The SA government is considering a proposal to import 138,000 tonnes of high-level nuclear waste for storage and eventual disposal somewhere in SA. It is doubtful whether the multi-decade waste import business would be profitable given that tens of billions of dollars would be required to build a deep geological repository and multiple waste stores and repositories.
The proposal is being actively opposed by Aboriginal Traditional Owners across SA. The Aboriginal-led Australian Nuclear Free Alliance is calling for support and for organisations to endorse a statement of opposition posted at www.anfa.org.au/sign-the-declaration
SA economist Professor Richard Blandy says of the plan to import high-level nuclear waste: "We are bequeathing a stream of costs to our successor generations. They will be poorer as a result, and will have reason to curse their forebears for selfishly making themselves better off at their expense. The problem with the high level nuclear waste dump is the inescapable risk of severely adverse outcomes that we might be passing on to tens of thousands of future generations of South Australians. We should think of what we will leave to our descendants – and not do it."
Professor John Veevers from Macquarie University has written in Australian Geologist about the serious public health and environmental risks associated with a high-level nuclear waste repository: "Tonnes of enormously dangerous radioactive waste in the northern hemisphere, 20,000 kms from its destined dump in Australia where it must remain intact for at least 10,000 years. These magnitudes (of tonnage, lethality, distance of transport, and time) entail great inherent risk."