Comment on the specific recommendations in the Royal Commission's Report

Your comments will help us to understand your initial thoughts and concerns and will support the development of a broader conversation with the community.

Comments closed

Government Agency

Consultation Team - Brooke

18 Jul 2016

Hi everyone, thanks for your contributions to this discussion board over the past few months. We've heard from a range of perspectives and are pleased to see so many people having their say about the future of the state. To focus on the topics found to be most important for South Australians to discuss by the Citizens' Jury, we'll be closing this board on Tuesday 19th July. You will still be able to view the conversation, however the forum will be closed for comment. We would encourage you to tie up your existing conversations and join us on our new discussion boards thereafter.

Government Agency

Consultation Team - Alice

14 Jul 2016

Just a short note to anyone who may have emailed us at our YourSAynuclear email address. We apologise for the delay in responding this week but we have had a couple of tech issues at our end. We are working on a solution and appreciate your patience.

Tony Gelonese

13 Jul 2016

My observation is that the overwhelming majority of comments are anti nuclear waste storage and yet media and government are pushing the 'pro' agenda.
This will be yet another government project where it will be proclaimed that the public have been consulted and the majority are 'pro' waste storage.
This is not a decision for SA only as any resulting nuclear waste disaster will affect other states also.
If the government wants to know what its citizens want the have a referendum, ( at election time to minimise cost).

Margaret Henry

13 Jul 2016

How is it that such an important issue gets so little publicity. It was hardly mentioned in the election campaign. Any publicity is very 'pro-nuclear'. The Royal Commission was stacked with 'pro-nuclear' contributors. Hardly a fair and unbiased discussion. I despair at the lack of insight and long term planning by the people running this country. And further despair at the trust shown by its citizens. Haven't we had enough disasters and conspiracies for people to stop accepting propaganda without questioning what is behind it.

Hans-Christian Marker

12 Jul 2016

I do not know if this is discussed fully at the moment but a bit of internet research lead me to following (links in this post)
I just want you to know where we are all heading. At this stage not making a suggestion if that is good or bad.

I found an article in a German newspaper from 2015, stating that Australia wants to replace coal by nuclear power - and thus solve the nuclear waste problem in other countries, which is strongly supported by Jay Weatherill.
Article in German by Wolfgang Kempkens
http://www.wiwo.de/technologie/green/tech/atommuell-australien-will-radioaktiven-abfall-mit-neuem-kraftwerk-weiternutzen/13551992.html
(it is German, just translate it)

Information about the prism fast reactor mentioned in this article:
http://gehitachiprism.com/what-is-prism/how-prism-works/

Information about the Advanced Recycling Centre mentioned in this article:
http://www.usnuclearenergy.org/PDF_Library/_GE_Hitachi%20_advanced_Recycling_Center_GNEP.pdf

Information about the failure of the fast reactors from the 70'ies in Europe (in German, just hit translate button)
http://www.contratom.de/2011/03/28/der-schnelle-bruter-vom-wunderkind-zur-nullnummer/
Supposedly the PRISM reactor is safe now, but there is only one pilot reactor so far I believe.

If you have read all this, you will see, that the Advanced Recycling Centre needs a fast reactor in the first place and produces re-usable nuclear fuel used in light water reactors and CANDU reactors. We need to build these too in Australia if we do not want to start shipping dangerous goods around the world, making us (Australia) a full blown Nuclear Country. That sounds like a very complex undertaking and once started on this path not easily reversed. Complex systems are vulnerable and bear systemic risks. We should be very careful and diligent assessing this nuclear option. I can't shake off the feeling, that there is a sense of urgency how this is tackled with the Royal Commission and the public consultation. In my opinion, this is too important to make a rushed decision.

Government Agency

Consultation Team - Brooke > Hans-Christian Marker

13 Jul 2016

Hi Hans-Christopher, thanks for joining the discussion about SA's future. The generation of electricity from nuclear fuels in South Australia was one of four key areas of the nuclear fuel cycle in which the Royal Commission examined - you can read in Chapter 4 from page 43 of the report. In short, it found that nuclear power generation would not be commercially viable in SA under current market rules, but should be considered as a future low-carbon energy source to contribute to national emissions reduction targets. Based on this, it recommended the eventual removal existing prohibitions on nuclear power generation, development of low-carbon, technology-neutral energy policy and to monitor developments in new nuclear reactor designs for future consideration. At this stage, it was identified that the management, storage and disposal of nuclear and radioactive waste was the key opportunity that should be considered in South Australia - you can read more about this in Chapter 5 from page 73.

Franca Vasileff

11 Jul 2016

This is insane. How can we stop this dangerous path SA and Australia is being taken down. Wake up everyone and let the politicians know that this is not the future for our beautiful country.

Sam Darling

10 Jul 2016

Does anyone else think that the risks associated with storing nuclear waste far outweighs the benefit of nuclear energy? I may be wrong but my understanding of the report is that we still wont be producing nuclear energy in SA, so we aren't even getting the benefit of clean energy but still have the high risks associated with the waste. Its not even our waste if we are storing waste from other nations.

The science and technology suggests that we know how to safely handle and store nuclear waste but what if there is a mistake in there. A mistake either in the technology or the production of the technology. The consequences are catastrophic!

We used to think that mercury was safe to handle... Its not. We used to think that asbestos is safe to work with... Its not. We used to think radium in toothpaste was a good idea.... We used to think the world was flat! The list goes on. We get things wrong but we always think we are right at the time. The consequences of being wrong on this issue are far too great to be rushing into a venture such as storing nuclear waste!

We think we have all of the answers for safely storing waste but what if we are wrong? The half lives of many of these products are much longer than the timespan that we have been studying them for. That is opening ourselves up for all sorts of surprises.

I strongly feel that the risks of storing nuclear waste (especially international waste) far outweighs any possible benefit we could get from it and we should be avoiding this at all costs. Please just invest in alternate clean energy production. This is my say.

Aaron Morley > Sam Darling

12 Jul 2016

What makes you think international waste is especially risky against benefit? That's an odd statement, because it should be understood that the source of the product does not dictate the product's danger, and the storage of products from overseas ought to generate MORE benefit than local products. There's clearly MORE benefit for the same risk. Not too sure how you can arrive at less benefit from increased risk.

Margaret Henry > Sam Darling

13 Jul 2016

The 'especially international waste' statement is fairly obvious for a couple of reasons. Firstly, there is the increased danger with transportation because accidents happen and nothing can guarantee accident free transport. The further you transport, the greater the risk. (There will be an accident and probably covered up just like other ones). That's just maths. Secondly, the nuclear propaganda promotes that nuclear energy is 'clean', conveniently ignoring the disastrously 'unclean' waste that it produces. So by taking the waste from other countries we get none of the so called 'benefits' of nuclear, just the disastrous waste that will mess with the environment for thousands of years. That leaves other countries with all the 'benefits' and none of the 'disasters'. No wonder they are looking for suckers to take on radioactive waste. It's a win/win for them and a lose/lose for us. That is also NOT a good reason for Australia to succumb to nuclear power when we are on the brink of becoming entirely sustainable. I predict, based on the speed of technology over the past 50 years (or less) that in under 500 years nuclear anything will be a sad history lesson, added to the long list of other sad mistakes (mercury is healthy, cane toads are great, let's bring in foxes and rabbits). Other countries will have moved on, cleaned up and we are left with radioactive waste for 249,500 years. Doesn't anyone else recognise that the death throws of the nuclear industry are behind all this anyway? Start smelling the rats - there's more than one rat to smell and they need to stop breeding.

Sam Darling > Sam Darling

15 Jul 2016

Margaret, that is exactly what I was thinking. The waste has to be transported further (more chance for something to go wrong) but I think even worse is that we don't get the benefit of the clean energy production yet still have to store the waste! Aaron, I would like to know why you think that there is more benefit in international waste compared to local waste?

