Antinuclear

Australian news, and some related international items

6 April – 6 May : Assessing the Nuclear Fuel Chain Royal Commission before its results are released on 6 May

scrutiny-Royal-Commission CHAINIt’s one month until the South Australian Nuclear Fuel Chain Royal Commission will announce its findings. And everyone knows what they will be  – “nuclear waste importing will be a bonanza for South Australia”

This is the first of the significant posts that will appear on this site each day, ,until 6th May.

Kevin Scarce has dismissed opposition to the plan as largely “emotional”, not “factual” . I suspect that will be the way in which the Commission will deal with the opposing Submissions.  Here’s today’s:

The Greens SA’s submission to the Nuclear Royal Commission’s Tentative Findings rejects the suggestion that an economic bonanza awaits our State if South Australians would only resign ourselves to becoming the world’s nuclear garbage bin.

graph S Aust waste dump costs

“The Royal Commission has been blinded by imaginary wealth and sucked into believing that a project that has never succeeded anywhere else in the World is South Australia’s for the taking”, said Greens SA Parliamentary Leader, Mark Parnell MLC.

“The most obvious question is being ignored: If this is such a great deal, how come no other country has grabbed it before now?

“The Greens are urging the Royal Commission to “get real” and critically examine the supposed economic benefits alongside the ongoing economic, social, environmental and reputational costs.

“Washing your hands of responsibility for a toxic legacy left to future generations is just immoral.

“The solution to South Australia’s current unemployment problems won’t be solved with mythical jobs that are decades into the future with the creation of toxic liabilities that last hundreds of thousands of year.

On releasing the “Tentative Findings” Report to the media on 15th February 2016, Commissioner Kevin Scarce stated, “The community needs to understand the risks and the benefits.”  The Royal Commission’s “Tentative Findings” highlights many purported benefits but is scant on detail when it comes to the profound risks.

According to the Greens’ submission, the “Tentative Findings” suffer from:
1.Unrealistic expectations of the magnitude of the project;
2.Failure to appreciate 6 decades of international failure to solve the nuclear waste problem;
3.Missing costs, unfunded liabilities, missing contingencies and failure to recognise inevitable cost blow-outs
4.Heroic assumptions of other countries’ willingness to pay for SA to take their nuclear waste;
5.Lack of recognition of the potential for irrecoverable sunk costs and unlimited future liabilities;
6.Failure to address reputational damage and impact on other sectors of the economy; and
7.Naïve expectations that South Australia would get to keep all the profits from a nuclear waste dump in our State, without having to share them with other States.

“The Commission’s final report due on 6th May should recommend that the folly of South Australia’s increased involvement in the nuclear industry be abandoned.

“In relation to the other Terms of Reference, increased uranium mining, uranium processing or nuclear power were never really an option for SA and the Royal Commission was an expensive way to tell us what we already knew”, concluded Mark Parnell.

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

Valdis Dunis – a caution on #NuclearCommissionSAust’s enthusiasm for nuclear waste importing

Valdis Dunis comments on important aspects of #NuclearCommissionSAust’s enthusiasm for importing nuclear wastes and storing them in South Australia – on soil behaviour, seismic risks, poor history of waste disposal world-wide, delays and cost overruns, and problems of financing and insurance.

“Limited Financing and Insurance Sources for Nuclear Projects: As nuclear programs in Europe, Japan, China and USA have shown, commercial banks usually decline funding nuclear programs due to the risk factors of repeated technical problems, delays and construction and maintenance cost rises seen in many projects involving nuclear fuel. Funding thus falls to government, government-linked banks and the companies building the projects themselves (such as EDF in China and Europe). This limits who funds can be sourced from.

Similarly, commercial insurance companies do not insure nuclear installations, with the risk falling on governments”

submission good

 

Valdis Dunis’ Response on NFCRC’s Tentative Findings, 17 Mar 16  “………My comments below apply to the one area where your initial findings found that our state has a chance to have a significant profitable business, namely storage of high-level nuclear waste from other countries. Continue reading

March 25, 2016 Posted by | Submissions to Royal Commission S.A. | Leave a comment

Greens call on Nuclear Royal Commission to “get real”

greensSmThe Greens SA’s submission to the Nuclear Royal Commission’s Tentative Findings rejects the suggestion that an economic bonanza awaits our State if South Australians would only resign ourselves to becoming the world’s nuclear garbage bin.

graph S Aust waste dump costs

“The Royal Commission has been blinded by imaginary wealth and sucked into believing that a project that has never succeeded anywhere else in the World is South Australia’s for the taking”, said Greens SA Parliamentary Leader, Mark Parnell MLC.

“The most obvious question is being ignored: If this is such a great deal, how come no other country has grabbed it before now?

“The Greens are urging the Royal Commission to “get real” and critically examine the supposed economic benefits alongside the ongoing economic, social, environmental and reputational costs.

“Washing your hands of responsibility for a toxic legacy left to future generations is just immoral.

“The solution to South Australia’s current unemployment problems won’t be solved with mythical jobs that are decades into the future with the creation of toxic liabilities that last hundreds of thousands of year.

On releasing the “Tentative Findings” Report to the media on 15th February 2016, Commissioner Kevin Scarce stated, “The community needs to understand the risks and the benefits.”  The Royal Commission’s “Tentative Findings” highlights many purported benefits but is scant on detail when it comes to the profound risks.

According to the Greens’ submission, the “Tentative Findings” suffer from:
1.Unrealistic expectations of the magnitude of the project;
2.Failure to appreciate 6 decades of international failure to solve the nuclear waste problem;
3.Missing costs, unfunded liabilities, missing contingencies and failure to recognise inevitable cost blow-outs
4.Heroic assumptions of other countries’ willingness to pay for SA to take their nuclear waste;
5.Lack of recognition of the potential for irrecoverable sunk costs and unlimited future liabilities;
6.Failure to address reputational damage and impact on other sectors of the economy; and
7.Naïve expectations that South Australia would get to keep all the profits from a nuclear waste dump in our State, without having to share them with other States.

“The Commission’s final report due on 6th May should recommend that the folly of South Australia’s increased involvement in the nuclear industry be abandoned.

“In relation to the other Terms of Reference, increased uranium mining, uranium processing or nuclear power were never really an option for SA and the Royal Commission was an expensive way to tell us what we already knew”, concluded Mark Parnell.

March 18, 2016 Posted by | politics, South Australia, Submissions to Royal Commission S.A. | Leave a comment

ENuFF RESPONSE To The Nuclear Fuel Cycle Royal Commission

In the Final report, ENuFF respectfully requests that the NFCRC demonstrate how producing & using
the Jacobs MCM report does not contravene s.13 of the NWPA 2000.
 
