More jobs for nuclear waste facility

NUCLEAR WASTE: ANSTO CEO Dr Adi Paterson discusses site suitability with engineers at Wallerberdina Station on Friday, May 4. PHOTO: ANSTO.

NUCLEAR WASTE: ANSTO CEO Dr Adi Paterson discusses site suitability with engineers at Wallerberdina Station on Friday, May 4. PHOTO: ANSTO.

The Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO) has announced a boost in employment opportunities at the proposed national radioactive waste management facility.

Previously expected to create 15 jobs, the potential site – to be located in either Kimba or Wallerberdina Station near Hawker – is now expected to generate triple that amount.

ANSTO CEO Dr Adi Paterson believes that more than half of the 45 job opportunities will be filled by local workers.

“The community have been – in my mind and in my experience – responding positively to the potential increased scope of the facility," Dr Paterson said.

“26 of the jobs will be locally trained and locally developed for people from within the community.

“Some other roles will require cadetships and in-service training, while others will be university-trained roles.”

Many of the positions would be created through the storage of intermediate level waste, with nine positions going to waste management technical staff, six for external liaison and 12 for security shift work.

Dr Paterson recently spent time in both Kimba and Hawker, meeting with the project’s Economic Working Groups, visiting the three potential sites and attending the Hawker Community Expo Day.

ANSTO had a stand at the Expo on Friday, May 4, giving representatives the chance to meet with community members, including school children, to discuss the proposed facility and the service it would provide.

Dr Paterson said it was really important to share his nuclear operating knowledge with locals who were both for and against the project. 

“During my visit, I met quite a number of local Adnyamathanha members who strongly support the project and the job and training opportunities that are coming with it,” he said.

“I also got to have a good conversation with some of the people against the proposal, to hear their side, and also share with them some of my knowledge gained through the experience I have of managing radioactive waste.”

Federal Minister for Resources and Northern Australia Matt Canavan recently announced that a postal ballot would commence on August 20 to measure the community support for the three nominated sites.

Community members from the Flinders Ranges and Kimba gathered in Port Augusta last month to stand together against the proposed facility.

The Adnyamathanha Traditional Lands Association also voted unanimously against nuclear waste in Wallerberdina Station.