Archive for the ‘wastes’ Category

Australian government prepared to impose nuclear waste shipments on Whyalla and Port Pirie, South Australia

August 3, 2018

Federal gov. names SA Ports to impose nuclear waste shipments Nuclear Brief (1st August 2018) by David Noonan, Independent Environment Campaigner

Amidst rising controversy, the Federal Industry Department (DIIS) has named proposed Ports in SA that may have to take shipments of irradiated nuclear fuel wastes to go on to a Federal dump site.

DIIS reports (p.179) two intended shipments of reprocessed nuclear fuel wastes into SA within the first 2 years of operations of a proposed National Radioactive Waste Management Facility (NRWMF).

A shipment of nuclear waste is due from Sellafield in UK and a shipment out of Port Kembla is planned from the ANSTO Lucas Heights reactor of nuclear waste received from France in 2015.

After years of secrecy over intended nuclear waste shipments to an SA Port, DIIS has now named Whyalla, Port Pirie, a new Eyre Peninsula commodities port (if built) and even Port Lincoln, as potential nuclear waste ports, in three “Site Characterisation, Technical Reports” released in July.

However, all of these ill-considered plans for nuclear waste ports face an array of serious obstacles

These targeted port communities are denied a say in Minister Canavan’s pending decision on siting a Federal dump in SA, they haven’t been consulted on use of their ports, and are excluded from ‘votes’ in the Hawker & Kimba districts over Aug-Sept on whether or not to locate a NRWMF in those areas.

The Federal gov. is in continued breach of advice of the Nuclear Safety Committee (NSC) to the nuclear regulator ARPANSA (Nov 2016) on the NRWMF, on transparency in decisions, and for:

“The ongoing requirement to clearly and effectively engage all stakeholders, including those along transport routes.” With the NSC stating that: “Such engagement is essential…”

Proposed indefinite above ground storage of nuclear fuel wastes compromises safety, is illegal in SA, and must not be allowed now. ARPANSA states these wastes require isolation for 10 000 years.

This was recognised by the previous SA State Liberal gov. that prohibited the import, transport, storage and disposal of nuclear fuel wastes under the Nuclear Waste Storage (Prohibition) Act 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.”

The new SA State Liberal gov. under the leadership of Premier Marshall has a key responsibility to protect the public interest and to uphold the law in our State. These are fundamentally State issues.

The Howard Federal gov. targeted SA for nuclear dumping over 1998 – 2004 but had to abandon that “National Store Project” & associated shipping and transport of nuclear waste across SA.

This Federal dump plan poses reputational risks and material impacts to the Kimba & Eyre Peninsula agricultural region, to the iconic Flinders Ranges tourism region, and now to targeted Ports in SA.

Nuclear waste can pose serious Accident & Security Risks and Impacts:

“In the event of a major nuclear accident, adverse impacts on the tourism, agriculture and property sectors could potentially be profound.”

SA Nuclear Royal Commission: Tentative Findings, Risks and Challenges, Impacts on other Sectors (Feb 2016, p.28)

Key questions on safety & security in nuclear fuel waste transport and storage remain unanswered (see D Noonan submission to Senate Inquiry, p.10). Nuclear fuel wastes must not be allowed into SA

The UK Nuclear Free Local Authorities “Briefing: Nuclear security concerns – how secure is the UK civil nuclear sector?” (NFLA, May 2016) highlights key security threats including the risks from potential malicious attack on a nuclear waste transport or on a nuclear waste storage site.

NFLA (p.8) cites the views of nuclear engineer Dr John Large on safety as at the heart of its concerns:

“Movement of nuclear materials is inherently risky both in terms of severe accident and terrorist attack. Not all accident scenarios and accident severities can be foreseen; it is only possible to maintain a limited security cordon around the flask and its consignment; … terrorists are able to seek out and exploit vulnerabilities in the transport arrangements and localities on the route; and emergency planning is difficult to maintain over the entire route.”

NFLA Recommendations (p.15) call for real discussion on the aftermath of a nuclear security incident given the major emergency response issues that arise. SA is unprepared for any such consequences.

Any use of SA Ports for nuclear waste poses significant logistical & other constraints:

The DIIS “Site Characterisation, Technical Report – Wallerberdina” for a proposed Federal nuclear dump site near Hawker, Section 4.1 Transport (p.174-186), at “Proximity to Ports” (p.177) states:

“There is potential to have waste shipped from Port Kembla, NSW to key port locations such as Whyalla and Port Pirie. From here waste would either be shipped via road or rail to the site.”

Hundreds of Police were required for security at July nuclear waste shipment out of Port Kembla.

Use of Port Pirie to road would lock down the National Highway to Port Augusta with 130 tonne Nuclear Canisters on over dimension & over-mass special vehicles. To rail would require waste transfer onto national gauge alongside Port Pirie and a second transfer on to State gauge in Port Augusta, with rehabilitation of the disused Cotabena Railway (p.177 & 186), to go on to the Flinders.

Use of the Port of Whyalla to road would require upgrade of Yorkeys Crossing to bypass the Port Augusta Bridge and to try “to avoid occurrences of complete shutdown” (p.181) in Port Augusta.

The Iron Triangle cities of Whyalla, Port Augusta and Port Pirie are now openly targeted for nuclear fuel waste transport and should have a right to refuse these untenable Federal gov. nuclear plans.

Influential Port Lincoln may be able to defend itself: other Port communities shouldn’t have to do so.