In the Final Report, ENuFF respectfully requests that the NFCRC specifically excludes storing any
nuclear waste within the Earthquake Hazards Zone as previously determined & published by
Geoscience Australia on their website.
ENuFF also highly recommends that the NFCRC:
(1) fully digests & act upon Paul Langley’s Response13 to the Tenative Finding 74; &
(2) re-visit Appendix 2 of Yuri Poetzl’s 24 July 2015 Submission14 & publicly
respond to all its’ questions.

Diagram SA Nuclear Fuel Cycle

ENuFF   RESPONSE To The Nuclear Fuel Cycle Royal Commission February 2016 TENTATIVE FINDINGS    Everybody for a Nuclear Free Future, March 2016

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0BzGxGaq45dRNd2RqT3d0VTVEWjA/view  (on original the authors of this response provide source references for their statement)

MA-PITJA MUNU IRATI WANTI “Go away and leave the poison where it is”
IN THIS SUBMISSION, ENuFF SUGGESTS THAT THE ROYAL COMMISSION’S TENTATIVE FINDINGS INTO THE MANAGEMENT DISPOSAL & STORAGE OF NUCLEAR WASTE WAS UNLAWFULLY CONTRIVED.  In South Australia we have some legislation called the
“Nuclear Waste Storage Facility (Prohibition) Act 2000“1 (hereafter ‘NWPA 2000’), which includes the following provision:
13—No public money to be used to encourage or finance construction or operation of nuclear waste storage facility. Despite any other Act or law to the contrary, no public money may be appropriated, expended or advanced to any person for the purpose of encouraging or financing any activity associated with the construction or operation of a nuclear waste storage facility in this State.”2
The NFCRC was funded by public money therefore it would be unlawful for the NFCRC to divest such money “… for the purpose of encouraging or financing any activity associated with the construction or operation of a nuclear waste storage facility in this State.”

Continue reading

March 17, 2016 Posted by | Submissions to Royal Commission S.A. | Leave a comment

Noel Wauchope: Response to Tentative Findings of Nuclear Fuel Chain Royal Commission

submission good Noel Wauchope 16 Mar 16 INTRODUCTION
It appears that the core purpose of this Nuclear Fuel Chain Royal Commission is to promote a nuclear waste importation and storage industry for South Australia.  (I use the word “Chain” advisedly, as there is no genuine “Cycle” in the nuclear processes, all of which end with the problem of toxic radioactive wastes.)

In view of this waste importation focus by the Commission,  I ma here responding to that issue. For simplicity, I have stated passages from the “Tentative Findings in pink. 

MANAGEMENT, STORAGE AND DISPOSAL OF NUCLEAR WASTE

STABILITY
The storage and disposal of used nuclear fuel in South Australia is likely to deliver substantial economic benefits to the South Australian community. An integrated storage and disposal facility would be commercially viable and the storage facility could be operational in the late 2020s.

The late 2020s      How come Australia could have this nuclear wase facility operational so soon, when other countries have still not satisfactorily completed such a facility over many decades?

The Royal Commission must know that this requires – first of all, overcoming Federal environmental law, and overturning South Australia’s State law against importing nuclear wastes.  And that’s only the beginning in overcoming public rejection (1A)

78. For the management of used fuel and intermediate level wastes, South Australia has a unique combination of attributes which offer a safe, long-term capability for the disposal of used fuel.

They include:
a. the underlying Archaean geological structure,
the Gawler Craton, at an appropriate depth for disposal

Earthquake hazard: For either temporary or permanent storage of radioactive wastes, South Australia poses great risks.  While the whole State has a small earthquake hazard zone, there are large sections which have an increased earthquake hazard. Particularly in the South of the State (1)

Risk to precious artesian water.  While the South of the State has earthquake risks, almost the entire of the rest of the State covers the Great Artesian Basin. (2)

Effectively, this means there is almost no part of South Australia that could safely store radioactive trash for  decades, let alone for thousands of years.

I am grateful to Paul Langley, who has set out the problems in relation to the Gawler Craton –  “The Royal Commission does not provide a map that defines the area covered by the Gawler Craton. ……There are many maps showing the Gawler Craton and most of them vary radically from one another.”

Langley also drew attention to instability within the Ceduna Sub Basin – “The proposed HLNW geologic repository may be (or may not be) flooded with ground water after completion – as part of the design criteria. I have to ask how such a repository might impact occupants of the Peninsular.”

“Agriculture, aquaculture, tourism and mining industries, all reliant on sustainable natural resources, contribute over $2.5 billion to the economy in an average year.  Despite low rainfall and low soil fertility, around 45% of SA’s wheat and 20% of SA’s barley harvest come from the Eyre Peninsula. In addition, the region contributes 45% of the state’s seafood harvest.  Some 95% of farms are broad acre, of which 85% depend on grain growing alone, or a mix of grain and livestock farming. Given all this, the Eyre Peninsula is extremely vulnerable to a hotter, dryer future.” Source: “Effective Adaptation Policy Making: A case study from the Eyre Peninsula” National Climate Change Adaption Research Facility, athttps://www.nccarf.edu.au/content/case-study-eyre-peninsula  https://nuclearexhaust.wordpress.com/2016/03/15/response-to-the-tentative-findings-of-the-sa-nuclear-fuel-cycle-royal-commission/

FINANCIAL ASPECTS – REALLY UNKOWN
84. Given the quantities held by countries that are yet to find  a solution for the disposal of used fuel, it is reasonable to conclude that there would be an accessible market of sufficient size to make it viable to establish and operate a South Australian repository.85. There is no existing market to ascertain the price a customer may be willing to pay for the permanent disposal of used fuel.

 What would the (overseas) holders of radioactive wastes be willing to pay for  disposal and storage of radioactive wastes in South Australia?

This question really has no answer. The Commission’s conclusion of total revenue  of more than $257 billion, despite all the high-sounding financial statements, sounds like a nice figure just plucked out of the air.  At present every country with nuclear facilities is struggling with the unanswered question of what do do with their radioactive trash. Even Finland, which has built a 500 metre deep burial place, will not have enough space for their accumulating radioactive trash.  So far, there is no room for Fennovoima’s waste in the Onkalo repository in Olkiluoto. (2)

At this stage there are no proposals for exporting nuclear waste. Royal Commissioner Kevin Scarce, in his recent report on the Commission’s overseas visit, said “We haven’t done the financial study”. When anyone does do the financial study, they will need to factor in the financial costs of insurance, of security for hundreds, thousands,  of years, as well as of environmental degradation.

Another factor would be the comparison of the commercial value of renewable energy not pursued, tourist and agricultural opportunities lost as government money went into fostering nuclear schemes rather than  South Australia’s more positive activities.

