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Australia’s Dept of Industry kept terrorist and other dangers secret from communities selected to host nuclear wastes

Risk of terrorism at radioactive waste site kept secret from residents near earmarked sites, Jade Gailberger, Federal Political Reporter, The Advertiser February 24,
The risk of terrorist activity at a radioactive waste site, including the removal of drums for use in a “dirty bomb”, has been kept secret from residents near two sites earmarked for a new national dump.
As the communities of Hawker and Kimba remain divided on the site selection for a new waste site, documents obtained under Freedom of Information laws reveal the Defence Department identified a potential risk of terrorist activity at a dump at Woomera.
The revelation has cemented the security concerns of residents, who say they have been ignored by Government officials.

The now closed Koolymilka dump, situated on Defence land at Woomera, was licensed for temporary radioactive waste storage but has not taken new material since 2010.

An emergency response plan for the site, which still houses waste that is anticipated to be transferred to a national facility, details scenarios that may affect it including:

    • TERRORISTS removing drums to make a “dirty bomb”.
    • MISSILE and aircraft strikes, fire, flood or a storm in Woomera that could damage the building and cause contamination if drums ruptured.
    • CIVILIAN protest activity.

Defence has said it has no responsibility to inform the public of the risks because the new waste dump is an Industry Department project.

Kimba farmer Peter Woolford, who is opposed to radioactive waste storage on agricultural land, said security, terrorism and fire concerns at a national site had been raised but “fobbed off” by officials who claimed it “would be safe”.
“The (Industry) Department continually says it is going to be open and transparent but you have to obtain FOI documents to get the full story,” he said. “It’s an issue that the department should be … explaining.”

Centre Alliance Senator Rex Patrick said communities had been denied information needed to make an informed decision about a dump in their region.
At a Senate estimates hearing last week, Mr Patrick asked if the Industry Department had briefed the communities about potential terrorism. Industry Minister Matt Canavan said: “I have never been provided with any advice that this is at all a risk … this has never been raised as an issue”.
The Industry Department said the new dump would pose “no security or safety risk to the community” and “significant detail” on safety and security had been made public.
The Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation said 14 of 45 jobs at the new dump would be security.

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February 25, 2019 - Posted by | AUSTRALIA, secrets,lies and civil liberties, wastes

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