Michael Wallis-Smith examines indigenous, ethical, economic aspects of the Nuclear Royal Commission’s findings
“……SOCIAL/ENVIRONMENTAL/CULTURAL REASONS FOR NOT SUPPORTING THE WASTE FACILITY Sec 103-115. Social and community consent The decision not to allow the transport and disposal of high level nuclear waste was embodied in legislation some years ago. SA decided not to grant a social licence for a waste facility. The interim report does not provide compelling findings to change the decision.
Submissions to date provide evidence the community does not wish to change its mind. A number of Indigenous Communities, environment and conservation groups have indicated they do not support a disposal facility for high level waste in SA.
We have no ethical right to ignore or over rule cultural concerns raised by our First Australian’s about development on Native Title Lands. Apart from not wanting high level waste on areas of cultural significance Aboriginal wishes to be fully consulted and listened to on all matters affecting their culture and way of life is paramount……
Economic impacts will extend beyond the tourism, transport, construction and training sectors. There will be impacts across the entire economy. Not all will add to productivity.
The Project will take scarce capital resources away from alternative infra-structure projects and cause a significant re – ordering of State priorities. Our States current image and brand could be tarnished.
Do we want to rely on nuclear waste to reinvigorate our Economy?
After our experience with over reliance on the car and mining sectors we need to think carefully about the potential impact of investing so much in a capital intensive, high risk venture. Do we want to change current investment, employment trends? We are emerging in the Pacific Basin as an 5 international leader in renewables and energy efficiency. Why change the emphasis to become a State reliant on the risky nuclear waste disposal field?
Cash Flow Cash flows are negative for many years. There is no revenue in the first few years only outgoings. The outflow for the first 2 years with accumulated construction costs is estimated to be about $2.4billion. This means the SA public must carry the impact of the outflow for the period. How was this figure calculated? Does it include all the initial costs? How will this be paid for?…..
What is the probability of an accident? Could the financial impact be modelled? Even with a relatively low probability the impact could be substantial in terms of loss of reputation with costly remedial action. We do not want any accidents in the rich marine waters of the Gulf. The Projected Annual Revenue $5.6b puts the project as one of major potential impact for SA not only in terms of gain but also in terms of loss if the project fails, or is shut down in the first 10- 15 years. Does SA want the potential for long term nuclear liability on its books? I expect many tax payers do not……http://nuclearrc.sa.gov.au/app/uploads/2016/04/Wallis-Smith-Michael.pdf
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