Australian Shire might host nuclear reactor, but they object to hosting its wastes

The people of Sutherland Shire call on the government to address the long-term future of nuclear waste associated with the continued operation of the ANSTO reactor and increased waste production associated with the new nuclear medicine centre.’

‘‘The continued transportation of intermediate level radioactive waste to Lucas Heights in the form of reprocessed fuel represents an unnecessary risk to the surrounding residents and communities.’’.

Mayor reacts to ANSTO licence for new nuclear medicine facility at Lucas Heights  St George and Sutherland Shire Leader Oct. 4, 2013, .The Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency (ARPANSA) has issued a licence to the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation to prepare a site for the ANSTO Nuclear Medicine Molybdenum-99 Facility at Lucas Heights.

The move prompted Sutherland Shire mayor Steve Simpson to renew the council’s calls for the federal government to address the problem of long-term management of radioactive waste from the Lucas Heights centre and establish a national nuclear waste repository as priority.

‘‘The Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency (ARPANSA) has announced it has granted a licence for ANSTO to increase the production of medical isotopes,  which brings to the fore, the dire need for a permanent nuclear storage centre,’’ Cr Simpson said……..

A Synroc waste treatment plant – the first of its kind in the world – and which would be built to treat waste generated by the new centre, is still under review.

If approved the plant would solidify the liquid waste and make it transportable.

‘‘The repository needs to be built now,’’ Cr Simpson said.

‘‘For too long, the government has ignored the outstanding problems of nuclear waste management.

‘‘The people of Sutherland Shire call on the government to address the long-term future of nuclear waste associated with the continued operation of the ANSTO reactor and increased waste production associated with the new nuclear medicine centre.”

Cr Simpson said the lack of a repository had prompted ANSTO to request approval to construct an interim storage centre at its Lucas Heights site.

‘‘Reprocessed fuel will be returned to Australia from France in 2015; other shipments of reprocessed and conditioned fuel will follow in subsequent years,” he said.

‘‘We are concerned that in the absence of a national repository, not only will the 2015 shipment be sent to ANSTO but subsequent shipments will be sent to Lucas Heights for storage, which is not a suitable site for a radioactive waste repository.

‘‘The continued transportation of intermediate level radioactive waste to Lucas Heights in the form of reprocessed fuel represents an unnecessary risk to the surrounding residents and communities.’’…….http://www.theleader.com.au/story/1821045/mayor-reacts-to-ansto-licence-for-new-nuclear-medicine-facility-at-lucas-heights/?cs=1507

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