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This is a Bill, not an Act. For current law, see the Acts databases.


                                 Western Australia

                            LEGISLATIVE COUNCIL

                                 (Hon Giz Watson)

           Nuclear Activities (Prohibition) Bill 2000

                                     A Bill for

    An Act to prohibit in Western Australia certain activities associated
    with the nuclear fuel chain, and for related purposes.

    The Parliament of Western Australia enacts as follows:

    1.         Short title and commencement
         (1)   This Act may be cited as the Nuclear Activities (Prohibition)
               Act 2000.
5        (2)   This Act comes into operation on the day on which it receives
               the Royal Assent.

                                                                         page 1

     Nuclear Activities (Prohibition) Bill 2000

     s. 2

     2.       Interpretation
              In this Act unless inconsistent with the context --
              "conversion" means the transformation of fertile material into
                   fissile material;
5             "enrichment", in relation to fissile material, means any process
                   by which the proportion of an isotope is increased in
                   relation to the natural abundance of the isotope;
              "exploration" means searching for uranium or thorium ore
                   bodies using either radiometric or other survey techniques;
10            "fabrication of fuel" means any process or step in the
                   transformation of fissile material into a form suitable for
                   use in a nuclear reactor;
              "facility" means a reactor, a critical facility, a conversion plant,
                   a fabrication plant, a reprocessing plant, an isotope
15                 separation plant or a separate storage installation;
              "fertile material" means any substance which is capable of
                   being transformed into fissile material;
              "fissile material" means a substance capable of undergoing
                   nuclear fission in a nuclear reactor;
20            "mining" has the same meaning as defined in the Mining Act
              "mining tenement" has the same meaning as defined in the
                   Mining Act 1978;
              "Minister" means the Minister from time to time charged with
25                 the administration of the Mining Act 1978;
              "nuclear activities" means any procedure or operation involved
                   in the exploration for, mining, milling, conversion,
                   enrichment, fabrication, use, reprocessing, storage or
                   disposal of nuclear material;
30            "nuclear fission" means the splitting of a nucleus into two
                   more or less equal fragments;

     page 2
                                   Nuclear Activities (Prohibition) Bill 2000

                                                                         s. 3

          "nuclear fuel chain" includes any process or step in the
              utilisation of fissile material, including its disposal at the
              stage at which such material has no commercial value;
          "nuclear material" means any radioactive substance associated
5             with the nuclear fuel chain, including fertile and fissile
              material, spent fuel and waste;
          "nuclear power reactor" means a nuclear reactor designed for
              the generation of electricity;
          "nuclear reactor" means a reactor designed to produce
10            controlled nuclear fission;
          "reprocessing" means the conversion of spent fuel for reuse;
          "spent fuel" means any fuel which has been partly consumed in
              a nuclear reactor;
          "thorium", the radioactive metallic element of the Actinide
15            Series having the symbol Th and atomic number 90, and
              includes any of its isotopes or compounds;
          "uranium", the radioactive metallic element of the Actinide
              Series having the symbol U and atomic number 92, and
              includes any of its isotopes or compounds;
20        "waste" means any radioactive material lacking commercial
              value which is produced as a result of nuclear activities.

     3.   Objects of Act
          The objects of this Act are to --
           (a) protect the health, welfare and safety of the people of
25               Western Australia;
           (b) limit deterioration of the environment by prohibiting
                 nuclear activities.

     4.   Acts binds the Crown
          This Act binds the Crown in right of the State of Western
30        Australia and, so far as the legislative competence of the

                                                                       page 3
     Nuclear Activities (Prohibition) Bill 2000

     s. 5

                Parliament of Western Australia permits, in all its other

     5.         Prohibition against exploration etc. for uranium and
5         (1)   It is an offence for any person to carry out or permit exploration
                for, or the mining of, thorium or uranium.
          (2)   The Minister must cancel any mining tenement held by a person
                who or which is convicted of a second offence under subsection
10        (3)   It is a defence to a charge under subsection (1) for the person to
                show that --
                   (a) the extraction of thorium or uranium is incidental to, or
                         unavoidable in the course of, mining or quarrying
                         another mineral; and
15                (b) the ore body contains, by weight, not more than 0.05%
                         uranium and not more than 2% thorium.

     6.         Facilities for nuclear activities prohibited
                It is an offence for any person to construct or operate any
                facility, or alter or modify an existing facility, for any purpose
20              that is intended for, or enables engaging in, nuclear activities.

     7.         Enforcement of this Act
          (1)   Any person who is eligible to vote in a general election for the
                Legislative Assembly may seek an order from the Supreme
                Court or a Judge that remedies or restrains another person from
25              breaching or engaging in conduct that will, or is calculated to,
                breach a provision of this Act, and it does not matter that the
                interests or rights of the person seeking the order is, or will be,
                adversely affected by the breach or threatened breach.
          (2)   A person seeking an order under subsection (1) may act for any
30              other person having a like or common interest in the
                proceedings if the other person consents.

     page 4
                                         Nuclear Activities (Prohibition) Bill 2000

                                                                               s. 8

          (3)   In subsection (2), the consent required for a person who is not a
                natural person is that of the person's controlling body.

     8.         Offences
          (1)   A person convicted of an offence under this Act is liable --
5                (a) if a natural person, to a fine not exceeding $250 000;
                 (b) if a body corporate or unincorporate, to a fine not
                       exceeding $500 000;
                 (c) where the offence is a continuing offence, to a fine not
                       exceeding $50 000 for each day.
10        (2)   Without affecting the liability of a body corporate or
                unincorporate under subsection (1), any officer, employee, or
                agent of that body corporate or unincorporate who knew, or who
                ought to have known, that its acts or course of conduct was in
                breach, or likely to be in breach, of this Act commits a separate
15              offence and subsection (1)(a) and (c) apply accordingly.


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