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AUKUS presents nuclear waste risk for Australia – Guardian

AUKUS news
Image – Australian Submarine Agency.

New legislation under the pact would reportedly allow for naval facilities to store radioactive material from submarines.

Australia is in danger of becoming a “poison portal” for international radioactive waste under the three-way AUKUS pact, The Guardian reported on Monday, citing a parliamentary inquiry.

AUKUS was established in 2021 between the US, the UK and Australia in part to facilitate the transfer of military technology among the three allies, with the American military pledging to help Canberra obtain nuclear-powered submarines.

However, according to the Guardian report, new laws to establish a safety framework for Australia’s planned nuclear-powered submarines could also allow the US and UK to send waste there. Both the US and the UK are reportedly struggling to deal with their own waste due to a lack of long-term, high-level waste facilities.

Canberra introduced the Australian naval nuclear power safety bill in November of last year. If passed, it will establish a nuclear safety watchdog and allow for naval nuclear propulsion facilities to be created, including for storing or disposing of radioactive waste from AUKUS submarines.

A second bill to enable the regulator to issue licenses was introduced at the same time. Both have been referred to a Senate inquiry, which is due to report later this month, according to the report.

The issue of waste disposal was “highly disturbing,” according to Dave Sweeney, the Australian Conservation Foundation’s nuclear-free campaigner. He suggested that the AUKUS partners could see Australia as “a little bit of a radioactive terra nullius.”

This is the case “especially when it’s viewed in the context of the contested and still unresolved issue of domestic intermediate-level waste management, the clear failure of our AUKUS partners to manage their own naval waste, the potential for this bill to be a poison portal to international waste, and the failure of defense to effectively address existing waste streams, most noticeably PFAS [toxic per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances],” Sweeney argued.

Australian Defense Minister Richard Marles has previously accused the Greens of “fearmongering” over similar radioactive waste-related concerns, The Guardian wrote. Marles reportedly claimed that the government would not accept waste from the other nations.

According to a recent Politico report, the AUKUS security partnership could be expanded by the end of the year to include Canada and Japan. India, New Zealand, and South Korea have also been floated as potential members.

The AUKUS partners maintain that the bloc is not a formal military alliance and is solely focused on technology sharing. Meanwhile, China has condemned the project as an attempt to build an “Asia-Pacific version of NATO,” warning that it would kick off an “arms race” in the Indo-Pacific.

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Source:RT News

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3 COMMENTS

  1. Albo and Marles would be better off with the German-built 214-Class of U-Boats that are fueled by hydrogen cells.
    The Swedes have a sub that runs on a Stirling Engine…
    Both boats have gone undetected underneath U.S. Aircraft Carriers for days on end, and surprised the Atlantic Fleets when the Swedes and Germans surfaced their boats in the middle of the Task Forces.
    In theory, one could retrofit the 214’s over to nuclear power, but that far exceeds the cost of the original hydrogen cell electric powerplant, and / or the Stirling technology on the Swedish subs, and offer less soundproofing.
    What is a concern for ‘Global Security’ is that Germany sold Israel the 212’s and more 214’s.
    In the event of the Samson Option (where Israel plans to destroy everything if they cannot have ‘Greater Israel) the 214’s would probably sink every U.S. and Western Ship out of kindred spite.
    These are some of the reasons as to why New Zealand needs to go into Armed Neutrality status, while upgrading the Littoral Vessels, maintenance of Oceanic Logistics, and re-designate the RNZN as the RNZ Coast Guard. (The Coast Guard then becomes the RNZ Lifesaving Service-Water).
    In addition to lending to the capabilities of Armed Neutrality, equipping the RNZAF with 2 more Squadrons of Operational T-6’s with ‘Stand-Off / Shoot-Down’ capabilities (the back seat converted over to an Air Warfare Officer station), and 2 squadrons of Textron Scorpion Fighter aircraft based at Ohakea and Blenheim.
    The RNZ Army needs to get onboard with AK-Rifles, and the Dragunov Rifle in addition to the Chinese Grenade Rifle
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tvz8WrlE5a8

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gfwB97D_43ASVD
    Soviet semi-automatic marksman / sniper rifle
    SVD (rifle) Overview;
    The SVD (СВД; Russian:Снайперская Винтовка Драгунова, romanized: Snayperskaya Vintovka Dragunova, lit. ’Dragunov Sniper Rifle’), GRAU index 6V1, is a semi-automatic designated marksman rifle/sniper rifle chambered in the 7.62×54mmR cartridge, developed in the Soviet Union.
    These weapons have a high reliability rate, are easier to take-down and clean, and last for decades (as evidenced with the Nagant Mosin rifles built in 1941, and are still in service in 2024 as an aux weapon!).

  2. Why Australia is involved in this beggars belief. Its nowhere near the USA and yet the degree of pro US pandering, is off the charts. Now their quisling antics could cause serious environmental damage in the region. Australians need to stop voting in the two part relay, otherwise this will only continue and probably get worse. Does the nation really want to be someone else’s colony, again?

  3. If people think that nuclear waste from submarines is a problem (and it is) just wait until lots of new nuclear power stations need to be constructed so that “environmentally friendly” electric cars can be charged. There is no way the existing infrastructure would cope with 100 percent electric cars.

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