Alice Springs doctor Hilary Tyler said the nuclear industry was dirty. “It is a myth that we need a waste dump for medical radioisotopes,” she said. “We can provide all cancer treatment without a nuclear reactor in Australia.” The opponents say Lucas Heights in Sydney has capacity to store all nuclear waste generated there for the next 20 years. “There is no rush to impose a dump on an unwilling community in an environmentally unsuitable location,” organisers of the meeting said in a statement.
"Because the area in which we detect radioactivity is very limited, and readings in surrounding parts are normal, we suspect radioactive materials of some kind are buried there," local mayor Yukio Takano said in a statement.
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The Department said a purpose-built facility was needed to store the waste, so there was no further damage to the environment. Last year the Federal Government allocated $14 million for developing a rehabilitation plan, in addition to $8 million already spent on a preliminary plan. Acidic drainage has plagued the site since it closed and the Finniss River is a significant fishing sport for Indigenous people and Territory anglers. The recreational reserve now known as the Rum Jungle South Recreation Reserve was shut from 2010 until 2012 by the Northern Territory Government where some low-level radiation was detected. The Department will present its plan of rehabilitation to the Treasury in March next year. Other plans to rehabilitate include cleaning up other areas of the site and reintroducing vegetation onto the site.