Senate Enquiry National Rad Waste Facility

Mara Bonacci, the CCSA’s  Nuclear Waste campaigner writes:

On  6 February 2018, the Senate referred an inquiry into the selection process for a national radioactive waste management facility in South Australia to the Senate Economics Reference Committee for inquiry and report by 14 August 2018.
This is welcome.
Submissions are due by Tuesday 3rd April.
It would be wonderful if you  could write a submission.
The terms of reference can be found here
Some points to consider including are:
  • A single individual or property owner should not be allowed to nominate a site for a nuclear waste dump.
  • The federal government have not made a clear or compelling case that we need a national nuclear waste dump in SA.
  • The consultation process has been deficient and has caused division in our communities.
  • The federal government plan lacks social licence or community consent. Traditional Owners have flagged concerns over cultural heritage issues.
  • The project has not considered the full range of options to best advance responsible radioactive waste management in Australia. Australia’s worst waste should be dealt with better.
In addition, I have set up on online submission system that is pre-filled but can be edited.  I encourage as many people as possible to take a few minutes to complete.
It would be great to get as many submissions to the Senate Standing Committees on Economics as possible so collectively we can end this terrible process and get the federal government to finally take a responsible approach to radioactive waste management.
Please contact me if you have any questions or need any help with this.
thanks and regards,
Mara Bonacci
Nuclear Waste Campaigner
Usual Hours Monday – Wednesday 10am – 3pm
Conservation Council SA
The Joinery / 111 Franklin Street, Adelaide SA 5000
(08) 8223 5155  mobile: 0422 229 970


A summary of the letter from MAPW to Industry Minister Matt Canavan
Medical Association for the Prevention of War (MAPW),                                        23 Feb 18 



1) The process is very divisive. Repeated, highly damaging processes imposed on previously cohesive communities are causing significant harms.

2) Considerable amounts of persistently misleading information have been and continue to be presented to communities. Incorrect and incomplete information does not result in genuine consent.

3) There is a failure to observe international best practice standards for the highly radioactive long lived intermediate level waste (ILW) management. There is no disposal plan whatsoever for ILW, leaving the problem for many future generations.


1) There is a lack of demonstrable “Net benefit”. The proposed 40 year-long expansion of medical isotope production needs genuine cost/benefit analysis to make sure this is not a heavily subsidised product being sold into the global market at the expense of the Australian community both now and in the future. Independent NEA/OECD economic modelling finds only 10-15% cost recovery of isotope manufacture when there is genuine inclusion of all costs.

2) The expansion will create 40 years of significantly increased production of ILW.

3) ANSTO has a narrative of global shortages, yet given falling demand and increasing global supply there is no shortage of Mo99. The NEA/OECD predict a significant oversupply.

4) Again, there is no plan whatsoever for disposal of the additional ILW generated.

Both processes are unacceptably flawed.

Medical Association for the Prevention of War (MAPW)  urges

  • A halt to the current NRWMF process until such time as world’s best practice is followed. There is sufficient capacity at the Lucas Heights facility, once regulatory approvals are met, to store Low Level Waste (LLW) and Intermediate Level Waste  (ILW) well into the next decade.

Nuclear medicine & the National Dump Site

“As health organisations, we are appalled that access to nuclear medical procedures is being used to justify the proposed nuclear waste dump. Most waste from these procedures break down quickly and can be safely disposed of either on site or locally.”
                     — Dr Bill Williams, Medical Association for the Prevention of War

“Linking the need for a centralized radioactive waste storage facility with the production of isotopes for nuclear medicine is misleading. The production of radioactive isotopes for nuclear medicine comprises a small percentage of the output of research reactors. The majority of the waste that is produced in these facilities occurs regardless of the nuclear medicine isotope production.”
                    — Nuclear Radiologist Dr Peter Karamoskos.

Proponents of a national radioactive waste facility (a repository for lower-level wastes and a co-located store for higher-level wastes) claim or imply that nuclear medicine would be jeopardised if the facility does not proceed. There is no basis to such claims – they amount to dishonest scare-mongering.

Proponents claim that most or all of the waste that the federal government wants to dispose of or store at a national repository/store arises from medicine, specifically the production and use of medical radioisotopes. However, measured by radioactivity, the true figure is just 10-20%. Measured by volume, the figure may be within that range or it may be higher than 20% ? but it takes some creative accounting to justify the claim that most or even all of the waste is medical in origin.

In any case, the fact that some waste is of medical origin doesn’t mean that a national repository/store is the best way to manage the waste.

If the plan for a national repository/store does not proceed, medical waste will continue to be stored at the Lucas Heights reactor site operated by the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO) and, in much smaller volumes, at hospitals.… Read more >>

Radioactive Exposure Tour 2018

The Radioactive Exposure Tour is a journey through Australia’s nuclear landscape.

Run by Friends of the Earth, this year’s Tour will take place from Friday 30th March to Sunday 8th April, 2018

We will visit communities in Kimba and the Flinders Ranges in South Australia, who are stopping a radioactive waste dump on their land.

We’ll head for Arabunna country, watch the sunset over Lake Eyre and see the Mound Springs — oases which are fed by the underlying Great Artesian Basin and host unique flora and fauna. Sadly, some of the Mound Springs have been adversely effected or destroyed altogether by the massive water intake of the Olympic Dam mine.

The Tour will visit BHP Billiton’s Olympic Dam uranium mine at Roxby Downs, the largest uranium deposit in the world. The mine is a longstanding environmental and social disaster.

In Woomera, we’ll hear first-hand accounts of the British nuclear bomb tests at Maralinga and Emu Field from nuclear veteran and whistle-blower Avon Hudson. We’ll also stop by Nurrungar, the desert surveillance base that closed in 1999.

Participants get to experience consensus decision making, desert camping and vegetarian cooking in affinity groups while travelling to some of the most beautiful and ecologically significant environments in Australia. If you’re interested in learning about the industry or anti-nuclear campaigning, the “Rad Tour” is an essential start or refresher.

The costs are: concession $600 / waged $800 / solidarity $1000.
$200 deposit option available. Full payment due by 28th Feb 2018.

The Radioactive Exposure Tour is a drug and alcohol-free event. Kids are welcome. Dogs need to stay at home. Tour vehicles only.

If you would like to register your interest in taking part in the 2018 Radioactive Exposure Tour, please complete the form posted at and we will be in touch. Please note that completing the form does not guarantee you a place on the tour.… Read more >>