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Let the science and the facts inform the answer but remember, 
the maths doesn't lie.
Wonthaggi Desalination Plant and Nuclear Option

Community Over Mining would like to ask the question:

"Is the Wonthaggi desalination plant already set up for nuclear power?"

Is there a connection between certain public documents, a proposed Gippsland transport route for coal and Ignite Energy Resources namely -
Dr John White? http://www.independentaustralia.net/2011/politics/australia-open-for-nuclear-sewage-business/


2014 - See Independent Australia's article on Ignite's Dr John White, dubbed the NUCLEAR MAN - The Liberal Party's nuclear dreams: The strange case of Dr John White and Ignite  Sandi Keane​ - note all previous links to old website information wiped/updated!!!
Go to Ignite -EL4416 & Dr John White for background story  

Can we anticipate a NUCLEAR = Gippsland! 

Lets start with the recent announcement in The Latrobe Valley Express of a 3 billion dollar port in Gippsland. The assessment for the development was carried out by the government think tank (GRID) allegedly with Dr John White, of Ignite Energy Resources heading the (GRID) panel on transport infrastructure.

Gippsland Resources Infrastructure Development (GRID), is a group of energy industry companies with mutual interests in energy development infrastructure.  
See Latrobe City Council submission for the NATIONAL LAND FREIGHT STRATEGY  for further information on their strategic transport plans.

The site allocated for the proposed port raises a number of questions. 
In particular why Seaspray when the area is believed to be quite unstable with subsidence and seismic issues? 
“... the plan was only in concept stages, an overarching question remained over the plan: who would bankroll the project.”  

Back to Dr John White and his perceived nuclear vision bringing waste in via submarine to Darwin
Submission to Uranium Mining and Processing and Nuclear Energy Review
by The Nuclear Fuel Leasing Group 18th August 2006

If you read the Federal Governments Energy White Paper 2012  it would appear that our future involves the trade and promotion of any and every energy resource possible and significantly the burning of fossil fuels. It would also appear that uranium is a likely component in our energy future, but how? 

In 2007  The Australia Institute published a story by Andrew Macintosh titled  -
"Siting Nuclear Power Plants in Australia Where would they go?"https://www.tai.org.au/file.php?file=web_papers/WP96.pdf

Here is a brief summary in that paper of the identified areas in Victoria: 
South Gippsland (e.g. Yarram, Woodside, Seaspray)
Western Port (e.g. French Island, Hastings, Kooweerup, Coronet Bay)
Port Phillip (e.g. Newport, Werribee, Avalon)
As Wonthaggi has been mooted as a potential site could it be that Victoria’s own desalination plant might, in fact, be the site for Australia's first nuclear power station?

Citing criteria

The study used four primary criteria for the positioning of nuclear power plants in Australia:

  • Proximity to appropriate existing electricity infrastructure; sites close to the National Electricity Market, preferably near existing large generators;
  • Proximity to major centres of electricity demand;
  • Proximity to transport infrastructure to facilitate the movement of nuclear fuel, waste and other relevant materials; and
  • Access to large quantities of water for reactor cooling& #8722; coastal sites

Secondary criteria included the following:

  • Population density; sites with adequate buffers to populated areas.
  • Geological and seismological issues.
  • Atmospheric conditions; sites with low risk of extreme weather events and suitable pollution dispersion conditions.
  • Security risk; sites with low security risks (e.g. sufficient buffers to potentially hazardous areas).
  • Sensitive ecological areas; sites that pose minimal risk to important ecological areas.
  • Heritage and aesthetics; sites that pose minimal risk to important heritage areas.
  • Economic factors – sites that accommodate local economic and social factors.

There was no mention of toxic waste. 
The decommissioning of the open cut mines in Latrobe Valley is also perceived problematic. 
Might we see an obsolete mine turned into a toxic waste dump?

Given Dr John White’s history allegedly involves setting up a nuclear waste facility in the Northern Territory, should Gippslander’s be concerned? 
Go to Ignite & EL4416 for more information and relevant news articles citing his nuclear vision.

The story continues 

Ignite Energy Resources [IER]  and Dr John White have taken over the Santos Exploration Licence ELA 4968 which covers Ninety Mile Beach, Maffra, Sale, Bairnsdale and Orbost. 
The licence is still under an application since 2006 with Department of Environment and Primary and Industries (DEPI), but should the application succeed it would extend the IER operations.

Exploration Licence Application 4968 
IER purchased the equitable rights to Exploration Licence Application 4968 ('ELA 4968') on 22 January 2010. The granting of the licence is subject to the native title process that the Company expects will be completed during 2011. ELA 4968 is for the exploration rights to all minerals, including coal bed methane and mineral sands, over an area of 1,998km2 of the Gippsland Basin.
ELA 4968: Mineral Sands Resources
The majority of ELA 4968 is to the immediate north and north-east of EL 4416. It is also to the immediate south of a tenement package over which Metallica Minerals has identified two large heavy mineral sands exploration targets. 

These mineral sands contain Monazite [which is associated with the uranium alternative thorium], it is also largely untested.

India is using thorium and given Australia’s commitment to export uranium to India, again; should we be concerned?  

Seemingly the Minerals Council of Victoria [MCA]  are pushing to have uranium/thorium requirements amended by the government: 
The exploration for uranium or thorium is prohibited under s.5 of the Nuclear Activities (Prohibitions) Act 1983. 
This Act requires amendment to allow for the exploration of both minerals to identify any economic opportunities for the State of Victoria.
The MCA Victorian Division recommends that the Victorian Government:
  • Acknowledges that Victoria has a viable and potentially vibrant minerals industry
  • Reinforces that Victoria remains prospective for a wide range of minerals
  • Actively encourages the sustainable development of the State’s minerals
  • Builds the pre-competitive investment in geological surveys and R&D to provide a critical pathway to mineral development
  • Acknowledges Melbourne’s status as an international centre for mining
  • Actively considers the removal of the prohibition on exploring for uranium.

Read the recent story in Independent Australia 
Don’t believe thorium nuclear reactor hype 
27th January-  'Thorium reactors are the latest big thing in nuclear spin'
Journalist Noel Wauchope says, “don’t believe the hype”.

It begs the question, what will the new port export?

  • Will it export bulk dried coal and fertilisers as suggested in the press.  
  • Or will it also export thorium?  
  • Will it import toxic waste? 

Gelliondale, Yarram, Stradbroke and Latrobe are all possible new allocations for coal. Taken together that could see Gippsland with massive industrialisation on sensitive ecological and tourist sites.

What next? Where does the desalination plant sit in the equation?

And what about Dr John Whites vision for Australia to be the nuclear waste pit for America?

Will the Federal Liberal Coalition help this vision to succeed?

Going on their most recent record and desire to reduce environmental regulation the answer would have to be YES.

‘...there’s an underlying push in the Liberal Party to overturn Australia’s law against importing international nuclear wastes. And some Labor heavies join in that push.’ 

National pressure growing in Australia against Muckaty radioactive waste plan