is no scarier than a garbage bin,” she said.

“What’s done at ANSTO is just mind-blowing, and what stood out is the wide variety of research that goes on here, that people maybe don’t realise the huge contribution nuclear science makes.”

Senator Scott Ludlam’s very inconvenient questions on Australian government’s nuclear waste plan

June 13, 2017

Assuming that the long-lived intermediate-level stuff does go to the sites that you are busy characterising at the moment, how long is it envisaged that it actually stays there before it gets taken somewhere else?

Mr B Wilson: We cannot give a definitive answer on that because we have not commenced a process to identify a permanent disposal solution for the long-lived intermediate-level waste—

Senator LUDLAM: Ouch!

if the really dangerous intermediate-level stuff is to be stored there you cannot tell them how long it is meant to be there for

so we kind of do not really know what is going on there or how long it is meant to be there for.

ECONOMICS LEGISLATION COMMITTEE, Department of Industry – RADIOACTIVE WASTE  1st June 2017

 Full Transcript here: http://parlinfo.aph.gov.au/parlInfo/download/committees/estimate/e3ddf88b-3e9c-4546-9d90-8f646689a98c/toc_pdf/Economics%20Legislation%20Committee_2017_06_01_5134.pdf;fileType=application%2Fpdf

Senator Canavan: I have been to Hawker and I am going there again tomorrow, and I would like to put on record my thanks to many in the Hawker community who engage in this process. Some have certainly changed their mind as they have come to have more understanding of it. I think you have probably been to Lucas Heights, and it I think it makes a big difference to people when they see it. There is a lot of misinformation spread about this, and we are trying to engage with people in a genuine way in good faith to give them the information to make informed decisions.

Senator LUDLAM: Who is spreading this information, Senator Canavan?

Senator Canavan: I hear it from time to time. I do not have any particular allegations to make about individual groups here, but you do hear lots of information from time to time about the potential danger of this material. But, of course, as you would probably know, much of the low-level waste is stored safely at Lucas Heights, a place where people go to and from work every day. 

Senator LUDLAM: That begs the question of why it needs to move. ..….

Senator LUDLAM: Staying in South Australia: has there been any consideration at all—this is for the department or the minister, whoever wants to take this one on—of the tension between the proposed national radioactive waste facility and the existing South Australian legislation, which would be the Nuclear Waste Storage Facility (Prohibition) Act 2000? The tension between the fact that your entire project is presently illegal under South Australian law: what is being done about that?

Mr B Wilson: We are certainly aware of the South Australian prohibition under their law. However, the National Radioactive Waste Management Act that we operate under overrides South Australian law. 

Senator LUDLAM: And that is it? You are just going to squash them? Or are there discussions progressing with the South Australian government?….

Senator LUDLAM: Is the department, or you, Senator Canavan, or any of the federal agencies or other actors in communication with the South Australian government environment or heritage departments, or representatives of any body, actually, in relation to the tension between the two acts?

Senator Canavan: I have raised it with the South Australian government. They have indicated that they may seek to make changes. I am not aware of the status of that at the moment. Obviously, they have their own process, which is a separate to ours, on radioactive waste. Certainly, the issue has been raised. Mr Wilson is also right that we are confident that is not a barrier to this project. But Mr Wilson will be giving you that.

Mr B Wilson: We engage—I would have to characterise it as infrequently—with the South Australian government. It is more in the line of updating where we are. We have not had any recent engagements. They are certainly very well aware of the prohibitions under their law about what the South Australian government and its officials can do in this space….

When I said that the National Radioactive Waste Management Act overrides South Australian law, that is the fact. But what we are trying to do in the development of this project is to develop it and act in a way that is consistent with requirements under other South Australian legislation. For instance, in terms of Indigenous heritage protection and other aspects. While we are not necessarily bound by those laws we want to act in a way that is consistent with them.

Senator LUDLAM: With waste that is as dangerous as this, I am very glad to hear it! Is the department still accepting site nominations?

Senator Canavan: The government remains open to further nominations, as we announced on selecting the Hawker site last year. But the ones we have announced are those that we are proceeding with at this stage.

Senator LUDLAM: Wallerberdina and two at Kimba. (more…)

Australian govt plans imposing nuclear waste on South Australian rural community

May 29, 2017

28 May 2017, Submission by David Noonan, B.Sc., M.Env.St.  To:Senator The Hon Matthew Canavan  RE: Proposed Federal government imposition onto community in South Australia of an illegal “100 year” Store for ANSTO’s “10 000 year” irradiated Nuclear Fuel Wastes.

