Australian news, and some related international items

No confidence in economic projections of #NuclearCommissionSAust

Extract from – Mothers for a Sustainable South Australia:  Our Response to the Tentative Findings of the Nuclear Fuel Cycle Royal Commission • Maureen Graney • Mary Houlahan • Tracey Kermond • Michelle Parsons • Barbara Pocock 18 March 2016
Scarce wastes moneyEconomic risks: ‘Trust me I’m an economist’
Applying a range of assumptions, the Commission suggests the dump could generate $51 billion for the state. The economic modeling for this conclusion is based on a set of heroic assumptions, given that there is no actual market for high-level waste, no price for it, and no way of predicting real costs including the costs of actual construction or possible accident remediation. A cost-benefit analysis for this proposal requires predictions for long periods (at least centuries), well beyond the capability of existing economic modeling.
We do not have confidence in the economic projections in the Tentative Report, especially given the impossibility of predicting the costs of possible future leaks or problems with a long-term waste dump, or the impact of new entrants to the waste disposal industry. If the financial benefits are large (and the technical possibilities achievable), they will certainly attract new entrants. However, new entrants raise the risks that, having received large quantities of high-level waste, we are left holding it in temporary storage, without a means to recover the costs if things go wrong (as discussed above). The risk of such costs exists for ten, twenty or tens of thousands of years ahead. In the event of some kind of accident, spill or new market conditions and entrants, future Australian generations would have to meet the cost, while the countries that generated the waste will have no interest in the liability or uneconomic nature of the industry.
Our state has taken decades to recover from the last great risk taken by a small group of bankers with the collapse of the state bank. We cannot risk a further economic disaster – potentially much larger in its economic effects – with its possible long-term, sizeable additional impact on future employment, liveability and our environment.
What are the economic risks to the state?
8. This is not the solution for disposal of high-level nuclear waste
The planet needs a solution for this dangerous waste. However, we are concerned that proponents for this proposal are looking for a ‘quick fix’ for South Australia’s economic problems, when safe storage of nuclear waste demands a globally considered solution.
Conclusion We support opportunities for growth of our state and future generations. But these need to deliver real, reliable benefits – not introduce new incalculable risks for our economy, health and environment. The creation of a high-level nuclear waste dump in South Australia is a decision that will be with us – and the children of the future – forever. Given the paucity of evidence that such a dump will not create unacceptable health, environmental and economic risks, we oppose its construction.
No amount of money can offset the potential risk of significant damage to our state, its citizens, our economy, and the lives of future generations – a risk that will persist for over a hundred thousand years.
We are reminded of the prophesy of the American Indian Cree elder who said:
‘When all the trees have been cut down, when all the animals have been hunted, when all the waters are polluted, when all the air is unsafe to breathe, only then will you discover you cannot eat money.’

May 6, 2016 - Posted by | significant submissions to 6 May

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: