New management body for nuclear dump

MOVING FORWARD: The federal government will be establishing an agency to manage the nuclear dump in Kimba from Adelaide. Credit: AAP.
MOVING FORWARD: The federal government will be establishing an agency to manage the nuclear dump in Kimba from Adelaide. Credit: AAP.

The federal government's National Radioactive Waste Management Facility (NRWMF) planned for Kimba will be managed by a new agency based in Adelaide, as the government accelerate their plans for the facility.

The Australian Radioactive Waste Agency (ARWA) will be responsible for all functions of NRWMF including engagement with the Kimba community.

A satellite office will also be established near the nuclear dump on framing property in Kimba, according to Federal Resources Minister Keith Pitt.

Legislation to establish the dump has already passed federal parliament's lower house and is before a Senate committee after the location was selected earlier this year.

In a statement released today, Minister Pitt said the ARWA would be responsible for all stages of the design, construction, licencing applications and operation of the facility, working in close partnership with Australia's Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANTSO).

"A single agency ensures a dedicated focus on managing Australia's radioactive waste in accordance with domestic and international regulations and best practice.

"The fact it is independent of existing waste holders will give assurance, particularly noting its role in developing and enforcing the future waste acceptance criteria for material proposed for the site."

Member for Grey Rowan Ramsey and Member for Stuart Dan van Holst Pellekaan both welcomed the establishment of the new agency, which will create 35 new jobs.

Mr van Holst Pellekaan claimed Kimba had 'clearly expressed it's willingness to be the host community' for the nuclear dump.

However Friends of the Earth nuclear campaigner Jim Green disputed this, saying only a narrow majority support for the facility (61 per cent) was demonstrated in the Kimba community ballot.

"If the results of the Barngarla ballot are included with the ballot of local Kimba residents (and out-of-town ratepayers), the overall level of support falls to just 43.8% of eligible voters (452/824 for the Kimba ballot," he said.

"'Locating the Australian Radioactive Waste Agency in Adelaide is a cynical attempt to present the strongly contested nuclear waste dump as a done deal."

Nuclear campaigner for the Australian Conservation Foundation Dave Sweeney also spoke out against the move, saying it was 'absurd' to establish a new federal agency for a proposal still under active Senate review.

"This new agency appears to have been set up to rubber stamp and maintain momentum for the Federal Government's deeply flawed and contested radioactive waste facility," he said.