The years of touting by the federal government and the responsible ministers of Kimba in South Australia as the perfect and inarguably superior location for the proposed national radioactive waste management facility have dramatically and quite suddenly disappeared
There is no doubt that the severe flooding caused by the recent heavy rains in South Australia which included the Kimba district is a serious and essential reason for immediately aborting the proposed management facility at Napandee farm near Kimba as the selected facility location
From expert advice it is quite clear that Kimba as a whole - and not just Napandee - is far too dangerous to become the location for the holding of nuclear waste particularly as the results of the present flooding may take up to ten years to overcome without any further flooding
This is especially the case as nuclear isotopes are dispersed
and travel freely in water which can affect and contaminate all the surrounding land for many centuries making it completely unusable
There cannot be any excuse by claiming that this flooding may be a
once in a lifetime unexpected event as there had been extensive previous floods in the Eyre Peninsula over sixty years ago
More importantly the nature of the proposed facility is that it must be a completely safe and competent environment to hold nuclear waste for several centuries which the federal government claims to be the case as part of its planning
The government as the proponent of the Kimba nuclear waste facility cannot deny knowledge of floods - and also fires - as risks for the purposes of the safety requirements for management of nuclear waste in Australia
The advice by overseas experts is that these two major risks are far more pertinent to Australia than other countries with nuclear waste and consequently the regulatory bodies should or must include these risks within the Australian waste management framework and other applicable prescriptions and standards for the long-term management of Australia’s radioactive waste
This must obviously include the storage or disposal of nuclear waste at suitably located and established facilities
l informed ARPANSA some eighteen months ago about the formal inclusion of these risks in its safety codes and the requirement for the long overdue start of the safety case for Kimba but the response was that it was not necessary at that stage
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