Port Lincoln a possible port for waste transport

The Department of Innovation, Industry and Science says there will be no discussion on whether ports, including in Port Lincoln, will have nuclear waste material move through them until a storage site has been chosen.

AECOM Australia prepared site characterisation technical reports for the department for each of the proposed sites for the National Radioactive Waste Management Facility.

For the site reports for Lyndhurst and Napandee, near Kimba, it discusses the potential for waste to be shipped from Port Kembla, New South Wales, to key ports including Port Lincoln, Port Pirie and Whyalla.

It also details the potential for a new commodities port in the upper Spencer Gulf to be used to transport waste to either Lyndhurst or Napandee.

The report details Port Lincoln’s potential to utilise rail to transport the waste from the port, but would be subject to third party restrictions due to the railway being privately owned.

Despite these report findings, department head of resources Bruce Wilson said no transport routes had been locked in and would not be discussed until the storage site itself was determined.

“Our initial focus will be on getting approval to build the site, then identify potential transport routes,” he said.

“We will consult the communities as required when we identify waste routes.”

Mr Wilson said there would also be a small number of waste shipments that would go through, with about four to five identified in the next 40 years.

He said the low to intermediate waste that would be transported would be safely secured and would meet the standards set by the Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Authority.

Regional Development Australia Whyalla and Eyre Peninsula economic development manager Peter Scott said the organisation would work closely with the department should a transport route through Eyre Peninsula be identified so a consultation plan could be developed for all affected communities.