Australian news, and some related international items

John Quiggan demolishes the case for Small Modular Nuclear Reactors in South Australia

scrutiny-Royal-Commission CHAINJOHN QUIGGIN John Quiggin is Professor of Economics at the University of Queensland.

John Quiggan’s Submission to the #NuclearCommissionSAust addressed Question 3.2 of the Issues Papers:

“Are there commercial reactor technologies (or emerging technologies which may be commercially available in the next two decades) than can be installed and connected to the NEM?” 

Extract “….Business SA wants Australia to adopt the PRISM reactor, a so-called Generation IV design. Unfortunately, “design” is the operative word here: PRISM is, literally, still on the drawing

(Tell them they’re dreaming • Inside Story 3 of 4 26/06/2015)

It does not exist even in prototype form. The US Department of Energy, along with designers GE and Hitachi, looked at the idea of building such a prototype at the Department’s Savannah River plant a few years ago, but the project has gone nowhere.

Much the same is true of another popular piece of nuclear vaporware, the “small modular reactor.” All but one of the American firms hoping to produce a prototype have abandoned or scaled back their efforts. The remaining candidate, NuScale, is hoping to have its first US plant operational by 2024, with commercial-scale production some time in the 2030s.

And, of course, there’s no guarantee that the new designs will work in economic terms, or that the problems of waste disposal and proliferation can be resolved. Even assuming this optimistic projection is met, small modular reactors aren’t going to be a viable option for Australia any time soon.

Unfortunately, that didn’t stop the Bureau of Resources and Energy Economics from asserting, in its 2012 Australian Energy Technology Assessment, that “SMR technology could potentially be commercially available in the next five to ten years” and presenting it as a low-cost option for 2020. This absurdly optimistic claim was abandoned in the 2013 update, which drastically increased the estimated costs and dropped the claim that the technology would be feasible in 2020.

There is still a chance for nuclear power to contribute to decarbonisation of the global economy in China and other countries with an existing program or the state power to force through a crash program. But these conditions don’t exist in Australia, and there is no serious prospect that they will do so in time to play a substantial role in decarbonisation. Anyone who pretends nuclear power is a serious option for Australia under current conditions is dreaming or, worse still, deliberately diverting attention from the real issues. ……….”

July 18, 2019 Posted by | Submissions to Royal Commission S.A. | Leave a comment

Woomera the suitable site for a nuclear waste dump – Senator Rex Patrick

Woomera must be considered fWor radioactive waste facility, Senator Rex Patrick says Erin Jones, Regional Editor, The AdvertiserNovember 28, 2018  Renewed calls have been made for Woomera to be considered as the site for the national nuclear waste repository to end the divide in two South Australian country towns.

Centre Alliance Senator Rex Patrick said the 122,000sq km Woomera Prohibited Area should be revisited after a freedom of information document showed the reasons why it was rejected were “shallow”.

His calls come as Kimba and Hawker remain in limbo as to whether they will be chosen to host the low-level waste facility, with community ballots delayed until early next year.

We have a divided community in both Hawker and Kimba and there is a site that may well be very suitable but has been dismissed on very shallow grounds,” Senator Patrick said

We need to revisit the defence site properly.”

Renewed calls have been made for Woomera to be considered as the site for the national nuclear waste repository to end the divide in two South Australian country towns.

Centre Alliance Senator Rex Patrick said the 122,000sq km Woomera Prohibited Area should be revisited after a freedom of information document showed the reasons why it was rejected were “shallow”.

His calls come as Kimba and Hawker remain in limbo as to whether they will be chosen to host the low-level waste facility, with community ballots delayed until early next year.

We have a divided community in both Hawker and Kimba and there is a site that may well be very suitable but has been dismissed on very shallow grounds,” Senator Patrick said.

We need to revisit the defence site properly.”

Woomera was one of four defence sites in SA to be identified by the Federal Government that met suitability criteria for the repository.

The Defence Department, in 2016, said it did not support the facility at Woomera as it was “incompatible” with its weapons testing range and missile launch site.

