- 25 metric tons of nuclear waste was shipped to New South Wales this weekend and will be held in Sydney while the Federal government searches for a permanent site to dump it, according to the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organization (ANTSO). A list of six sites was released in November, including Sallys Flat in New South Wales and three sites in South Australia.
- As the shipment arrived from France — where it was originally sent from Australia and is now being returned — protestors waved a banner from the shore which read, "Don't Waste Australia." The waste was to be transported in a six-meter-long and three-meter-wide steel cell, under police guard, to Lucas Heights in Sydney's south end.
- Some of the toxic material was sent to France, some to the United Kingdom, and some to the United States. The materials sent to the US will remain, but shipments sent to the UK will return within five years.
As the unwanted waste has been transferred from location to location since its generation, environmentalists and politicians have protested, especially when it comes to their region.
"We are very concerned our place, our region, is being used to do other people's dirty work," South Coast Labour Council secretary Arthur Rorris said.
There have been other voiced concerns— not just about the toxic waste—but about the safety of the ship containing it. One French lawmaker described it as a "dustbin ship," according to The Guardian.
"This is not the kind of ship you would want to see transporting nuclear waste," said Greenpeace campaigner Emma Gibson, who was on board a boat following the ship: the BBC Shanghai.
In its statement, the ANTSO said the nuclear waste had "enabled generations of potentially life-saving nuclear medicine production."