The Marshall gov must protect all SA regional communities and reject a Federal nuclear dump in SA

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South Australians unaware of nuclear waste dump planned for Flinders Ranges

July 28, 2018

Susan Craig Fight To Stop Nuclear Waste Dump In Flinders Ranges SA, 24 July 18 

A national radioactive nuclear waste dump is proposed by the Federal Government for Flinders Ranges and Kimba and 99% of South Australian’s are not allowed to vote in the ballot being held next month – 20th August! Only people within a 50km radius of these sites are allowed.
Many South Australian’s do not know this is happening and we are being blindsided. Speak now before it’s too late. You may not have been given an official vote, but you do have a powerful voice. Voice your opinion now and make a noise by contacting your local government representative. Australia has a burgeoning nuclear waste problem and ANSTO at Lucas Heights has the capacity (500 hectares) and the expertise to continue to store Australia’s national nuclear waste for another three decades. This time frame should be used to develop a cohesive and intelligent permanent underground solution and currently our Federal Government has no plans in place to address this. Moving radioactive nuclear waste from one location to another doesn’t make any sense.

• The proposed site is for an ABOVE GROUND temporary facility, stored in above ground bins, 40kms from Wilpena Pound and in our wheat farming land at Kimba.
• Both low level and INTERMEDIATE radioactive waste will be stored.
• INTERMEDIATE level is classified HIGH GRADE in France and has a half- life of TENS OF THOUSANDS OF YEARS. The containers proposed for storage only last for a few hundred years.
• ANSTO have the capacity (500 hectares) and the expertise to continue storage at Lucas Heights for another three decades.
• We should use this time to prepare a PERMANENT UNDERGROUND intelligent and cohesive solution to Australia’s burgeoning nuclear waste.
• Not just move it from one site to another.
Mr. Canavan said and I quote: “It’s perfectly safe”. So why move it?
• ANSTO currently store 10 tonne of intermediate level nuclear waste at Lucas Heights NSW.
• Another similar quantity of intermediate level nuclear waste is arriving from Britain in a few years and proposed for South Australia.
• Current nuclear medicine using isotopes can be replaced with new technology using Cyclotrons which have a half-life of just hours rendering the waste benign. Awesome!
• Many countries around the world are moving to Cyclotrons for nuclear medicine and Australia should investigate this!
*ANSTO are developing a nuclear waste storage system called SYNROC it’s a synthetic casing for nuclear waste. However, this will only be used at LUCAS HEIGHTS and there is no intention of using SYNROC for the storage of nuclear waste proposed for South Australia.
The Federal Government is showing total disregard, disrespect and contempt for the people of South Australia, including the Adnyamathanha community of the Flinders Ranges. https://www.facebook.com/groups/344452605899556/

Holtec canisters for spent nuclear fuel do not meet safety requirements

July 25, 2018
The Holtec spent fuel casks are huge, as can be seen in the photo above, but only one half (1/2) inch thick. And, yet, Kris Pal Singh’s Holtec spent fuel canister-casks lack the continuous monitoring of pressure, temperature and radiation which its thicker German competitor CASTOR has. Holtec’s canisters are welded shut and lack removable lids, so that spent nuclear fuel cannot be checked or removed without destruction of the canister.

Welded shut and with no monitoring systems, India born and raised Kris Singh’s Holtec and France’s Areva spent fuel canisters stand in stark contrast to the German CASTOR which have two removable lids and where a “pressure sensor continuously measures pressure in the gap between the primary and secondary lid“, and the “system is wired to [the] Main Dosimetry Control Room“. There is a temperature sensor for continuous surface temperature monitoring, too. See “Operational Experience of Castor 440/84 Casks in Dukovany NPP” by Stanislav Kuba, 14th International Symposium on the Packaging and Paper # 022 Transportation of Radioactive Materials (PATRAM 2004), Berlin, Germany, September 20-24,

Not only is Holtec NOT the best standard available, but it fails to follow the requirements of the US Nuclear Waste Technical Review Board – that is, it is substandard (below the NWTRB standard, as well as below any  common sense standard).

Nuclear waste dump for Kimba, South Australia, -economic salvation or sacrifice zone?

July 25, 2018

Coalition’s Kimba nuclear dump exploits local area and puts nation at risk https://independentaustralia.net/politics/politics-display/coalitions-kimba-nuclear-dump-exploits-local-area-and-puts-nation-at-risk,11717 Noel Wauchope 23 July 2018,

How is a small rural town to cope with a proposition that may transform the community by providing an economic boon or be a long-term curse?

This is the dilemma facing the towns of Kimba and Hawker, both in the Eyre Peninsula, South Australia.

Individual landowners offered their land to the Turnbull Government for a radioactive waste storage site and the Government’s National RadioactiveWaste Management Facility (NRWMF) team swung into action.

There’s quite a hurry on, about this. Resources Minister Matt Canavan announced that, on 20 August, there will be a local ballot to gauge community support for a nuclear waste dump.

Following that, said Canavan:

“The decision will be made in the second half of this year … We do not want this overlapping with a Federal election.”

Much can be said about this plan, not least that it contravenes South Australian law. One might ask, too, why the inquiry stipulates South Australia when the waste to be stored would have to travel 1,700 km from the Lucas Heights nuclear reactor in Sydney? However, the most notable immediate ramifications concern its impact on Eyre Peninsula rural communities. 

