Northern Territory

Nov 20, 2013

Crikey Clarifier: should nuclear waste be stored at Muckaty Station?

Newly minted NT Senator Nova Peris used her maiden speech to denounce plans to put a nuclear waste dump at Muckaty Station, raising concerns about the impact on indigenous people. Freelance writer Sally Whyte takes a look at the issue.

In her maiden speech last week, the first indigenous woman to be elected to federal Parliament, NT Senator Nova Peris, issued a call to arms over a proposed nuclear waste dump at Muckaty Station. Peris said the NT facility would inflict “profound grief, suffering and loss on Aboriginal people”.


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8 thoughts on “Crikey Clarifier: should nuclear waste be stored at Muckaty Station?

  1. Roger Clifton

    A “radiologist” is a professional dealing with ionising radiation, regardless of its source, whether it is from x-ray machines, isotopes or an active reactor. To call someone a “nuclear radiologist” is Orwellian: the reader is to gather that he is antinuclear, and may also have a day job.

  2. jchercelf

    HAve you heard of Synroc, a synthetic ‘rock’ in which nuclear waste may be kept safely for ‘ever’?? Look it up on Google, as it seems to me to be the answer to how to store waste in geographically stable areas. it is in use overseas apparently.
    Joan Croll

  3. Bo Gainsbourg

    Left out here is that the Muckaty site was opposed by the NT government. Also that there was supposedly a federal scientifically guided process for site selection initially….it didn’t come up with Muckaty as a preferred site or mention it at all. It picked a South Australia site. What fascinates me is all the North Shore and Toorak types droning on that we need a national site and its perfectly safe etc etc…but insisting that it needs to be thousands of kilometres anywhere from their backyards thankyou very much…just in case they are hurt by the… ‘safeness’ presumably. Solution, make any national nuclear waste dump underneath a state or Territory parliament house…then wait till one volunteers so as to demonstrate the …’safety’. But then again…if its ‘safe’, why does their have to be a national suppository (yes I know) at all?

  4. Roger Clifton

    It would help clear thinking if we were to specify what we mean by “waste” each time we use the word.

    If we are talking about used bandages, used rubber gloves etc, perhaps the stuff really isn’t so scary after all.

    Containers and steelwork once used to hold hot isotopes or active reactors could be recycled so that they can once again hold hot isotopes or active reactors. Once-used nuclear fuel is almost entirely recyclable, and perhaps it should be.

    The only essentially consequent result of nuclear energy is the fission products. Seeing as their quantity would be about one gram per person per annum in a fully nuclear society, perhaps that tiny quantity should be buried deep underneath the consuming city.

    That is a heck of a lot more preferable than the same city discovering that it is unable to bury its equivalent ten tonnes per annum of carbon dioxide per person. And that is scary!

  5. Glen

    Muckaty Station “geologically stable” … what a farce. Ever heard of the Tennant Creek earthquake? That was one of Australia’s largest ever, and it happened in a place thought to be completely “geologically stable” at the time.

    Look, it’s just some rubbish. Put it in a dump somewhere. But not in the remote desert. Better somewhere people will pay attention to it.

  6. beachcomber

    Half the waste should be stored in Bob Hawke’s backyard, and the other half in John Howard’s. They are the pair that wanted the bloody stuff dug up in the first place.

  7. wilful

    The aboriginal self-determination issues are important. But, from an engineering/science/physics and risk management perspective, this is all an utter joke. The risk of *anything* happening that would cause the remotest chance of impacts on human health are utterly vanishingly small. It shouldn’t be at Muckaty station because of the risk of skin cancer for workers there, a far greater risk than anything from these products.

    Fear, Uncertainty, Doubt are the main coin of anti-nuclear activists. The risk of cancer and mutations from this sort of waste are far far far far far less than risks that we all take every day.

    Yes, Bo Gainsbourg, I WOULD live near one, no problems, because I’m informed, not ignorant. The only two reasons I wouldn’t would be because of the bloody annoying protesters that would be there all the time, and the loss of property values due to irrationality.

  8. condel

    Put it the Blue Mountains. It’s safe.

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