New perspective on nuclear

Kimba residents were give a new perspective on what it is like to live near a nuclear facility when experts from the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO) visited the town this week.

ANSTO Head of Nuclear Services Hef Griffiths and Charles Sturt University Medical Radiation Science Associate Professor Dr Geoff Currie returned to Kimba to discuss radioactive waste handling and management and nuclear medicine respectively.

ANSTO nuclear medicine general manager Mark Moore joined them to explain how nuclear medicine was made and share his personal experience from living close to the Lucas Heights nuclear facility.

They said one of the main community concerns was the perception that would come with having a nuclear waste facility in the area, and especially what it could do to house prices and tourism.

Mr Moore said the Lucas Heights nuclear facility had not had any affect on the community surrounding the facility.

“I live roughly three and a half kilometres from the Lucas Heights facility, which is about 25 kilometres from Sydney CBD, and the houses in the area are still in around the $1 million area and real estate agents are searching for houses to sell,” Mr Moore said.

“Workers all live locally, and their kids either go to the school two and a half kilometres away, or go to the child care at the facility.”

Mr Moore and Mr Griffiths said ANSTO got involved in the local community, through sponsorship and education.

“During the school holidays, we run education clinics, where the local school kids can come and learn about science, by making rockets or cosmetics,” said Mr Griffiths.

“The rockets are my favourite, and the forensic science one is really popular with the kids too,” said Mr Moore.

The 90-day consultation on the potential nuclear waste facility in Kimba district ends on June 21.

The Department of Industry, Innovation and Science’s Kimba Information Centre is open on Tuesdays, 11am to 5pm, and on Wednesdays, 9am to 3pm.