On nuclear waste dumping: America’s Dept of Energy more truthful than South Australia’s Nuclear Royal Commission
Derek Abbott No High Level International Nuclear Waste Dump in South Australia, 4 Feb 17, Here’s the American DOE report on repositories. Notice it’s much more truthful than our Royal Commission report. For starters it:
(a) compares the disadvantages of different types of rock for a repository and there are many openly listed, and
(b) it openly mentions the tens of $billions needed in repackaging costs for the fuel. Our Royal Commission totally side stepped these points. https://www.energy.gov/sites/prod/files/2014/04/f15/DOE%20DispOptions%20R1%20Volume1%20Apr15.pdf
South Australian Liberal leader stresses that the Royal Commission nuclear waste plan economically risky
“ there was nothing in the analysis that we did post the royal commission report being tabled down that gave us any form of comfort that there wasn’t huge economic risk associated with this proposal.”
Marshall: Nothing’s off the table – except nuclear, INDaily, Adelaide Monday January 16, 2017
Liberal leader Steven Marshall says he has an open mind on policy solutions, today declaring South Australia “can’t afford to take one single solitary thing off the table” – only minutes after launching a strident defence of his unilateral move to take nuclear waste storage off the table.
The Liberals were put in the spotlight last week when former senator Sean Edwards mused about a push by business supporters to see him installed into state parliament, and possibly to replace Marshall as leader. Edwards refused to rule out either scenario, repeating earlier disenchantment over his party’s decision to withdraw support for a broad discussion over a proposed nuclear waste dump…….
Marshall said of the party room’s decision to withdraw support for further nuclear debate: “A lot of people are out there saying it’s a political decision by Steven Marshall and the Liberal Party; nothing could be further from the truth.”
“We welcomed the royal commission in the first place, in fact we were the only party that was talking about the nuclear opportunity for South Australia before the last election,” he said.
“But there was nothing in the analysis that we did post the royal commission report being tabled down that gave us any form of comfort that there wasn’t huge economic risk associated with this proposal.”…… http://indaily.com.au/news/politics/2017/01/16/marshall-nothings-off-the-table-except-nuclear/
Derek Abbott No High Level International Nuclear Waste Dump in South Australia, 15 Jan 17
So talk of Ben-Hur proportions that a dump will stimulate expansion of the nuclear industry, allowing power for countries in poverty, meeting power needs for growing populations, and that it fills a moral obligation is invalidated by the fact the dump can’t even keep pace with such visions.
So if we peel away all this hollow rhetoric the only real justification for the dump is to make a fast buck, and the ‘noble’ talk of how the dump will save the world is trumped-up sales hype.
And as we know, the goal of making a profit is highly questionable given considerable economic risks and uncertainties involved.https://www.facebook.com/groups/1314655315214929/
Opposition treasury spokesman Rob Lucas said Mr Hamilton-Smith “stands condemned for misleading everyone” about Taiwan’s views
Taiwanese energy firm rejects Martin Hamilton-Smith’s claim it would help set up SA nuclear waste dump Daniel Wills, State political editor, The Advertiser 14 Dec 2016
TAIWAN’S state-owned energy company has bluntly rejected Investment and Trade Minister Martin Hamilton-Smith’s claim the country would consider paying to help set up a nuclear waste dump in SA, saying in a letter that it “hereby declares this is a false information”.
Just days after Premier Jay Weatherill’s citizens’ jury last month overwhelmingly dumped on plans for nuclear storage in SA, amid concerns about trust, Mr Hamilton-Smith insisted he had met with Taiwanese officials who expressed a “clear message” of interest in investment.
“There’s clearly a demand and our neighbours may be in a position to put hundreds of millions, if not billions, into infrastructure and then paying to dump waste on an ongoing basis,” he said.
However, correspondence from state-owned power company Taipower and the country’s Atomic Energy Council to government party MP Su Chih-Feng rejects Mr Hamilton-Smith’s claim.
