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Thursday, 16 June 2011
Page: 3094

Senator SHERRY (TasmaniaMinister Assisting on Deregulation and Public Sector Superannuation, Minister for Small Business and Minister Assisting the Minister for Tourism) (13:31): Senator, I draw your attention to a document which you are probably aware of from the National Health and Medical Research Council: 'Code of practice for the near-surface disposal of radioactive waste in Australia (1992)'. On page 11, under 'Site requirements and selection criteria', it says:

2.4.1 General site characteristics

A near-surface repository site ideally should be located in an area with favourable meteorological, geological and geographical characteristics so that the radioactive waste, once in place, will be adequately isolated from the biosphere for the time that the radionuclides originally present, or their progeny, constitute a radiation hazard. Ideally the natural characteristics of the site should provide the initial effective barrier to the dispersal of radionuclides from the waste or to human intrusion. The location of the disposal site and its characteristics will influence the design of the facility. These should also be considered when determining …

There are a range of other references. Under 'Site selection criteria', 2.4.2, on page 13, it says:

e.     the site should be in an area of low population density and in which the projected population growth or the prospects for future development are also very low;

So these are some references to the selection criteria.