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Nukes Dump/Space Industry « Previous | |Next »
February 6, 2003

The story on the nuclear waste dump in SA continues to break. The angle now is the conflict between the needs of the nascent space industry in the Woomera Prohibited area and the Commonwealth's proposal to build a radioactive waste dump next door to the missile testing range.

What is being sacrificed by the Commonwealth in pursuing this nuke dump is the possibility of SA's regional development being partly clustered around a space industry. SA's regional growoth is to be sacrificed.

Rebecca DiGirolamo writing in The Australian here states that the space industry has concerns. These concerns undermine the claims by Peter McGauran, the federal Science Minsiter, that future space projects would not be affected by the location of the nuke dump at site 52a.

One of the space industries is National Aerospace Laboratory of Japan. NAL have invested $6 million in upgrading the infrastructure in the Woomera Prohibited Area, and they want to use the area until 2005. NAL's tests, which involve firing a massive rocket carrying a model jet, are part of a Japanese government-funded project to develop a supersonic passenger jet.

NAL is quoted Rebecca as saying that the boundary of the proposed nuclear repository---site 52a---is less than 1km from it plans to land a model jet in trials in 2002 and 2003. Kimo Sakata, NAL's project director, said that the repository was too close to their landing area and added that the landing area could not be easily changed.

And Allan Paull of the University of Queensland said that their HyShot project, which tests high-speed scram jets in the Woomera Protected Area, would be hindered by the federal government's nuke dump proposal.

There is a bright space industry future in South Australia. For instance, the Japanese Institute of Space and Astronautical Science plan to use Woomera to recover a small re-entry capsule containing sample material from a distant asteroid. NASA may test the future X-38 prototype crew return vehicle for the International Space Station

It all makes you wonder. Should not the federal government be facilitating the development of a nascent space industry, rather than trying to close it down by placing obstacles in its way.

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 5:16 PM | | Comments (3)


Are you a strictly no dumps man altogether, or simply concerned about the location of a dump? ie you just want to see it moved a bit further away from the Space facilities on economic grounds.

1. the location is wrong---

2. the justiifcation is false: its the cheap option disguised as sciencecoupled to accept scientific authority.

2. the way the EIS process has been handled by the Federal wrong. The submission are not public and some of the concerns raised (eg., those of Defence are not addressed).

3.I support the SA Government's 'not in our backyard position' because it opens the door to medium level nuclear junk.

4.all low level waste should be stored on site of their use to encourage these instuitions and states to be far more responsible than they are now.

I suppose I wear a number of hats on this issue-

1. The green in me has some empathy for the purist view that we shouldn't produce dangerous non-natural products anyway

2. The humanitarian in me knows a couple of his mates would be dead without radiotherapy treatment for cancer

3. The economist in me understands the Space industry impact.

4. The globalist in me knows he can't hide behind some arbitrary lines on a map as a South Australian, lest the same ethos comes back to bite him with the use of the Murray River.(It's my ball and I'll decide who plays with it!)

5. Maybe the rationalist in me abhors political hypocrisy. How can our State government mandatorily legislate radioactive smoke detectors in our offices, homes and schools, etc and then say 'not in my back-yard' with the results?

I must admit with a factory at Wingfield in the shadow of Adelaide's rubbish mounds, the thought of- keep it where you use it- is an interesting one.
Dunno, a simple life without all the crap gets more attractive in my dotage.