Aaron Morley > Sam Darling

20 Jul 2016

The transport of nuclear waste would be about the most regulated of the transport industries. The flasks the waste is transported in are the most incredibly engineered containers. To damage one requires levels of energy just not seen in any real situation. The Brits and the Americans have driven trains into nuclear flasks at extraordinary speed and the 'damage' sustained to the flask was 'too insignificant to measure'.

Why is storing international waste more profitable than locally sourced waste? We don't make much HLW 'locally', we have geological means to store wastes of countries in the world that do not have suitable geology and therefore cannot store their own.

AND we can responsibly take the used product of other nations and responsibly treat/store it preventing tin pot dictatorships (and Russia) from turning it into nefarious products - which Russia is unashamedly doing right now...

James Stewart

10 Jul 2016

Noel, I understand you concern but as long as the process is transparent and the SA public is kept informed I am willing to accept the final outcome. However, from the video evidence recorded here http://yoursay.sa.gov.au/nuclear/livestreams/citizens-jury-one-livestream it seems that relevant evidence examined and published by the Royal Commission is withheld from both jury members and the SA public. In particular it has been and is being withheld by both informed ABC and privately owned media such as Murdoch publications, not just "Royal Commission people".

As evidence of this I forward the ABC email reply to my "contribution to the ongoing conversation around the South Australian nuclear waste dump". Other informed reporters such as Rebecca Puddy of The Australian were evidently unable to get their editors or owners to investigate the Royal Commission evidence and particularly my response to the duly published tentative findings found via the link in my message to ABC Radio. I hope the link still works from within this website.

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Radio Current Affairs
Date: 31 May 2016 at 16:49
Subject: ABC Online listener submission
To: "stewart.je@gmail.com"

Dear Jim Stewart,

Thanks for your email.

We appreciate your contribution to the ongoing conversation around the South Australian nuclear waste dump.

Your email has been passed on to the Executive Producer’s at Radio Current Affairs for their consideration and future reference.

Thank you for listening and taking the time to write.

Kind regards,

The team at ABC Radio Current Affairs

---------------------------------------------------------------------------

From: /worldtoday/contact.htm

Name: Jim Stewart

Address: 24 Moorbell St

Email: stewart.je@gmail.com

PhoneAH: 0414274420

Comment: On 31 March Natalie Whiting interviewed Kevin Scarce on his tentative findings and pushing forward with his support for a high level waste dump, despite concerns being raised about safety and economic modelling.

My response to the tentative findings was acknowledged on 9 March, three weeks earlier, so his officers still working through them may not have noticed it by the 31st. However it was duly published here: http://nuclearrc.sa.gov.au/tentative-findings-responses/#fndtn-p-t

There's more, including my on-going follow up since April with the SA Premier's office.

Noel Wauchope

10 Jul 2016

I am rapidly losing faith in the Citizens' jury process. The Royal Commission is over. The Citizens' Jury should be a completely separate process. But no - it is clearly under control of the Royal Commission people. The best example being this website. There should be a separate Citizens' Jury website, completely disconnected from this one.

The hearings. Take this weekend's:
Geordan Graetz, a Royal Commission staff member who was first disclosed in the Royal Commission's final report was hanging around.

I notice today that Ashok Kaniyal, another Royal Commission staff member appears to be present.

The media manager for CARA (the Department of Premier & Cabinet's new reponse agency) is Jenny Turner, who was previously Senior Communications officer, employed by the Royal Commission.

DPC is "in charge" of the process, but the Commission's staff are clearly and quite intimately involved in this current Citizens Jury process.

Government Agency

Consultation Team - Brooke > Noel Wauchope

13 Jul 2016

Hi Noel, thanks for your comments. There are a couple of points to highlight here - firstly, Premier Weatherill in his Ministerial statement (refer here: http://bit.ly/29D4ho3) states that the NFCRC Consultation and Response Agency (CARA) will draw upon existing Government expertise and expertise from the Royal Commission itself to facilitate the community consultation process. Secondly, it's important to note that CARA has an independent Advisory Board who's role is to oversee activities with a view to building trust, understanding and confidence in the community.

Kip Fuller

10 Jul 2016

A high risk situation is the above ground storage of high level nuclear waste at the wharf area. It will be left there for 30 - 80 years! It therefore will be at risk of natural disaster, sabotage, war, decay, corruption, human error, security breaches. Not enough attention has been focused on this.

Kip Fuller

10 Jul 2016

Although the money is tempting, it is ethically and environmentally folly to import a world problem that isn't our, and that has a risk and life span of thousands of years. I am referring to setting up a storage facility for high level nuclear waste. History shows that human civilizations and politics are not stable for tens of years, yet alone over millennia. Future generations should not be left with the legacy of trying to fix up a health, environmental and political mess. The money initially made, could all be consumed in trying to solve the problems the storage facility creates. No other country that doesn't have its own produced Nuclear waste is proposing to establish such a dump. That tells me it is too risky. So why invite disaster? You can't eat money when our earth and water is polluted. I am also worried about political upheaval, and corruption of governance of storage facilities. i.e. Bribes and short cuts being taken that jeopardize the safety and proper storage of high grade nuclear waste.

Darren Jakobsson

09 Jul 2016

The World today

Why is Australia looking at Nuclear fuel when the rest of world is so over the nuclear, coal and oil industries and are now doubling their investment in renewable energy, as the following examples state;-

Renewable Energy Investments: Major Milestones Reached, New World Record Set

• Coal and gas-fired generation attracted less than half as much capacity investment as renewables last year;

• Renewables added more to global energy generation capacity than all other technologies combined;

• For first time, developing world investments in renewables (up 19% in 2015) topped developed nations' (down 8%);

• World record total of $286 billion invested in renewables last year; makes $2.3 trillion over 12 years

http://unep.org/newscentre/default.aspx?ArticleID=36112&DocumentID=27068

Renewables are beating fossil fuels 2 to 1

While two years of crashing prices for oil, natural gas, and coal triggered dramatic downsizing in those industries, renewables have been thriving. Clean energy investment broke new records in 2015 and is now seeing twice as much global funding as fossil fuels.

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-04-06/wind-and-solar-are-crushing-fossil-fuels

PG&E to close Diablo Canyon, California's last nuclear power plant

One of California’s largest energy utilities took a bold step in the 21st century electricity revolution with an agreement to close its last operating nuclear plant and develop more solar, wind and other clean power technologies.

http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-diablo-canyon-nuclear-20160621-snap-story.html

Concerned Australian Citizen
Darren Jakobsson

Sam Powrie

09 Jul 2016

I must say that after coming back to this discussion a few weeks after leaving my initial comment I am left with some despair about the extent to which participants actually understand what is being put to them! It seems that around 70-80% of these 8 or more pages of comments are focussed in nuclear power generation and assumptions that this may be a recommendation of the report and something that the Citizen's Juries are considering. This is completely incorrect! Whatever its failings, the report DOES NOT recommend a nuclear power generation industry in any shape or form for SA! Nada, not at all, nyet! What it does recommend is that development of a low-intermediate storage facility operating as a commercial enterprise BE FURTHER INVESTIGATED. That's basically it! Nor are the citizen's juries even being asked to rule on this recommendation or to make any sort of decision thereto. As I understand it they are just being asked to make recommendations to government as to how to best proceed in establishing what degree or 'social consent' there might be - in short, what questions should be asked of the community. I have to ask 'where are the moderators'? Why are they not better guiding these discussions and why aren't they doing their job in helping participants to focus on the real questions - those concerning establishment of a low-intermediate level storage facility? It's all starting to read like a bad day on Adelaide Now!

Sam.

Noel Wauchope > Sam Powrie

10 Jul 2016

Of course this nuclear waste import thing is completely connected with nuclear power. Apart from the RC's vague suggestion that it's leaving the door open for future generation of nuclear power here in Australia, the whole underlying purpose of the nuclear lobby is to secure a waste disposal plan, so that other countries, especially our Asian neighbours, can embark on nuclear power generation, secure in the knowledge that mug Australian will take care of their toxic radioactive wastes. It's all about revitalising the deteriorating global nuclear power industry

David Richards > Sam Powrie

10 Jul 2016

Sam, the Commission Report makes 12 recommendations for the South Australian Government to consider (p169).

