News

Nuclear site would have ‘less radiation than bananas’

GLIMPSE INTO FUTURE: An example of some of the radioactive waste that would be stored at the proposed facility at Oman Ama.
GLIMPSE INTO FUTURE: An example of some of the radioactive waste that would be stored at the proposed facility at Oman Ama. Jayden Brown

GOVERNMENT officials have addressed the media on their plans for a proposed nuclear waste facility at Oman Ama, stating radiation levels around the site would be lower than what is found in a banana.

The proposed 40-hectare facility would be used to store mostly low-level radioactive waste, with some temporary storage of intermediate-level waste.

Bruce Wilson from the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science said the material was safe.

"Low-level waste includes material such as gowns, gloves and test tubes used in handling radioactive material," he said.

"Intermediate waste includes equipment and machinery used in nuclear processes."

The higher-level waste also includes materials coming off fuel rods of nuclear reactors.

Most of Australia's 4250 cubic metres of low-level and 656 cubic metres of intermediate-level waste would be stored on site.

Despite community concern about high-level radioactivity, Mr Wilson confirmed there was no high-level waste in Australia and the proposed facility wouldn't be able to host it.

He also declared no waste from overseas would be stored at Oman Ama.

"At the facility there will be no liquid, no corrosive, no volatile, and no organic waste," he said.

"This ensures the material will not be subject to volatile reactions or breakdowns."

Has the new information provided about the proposed nuclear waste facility for Oman Ama changed your view on the issue?

This poll ended on 25 January 2016.

Yes - 0%

No - 100%

This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.

Low-level waste would be placed in drums, compacted and stored in a larger drum.

The drum would then be encased in concrete and those drums would be place in concrete slabs.

The waste would be transported and stored at the facility in those slabs.

Transport routes could include taking waste via Goondiwindi, Stanthorpe or Warwick - although the Department is yet to finalise those details.

There will be a 100ha exclusion zone around the site, located approximately 3km off the Cunningham Hwy.

Mr Wilson said no measurable radiation would come from the site.

Levels inside the site would be so low that employees could walk around the stored waste without any protective clothing.

"We will be having very comprehensive and very detailed environmental monitoring done on the site," he said.

"All that data will be made publicly available."

Scientists claim a person standing near the site would be exposed to less radiation than they would get on an international flight.

The Department claims the community will benefit greatly from the facility.

At least 15 new, full time jobs would be created.

Mr Wilson also raised the prospect of increases to infrastructure such as mobile phone coverage, internet and roads.

Most of the construction of the $100 million project would be completed by businesses in the area.

A community benefit package of at least $10 million is also up for grabs.

Concerns about property devaluation were also addressed by Mr Wilson.

The government claims property prices at similar facilities around the world have been unaffected.

A similar facility at Esk has failed to affect property prices or the town's reputation, officials claim.

The final site will be chosen in 2017.

Final site design, licensing and approvals would take two years, with construction to begin in 2018.

The facility would not be operational until 2020.

The site would be operated for at least 100 years, with further monitoring for several hundred years more.

Topics:  editors picks, nuclear, nuclear waste dump, nuclear waste facility, radioactive, uranium




Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

'My husband lasted 6 weeks as a stay at home dad'

APN Hey Mummy Feature for online - stock images. Katie Dykes being interviewed for the webisodes. Photo Marc Stapelberg / The Northern Star

FROM the outside, being a stay at home mum looks like a breeze.

THE EXPERT: Stop judging working mothers

SUPER MUMS: Being a working mums comes down to perfecting time management.

"WORKING for money is all right; so is working because you want to.”

OPINION: How to prepare your child for day care

Your kids will love childcare, but it may take some adjusting.

GETTING your child ready for day care is vital.

Health and nutrition with kids - how do you balance it?

HOW important is health and nutrition in your household?

Smack or no smack - where do you stand?

THE debate is reignited - is smacking acceptable?

Technology and kids: Do you ever cut their wi-fi?

Check out our new video series featuring mums having a chat

Case of the stolen rosella continues

VICTIM'S FAMILY: The remaining rosellas and king parrots at Queen Mary Falls.

Gang of four face nasty penalties after gutless crime.

Popular Warwick snack bar forced out

Paul and Amber Stubbings looking forward to kicking off the new Warwick Westside Snack Bar in the Harvey Norman Centre this Friday.

Long standing Warwick business forced to move

Latest deals and offers

Ernie Els dunks for eagle

Smooth swing, great shot.

Ernie Els lives up to his reputation for one of the best swings in golf.

Jay Leno in spectacular rollover

Car flips after wheelie stunt.

Jay Leno gets more than he expected when he rides along in a 2500 HP Barracuda.

John Oliver on Brexit

John Oliver tries to explain the Brexit result.

John Oliver explains the fallout from Brexit on Last Week Tonight.

Three bedroom, 1100sqm block: Is this Qld's cheapest home?

BARGAIN BUY: Is this North Bundaberg property the cheapest home in Queensland?

Becoming a real estate mogul is all about risk and reward

PROPERTY BOOM: Coast prices set to skyrocket

Like other areas in south-east Queensland, the Sunshine Coast is at the start of the upturn on the property clock.

Values predicted to rise 25-33%