Storage of nuclear wastes affects the rights, interests and safety of all South Australians and is prohibited in our State under the Nuclear Waste Storage (Prohibition) Act 2000.

Proposed imposition of ANSTO reactor nuclear wastes is a major public interest concern in SA and detracts from public trust and confidence in the Federal government, in ARPANSA and in ANSTO.

The National Radioactive Waste Management Facility (NRWMF) comprises two co-located waste management facilities: an above ground 100 year Store for wastes that ARPANSA states require isolation for 10 000 years, AND a Disposal Facility for wastes requiring isolation for up to 300 years.

This submission focuses on the proposed imposition of the illegal Store & consequences thereof.

The Store is primarily for ANSTO irradiated Nuclear Fuel Wastes (NFW) and other existing and proposed reactor wastes, with only minor projected future arising’s of Intermediate Level Wastes (ILW) from States & Territories or from other Commonwealth agencies.

ARPANSA’s CEO (May 2015) has formally considered the proposed NRWMF Store and stated:

This plan will have the provision for ILW storage above ground for approximately 100 years.”

This indefinite storage plan compromises safety in importing nuclear waste to SA without a waste disposal capacity or even a requisite program for disposal of NFW and ILW.

ARPANSA’s Radiation Health and Safety Advisory Council (April 2010) has provided formal advice which concluded: “that Australia’s current policy of indefinite storage for intermediate level waste does not appear to be consistent with International best practice.”

The import, transport, storage and disposal of ANSTO irradiated Nuclear Fuel Wastes is illegal in SA and was prohibited under the leadership of Liberal Premier John Olsen in 2000:

“The Objects of this Act are to protect the health, safety and welfare of the people of South Australia and to protect the environment in which they live by prohibiting the establishment of certain nuclear waste storage facilities in this State”

Since April 2016 the NRWMF project has exclusively targeted community and environment in SA in an attempt to again impose an illegal Store for ANSTO’s irradiated Nuclear Fuel Waste in our State. 2

The Minister’s release “Kimba 90-day consultation begins”(20 March 2017) invited submissions on potential approval under the National Radioactive Waste Management Act 2012 of two nominated sites near Kimba for assessment as potential sites for the proposed NRWM Facility.

This is in-parallel with the Federal government targeting the iconic Flinders Ranges on the country of the Adnyamathanha people in a serious threat to their human rights and cultural interests.

These are fundamentally State level public interest issues and represent a multi-generational threat to community in SA: including intended Federal requisition of an as yet unnamed SA port for imposition of decades of irradiated Nuclear Fuel Wastes imports, along with affected stakeholders on transport routes, in addition to the rights & interests of community around a potential Store site.

The Federal government has unacceptably failed to take up the recent Advice of the ARPANSA Nuclear Safety Committee (4 Nov 2016) for transparency and for the essential “ongoing requirement to clearly and effectively engage all stakeholders, including those along transport routes”.

This Store also exposes SA to unresolved security and potential terrorist risks in shipping, transport and indefinite above ground storage of irradiated Nuclear Fuel Wastes and other reactor wastes.

However, Lucas Heights is Australia’s best placed institution and facility to responsibly manage ANSTO’s Nuclear Fuel Wastes and can do so through-out the operating period of the Opal reactor.

An “Interim Waste Store” built at Lucas Heights in 2015 has a design life of 40 years and an approved purpose to take both the Nuclear Fuel Waste from France (NFW received Dec. 2015) and NFW to be received from the UK in circa 2020. The ARPANSA license for this Store “is not time limited” and has Contingency options to retain these NFW’s at ANSTO “until the availability of a final disposal option”.

The policy agenda to impose a NFW Store in SA is a flawed, unnecessary, contested and unsafe plan.

A broad public interest campaign protected SA rights and interests from prior Federal government attempts to impose nuclear waste facilities onto our State over 1998 to 2004 – and can do so again.

That “National Store Project” was abandoned – just as this NRWMF Store will have to be set aside.

Further, the Federal government’s flawed policy agenda for imposition of nuclear waste effectively precludes a long term resolution to Australia’s “low level” radioactive waste responsibilities.

The Minister has an obligation to learn the lessons from experience in failure of prior projects in Australia and internationally and not to deny or override key public interest community concerns.

My background includes experience as an Australian Conservation Foundation (ACF) Campaigner over 1996 to 2011 based in Adelaide.