Recommendation 11 is to: “pursue the opportunity to establish used nuclear fuel and intermediate level waste storage and disposal facilities in South Australia consistent with the process and principles outlined in Chapter 10 of this report.”

Used nuclear fuel is HIGH level waste. This is why the modelling assumes we will have been paid something in the order of $A1.2m/tHM (pg 95, tHM = tonne Heavy Metal) to accumulate a large amount of this waste on the surface. The intention is then to build a very deep (400 - 450mtr) hole (pg 98), that also will be very expensive to excavate, and put all this material in it.
A small typo in the NFCRC report?
(I presume that recommendation 11 intended to refer to the “process and principles” outlined in “Chapter 5: MANAGEMENT, STORAGE AND DISPOSAL OF NUCLEAR AND RADIOACTIVE WASTE”, rather than Chapter 10 the Recommendations).

Chapter 5 begins with a discussion of the need for a low-intermediate level storage facility to deal with Australia’s growing stock pile of low level medical, industrial and research radioactive waste. (You may be aware there is a currently is a separate proposal by the Federal government to build a low and intermediate level nuclear waste dump, but this is not directly related to any of the 12 recommendations of the Commission.)

I think the wording of the recommendation; “to pursue the opportunity” is also a little more deliberate than your recollection: “BE FURTHER INVESTIGATED”. The Commission is clearly proposing the SA Government adopt and move to implement its recommendations, rather than just making a call for further studies and investigations.

As to why on this discussion board so many people are talking about nuclear power generation, I would direct you to Chapter 5, which calls for the dump proposal to be the start of a “staged” process of further involvement of the nuclear cycle. It is intended that the dump and associated research facilities leads to a growing of the State’s nuclear expertise, fuel leasing and nuclear enrichment. Yes, I agree with you that the Commission is not recommending an immediate nuclear build. However, recommendations 8 and 9 leave no doubt that the Commission is recommending to the State Government that it begins the preparatory ground work for nuclear power generation in Australia at some stage in the near future.

I consider these recommendations of the NFCRC’s certainly justify discussions on this site about nuclear power:

8. pursue removal at the federal level of existing prohibitions on nuclear power generation to allow it to contribute to allow-carbon electricity system, if required.

9. promote and collaborate on the development of a comprehensive national energy policy that enables all technologies, including nuclear, to contribute to a reliable, low-carbon electricity network at the lowest possible system cost.

10. collaborate with the Australian Government to commission expert monitoring and reporting on the commercialisation of new nuclear reactor designs that may offer economic value for nuclear power generation.

I must say I sympathise with your confusion about the recommendations and agree with your protest at the moderation of this debate. The Consultation Team do not seem to do little more than give encouragement to those who are remotely in agreeance with the NFCRC report. (While on-the-other-hand, those raising pertinent issues get either ignored, or answered with reference to somewhere in the report that the same words are used, irrespective of whether a different issue is being discussed.) Ideally, this discussion site should help advance debate and better understanding of the detail of diverse positions.

Government Agency

Consultation Team - Brooke > Sam Powrie

13 Jul 2016

Hi Sam, thanks for your feedback and input into the discussion. Up until now, we have been encouraging all South Australians to share their thoughts on the 12 recommendations of the Royal Commission's report, which you are right, do point to a storage facility but also (per recommendation 8 and 9) talk about nuclear power generation. We have been clarifying where necessary to those who might be confused in thinking this is the key immediate recommendation rather than a storage facility. Now that the Citizens' Jury have determined that fuel storage is what South Australians should be discussing in finer detail, we will further encourage people to get involved and discuss this topic in more depth over the coming months. Thanks again for being part of this discussion.

michael muirhead

09 Jul 2016

Basically, the ABC online news got it right a week or so ago when it described this whole exercise as a PR one by the Wetherill govt. And basically it is there to soften up the public to accept high level and toxic nuclear waste dump. The consultation team are part of this PR exercise. The whole process is flawed and anti democratic. If taking the world's high level nuclear waste was such a desirable exercise, why is it only the S.A. govt. and Liberal opposition who are eager to take it?

Steven McColl

04 Jul 2016

No matter how much money we throw at Solar and Wind transformed energy - they're both intermittent and diffuse.

Although Solar thermal is less intermittent, it still cools down a bit at night; however only offers a magnitude of about 20MW.

Wind, and Solar transformed energy do have their advantages (and like any other variable, should not be ruled out).

Why do you think Engineers do so much multi-variable calculus at University?

Please read the Engineering report by the NFCRC.
Nuclear: be clear on the facts.

Noel Wauchope > Steven McColl

10 Jul 2016

I am clear on the facts - one of which is that I would take any engineering or other report by the NFCRC with a very big grain of salt

Aaron Morley > Steven McColl

12 Jul 2016

That's fine Noel, just don't pick and choose your engineering, be consistent with the sizing and placement of your grains of salt. DO NOT make a mistake and assume that solar or wind energy production engineering predictions or improvements will automatically be more accurate or better than nuclear energy production engineering predictions. Engineers in both camps are likely very talented, nuclear engineering will generally be conducted to a higher of standard of audit though, always remember that.

Myles Pope

04 Jul 2016

In case anyone actually and seriously believes SA can 'successfully manage the nuclear risk', here is a preliminary list of those Countries and agencies who clearly weren't/aren't as smart and capable as we think we will be.

Here are some of the attacks on nuclear plants, Chernobyl related articles, civilian/military radiation accidents, Fukushima Daiichi disaster, Three Mile Island etc etc. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lists_of_nuclear_disasters_and_radioactive_incidents

Further, I think all talks, comments, feedback and further discussion about this Royal Commission's Report should be suspended and all undecided or pro-nuclear individuals relocated to Fukushima. Once we reconvene at Fukushima, we can give everyone the opportunity to relax, explore the local community, enjoy the region, sample the local produce and do some site seeing prior to making their final pro-nuclear submissions.

Of course, nuclear incidents could never happen in South Australia, we are too clever, we have perfect knowledge and have learned every possible lesson from history and in addition we are only a disposable desert state anyway plus we would simply have just too many safeguards in place and to top it off, the militant Islamists would help SA, by making an exception to attacking our facilities....

Anyway, let's reconvene and continue this discussion in Fukushima, I've just checked the web, apparently there are quite a few good travel deals at the moment... For those who are still undecided and with room on their seminar calendar, there will be an extra tour available, featuring a souvenir bottle of local ground water, as much local produce as you can eat and return flights via Bikini Atol with wise and witty contributions by guest speaker and author of the two world famous books " Clean and green again in 400,000 years time" and "Bang".

Sign up now!

Steven McColl > Myles Pope

04 Jul 2016

Scaremongering drama by someone trying to link unrelated facts to the proposal by the NFCRC.

So what is an isotope?

.

No idea.

.
What type of moderator were used in the Generation II Boiling Water Reactors (BWR) of Daiichi and Pripyat?

Where is Pripyat?

No idea.

.

How may milliSieverts go into your mouth at the dentist?

.
No idea.

.
What is a Sievert?

No idea.

.

Why is it that all US and UK submarines are fueled by Uranium-235?

No idea.

.

What is Uranium-235?

.

No idea.

.

NAVAL NUCLEAR.

Are you saying that Naval reactors in Washington DC is wrong?

Are you saying that the Naval Nuclear Power Training Command at South Carolina is wrong?

Are you saying Admiral Hyman Rickover was wrong?

Are you saying that President Carter was wrong to meet and give due credit to Admiral Hyman Rickover was wrong?

Are you saying that President Eisenhower was wrong to learn the lessons of the Battle of the Atlantic?

.

Please read the NFCRC report.

.

Please stop scaremongering.

.

Ignorant on this topic.

.

And what are you solutions to the consumption of trace actinides?

.

What is an actinide?

.

No idea.

.

Why do you think that some Generation IV reactors facilitate multiple fuel feeds?

.

What is a fuel-feed?

.

No idea.

.
And why is it at that some Generation IV reactors have a breeding ratio greater than 1.0?

