THE ARGUMENTS FOR AN INDEPENDENT INQUIRY INTO NUCLEAR WASTE MANAGEMENT IN AUSTRALIA
Radioactive Waste Management in Australia: The Case for an Independent Commission of Inquiry — Detailed paper written by Jim Green (FoE), Nat Wasley (Beyond Nuclear Initiative) and Dave Sweeney (ACF). See also the shorter 2018 paper: Advancing responsible radioactive waste management in Australia.
MISMANAGEMENT OF NUCLEAR WASTE IN AUSTRALIA
Flawed ‘clean-up’ of Maralinga atomic bomb test site
See Australian Map of Nuclear and Uranium Sites for further examples of radioactive waste mismanagement in Australia
THE UNDEMOCRATIC, RACIST NATIONAL RADIOACTIVE WASTE MANAGEMENT ACT
DEFEATED 2015/16 PLAN TO TURN SOUTH AUSTRALIA INTO THE WORLD’S HIGH-LEVEL NUCLEAR WASTE DUMP
Please click through to this webpage
For information on Pangea’s plan to turn Australia into the world’s nuclear waste dump 20-25 years ago, click here.
‘Responsibility overboard: the shocking record of the company shipping nuclear waste to Australia’, Natalie Wasley, 14 August 2018, Online Opinion.
Nuclear transport risks – July 2016 – 18 pages
GLOBAL NUCLEAR WASTE ISSUES
Chemical explosion at WIPP – the only operating deep underground repository in the world.
Please click through to this webpage for more information
HIGH-LEVEL NUCLEAR WASTE FROM PROPOSED NUCLEAR-POWERED SUBMARINES IN AUSTRALIA
Please click through to the nuclear submarines webpage.
DEFEATED PLAN FOR A NATIONAL RADIOACTIVE WASTE DUMP NEAR KIMBA, SA
August 2023: The federal government abandoned the plan for a national nuclear waste dump at Kimba following a Federal Court ruling in favour of the Barngarla Traditional Owners. The Federal Court quashed the declaration of the Kimba dump site on the grounds of ‘apprehended bias’ and ‘pre-judgement’ by the dumb-arse former minister Keith Pitt. For more information see this article: ‘Aboriginal Australians defeat nuclear dump’
October 2022: Briefing paper by David Noonan on radioactive waste inventory: the Kimba dump is for ANSTO waste
April 2022: Briefing paper by David Noonan: ARPANSA confirms intermediate-level nuclear waste storage at Lucas Heights can continue for decades up to the availability of a final disposal facility … which is a much better idea than storing it above-ground on farmland at Kimba, SA.
December 2021: Great new report on the plan for a national nuclear waste dump near Kimba in South Australia, from the Conservation Council of SA.
November 2021: The government formally declared the Kimba site for a national nuclear waste dump, and acquired the dump … but there’s still a long battle ahead! See here for information.
October 2021 update
Legislation passed the federal parliament earlier in 2021 which will likely result in a site near Kimba being formally nominated for a national nuclear waste dump by the end of 2021. See the joint media release from Barngarla Traditional Owners and Kimba farmers here; and see the Friends of the Earth media release here.
However, the nomination will be subject to a judicial challenge by Barngarla Traditional Owners, who are unanimous in their opposition to the proposed nuclear dump.
As of Oct. 2021, the government is undertaking a sham consultation process which it hopes will shield it from adverse findings in a judicial challenge. The Friends of the Earth submission is posted here.
August. 2020 update:
A site near Kimba on the Eyre Peninsula has been selected for a national nuclear waste dump. The local community is divided. Those in favour have been won over by the promise of a $30 million grant and 45 jobs at the proposed dump. The $30 million grant won’t change Kimba’s fortunes given that the nuclear dump will operate for 300 years ‒ it’s peanuts measured over that timeframe. The claim that 45 jobs will be created is a fabrication. When the Howard government tried to impose a dump in SA, they said that no jobs would be created. In recent years, the government claimed 15 jobs, then the number magically tripled last year.
Fifty-five percent of eligible Kimba voters voted in favour of the nuclear dump in a ballot held last year ‒ well short of the 65% benchmark that the government set to establish ‘broad community support’.
Shamefully, the federal government refused a request from Barngarla Traditional Owners, native title holders of the area, to be included in the ballot. So the Barngarla Determination Aboriginal Corporation (BDAC) engaged an independent ballot agent to conduct a confidential postal ballot.
Not a single Barngarla Traditional Owner voted in favour of the dump. BDAC wrote to Mr. Canavan calling on him to abandon the nuclear dump in light of their unanimous opposition, and stating that BDAC will take whatever steps are necessary to stop the dump being imposed on Barngarla Country against their will.
The SA Labor Party argues that Traditional Owners ought to have a right of veto. Deputy Leader of the Opposition Susan Close says that SA Labor are “utterly opposed to the process”, which she described as “appalling”.
Compare that to the federal government, which seems to want to push ahead despite unanimous Aboriginal opposition. The government’s mind-set seems not to have advanced from the ‘Aboriginal natives shall not be counted’ clause in the Constitution Act 1900.
Opposition extends far beyond the Traditional Owners. A 2018 poll found that 55% agreed that “South Australia should stop the Federal Government from building a national nuclear and radioactive waste dump in outback SA” while 35% disagreed. Those who strongly agreed with stopping the dump outnumbered those who strongly disagreed by a factor of three (41:14). A 2015 poll commissioned by the Advertiser found just 15.7% support for a nuclear waste dump.
Read a briefing note by David Noonan (July 2021)
2020 UPDATES ON SA (KIMBA) DUMP PLAN
Friends of the Earth letter sent to all SA Liberal MPs, Feb. 2020, online here.
June 2017 – Click here to read a joint submission opposing plans for a national nuclear waste dump on farming land in Kimba, SA.
PLAN FOR A NATIONAL NUCLEAR WASTE DUMP IN SA – GENERAL INFO
Proposed national nuclear waste dump in SA – Friends of the Earth submission to Senate Inquiry (May 2018)
NT Dump – the thin edge of the wedge (same arguments apply to current – 2018 – dump proposals)
DEFEATED PLAN FOR A NATIONAL RADIOACTIVE WASTE DUMP IN SA’s FLINDERS RANGES
This proposal was abandoned by the federal government in Dec. 2019 following a ballot which found majority local opposition.
SPENT FUEL FROM LUCAS HEIGHTS
ABANDONED PLAN FOR LONG-LIVED INTERMEDIATE-LEVEL RADIOACTIVE WASTE STORE 2001-04
The Howard government abandoned an effort to advance deep underground disposal of long-lived intermediate-level waste in 2004. Since then no effort has been made to advance disposal of intermediate-level waste in Australia (as of March 2023). Information on the Howard government’s ‘National Store Project’ can no longer be found on government websites. Info available from email@example.com
DEFEATED PLAN FOR NATIONAL DUMP AT MUCKATY, NT (2005-14)
NT dump Briefing Paper – February 2011 (PDF) – FoE response to inaccurate federal government briefing to local council/s regarding proposed radioactive waste facility and related transport issues (Word file or read online)
FoE submission to 2010 Senate Inquiry (regarding Muckaty nuclear dump plan and the National Radioactive Waste Management Bill)
DEFEATED PLAN TO DUMP IN SA UNDER HOWARD GOVERNMENT (1998-2004)
Michels Warren and Nuclear Waste Dumping in SA (case study of a PR company spinning for the nuclear industry 1999-2004)
Kupa Piti Kungka Tjuta, Irati Wanti website
Jim Green website archive
For more information, check the radioactive waste section on the links page.