There would be no revenue for at least 30 years – probably longer – until the waste disposal facility were to be up and running. Who pays up for it all in the meantime? Does South Australia have to borrow heavily – and then – what if it all does not eventuate, anyway?

TRANSPORT OF RADIOACTIVE WASTES
I am astonished at the minimalist approach  Tentative Findings report towards the transport of radioactive wastes. It’s as if the subject does not matter!

135. During the past 30 years, approximately 11 000 containers of uranium oxide concentrate (UOC) have been exported from Australia. There have been a
number of incidents during the transport of UOC where containers have been knocked or dented. However, given that UOC has low radioactivity and is transported
in sealed drums inside shipping containers, there has never been an accident in Australia resulting in the release of UOC to an extent that has adversely affected
workers, the public or the environment. 
(They  don’t count the Ranger spill in 2014    https://antinuclear.net/2014/10/23/toxic-spill-report-critical-for-ranger-uranium-mine/)

Really ! That transport of uranium oxide has been in the past relatively safe – hardly means that we can be complacent about the transport of High Level Nuclear Waste!137. The transport of nuclear materials is undertaken in accordance with a mature international regulatory regime, which establishes minimum standards for
transport packages….

It’s as if the Royal Commission had never heard of the modern facts about climate change – extreme weather events increasing in frequency and severity. (3)

It’s as if the Royal Commission had never heard of the increasing dangers, and increasing sophistication of terrorist attacks.

It’s as if the Royal Commission had never heard of the growing objections of many communities, to having nuclear waste ships pass near them or through their ports. (4)

155. There is no compelling evidence from any international experience that the development of nuclear facilities in South Australia would adversely affect other economic sectors, provided those facilities are operated safely and securely. There is a perception there would be an impact, which would need to be addressed in the process of obtaining community consent for any proposal. In the event of a major nuclear accident, adverse impacts on the tourism, agriculture and
property sectors could potentially be profound.

Of course – there’s no evidence at all – as it has never been done before – to set up a nuclear waste importing business to a non nuclear country – particularly in a State such as South Australia, with its renowned wine industry, tourism, fisheries, agriculture, including innovative schemes such as Sundrop Farms

In the past, countries like France accepted the risks of nuclear power, and their other industries thrived. Now, even in France, there is concern about polluting industries. For some time  after the Chernobyl nuclear catastrophe,  the French wine industry was severely depressed., because the wine growing regions were squarely in the path of the ionising radiation fallout. (5)  There is concern in Washington State about the impact of Hanford nuclear waste facility on the wine industry. (6)

SECRECY ISSUE:  LAWS AND FINANCIAL ARRANGEMENTS RELATING TO OTHER COUNTRIES
146. There is significant appetite in the private sector investment community to support new Australian infrastructure projects.

The Tentative Findings assume a great financial bonanza to South Australia, but is very vague on how the costs and (assumed) profits would be carved up between South Australia and the countries sending the wastes.

And, I still wonder, if it’s going to be such  a bonanza, why is no other country offering to host the global radioactive trash?

Once again, Paul Langley has expressed this question most eloquently:

Nuclear nations all have their own laws regarding nuclear matters. For instance the United States has many laws, including the Atomic Energy Act, as currently amended, associated laws and regulations. It has long been an issue that the US Act prevents full disclosure regarding “special nuclear material” – that is plutonium and uranium as used and produced in a reactor. This matter has long been a concern in the US democratic setting. For instance, see CARDOZO LAW REVIEW, VOL 26, NO 4, MARCH 2005, PP. 1401-8.

The HLNW repository is promoted by the Royal Commission as being South Australian, owned by the government and benefitting the people of SA. To what extent then, in the course of contract negotiations, will the government and people of SA become beholden to the provisions of foreign laws regarding disclosure and other matters in regard a client nation’s HLNW? Will the contracts be commercial in confidence ? Will provisions alien to SA law be invoked in order to comply with contracted obligations? Will such provisions restrict our right to know and our freedom to speak? Will the full nature of the stockpile resident in the HLNW repository be secret in any way? Will the people be able to study each contract? What is an unclassified restricted document, and what happens if an ordinary person figures out it’s contents? (7)

 References:  Continue reading

March 16, 2016 Posted by | Submissions to Royal Commission S.A. | Leave a comment

A Submission For The Public Good – to #NuclearCommissionSAust

submission goodABOUT SUBMISSIONS 16 Mar 16

Today I take the unusual step of publishing several extracts from one submission. The Royal Commission has allowed very little time for people to send in submissions. So – few are available to me right now.

BUT – Paul Langley of South Australia has prepared a submission. And it is a beauty!  Why? Because not only does it pack a punch, but, equally important, Langley provides a wealth of information, facts, figures, and reference sources – https://nuclearexhaust.wordpress.com/2016/03/15/response-to-the-tentative-findings-of-the-sa-nuclear-fuel-cycle-royal-commission/

Sad to mutilate such a strong and lengthy submission, but I have done so on this website. So there are 5 extracts from the submission, on today’s page. If you have time, go to the original. If you don’t have time, at least see what Langley writes about Transport of High Level Nuclear Waste,  Gawler Crater,  The Law and the Profits,  Gaining Public Trust,  AN ALTERNATIVE to nuclear industry 

March 16, 2016 Posted by | Submissions to Royal Commission S.A. | Leave a comment

Transport of High Level Nuclear Waste: Response to the Tentative Findings of the SA Nuclear Fuel Cycle Royal Commission

submission goodResponse to the Tentative Findings of the SA Nuclear Fuel Cycle Royal Commission A Submission by Paul Langley Nuclear Exhaust 16 Mar 16  “……Transport of HLNW from around the world to a SA HLNW geologic repository

The Royal Commission apparently assumes that the movements of many hundreds of thousands of tonnes of spent nuclear fuel from many countries around the world to the Gawler Craton will be low risk, no problems and perfectly safe. As contradictory as those stances are. I do not accept that position of default safety. Further I do not accept that the unloading of the HLNW will be perfectly safe. I do not accept that road transport from port to repository site will be perfectly safe, even on a dedicated purpose built road.

I would recommend that Super Freighters laden with the contents of countless reactor cores not sail down the Somali coast nor in the waters to the south of Thailand for fear of pirates. They should avoid man made Islands in the South China Sea. I suppose the ships will be guarded by 6 English policemen each with two revolvers between them. Rather than half the Pacific Fleet they would actually warrant. If they ever get to leave their home ports.  What is the Somali coast going to be like in 40 years? Peaceful or short of rad weapons?…….” https://nuclearexhaust.wordpress.com/2016/03/15/response-to-the-tentative-findings-of-the-sa-nuclear-fuel-cycle-royal-commission/

March 16, 2016 Posted by | Submissions to Royal Commission S.A. | Leave a comment

South Australia Nuclear Fuel Chain Royal Commission: About the Gawler Craton and Ceduna sub Basin

submission goodResponse to the Tentative Findings of the SA Nuclear Fuel Cycle Royal Commission A Submission by Paul Langley Nuclear Exhaust 16 Mar 16 “……….Response to Tentative Finding 74……….

