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About the dump

The federal government wants to establish a national radioactive waste dump (for lower-level nuclear wastes) and above-ground store (for ‘interim’ storage of long-lived intermediate-level waste) in South Australia. The site being targeted is called Napandee, near the town of Kimba on the Eyre Peninsula. The majority of this waste is currently stored at the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation’s (ANSTO) nuclear research reactor site south of Sydney.

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).

Read further into the case for an independent inquiry.

Why we oppose the dump

Anti-nuclear symbol
Anti-nuclear symbol
Barngarla Traditional Owners are unanimous in their opposition

Aboriginal communities in South Australia endured British nuclear weapons testing in the 1950s and 1960s at Emu Field and Maralinga and continue to suffer health and social impacts from these tests today.  A nuclear waste dump would be a permanent imposition on country, people, laws, environment and culture. From Elders in the communities to young people now speaking out, generations after generations have said NO to nuclear waste dumps.

The proposed nuclear dump at Kimba is unanimously opposed by Barngarla Traditional Owners. The Morrison government excluded Traditional Owners from a ‘community ballot’. So the Barngarla Determination Aboriginal Corporation engaged the Australian Election Company to conduct a separate ballot which revealed unanimous opposition among Traditional Owners. The ballot of Traditional Owners was ignored by the federal government.

The Morrison government also tried to prevent Traditional Owners (and others) from launching a judicial review of the nomination of the site. Thankfully, Labor and crossbench Senators stopped that from happening.

The government is likely to formally nominate the Kimba site in late 2021 and a judicial challenge will then be launched. If you can donate to help Barngarla Traditional Owners with their legal challenge, please visit

“It remains shocking and saddening that in the 21st Century, First Nations people would have to fight for the right to vote in Australia and that the Federal Government would deliberately remove judicial oversight of its actions in circumstances where the Human Rights Committee, a bipartisan committee no less, has considered the process to locate the NRWMF flawed.” — Barngarla Determination Aboriginal Corporation letter, 2020

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Anti-nuclear symbol
Farming land is no place for a nuclear waste dump!

Kimba is a farming community and one of the many objections to the site is that the National Health and Medical Research Council’s ‘Code of Practice for Near-Surface Disposal of Radioactive Waste in Australia’ states that “the site for the facility should be located in a region which has no known significant natural resources, including potentially valuable mineral deposits, and which has little or no potential for agriculture or outdoor recreational use”.

Due to the government’s bribes and its never-ending campaign of misinformation, just over half of eligible voters in Kimba supported the proposed nuclear dump in the government’s rigged ‘community ballot’. Opposition is strong and determined.

For more information see the facebook group No Radioactive Waste Facility for Kimba District.

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Anti-nuclear symbol
Public Health & Environmental Risks

We have a responsibility to preserve the health and safety of all South Australians and our environment. There is no ‘safe’ level of exposure to ionising radiation.

The history of nuclear waste is a history of leaks, spills, transport accidents, chemical explosions, and fires. That’s why the National Health and Medical Research Council states that farming land should not be the site of a nuclear waste dump.

For more information see: Mismanagement of nuclear waste in Australia and globally

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Anti-nuclear symbol
Dumping on democracy

The Morrison government excluded Traditional Owners from a ‘community ballot’. It rigged the boundaries of the ballot to exclude many other people with a legitimate interest. It tried to amend federal legislation to prevent a judicial challenge to the nomination of the site.

The proposed nuclear dump is illegal under the SA 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”.

Sadly, the federal government is evidently willing to ignore or override the SA legislation, and as of Oct. 2021 that Marshall SA government refuses to take a stand to enforce the SA legislation. The Marshall government prefers to side with the federal Coalition rather than to stand up for South Australians.

Anti-nuclear symbol
Anti-nuclear symbol

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 south of Sydney.ANSTO itself has acknowledged that it can manage this waste on-site for decades, and the viability of this option was confirmed by the 2021 Public Works Committee inquiry of the Federal Parliament.

The current push follows failed attempts to impose a radioactive waste facility in SA (1998-2004) and the Northern Territory (2005-2014). The process to establish a facility has been met with opposition in each area, and every time has been defeated by First Nations and community resistance!

July 14th, 2004
Irati Wanti- the poison, leave it
After a six-year battle, the federal government abandoned plans to impose a national nuclear waste dump in central SA in 2004. The campaign was led by senior Aboriginal women − the Kupa Piti Kungka Tjuta − many of them victims of the British atomic bomb tests half a century ago.
Kunga Tjuta Aboriginal woman holding one hand up to the sky and holding the Aboriginal flag
July 14th, 2004
Pic by Dominic O'Brien. Traditional owners from Muckaty, near Tennant Creek, NT come to Melbourne for legal meetings about their federal court case against a nuclear waste dump on their country. L to R Posing infront of a billboard in Northcote which reads "He won't listen to us, but he asnwers to you. Tell Minister Martin Ferguson to stop his plans for a radioactive waste dump in the NT." are Gladys Brown, Mark Lane, Jeannie Sambo, Dianne Stokes and Doris Kelly.
June 2014
Keep the poison out of Muckaty
After abandoning plans for a national dump in SA in 2004, the former Howard federal government announced in 2005 that it would pursue three sites in the Northern Territory, passing legislation to override NT government opposition. It was clear that Muckaty was the preferred site, with the government ignoring clear opposition from Warlmanpa and other Traditional Owners. In June 2014, half way through federal court proceedings launched by Traditional Owners, the federal government agreed to not further pursue the site.
June 2014
Dec 2019
Wallerberdina, Flinders Ranges
For years the government pursued the Wallerberdina site in the Flinders Ranges. The dump was opposed by many Adnyamathanha Traditional Owners, who were not consulted about the nomination of the site. In December 2019, it was announced that the Wallerberdina site would no longer be considered for a national nuclear waste facility!
Photo of three Adnyamathanha women
Dec 2019
Anti-nuclear forum participants, Port Augusta 2015
SA as the world's nuclear waste dump? No thanks!
In 2015, the South Australian government established a Nuclear Fuel Cycle Royal Commission. This led to plans to import 138,000 tonnes of high-level nuclear waste (spent nuclear fuel from power reactors) and 390,000 cubic metres of intermediate-level waste as a money-making venture. The SA government established a Citizens’ Jury in late 2016, comprising 350 South Australians. Two-thirds of the Citizens’ Jury voted ‘no’. The nuclear dump plan quickly collapsed.

Check out our resources page for videos, reports, posters, fact sheets and other materials we can use to stop the radioactive dump in South Australia.