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Your views: on nuclear waste, Le Cornu site and Holden demise

Reader contributions

Today, readers comment on the role and future of Kimba’s imminent national nuclear waste facility, Le Cornu site development and the loss of Australian carmaking and manufacturing.

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Commenting on the opinion piece: Kimba nuke decision dumps on Indigenous rights

Once again, Sam Chard (Your views, February 19) glosses over some of the less flattering details of the proposed National Radioactive Waste Management Facility.

A lot of focus is given to the permanent disposal of the so-called ‘gloves and gown’ low-level waste.

However, the proposal also includes the temporary above-ground storage of long-lived intermediate level waste.

This waste will not be be safe after a half-life of 30 years (as with the low level waste). In fact, it will not be safe after 100 years when the facility is projected to close.

This long-lived intermediate level waste is not currently ‘spread across 100 sites’. It is housed in one location in a purpose-built facility at Lucas Heights.

What possible advantage is there in double handling this waste from one temporary storage site to another?

The much-lauded funding on offer to indigenous and farming communities is not enough to fund a permanent disposal facility for the long-lived intermediate waste.

There is no future plan, nor funding, to manage this waste in 100 years when the facility closes.

The question that South Australians have to ask is; how our grandchildren are going to manage this waste long after the ‘community development’ fund is gone? – Megan Johnson

The head of the federal government’s radioactive waste task force stated (Your views, February 19) that the planned national waste facility at Kimba is ‘critical to Australian nuclear medicine’, and went on to assert that ‘radioactive waste from nuclear medicine is currently spread over more than 100 locations across the country, at science facilities, universities and hospitals. It needs to be consolidated into a purpose-built facility, where it can be safely managed’.

Sounds reasonable, but is it accurate?

With minor exceptions, Australia’s waste from nuclear medicine is managed on a ‘store and decay’ basis. This means it is secured and stored at the site of use until it has decayed to a point where it can be disposed to local landfill.

This material does not need any federal facility, and continuing access to nuclear medicine is not dependant on the planned national facility.

The facility is related to nuclear medicine in as much as it is planned to house spent nuclear fuel from the Lucas Heights reactor, but not in relation to any need from clinics, Uni’s, hospitals or medical centres that use nuclear medicine.

Perhaps the federal department could step up and list the one hundred sites that currently store radioactive material that will no longer need to do so should a national facility ever be built.

No doubt they will claim they can’t do so because of security considerations, an explanation that sounds better than because there are few or no sites that need this.

Radioactive waste lasts longer than any politician’s promise.

Matt Canavan, who signed off on the contested Kimba plan at the start of this month, is now no longer a Minister – but the waste has up to another 10,000 years to go.

We need to do better than to try and manage half-lives with half-truths. – Dave Sweeney, Australian Conservation Foundation

Commenting on the story: After 20 years, more waiting to see latest LeCornu site development plans

The council went through a significant consultation process to arrive at the Guiding Principles for the development of the Le Cornu site on O’Connell Street.

Significantly the Guiding Principles established that development to the O’Connell Street other street frontages would be two (2) storey to match the height and historic scale of O’Connell Street, with development up to  eight (8) storeys set mid block twelve (12) metres behind with basement parking underneath the site.

Therefore it should be expected that the development will follow these Guiding Principles, which were to be used as the basis for purchase of those vying for the site.

Whilst the financials of the deal naturally need to be dealt with in confidence, there is no reason that the intended designs for the site need be kept from public view, unless they are intended to be released only after the deal is done and dusted. – Sandy Wilkinson, former Adelaide City councillor

Commenting on the opinion piece: Holden demise was inevitable – but shouldn’t have been

Thank you for your story on the demise of Holden, and let’s not forget Ford and Toyota in Australia,

 I agree with all that you have said and still saddens me.

I remember my late dad whom worked at Holden’s for 40 years, purchasing his first 1958 FC Holden and in the 70s he purchased the HZ Holden.

I purchased a GTO Monaro in 2010 and my son purchased one of the last Holden Commodores.

What you also forget to add to the story was the continual strikes by unions in the 60s to the 90s.

Holden had to put up with that, also pushed the prices up, let us not forget that please. Strikes went onto all other industries in these times also pushing the cost of housing up also etc.

Every time this happened it created a lot of frustration for my father and I am sure a lot of other young families that could not see the cost would only be added into the car for every wage increase and innovation towards robotics.

I and many Australians and Governments would like to see lessons learnt for a small population of 23 million that cannot compete with the billions in Asia with such low wages.

 How about bring car manufacturing back with tariff protection, innovation investment deal with Government, and a 55% minimum Australian ownership in the company.

Australians are going to become consumers with increasing unemployment into the future, with dependancy on other nations. 

We have created this problem. Everybody knows this but no one does anything. – Steve Barilla

Those that do not learn from history, are doomed to repeat it

We need to learn from events and use that knowledge to try and ensure we do not make the same mistakes again.

Far easier to have expensive royal commissions and inter departmental enquiries and blame the previous government, I am afraid. – Graeme Crook

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