Nuclear waste for SA – yes or no?

The question of how South Australia deals with nuclear waste disposal is the hot issue.

It will return to the public arena next week with a public lecture hosted by Flinders University and Carnegie Mellon University Australia.

A visiting US expert on nuclear waste, former Obama Administration adviser Dr Allison Macfarlane, will present her views in her first public lecture since arriving in late January to take up the position of Fulbright Distinguished Chair in Applied Public Policy in South Australia.

She says Australia needs a comprehensive long-term policy about procuring a nuclear waste site.

“I have a very strong view about all nuclear waste, that it needs to be stored very deep underground, as quickly as possible,” Professor Macfarlane says.

“Leaving it above ground is by far the more risky option, but that’s exactly what is happening in Australia at present.

There’s not a lot of it, but it needs to be managed much better.

“So, the question is whether SA plans to do something now, or wait until physics changes over a long time – and I think inaction is far worse.”

The current Fulbright Distinguished Chair in Applied Public Policy, a position jointly hosted by Flinders and Carnegie Mellon, says that even if nuclear waste is not imported from other countries as a commercial disposal option, Australia still produces its own low-level nuclear waste through medical processes that needs to be stored in the safest possible site.

Miko Santos

Miko Santos is the founder of Reporti and a NZ/Australia GMA 7 News Correspondent.

Mico has BA in Journalism. He worked as an feature writer/ Journalist for 20 years in the Philippines. Covering big events such as EDSA 2 and 3 and the 2011 Christchurch Killer Earthquake for GMA 7.

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