Australian news, and some related international items

“Your Say” comment on Economics of Nuclear Waste Importing

scrutiny-on-wastes-sa-bankruptJohn Collins 30 Oct 2016

While, for me, the risks of irretrievable environmental disaster are paramount, the purported ‘economics’ are also relevant.
Firstly the RC Report states: “There is no existing market to ascertain the price a customer may be willing to pay for the permanent disposal of used fuel.” (p.93)

It goes on, “the baseline scenario assumes that 50 per cent
 of the accessible quantities of used fuel and intermediate level waste will be stored and disposed of in South Australian facilities” (p.292 – see also p.98 and p.298)

To assume that a start-up venture for what is made out to be a highly profitable, low-risk undertaking will be able to capture a 50% market share seems most unlikely noting that the report itself acknowledges; “(i)t should be underscored that there is significant potential for other countries to develop a domestic solution …” (p.97)

The RC Report states: “The modelling assumed the establishment of a reserve fund to provide for the costs of decommissioning, remediation of surface facilities, closure, back fill of underground facilities and the ongoing, post-closure monitoring phase.” (p.301) The report also acknowledges that; “(t)he consequences of human error and ‘normal’ accidents must be anticipated, expected and planned for in system design and operation.” (p.91) It appears that the costing for these eventualities (noting the life of the dump is “at least 10 000 years and up to a million years” (p.85) has not been taking into account.
It seems to me that at very best the figures are ‘rubbery’.

And again I would ask the basic test question, ‘if importing high level waste is so straightforward, safe and so very, very profitable why are no other countries (or Australian States or Territories) doing so already?’ Noting that ‘other countries’ that could consider such a project are entrepreneurial, technically advanced, and, most importantly, experienced in handling nuclear waste (unlike SA). Such countries include, China, USA, Russia and the Scandinavian and EU countries.

October 30, 2016 - Posted by | Nuclear Citizens Jury

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