Nuclear adventurism invariably claims to be acting in order to “save the world” from one thing or another.

In my final statement I shall remind the Royal Commission of alternatives to the current proposal. A nuclear dump on Eyre Peninsular or anywhere else will not save this planet from anything, and will impose risk upon populations.

Stability   The Royal Commission tentatively finds that the Gawler Craton is stable. The Royal Commission says nothing about the stability of the climate that impacts it and which will impact it in the near future. I choose not to compare SA with lands of snow and glaciers, such as Sweden and Finland. I choose a much more relevant place:

“….even in extremely arid climates such as the Yucca Mountain site, hydrologic interaction is the most prevalent [risk]. It is the primary mechanism of which contamination can occur, and is the most prevalent consequence to other risks discussed…..”

I shall show that the US concern regarding sudden climate change – including extreme rain events – and the impact of this upon arid area HLNW Repositories is much more relevant to Australian scenario than the Swedish and Finnish concerns. …….The risks posed by sudden climate change and increasing extreme weather events include possible flood events on Eyre Peninsular. This is a section of the Gawler Craton that contains no rivers (Source: SA Water Corp). Like Yucca Mountain, Eyre Peninsular appears to be internally drained……..

Contrary to the implications of the written material made available by the Royal Commission, the Swedish and Finnish models do not provide South Australians with a moral precedent or imperative for accepting the nuclear waste generated by the rest of the world.   Rather, both nations conform to the principle of clearing up one’s own mess as best one can. Importing the mess of other nations would, it seems to me, be an anathema to both nations. On one hand the Royal Commission implores us to copy Sweden and Finland. On the other hand, both those nations say no in law to what the Royal Commission is proposing and recommending.

However, no doubt, both nations would happily sell their means and methods to South Australians. The cost of this sale has not been made available by the Royal Commission as far as I am aware. No doubt royalties due to Swedish and Finnish patent licenses would apply………

The Swedish nuclear authorities were given from 1977 until 2020 to consider the mandatory HLNW geologic waste dump by the people of Sweden. That’s Forty Three years.

How is it that the people of South Australia have been given only from 2016 to 2020 to consider the same issue? A mere Four years? The people of Sweden were time generous to the nuclear industry. That same industry now attempts to railroad us into a “fast buck for them” solution……

The Royal Commission has not disclosed whether the HLNW geologic repository/dump will be hot or cold. Will it be flooded with ground water as the Swedes intend for theirs?…………

Where is the groundwater coming from if in SA the repository is to be flooded as proposed by the Swedish text quoted above? Where will the ground water subsequently move to from the repository? Is there in fact any basis for an unthinking acceptance of the Swedish solution in South Australia? How wheat and mutton is produced above the deep, geologic Scandinavian nuclear sewers?   Do they wish they did not have the problem at all? Yes, but sadly they do have the problem. They may have solved their problem. Is their solution to become our problem? Given we do not share much with them, either in environmental type, chemistry or need………

Tentative Finding 78

parts a – c state: “For the management of used fuel and intermediate level wastes, South Australia has a unique combination of attributes which offer a safe, long-term capability for the disposal of used fuel. They include: the underlying Archaean geological structure, the Gawler Craton, at an appropriate depth for disposal. low levels of seismic activity overall and, in some parts, very low levels relative to elsewhere in the world. an arid environment in many parts of the state.”

The Gawler Craton

The Royal Commission does not provide a map that defines the area covered by the Gawler Craton. ……There are many maps showing the Gawler Craton and most of them vary radically from one another…..

The Royal Commission cannot consider the actual location of the HLNW geologic repository, other than to inform that it will be located within the Gawler Craton. While advocating for the repository, the Royal Commission cannot apparently consider Southern groundwater chemistry as compared to Swedish or Finnish groundwater chemistry or any other technical factor. The only technical data it cites in its tentative findings are promotional statements.

The Gawler Craton appears to be very big. I am familiar with some geologic events of the recent past that indicate not all places located over the Craton are “stable” in the common sense.

I refer to the Bight Basin and in particular to the Ceduna Sub Basin of the Bight Basin.

What are the hydrologic and other dynamics of the Gawler Craton? How well is it understood by modern Geology?

“Owing to sparse outcrop, the geology of the Gawler Craton is relatively poorly understood, and its boundaries are entirely subsurface, being interpreted from total magnetic intensity and gravity data combined with outcrop and drillhole information (Schwarz et al., 2006)”. Source: “Geodynamic Synthesis of the Gawler Craton and Curnamona Province” Edited by N.Kositcin, GEOSCIENCE AUSTRALIA record 2010/27, Australian Government, athttp://minquest.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/Genesis-of-the-Gawler2.pdf……

There is evidence of instability within the Ceduna Sub Basin……..

The proposed HLNW geologic repository may be (or may not be) flooded with ground water after completion – as part of the design criteria. I have to ask how such a repository might impact occupants of the Peninsular.

“Agriculture, aquaculture, tourism and mining industries, all reliant on sustainable natural resources, contribute over $2.5 billion to the economy in an average year.  Despite low rainfall and low soil fertility, around 45% of SA’s wheat and 20% of SA’s barley harvest come from the Eyre Peninsula. In addition, the region contributes 45% of the state’s seafood harvest.  Some 95% of farms are broad acre, of which 85% depend on grain growing alone, or a mix of grain and livestock farming. Given all this, the Eyre Peninsula is extremely vulnerable to a hotter, dryer future.” Source: “Effective Adaptation Policy Making: A case study from the Eyre Peninsula” National Climate Change Adaption Research Facility, athttps://www.nccarf.edu.au/content/case-study-eyre-peninsula  https://nuclearexhaust.wordpress.com/2016/03/15/response-to-the-tentative-findings-of-the-sa-nuclear-fuel-cycle-royal-commission/

March 16, 2016 Posted by | Submissions to Royal Commission S.A. | Leave a comment

The Law and the Profits: Response to the Tentative Findings of the SA Nuclear Fuel Cycle Royal Commission

submission goodResponse to the Tentative Findings of the SA Nuclear Fuel Cycle Royal Commission A Submission by Paul Langley Nuclear Exhaust 16 Mar 16  “…..The Law and the Profits.

