The dumping of high level radioactive waste from around the globe in outback Australia is neither ‘a business you could well imagine here’, nor one you would want here, the Australian Conservation Foundation said.

On radio in Adelaide today PM Malcolm Turnbull commended the South Australian government for its nuclear royal commission and said producing nuclear fuel rods, exporting them and taking back the radioactive waste was “a business you could well imagine here” that was “worth looking at closely”.

His comments come against a backdrop of growing community concern about the SA royal commission’s consideration of high level waste dumps as part of its inquiry into extending the nuclear industry in South Australia.

“Radioactive waste is a complex and contested policy area,” said ACF campaigner Dave Sweeney.

“Over two decades successive federal governments have failed to advance responsible management of Australia’s national radioactive waste.

“Ill-considered comments about accepting the world’s high level waste give no confidence that the current government is about to break this pattern.

“Radioactive waste presents serious environment, security and public health challenges – and it lasts a lot longer than any politician’s tenure.

“In the shadow of the continuing Fukushima nuclear crisis, which was fuelled by Australian uranium, Australia should be looking to exit the nuclear industry, not open the door to the eternal imposition of an unpopular, unsafe and undead waste product.”

ACF Media Enquiries

Journalists with enquiries may contact Tom Arup on 0402 482 910, tom.arup@acf.org.au; or Toby Halligan on 0419 403 016, toby.halligan@acf.org.au For all other enquiries please call 1800 223 669 or email action@acf.org.au.