Port options bring discussion close to home

MOST of the Eyre Peninsula would be aware that two sites, near Kimba, are being considered as potential sites for the federal government’s radioactive waste facility. 

The issue has divided the Kimba community but until now anyone living outside of that district has not had to think too hard about how a nuclear waste facility might impact them.

However it seems it might be something Port Lincoln, at least, might have to consider after a site characterisation report suggested potential nuclear waste could be arriving through Port Lincoln’s port.

It is a discussion the Department of Innovation, Industry and Science are not ready to have just yet but perhaps it is one the community should be having.

This comes after a pair of site characterisation reports for the proposed sites near Kimba highlighted the travel potential for each site and named Port Lincoln – as well as Whyalla and Port Augusta – as potential ports for use.

Nuclear energy, and the waste it creates has always been a scary thing for people.

The lasting effects nuclear radiation can have on people and the environment is one many people would be familiar with.

The idea of having a storage facility on Eyre Peninsula is one people are already at odds with, especially around Kimba.

The idea of any kind of nuclear material, no matter the level, coming through Port Lincoln which ships grain all around the world, is also a questionable idea.

So perhaps the discussion around which routes and which ports could be used to bring in the nuclear waste should have been happening from the very beginning. 

The department’s head of resources Bruce Wilson said the containers were very much safe and were designed to withstand potential accidents.

He also said communities would be consulted once potential routes were identified.

These assurances may not be enough for Eyre Peninsula residents though who are concerned about what the presence of nuclear material will do to the region’s reputation as a food producer and pristine destination.

It has taken years of consultation to even get close to selecting a site for the proposed facility so let’s hope the consultation on any transport route is just as thorough.