So are you saying these Gen. IV reactors are not renewable energy?

By the way there is no such thing as 'clean energy' please read your Physics and Chemistry books.

.

Energy cannot be created or destroyed.

.

Which law?

.

Also do not go out in the sun and get any of (what type of nuclear energy)?

.

No idea.

.

Ignorant on this topic.

.

Also please do not use your Sat.Nav.

.

What type of fuel is used for Voyager and other satellites?

.

No idea.

.

Ignorant on this topic.

So what are your engineering solutions to the non-control over the timing and magnitude of energy input from solar and wind transformed electricity?
.

What does magnitude mean?

Myles?

I am waiting for your solutions?

.

Are you an Electrical Engineer?

Myles, the fairies dancing in the bottom of the garden will be very happy drinking their kool-aid.
.

Or worse:

So ignorant to not know the difference between chemical and atomic energy.

Hence they turn to scaremongering becoming desperate by trying to link unrelated facts to the Engineering proposal of the NFCRC report.

Myles Pope > Myles Pope

04 Jul 2016

I'm happy to debate the facts with you at a resort in Kukushima. Let me know when you get there.

Steven McColl > Myles Pope

04 Jul 2016

Fact:
In 2009 at Dimitrovgrod, Russia's largest nuclear research centre AKME-Engineering set up as a joint venture between Russian state nuclear company Rosatom and Irkutskenergo Group aimed at commercializing the technology of the Lead-bismuth cooled fast-neutron reactors from their Alpha Class submarines.

And at Dimitrovgrod the SVBR-100 reactor cooled by heavy metal was the first electrical power source to generate electricity – at lower cost per MW than coal, gas, hydro, solar or wind - you may like to check it out.

Steven McColl > Myles Pope

04 Jul 2016

Myles please - your'e trying to link unrelated facts to the proposal by the NFCRC.

Pripyat and Daiichi Boiling Water Reactors (BWR): You still have not told what type of moderator was used in both these Generation II Boiling Water Reactors (BWR)?

Scare-mongering drama.

For consistency Myles why haven't you banned yourself from the B777?

For consistency Myles why haven't you banned yourself from driving on multi-storey car-parks not designed to AS1170.4 here in Adelaide (post Newcastle earthquake)?

I agree on some of your points.

Ben Heard > Myles Pope

05 Jul 2016

Myles, I think it really tasteless to appropriate the region of Fukushima in this cheap way.

I have visited the region and the site itself. I listened to the local government officials talk about it. While we were there we of course ate the food, drank the water etc. It's not a laughing matter. As it happens I would happily return, it's lovely as are the people and the food. You can read about my visit here https://decarbonisesa.com/2015/05/28/not-humbled-angered-the-response-to-fukushima-is-an-ongoing-mistake-part-1/ .

Myles Pope > Myles Pope

05 Jul 2016

Ben for you to ameliorate and down play one of the planet's worst ever preventable entirely man made nuclear disasters is quite possibly the most unbelievable and incredible paragraph I have ever read.

If Fukushima did not have pro-nuclear advocates design, install and run a nuclear facility at Fukushima, then this disaster would never have happened. QED. It is that simple.

For you to also then imply that the food and water is safe for consumption when it is not (it is imported from cleaner regions) and then to dismissively say "I would happily return" when we all know that you can't return to the worst exposed regions, just totally beggars belief. There is spin and hyper spin and having you try to hyper spin the Fukushima disaster in any other light than describe it as the simple disaster that it is/was, is misleading in the extreme.

Like you, I'm sure the people who used to live around the Fukushima reactor are lovely (how is that relevant anyway) but I'm equally sure that those of them who died and those who are now sick as a result of this disaster would prefer that in hindsight my 'anti-nuclear' view had prevailed, not yours!

The main point is - NO, we don't want major nuclear incidents of any sort in SA. We just don't need the nuclear industry in SA. Too much risk and not enough reward!

David Richards > Myles Pope

05 Jul 2016

Steven McColl, where do you get your information? Are you making it up? The Russian generation IV reactor that you claim is "generating" electricity at such an impressive rate has not even completed the construction phase! At best, the “facts” you are citing are projections. (You should cite your sources, or are you just talking from the heart?). The schedule for the Dimitrovgrod, SVBR-100 (that you implore us to learn more about) does not begin operation until 2019. [SVBR = (Svintsovo-Vismutovyi Bystryi Reaktor) – lead-bismuth fast reactor].

However, the financial problem experienced by promoters of SVBR-100 does however illustrate one thing relevant to this discussion (other than your "gilding the Lilly" about the marvels, you perceive nuclear energy able to deliver us). We should be wary of the unexpected costs of involvement with nuclear technology enterprises. This attempt by the Russian military-industrial-complex to commercialise nuclear technology through the SVBR-100 foray reveals a history of escalating costs. The original financial forecasts of this project have needed revision upwards, and are now double the initial budgetary expectations! There was even talk in 2014 that this blowout was making the whole project “less commercially attractive”, and Rosatom was having second thoughts about completing the reactor.
Current information about this project is available at the World Nuclear Associations website. See the section on Russia, then click on “Reactor technology”:
http://www.world-nuclear.org/information-library/country-profiles/countries-o-s/russia-nuclear-power.aspx

The financial problems that are being experienced by AKME-Engineering in the SVBR-100 project serve as a warning to small economies like our own, looking to underwrite a nuclear dump proposal, which is designed to act as the first stage of a program envisaged to lead to a wider involvement in the Nuclear Fuel Cycle. A Gung hoe approach that discounts the effects of radiological hazards, and seeks to discourage debate with oblique references to items of nuclear terminology adds little to the debate. Overall, I find your dialectical style highly conflicted. Your “shoot from the lip” rhetoric ends with the attempt to embrace the argument you oppose, with a throw away, I agree [with some of your points]. After reading your posts I am none the wiser which of the specific recommendations of NFCRC you are commenting on?
I am sure the audience of this blog could learn much from your obvious knowledge of the nuclear industry. However, in your various contributions to this site, you seem to be taking a defensive and even combative approach, without disclosing what specific recommendation of the NFCRC report you support. I am none the wiser why you think the NFCRC recommendations offer SA a viable industrial strategy for SA to follow in the near future. (P.S. And, I really do have an interest in the Russian SMR project, so if you have any information on how these type of reactors are likely to become safe, cost effective energy producers in the near future, please post it.)

Admiral Hyman Rickover in 1953, speaking about problems of translating “academic” proposals for nuclear energy to “practical” reality, serves as a salutary warning to us in 2016. The NFCRC’s overly optimistic proposals for SA increasing its involvement in other aspects of the nuclear fuel cycle without fully considering the risks of the technological challenges and the resultant cost blowouts, is reminiscent of Rickover’s observations on the difficulties experienced in building the first reactor. Rickover identified eight contingencies likely to affecting the success of a nuclear build:
(1) It is being built now. (i.e. its demands are immediate and ongoing).
(2) It is behind schedule.
(3) It requires an immense amount of development on apparently trivial items.
(4) It is very expensive.
(5) It takes a long time to build because of its engineering development problems.
(6) It is large.
(7) It is heavy.
(8) It is complicated.”
Rickover’s is a subtly expressed, considered warning. To apply it to the NFCRC proposal: to consider if SA should have greater involvement in the nuclear fuel cycle, we must ask ourselves if we as a State have the financial resources to meet the challenge this proposal would raise? I feel that that the evidence suggests that the demands of this project are too great to risk, and the rewards too small. The government of our State is chasing a poorly conceived mega project, and it is foreseeable that the various technological challenges will exceed our financial resources to meet them. Disappointment and a return of our State to the financial ruin of the 1990’s seem likely to follow the enactment of the Royal Commission’s recommendations.

Ben Heard > Myles Pope

05 Jul 2016

Hello Myles,

The food is not imported. TEPCO, and the entirely workforce on site, procure local food. That is several thousand people, every day. They make a point of doing this. You will see in the clip that the local areas are suffering from the "unfounded rumours" (their words) about food from Fukushima.

