Government Set To Bury Reactor Problem

July 26, 2002

Despite the discovery of a second earthquake fault line under the new reactor site in Sydney, the Federal Government is pushing ahead with controversial plans to dump the reactorís waste in South Australia. Science Minister Peter McGauran today released the draft Environmental Impact Statement for the National Radioactive Waste Repository. National environment group Friends of the Earth has condemned the move as ill conceived and ignores significant community and South Australian government opposition.

"The Federal Government knows that without somewhere to dump radioactive waste, Sydney's new nuclear reactor is on shaky ground", said Friends of the Earth nuclear campaigner Bruce Thompson.

The government needs a waste disposal plan to facilitate the construction of a new nuclear reactor at the Lucas Heights facility in suburban Sydney. Over 75% of radioactive waste each year for the next 40 years would come from a new reactor. The existing reactor, to be switched off in 2005 would also be dismantled and dumped at the proposed site near Woomera in South Australia.

The people of South Australia and communities along potential transportation routes have strongly and consistently rejected Federal Government plans for location of the waste dump in South Australia. Aboriginal communities in the region have consistently opposed their land being used as a dumping ground.

The newly elected ALP State Government is backing the sentiment the government is extending legislation to ban the transport or disposal of all radioactive waste entering the state.

"The government may be pushing on but with overwhelming opposition its plan may be the only thing that gets buried in South Australia." said Mr Thompson

For further information contact:

Bruce Thompson
Nuclear Campaigner
Mob: 0417 318 368