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The No Dump Alliance – made up of spokespeople and members from Traditional Owner groups, church and faith groups, trade unions, civil society and environmental groups – was formed in 2016 to fight plans for a high-level international nuclear waste dump in South Australia.
The plan to import nuclear waste was abandoned in 2017 but nuclear dump threats are very much alive. South Australia is now being targeted by the federal government for a national nuclear waste dump. The government is targeting a site called Napandee, near the town of Kimba on the Eyre Peninsula. This proposed nuclear waste dump site is strongly contested by people in the farming community and it is unanimously opposed by Barngarla Traditional Owners.
Now is the time to stand up. South Australians have fought and won nuclear waste battles before. We urge the federal government to abandon plans for a dump in South Australia and instead continue with extended secure interim storage at Lucas Heights. This, coupled with a transparent and evidence-based assessment of all the options is the best way to advance long term responsible radioactive waste management in Australia.
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No nuclear waste on our country
The government wants to establish a national radioactive waste dump (for lower-level nuclear wastes) and above-ground store (for long-lived intermediate-level waste) in Kimba. The intermediate-level waste would be stored there until a permanent disposal site is found. The government hasn’t even begun the process of finding a deep underground disposal site for intermediate-level waste so it would remain at Kimba for decades; indeed the nuclear regulator ARPANSA envisages storage for a century or more.
No convincing argument has been made for a nuclear waste dump anywhere in Australia and we object to the federal government targeting regional South Australia. Most of this waste is currently stored where it is produced, at the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation’s nuclear facility at Lucas Heights in southern Sydney. ANSTO itself has acknowledged that it can manage this waste on-site for decades.
South Australians are being pushed to house toxic waste with no long-term solution proposed or clear case made why it is better to move the waste from Lucas Heights.
We Say NO is a short film bringing together voices from South Australia and beyond to present a clear and united opposition to the Federal government’s proposal for a nuclear waste dump in the State.
Up until December 2019, three sites were being actively considered — Barndioota, near Hawker in the Flinders Ranges, and two sites on farming land near Kimba on the Eyre Peninsula. Following a community ballot in the Flinders Ranges region the government announced that the Flinders Ranges site would not be pursued further. In February 2020 the government announced that the Napandee site at Kimba would be advanced.
Kimba is a productive agricultural region. This is in conflict with the National Health and Medical Research Council’s Code of Practice on radioactive waste which states that radioactive waste disposal sites should have “little or no potential for agriculture”.
Nuclear dumps are illegal in SA under the Nuclear Waste Storage (Prohibition) Act 2000. The import, transport, storage and disposal of these nuclear wastes is prohibited. The Act states:
“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”.
However the federal government plans to ignore or override the SA Nuclear Waste Storage (Prohibition) Act.And the South Australian Marshall Liberal government is turning a blind eye to the federal government’s draconian plans.
The No Dump Alliance calls for an independent inquiry to explore the full range of options to deal with radioactive waste. This should include consideration of the option of keeping waste at ANSTO’s Lucas Heights site, keeping in mind that much of the waste is already securely stored at Lucas Heights (well over 90% measured by radioactivity).
The Federal Govt have denied the Barngarla people, Native Title Holders, the right to have a voice on the radioactive nuclear waste dump on their Country. Excluded from the community vote and not consulted by the Fed govt, the Barngarla people are fighting back!