Push for nuclear port no-no

NUCLEAR PORT?: Whyalla resident Andrew Williams says the council should pass a motion against transporting nuclear waste through the town's port.
NUCLEAR PORT?: Whyalla resident Andrew Williams says the council should pass a motion against transporting nuclear waste through the town's port.

A Whyalla resident passionate about the issue of nuclear waste storage has called for the Whyalla City Council to move a motion against transporting nuclear waste through the steel city's port.

Andrew Williams, who has written to the Whyalla News on the issue in the past, delivered a presentation to council during their meeting on Monday.

Mr Williams said the federal government intended to override state laws in order to transport nuclear waste through South Australia, with the Whyalla Port being a "target port" for transportation.

"The federal government have said they will ensure appropriate consultation where there is significant public interest," he said.

"It is necessary for more public interest, especially in Whyalla as Department of Industry reports name the Whyalla Port to take shipments of nuclear fuel wastes."

Mr Williams further outlined his concerns around storing intermediate level nuclear waste (ILW) at a Nuclear Radioactive Waste Management Facility (NRWMF) at the Napandee site near Kimba.

"The intermediate level waste consists of reprocessed spent fuel rods and reactor waste and some legacy waste which must be kept contained and secure from the environment for 10,000 years," he said.

"Storage will require double handling of ILW which is not world's best practice. The issue has been presented as a local economic development opportunity rather than a National Dump which will affect many generations to come."

Whyalla Mayor Clare McLaughlin thanked Mr Williams for his contribution.

Federal Resources Minister Keith Pitt said no specific transport methods or routes for the movement of waste to the NRWMF had been identified.

"It is unlikely that sea transport would be an efficient and effective option for the transport of the majority of radioactive waste," he said.

"The transport of all waste will be subject to independent regulatory approval and oversight by the regulator, ARPANSA and potentially other regulatory bodies.

"Radioactive material has been safely transported around Australia and the world for about 60 years."