I am not playing the event either down nor up. No one needs to. All we need do is read the reports from WHO, UNSCEAR and others. This was a really bad nuclear accident that wrecked reactors, caused a big scare and fortunately the radiation did not kill or hurt members of the public and based on what we know it never will. As to the "worst exposed regions" I have been to the foot of the damaged reactors. There is a workforce of several thousand on site every day. As shown in the clips in the post, the local government officials desperately want their people to return because they know it is safe.

Government Agency

Consultation Team - Brooke > Myles Pope

06 Jul 2016

Hi Myles, thanks for taking the time to join the conversation. The Fukushima Daiichi incident in 2011 was indeed a very serious one and the Royal Commission examined the causes, impacts and effects in great detail (which you can read about in Appendix F of the Report from page 207). Contrary to your comments (as Ben pointed out above) it's important to note that the Royal Commission found that there have been no deaths or cases of radiation sickness attributable to this accident. It's also important to recognise that the the Royal Commission examined four areas of activity within nuclear fuel cycle and made a series of recommendations around each. Whilst electricity generation was one of these (including feasibility, viability and risks of establishing facilities to generate electricity from nuclear fuels), the Commission found it would not be commercially viable in SA under current market rules, but should be considered as a future low-carbon energy source to contribute to national emissions reduction targets. The key opportunity for South Australia at this point in time was found to be the management, storage and disposal of nuclear and radioactive waste - this is the area which we're encouraging South Australians to discuss and share their point of view on.

Myles Pope > Myles Pope

06 Jul 2016

Hi Brooke, Your comments show how "facts" can mislead. Fukushima deaths is a good example. Zero right? But we have animals, plants, sealife and people whose lives will be significantly shortened. So we know that people WILL die from the Fukushima incident, even if no official deaths have been recorded yet in the Report. Fukushima is/was deadly even if it proves to be a slow onset disaster medically. Radiation over exposure can be an insidious killer.

As for storage, once again the key section from the Report is "public consent".

When the Report is digested and all the debate has been done about Nuclear in SA and both sides of all the issues have been put, the public of SA will give consent or not.

In summary, whilst many believe that working with nuclear material, be it storage or reactors, may be "safe" much of the time, on those occasions when incidents occur the consequences have historically been disproporionately massive. This is the lesson from Fukushima and others and we should learn from history and not presume we will be able to achieve perfect containment in SA.

It is perceived risk vs perceived reward and all south australians should be able to vote according to their conscience on the question of more nuclear for SA or NOT.

Mike Birch > Myles Pope

08 Jul 2016

Myles I appreciate your knowledge on the matter.

Steven McColl > Myles Pope

10 Jul 2016

Brooke I admire your willingness to work with the fixated.

Aaron Morley > Myles Pope

12 Jul 2016

Myles, suppose we talk Three Mile Island then? One of the other disasters you mentioned.

TMI has thirtyish years of data post accident. No release of radiation significantly above background, no shortened life, no deaths, no data showing even increased illness. 98% of the people evacuated from the TMI surroundings returned home within three weeks of being evacuated, that figure might even be higher in subsequent weeks beyond three. They were closer to the accident than you, had more to fear than you, and yet they went back - why do you suppose that was so? Was it because they knew something you don't? Or is it that you know something 98% of evacuees missed?

Those evacuees were the closest to the accident and had the most to fear, they were also obviously gifted with sufficiently large doses of rationality and knowledge. They understood the advice of nuclear regulatory officials and engineering/scientific facts.

Myles, why (or even how) do people live in Nagasaki (half a million) and Hiroshima (one million)? Do you think they walk around all day/night in radiation suits or leaded vests? Do you think they're all born with three eyes Simpson's fish style? or only live to 12? None of those things are true. Why do you think that is so?

David Richards > Myles Pope

16 Jul 2016

Aaron, for me it is more a question of scale (both the volume of material to be managed and the time period). What are we really talking about here? The Three Mile Island (TMI-2) incident was the release of radioactive steam. The Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombs involved only small amounts of radioactive material, irrespective of the devastation they caused (Little Boy [Hiroshima] 64kg of enriched uranium, Fat Man [Nagasaki] 6.19 kilograms of plutonium). The estimate is that less than a kilogram was actually involved in the fission that caused the explosion. Both explosions occurred at height (around 600 metres) with much of the radioactivity carried upwards by the mushroom cloud into the stratosphere. (There was no crater.) Additionally, long-term radioactivity was minimised, as both were coastal cities where there was a prevailing daytime out-to-sea breeze. If the explosions had been on the ground then the long-term impacts would have been much worse, despite the relatively small amount of radioactive material. In a ground burst, the radioactive material mixes with other debris rather than dissipating in the stratosphere, as the nuclear explosion’s fireball contacts the earth.

In those three incidents, we are talking about the release into the environment of relatively small amounts (kilograms) of material. In contrast, the SA nuclear waste dump proposal is to store thousands of tons. The NFCRC proposal is to import between 69,000– 138,000 tonnes of “high level nuclear waste”, keep a large proportion of this waste on the SA surface for decades; then, if all the hope and wishes align, dig a big costly hole and dispose of it without incident, for what will be a very long time. It is conceivable that when it comes time to bury the waste, despite the “contractual” assurances, there is not going to be enough resources to manage the waste properly. Another area of concern, considering the amounts of waste involved and the time the waste is to be on the surface, is the chance of incident. The storage facility will not start housing the waste deep under the surface until many decades into the project. The risk of incident is therefore increased by the number of years that a large amount of high level waste must sit on the SA surface.

The release of radioactive steam in the No. 2 reactor of Three Mile Island incident did not just involve a risk to human injury (as you intimate, the Pennsylvania Department of Health maintained a registry of 30,000 people over 18 years that does not demonstrate there was any statistical evidence of ongoing, long term health effects). Putting aside the chaos, community distress and panic caused by the misinformation given to the public (that the ‘meltdown’ had caused a breakdown of the core’s containment and a large amount of dangerous radioactivity was being released) – the incident was a financial disaster, costing $973 million to clean up. (This was in 1993 dollars, before quantitative easing, when the US dollar had much more value than 20 years later.) This accident is a warning, and another reason why a small economy, such as our own should not get involved with this industry. The potential costs represent a significant sovereign risk. It will only take the blow out of one variable, understated in the NFCRC report, something otherwise considered insignificant, and future generations (if not ourselves) would end up paying for the problem for a very long time.

Aaron Morley > Myles Pope

20 Jul 2016

However much waste is to be stored at our waste repository, all the scary things mentioned here (notably Fukushima, Chernobyl, TMI, Hiroshima and Nagasaki) all had something in common that plainly WILL NOT exist in a waste repository. Concentration of radioactive atoms in critical mass.

All nuclear 'explosive' events have only occurred due to criticality. THIS DOES NOT EXIST IN A WASTE FACILITY. The concentration (purity) will be reduced, the containments will block the fissioned particles and most importantly (and most obviously) this is waste product, the enrichment will be greatly reduced.

That is my point, all of these emissions, these 'disasters' that people can name occurred in the presence of activities and circumstances that just do not exist in the scope of what we are talking about.

David Richards > Myles Pope

21 Jul 2016

Aaron, please try and be consistent with your previous post. (It was your diversion that introduced “TMI, Hiroshima and Nagasaki” into this discussion. You made the comment about the residents of these cities today needing to wear lead lined suits!). To return to the discussion, high level waste is called that for a reason. It is reckless to downplay the biological dangers of high and medium nuclear waste it does the argument of the proponents of the dump no good.

There are serious questions previously asked in this forum that are yet to be answered. It would contribute to the genuine debate about this proposal if anyone could shed some light on these. For example: Is all of the waste for the proposed dump going to be imported in the same form, using the same type of transport containers? Are the lined concrete transport drums going to be the same ones used as long-term storage on the surface (ISF)? Will there be local reprocessing, will the waste need re-packing prior to storage underground? Will any of the drums in the storage site need to be stored on the surface while they cool down prior to long-term underground storage? Of the thousands of tonnes of waste proposed to be stored on the surface for the thirty plus years before long-term underground storage, what is the extent of radioactive gas emissions? Will there be liquid holding tanks, sludge ponds, the need to evaporate or discharge volumes of contaminated water? Reading the NFCRC’s report there are many options are on the table, but public discussion is to ignore the problematic, and divert debate to discussion of the periphery. The proposed activities and functions of the surface (ISF) are unclear, yet it is the initial storage interface where the local environment will make significant contact with the waste.

