—Objects of Act The objects of this Act are to protect the health, safety and welfare of the people of South Australia and to protect the environment in which they live by prohibiting the establishment of certain nuclear waste storage facilities in this State.
nuclear waste means— (a) Category A, Category B or Category C radioactive waste as defined in the Code of Practice; or (b) any waste material that contains a radioactive substance and is derived from— (i) the operations or decommissioning of— (A) a nuclear reactor; or (B) a nuclear weapons facility; or (C) a radioisotope production facility; or (D) a uranium enrichment plant; or (ii) the testing, use or decommissioning of nuclear weapons; or (iii) the conditioning or reprocessing of spent nuclear fuel;
nuclear waste storage facility means any installation for the storage or disposal of nuclear waste; public authority has the same meaning as in the Environment Protection Act 1993; radioactive substance means any substance that spontaneously emits ionizing radiation. 5—Act binds Crown This Act binds the Crown in right of the State and, in so far as the legislative power of the State permits, in all its other capacities……..
13—No public money to be used to encourage or finance construction or operation of nuclear waste storage facility Despite any other Act or law to the contrary, no public money may be appropriated, expended or advanced to any person for the purpose of encouraging or financing any activity associated with the construction or operation of a nuclear waste storage facility in this State……
the Royal Commission itself may act in breach of the “Nuclear Waste Storage Facility (Prohibition) Act” by promoting radioactive waste storage in SA.
Submission on draft Terms of Reference to the SA Royal Commission on our role in nuclear energy
The draft Terms of Reference for the Royal Commission are heavily leaning in favour of new nuclear ventures rather than investigating the issue impartially:
The first paragraph includes supportive phrases like:
“whether there is any potential for the expansion”
”any circumstances necessary for such an increase”
“opportunities created by expanding”
“the measures that might be required to facilitate and regulate that
increase in activity”
This is balanced by just one cautious phrase:
“any risks … created by expanding”
The other paragraphs of the draft ToR’s show a similar imbalance.
I request that the ToR’s be expanded to explicitly include
Public and Workers’ Health
Impacts on Freedom and Democracy
Nuclear versus Alternative energy sources – comparison of cost and risks
The reasons are in short:
It is well known that the nuclear industry involves severe dangers from radiation exposure. Radiation can not be perceived by any of the human senses. The health consequences of exposure to radiation are,
in most cases, experienced much later when no connection to the exposure is drawn.
Furthermore, nuclear ventures are characterised by the potential for severest nuclear accidents and incidents like The nuclear bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki where hundreds of thousands of inhabitants were incinerated in an instant or slowly died from burns, cancers …
The explosion of a nuclear reactor at Chernobyl. Scientists using mainly epidemiological data have shown that by 2004 already 1 million people had died from the consequences of the accident. This number is growing.
The meltdown of four Fukushima reactors fuelled by Australian uranium.
The resulting contamination of our oceans, especially the Pacific Ocean, is steadily increasing.
Uranium mining in Australia has a deadly impact on mine workers, nearby residents and, most of all, on future generations.
For decades Australian governments have refused to establish a database for uranium mine workers’ health, and the currently partially established database seems skewed like the draft terms of this Royal
It seems mining companies are now using highly sensitive blood tests to detect cancers and weakened defences against cancers early, and then simply terminate employment.
Much worse than the impact on mine workers will be the impact on future generations using contaminated groundwater and/or being exposed to radioactive dust storms dispersing the fine radioactive materials in tailings dams.
This is compounded by the fact that the hazards of radiation and the proper maintenance of radiation hot spots will be forgotten within a few hundred years. Already today local kids and tourists are swimming in contaminated mining dams.
The Impacts on Freedom and Democracy stem mainly from the strong public opposition to any nuclear industries and the subsequent attempts by governments to quell that opposition.
This happened when the French government developed its vast nuclear industry: Widespread opposition and protests were suffocated by horrendous police brutality permanently damaging French democracy.
In South Australia, police brutality led to the locking up of peaceful protesters in a shipping container at the Beverley uranium mine site – in full sun, for hours without water and toilets. This resulted in a
million dollar court verdict against the South Australian government, i.e. the SA taxpayer.