As one local resident put it:

‘Stress levels are through the roof for a lot of people within our communities. People are getting sick, and some are just sick and tired of hearing about it, with many wanting the dump to just go away!’

And in the words of another resident:

‘Before a nuclear waste dump came into our lives, people enjoyed cultural activities together … Today it isn’t like that, a once close family ruined and torn apart all because of a proposed nuclear waste dump that could be put on Adnyamathanha traditional lands, which will destroy our culture and … cause cultural genocide.’

Community division is obvious when one reads the submissions that local and Eyre Peninsula residents have sent to a Senate Committee of Inquiry. The Inquiry called for submissions, stipulating fairly narrow Terms of Reference (TOR), about the ‘Selection process for a national radioactive waste management facility in South Australia’.

Among the 40 supporters of the plan, most are local residents, enthusiastic about hosting the waste dump.

Repeatedly, their submissions include phrases like ‘no negative impacts’ and ‘comfortable and satisfied with the prospect of hosting the proposed nuclear waste facility’ 

 Numbers below in brackets refer to the submission numbers listed on the Senate website.

John Hennessy( No 7), is   “bubbling with enthusiasm” for nuclear waste dump in Hawker. “Hawker has “ a once in a lifetime opportunity”

Jessica Morgan, (no.37) ” I have stood [at ANSTO] next to and touched the canister containing the intermediate level waste with my 9 month old baby in a carrier on my chest, feeling totally confident of my own safety and that of my child.”   

Annie Clements, (No 35) – happy to see nuclear waste dump “powering Kimba community into the future”.

And here we come to another aspect of their support for the waste dump plan. It’s not just that Kimba might be “powered into the future”. It’s the thought that Kimba might not have a future unless it hosts the dump.

Again and again this argument appears in the pro nuclear submissions:

This repository would ensure our towns survival   – Ian Carpenter.( No  3 )

Kimba is struggling, population is declining,… we are in need of a life line …. The possibilities this facility could provide a small failing community is endless  – Jodie Joyce (No 33)

this project  will ensure the long term viability of this small country town – Janice  McInnis, ( No 4 )

it will  save Kimba ” for many more generations to come– Melanie Orman (No 77)

A third, much repeated, theme in these submissions is that this matter concerns only the local community.

This is frequently expressed with the dismissal of the opinions of people outside the immediate area and also, at times, with downright hostility to those who oppose the dump:

‘People outside our area could be influenced by anti-nuclear scare campaigns and wild allegations that have no relevance to this facility.’ ~ Annie Clements (35)

‘Activists and politicians who have been using [this] project as a vehicle for their anti-nuclear stance should not be entitled to any say …’ ~ Heather Baldock (64)

Outsiders do not care if Hawker dies a slow death due to lack of employment etc – Chelsea Haywood (No. 2)

‘We disagree that we need “broader community views” and the need to stretch the boundaries outside of our District Council. What is happening in our Community is exactly that: our community.’  As residents of Kimba for the last 43 years, plus ++ We see no reason that the rest of SA has a right to tell us what we can and can’t have. It is our back yard, not theirs.  ….. . It’s a shame we have to have this inquiry. ~ Margaret and Charlie Milton (34)

These three themes – enthusiasm for the project, distrust of critics,  and resistance to the involvement of outsiders, merge into a kind of strong local patriotism allied to trusting loyalty to the federal government, which has run a huge informational campaign in the towns.

As to the 58 submissions opposing the plan, at least half come from residents of the Eyre Peninsula. As with the rest of the opponents, they do express a variety of arguments, but local submissions are most often concerned with the local area.

Above all, they are dissatisfied with the community consultation process, and the lack of clarity about what is meant by “broad community support”. They want the wider community, Eyre Peninsula, South Australia, to be consulted, and, indeed they see the federal nuclear waste facility as a national issue.    They also do not believe that the project has Indigenous support.

Readers of all 98 submissions can’t fail to notice that, on the whole, these 55 opposing ones have more comprehensive, detailed, and referenced writing, as compared with the pro nuclear ones. And this is certainly true of the very thoughtful and measured arguments of the farmers from the local areas concerned.

These raise some issues which are rarely mentioned on the pro-nuclear side:

  • concern about co-location of low and intermediate level wastes, especially the prospect of stranded “temporary” wastes, with no plan for final disposal;
  • transport dangers; 
  • seismic and flood dangers; 
  • impacts on agricultural markets and tourism; and
  • the fear that this waste dump would lead to a full-scale commercial importation of nuclear waste.

 Kay Fels,  a Flinders Ranges farmer.(No 63) ‘s submission is representative of the concerns of many others:

our stock (sheep and cattle) may also be stigmatised by the proximity of the waste dump and our organic status compromised  Agriculture and tourist industries will  be jeopardised as the clean, green image of the Flinders Ranges is tarnished  .    The sites are located in an area where the underground water table is almost at surface level. This could lead to contamination of the underground water source, so vital to the region. The location is also on a piedmont plain and prone to flooding

Given that the proposal is to store low level waste in an above ground facility, and temporarily store intermediate waste in that same facility, it seems ludicrous that this is even considered given the geological and environmental features and risks involved.

