The Federal Government wants to establish a national radioactive waste dump and above-ground store in South Australia. The site being targeted is called Napandee, near the town of Kimba on the Eyre Peninsula. The majority of this waste is currently stored at the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation’s (ANSTO) nuclear research reactor site south of Sydney.
The site at Napandee is highly contented by people in the farming community and Traditional Owners.
The current push follows failed attempts to impose a radioactive waste facility in SA (1998-2004) and the Northern Territory (2005-2014). The process to establish a facility has been met with opposition in each area and has caused considerable division and distress to affected communities. What is happening now is SA is no different ‒ communities are divided and the issue is causing conflict.
The No Dump Alliance calls for an independent inquiry to explore the full range of options to deal with radioactive waste. This should include consideration of the option of keeping waste at ANSTO's Lucas Heights site, keeping in mind that much of the waste is already securely stored at Lucas Heights (well over 90% measured by radioactivity). Read further into the case for an independent inquiry.
Kimba, Eyre Peninsula
Kimba is a farming community situated on the top of South Australia's Eyre Peninsula. During the original nomination process two sites of the six were shortlisted in the Kimba area. A large number of Kimba locals were strong in opposing the nominations with visits to Canberra, hosting community information sessions, lobbying council and government and creating a petition. The Kimba sites were dropped from the shortlist in 2016 and Wallerberdina in the Flinders Ranges became the only site under consideration.
In 2017 two new sites in the Kimba region were nominated. The government ran a 'community engagement' process to see whether either of these sites are viable to take to the next stage. Napandee emerged from that process and is the only site under consideration as of August 2020.
"We do not want our agricultural region exposed to the risks this nuclear waste presents and we need our leaders to ensure our that state legislation is upheld."
‒ Peter Woolford - Kimba resident and No Radioactive Waste Dump on Agricultural Land in Kimba or SA President
Read article Neighbours say NO!
ALP National Conference: Members of the No Dump Alliance were at the Australian Labor Party's National Conference in Adelaide in December 2018 to encourage the ALP to adopt a responsible radioactive waste management policy. Read more here.
No Dump Alliance meeting statement - April 2018. On 17th April 2018, members of the No Dump Alliance met in Port Augusta. Read the meeting statement here.
Wallerberdina, Flinders Ranges:
In April 2016, the federal government nominated the site at Wallerberdina in the Flinders Ranges as the one preferred site across Australia for a national nuclear waste dump. The dump was (and is) opposed by many Adnyamathanha Traditional Owners, and they were not consulted about the nomination of the site by former Liberal Party politician Grant Chapman. Even Traditional Owners who live next to the proposed dump site at Yappala Station were not consulted.
The proposed dump site is adjacent to the Yappala Indigenous Protected Area. Traditional Owners have been working for many years to register heritage sites in the area with the SA government. The proposed dump site has countless thousands of Aboriginal artefacts. The nominated site is a significant women’s site. Throughout the area are registered cultural heritage sites and places of huge importance to Adnyamathanha people.
The proposed nuclear waste dump site is subject to massive floods, the last one on 20 January 2006. The 2006 flood uprooted huge trees, and an earlier flood destroyed an entire township.
Happily, in 2019 the federal government abandoned its efforts to establish a nuclear dump in the Flinders Ranges.
Radioactive Waste Senate Inquiry: On 6 February 2018, the federal Senate referred an inquiry into the selection process for a national radioactive waste management facility in South Australia to the Senate Economics References Committee for inquiry and report by 14 August 2018. Read the No Dump Alliance submission here. All submissions are available at the government website here.