The UK with much greater resources than our own, have a surface waste storage and reprocessing plant at Sellafield, it is an ongoing financial disaster and the estimated clean-up bill was in 2014, £79.1 billion. The THORP (Thermal Oxide Reprocessing Plant) history at Sellafield is one of repeated environmental damage and accident. In 2008 in order to secure a replacement management contract for the site, the British government issued an unlimited indemnity against future accidents to the new contractors. As the commercial initiatives at Sellafield demonstrate, there is a high potential for costs to blowout. The cost involved with the failure of the Sellafield plant where judged by the national government to be so significant that they were forced to step in and offer the British taxpayer as guarantor. In South Australia, a commercial high and medium level waste dump would similarly lead the local taxpayer to unacceptable levels of financial liability and sovereign risk.

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2008/oct/27/sellafield-deal-nuclear-economy

Karen Green

04 Jul 2016

Thanks for the opportunity to comment. Community consultation on this crucial decision is essential to determine a way forward for SA. I am pleased that citizen juries are being used as a part of this.

I see opportunities for SA in increased mining of uranium, and in management, storage and disposal of waste. But I do have a number of concerns that should be addressed throughout the consultation process before any decisions are made.

I agree remediation costs for mines need to be provided up front. However, given the long life of such mines and changes in technology, the amount of the bond must be reviewed on a regular basis. Additional funds must be provided to the Government as required on the basis of the findings of the review. The public should not be forced to pay for remediation costs as a result of an insufficient bond.

Indigenous ownership of the land must be considered and further mines or a storage facility must not proceed without traditional owner consent.

Containment of waste is a decision for the long term, possibly forever. Our knowledge of the risks is incomplete - the unknown unknowns are obviously of great concern. It is still such a new technology and industry. The storage facility can be scaled up, but it would be very difficult to scale down and remediate. I support a staged introduction of waste storage and disposal. We should begin with medical waste from Australia only.

The risks associated with the importation of overseas waste are immense - both to the environment and to human health. We all know the clean up costs associated with large oil spills off the coast of the U.S. What would the environmental and health consequences of a ship wreck be for a ship carrying nuclear waste? The same risks would apply for transportation through SA ports, rail and road networks. I do not support nuclear waste travelling through our commercial ports. A purpose built port should be constructed for transport of nuclear waste.

Have the risks associated with global terrorism been considered? If we did import waste from overseas, would this make SA a greater target?

Finally, I do not support development of a nuclear power industry in SA. SA is blessed with significant opportunities in solar, wind and tidal energy generation. These industries are already developing in SA and have the capacity to support job and knowledge creation. They also carry none of the risks associated with nuclear power.

Ben Heard > Karen Green

05 Jul 2016

Great remarks.

"The risks associated with the importation of overseas waste are immense". That's an unambiguous comment. On what do you base that? I have been researching it closely for my PhD and come to pretty much the opposite conclusion! Your reference to oil spill is certainly relevant: oil is a terrible thing to be moving around. Used nuclear reactor fuel is a ceramic. It won't spread, dissolve, move around. It's one of the densest metals, it would just sink and sit there. It is move in a cannister that is, for all intents and purposes, indestructible. Environmentally speaking, the hazard is tiny compared to oil. What would the consequences be? As far as I can ascertain, a lot of expense for whoever has to retrieve it from where it landed, but that's about it.

Happy to discuss further if you wish.

Government Agency

Consultation Team - Brooke > Karen Green

06 Jul 2016

Hi Karen, thanks for sharing your thoughts - we appreciate the time you have taken to provide us with this input and you certainly raise some good questions which all South Australians should discuss. To help answer a few of these (based on the findings of the Royal Commission) - Chapter 6 of the report talks about consent, and it's important to note that the consultation process seeks to determine if there is broad social consent for Government to continue investigating opportunities associated with nuclear activity. This chapter also identifies the importance of engaging in a culturally appropriate way with South Australia's Aboriginal communities. Should the Government decide that consent exists to continue, and down the track (after detailed further planning, risk assessments and legislation) any potential site is identified, there must be then be specific community consent sought from the people of the region. In regards to the reserve fund, the Report identifies that this would be reviewed on a regular basis to guarantee the availability of a reasonable amount of funds to cover both anticipated and unanticipated costs of operating and closing the facilities, and remediating the sites. Ben has addressed your questions in relation to transportation, but you can also find out more on this topic in Chapter 9 of the report from page 153. Thanks again, Karen.

Lindsay Carthew

04 Jul 2016

summary of my thoughts
I am pro nuclear but respect this is not shared with many South Australians. I see a very strong case for SA building a medical & research radioactive waste dump.

As I see it:
1. Nuclear generates globally around 18% of total electricity. France is >75%, USA is about 20%.
2. Non carbon fuel
3. The nuclear fuel and waste are currently safely transported. There is risk but it seems to be well managed.
4. Problems with nuclear power stations seem to be from the older and poorly designed units.
5. There exists medical and research radioactive waste around Australia, currently not properly stored. It needs a storage facility
6. South Australia is blessed with very stable geology, ideal for storage.
7. The economics of storage over very long terms would be really difficult to quantify with relatively high volatility. For example what discount rate is appropriate when our 10 year Government bond rates have been as high as 16% 25 years ago to current 2%?
8. Governments are generally poor business managers and projects run over budget seemingly all the time.
9. South Australians are generally conservative and risk adverse. They will have to be convinced there is a strong economic benefit to allow "the risk".

I am very much in favour of further work and analysis on both a medical dump and also nuclear power waste dump.

Overall the people involved in this process are to be congratulated. Either way it is a discussion we need to have and hopefully there will be discussions on other economic topics.

Government Agency

Consultation Team - Brooke > Lindsay Carthew

06 Jul 2016

Thanks for taking the time to share your thoughts on this topic, Lindsay.

Margaret Henry > Lindsay Carthew

08 Jul 2016

The dump will become a high level radioactive waste dump.
The state might be calling it 'low level' but the Feds want it 'high level'
That's a very easy step up once you agree to 'low level' so start thinking of it they way the pro-dumpers want it - 'high level radioactive waste'.
Is that stuff dangerous (to health and the environment)? - Yes
Otherwise, why would countries be looking to get rid of it.
Can it be safely stored? - Not yet
How do we know? - It hasn't been done successfully or economically.
What model are we basing our dump on?
Is there a successful waste model anywhere that is currently operating?
I can't find one. So why would we want to be the first in an area that is so fraught with danger to health and the environment.
How can we justify underwriting dangerous stuff for 250,000 years?
How can we, and what gives us the right, to guarantee geological security for 250,000 years?

Alec Stolz

03 Jul 2016

The pro-nuclear lobby, who love to preface their comments with claims to be "rational and measured" thereby arrogantly discounting any counter view, have not come up with economic proof that a safe dump can be built.
There are only guesses at what we will earn for accepting the waste and then how much the dump would cost to build.
As many people have pointed out no other country has successfully built a safe long term dump that actually has any sort of track record.
The critical point is that we are going to store the high level waste above ground until the dump is built because we have to take the waste BEFORE we get the money.
Have a look at the records of governments for building any large scale project within budget ...ie very poor. And that is when there actually is a reasonable and knowable sum available to start with.
In the case of the dump it is back of envelope calculations which seem very vulnerable to a myriad of variables.
I envisage the likely situation of the state government going broke with a half built dump and barrels of waste in a paddock.
What are we going to do then?

