Julie Bishop and the Abbott government Want More Nuclear Power Stations and Uranium Waste Dumps in Australia.
With nuclear power stations across the globe, deciding where to store nuclear waste safely is a priority that seems to have slipped under the media radar for awhile now. However, now that MP Ian Macfarlane has re-introduced plans for a nuclear waste dump in NT after changing the original location for the dump on Aboriginal land at Muckaty station, it seems more than likely that the government will settle on using a pastoral station.
A pastoral station with stored nuclear waste below it? What if the storage leaks? How are we to know how high the chances of this happening are? There are no figures, and a rough indication of the likelihood is not enough to ease anxiety.
Firstly, information as to the details of how the waste will be stored and where it will be stored on one of these stations is not readily available to the public; problem number one. Secondly, keeping this dump on a property full of livestock that will eventually be available as meat for consumers to purchase in supermarkets is undeniably a problem. Farmers have agreed that the benefits financially from creating this dump will outweigh the 'low-risk', but is that good enough? Although cattle would not be raised directly on the location where the dump was, who is to say how far away a location would need to be to be safe from contamination if there were any issues?
The waste that is to be stored initially in the dump is waste that Australia shipped off the France and the UK in the 90's, and is nuclear waste from the Lucas Heights reactor in Sydney. Our country legally has to accept the waste back from France and the UK, because the agreement between countries about storing the waste involved returning it to Australia in 2015. This 14 tonnes of waste is to be shipped from Europe to Australia in stainless steel.
There will be 28 containers of nuclear waste transported.
We are legally bound to accept the waste back into the country, and so it is obviously vital we have a safe place in which to store it. I hate the idea that this has become a reality- that we have no choice but to store the waste somewhere in Australia- but the other issue is that once this dump is installed, it will quickly become an area of revenue for the country to accept waste from other countries and the financial gain is already being discussed between land-owners willing to offer a space for the dump. Therefore, economically it appears to be positive.
The fact is, the waste has to be returned and stored here. However, the details of how this waste will be stored is unclear.
The details of how long this waste will be stored in the one place untouched is also unclear. The details of how this area will be guarded and secured is unclear.
Ian Macfarlane, consider this petition an inquiry from the people of Australia into finding the details of nuclear waste storage. We want input into the location and security of the storage facility and to have an opinion we need information.
The ABC has covered articles here for further information on the plans proposed by Ian Macfarlane:
julie bishop re-introducing the idea of nuclear in aus; keeping things corporate.
3 Dec 2014 — I haven't really been keeping this petition updated for awhile. when signatures slowed down, I sort of forgot about it for a bit.
there have been a few news items recently about julie bishop discussing nuclear power in parliament as a 'sustainable' option for australia's power in the future.
although this issue is not directly linked with the nuclear waste dump in NT, there is a very strong correlation here; once the dump is built, nuclear power becomes a much more viable option for australia. we no longer have to ship our waste off to other nations.
do we really want to dive into an updated version of the coal industry, where corporate interest in uranium drives the country, and power is still unsustainable?