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Nuclear waste arrival from France drives concerns about NSW dump site

Media Release
Lee Rhiannon 7 Dec 2015

At the weekend twenty five tonnes of nuclear waste arrived at Port Kembla from France on a ship blacklisted by US authorities. Greens NSW Senator Lee Rhiannon says the delivery is worrying news, particularly for residents at Hill End, near Bathurst, an area shortlisted by the federal government as a dumping site for nuclear waste. 

‘Yesterday twenty five tonnes of nuclear waste, classified as ‘high-level’ by French authorities, arrived on our shores at Port Kembla,’ Senator Rhiannon said. 

‘To add insult to injury, the government has chosen a rust bucket flag of convenience ship blacklisted by US authorities to deliver the waste, adding a whole host of threats to our environment, economy and local jobs. 

‘The BBC Shanghai has been blacklisted by US authorities after failing to pass inspections, so why was it judged good enough to transport nuclear waste from France to Australia? 

‘The transport of this dangerous waste increases the likelihood of an accident. Hundreds of police were involved in in transporting the waste to Lucas Heights, a southern Sydney suburb, in the dead of the night. 

‘This delivery will elevate concerns of the Hill End community that any nuclear dump in Australia will not just be for ‘low level’ waste.

‘The Greens accept that storing this waste at Lucas Heights is the ‘least worst’ option. 

‘Nuclear waste is a threat to surrounding communities and the environment for thousands of years. 

‘This is further reminder that the Lucas Heights reactor should be closed. 

'The pharmaceuticals developed from medical isotopes can be produced with particle accelerators. When total costs are considered it is not as expensive as a nuclear reactor and much, much safer,’ Senator Rhiannon said.

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