Government Agency

Consultation Team - Brooke > Alec Stolz

06 Jul 2016

Hi Alec, thanks for sharing your concerns. It’s worth noting that the Royal Commission considered data from a range of sources, including Jacobs and MCM and other experts. At all stages, key assumptions made in the financial analysis were corroborated by independent research undertaken by Royal Commission staff, evidence heard in the public sessions and through the oversight of two separate advisory committees - the Expert Advisory Committee and the Socio-Economic Modelling and Analysis Advisory Committee. To clarify your comment about accepting the waste before funds, this is not the case - the Report identifies that the initial development of a disposal facility without having obtained sufficient contractual pre-commitments. You can find out more about this from page 103 of the Report.

Alan Watchman

02 Jul 2016

We live with radiation every day, but as soon as ’nuclear’ is mentioned the world becomes an emotional mine field. Pilots don’t wear lead-lined helmets to protect against cosmic rays that bombard them and their crew each time they fly. Cooks preparing food don’t wear lead aprons to protect them from radiation emanating out of granite counter tops. Yes, granite is radioactive because it contains potassium, uranium and thorium minerals. Please don’t tell vegetarians that eating organic foods is bad because all plants contain radioactive elements; e.g. potassium in bananas and avocadoes, and carbon in all plants. Yes, carbon is radioactive because one of the isotopes, C14 is radioactive. Taken to the extreme we should not stand too close to another person because they are also radioactive; potassium in bones and teeth, carbon in flesh. It's the dose that counts; concentration and distance.

Nuclear radiation is a concern because of Fat Man and Little Boy, Three Mile Island, Chernobyl, and Fukushima. I too fear terrorists armed with kilograms of U235 or plutonium, but having containers lying around in unprotected sites and leaking from drums into ground water is not a solution I favour today. Then there are the nuclear medical sites in all hospitals; unprotected and with potentially harmful radioactive materials.

We manage other risks, such as taking our lives and those of our loved ones into our hands each time we drive a car. Companies employ safety officers, use risk management tools and engage consultants and auditors to ensure safe practices at work. Why can’t we do the same with a global nuclear repository? How many environmental safety officers will be employed? How many security officers will be required? Different materials will require different storage facilities so we will need engineers and managers.

Let’s look at how we deal with the risks of transporting oil, gas, liquid nitrogen, ammonium nitrate – all potentially harmful. The short answer is that they are transient and not long-lived like nuclear materials. True, but isn’t it necessary to ensure proper protection of those nuclear substances for ever in a safe place, a country like Australia? And we can be paid for doing it and employ many more people if we do it with appropriate safeguards.

Australia has some of the largest and richest uranium deposits in the world; one close to Whyalla. Could Whyalla become a global hub for processing nuclear materials? Could we employ people in remote communities where jobs are scarce? Could SA build a nuclear power plant to replace the Port Augusta station that recently closed? No, I hear people say, we want renewable energy instead.

SA is not manufacturing solar panels, or wind turbines, but importing them from Europe and China. Will we import technology or develop our own? Will we create jobs and secure nuclear materials or will we let Korea or another country do it? Or not do it at all? Saying no is always easy, but taking on the nuclear challenge requires guts, ingenuity and commitment.

SA is currently building nuclear submarines, we mine nuclear ore and ship it overseas, but it seems untouchable and unthinkable to process and store nuclear waste. I thought it would be part of a recycling program, an environmentally sustainable industry, and a benefit to the world.

David Richards > Alan Watchman

03 Jul 2016

I find your final comment interesting. SA is not officially "currently building nuclear submarines". According to what the public has been told by the R.A.N., the submarines are to be diesel powered. Have the people of Adelaide ever been consulted about a nuclear build (or perhaps the Royal Commission consultation is surreptitiously canvassing the issue)?

Regarding your comments on radiation: I don’t see that the risks from the proposed activity (including the chance of an accident during the millions of years we will be hosting this waste) are in any way comparable with the radiation exposure from chopping food on a granite benchtop. Even if you are personally okay with managing what I think are unacceptable risks, there are other issues to consider. What about the pipe dream financials of this project? The numbers might add up, but what about the premises they are based on? Littering this website are numerous examples of why small economies (such as ours) should not risk deeper involvement with the nuclear cycle. Generally, a win with the nuclear industry is only single step forward, but if you lose you end up with an escalating problem potentially costing millions to remediate. Just consider the costs of the two partial clean-ups from the multiple atmospheric tests conducted by the British at Maralinga. Even today, serious radiological hazards still exist. See:

http://www.smh.com.au/environment/ten-years-after-the-allclear-maralinga-is-still-toxic-20111111-1nbsd.html

I think we really need be focusing on the financial aspects driving this proposal. We may consider ourselves the smartest people in the room, however, the economics of this proposal are not realisable. The reason why better-equipped economies than ours have not undertaken a similar project before now is because it will not deliver the benefits. A high paying market for dumping used nuclear fuel is a foolish fantasy. In the late 1980’s and early 90’s SA indulged in a similar fantasy to drive its investment strategy. With multi-party support, spanning local and state governments, the public purse was used to underwrite what was at the time thought to be a game changing mega project (while other informed voices predicted that the Myer REMM project was a miss step),. Not only did this speculation bring the State Bank & SGIC to their knees, but it also forced the sale of most of SA’s public assets to cover the debt. (This goes some way explain why SA is the only Australian state crazy enough to consider such a harebrained scheme as this one). Like the REMM disaster, this is another attempt by the government to pick winners. However, this time the stakes will be in the billions (not millions) of dollars. All South Australians should examine the NFCRC’s waste dump proposal’s economic modelling and dodgy financial assumptions; see:

http://www.tai.org.au/content/industry-out-time-submission-south-australian-nuclear-fuel-cycle-royal-commission

The waste dump proposal is a billion dollar gamble. The SA taxpayer will pick up the pieces when the overly opportunistic forecasts of this dumping scheme fail to be realised. At best we are going to be left with a couple of billion dollars of debt, and a few thousand tonnes of high and intermediate waste sitting on the SA surface in some remote location, with a half dug hole to put it in. We will have to rope it off and hope that we do not go to war with anyone. And, if we do, that no one targets the surface stockpile, or sends a suicide bomber to attack it with a jumbo jet – although we would not be looking at a meltdown, we would still have a significant radiological problem. Don’t compare the real hazards faced by the people of Chernobyl and Fukushima, with the dangers of eating food off a granite bench top.

Steven McColl > Alan Watchman

04 Jul 2016

More scare mongering drama:- the BWR at Pripyat and Daiichi had which type of Moderator?

Also Maralinga has got nothing to do with the proposal of the NFCRC.

So are you planning to live underground inside or next to the waste atomic fuel modules?

Anything wrong with proprietary waste atomic-fuel modules (say those designed by Holtec)?

Could you design a waste fuel module?

What would be the design loadings?

Which are the relevant Australian Standards?

AS1170?

AS4360?

Significant radiological problem? What rubbish - ever worked at our 20MW reactor?

Radiation: Please tell us all about the following three types and their penetrative capacity:

Alpha particle,

Beta particle,

Gamma ray.

And which can be stopped by a piece of paper?

Are you saying there is a radiological problem inside all 73 of the US Navy's SSN fleet?

.

By the way an aircraft is not a 'jet'.
A jet refers to a type of an engine.
The turbo-jet engine has been superseded by the turbo-fan engine for about three decades, the last turbo-jet engine was probably in the Mach 2 Concorde.

Although you do make good points.

David Richards > Alan Watchman

05 Jul 2016

Steven McColl, your “beef” seems more with “Jetstar”, than with me. You are correct to assert that when I was talking about was the risk of terrorist using a jumbo jet to disrupt the extensive proposed above ground nuclear waste storage facilities, I was making the assumption that those reading my scenario would understand I was referring to a large aircraft. It is a curious gambit to demand restrictions on the use of the word “jet”. (For your indulgence, a simple but near universally held understanding of jet is a large, wide bodied aircraft. I quote: “The biggest wide-body aircraft are known as jumbo jets due to their very large size; examples include the Boeing 747 ("jumbo jet"), Airbus A380 ("superjumbo jet"), and upcoming Boeing 777X ("mini jumbo jet").” Is this what you want, a post filled with diversionary discussions? It seems that your forays so far into this and other posts have added little to an explanation of what you consider worthy or not with the specific recommendations of the NFCRC. Is your role just to disrupt, or are you driven by some yet to be revealed purpose?