However, a 2002 Education, Training and Science Department report found the site would be a preferred location, in part because both low and intermediate-level radioactive waste had been stored there since 1994-95 without incident. This includes the CSIRO storing 10,000 drums of waste at the site.

Resources Minister Matt Canavan told The Advertiser the site was unsuitable due to defence operations. He said waste at the site must be moved outside of the controlled defence area.

Woomera was identified by the Howard Government as the potential repository site in 1998, but was shelved following backlash from the Rann Government.


November 29, 2018 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Federal nuclear waste dump, Submissions to Royal Commission S.A. | Leave a comment

Sisters of St Joseph make a powerful case against radioactive trash dumping

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?

Logo Sisters of St Joseph

text-from-the-archivesJosephite SA Reconciliation Circle
Royal Commission into the Nuclear Fuel Cyclesubmission good
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
lived) waste.
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

December 7, 2016 Posted by | Submissions to Royal Commission S.A. | Leave a comment

Your Say: Immoral and illegal for Jay Weatherill to spend taxpayer money to promote nuclear waste dump

Weatherill,-Jay-wastesPeter Lazic 12 Sep 2016 What consent does Jay Weatherill have to spend $600 million dollars of taxpayer money to plan a nuclear waste dump, when the proposed dump may never get approved. This and the money spent to date on the Royal Commission, the road show, now TV advertisements, etc, is obscene and immoral

Ed note : Especially as the SA Law says:
13—No public money to be used to encourage or finance construction or
operation of nuclear waste storage facility Nuclear Waste Storage Facility (Prohibition) Act 2000…/statewide-survey

September 16, 2016 Posted by | legal, South Australia, Submissions to Royal Commission S.A. | 1 Comment

Alinytjara Wilurara Natural Resources Management Board – response to Nuclear Royal Commission

submission goodhandsoffThe Alinytjara Wilurara Natural Resources Management Board  – reponse to Tentaive Findings of Nuclear Fuel Cycle Royal Commission

“…..This letter of response relates to all four of the Tentative Findings the Nuclear Fuel Cycle Royal Commission, but has specific relevance to the findings for ‘Further processing and manufacture’ and ‘Management, storage and disposal of waste’.
The Board members are community leaders who represent the people and communities of the Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara (APY) lands, Maralinga Tjarutja (MT) lands, and the Yalata lands. The members want to reaffirm to the commission that their communities are strongly opposed to nuclear waste being stored on their lands and would not provide consent for this activity.
As outlined in the Board’s previous submissions, the communities in Alinytjara Wilurara Natural Resource Management (AW NRM) region have suffered significant personal, cultural and social harm as a result of nuclear weapons testing. The living memory of this casts a long shadow over any conversation regarding the nuclear fuel cycle.
The Board also wishes to highlight that it is currently illegal to store nuclear waste in South Australia (through the Nuclear Waste Storage Facility (Prohibition) Act 2000), and any attempts to change this legislation without community consultation would erode trust in the entire process.
The Tentative Findings state that community consent would be essential to the successful development of any nuclear fuel cycle activities. This is consistent with Article 29 of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples:
`States shall take effective measures to ensure that no storage or disposal of hazardous materials shall take place in the lands or territories of indigenous peoples without their free, prior and informed consent’
If nuclear fuel cycle activities are to be considered in further detail for areas which are in or near the AW NRM region, it will be essential for the Commission to undertake a much deeper and more extensive level of consultation and engagement with the Anangu people and communities.
The AW NRM Board plays an important role in facilitating conversations between communities and government, and is willing to support and advise on any future engagement with Anangu people and communities by the Commission.
Yours sincerely, Parry Agius Presiding Member Alinytjara Wilurara NRM Board

May 14, 2016 Posted by | significant submissions to 6 May | Leave a comment

Senator Scott Ludlam – jobs, economics, national aspects of Nuclear Royal Commission’s findings

Ludlam-in-SenateSENATOR SCOTT LUDLAM  AUSTRALIAN GREENS  SENATOR FOR WESTERN AUSTRALIA   – Response to  the Tentative Findings of the South Australian Nuclear Fuel Cycle Royal Commission

“………I would like to point to some research conducted by the Climate Institute that was done in collaboration with Ernst and Young and identifies that there is potential in South Australia to produce enough renewable energy to power 3,000,000 homes, remove pollution equivalent to 450,000 cars, and create close to 5,000 new jobs.