Nuclear nations all have their own laws regarding nuclear matters. For instance the United States has many laws, including the Atomic Energy Act, as currently amended, associated laws and regulations. It has long been an issue that the US Act prevents full disclosure regarding “special nuclear material” – that is plutonium and uranium as used and produced in a reactor. This matter has long been a concern in the US democratic setting. For instance, see CARDOZO LAW REVIEW, VOL 26, NO 4, MARCH 2005, PP. 1401-8.

The HLNW repository is promoted by the Royal Commission as being South Australian, owned by the government and benefitting the people of SA. To what extent then, in the course of contract negotiations, will the government and people of SA become beholden to the provisions of foreign laws regarding disclosure and other matters in regard a client nation’s HLNW? Will the contracts be commercial in confidence ? Will provisions alien to SA law be invoked in order to comply with contracted obligations? Will such provisions restrict our right to know and our freedom to speak? Will the full nature of the stockpile resident in the HLNW repository be secret in any way? Will the people be able to study each contract? What is an unclassified restricted document, and what happens if an ordinary person figures out it’s contents? ……..” https://nuclearexhaust.wordpress.com/2016/03/15/response-to-the-tentative-findings-of-the-sa-nuclear-fuel-cycle-royal-commission/

March 16, 2016 Posted by | Submissions to Royal Commission S.A. | Leave a comment

Gaining Public Trust: Response to the Tentative Findings of the SA Nuclear Fuel Cycle Royal Commission

submission goodResponse to the Tentative Findings of the SA Nuclear Fuel Cycle Royal Commission A Submission by Paul Langley Nuclear Exhaust 16 Mar 16  

“……..Gaining Public Trust.   Relevant Safety Assurances made by nuclear “experts” in my life time.  

In the 1980s, the government of South Australia returned ownership of the Maralinga Lands:

“In 1984, the South Australian Government returned the freehold title for the Maralinga Tjarutja Lands to its Traditional Owners. Concerns over radiological hazards prevented the handback of Section 400.” Source: “Maralinga Tjarutja Lands: handback of Section 400” , The Anangu Lands Paper Tracker, at http://www.papertracker.com.au/archived/maralinga-tjarutja-lands-handback-of-section-400/

As I recall at that time the then Premier, the Late John Bannon, visited the Maralinga Lands, along with Peter Burns and other ARPANSA scientists. Peter wrote a detailed description of the problem at Maralinga in a Saturday Advertiser centre page spread at that time. Mr. Bannon was appalled and surprised at the state of some areas of the lands and though the land was handed back, it was too dangerous to permit the owners to return on a permanent basis.

Full handback was not possible until the 21st century………..

For decades the relevant nuclear experts – especially those under Professor Titterton – had assured Australia and Australians that Maralinga was “perfectly safe”.  From the 1950s until 1984. Many individuals who contested the opinion of these experts were threatened with jail for breaching the official secrets act. (Source: Mr Kevin Wakefield, Ex RAN, Monte Bello Island, Mr Terry Toon, Ex Maralinga, Mr Alan Batchelor, Ex Maralinga. Mr John Hutton, Ex Maralinga.)   While some ordinary people knew the truth, they were not allowed to tell it. And when they did speak out, they received threats and disbelief. It is reasonable to think, given that the RAN surveyed the Monte Bello Islands until 1975, the same would be true of the Army and Maralinga. Everyone is a Sergeant Schulz on that one.

Well it was not perfectly safe. Was it? This is one of South Australia’s formative experiences with nuclear authorities. Professor Titterton remained entrenched at the Federal level as a nuclear safety “leader” until the era of the Whitlam government.

This is not ancient history. It is for some people like yesterday. The 1984 McClelland Royal Commission records an exchange between Titterton and the Royal Commissioner. In this exchange Titterton admits he could not disclose all he knew about safety to the Safety Committee due to the fact that he was constrained by the secrecy provisions of both the United States and Great Britain. Will history repeat in this regard? What will Jay not be able to say the people of South Australia? Will silence due to “American and British secrecy provisions” reign again?   The Royal Commissioner McClelland found that some Australians in authority were akin to Fifth columnists acting more in the interests of foreign lands than they were towards Australia and its people.

This earlier Royal Commission also found that nuclear experts had stated to the effect that the critical interests of “a handful of natives” were not going to “stand in the way of the BritishCommonwealth of Nations.”   (Royal Commission, Conclusions, 8.4.38 – 39). Saving the world required some local sacrifice. As far away from the North as possible.   The ones closest in are the ones most affected.  Shall we do it again Jay W.?

Nuclear history is the art of waiting for historic promises to be exposed for what they are at some future point……..

The proposed repository is a sociological experiment. It will take decades for it to provide the history lesson. A very costly higher education.

“Perfectly Safe”, in the History of South Australia, has been a nuclear science fiction, and anyone can prove it. It has never actually true, and contaminated land remains from the time when the owners were forcibly trucked off it in the 1950s. To be concentrated in camps near the Ceduna sub basin of the Bight Basin, which overlays, in part, the Gawler Craton. Such history lies beneath the apparently solid rock statement made by today’s youngster biologists who claim expertise as nuclear people……” .https://nuclearexhaust.wordpress.com/2016/03/15/response-to-the-tentative-findings-of-the-sa-nuclear-fuel-cycle-royal-commission/

March 16, 2016 Posted by | Submissions to Royal Commission S.A. | Leave a comment

AN ALTERNATIVE: Response to the Tentative Findings of the SA Nuclear Fuel Cycle Royal Commission

submission goodResponse to the Tentative Findings of the SA Nuclear Fuel Cycle Royal Commission A Submission by Paul Langley Nuclear Exhaust 16 Mar 16

“……..An Alternative    We are told Secure Base load Electrical Power is a certainty upon which our civilization rests. Not withstanding the constantly falling price of off grid generation and storage of domestic and industrial power.

As each day passes, alternatives grow in attractiveness. As usual old industries, such as nuclear industry, bemoan the competing technology as inadequate. The odds are by the time today’s five year child is twenty five they will generate, store and use their own off grid power simply, easily and at a cost that would make TEPCO and Westinghouse executives go green. At the moment though the nuclear industry remains a dedicated future-phobe. Those who call for a nuclear revival merely confirm, in the shrillness of their demands, the proven failures of the industry over time, all over the globe.

A large solar power plant, used for both day time power generation and day time sea water electrolysis, could provide 24 hour base load power. An onsite hydrogen fuelled generator station, generating at night or as required, fuelled by solar produced Hydrogen, could transform the SA economy.   The benefits would not have to be weighted against risks spread population wide. This is 2016. Hydrogen is in daily use around the world. In SA there are potential energy sources as yet resolutely untapped.

