Letters to the Editor

New jobs did pass pub test

I write in response to a number of incorrect statements made by Dr Margaret Beavis in ‘Great news or too good to be true?, Eyre Peninsula Tribune, June 7 2018.

Unfortunately this letter drags out some tired old chestnuts that have long since been dismissed.

The National Radioactive Waste Management Facility (NRWMF) will create 45 jobs and a brand new industry, as advised by experts from ANSTO based on 60 years of managing waste, and similar facilities in France and Spain.

Central to the advice is an entire organisation structure, which has been publically released and is available at www.radioactivewaste.gov.au. You can count the 45 jobs in it.

I was at the pub when ANSTO’s chief executive officer, Dr Adi Paterson, announced the Facility will create 45 jobs, and I can confirm it absolutely passed the pub test with flying colours.

Staff at our taskforce are making a genuine effort to provide communities near Kimba and Wallerberdina Station with the information they need to make a decision on if they want to host this new industry.

While we will ignore the name calling, the statement that our staff are dopey, and questions around trust, the taskforce will not ignore false claims.

On that note, please again see the information below in response to Dr Beavis’ points:

Nuclear medicine is made in nuclear reactors. There is no other technical or commercial way to make many of them, and 550,000 doses of nuclear medicine go to Australian patients each year.

No waste will be accepted unless it meets strict waste acceptance criteria that ensure the waste is solid, contains nothing that can leak, and it is packaged and conditioned appropriately.

There is already an independent parliamentary inquiry underway into the selection process for a NRWMF in South Australia, and the findings of it are scheduled to be known before the 20 August vote commences.

Contrary to Dr Beavis’s repeated assertions, we have always said that 85 per cent of the current and future waste stream from ANSTO is directly linked to the production of that nuclear medicine.

The suburb is Barden Ridge not Baden Ridge, and its name change from Lucas Heights, as is the case in many suburbs in Sydney, was driven by real estate agents. House prices there have risen 37 per cent in the past five years.

The local mayor, Carmelo Pesce, recently visited Kimba and Hawker to explain how valued ANSTO is in his area.

The facility will store intermediate level waste for a few decades, until a separate underground facility is established in a different location for the permanent disposal of intermediate level waste.

The process to find a location for a NRWMF has been developed thoughtfully, with recognised experts and academics, and enjoys bipartisan support.

The communities near the nominated sites at Kimba and Wallerberdina Station are being consulted after they said they want to have the conversation about hosting this type of industry.

This is a serious consideration for each community and they deserve facts and evidence-based information on which to base their decision, not misinformation and cheap name-calling.


Principal Advisor

National Radioactive Waste Management Taskforce

Letters to the editor

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