The report suggests that if a renewable energy industry were pursued there could be the creation of 5,178 new jobs including 1,300 permanent ongoing jobs, 2,688 jobs during construction and over 1,189 jobs in manufacturing.

It was very encouraging in December 2015 to see the South Australian Government release the “Low Carbon Investment Plan for South Australia” which looked at a $10 billion investment in low carbon energy – with the hope that by 2025 renewable energy would power 50% of South Australia and 100% by 2050ii . It seems that South Australia is making leaps and bounds, even without this significant investment. It was also encouraging to hear Premier Jay Weatherill’s commitment to renewable energy at the Paris climate summit. Being at the cutting edge of renewable energy technology suits South Australia. I welcome the commitment, enthusiasm and the exciting opportunities this presents to the state……..

While we welcome the preliminary finding that there are no prospects for nuclear power it is disturbing the preliminary findings ignore many serious and ongoing issues with the industry. While the economics are a clear barrier to nuclear power there are a range of safety issues that should be considered as well as suite of safeguards and proliferation considerations that do not appear to have been addressed by the NFCRC……..The world’s only deep geological repository that contains waste is the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant in New Mexico, USA. The Onkalo facility in Finland has been in the pipeline since 1983, and the total  expected costs for the waste disposal is upward ofAUD $4.4 billion. The Sure facility in France is still under construction but earlier this year there was a collapse in the tunnel killing one worker and injuring and trapping another.

The WIPP facility, designed to contain radioactive waste for 10,000 years had a major radiological incident due to a chemical explosion within the first decade. 21 individuals received low level internal contamination; and there was a measurable leak of waste from the site discharged directly into the environment. The trial facility cost $19 billion to establish and will cost another half a billion to clean up after the 2014 radiation leak. The facility is still closed as the clean-up continues two years later.The preliminary findings of the NFCRC make no mention of the issues at WIPP or other facilities. This lack of consideration of real examples of waste management failures is a clear diversion from the fact based premise of the Royal Commission.Consideration of deep borehole waste storage also relies on optimism rather than evidence. There is no operating or trial deep borehole waste storage globally. There is one proposed trial in the US that will not be using radioactive waste.

The economic scenario put forward by Senator Sean Edwards to take International waste has been heavily criticised. Some of the issues with the Senator Edwards proposal identified by leading Australian economists include:• There is no plan for the management o fthe 56,000 tonnes of waste out of the 60,000 tonnes of waste proposed to be imported.

• There is no plausible case for the suggestion that another country would pay Australia US $lmillion per tonne to dispose of waste

  • The proposal to convert nuclear waste into fuel for PRISM reactors is not warranted given that PRISM reactors don’t exist, and trials of PRISM reactors have been abandoned due to unacceptable risks

Over the last 30 years Australia has failed to come up with an acceptable solution for managing our own nuclear waste. The proposal to store international radioactive waste relies on Australia doing what other countries have failed to do since the inception of the industrial nuclear industry.

This issue is not just an issue for South Australia but has relevance for all Australians and for people globally.

May 7, 2016 Posted by | significant submissions to 6 May | Leave a comment

Adelaide University questions the Nuclear Royal Commission’s attitude to Aborigines

submission goodhandsoffComments on the Nuclear Fuel Cycle Royal Commission Tentative Findings of 15 February 2016 – University of Adelaide , Consent and the Siting of a Nuclear Waste Storage Facility By Mr John Podgorelec*, Dr Alex Wawryk and Dr Peter Burdon†

“……Given many Indigenous communites have already expressed opposition to a storage facility, potential conflict lies ahead. While the finding that free, prior and informed consent must be obtained is welcome, the question remains as to whether this will be followed by the existing, or future, governments. Although intended to guide government, the Tentative Findings arguably provide no strong assurance to communities. For example, they fall well short of making a finding that specific legislation be passed, or the Native Title Act be amended, to provide a right of veto over nuclear activities, including the storage of toxic wastes. ….

