Australian news, and some related international items

Submissions to #NuclearCommissionSAust show up 10 things wrong with its case

Scarce thanks experts 110 holes in the Royal Commission’s pro nuclear dump case, Independent Australia   Noel Wauchope 9 May 2016, IT WOULD BE no surprise that South Australia’s questionable Nuclear Fuel Cycle Royal Commission (NFCRC) is recommending that Australia become the world’s nuclear waste import hub.

That has been the intended outcome from the beginning, when the Commission was set up, over a year ago.

The questionable integrity of the NFCRC was discussed in a submission by Yurij Poetzl  over a year ago. Poetzl pointed out Royal Commissioner Kevin Scarce‘s conflict of interest, as a shareholder in Rio Tinto, and as a member of the Committee for Economic Development In Australia (CEDA).

CEDA’s Policy Perspectives of November 2011 clearly supports and promotes the growth of South Australia’s nuclear industry. The Royal Commissioner selected predominantly pro-nuclear experts for the Commission’s Expert Advisory Committee. The Expert Advisory Committee had no involvement from health or medical professionals. Poetzl went on to list 22 significant questions that were not addressed in the Royal Commission’s Terms of Reference.

Speaking in November 2014 at Flinders University, Scarce acknowledged being

an advocate for a nuclear industry.

This doubt is raised again, in the latest batch of submissions, which were published on the Royal Commission’s website on 2 May. In a submission that is neutral, not anti-nuclear, Gary Rowbottom notes that:

Mr. Scarce, in his delivery of the tentative findings, a mere day after the release of these findings, seemed to be critical of any comments made in opposition to deepening Australia’s involvement in the nuclear fuel cycle, often citing lack of evidence for viewpoints expressed.

there is a fair bit of evidence that the commission members themselves are in the majority, clearly quite pro nuclear. I am not happy at the lack of subjectivity that may have brought to the findings, particularly on the waste issue. Whilst Mr. Scarce did say that they did look at the negative sides of all the Issue papers, there is not much evidence of that in the Tentative Findings.

Kevin Scarce, would, I am sure, dismiss such criticisms as just “opinion” or “emotional”, “not fact-based” or “formed upon fear”.

The Royal Commission’s problem is that criticisms of its findings are fact-based.

The latest batch of submissions brings up many unanswered questions

1. Aboriginal rights……. ~ Anggumathanha Camp Law Mob, ……

. ~ Ngoppon Together Inc

2. Economics…….The Royal Commission’s Tentative Finding, that substantial economic benefits could be obtained at low risk from the storage and disposal of used nuclear fuel in South Australia, is not soundly based……. Dr Mark Diesendorf,

…..The proposal is that we should accept waste before the repository has been completely built and tested. This proposal is so reckless, as to be negligent. We would face the very real risk of being left with high-level nuclear waste, and no technology to properly handle it. ~ Dr Andrew Allison
…..If this is such a great deal, how come no other country has grabbed it before now? ~ South Australian Greens…….
In the event of a disaster the Government (and therefore, the taxpayer) will be required to sort out the mess. ~ Graham Glover.

3. Safety……We are asked in the Tentative Report to take these recommendations “on faith” given that the proposed high-level waste dump is not operational anywhere on earth  and, further, that the dump proposed for our state is twenty times larger than that planned (not actual) for Finland. ~ Mothers for a Sustainable South Australia

4. Transport dangers…… I do not accept that road transport from port to repository site will be perfectly safe, even on a dedicated purpose built road. ~ Paul Langley

……..We are concerned at the obvious dangers of transporting overseas high level radioactive wastes into our state and country. Catholic Religious South Australia 

5. Climate change…..

Has the NFCRC incorporated the potential impacts of climate change on the ecology and geology the State? ….~ Trisha Drioli…….  There is no analysis of the potential impacts on the environment into the future…….~  Mark Parnell

6. Health ….  Factual evidence is given in this submission by Dan Monceaux

7. The legality of the Commission under question ……THE WASTE REPOSITORY PROPOSAL VIOLATES EXISTING AGREEMENTS AND AUSTRALIAN LAWS ~ Dr Andrew Allison 

8. Lack of transparency…….there is no transparency. Local get-togethers do not equal public engagement. These are serious matters which are of national concern. ~ Anne McGovern 

9. Impact on other industries ……The Nuclear Fuel Cycle Royal Commission Tentative Findings Report contains many generously overstated ambitions, almost no analysis of the environmental, tourism or agricultural consequences with its focus on narrowly supported economic benefits…. ~ Holly-Kate Whittenbury …….

 SAWIA notes that its members have genuine concerns about the potential risks to the reputation of the South Australian wine industry in the event of a nuclear accident occurring on South Australian soil…..South Australian Wine Industry Association Incorporated

10. Deceptive spin about medical wastes… Even if the waste depot did only receive low level, medical waste, the facility would not be economically viable; medical waste, as described by physician Louise Emmett, only needs to be stored for such a short time that it would hardly make it to the waste facility for dumping, before it breaks down;‘In the vast majority of nuclear medicine practices the storage issue is not particularly current in terms of what we keep. It’s waste products have a short half life, up to eight days half life, so it would be difficult to take that long distances for storage.’ (Baillie, R. 2012.)

‘It is at best misleading and at worst a lie to claim that a large-scale nuclear waste repository such as what is being proposed would be solely justified to handle the minuscule amounts of nuclear medicine waste generated in Australia.’ (Parnell, M.2015.) ~ Holly-Kate Whittenbury,8966

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

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