Historic Hill End - A Nuclear Waste Storage Facility?

Submitted: Thursday, Nov 26, 2015 at 09:31
ThreadID: 130982 Views:1959 Replies:11 FollowUps:4
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Just in case this went unnoticed I thought it worthwhile posting.

Nuclear Dump Site For Sally's Flat

I get it that in a modern society that produces various levels of nuclear waste, and in Australia this is mostly lower level radioactive waste associated with the medical industry, that it needs to be stored safely and securely.

But surely we can find somewhere in this vast country of ours to store it other than literally on someone’s doorstep. And yes, I guess it will always be on someone’s doorstep, so to speak, but across the road?

For example, we have vast tracts of land that was subjected to nuclear fall-out during the testing of nuclear weapons in the 1950s at Maralinga. I’m not suggesting we should automatically “dump” it here, but perhaps it would be worthy of consideration given there are areas within the Maralinga region that will never be habitable on a permanent basis in a thousand lifetimes...

And for the record, I think it was criminal this land was destroyed by a “colonial power” with no consideration to the traditional owners. But the hands of time can never be turned back.

This will be contentious to some, however, given the indigenous population and traditional owners mostly avoid the area due to the way in which it was treated, is there scope for discussion on storage there given it would provide a source of income for the traditional owners from a land that was literally ruined…

And to be clear – my view point is that the traditional owners have the final say, either way…

Food for thought? Baz – The Landy
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Reply By: Member - mechpete - Thursday, Nov 26, 2015 at 10:35

Thursday, Nov 26, 2015 at 10:35
I think Maralinga would be a good site , well away from civilisation ,
as you said it will never be habitable for humans again .always controlled by Com of Aust
as long as they do it safely I don,t have a problem with it
cheers mechpete
AnswerID: 593136

Reply By: Robin Miller - Thursday, Nov 26, 2015 at 10:44

Thursday, Nov 26, 2015 at 10:44
I don't see why Maralinga general area wouldn't be a good place as well Landy.

But I don't agree with the somewhat nebulous idea of current occupiers as traditional owners having final say.

All of us are and should be subject to laws of the land and occasionlly we are in wrong place at wrong time and our house or land and taken for public good to build freeways etc.

We don't like it and so due process needs to be done and seen to be done , and we have to wear the outcome !
Robin Miller

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AnswerID: 593139

Reply By: garrycol - Thursday, Nov 26, 2015 at 11:10

Thursday, Nov 26, 2015 at 11:10
Wasn't that current list produced from sites nominated by locals in the area.
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Reply By: Member - Leigh (Vic) - Thursday, Nov 26, 2015 at 12:41

Thursday, Nov 26, 2015 at 12:41
The Woomera area is a huge and guarded area that will probably never be returned to anyone with the Commonwealth probably maintaining control for a few generations at least. Why not consider this area with its good road infrastructure. Maralinga road access is not that good and security along the way in is questionable. Concerns about that dreadlock lot!! My two bobs worth.
AnswerID: 593145

Reply By: Danna - Thursday, Nov 26, 2015 at 18:34

Thursday, Nov 26, 2015 at 18:34
How about disposal into disused or unused uranium mines?
We would not be first in the World to dispose it smart way.
So why not to learn how someone else with long mining
and long use tradition do it, in stud try to invent things and in
process ruin even more land.
Cheers Dana
AnswerID: 593155

Reply By: Malcom M - Friday, Nov 27, 2015 at 06:35

Friday, Nov 27, 2015 at 06:35
Mate, if you start storing nuclear waste in the outback then the Chinese won't keep buying the country out from under us.
How very un-Australian of you :)
AnswerID: 593176

Reply By: Member - John and Val - Friday, Nov 27, 2015 at 10:14

Friday, Nov 27, 2015 at 10:14
Hi Baz,
I think there is a bit of confusion about this nuclear waste disposal issue. There are 2 kinds of waste to be put in a safe place. One is low level waste from hospitals, universities etc and the other kind is waste from nuclear reactors. The former is what the Sally's Flat proposal is about - and there are numerous sites around the country, nominated by landholders, with or without consultation with their neighbours. As for being "on someone's doorstep", well that is where most of it is right now, as much of this kind of low level waste is, I believe, stored at Lucas Heights in Sydney. My understanding is that the danger from this kind of waste is similar to the level of background radiation that people living in granite areas are exposed to - granite rocks emit some radiation but it is not considered to be a hazard to life. So imho its not too critical where this waste goes and the criteria for site selection probably have more to do with transport access, long term security and stability rather than concerns about radiation.