In the Commission’s own words, the siting process must be transparent (and by inference fair). Crucial then to the Commission’s final report is to make an unambiguous statement as to where Indigenous communities stand in the event that the only suitable land to site a nuclear waste facility falls within an Indigenous community and consent is withheld. How will the Commission recommend such a deadlock be broken? Is it by mothballing the project until actual consent is granted, or will it recommend the government force the matter to the courts? If it is the latter, then regardless of the government’s best intentions by applying the international standard of FPIC, the Commission’s first sentence in respect of consent should read “community consent must be obtained – unless it is an Indigenous community”….

May 7, 2016 Posted by | significant submissions to 6 May | Leave a comment

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……

May 7, 2016 Posted by | significant submissions to 6 May | Leave a comment

A sad little Submission to the Nuclear Royal Commission – from Terrestrial Energy

Response to the Tentative Findings of the South Australian Nuclear Fuel Cycle Royal Commission – Terrestrial Energy

(Terrestrial Energy is a company marketing the not yet existent Generation IV nuclear reactors, such as , the Integral Molten Salt Reactor (IMSR))

renew world 1

“……There is little in the Tentative Findings to reflect the exciting commercial and manufacturing opportunities available in advanced nuclear technologies. South Australia might be well-positioned to proactively engage with this sector yet it appears to have been overlooked.

Terrestrial Energy strongly disagrees with the statement that innovative, non-lWR designs will not be

available for the foreseeable future…….

May 7, 2016 Posted by | significant submissions to 6 May | 1 Comment

Humphrey Hunt calls for a federal referendum on The Royal Commission’s nuclear waste import plan

text don't nuclear waste AustraliaHumphrey Hunt’s Hand- written submission – recommends that there should be a federal  referendum on the question of importing nuclear wastes, and he warns of the dangers to prsent and future generations

May 7, 2016 Posted by | significant submissions to 6 May | Leave a comment

Nuclear Royal Commission: it is a National, not a State matter – Robin Foley

text don't nuclear waste AustraliaNuclear Fuel Cycle Royal Commission Response – Robin Foley 

“……-Management & Storage and Disposal of Waste 63
66 The decision to have a Nuclear Waste disposal site should be a Commonwealth decision. No State should have the ability to import nuclear waste from other countries. The proposal to import and store Waste nuclear material has impact on the whole nation and they should be consulted.
83 Assisting countries lower their carbon emission by taking their nuclear waste and maintaining security and costs until the “end of time” to get the SA Government a few years of spending money.
89 Controlled and owned by Government forever does not guarantee safety and good management neither does commercial or contracted management.
93 a Only covers income and costs for 70 years. This facility will have to be maintained forever …

May 7, 2016 Posted by | significant submissions to 6 May | Leave a comment

Nuclear Royal Commission downplays the safety and environmental risks of importing nuclear wastes – Gil Anaf