A hybrid solar hydrogen power plant could be constructed with current knowledge and hardware.   But of course, it would be an inappropriate icon in a state dominated by the nuclear promise.

A far thinking Parliament would not be bound to digging holes in the ground for a living. It might actually originate and facilitate something that actually could save the planet. Sadly it won’t. It does not have the creative will to do so. Such things would already be done if it had.

Such ideas are deemed crazy ones in the halls of nuclear power, in that place where thinking differently seems to be a sin against the prayer book of a compulsory religion.

No thanks, I do not wish to buy this product. It sucks very badly. Have you got anything else? Preferably something sensible and compatible with the future. Not some rust belt thing that the children of all tomorrows curse us for giving them. https://nuclearexhaust.wordpress.com/2016/03/15/response-to-the-tentative-findings-of-the-sa-nuclear-fuel-cycle-royal-commission/

March 16, 2016 Posted by | Submissions to Royal Commission S.A. | Leave a comment

Excellent previous submissions to #NuclearCommissionSAust

The website of South Australia Nuclear Fuel Chain Royal Commission, is not all that user friendly – hard to find the previous submissions. However they are at
http://nuclearrc.sa.gov.au/submissions/?query=&cat=View+all&search=Submissions&max_page_items=50&sort_by=


submission goodsome of the best submissions are on THIS website, even if not complete.

Here they are, not in any particular order:

SUBMISSIONS FOCUSING ON NUCLEAR WASTE IMPORTATION 

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

NGOPPON TOGETHER INC  – Management, Storage and Disposal of Wastes. also  on impact of unclear waste import on  Tourism etc 

Christine Anderson – nuclear waste no bonanza for South Australia

CLAIRE CATT

Environmental Defenders Office (SA)

Noel Wauchope – Answer Points on Importing Nuclear Waste

BHP not interested in nuclear waste import

Bill Fisher spells it out on nuclear waste

Bobby Brown’s Submission

Plans for radioactive trash dumping on Aboriginal land ?

West Mallee Protection – an Aboriginal Perspective

Clean Bight Alliance Australia

Australia Institute

MORE GENERAL SUBMISSIONS

ANGGUMATHANHA CAMP LAW MOB 

Josephite SA Reconciliation Circle

South AustraliaEnvironment Groups 

Friends of the Earth Adelaide

South Australia Nuclear Royal Commission Issues Paper 4 – misleading and serious omissions

Issues Summary

Dr Helen Caldicott’s Submission on all 4 Nuclear Royal Commission Issues Papers

Dr Caldicott’s submission concerning radiation 

Medical Association for Prevention of War & Public Health Association of Australia

Annie McGovern Addressing questions of WATER

Construction Forestry & Mining. Also Uranium Free NSW. 

Rebecca Keane Renewable Energy way ahead of nuclear 

Electrical trades Union of Australia dispels the hype about Generation IV Nuclear Reactors

Senator Scott Ludlam

 

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

Ally Fricker & Bob Lamb for ENuFF

Yurij Poetzl scrutinises Questionable Integrity of the Royal Commission 

City of Port Adelaide Enfield notes poor prospects for New Nuclear Technology

Adelaide Hills Climate Action Group

Conservation Council of SA 

March 15, 2016 Posted by | Submissions to Royal Commission S.A. | Leave a comment

South Australian nuclear waste import plan simply cannot succeed

Given the wildly optimistic price for waste modelled by the mid-scenario, not to mention the 56,000 tonnes of waste left over with no costed solution, and with all the uncertainties in developing the new technologies required, the simple conclusion is that this plan is simply all risk with no reward.

No-one else will line up to take advantage of this “once in a lifetime opportunity”, because the opportunity does not exist. The plan simply cannot succeed.

Royal Commission bubble burst

The impossible dream Free electricity sounds too good to be true. It is. A plan to produce free electricity for South Australia by embracing nuclear waste sounds like a wonderful idea. But it won’t work.  THE AUSTRALIA INSTITUTE Dan Gilchrist February 2016

“……NO GOOD OUTCOME The free energy utopia depends on two new, as yet unproven technologies: PRISM reactors, and cheap borehole disposal. The Edwards plan appears to rely on these technologies not only being successfully developed, but remaining entirely in Australian hands. Competition is certainly not addressed in the plan.

 It would be more realistic to assume that other countries would act on the same opportunities, if indeed they arose.
To implement the Edwards plan, Australia would need to spend around $10 billion to set up temporary storage, a reprocessing plant, and a pair of PRISMs. We would also need to import and store spent fuel.
 Furthermore, the importation of spent fuel would likely require a dedicated port and a fleet of specialised ships, and this is not costed in the plan.
The plan calls for spent fuel to begin to be imported and loaded into the dry-cask facility six years after the commencement of construction. It plans for the first PRISMs to be completed four years later. We could reasonably expect to have good data on the costs and methods of borehole storage well within this ten-year timeframe – as would any potential customers.
Having spent $10 billion (not including the cost of shipping or a new port) and ten years, and with several thousand tonnes of spent fuel in storage,42 there are, broadly speaking, two foreseeable outcomes:
1. If borehole and PRISM technologies, having been piloted commercially by Australia, are found to be as cheap and effective as hoped, other countries will have the opportunity to either use them themselves, or undercut our vast profits. It is not realistic to believe that Australia would continue to be paid five to ten times the cost of permanent storage alone. 43 Even if the hoped-for customers were nations that couldn’t use borehole or PRISM technology, a number of other countries could.
 2. If either technology is found to be too expensive for commercial deployment, or to have unforeseen safety problems, Australia will have locked itself into an expensive method of electricity generation with perhaps no longterm solution for the acquired waste.
In short: either the technology works and we face stiff competition, both from other countries and the low costs of the technologies themselves – in which case the numbers in the plan are completely wrong; or the technology doesn’t work as expected – in which case the numbers in the plan are completely wrong.
And in either case, the plan has still failed to cost a permanent solution for 56,000 tons of high-level waste – over 90 percent of the material taken in. The profits from the scheme would be spent in the early decades to subsidise the reactors and lower taxes, leaving future generations with a massive problem, and no plan or money left to deal with it.
There is no good outcome here.
Even if the technology succeeds, the business plan is fatally flawed. It is, in effect, a self-defeating plan. If it works, our customer base and commodity price dries up, killed by the very technologies we would have piloted at our own risk and at great expense.
Given the wildly optimistic price for waste modelled by the mid-scenario, not to mention the 56,000 tonnes of waste left over with no costed solution, and with all the uncertainties in developing the new technologies required, the simple conclusion is that this plan is simply all risk with no reward. No-one else will line up to take advantage of this “once in a lifetime opportunity”, because the opportunity does not exist. The plan simply cannot succeed. https://d3n8a8pro7vhmx.cloudfront.net/conservationsa/pages/496/attachments/original/1455085726/P222_Nuclear_waste_impossible_dream_FINAL.pdf?1455085726