Those responsible for ignoring the public’s opposition to uranium mining and approving the hazardous mine, for brutally suffocating peaceful protests with methods akin to torture, they were neither jailed nor fined.
Another SA example of destructive impacts of nuclear industries on freedom and democracy is the special status of the Olympic Dam mine: A number of public rights have been suspended for the mine.
For example FoI: The SA government is not allowed to pass on information from the mine without the consent of the mine. This is highly relevant when it comes to the frequent accidents and incidents
at the site. I remember two major fires of very large storage ponds for used process chemicals (kerosene and the like) and numerous pipes resulting in a plum of thick smoke passing over SA. There was very
little or no reliable information available about the radioactive contents of the smoke.
Further, Aboriginal heritage protection and certain environmental regulations have been suspended for the Olympic Dam uranium mine.
And finally, the Royal Commission itself may act in breach of the “Nuclear Waste Storage Facility (Prohibition) Act” by promoting radioactive waste storage in SA.
Dennis Matthews, 13 Mar 15 Whilst belittling socially aware South Australian schoolteachers and environmentalists The Advertiser seems to be totally comfortable with pro-nuclear visiting British professors quoting numbers “suspect to challenge” and Japanese Professors supporting nuclear reactors and nuclear waste storage in Australia (The Advertiser, 13/3/15).
The British Professor is from the University College London, which has a campus in Adelaide, has had very generous funding from the people of SA but looks like closing its doors in the near future, and which appears to be a *Trojan Horse for the uranium mining and nuclear energy lobby.
The Japanese Professor is an “expert on international law” and as far as we can tell has no particular expertise on uranium mining, nuclear reactors or nuclear waste dumps but who claims that Australia could offer a “cradle to grave” solution to the nuclear industry. The people of Fukushima would be experts on that, but neither The Advertiser nor the esteemed professor of international law seems to be in a rush to talk about the reality versus the mirage.
* re UCL – a Trojan horse
Office for Nuclear Development
- Tim Stone, Senior Adviser to the Secretary of State for BERR and to the Chief Secretary of the Treasury on new nuclear power: he is the Chairman and founder of KPMG‘s Global Infrastructure and Projects Group.
Protecting the nuclear industry from bad news
Sharing intelligence with the industry
In December 2011, The Guardian revealed how the OND was “quietly exchanging intelligence on key policies with multinational companies in an effort to protect and promote their plans for new nuclear power stations”.
It shared information about the handling of the EDF‘s application to build the first of the new nuclear stations at Hinkley Point, in Somerset.
It also sent EDF and the Nuclear Industry Association details of its court battle against Greenpeace, which is trying to block the Government’s nuclear plans…….http://powerbase.info/index.php/Office_for_Nuclear_Development
Protesters warn of SA nuclear risks 9 News 11 Mar 15 Protesters have raised the spectre of the Fukushima nuclear disaster to warn against expanding the industry in South Australia.
The SA government has launched a royal commission to investigate whether the state should embrace nuclear enrichment, power production and the storage of waste.
Environmentalists have argued that the industry could generate catastrophic risks for the state.
Propping up a giant inflatable “nuclear waste” barrel, the protesters held signs reading “Aus Uranium Fuelling Fukushima” and “SA: Renewable not Radioactive”. http://www.9news.com.au/national/2015/03/11/13/05/protesters-warn-of-sa-nuclear-risks#5MFxGQZ8vrKyHfPv.99
Liberal and Labor MPs want Canada involved in Royal Commission – (pity about Canada’s nuclear corruption)
South Australia to tap Canada’s nuclear know-how THE AUSTRALIAN SA Bureau Chief Adelaide MARCH 07, 2015 SOUTH Australian Labor Treasurer Tom Koutsantonis has met Canadian government officials to push for their participation in his state’s royal commission into the nuclear industry.
Michael OwenSOUTH Australian Labor Treasurer Tom Koutsantonis has met Canadian government officials to push for their participation in his state’s royal commission into the nuclear industry.
The news came as federal Liberal MP Rowan Ramsey, whose electorate covers a vast area of South Australia’s remote far north, said he hoped a potential site for a national nuclear dump could be found inthe region, and would consider one on his 2400ha farm……..