The consultation phase was a tokenism with ANSTO telling us what will be happening, how safe it is and pushing the affirmative – not a true reflection of the community’s views and concerns. The consultative committee is a rubber stamp

Many are strongly sceptical of the consultations held by the Department of Industry Innovation and Science (DIIS), and of the information campaign by Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO) . There is strong criticism of the nomination of Wallerberdina property by non-resident former Liberal Senator Grant Chapman, with close links to the nuclear industry. They also claim hypocrisy of DIIS in biased and misleading information, and dismissal and indeed, exclusion of critics. 

  I am not against having a LLW facility in Australia. I am against the way in which DIIS have gone about finding a quick fix for something that will affect all South Australians for centuries to come.  It should not be up to a small council area to overrule our Prohibition Act 2000, if we are to vote for something of such national importance.”  My problem is a complete lack of trust with DIIS in the way in which they have treated ordinary people from Quorn, Hawker and Kimba – Leon Ashton (No 73)

there are far too many discrepancies in the information, consultation process and long term impacts to have such a facility based at Kimba (or Hawker).  the consultation process has been an insult to the intelligence of rural people.  –  Leanne Lienert (No. 50)

Sue Tulloch (no 32) makes a scathing criticism of the federal nuclear waste dump process and “shambolic “Barndioota Consultative Committee.  


Aboriginal voices are passionate, at the same time as providing factual information and references:

The Senate took a long time to publish this one – perhaps because they recognised it as the most important one? Regina McKenzie  (No 107) , a very well informed traditional indigenous owner of the selected are at Barndioota, focuses on the cultural heritage rights and interests of identified traditional owners and the State/Federal obligations  regarding those rights. The Department of Industry, Innovation and Science (DIIS) has ignored Australia’s commitment to United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. DIIS has poorly assessed Aboriginal cultural heritage, and engaged inappropriate consultants.  –

In this article, I have avoided the wider arguments expressed in the submissions, including the ones from organisations on both sides of the argument.  Through studying 98 submissions, I have tried to get to the feelings of the communities involved – to what it must be like, to be part of a community caught in this dilemma.

 Our biggest worry of this process is the detrimental effect it will have and is already having on the local community as a whole. Along with my family we have never seen an event in this area cause so much angst and division in a once very proud close knit community which was the envy of many other communities.  – Philip Fels (No 84)

The mental health and well-being of communities is completely ignored in this process and this is a serious issue that needs to be addressed in future frameworks and guidelines. This process makes communities feel powerless – no support is given to those with opposing views, it is a process that is heavily favoured towards those pro-nuclear and when the rules keep changing to suit those in favour it really gives people a sense of hopelessness. Chloe Hannan,  Kimba :  (No. 61)

As an outsider, I can’t really gauge this social situation. But, whatever the outcome of the federal government’s plan, Kimba and Hawker communities will never be quite the same again

Opinions against nuclear waste plan for Kimba and Hawker, South Australia

July 20, 2018

The 58 submissions to the Senate, opposing the plan for the process for selecting a nuclear waste dump site come from a variety of organisations and individuals, and include residents of Eyre Peninsula.

These are some points that came up as they answered the Term of Reference, especially  (f) Any related matters. (These submissions also generally gave full answers to the other 5 more narrow Terms of Reference)

Comprehensive criticism of the entire process. (ENUFF  Submission no. 109)    No justification for dump   (Wakelin B No. 23)  Why the assumption it has to be  South Australia.?     (Wauchope N. No.  21)   Flawed process (Hughes No. 57)   (Mitchell No. 25) Opposed to process, not necessarily to dump (Lienert L No. 50)  End the process  (Noonan, D No 31)  Longterm negative effects (Sisters of St Joseph No. 68 )

Nuclear wastes. Wants re-examination of waste plans (CCSA 55 )  Intermediate wastes   (Mitchell 25,  Scott C 14 ) Prelude to commercial waste import? (Name Withheld 90 )  Dangers Waste types ( Noonan, D31  Wauchope N  21 )  Lucas Heights best site  (Taylor A 82 )  stranded wastes (Tulloch S 32)

Issues of dishonesty – lack of trust  (Ashton 73)  Hypocrisy of DIIS   (Bannon 85  Fergusson 106) Biased committees (Scott T 44)  Biased and misleading information given  (Thomas 36 Tiller J 9   Tulloch B 87)  Dishonest process   (Tulloch R 62 ) Conflicts of interest (Cushway  6   Fels P 84  Fergusson 106 )

Illegality of setting up nuclear dump(Gaweda 54 Madigan 26 Scott T 44 Stokes B Tulloch S 32 Walker 20

Aboriginal  issues well beyond the Term of Reference about this. Strongly Aboriginal  In depth on Aboriginal interaction (ATLA No 42  MKenzie K 78  McKenzie R 107) History of Aboriginal interaction (Bangarla 56 )History. (Madigan 26   MKenzie K 78)

Seismic danger (Fels D 76  Thomas 36)
Floods groundwater (Fels K 63 Fels P 84  Thomas 36 )
Tourism   (Name withheld 92 Walker 20 )
Nuclear medicine not needing the dump (MAPW 74 )
Predicts legal action (AHRC 60)  
Mental health issues (Hannan 61)  
Wants a nuclear free world  (Keri 8 ) 
You can read more about these submissions, in the summaries at  https://antinuclear.net/submissions-to-senate-inquiry-18– and also find links to each full submission

A nuclear waste dump is seen as a bonanza, by some citizens in Australia’s small rural towns, Kimba and Hawer

July 18, 2018

The reasons why some Kimba and Hawker residents want a nuclear waste dump are set out in their submissions to the Senate Inquiry  on Selection process for a national radioactive waste management facility in South Australia ,    Almost every one of the the 40 supporting  submissions come from local residents,  several explaining that they have been very thoroughly informed by the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science, including tours of the Lucas Heights nuclear reactor.