February 13, 2016 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, NUCLEAR ROYAL COMMISSION 2016, reference, South Australia, Submissions to Royal Commission S.A., wastes | 7 Comments

Exploding Senator Edward’s plan for nuclear waste importing

Edwards,-Sean-trashThe impossible dream Free electricity sounds too good to be true. It is. A plan to produce free electricity for South Australia by embracing nuclear waste sounds like a wonderful idea. But it won’t work.  THE AUSTRALIA INSTITUTE Dan Gilchrist February 2016
 “……..Edward’s plan seems like an excellent deal for South Australia. Who would say no to jobs and free electricity and billions in reduced taxes? But the most cursory scrutiny exposes some serious flaws.
WASTE
The plan is to build a dry-cask storage facility, capable of securing spent fuel on the surface for 100 years. South Australia would be paid to take 60,000 tonnes over a 20 year period.
There would then be a nuclear fuel reprocessing facility, designed to reprocess 100 tonnes of this waste per year. The economic value of this proposition is highly speculative as 100 tonnes per year is far in excess of Australia’s likely needs. However, if our pioneering development of PRISM reactors proved the technology and made it affordable, then other countries might also build PRISMs, which could use the output of the processing plant. 14
 However, even assuming Australia finds a use or a buyer for the entire output of the reprocessing plant, over the 40 year life span of the facility South Australia would process just 4,000 tonnes of the imported waste.
What happens to the other 56,000 tonnes of nuclear waste?
 It would remain in temporary storage. There is no long term solution costed or even mentioned in Edwards’ plan. It is never discussed again.
It must be kept in mind this would be waste another country paid Australia to take, specifically because paying us was better than developing a permanent solution of their own. As perhaps may be expected, if one country pays another to take on a massive problem, and the second country solves less than 10 percent of that problem, it could make a large short term profit. But in 100 years when the dry cask system reached the end of its rated lifespan, future generations of South Australians would be left to deal with 56,000 tonnes of high-level waste, with no money left, and no plan.
If the plan was funded only by taking the 4,000 tonnes of spent fuel it actually used, then the result would be a spectacular financial loss.15
The Edwards plan makes the point that Australia would not be taking waste, but only ‘spent fuel’. It says: “This submission is not … proposing the simple establishment of waste management or disposal services or the importation of radioactive wastes in any sense.”
This statement is justified in the plan by the definition of radioactive waste as “…waste materials which contain radioactive substances for which no further use is envisaged.”
As long as we intend to use that spent fuel, it is not, strictly speaking, waste. However, the plan provides no use for over 90 percent of the material to be accepted. It would be, in the truest sense of the word, waste. And the proposal simply ignores that waste. If there is a future use envisaged for it, it is not mentioned in the plan, nor has it been costed.
The plan earns all of its money in the first few decades, spending it all on free electricity, tax reductions and other projects over 50 years.16 The remaining 56,000 tonnes is left to future generations to worry about, with no money left to deal with it.
This is a plan unlikely to be embraced by the Australian public in general, or South Australians in particular………. https://d3n8a8pro7vhmx.cloudfront.net/conservationsa/pages/496/attachments/original/1455085726/P222_Nuclear_waste_impossible_dream_FINAL.pdf?1455085726

February 13, 2016 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, NUCLEAR ROYAL COMMISSION 2016, reference, South Australia, Submissions to Royal Commission S.A., wastes | Leave a comment

The massive holes in Senator Edward’s arguments for “new nuclear” technology for South Australia

not a single PRISM [ (Power Reactor Innovative Small Module]  has actually been built…. the commercial viability of these technologies is unproven

Crucially, under the plan, Australia would have been taking spent fuel for 4 years before the first PRISM came online, assuming the reactors were built on time.

nuclear-wizards

if borehole technology works as intended, and at the prices hoped for, why would any country pay another to take their waste for $1,370,000 a tonne, when a solution exists that only costs $216,000 a tonne, less than one sixth of the price?

highly-recommendedThe impossible dream Free electricity sounds too good to be true. It is. A plan to produce free electricity for South Australia by embracing nuclear waste sounds like a wonderful idea. But it won’t work.  THE AUSTRALIA INSTITUTE Dan Gilchrist February 2016

“……NEW TECHNOLOGY  This comprehensively researched submission asserts that a transformative opportunity is to be found in pairing established, mature practices with cuspof-commercialisation technologies to provide an innovative model of service to the global community. (emphasis added) Edwards’ submission to the Royal Commission

