Final nuclear deadline fast approaches

Voting in Hawker will close on December 12, and a decision could be made by the end of the year.
Voting in Hawker will close on December 12, and a decision could be made by the end of the year.

As the clock winds down for the Flinders Ranges nuclear waste ballot, thousands of people have signed an open letter to the federal government asking it not to proceed with the current plan.

The Australian Conservation Foundation is behind the letter, which has garnered over 5,000 signatures, addressing Federal Minister for Resources senator Matt Canavan.

Nuclear Free Campaigner Dave Sweeney has labelled the process "deeply flawed and irresponsible".

"The current federal waste plan lacks key information of such important things as waste acceptance criteria, who would manage any facility and transport methods and routes," Mr Sweeney said.

"It also fails to make any credible case for doubling handling the long lived intermediate level waste (ILW).

"The vast majority of this ILW waste is currently securely stored above ground at the ANSTO Lucas Heights facility in southern Sydney, but the federal Department want to re-locate this above ground storage in regional SA - pending future disposal via a yet to funded or identified place or process.

"There is a real risk this waste will become stranded at any future SA site."

The Department of Industry, Innovation and Science is encouraging interested people who haven't done so already, to have their say on the proposed National Radioactive Waste Management Facility.

The department is currently consulting with two South Australian communities who live near three potential sites volunteered by landowners - two near Kimba and one near Hawker.

The results of these ballots and surveys, together with public submissions and feedback received elsewhere will be given to Minister Canavan to assist him in deciding whether the facility can be established at one of the potential sites.

General Manager of the National Radioactive Waste Management Facility Taskforce Sam Chard welcomed further submissions before the ballot deadline.

"We encourage people who live near Wallerberdina Station to have their say in the ballot, neighbour and business surveys, and everyone else who's interested to make a submission," Ms Chard said.

"We want as much feedback as possible from people both for and against the proposal, which will inform the decision as to whether the facility can proceed at any of the three sites."