These are some points that came up as they answered the Term of Reference, especially  (f) – Any related matters.

Survival of the town as reason to have the dump:  (submissions from Carpenter I, Carpenter D, Clements, Joyce, J, McInnis, J, Name Withheld, no 91, Stewart)

Opposition to misleading information from anti-nuclear activists (Joyce, J, Koch, D, McInnis, J) 

Need for dump for nuclear medicine (DIIS, SA ARPS)

Dump will have no negative impact (Lienert, M and M, Schmidt)

Dump good for local business (Kemp, SACOME)

Dump important for necessary expansion of Lucas Heights, (Heard,B)

Dump as beneficial to Australia,( Koch, K)

Very opposed to outsiders having a say (Hennessy, J)

Need detail on important financial benefits (Kimba District Council)

4 submissions spent time praising DIIS and ANSTO  (Ashworth, P , and Baldock B , Baldock H and ANSTO itself)

Needless to say, these pro nuclear submissions were almost unanimously in favour of the 5 Terms of reference – i.e that the financial compensation was OK,  the project has “broad community support”. indigenous people satisfactorily consulted, Community Benefit Program is fine, and community support should not be sought beyond the local area.

The few pro nuclear submissions that did not address those TORs are from – ANSTO. ORIMA, Orman, M, RDA Far North, SACOME) 

Australia’s nuclear guru Dr Adi Paterson says that only Intermediate Level Nuclear Waste Dump will be economic for Kimba community, South Australia

July 17, 2018

Tim Bickmore  No Nuclear Waste Dump Anywhere in South Australia. 16 July 18 “When I was speaking to Adi Paterson, who’s the CEO of ANSTO, I said, ‘I don’t really favour the intermediate-level waste coming here, because I worry about it becoming stranded waste if the political landscape changes.’

He said: ‘Why wouldn’t you want the intermediate-level waste? Without it, there’s no real economic benefit for the community.‘ So the CEO of ANSTO is telling me that, without the intermediate-level waste—and this will in the long run just be a low-level waste facility—there’s no economic benefit. “https://www.facebook.com/groups/1314655315214929/

The Australian Government’s frenzied plan for a nuclear “sacrifice zone” in Kimba or Hawker

July 15, 2018

Resources Minister Matt Canavan announced that on 20 August, there will be  a ballot to gauge community support for a nuclear waste dump near one of the small towns of Kimba and Hawker, about 450km north of Adelaide. The vote will be confined to the residents in the immediate local area.

“The decision will be made in the second half of this year” said Canavan ““We do not want this overlapping with a federal election”.

Indeed they don’t!  Heck! This nuclear garbage dump idea is a National matter. But Canavan, the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science, ANSTO, ARPANSA, and the rest of the nuclear lobby, are pitching it ONLY to the small farming communities of Kimba and Hawker, and resolutely keeping the rest of us in blissful ignorance.

Trekking Lucas Heights’ highly radioactive nuclear reactor wastes for 1700 km across Australia – to become a “temporary , i.e. stranded waste dump, is a dangerous idea. And unnecessary – Lucas Heights has the necessary space, technology, and expertise.

Nuclear medicine itself,  short-lived hospital radioactive wastes, do not need this. Hypocritically, the government  tells the Kimba and Hawker people that it’s a “medical necessity”  they’ll be Australia’s heroes. AT WHAT PRICE – now and for future generations?

A Senate Inquiry will report on this on 14 August. Too late to make a difference.  Read many brilliant submissions to this Inquiry, posted on this website. Summaries of these, with links to full submissions are at SUBMISSIONS TO SENATE INQUIRY 18.

The Australian Government has no legal base to impose a nuclear waste dump on South Australia

July 4, 2018

The Minister claims a need for this dump is generated by civilian radioisotope production & not from military use – therefore it cannot be legitimised under auspices of the S.51(vi) Defence umbrella.

there is no legal base for the Commonwealth to enforce State acceptance of radioactive waste.

ENuFF-SA Examining Commonwealth Power to Enforce Nuke Dump – part 1, 4th July 2018

SOUTH AUSTRALIAN LAW

  1. The 2015-16 $10+ million South Australian Nuclear Fuel Cycle Royal Commission found that: “The construction or operation of a facility for storage and disposal of nuclear waste, along with the importation or transport of nuclear waste, is unlawful in South Australia”. The amendment or repeal of the Nuclear Waste Storage Facility (Prohibition) Act 2000 (SA) would therefore be required prior to any substantive progress being made in further developing any proposal.
  2. “ 1 The Nuclear Waste Storage Facility (Prohibition) Act 2000 (SA)2 must be amended or repealed PRIOR TO ANY SUBSTANTIVE PROGRESS towards developing a radioactive waste facility in this State. 2.
  3. Portions of The Act which prohibit the establishment of nuclear waste storage facilities include:

S.8 against the construction or operation of such;

• S.9 making it illegal to import or transport nuclear waste, &

• S.13 “No public money to be used to encourage or finance construction or operation of nuclear waste storage facility”

S.13.1 also provides such prohibition “Despite any Act or law to the contrary ….”

