Australian news, and some related international items

Australia should not be guinea pig for new nuclear reactors – Australia’s Chief Scientist

scrutiny-Royal-Commission CHAINDr Alan Finkel, Australia’s Chief Scientist, recommends that IF Australia gets ‘new generation’ nuclear reactors, they should be proven successful first, in some other country:

Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering. President Dr Alan Finkel  Submission to South Australia Nuclear Fuel Chain Royal Commission 


“ If the Royal Commission should favour establishment of a nuclear power plant, ATSE recommends that ‘first of a kind’ (FOAK) technology – specifically, Generation IV reactors  should not be considered by South Australia at this time”

Finkel supports a nuclear waste import industry:

“South Australia and thus Australia as a whole is well positioned to undertake waste storage as part of the nuclear fuel cycle.”

But qualifies this:

“The opportunity for South Australia to provide commercial permanent waste storage facilities for overseas nuclear power plant spent fuel owners could exist and would certainly offer commercial opportunities for the State. However, based on the negative public reaction to the poorly explained and marketed Pangea proposal some years ago, the public may still find this concept unacceptable”

It is a careful submission, thorough, and with qualified support for the nuclear fuel chain.

On URANIUM MINING  – he recognises that the market is at best uncertain.

On URANIUM ENRICHMENT  PROCESSING & FUEL FABRICATION –he is  in favour but with some serious qualifications.

On NUCLEAR POWER – only vaguely in favour.:

“ – may require government guarantees and/or government capital injections to encourage investment. This could possibly require the South Australian or Commonwealth governments becoming a stakeholder in the establishment of a nuclear power plant.”

“Any feasibility would also establish the likely cost of power from such reactor technologies and the guaranteed selling price to the grid. If this is not an equitable situation then the project would not be able to proceed. If nuclear power is to proceed in its development it will need to be competitive against carbon fuelled generation including carbon capture and storage (CCS) in its supply of baseload generation, and likely renewable energy generation if storage methods continue to improve”

“EPBC Act would need to be amended. South Australian legislation also regulates environmental and transportation matters, including the Radiation Protection and Control Act 1982 and the Radiation Protection and Control (Transport of Radioactive Substances) Regulations 2003.”

As mentioned above, Finkel is opposed to Australia being the test place for the first Generation IV reactors

January 25, 2016 Posted by | Submissions to Royal Commission S.A. | Leave a comment


scrutiny-Royal-Commission CHAINSubmission to South Australia Nuclear Fuel Chain Royal Commission  –ASSOCIATION OF MINING AND EXPLORATION COMPANIES (AMEC) 

A common theme is emerging in the pro nuclear Submissions to the  RC.  Apart from the common factor these Submissions mostly come either directly or indirectly from vested interests, their common agenda is very often that the RC should recommend public education about the nuclear industry. (and I don’t think that they mean informing the public about the environmental, health, safety, economic hazards – quite the reverse.)

  • An equally important theme is to push for removal of laws that accept the nuclear industry as especially hazardous, due to its special  danger of ionising radiation:


AMEC wants “The removal of “mining or milling of uranium ore” from the definition of ‘nuclear action’ in section 22(1)(d) of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999”

  •  AMEC confines itself to promoting the uranium industry –  getting tax-payer incentives for exploration, easier licensing, Commonwealth funding,  and lessening regulations, weakening environmental approval processes e.g:

“Early implementation of the ‘one stop shop’ environmental assessment and approval process.”

“it is important that the policy barriers applying to container ports identified for uranium export are removed”

  • Importantly AMEC wants to make making it easier to get around Native Title:

“Priority focus on resolving outstanding Native Title claims.

Mechanisms that will provide greater clarity and certainty to third parties who need to engage with the Applicant and native title claim group outside the claims process (for example in the context of making future act and heritage agreements) are required.

That consideration should be given as to whether an Applicant can authorise an agent to act on its behalf, and what powers can be abrogated to the agent.”

  • And on course  – the public education bit:

“The development of a national public education and awareness strategy”   The challenge is to increase public education, awareness, confidence and acceptance of the uranium industry.” …’




January 25, 2016 Posted by | Submissions to Royal Commission S.A. | Leave a comment