Experts visit Kimba

24 April 2017

Department of Industry, Innovation and Science crest

This week experts from Geoscience Australia, and the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO) will be in Kimba to talk about the National Radioactive Waste Management Facility.

James Hardiman, Leader of Waste Operations, is personally involved in the packaging and reprocessing of radioactive waste at ANSTO, and will be in Kimba to talk about how radioactive waste is safely stored and managed.

“At ANSTO we have 60 years’ worth of waste which is largely the by-product of making nuclear medicines needed by on average one in two Australians in their lifetime, and has enabled research for industry,” Mr Hardiman said.

“Radioactive waste, when it’s handled correctly is very safe, and I look forward to talking to the community about the different ways in which we safely manage our waste at ANSTO.”

An expert from Geoscience Australia will be on hand to speak to members of the community about the geological factors that are taken into consideration when assessing if a location is suitable for a nuclear storage facility.

Proposals that are judged suitable for the second phase of the process will undergo a detailed technical assessment that includes an extensive geological analysis of the nominated site and its surrounding areas.

This assessment looks at factors such as seismicity (frequency of earthquakes) and the occurrence of both surface and groundwater.

Head of Resources at the department, Bruce Wilson, said that bringing experts from Geoscience Australia and ANSTO out to the community, is an opportunity for locals to ask specific questions.

“While Kimba is only in early consultation, we can provide detailed information on the geological considerations for such a facility, and the material that would be stored there,” said Mr Wilson.

“The first step of this process is understanding whether there is broad community support in Kimba for the proposal, and if that support is found we would begin looking at all the different technical aspects.

“If that happened, a range of experts would then conduct in-depth, onsite assessments, investigating the parameters of the site and what that would mean for the facility.

“We would also then continue to talk to the community about things like packaging requirements, and the types of wastes that would be allowed or not allowed at facility.

“ANSTO and Geoscience Australia are in Kimba to provide technical support and information for the community, to help them understand the facts about the project and to help inform their decision on if this is the right type of facility and industry for the region.”

Project team members, ANSTO and Geoscience Australia will be available for meetings on Thursday and Friday this week, not the usual Tuesday and Wednesday because of the Anzac Day public holiday.

To make an appointment with the visiting experts, or the project team, email or call 13 28 46.

The Kimba information centre is open normal hours next week - on Tuesday 11am to 5pm, and Wednesday 9am to 3pm.