Australian news, and some related international items

Scarce Royal Commission Report urges nuclear waste dump – “as soon as possible”

Scarce wastes moneyScarce urges SA nuclear waste dump – “as soon as possible”, INDaily, SENIOR JOURNALIST Tom Richardson, 9 May 16 

South Australia will take a leap into the unknown with a nuclear future firmly on the agenda, after the release today of the final report of the Scarce Royal Commission. The report emphasises the “safety” of increased participation in the nuclear fuel cycle – with a high-level global repository for spent fuel now a viable prospect – and the “significant and enduring economic benefits” to the local community.

“SA can safely increase its participation in nuclear activities,” the report summary begins – before again re-emphasising that a nuclear waste dump could generate a potential “$100 billion income in excess of expenditure”.

That would include a $32 billion reserve fund for facility closure and ongoing monitoring.

However, given the significance of the potential revenue and multi-decade timeframes under consideration, the commission – headed by former Governor Kevin Scarce – concluded such an enterprise “must be owned and controlled by the State Government”, and the wealth “preserved and equitably shared for current and future generations of South Australians”……

“The commission’s firm conclusion is that this opportunity should be actively pursued, and as soon as possible.”…..

His report concluded that “the risk of an accident occurring that could breach a cask of used fuel and cause radiation to be released is very low”……..

It also urges the Government to remove state prohibitions on the licensing of further processing activities, “to enable commercial development of multilateral facilities as part of nuclear fuel leasing arrangements” – and to push for similar removals at a federal level.

In a sign of further nuclear expansion in years to come, the report also recommends pursuing the removal of federal restrictions on nuclear power generation – “to allow it to contribute to a reliable, low-carbon electricity system, if required”.

The commission report was – like its February missive – bullish about the economic benefits of a waste dump, with its modelling estimating such as facility would grow the gross state product by “an additional 4.7 per cent – or $6.7 billion – by 2029-30”, adding 9600 full-time jobs to the workforce.

May 9, 2016 - Posted by | NUCLEAR ROYAL COMMISSION 2016

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