Dumping on a Stale Choice of Words

responsible-camperThe preliminary assessment of South Australia’s potential as the custodian of international nuclear waste has revealed vast future revenue – essentially ours for the taking. The magnitude of this opportunity means any calls for rejection will really need to be substantiated with credible, convincing evidence.

The biggest giveaway regarding opposition to the associated facility is the persistent pejorative “dump“, an early success in anti-nuclear labeling.

From the Jacobs Group cost analysis and business case:

The project will support some 600 full time high value operational jobs across all facilities, including a corporate headquarters in Adelaide… the construction project is estimated to generate between 1,500 jobs through the establishment phase, to a peak of 4-5000 full time positions through the initial establishment of the underground facilities in years 2021 through 2025.

This is far more than bulldozing scrap metal.

Picture a dump in your mind’s eye. Now have a look at these established international facilities:

Onkalo

Onkalo is Finland’s deep geological repository, 12 km from Rauma (population 40,000). The magnitude of the hazard it realistically poses is almost funny.

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Zwilag in Switzerland houses separated, final waste as well as dry casks of used nuclear fuel. Make sure to watch the video of how they transport the casks.

Habog in the Netherlands stores separated waste and other HLW forms resulting from reprocessing. It also hosts performance art.

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El Cabril has operated as Spain’s low and intermediate radioactive waste facility since 1992. Its successful model is being considered by Australia for our medical byproducts.

Speaking of nuclear medicine, our own ANSTO is a world leader in radioactive waste immobilisation technology.

If you worked in such state-of-the-art, built-for-purpose facilities, would you appreciate a little accuracy in their description? Let’s dump the pejoratives. Such responsible waste management deserves far better.