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.
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.