While they note there was a meeting with Mr Hamilton-Smith on November 10, Taipower says his spin of the events in Adelaide three days later was “a false information”.
The translation from Mandarin to English was done by a Taiwanese NGO and provided to The Advertiser by antinuclear activists Friends of the Earth Australia. It states Taipower was interested in using a dump which had been established, but not paying to help set one up. Continue reading
Why would any reasonable society actually WANT to expose themselves to danger and the
greatest known risk to human kind and for a completely incomprehensible time of at least
100,000 years till the danger of contamination of earth, waters and human beings subsides!!!
For money? For jobs?
What substitute is money and jobs for some at the cost of clean air, uncontaminated water,
uncontaminated land for food growing, a safe environment to bring up children, a healthy
environment to bring up children, a clean environment for every generation?
What extraordinary motivation is driving those who want to risk all this to involve South
Australia our homeland further into the contamination from which there will be no return?
Josephite SA Reconciliation Circle
Royal Commission into the Nuclear Fuel Cycle
SUBMISSION TO ISSUES PAPER 4 “…Regarding the storage of high level (or nuclear long lived) waste, the Royal Commission must
• accept and
• make perfectly clear to the citizens of South Australia
that there are simply NO World’s Best practice for the storage of high level (or nuclear long
The material is simply too dangerous, will live on dangerously for an outrageous 200,000
years (CCSA 2015) – and despite the fervent hopes ofthe nuclear industryIlobby- there are
no technological solutions to its safe storage – now or likely to be in the foreseeable future
and quite possibly never.
Unfortunately there is no safeguard in the assurances of those who claim that the situation is
safe and weapons proliferation won’t happen ‘because we say it won’t ‘.
As long term South Australian citizens our members are well placed to know that –
in the Ernul Maralinga nuclear explosions and the later even more damaging so called ‘minor
trials’ which contained plutonium there were ready assurances given by those whose vested
interests were served by the nuclear explosions going ahead. (as quoted in 1.8. above)
The effects of the Emu and Maralinga fallouts affected many South Australians particularly
those living in the remote Far West and North West of our state and in the areas around
Coober Pedy. Many were Aboriginal and their life style of ground cooking and other factors
placed them in an extremely vulnerable position. This experience – personal in most cases
and to their families in others – is what galvanised the Senior Women Elders of Coober Pedy,
known as the Kupa Piti Kungka Tjuta (KPKT) to lead what became the national successful
campaign of 1998-2004 against the Federal Government’s imposition of a national radioactive
dump on their land.
All of us were living when the Government used the country for the bomb…Some were living at
Twelve Mile, just out ofCoober Pedy… Whitefellas and all got sick. When we wereyoung, no
women got breast cancer or any other kind ofcancer. Cancer was unheard of with me either and
no asthma. We were people without sickness.
The Government thought they knew what they were doing then. Now again they are coming
along and telling us poor blackfellas, ‘Oh, there’s nothing that’s going to happen, nothing is going
to killyou.’And that will still happen like that bomb over there. KPKTApril 1998 Continue reading
Nuclear Poker: The Premier declares his hand, but who will win?, Adelaide Review, John Spoehr, NOVEMBER 24, 2016 You Don’t generally establish a Royal Commission on a major economic question unless you have an answer in mind. Tom Playford initiated a Royal Commission into the Electricity Industry in South Australia to bring the industry under greater public control. He was fed up with the privately run Adelaide Electric Supply Company (AESC) and was open to radical change. By the mid-1940s, most states had nationalised their electricity industries…..
It is against the weight of this history that the Premier and the State Government push. They also push against great disappointment – disappointment that the state’s prosperity should, in any way, be tied to becoming a nuclear waste dump. Surely we can do better than that, many South Australians are saying. More than 3000 protestors on Parliament House steps made it clear that a dump was not an option.
What frustrates many about the latest twist in the nuclear waste dump debate is the apparent abuse of process when the State Government didn’t get the result it wanted. It has created an expectation that the Citizens’ Jury would guide the decision. When the Jury came out against the dump, the Premier had a plan B – put it to a referendum.
