South Australia Branch

A Branch of the Australian Nuclear Association was formed in South Australia early in 2017. The Branch holds regular meetings at the University of South Australia and holds lectures on nuclear issues and the uses of radiation and radioactivity.

The office bearers for the SA Branch are
–    Dr Massey de los Reyes (Chair), and
–    Dr John Patterson (Secretary)

For more information please contact

History of Australia’s Nuclear Prohibition – That day in December ‘98


20 years ago today Australia prohibited the construction of nuclear power. Here is the story of how the Australian Senate amended a nuclear safety Bill to make it illegal to build a nuclear power plant. It’s now time to lift the ban and repeal these prohibitions.

This is a part of the narrative leading up to the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act review that takes place next year. This is a once in 10 year review to get section 140A repealed form that Act. Legal advice is that 140A repeal will allow nuclear to be built. The ARPANSA legislation is something that can be amended later. A repeal of the prohibition will signal that Australia is open for business, and investments are likely.

“What we could have done in 20 years”.

In that twenty years Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions have increased by 81 million tonnes of carbon dioxide. Greenhouse gases have a cumulative impact on the environment, so while this increase appears small, the wider impact is greater.  For more on that article click here.

Submission on National Radioactive Waste Management Facility

The SA Branch made a Submission to the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science on the National Radioactive Waste Management Facility Click here for submission .

We strongly support the establishment of a national facility at either Kimba or Hawker, for the management of low and intermediate level radioactive waste from all Commonwealth agencies, States and Territories, including ANSTO in Sydney. A centralised facility, purpose-built to manage these wastes is considered to be international best practice as demonstrated in similar facilities globally.

The establishment of a National Facility is important for the continued beneficial use of radioactivity and radiation in health, industry and research in Australia including the Opal Reactor and ANSTO facility at Lucas Heights. This facility produces radio-isotopes for export and local use for the production of medical isotopes, agriculture, industrial productivity and research.

Uranium Market Status

Talk to SA Branch of Australian Nuclear Association 22 November, 2018 at UniSA, by Mr Greg Hall, Alligator Energy.

Greg Hall is a senior mining engineer with over three decades experience. He has been mining manager at Olympic Dam and at Ranger and Jabiluka plus other uranium mines. He was founder and managing director of Toro Energy, Alligator Energy and President of SACOME. Companies he spoke about included Kazatomprom (Kazarkstan), the world’s largest producer, Cameco (McArthur River Canada), Paladin and BHP’s Olympic Dam. There are three uranium mines in Australia: Ranger in NT, and Olympic Dam and Beverley in SA.

A summary of his talk is available here.

Reactor Produced Medical and Industrial Radio-Isotopes

Many useful radioisotopes are produced most conveniently and cheaply in a nuclear reactor by neutrons. In Australia the OPAL Reactor is an important source of radioisotopes for Australia and export.

Reactor-produced medical isotopes with their half-lives:

  • Molybdenum-99 6 days, for Technetium-99m 6 hours used for medical diagnosis.
  • Iridium-192, 74 days used for high dose-rate brachytherapy
  • Iodine-131 8 days, used for brachytherapy
  • Yttrium-90 64 hours
  • Samarium-153 46 hours
  • Lutetium -177 6.7 days
  • Strontium 89 50.6 days
  • Iodine-125 60.1 days
  • Palladium-103 17 days
  • Phosphorus-32 14.3 days
  • Industrial, Environmental tracers and Agricultural
  • Americium-241 433 years, used for smoke alarms and soil moisture gauge
  • Cobalt-60 5.3 years, used for gamma sterilisation, industrial radiography of welds, fill height switches, and in blast furnaces
  • Caesium-137 30 years, used for industrial testing and a lab source
  • Gold-198 2.7 days, used as an environmental tracer