Radioactive waste will be on the Illawarra community’s radar tomorrow (Saturday Dec 5 2015) as trade unionists, environmentalists and local residents gather at Port Kembla to protest and monitor the first shipment of Australian radioactive waste returning from reprocessing in France.
After being unloaded the waste will be transported for storage in a new purpose built facility at the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation’s Lucas Heights reactor site.
The Fire Brigade Employees’ Union (FBEU) still has concerns about the transport and use of nuclear waste, and has been part of these campaigns for decades.
Maritime Union of Australia’s Southern NSW Branch Secretary Garry Keane has confirmed that the MUA does not support the nuclear industry.
The shipment comes as the federal government explores options for a national radioactive waste dump at one of six regional and remote sites across Australia.
The groups organising the community presence at Port Kembla have been active in sustained and successful campaigns with NT Traditional Owners opposing a planned national radioactive waste dump on their lands. Communities at all of the proposed locations have already expressed concern and opposition to this plan. Liberal Government Minister Frydenberg should initiate a public and independent review of both waste production and responsible management options.
French political and environment groups, Greenpeace and the Maritime Union of Australia have all raised significant concerns over safety and capacity of the BBC Shanghai, the ship carrying the waste returning from France, and the nature of the waste.
Please support the community presence in Port Kembla this Saturday 5th December.