safety-symbolGil M Anaf Response To: Nuclear Fuel Cycle Royal Commission 18 submission goodMay 2016
“….42. Yet there can be no guarantee that accidents will not occur again. While the consequences are severe,…. It seems remarkable to me that, while it is acknowledged that accidents cannot be prevented, there is at the same time a disavowal of the extremity of the consequences of any accident involving this nuclear storage facility. The very nature of the risk, of extreme long term contamination of food and water supplies, and of aquifers, seems oddly denied, which is concerning.
63. The safe management, storage and disposal of Australian and international waste require both social consent for the activity and advanced technical engineering to contain and isolate the waste. Of the two, social consent warrants in planning and development much greater attention than the technical issues. As stated above, this point seemingly downplays the risks inherent in the venture, making the technology sound more persuasive than in reality it can be deemed to be.
77. Engineered barriers are designed to work in combination to greatly delay the exposure of the fuel to groundwater and ensure that if the radionuclides migrate into the natural environment, the level of radioactivity would be below that produced by natural sources. Again and with respect, this is an astonishing assertion. This seems to exaggerate the expertise required to establish the facility to such an extent that even reference to “exposure” does not raise the very obviousissue of risk: ie, what on earth are we doing even considering any possible leakage? Are we really so expert that we can foresee and manage any leakage, with its attendant extreme risk?…..
90. Further, because the society would carry the risks of the activity in the long term, it is entitled to the significant benefits. This does not mean the government would be precluded from sourcing appropriate private sector operational expertise. In my view, the acknowledgement of “carrying risks” is not easily reconciled with the potential extremity of the risk involved. It therefore is highly questionable whether society should carry this risk, since it potentially also affects future generations who may well be burdened by decisions we make in the present.
That private expertise may be sourced too, seemingly ignores the probable (in my opinion) conflicts of interest that will necessarily arise when private profit agendas are pitted against the wider interests of original and subsequent land owners, and the rights of the citizenry.
In conclusion, having read the Tentative Findings of the Nuclear Fuel Cycle Royal Commission, I feel obligated to say that the style in which these findings are presented seem to me to seriously down-play, and minimise, the quite significant and potentially catastrophic scenarios the community is being asked to accept.
This defies common sense; the risks and burdens to current and future generations are much more significant than our short-term economic troubles. In regard to the latter, it is unclear how sustainable the economic benefits are, compared with maintenance costs.

May 7, 2016 Posted by | significant submissions to 6 May | Leave a comment

Royal Commission seems unaware of the toll of nuclear industries on scarce water supplies

nuke-tapDeidre Allen  – response to Nuclear Fuel Cycle Tentative Findings

“………Nuclear energy requires extreme amounts of water in every stage of development.

Given that SA is the driest state in the driest continent we can not use this essential resource wastefully. http://www.answers.comlQlIs_South_Australia_the_driescstate_in_Australia.…..

  1. 56. 95. 141.

The idea of planning changes to current regulations in advance of public acceptance for any part of the nuclear industry is premature,

Surely parliament must first deliberate and decide whether to accept the nuclear industry, before changes are made to legislative requirements; that would allow the industry to proceed with any new developments….


There is no substantiated evidence that ‘Finland or Sweden have successfully developed long term domestic solutions’, neither project has begun.

There is no opportunity to say that their models are proven safe for a ten or even a fifty year period; let alone for the extended time of 250,000 or several hundred thousands of years, that is required…..

I’d like to submit that you have neglected to consider the impact of climate change. Sea water levels are predicted to rise. Land that for millions of years has been dry could again become submerged.

Without having to factor in climate change, an article in the Sunday Mail on Feb 21 quoted a Flinders University groundwater scientist, Professor Craig Simmons who has said “we need to think much longer term, 10,000 plus years, which is actually on geological time scales… Sea levels go up,

not one metre but hundreds of metres on these time scales, it’s totally different.”….


With a 20- 30 year period of construction the likelihood of future politicians reversing any decision must not be prevented.

If a better safer option for disposing of nuclear waste was known to exist and to be achievable then it must be allowed to be adopted.

150 If the nuclear waste repository was breached and irradiated vast areas of land and water, all royalties earned by the SA Government would be lost in trying to repair the disaster. Indeed the cost to both the SA and Federal Governments would be inexhaustible……

May 7, 2016 Posted by | significant submissions to 6 May | Leave a comment

Holly-Kate Whittenbury finds the Nuclear Royal Commission UNETHICAL

What is also extremely unethical is how the Commission has twisted the words of experts in favour of the dump; an example of this would be its claims, in tentative finding 78, p. 16, that the proposed areas are seismically suitable.

