Nuclear waste shipping debacle: no end in sight
A ‘flag of convenience’ vessel registered in Antigua and chartered by a French company arriving in the dead of night to unload Australian nuclear waste returned from France highlights the dangers of transporting nuclear material and is yet more evidence that waste should be securely stored on site, the Australian Greens said today.
“The Australian Government seems determined to undermine public confidence in its handling of spent nuclear fuel,” Australian Greens Acting Leader and Nuclear Issues Spokesperson Senator Scott Ludlam said today.
“Twenty five tonnes of waste was offloaded at Port Kembla, requiring a massive police presence to secure the arrival and transport it back to Lucas Heights. With extraordinary revelations about irregularities in the shipping process, one thing is clear: once the last Australian waste has returned, this practice must stop,” Senator Ludlam said.
“Most alarming is that a ship that failed inspections in the U.S. was used to transport the waste back here. Waste should be kept in the existing location, and we should stop making more of it.
“Particle accelerators can produce the medical isotopes we need more safely and cheaply than a reactor. This is not an industry we need, and the reaction to these transports demonstrate that it’s not an industry the community wants. The government should move to ensure that we do not ever need to undergo these sorts of risks again.