  1. The newly elected Liberal Premier Steven Marshall has previously categorically stated: “A Marshall Liberal Government will not support the building of a nuclear waste repository in South Australia.“ 4 : & in answer to a February 2018 Election Survey the South Australian Liberal Party responded: “The Liberal Party supports the current Nuclear Waste Storage Facility (Prohibition) Act 2000“ 5 .
  2. 4. To date (June 2018) the NRWMF-T has expended $40+ million of taxpayers PUBLIC MONEY towards: not only encouraging ‘local communities’ acceptance for a nuclear waste storage facility within South Australia; but also financing active on-site preliminary works deemed essential to constructing said facility. Clearly & brazenly contrary to State Law.
  3. 5. It would appear that the NRWMF-T has failed to investigate nor even consider any implications arising from the current prime facie unlawful nature of their actions. Numerous sham ‘community consultation’ medleys; Taskforce presence in the field, & radiopharma promotions. Myriad ANSTO propaganda tours of Lucas Heights; French des visiteurs; community grants; ORIMA & AECOM contracts, & etc.. costing tens of millions. All done without first establishing any legal foundation.

Legally; fiscally; morally, & administratively negligent

FEDERAL LAW “Commonwealth Legislative Powers”

The Constitution confers the power to make laws on the Commonwealth Parliament. However, the power of the Commonwealth Parliament to make laws is limited to particular subjects. Most of these subjects are listed in sections 51 and 52. They include defence; external affairs; interstate and international trade; taxation; foreign, trading and financial corporations; marriage and divorce; immigration; bankruptcy; and interstate industrial conciliation and arbitration.” 6

  1. Amongst other dubious claims, Minister Canavan would have us believe that Federal Legislation allows him to run roughshod over State Law. But does the Emperor actually wear any clothes?
  2. 7. The previous South Australian Premier Jay Weatherill in 30 January 2018: “ Asked if the state government would pursue a High Court case against the Turnbull government if a national facility were approved in South Australia, Mr Weatherill said: “We would have to explore our options to see what steps can be taken.” “ 7 .
  3. 8. One of those steps would be to query whether Federal Parliament had Constitutional Authority to impose radioactive waste upon a State which had specific laws prohibiting such. Section 51 of the Australian Constitution describes the various Powers of the Federal Parliament, & there are 39 such capacities – none of which relate to things radioactive8 : whilst Section 118 obligates the Commonwealth to recognise & respect the public Acts of the States.
  4. To make things perfectly clear, included as Appendix 1 is the whole Section 51 of the Australian Constitution: we challenge anyone to demonstrate how Canberra can legally impose Commonwealth owned radioactive waste upon any State whose Legislation prohibits such – S.51. (xxvi) actually says that Federal Parliament needs to respect State Legislation. Prime facie there is no legal base for the Commonwealth to enforce State acceptance of radioactive waste.
  5. 10. The knowledge that the Feds don’t have Constitutional Power to dump radioactive waste upon the States is not rocket science & is not a new revelation.
  6. In fact back in the 1950s, when the expansion of the nuclear fission enterprise was seen as rapidly developing technology which Australia should embrace; Canberra took steps toward Constitutional change.
  7. 11. In 1956 Prime Minister Menzies sought to legitimise nationwide Commonwealth regulation of all things nuclear through the establishment of a Joint Parliamentary Committee on Constitutional Review: “The growth of nuclear physics, making possible the application of nuclear energy for practical purposes, is a phenomenon of the present century and alone this would explain the absence of any reference to it in the Commonwealth
  8. Constitution. ….. developments in the use of nuclear energy …. will inevitably …. reveal serious deficiencies in Commonwealth legal power …..“ 9 12. In the Committee’s November 1959 Final Report it categorically stated: “… the totality of constitutional power is insufficient to regulate and promote … the economic development of nuclear energy for all purposes. The power to regulate the use of nuclear energy for industrial or developmental purposes is almost entirely a matter for the States.“ 10
  9. 13. However the “… advice of the Joint Committee on Constitutional Review to amend the Australian Constitution to facilitate the development of a national nuclear industry was not taken up by the Menzies Government, or any subsequent federal administration.“.11
  10. 14. That path to Constitutional amendment failed to progress to a National Referendum because instead of going the whole hog, the Govt of the day apparently assumed it had all the legitimacy it needed thru S.51(vi) ‘Defence of the Realm’ powers12
  11. . 15. Hence the deficit of Commonwealth Power regarding civil & industrial radioactive waste facilities continues to this day. The Minister claims a need for this dump is generated by civilian radioisotope production & not from military use – therefore it cannot be legitimised under auspices of the S.51(vi) Defence umbrella.
  12. 16. The National Radioactive Waste Management Act [NRWMA 2012]13 came into effect on the 4th of April 2012. The objects of the Act are to safely & securely select establish & operate a facility for Commonwealth radioactive waste upon voluntarily nominated land. That Act does not signify ‘Defence’ at all, but relates to ‘….. controlled material within the meaning of the Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Act 1998 that is of domestic origin; ….” 14: which “.. means any natural or artificial material, whether in solid or liquid form, or in the form of a gas or vapour, which emits ionizing radiation spontaneously. “ 15
  13. 17. Minister Canavan does not rely upon Constitutional Defence Powers to assert Federal dominance over the South Australian NWSF(P) 2000 Act: instead The Minister depends upon the NRWMA 2012 Part3 Section 11 ‘Authority to conduct activities’ scaffolded by S.12 ‘Application of State and Territory Laws’
  14. 18. However the Australian Constitution S.52(1) only allows Federal authority “…. over places acquired by the Commonwealth for public purposes “ – voluntarily nominated sites are by definition un-acquired.So any & all actions instigated by the Commonwealth upon the voluntarily nominated sites prior to acquisition are rendered unlawful.
  15. 19. Whilst also, as previously explained, the Australian Constitution S.51(xxv) AND S.118 both prohibit the Federal parliament from over-riding State Law. If the Commonwealth does not have Constitutional Power to over-ride State Laws & foist radioactive waste upon such; then likewise S.51(xxxi) denies lawful ability to acquire property in order to establish any site facilities.