Scarce poisoned chaliceSubmission response to ‘Tentative Findings’ – Holly-Kate Whittenbury

“……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. The media has claimed that there is ‘scientific consensus’ on supporting a waste facility for South Australia, despite there being many scientific professionals disagreeing with it.

Advocates for the facility have stated that as a state which supposedly ‘benefits’ from uranium mining in its far north, shipping the extracted products out to other countries, that we have a responsibility to deal with the waste created from such products. I disagree; it is questionable whether South Australia actually has benefited from mining as much as we are led to believe, with 83% of all mining profits going to overseas companies according to the Australian Institute’s paper #7, ‘Mining the Truth’ (Richardson, D. Denniss, R. 2011, p. 17).

This is a topic that we recently explored at University during our Environment: A Human Perspective course; it is what is known as ‘Privatizing profits, socializing losses’. Continue reading

May 6, 2016 Posted by | significant submissions to 6 May | Leave a comment

Graham Glover scrutinises the language of the Nuclear Fuel Cycle Royal Commission

scrutiny-Royal-Commission CHAINTentative Findings Response – Graham Glover

Item 73 The risks associated with storing nuclear waste for many hundreds of thousands of years cannot be adequately assessed, considering the potential changes in geological, political, social, economical, environmental and global issues.


Item 78d  How can we predict a mature and stable political, social and economic structure over hundreds of thousands of years? In the last century we had two world wars. We already have economic inequality, some rogue regimes and terrorism impacting around the world. With mass migration of refugees and the effects of climate change having major impacts, initially on third world countries, how can we assume that South Australia will remain isolated from these events?
Item 83b Australia will only have a limited influence on maintaining the security of nuclear materials in its supply chain. Australia cannot guarantee the standards adopted by other countries in other industries, eg, there is considerable concern about food quality regarding pesticides, contamination and radiation from overseas countries. There will be no difference in the nuclear industry with potential disasters possible.
Item 88 How can financial assessments based on operating over about 100 years be relevant when the storage is required over many hundreds of thousands of years?
Item 91 Economic modelling makes lots of assumptions so that you can come up with whatever you want to. As time goes by, predicting economic outcomes over long periods of time becomes more and more erroneous. As an aside, in 1962, a careers adviser suggested that I “stop studying ‘bookkeeping’ because computers were coming in and when you have computers you won’t need accountants.” How wrong can you be!
Item 103 Social and community consent is critical. However, the process needs to be open and transparent and not whitewashed by lobby groups. What the community needs is the truth and not “spin” as is often demonstrated by politicians and “lobbyists”.
Item 119 How can anybody make this statement when operators (and some countries) have a vested interest in minimising any fallout from adverse findings or accidents? You make reference to the Chernobyl and Fukushima Daiichi disasters in Item 123. In relation to Chernobyl, particularly, there have been stories of cover-ups and minimal public release of the full impacts from this disaster. Remember how the “smoking lobby” lied to everyone in relation to the risks associated with cigarette smoking.
Item130 How can anybody make the statement “Those risks are, however, manageable and well-managed” when we have had major disasters? Over the never ending life span of a nuclear waste dump how can we be sure that security risks such as terrorist attacks, weapons proliferation risks or increased tensions/sanctions with neighbouring countries do not eventuate.
Item132 The development of a new port and railway infrastructure adds significantly to the risks. Transporting nuclear waste has inherent risks. These activities are likely to be provided by or leased to the private sector, which will in turn require more risk management by the Government.
Item 150 The Federal and State Government will have to underwrite the risks if the project goes ahead, which will require taxpayer funds. In the event of a disaster the Government (and therefore, the taxpayer) will be required to sort out the mess.
Item 155 Any chance of South Australia being regarded as the “Clean & Green” or the “Carbon Neutral” State will be overshadowed if this proposal goes ahead. Impacts on agriculture, tourism and the renewable energy sectors could be significant, irrespective of whether a major nuclear accident has occurred or not. South Australia could be known as the “Dumb” or the “Dump” State.

May 6, 2016 Posted by | significant submissions to 6 May | Leave a comment