The election of Donald Trump sharpened views about the political cost of not listening to the Citizens’ Jury. While the Premier was prepared to take the risk and face accusations of having a tin ear, Opposition Leader Steven Marshall made a captain’s call to oppose the dump on economic grounds. While the Premier alienated many in his traditional support base by being the architect of the impossible, he won new friends on the other side of politics by daring to do what they would not have done themselves. Whether this translates into Labor votes from disgruntled Liberal voters at the March 2018 State election is difficult to know.
Having criticised the Opposition Leader for abandoning bi-partisan support, the Premier has few cards left to play in his game of nuclear poker. There has been talk of trying to lock in a customer nation to demonstrate that there is real demand for the dump, but customers will remain cautious, preferring not to declare their hand. Steven Marshall has laid his cards on the table and so too has the Premier. Their parties are divided on the stance they have both taken. …..
Just why the development of a nuclear industry in South Australia should be so attractive to some is a fascinating question. Those who support a waste dump generally also support the enrichment of uranium and nuclear power generation. Some also see merit in South Australia manufacturing nuclear-powered submarines. I doubt that the pursuit of a dump will satisfy the ambitions of the nuclear lobby. https://adelaidereview.com.au/opinion/politics/nuclear-poker-premier-declares-hand-will-win/
EP citizen juror loses trust in state government on nuclear process, http://www.eyretribune.com.au/story/4292223/loss-of-trust-in-nuclear-process/?cs=1447 14 Nov 2016, CLEVE resident Deb Carlaw, who was one of 10 Eyre Peninsula representatives on the Nuclear Fuel Cycle’s Citizens’ Jury, has returned from her time on the jury, with a “strong feeling” of distrust in the state government.
“We felt we were being herded toward making the middle vote (go ahead with investigations into the facility) and I was horrified by the manipulation and subterfuge underway – it really opened my eyes,” Mrs Carlaw said.
The jury was a collective of 350 people from across the state which Mrs Carlaw said did not include many regional or rural people. Two thirds of the jury voted to not go ahead further with the waste proposal, with economic benefits, trust, safety and lack of indigenous consent key points in their decision. Mrs Carlaw said 100 per cent of the EP representatives voted a strong ‘no’ to the proposal.
South Australian Premier Jay Weatherill has now said the discussion should continue on the proposed facility, which will only be achieved by political party bipartisanship and a state wide referendum. Mrs Carlaw said she was disappointed but not surprised Mr Weatherill was continuing on with the proposal, regardless of the fact the jury was “supposed to be the voice of the state”.
“Fuorteen million dollars down the drain because the government won’t accept the verdict we came up with,” she said.
Mrs Carlaw had used social media as a platform to ask what people on Eastern Eyre felt regarding the nuclear proposal before she attended the jury, with the majority saying ‘no’ to the idea.
“We had people stand up, including a representative from PIRSA, who advised the jurors that country people wanted this facility, which I couldn’t believe, as from the information we had received from community members, this was not the case.”
She said the responses to any questions regarding nuclear accidents were met with a blanket statement of “there will never be any”. Mrs Carlaw said the facts she received while on the jury firmly made her mind up to not support the proposed facility.
She said the experience had been challenging, physically and mentally and had missed out on important family events, because she wanted to be able to see the experience to the end.“I wanted to be able to devote myself to this responsibility – I studied, I talked, I listened and I learnt,” Mrs Carlaw said.
“By removing this tricky “back end problem” of where to store the waste Australian taxpayers can really assist foreign investors to make more money”
It’s not simply a matter however of digging a best-of-breed hole with the taxpayer bearing 100 per cent of the cost – and sanctioned by a cost-benefit analysis focused on benefits but not costs.
The nuclear dump proposal probably couldn’t have got where it is today without the helpful influence of UCL Australia, the “international campus” of the University College London, which is located in Adelaide.
