Letters to the Editor

A voluntary process in Kimba

I write in response to ‘How is Kimba the only site for dump?’ Eyre Peninsula Tribune, Thursday, November 16, to address some of Mr Wakelin’s points and questions.

Firstly I’d like to address the volunteer process that is underway.

We are consulting in Kimba because that is what the people of Kimba told us they want us to do.

The call for nominations was opened to landowners across Australia, and three – two in Kimba and one at Wallerberdina Station – who volunteered their land, have a community that is broadly supportive of continuing the discussion on those nominations.

Secondly, on why the waste cannot be stored at the Lucas Heights campus of the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO).

The waste stored in Lucas Heights represents just under half of Australia’s low level radioactive waste.

The remainder is spread over more than 100 locations across the country, including hospitals and places like the CSIRO, and suburban Sydney is not the right place to consolidate the waste because of all the competing land uses in the area.

Further the facility we are designing would require 100 hectares, whereas the entire Lucas Heights campus is only 70 hectares in size (with more than 80 buildings already on it).

And the independent nuclear regulator has mandated ANSTO can only temporarily store its own waste.

Thirdly on radioactive waste management in Australia.

The low level waste that would be permanently stored at the National Radioactive Waste Management Facility, around 4250m3 of it, needs some 100 or more years to decay to a level of radioactivity that would enable it to be disposed of conventionally.

Right now at ANSTO, the low level waste storage facility is almost full.

Intermediate level waste will be temporarily stored at the National Radioactive Waste Management Facility, likely for several decades, until a permanent and separate facility is established for it.

Australia does not produce high level waste – the spent fuel that was sent to France is not high level waste, and the reprocessed material that returned is classified as intermediate level waste.

Yes, the national facility could be located a long way from anywhere as Mr Wakelin suggests. But then a community would also lose access to the substantial long-term economic opportunities it presents.

Through its establishment, the facility will offer stable jobs and income as well as other flow-on benefits, while being safe for the environment and the community that supports it.

A single, safe facility, built on land that has been volunteered by a landowner, has met technical suitability criteria, and is broadly supported by the surrounding community is what is required by the regulator, and is what this process is designed to deliver.

BRUCE WILSON

Department of Industry, Innovation and Science head of resources

Button club fundraiser

The winners of the Franklin Harbour Button Club annual raffle were: first prize: Cameron Thompson; second prize: Jedda; third prize: Vanessa Wiseman; fourth prize: Flea; fifth prize: Daven Wagner; sixth prize: Marge Rehn; seventh prize: Gavin Jones.

The club raised $600 through the raffle. 

MARGE REHN

On behalf of the Franklin Harbour Button Club

Letters to the editor

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