Published by ABC news
By Sara Tomevska – 18 OCT 2022
The federal government is facing questions over how it will dispose of highly-radioactive waste produced by Australia’s future nuclear-powered submarine fleet, as concerns about a controversial nuclear dump in outback South Australia grow.
- The federal government chose a site near Kimba for its nuclear waste site in 2021
- Locals are now concerned high-level nuclear defence waste could be stored at the site
- There are two legal challenges underway to block the site from going ahead
After 40 years of searching, the federal government last year announced it had chosen Napandee, a 211-hectare property near the town of Kimba, to consolidate Australia’s low-and-intermediate nuclear waste.
The vast majority of the waste stored near Kimba will come from Australia’s nuclear medicine program.
But last June, the federal parliament passed a range of amendments to the National Radioactive Waste Management Act.
One of the changes allows defence waste to be stored at the site too.
Fourth generation wheat farmer Terry Schmucker has long opposed the dump, fearing the site could lead to contamination.
“As a farmer have become connected to the land and I’ve come to realise how precious topsoil and agricultural land are,” he said.
He said the changes to legislation had added to his anxiety.
“I always expected that the dump was the thin end of the wedge … but it’s disappointing that the government hasn’t come straight out and said ‘this is how it is’,” he said.