This university campus was started in 2008 with helpful funding from BHP (Olympic Dam – the world’s largest known deposit of uranium in South Australia) and Santos.
Visit Australia, home of the world’s nuclear waste dump! http://www.michaelwest.com.au/visit-australia-home-of-the-worlds-nuclear-waste-dump/ November 23, 2016 “Come visit Australia, home of the world’s nuclear waste dump!”
It’s got a ring about it, no doubt about that. Imagine the tourism potential, imagine the premium prices our agricultural produce would fetch! We would be the envy of the global community. Yet this visionary proposal by South Australian premier Jay Weatherill is being white-anted, shot down by naysayers, people who have little understanding of the benefits of hosting the world’s high-level nuclear waste.
Thankfully Rupert Murdoch’s quality newspaper, The Adelaide Advertiser, has thrown its wisdom and authority behind the shrewd plan for the state’s glowing future.
There is still some conjuring of consent to be done though. Despite the Premier and his crack cabinet holding a Royal Commission which recommended the waste dump; and despite expert’s advice in the guise of the Jacobs report, the naysayers have kept their dastardly campaign afoot.
They even alleged this Jacobs report was somehow lacking in independence just because it was written by paid advocates of the nuclear industry. Continue reading
‘We are not a dump is SA, we want to keep it beautiful’ — Umoona Community. ‘We’ve got to think about the country’ — Ceduna. The last 30 days have seen some big developments in the ongoing attempts of SA Premier Weatherill’s plan to import high-level and intermediate level radioactive waste into South Australia.
On Sunday 6 November came the surprising decision of the Premier-initiated Citizens Jury. By the end of their six day deliberations, the 350 second round jurists showed a decided shift in opinion. Their 50 page report, presented to a somewhat discomfited Premier, had a strong two thirds majority declaring the international nuclear dump was not to go ahead ‘under any circumstances’.
Contrary to expectations, my own included, the jury, realising the bias of the royal commission and other government initiated forums, had insisted on their own choice of counter experts. Continue reading
there will be more consultation. There is also a parliamentary inquiry into the issue, due to report on November 29, which sources suggest is likely to split three-all, with Labor and Family First on one side and the Greens and Liberals on the other.
And further analysis of the royal commission’s economic calculations, received by the state parliament this week, is highly critical
SA’s citizen jury defies royal commission, SA’s citizen jury, which rejected the Nuclear Fuel Cycle Royal Commission’s pro-storage stance, reveals the democratic tension when governments open decision-making to the people while seeking a predetermined outcome. Saturday Paper 19 Nov 16 MIKE SECCOMBE
The available evidence, however, suggested he was taking a lot of water. Over more than a year the former navy man and South Australian governor had steered his royal commission into the nuclear fuel cycle towards a radioactive future. Now, six months after the release of his report recommending the state become a repository for nuclear waste, it had been badly holed.
A citizens’ jury of 350 randomly selected people had looked into the findings, had heard evidence from witnesses selected for them and from their own selected witnesses and had come down by a margin of about two-to-one against any plan to store high-level nuclear waste in the state. This was a surprise to many, including some opponents of the plan who already had put a deal of work into formulating elaborate conspiracy theories and disseminating the message that the citizens’ jury was designed as a stitch-up.
If it was – and we’ll come back to the claims – then it was very badly stitched. The jury’s opposition was absolute.
“Under no circumstances should South Australia pursue opportunity to store and dispose of nuclear waste from other countries for reasons of consent, economic, trust and safety,” the report said. Continue reading
“…….A long history of talk but with little “legal” support
South Australia’s proposal to encourage the world to export its high-level nuclear waste to Australia is in stark contrast to the previous positions of both the Federal and South Australian Governments. Moreover, significant reform to State laws and to existing Federal practice would be required to facilitate the proposal, none of which has been formulated.