Mr Koutsantonis, also the state’s Energy Minister, is a strong proponent of developing a nuclear energy industry in South Australia.
He was in Canada this week for the world’s largest mining convention, the annual Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada International Convention.
He told The Weekend Australian that South Australia’s planned royal commission into nuclear power was a hot topic in meetings at PDAC, held in Toronto with more than 25,000 attendees from 100 countries………
Mr Koutsantonis met senior government officials, in particular those from the provinces of Saskatchewan and Ontario, to talk about the potential of the nuclear fuel cycle in South Australia…….
Mr Koutsantonis said the reaction to Premier Jay Weatherill’s announcement of a royal commission had been “overwhelmingly positive”. He said that federal Trade Minister Andrew Robb, also in Canada promoting Australian mining interests, had reaffirmed the Abbott government’s support for the royal commission.
Lib MP happy to store nuclear waste 9 News 6 Mar 15 Federal Liberal backbencher Rowan Ramsey says he’d happily store nuclear waste on his South Australian farm.
The federal government has called for landholders to nominate sites for a national dump to store nuclear waste generated by medical, research and industrial processes.
Mr Ramsey, whose massive electorate of Grey covers almost 92 per cent of SA, says there’s nothing to fear about nuclear waste.
“I am very relaxed about the idea that they might find a good site in my electorate again,” he told ABC radio on Thursday……
The state Labor government’s royal commission into the nuclear industry is looking at the prospects of nuclear waste facilities in SA.
But with the inquiry set to stretch into 2016, it’s unlikely SA will endorse a site before the federal government’s nomination process closes on May 5. http://www.9news.com.au/national/2015/03/05/12/37/lib-mp-happy-to-store-nuclear-waste#IEXPPdGpfI11lEs0.99
Australian-first floating solar farm due to begin construction in SA ABC News By Matthew Doran, 5 Mar 15 An Australian-first floating solar power plant is expected to be operational in South Australia by early April, with construction about to begin. (Below – a floating solar energy plant in France)
The plant will float on a wastewater treatment facility in Jamestown in the state’s mid north. Felicia Whiting of Infratech Industries said the plant was designed so that much of the construction could be carried out offsite and slotted together at the facility. “We should see some plant on the site within about two weeks,” Ms Whiting said.
She also explained that as the solar panels were floating they would be kept cool by the water mass, making them about 57 per cent more efficient than land-based solar panels. “It prevents water evaporation up to 90 per cent of the surface area covered, and for dry states and dry climates that’s a big water saving measure,” Ms Whiting said.
“It prevents the outbreak of blue-green algae by keeping the surface water cool, which is for treated wastewater an issue in water quality. “By preventing photosynthesis, the energy from the sun goes into the panel rather than into the water.”……
Ms Whiting said that once operational, the plant would become Infratech’s showpiece for export around the world.”We’ve invested our whole research and development program in this technology over the past two years in South Australia,” she said.
“We have other councils waiting to have a look at this and see how it might be adapted to a water basin or a community wastewater management scheme.
“We are using Australian engineering and it’s an Australian supply chain – that will be taken internationally.” http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-03-05/australian-first-floating-solar-farm-for-sa/6281374
4 MAR 2015 THE CURRENT TERMS OF REFERENCE FOR THE ROYAL COMMISSION INTO SOUTH AUSTRALIA’S NUCLEAR INDUSTRY SADLY APPEAR TO PUT A HIGHER WEIGHTING ON INDUSTRY PROMOTION THAN PUBLIC INTEREST.
There is to be no review of SA’s atomic test legacy or flawed clean up attempts from earlier uranium mines. Disappointingly, the impacts and experience of current uranium mining is ignored lest it reflect poorly on industry expansion plans and key areas of very real public concern including health impacts, emergency capacity, implications for SA’s precious water resources and the potential for severe reputational and market damage to the important food, wine, fishing and tourism industries are missing.
Given that any credible assessment of the nuclear industry in South Australia also needs to fully explore the unique safety, security, legal, liability and transparency impacts and the full inter-generational economic, environmental and social costs and extent of direct or indirect public subsidies it appears that Premier Weatherill’s Royal Commission has failed to pass the most basic test of independence. Continue reading
BUSINESS has urged South Australia’s nuclear Royal Commission to fast-track consideration of hosting the nation’s first major waste dump, amid fears the state could miss out on a lucrative opportunity to take a foothold in a future storage industry.
