Nuclear waste will arrive in Port Kembla from the UK this weekend


Police erected signs in Wollongong announcing a special operation on Saturday to coincide with the docking of a ship registered to transport nuclear waste to Port Kembla.

The nuclear fuel carrier Pacific Grebe is due to dock at Port Kembla between 11 a.m. and 11 p.m. this Saturday.

The Australian Organization for Nuclear Science and Technology (ANSTO), which operates Australia’s only nuclear research reactor, said planning was underway for the repatriation of radioactive waste by-products from the UK , similar to the 2015 operation that returned used nuclear fuel rods from France.

Lucas Heights-based ANSTO in Sydney’s south has not confirmed dispatch details.

However, a statement from ANSTO says its UK partner has confirmed the specialist nuclear vessel Pacific Grebe has been loaded and left Cumbria on January 20, carrying intermediate level waste.

“ANSTO cannot comment on the port, route or timing of the planned repatriation of Australia’s radioactive waste, but can confirm the many recorded facts relating to the operation,” a spokesperson said.

“About 85% of the radioactive waste produced at ANSTO is related to the drug production program.”

It follows news this week that Port Kembla could become the site of a new nuclear submarine base, along with Newcastle and Brisbane.

South Coast Labor Council Secretary Arthur Rorris said he was not opposed to transporting nuclear waste for medical purposes, but was opposed to the proposal to install submarines nuclear-powered in the port of Port Kembla.

“The difference between Lucas Heights and its waste and that of a nuclear submarine base is the fact that we would be a nuclear target if we were hooked up to a nuclear war machine.”


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