In 1998, the responsible Federal Minister condemned a recommendation by nuclear waste management consortium Pangea Resources for a repository for international high-level nuclear waste in the Western Australian outback. He reiterated Australia’s long-standing bipartisan opposition to such a development:
…no high level radioactive waste facility is planned for Australia and the government has absolutely no intention of accepting the radioactive waste of other countries. The policy is clear and absolute and will not be changed. We will not be accepting radioactive waste from other countries.1
Nuclear Economics Consulting Group reports on the diseconomics of importing nuclear waste to South Australia
New expert report on dump causes major problems for Weatherill http://www.roblucas.com.au/Media-Releases/ID/933/New-expert-report-on-dump-causes-major-problems-for-Weatherill 16 November 2016
Shadow Treasurer Rob Lucas said today a new expert study into the nuclear waste dump will cause major problems for Mr Weatherill as it raises significant concerns and questions about the financial assumptions of the project.
The report by international nuclear experts Nuclear Economics Consulting Group was released today by the Joint Parliamentary Committee and makes it clear that the claimed revenue of $257 billion and costs of $145 billion by the Weatherill Government cannot be relied upon.
“This report is a severe embarrassment for Mr Weatherill as it makes it clear the Weatherill Government leaks to the media on the weekend were selective, deceptive and an attempt to grossly mislead the public,” said Mr Lucas.
The report notes:
- That ‘under some Project approaches” South Australian taxpayers might have to spend even more than $600 million and still decide not to proceed with the dump.
- The Jacobs report doesn’t even consider the costs of some important issues which “have significant serious potential to adversely impact the Project and its commercial outcomes.”
- Assumptions about price are “overly optimistic” and if that is the case “project profitability is seriously at risk”.
- The 25% cost contingency for delays and blowouts is likely to be a significant underestimate.
- The assumption the Project would capture 50% of the available market had “little support or justification”.
Almost every page of this expert report lists further questions and concerns about the critical assumptions underpinning the projections.
“Whilst the report finds that the project could be profitable ‘under certain assumptions’ it then raises serious questions about most of those assumptions. It also concluded that ‘informed decision making will require a more extensive assessment that includes what was explicitly excluded in the Jacobs report.’
“It is now clear that weekend claims by the Weatherill Government that this report had ‘verified’ the Royal Commission’s figures and “backed Commission findings of $257 billion in revenue are a grotesque distortion of the report.
“In fact, this report ‘blows a hole’ in Mr Weatherill’s vision of a nuclear waste dump future for South Australia and backs Liberal concerns about the financial assumptions of the Project.”
Under the new law, export to countries outside the EU will be allowed but only under strict and binding conditions.
At present, such deep geological repositories do not exist anywhere in the world nor is a repository in construction outside of the EU.
Europe Adopts Long-Term Nuclear Waste Storage Law http://ens-newswire.com/2011/07/19/europe-adopts-long-term-nuclear-waste-storage-law/ BRUSSELS, Belgium, July 19, 2011 For the first time, the European Union has committed itself to the final disposal of its nuclear waste. Heads of government today adopted the radioactive waste and spent fuel management directive, “in order to avoid imposing undue burdens on future generations.”…..
The directive will enter into force at the latest in September of this year. Member States will have two years to transpose its provisions into their national laws.
By 2015, governments must submit their first national programs to the European Commission, the EU’s executive branch, which will examine them and can require changes……
Some 7,000 cubic meters of high-level nuclear waste are produced across the EU each year. Most Member States store spent fuel and other highly radioactive wastes in above-ground storage facilities that need continuous maintenance and oversight and are at risk of accidents, such as airplane crashes, fires or earthquakes. Hungary and Bulgaria currently ship nuclear waste to Russia.
In its most controversial provision, the new law allows export of nuclear waste to countries outside the EU. In its initial proposal, the Commission had advocated a complete export ban.
On June 23, 2011, the European Parliament in its plenary session voted in favor of a complete export ban as proposed by the Commission. In a close vote, MEPs backed a ban on exports of nuclear waste to non-EU countries, with 311 votes in favor, 328 against and seven abstentions.