Section 12 of the National Radioactive Waste Management Act 2012 is unConstitutional; whilst Section 11 can only be Constitutional AFTER a site has been acquired by the Commonwealth – an acquisition unsupported by any Constitutional authority. =============================================

1 Scarce, K. p107, SA_Govt, Nuclear Fuel Cycle Royal Commission – Final Report, May 2016

https://s3-ap-southeast-2.amazonaws.com/assets.yoursay.sa.gov.au/production/2017/11/09/03/09/17/3923630b-087f-424b-a039- ac6c12d33211/NFCRC_Final_Report_Web.pdf 2 NWS(P) Act 2000, Parliament of South Australia. http://www8.austlii.edu.au/cgi-bin/viewdb/au/legis/sa/consol_act/nwsfa2000430/

3 Ibid

4 Marshall, S., 15th September 2016 “Nuclear Industry- Our Position” https://www.stevenmarshall.com.au/tags/infrastructure_policy? page=2 NB original whole text has been taken off-line since the 2018 State Election & Marshall now appears to be pro-dump.

5 p11, Conservation Council of S Aust, “SA Election Policy Backgrounder” 03 March 2018https://drive.google.com/file/d/1u_J9W1uxOTVXtQWuIpr8REOXGT68IDkX/view viewed 20/03/18

6 Federal Register of Legislation,’The Constitution’ – Overview, Commonwealth Legislative Powershttps://www.legislation.gov.au/Details/C2005Q00193

7 Owen M., 30 Jan 2018 in ‘The Australian’ https://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/state-politics/jay-weatherill- changes-mind-on-nuclear-dump-ahead-of-election/news-story/a11667e1cfcb443812ef0052bfc6fbef

8 PoA, 09 July 1900, ‘Commonwealth Constitution Section 51’ https://www.aph.gov.au/About_Parliament/Senate/Powers_practice_n_procedures/Constitution/~/link.aspx? _id=AFF6CA564BC3465AA325E73053DED4AA&_z=z viewed 10/03/2018

9 PoA, pp50 – 01 October 1958, para 117-118 ‘Report from the Joint Committee on Constitutional Review’https://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Business/Committees/House_of_Representatives_Committees? url=reports/1958/1958_pp50.pdf

10 PoA, pp108 – 26 November 1959, para 548 ‘Second Report from the Joint Committee on Constitutional Review’ https://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Business/Committees/House_of_Representatives_committees? url=reports/1959/1959_pp108.pdf

11 Yeeles, pp18-20, 19 May 2015 http://nuclearrc.sa.gov.au//app/uploads/2016/03/Richard-Yeeles-19-05-2015.pdf

12 Op cit – PoA pp108 para 547

13 Federal Register of Legislation, Commonwealth Acts April 2012 https://www.legislation.gov.au/Details/C2012A00029

14 Ibid 4 Definitions

15 Federal Register of Legislation ARPANSA 1998 S.13 Definitions http://www8.austlii.edu.au/cgibin/viewdoc/au/legis/cth/consol_act/arpansa1998487/s13.html#definition 3

APPENDIX ONE – EXTRACT FROM THE AUSTRALIAN CONSTITUTION

  1. Legislative powers of the ParliamentThe Parliament shall, subject to this Constitution, have power to make laws for the peace, order, and good government of the Commonwealth with respect to:i trade and commerce with other countries, and among the States;

    ii taxation; but so as not to discriminate between States or parts of States;

    iii bounties on the production or export of goods, but so that such bounties shall be uniform throughout the Commonwealth;

    iv borrowing money on the public credit of the Commonwealth;

    v postal, telegraphic, telephonic, and other like services;

    vi the naval and military defence of the Commonwealth and of the several States, and the control of the forces to execute and maintain the laws of the Commonwealth;

    vii lighthouses, lightships, beacons and buoys; viii astronomical and meteorological observations; ix quarantine; x fisheries in Australian waters beyond territorial limits;

    xi census and statistics;

    xii currency, coinage, and legal tender;

    xiii banking, other than State banking; also State banking extending beyond the limits of the State concerned, the incorporation of banks, and the issue of paper money;

    xiv insurance, other than State insurance; also State insurance extending beyond the limits of the State concerned;

    xv weights and measures;

    xvi bills of exchange and promissory notes;

    xvii bankruptcy and insolvency;

    xviii copyrights, patents of inventions and designs, and trade marks;

    xix naturalization and aliens;

    xx foreign corporations, and trading or financial corporations formed within the limits of the Commonwealth;

    xxi marriage;

    xxii divorce and matrimonial causes; and in relation thereto, parental rights, and the custody and guardianship of infants;

    xxiii invalid and old-age pensions;