Whether Maralinga with its already contaminated areas would be suitable as a long term storage area for higher grade waste is a separate issue. Seems attractive at first glance but then we recall that the whole area lies above limestone rocks with caves and fissures leading off in all directions. Given that limestone is soluble (slowly) I doubt that it would be a good substrate for long term (thousands of years) storage for high grade waste. Given the geological age of continental Australia there must be numerous sites that are geologically stable where such waste could be stored. All that has to be done is solve all the numerous political conundrums associated with this topic.

I think the whole population would need to approve proposals for storage for high level waste, not just local residents whatever their association with the land. And given the level of scientific ignorance that prevails in the broader community I doubt that there is much chance of agreement.

As a side issue I am very uncomfortable judging past events (by "colonial powers") that were done according to the values and practices of times past, by today's standards. As you say, time moves on. No doubt some of the things that we do as best practice today will, in the future, be considered ill advised, inappropriate, stupid or worse.

Thanks though for a stimulating thread topic.

Cheers,

Val.
J and V
"Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted."
- Albert Einstein

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Follow Up By: The Landy - Friday, Nov 27, 2015 at 11:53

Friday, Nov 27, 2015 at 11:53
Hi Val

As indicated, Australia mostly has low level radioactive waste...

My reference on Colonial Powers should perhaps have been clearer.

I think it is always appropriate to judge past events in the context of today's values, if we don't history will simply repeat itself...


Baz...

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Follow Up By: The Landy - Friday, Nov 27, 2015 at 11:59

Friday, Nov 27, 2015 at 11:59
Hi Val


My reference on Colonial Powers could perhaps have been clearer. I was referencing England...

But I think it is always appropriate to judge past events in the context of today's values, if we don't history simply repeats itself...


Baz...
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Reply By: OBJ - Friday, Nov 27, 2015 at 20:32

Friday, Nov 27, 2015 at 20:32
According to my recent trip there, the traditional owners at Maralinga would not be upset if it went there. They don't want the land, it is geographically and geologically stable and close to rail sidings for transportation. Even the local animals bypass it, or walk around the blast sites. So much for our stupid politicians trying to sort this out when there is an answer staring them in the face. I firmly believe that everything we hate about Australia has been given to us by a politician. In Maralinga's case, the traditional owners will have the final say. Thankful for small mercies I suppose.
AnswerID: 593209

Follow Up By: Michael H9 - Saturday, Nov 28, 2015 at 07:44

Saturday, Nov 28, 2015 at 07:44
I think that we've elected every polititian? That means that everything we like about Australia has been given to us by one too. Maybe your glass is half empty? Better swap it for one of the half full ones.... :-)
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Reply By: get outmore - Tuesday, Dec 01, 2015 at 15:55

Tuesday, Dec 01, 2015 at 15:55
low level..... lol... because they say so???
why would you need to bury low level waste 5-7m down completely entombed in concrete?
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Follow Up By: Member - Ian T6 - Wednesday, Dec 02, 2015 at 13:53

Wednesday, Dec 02, 2015 at 13:53
Its called "low level waste" because if they called it "poisonous stuff that will give you cancer" it would be a PR nightmare

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Reply By: Member - Ian T6 - Wednesday, Dec 02, 2015 at 14:01

Wednesday, Dec 02, 2015 at 14:01
Hill end has one good thing going for it as a nuclear dump. Its 2500 kms away from where i live.
A bit selfish of me perhaps

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Reply By: get outmore - Saturday, Dec 05, 2015 at 15:19

Saturday, Dec 05, 2015 at 15:19
do you really think theres a need to bury low level waste over 8m underground?



and completely entome it in cement?
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