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
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 https://www.gofundme.com/f/nbp8f8-barngarla-help-us-have-a-say-on-radioactive-waste
“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
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.
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
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.
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!