    xxiiiA the provision of maternity allowances, widows’ pensions, child endowment, unemployment, pharmaceutical, sickness and hospital benefits, medical and dental services (but not so as to authorize any form of civil conscription), benefits to students and family allowances;

    xxiv the service and execution throughout the Commonwealth of the civil and criminal process and the judgments of the courts of the States;

    xxv the recognition throughout the Commonwealth of the laws, the public Acts and records, and the judicial proceedings of the States;

    xxvi the people of any race for whom it is deemed necessary to make special laws; xxvii immigration and emigration;

    xxviii the influx of criminals;

    xxix external affairs;

    xxx the relations of the Commonwealth with the islands of the Pacific;

    xxxi the acquisition of property on just terms from any State or person for any purpose in respect of which the Parliament has power to make laws;

    xxxii the control of railways with respect to transport for the naval and military purposes of the Commonwealth;

    xxxiii the acquisition, with the consent of a State, of any railways of the State on terms arranged between the Commonwealth and the State;

    xxxiv railway construction and extension in any State with the consent of that State;

    xxxv conciliation and arbitration for the prevention and settlement of industrial disputes extending beyond the limits of any one State;

    xxxvi matters in respect of which this Constitution makes provision until the Parliament otherwise provides;

    xxxvii matters referred to the Parliament of the Commonwealth by the Parliament or Parliaments of any State or States, but so that the law shall extend only to States by whose Parliaments the matter is referred, or which afterwards adopt the law;

    xxxviii the exercise within the Commonwealth, at the request or with the concurrence of the Parliaments of all the States directly concerned, of any power which can at the establishment of this Constitution be exercised only by the Parliament of the United Kingdom or by the Federal Council of Australasia;

    xxxix matters incidental to the execution of any power vested by this Constitution in the Parliament or in either House thereof, or in the Government of the Commonwealth, or in the Federal Judicature, or in any department or officer of the Commonwealth.

    END APPENDIX ONE

 

Donna Johnson: a pro nuclear submission regarding Kimba nuclear waste dump plan

July 2, 2018

Going through the pro nuclear submissions to the Senate Inquiry on Nuclear Waste Dump Site Selection.

(No 27)  Donna Johnson is enthusiastic about the Kimba nuclear waste dump selection process. She very definitely believes that this is a matter for the local community only, not for Eyre Peninsula or the State. She is proud that the community is well informed by the experts from the NRWMF taskforce.  She believes that the process has been fair, that the “right” Aboriginal representatives are consulted, and the 50% plus one is sufficient to amount to broad community support. The project is for the community benefit, and the children’s future. Those who nominated their land did so solely for that reason.

Donna Johnson  Senate Standing Committees on Economics  Subject: Submission on Selection process for a national radioactive waste management facility in South Australia (Submission No 27)  Regarding a) the financial compensation offered to applicants for the acquisition of land under the Nominations of Land Guidelines;   she believes that  compensation offered is appropriate.  She knows the people who nominated  their land, and believes that their offers were made solely for the community benefit.

On (b) community support, She believes that  a 50% plus 1 vote for a site is adequate, and that neighbour support should be ‘factored in’ for the ultimate decision.  While the early surveys were inadequate, Ms Johnson believes that

Australian Electoral Commission poll provided surety, independence and an indisputable final result. I support the AEC vote and that process as a whole; it was beyond reproach. ‘

She is confident that the department has listened to our community and  will  help the community come to an informed decision.

On c) indigenous support, Ms Johnson believes that the process has been satisfactory –

“The Department should keep reaching out to the right spokespeople for the traditional owners to get this information.”

Ms Johnson is concerned for the economic future of the community’s children.  She is enthusiastic  about the plan ;

“The Community Benefits Program is breathing new life into our community and is an appropriate recognition for the journey and commitment that has been made by Kimba and its people in this search that is in the best interests for ALL Australians. We are incredibly fortunate to live in a country with facilities such as ANSTO’s Lucas Heights and its nuclear reactor providing life saving diagnosis and treatment options for vulnerable Australians. I understand more than one in two Australians will benefit from nuclear medicine in their lifetime. Make no mistake, this is a very noble cause with benefits for our entire nation.”

On e) whether wider (Eyre Peninsular or state-wide) community views should be taken into consideration and, if so, how this is occurring or should be occurring;

“I support the AEC vote and that process as a whole. A change of boundaries after an initial voting result would destroy the integrity of the process.

“The boundaries used for that vote were fair, and it is entirely appropriate that those living in our community should be those who get a vote on this. If this potential facility were to come to our District it would have nothing to do with a fisherman in Port Lincoln nor anyone behind a desk in Adelaide. It affects those living in the Kimba District and it is a decision for those people alone.”

Ms Johnson is proud  that “Our community has made a significant investment in learning, researching and meeting experts to form considered and knowledgeable views”  – and compares it to the rest of the State, which has not bothered to learn about the Nuclear Waste Management Facility plan.

There is no grounds for them to now have influence over our choice to vote on an opportunity that can deliver higher sustained employment and important economic diversity for our community.”

  1. f) any other related matters

The result of the AEC vote is clear demonstration of the maturity of the Kimba community.  The education and information that has been provided has increased as we all learned together of the intricacies of radioactive waste and its safe use, transport, storage and disposal. It must be noted the final result showed a 57.4% YES vote for our community to take another step in ths process and receive more information and closer consideration.