Australia ‘Ideal’ For Radioactive Fukushima Soil and Debris, Says Former Australian Minister

Australia Is “Ideal” for Contaminated Soil and Debris from #Fukushima (EX-SKF, Mar 19, 2012):

Dr. Haruki Madarame, who is resigning as the head of the Nuclear Safety Commission, is remembered by me as having spoke the universal truth when he said “It’s all about money, isn’t it?” when it comes to nuclear waste.

Here’s an ex-minister in Australia, which has been spared with any contamination from Fukushima I Nuke Plant accident, wanting to bring in the contaminated soil and debris from Fukushima to Australia and stored it for the Japanese, in return for the future sales of uranium to Japan and more funding from Japan for the construction projects in western Australia.

The former sports minister now works for a law firm in Tokyo. He also happens to be the chairman of a junior miner. Talk about conflict of interest. And he is proposing to put the contaminated soil and debris on western and southern Australian deserts.

(On second thoughts… It may be better than having the debris burned all over Japan…)

From The Australian (3/15/2012):

Australia ‘ideal’ for Fukushima soil

Rick Wallace

A HOWARD government minister has entered the nuclear-waste debate by arguing that Australia should accept radioactive debris from the Fukushima nuclear disaster.

Former sports minister Andrew Thomson said the move would help break a deadlock in Japan that is jeopardising recovery efforts from last year’s March 11 tsunami and nuclear meltdown.

His comments come after the Senate’s approval of the Muckaty Station site in Northern Territory as a nuclear waste dump — and new Foreign Minister Bob Carr’s remarks backing atomic energy in Australia — reignited debate on the issue.

Because of a last-minute Greens amendment, the Muckaty site cannot accept waste from abroad, but Mr Thomson said the vast deserts of Western Australia and South Australia were perfect spots for the Fukushima waste.

In Japan, no prefecture has agreed to house the hundreds of thousands of tonnes of waste from the world’s second-worst nuclear tragedy and it is piling up in temporary storage sites obstructing reconstruction efforts.

Most of the waste consists of contaminated soil and debris removed during clean-up efforts from areas just outside the 20km exclusion zone around the plant and is only mildly radioactive.

Mr Thomson, who now works for law firm Minter Ellison in Tokyo, said Australia could offer “ideal places to dispose of this debris and store it safely”.

“This stuff is only mildly radioactive, it’s not going to harm anyone, but the last place you want to store it is Japan — it’s just too crowded,” he said.

“Western Australia has benefited greatly from Japanese demand for iron ore and base metals and South Australia is launching a major uranium export industry. It’s only fair and reasonable if we propose to sell more uranium to Japan in future that we should offer such help now when Japan really needs it.”

Mr Thomson told The Australian his proposal related only to the debris, not the spent fuel or other nuclear waste from Fukushima or any other plant.

The former minister said that, in return for storing the Fukushima waste, Australia should receive more funding from Japan to ensure the construction of the troubled Oakajee port and rail project in WA, thereby unlocking the mid-west iron region.

The former minister and chairman of junior miner Athena Resources acknowledged he had a vested interest as Athena may one day use the port, which has hit problems with cost overruns but may be rescued by Mitsubishi.

“Most of the waste consists of contaminated soil and debris removed during clean-up efforts from areas just outside the 20km exclusion zone around the plant and is only mildly radioactive”, writes Mr. Rick Wallace.

Well, since when has the soil with over 3 million becquerels/kg of radioactive cesium (“black dust” of Minami Soma), or even the soil in Watari District in Fukushima City with more than 200,000 becquerels/kg of radioactive cesium become “only mildly radioactive”?

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