The Federal Government has announced a new tender process for a national radioactive waste management facility and is seeking site nominations until May 5. However, South Australia’s Royal Commission is not expected to conclude until late this year or early 2016.
Australia has 4248 cubic metres of low level and 656 cubic metres of intermediate level waste in temporary storage, which the Federal Government is seeking to consolidate.
Most has been produced as the by-product of medical, research and industrial processes.
BusinessSA chief executive Nigel McBride said waste storage was a multibillion-dollar opportunity for the state and could become a major new revenue stream for government.
“The thing that really stands out as an opportunity is spent nuclear fuel storage,” he said.
“Maybe we need to fast track that. Maybe that’s the part of the Commission that needs to come out first. “We can’t just wait until the Commission is over. They’re calling for it now…….
Australian Conservation Foundation nuclear free campaigner Dave Sweeney called for the tender to be delayed amid fears a rushed process could harm communities and the environment.
“There are no compelling social or technical reasons to rush a decision on an issue that demands the highest quality decision making,” he said. “We have time to get this issue right.” http://www.adelaidenow.com.au/news/south-australia/nuclear-royal-commission-urged-to-fast-track-storage-talks/story-fni6uo1m-1227246749276
ROWAN RAMSEY MP Federal Member for Grey 4 Mar 15 CALL FOR VOLUNTARY LAND NOMINATIONS FOR A NATIONAL RADIOACTIVE WASTE MANAGEMENT FACILITY
Federal Member for Grey Rowan Ramsey welcomes the Australian Government’s decision to open the process for voluntary site nominations for a national radioactive waste management facility. ……
Mr Ramsey said an Independent Advisory Panel had been established by the Department of Industry and Science to assist with assessing nominations and advising the Government on which sites may be suitable for a facility.
“It is interesting that this call for volunteers has occurred when Premier Jay Weatherill has just launched a Royal Commission into the possibility of South Australia raising its participation in the nuclear industry past the simple supply of yellowcake,” Mr Ramsey said…….
“You know you feel gutted when they want to bring the nuke agenda back on,” she said. “The place has already been contaminated.
Maralinga could be flagged as nuclear dump site, opponent says in wake of SA royal commission, ABC News, 28 Feb 15 By Wendy Glamocak Less than four months after land used for nuclear testing in the 1950s was officially handed back to its traditional owners in full, nuclear is back on the agenda at Maralinga in South Australia.
Most of Maralinga’s 103,000 square kilometre lands were handed back to the Maralinga-Tjuarutja people in the 1980s, and in 2009, a 3,000 square kilometre site known as Section 400 that had been heavily contaminated by radiation and hazardous chemicals, was also handed back.
In November last year, the Defence Department officially gave the Maralinga-Tjarutja full control and unrestricted access to the lands.
Those connected to the land are worried that a newNuclear Fuel Cycle Royal Commission announced recently by Premier Jay Weatherill will see the land flagged as a potential site for a nuclear waste dump.
Karina Lester is the daughter of Yammi Lester, a man who said he was blinded by atomic tests on the site half a century ago. She said her grandmother was part of the Kupa Piti Kungka Tjuta, a council of senior Aboriginal women from northern SA who fought against the Howard Government’s plans in 1988 to build a national radioactive waste dump near Woomera.
After strong opposition from the local community, and from former SA premier Mike Rann, who won a High Court challenge against the proposal, the plan was abandoned in 2004.
Ms Lester said many custodians of the land were worried that the royal commission set up by Mr Weatherill meant they would soon have another fight on their hands.
“You know you feel gutted when they want to bring the nuke agenda back on,” she said. “The place has already been contaminated.
“Traditional owners are trying to move on from what happened back in the ’50s, but to perhaps propose that it’s a site for the waste, I think, is just another kick in the guts to the traditional owners up there at Maralinga-Tjaratja.
Language difficulties could ‘stand in the way’
Ms Lester said many traditional owners will want to make a submission to the royal commission but she was worried language difficulties would stand in their way.