However, the European Council today approved a version of the directive that allows export. Continue reading
Let’s move on.
Perhaps the Premier will now see that this is a non-starter. He could save face, claiming the government was prepared to tackle hard issues in the interest of the State. Unfortunately he seems determined to press ahead. But please, whatever the political outcome, can we stop undermining the honest hard work of the jurors by claiming they were ‘biased’. The jury reached a democratic decision despite attempts to manufacture consent for a cautious ‘go ahead. Was this was solely evidence-based or influenced by lack of trust in the government’s capacity to manage the project and the way the facilitation team managed the jury process? My sense it was a bit of both; but based on evidence and the experience, not just emotion and opinion. Let’s now move on and consider how we might invest the money that would have been needed for this nuclear waste project in creating sustainable jobs in South Australia – manufacturing and installing the technologies needed for low carbon energy future.
One small voice from inside the recent SA Nuclear Citizen’s Jury http://www.onlineopinion.com.au/view.asp?article=18669
|By Tony Webb , 18 November 2016 Two thirds of the recent South Australian Citizen’s Jury opposed the idea that South Australia could import, store and dispose of around a third of the world’s highly radioactive Nuclear wastes. Nuclear advocates have responded by suggesting bias in the jury. I’d like to share some of what happened inside the jury based on first hand experience rather than ill-informed opinions from outsiders.
Bias in the jury selection process?
First the claim the jury was ‘biased’. Simply untrue. I was one of 25,000 people randomly selected via Austria Post listings who received an invitation to participate and was one of around 1200 who expressed interest. I was not chosen for the first 50 person jury in June but was one of the 350 selected to participate in the second jury in October.
Was I biased? I freely admit to being an active critic of the nuclear industry for over 40 years. I’ve worked on public and worker-education over risks from radiation exposures in the UK USA Canada and here. Not always popular with anti-nuclear advocates, I’ve also argued that the world needs to find a long term solution to the problem of nuclear wastes. I’d prefer this be done by international agreement as a global-citizen responsibility. I’m sceptical it can be done responsibly as a commercial venture or as a solution to South Australia’s economic woes.
Were others in the jury similarly inclined or approaching it from a predetermined position? Definitely not. The evidence from jurors’ early postings on the ‘Basecamp’ discussion board, and questions in the jury sessions indicated that most if not all approached the task of reviewing the evidence with an open mind; facing up to the challenge of producing reasoned advice to government on whether, and if so under what conditions, to pursue the opportunity outlined in the report of the Nuclear Fuel Cycle Royal Commission. Further evidence of open minds was seen when, at the end of the second weekend, we formed an ‘opinion line’ on our thinking a that stage in the process. A continuous line across the room showed, while some had firmed up their opinion at both ends, most were still undecided.
Reviewing the evidence Continue reading
Premier Jay Weatherill backs expansion of uranium mining in South Australia, Daniel Wills State Political Editor, The Advertiser November 15, 2016 PREMIER Jay Weatherill has backed an expansion of uranium mining in the state, as recommended by a Royal Commission, while also continuing to explore the prospect of a nuclear dump.
A day after floating long-term plans for a referendum on a high-level nuclear waste dump, Mr Weatherill today addressed the Royal Commission findings in Parliament.
Mr Weatherill rejected recommendations urging he talk to the Federal Government about removing legal bans on uranium enrichment and nuclear power in Australia.
He also rejected a recommendation that the State Government remove state legislation stopping an “orderly, detailed and thorough analysis” of establishing nuclear waste storage in SA.
Recommendations accepted include simplifying mining approvals for uranium and backing more scientific studies of where ores can be uncovered…..
He said the Government will “not pursue policy or legislative change” to develop a nuclear dump, after the Opposition pulled support for the project…..” http://www.adelaidenow.com.au/news/south-australia/premier-jay-weatherill-backs-expansion-of-uranium-mining-in-south-australia/news-story/28cc5b147ce446430ad812a5105f7662