Two elements of the plan – transport of waste, and temporary storage in the dry cask facility – are indeed mature. There is a high degree of certainty that these technologies will perform as expected, for the prices expected.
It should be noted, however, that the price estimates used in the Edwards plan for the dry cask storage facility draw on estimates for an internal US facility to be serviced by rail.17 No consideration has been given to the cost of shipping the material from overseas.
Around a dozen ship loads a year would be needed to import spent fuel at the rate called for in the plan.18 It is likely that a dedicated port would also need to be constructed. The 1999 Pangea plan, which proposed a similar construction of a commercial waste repository in Australia, made allowances for “…international transport in a fleet of special purpose ships to a dedicated port in Australia”. 19
 Needless to say, building and operating highly specialised ships, or paying others to do so, would not be free. Building and operating a dedicated port would not be free. Yet none of these activities are costed in the plan.
Furthermore, beyond the known elements of transport and temporary storage, the principle technologies depended on – PRISM reactors and borehole disposal – are precisely those which are glossed over as being on the “cusp of commercialisation”.
To put it another way: the commercial viability of these technologies is unproven.
PRISM  [Power Reactor Innovative Small Module]The PRISM reactor is based on technology piloted in the US, up until the program was cancelled in 1994. 20 It offers existing nuclear-power nations what appears to be a tremendous deal: turn those massive stockpiles of waste into fuel, and reduce the long-term waste problem from one of millennia to one of mere centuries. It promises to be cheap, too, with the small modular design allowing mass production.
Despite this promise, not a single PRISM reactor has actually been built. Officials at the South Korean Ministry of Science have said that they hope to have advanced reactors – if not the PRISM then something very similar – up and running by 2040.21 The Generation IV International Forum expects the first fourth generation reactors – of which the PRISM is one example – to be commercially deployed in the 2030’s.2
After decades spent developing the technology in the United States, a US Department of Energy report dismissed the use of Advanced Disposition Reactors (ADR), a class which includes the PRISM-type integral fast reactor concept, as a way of drawing down on excess plutonium stocks. It compares it unfavourably to the existing – and expensive – mixed oxide (MOX) method of recycling nuclear fuel.
The ADR option involves a capital investment similar in magnitude to the [MOX Fuel Fabrication Facility] but with all of the risks associated with first of-a kind new reactor construction (e.g., liquid metal fast reactor), and this complex nuclear facility construction has not even been proposed yet for a Critical Decision …. Choosing the ADR option would be akin to choosing to do the MOX approach all over again, but without a directly relevant and easily accessible reference facility/operation (such as exists for MOX in France) to provide a leg up on experience and design.23
 Nevertheless, the Edwards plan hopes to have a pair of PRISMs built in 10 years.
Crucially, under the plan, Australia would have been taking spent fuel for 4 years before the first PRISM came online, assuming the reactors were built on time.
The risk is that these integral fast reactors might turn out to be more expensive than anticipated and prove to be uneconomical. This could leave South Australia with expensive electricity and no other plan to deal with any of the spent fuel acquired to fund the reactors in the first place.
For countries that have no long-term solution for their existing waste stockpiles, the business case for constructing a PRISM reactor is much clearer: even if the facility turns out to be uneconomical, it will nevertheless be able to process some spent fuel, thus reducing waste stockpiles. This added benefit makes the financial risk more worthwhile for such countries
Australia, on the other hand, doesn’t have an existing stockpile of high-level nuclear waste. The Edwards plan would see Australia acquire that problem in the hopes of solving it with technology never before deployed on a commercial scale. We would be buying off the plan, with many billions of dollars at stake, in the hopes that we, with little experience and minimal nuclear infrastructure, could solve a problem which has vexed far more experienced nations for decades.
 By the time the first PRISM is due to come online it will be too late to turn back, no matter what unexpected problems may be encountered. Australia would have acquired thousands of tonnes of spent fuel with no other planned use.
Counting on the development of other PRISM reactors around the world is another gamble. The proposed reprocessing plant accounts for all of the 4,000 tonne reduction in waste over the life of the plan. Australia will have no use for most of this material – the rest must be used by other PRISMs. If PRISMs are not widely adopted, Australia will have no takers. This could leave Australia with even more than 56,000 tonnes of waste, with no planned or costed solution.
Borehole disposal 
The second element of the plan is the long-term disposal of waste from the PRISM reactors in boreholes. However this technology is still being tested.
According to an article in the journal Science, bore-hole technology has significant issues to overcome.
The Nuclear Waste Technical Review Board, an independent panel that advises [the United States Department of Energy] DOE, notes a litany of potential problems: No one has drilled holes this big 5 kilometers into solid rock. If a hole isn’t smooth and straight, a liner could be hard to install, and waste containers could get stuck. It’s tricky to see flaws like fractures in rock 5 kilometers down. Once waste is buried, it would be hard to get it back (an option federal regulations now require). And methods for plugging the holes haven’t been sufficiently tested.
However, if estimates used by the Edwards plan are correct, and boreholes can be made to work as hoped, it would allow high-level nuclear waste to be disposed of for only $216,000 per tonne. The Edwards plan reduces this further for Australia, quoting only $138,000 a tonne, on the understanding that our own waste would be comparatively low level output from a PRISM – disregarding, as discussed above, the 56,000 tonnes left over.
Nevertheless, the figure of $216,000 per tonne is important, because that is the price at which any country with suitable geology could store high level waste. It should be noted that Australia will not have exclusive access to borehole technology. If it is proven to be as effective as hoped there is nothing stopping many other countries from using it.
The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) notes that borehole siting activities have been initiated in Ghana, the Philippines, Malaysia and Iran.26 A pilot program is underway in the US.27 The range of geologies where boreholes may be effective is vast.
This may have serious implications for Australia’s waste disposal industry, given that other countries could build their own low-cost solution, or offer it to potential customers.
 However, if boreholes do not work as hoped, Australia will have no costed solution for the final disposal of high-level waste from its PRISM facilities. Australia would find itself in the very situation other countries had paid it to avoid.
PRICE What are countries willing to pay to have their spent fuel taken care of?
 This is an open question, as to date there is no international market in the permanent storage of high-level waste.
A figure of US$1,000,000 (A$1,370,000) per tonne is used by the Edwards plan, but this estimate does not appear to have any rigorous basis.
The Edwards plan gives only one real world example of a similar price: a recent plan by Taiwan to pay US$1,500,000 per tonne to send a small amount of its waste overseas for reprocessing. From this, the report concludes that an estimate of US$1,000,000 is entirely reasonable.
 However, the report neglects to mention several important facts about Taiwan’s proposal. First, this spent fuel was to be reprocessed, not disposed of, and most of the material was to be reclaimed as usable fuel. 29 This fuel would not be returned, but would continue to be owned by Taiwan, and be available for sale.30 If they could find a buyer, Taiwan might expect to recoup part or all of their costs by selling the reclaimed fuel to a third party.
 Second, the 20 percent of material to be converted into vitrified waste by the process was to be returned to Taiwan – no long-term storage would be part of the deal.
Third, and most importantly, the tender was suspended by the Taiwanese government pending parliamentary budget review.31 This occurred in March 2015, several months before the Edwards plan was submitted to the Royal Commission.
 Not only was the Taiwanese government proposing a completely different process to the one proposed by the Edwards plan, they weren’t willing to pay for it anyway. So the use of the Taiwanese case as a baseline example for the price Australia might hope to receive to store waste simply does not stand up to scrutiny.
The plan does briefly mention that the US nuclear power industry has set aside US$400,000 a tonne for waste disposal – to cover research, development and final disposal.32 This much lower figure is disregarded for no apparent reason, making the mid-scenario’s assumption of a price more than double this, at US$1,000,000, seem dubious. Even the pessimistic case considers a price of US$500,000 a tonne, higher than the US savings pool.
As will be discussed in the next section, the question remains: if borehole technology works as intended, and at the prices hoped for, why would any country pay another to take their waste for $1,370,000 a tonne, when a solution exists that only costs $216,000 a tonne, less than one sixth of the price?
 If South Australia led the way to prove the viability of the borehole disposal method and took on the risks associated with a first of its kind commercial operation, many other countries should be expected to use the technology for their own waste, or could offer those services to others. This alone makes the idea that other countries would pay $1,370,000 a tonne highly unlikely. ….https://d3n8a8pro7vhmx.cloudfront.net/conservationsa/pages/496/attachments/original/1455085726/P222_Nuclear_waste_impossible_dream_FINAL.pdf?1455085726

February 13, 2016 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, NUCLEAR ROYAL COMMISSION 2016, reference, South Australia, Submissions to Royal Commission S.A., technology | 2 Comments