Radioactive waste arrives in Australia from France

Paul Jones

Australia’s first shipment of radioactive waste, processed in France, has returned to our shores.

Environmental group Greenpeace sailed alongside the toxic cargo during the major security operation.

The waste will be stored at Lucas Heights until a permanent dumping site is found.

The controversial vessel arrived in Australia today. Photo: 7 News

While beachgoers were enjoying the warm sunny day, just off shore a poisonous load was steaming towards Wollongong.

The tanker BBC Shanghai was escorted by the NSW police fleet’s biggest boats.

As it approached Port Kembla, officers boarded the vessel to secure and protect its controversial load; several tonnes of nuclear waste.

Arthur Rorris from South Coast Labour Council said the local community was concerned it was being used to do other people’s dirty work.

The ship was guided under tight escort with a strong water and land police presence.

The nuclear waste on board is originally from Lucas Heights and was sent to France in the 1990s for reprocessing.

Greenpeace activists traveled alongside the ship. Photo: 7 News

Today the leftover waste returned to Australia.

It was shielded inside a purpose built container, six metres long and 3m wide with steel walls 20 centimetres thick.

“Australia’s government is now working to identify a particular site for a national facility for the waste that we produced, which came from many medicine procedures,” ANSTO security head Paul Jones said.