Greens call on Nuclear Royal Commission to “get real”
The Greens SA’s submission to the Nuclear Royal Commission’s Tentative Findings rejects the suggestion that an economic bonanza awaits our State if South Australians would only resign ourselves to becoming the world’s nuclear garbage bin.
“The Royal Commission has been blinded by imaginary wealth and sucked into believing that a project that has never succeeded anywhere else in the World is South Australia’s for the taking”, said Greens SA Parliamentary Leader, Mark Parnell MLC.
“The most obvious question is being ignored: If this is such a great deal, how come no other country has grabbed it before now?
“The Greens are urging the Royal Commission to “get real” and critically examine the supposed economic benefits alongside the ongoing economic, social, environmental and reputational costs.
“Washing your hands of responsibility for a toxic legacy left to future generations is just immoral.
“The solution to South Australia’s current unemployment problems won’t be solved with mythical jobs that are decades into the future with the creation of toxic liabilities that last hundreds of thousands of year.
On releasing the “Tentative Findings” Report to the media on 15th February 2016, Commissioner Kevin Scarce stated, “The community needs to understand the risks and the benefits.” The Royal Commission’s “Tentative Findings” highlights many purported benefits but is scant on detail when it comes to the profound risks.
According to the Greens’ submission, the “Tentative Findings” suffer from:
1.Unrealistic expectations of the magnitude of the project;
2.Failure to appreciate 6 decades of international failure to solve the nuclear waste problem;
3.Missing costs, unfunded liabilities, missing contingencies and failure to recognise inevitable cost blow-outs
4.Heroic assumptions of other countries’ willingness to pay for SA to take their nuclear waste;
5.Lack of recognition of the potential for irrecoverable sunk costs and unlimited future liabilities;
6.Failure to address reputational damage and impact on other sectors of the economy; and
7.Naïve expectations that South Australia would get to keep all the profits from a nuclear waste dump in our State, without having to share them with other States.
“The Commission’s final report due on 6th May should recommend that the folly of South Australia’s increased involvement in the nuclear industry be abandoned.
“In relation to the other Terms of Reference, increased uranium mining, uranium processing or nuclear power were never really an option for SA and the Royal Commission was an expensive way to tell us what we already knew”, concluded Mark Parnell.
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