The Premier’s office did not respond to ABC questions on Ms Lester’s concerns……..http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-02-28/maralinga-could-be-flagged-as-nuclear-dump-site-opponents-say/6270848
But by the end of this article – we are told that South Australia “is an idea site for nuclear waste disposal, both national and international — with the potential for huge financial returns.”
and that “The international nuclear industry has made enormous advances in the past 30 years and many of the concerns raised by Mr Rann may have been addressed.”
and that these concerns “should be addressed, and hopefully dispelled, by the Royal Commission.”
It sounds to me as though the Advertiser, scripted by the nuclear lobby, is softening readers up for the idea of a nuclear reprocessing industry, with the rationale of (supposedly) curing the world’s nuclear waste problem
Rex Jory: SA is an ideal site for nuclear waste disposal, Adelaide Advertiser, 1 Mar 15 “……..As an adviser to former Labor Premier, Don Dunstan, Mr Rann studied aspects of the nuclear industry in Europe and the United States and in the early 1980s wrote a 32 page soft-covered book outlining his concerns about SA’s potential involvement in the nuclear industry.
Mr Rann, now Australian Ambassador to Italy, may have revised some of his beliefs, yet his book raises serious issues which the community and the Labor Party cannot easily ignore. No matter what recent advances have been made in nuclear safety, what was true, or perceived to be true, in 1980 cannot now be rejected without questioning 35 years later. Continue reading
Pro nuclear spin hides the real motive behind South Australia’s Royal Commission – a nuclear waste import industry
When announcing the commission last month, SA Premier Jay Weatherill said it would “explore the opportunities and risks of South Australia’s involvement in the mining, enrichment, energy and storage phases for the peaceful use of nuclear energy”.
The move caught many by surprise, not least federal opposition leader Bill Shorten, who – unlike his Labor colleague Weatherill – remains opposed to nuclear.
The announcement also generated huge amounts of free PR for the nuclear industry, as shown in the avalanche of media coverage that ensued – some deliberately balanced, some sceptical of the commission and its value, but much of it highly favourable, especially in the business press.
It is not hard to see why. As Naomi Klein contends, nuclear power is an industrial technology, organised in a corporate manner. And as psychiatrist Robert Jay Lifton points out, no technology does more to underline humanity’s dominion over nature than our ability to split the atom.
The positive spin Continue reading
I’m hoping you will support us with this very important issue which has arisen from SA Goverenment regarding a Royal Commission into Nuclear Energy and proposal to store high-level nuclear waste at Maralinga, South Australia
Please read. With thanks, Yami Lester, Yankunytjatjara Walatinna Station, South Australia (08) 8670 5077
Statement on Royal Commission into Nuclear Energy and proposal to store high-level nuclear waste at Maralinga, South Australia:
In 1953 I was just ten years old when the bombs went off at Emu and Maralinga, I
didn’t know anything about nuclear issues back then, none of us knew what was happening. I got sick, and went blind from the fallout from those tests, and lot of our people got sick and died also.
Now I’m 73 years old and I know about nuclear issues, and I have some friends who know about nuclear waste, and they will fight the South Australian Government on their plans to put high-level nuclear waste at Maralinga and to develop nuclear energy in South Australia.
Why does the government keep bringing back nuclear issues when we know the problems last forever?
The Royal Commission into British Nuclear Tests in Australia (1984-85) revealed
what happened at Maralinga but it never told what happened to Aboriginal people; the findings were left open.Lawyers proved that there was radiation fallout over Walatinna, but because wenever had any doctors records to document what happened to us, (the closest clinic was Ernabella, 160km away as the crow flys and we didn’t have any transport to get there), we only had our stories and they were never written down.
A few years ago they cleaned up Maralinga from the waste that was leftover from the bomb tests; they spent $1 million, and now they’re going to put more waste back there?
That’s not fair because it’s Anangu land and they won’t be able to use that land.
Members from the APY, Maralinga-Tjarutja and Arabunna, Kokatha lands say we don’t want nuclear waste on our land.
The best thing the government can do is the leave the uranium in the ground, stop mining it.
We ask the South Australian Premier, Jay Weatherill, to talk to Aboriginal people on the lands, and to everyone who has been directly affected by the atomic tests and nuclear industry in Australia before he makes any decisions for South Australia.