I also fail to understand why your specific technological questions about the moderator used at Pripyat and Daiichi have anything to do with any of the points that I raised. As for the comments you make about the relevance of my reference to Maralinga, I believe it was very relevant. I raised it specifically as indicative evidence of the cost and efficacy of a local clean-up should a nuclear accident take place at one of the facilities proposed in the NFCRC recommendations. You ask, can I design a waste fuel module? No. However, does it really matter for the purposes of this discussion? I cannot design a car either, but I do feel competent to talk about road safety. Do I work in a car factory, no, but I still drive one. Your analogies seem ludicrous, so what are you really trying to say? You also ask if I worked at “our 20MW reactor”, why do you ask? Are you implying that people with a stake in the nuclear industry should make all the decisions on this dump proposal? Surely, you can see this is just being silly.

The issue you raise regarding enforceable safety standards. Throughout these posts you have named dropped the name of a number of American heroes of the nuclear industry, now I give the name of a local South Australian to investigate: Hedley Ralph Marston. Despite the bitter acrimony of the Atomic Weapons Tests Safety Committee, Marston continued to highlight the damage caused to the health of all Australians by the poor management of radiological hazards by Australian nuclear regulators. As a whistleblowing scientist, Marston suffered years of vilification only to be posthumously vindicated by the McClelland Royal Commission. Marston’s scientific studies serve as a chilling demonstration of how safety standards, can be severely compromised by vested interests, including those within the scientific community.

Government Agency

Consultation Team - Brooke > Alan Watchman

06 Jul 2016

Hi David, thanks for joining the conversation and sharing your thoughts. We note your concerns about the financial modeling put forward by the Royal Commission. It's worth noting that the Commission considered data from a range of sources (including Jacobs and MCM plus a number of other experts). The key assumptions made in the financial analysis undertaken for the Royal Commission were corroborated by independent research undertaken by Royal Commission staff, evidence heard in the public sessions and through the oversight of two separate advisory committees - the Expert Advisory Committee and the Socio-Economic Modelling and Analysis Advisory Committee. The analysis was also wholly based on publicly available literature from peer reviewed sources and reputable international bodies. Where feasible, key assumptions regarding price and used fuel volumes were corroborated with potential customer countries.

David Richards > Alan Watchman

08 Jul 2016

To the Consultation Team – Brooke. Overall my concerns (as expressed through posts on this discussion board) focus more on issues regarding the vulnerability of the above ground "interim" storage facility (ISF) to accident and financial liability. If you were to return to my earlier posts on the first pages of this discussion, you would note my attempts to seek clarification about the form and variation in the type of waste proposed to be imported and stored on the surface as well as well as a number of other concerns I am seeking answers to.

When I do raise issues of finance, it is on two levels. (1) This project poses a sovereign risk, and is too big for an economy the size of SA’s to invest in. (2) It is the assumptions underpinning the model; not the financial modelling itself that is the problem.

Previously I have also expressed concern that the NFCRC is arguing for a “staged” strategy that moves from dumping to involvement with other aspects of nuclear energy; that is that the NFCRC proposals range far wider than the waste facility proposal. I argue this complicates assessment of the waste disposal project, making assessment of the key indicators difficult, and would also make harder any attempt by the State to withdraw down the track. A staged project means there will also be many more potential stakeholders, some with rival interests making recognition of a failing project potentially unclear and costly. (A point raised in my submission to the Joint Committee, also included within the posts of this site.)

In your post above, I’m concerned with your use of the word “independent”. Page 10 of the Jacobs MCM report explains that they based their modelling largely on information provided by the ‘Client’, and write: “If the information is subsequently determined to be false, inaccurate or incomplete then it is possible that our observations and conclusions as expressed in this document may change.” These are standard terms for any Consultant undertaking a “Cost-Benefit Analysis”, but not good grounds to accept assurances that independent “experts” have looked into the NFCRC’s assumptions and it is all okay.

Aaron Morley > Alan Watchman

20 Jul 2016

David, tell us how colliding anything (I don't care if it's a 'jet', or an aircraft, 747, A380, Constellation, DC-3, tiger-moth, Sopwith Camel, a truck or a car) could send the contents of a WASTE FACILITY and cause a critical action, as required to do the damage you allege could occur. I don't so much care if it's above or below ground (insert a submarine into the aquifer if necessary) nothing colliding with the waste dump at any level of activity in the waste will cause the dump to go critical.

It's nothing but a plain impossibility of physics.

David Richards > Alan Watchman

20 Jul 2016

Aaron nice attempt at a diversion and misrepresentation, nowhere do I mention anything about something going "critical”. Nowhere in any of my posts do I talk about the danger of this waste having anything to do with criticality, or discuss (or imply) the possibility of subsequent nuclear fission occurring in the waste. I do have concerns regarding the possibilities of a dirty bomb, a terrorist, or attack by a war time enemy on the proposed above ground storage facility (using whatever explosive technology you care to name). These possibilities are significant risks to the above ground interim storage facility given its size (1000’s of tonnes of used fuel, and other high and medium level wastes) and length of time it is proposed to be in operation (circa 120 years).

I emphasise my key concern is with the thousands of tonnes of waste that must be stored on the surface before the below ground mine is completed.
The risks are environmental and financial. I do not think that the assumptions underpinning the economics of this proposal add up. The generation III nuclear fission industry is in retreat. It is not reasonable to expect that the impoverished nuclear power industry is serious about supporting a foreign dump with a premium price for dumping waste.

Let me reiterate my concerns with the scenario outlined in the NFCRC proposal. Once the first shipments arrive and are sitting on the SA surface, the clock is ticking in a bid to get enough waste, at the right price to enable it all to later be buried in permanent storage (approx ½ km below the surface). Burial is the goal and the indicator of the project’s eventual success. This is because even proponents of the dump generally regard the waste as a significant biological hazard. However, once there is waste on site, the initial market situation no longer prevails. The suppliers of waste will govern the price, rather than those managing the dump. There are a number of possible scenarios where SA dump managers could be forced to accept waste at a discount price, regardless of agreed contracts under different circumstances There are plenty of examples of companies considered too big to fail by their national governments – or company restructures which results in the new ownership repudiating earlier overseas contracts. For a small economy like ours, this project represents a significant sovereign risk.

I can’t help but wonder whether this project is nothing more than a blatant attempt to offer subsidy to the dying generation III nuclear fission in industry, as part of a so-called “staged” strategy to buy our way into more advanced technological developments. You and the NFCRC are dreaming, it would be funny if it wasn’t putting all our futures at risk

Myles Pope

01 Jul 2016

Ch 6 - Consent 95-97. The SA public WILL NOT consent. Stand up and fight. No nukes, no dump. Vote no. With all the examples of reactor failures around the world and with half lives of radioactive material in the 100,000s of years. The risks massively outweigh the possible rewards (which are only financial anyway) and why involve SA and it's residents in such marginal activity when we could be focusing on SA's existing strengths such as our "clean green image", food, wine, tourism and innovation. Why even consider an industry where the risks of error are so severe and have such long lasting consequences! If SA wasn't broke, we wouldn't even be considering becoming a waste dump for the world or risking Chernobyl etc etc. Gosh, Fukushima was SO recent, hasn't anyone learned from that at all? So if it is all about the economy and all about money - let's vote in a Govt who doesn't desperately grasp at unwanted technologies to simply feed their spending addiction.

Government Agency

Consultation Team - Brooke > Myles Pope

06 Jul 2016

Hi Myles, we've addressed your concerns about Fukushima (and other issues) in your post above regarding a nuclear reactor versus storage and management of used fuel. However, we do want to clarify that the Royal Commission's report found there was no compelling evidence that nuclear activity in SA would adversely affect other sectors such as tourism and agriculture, aquaculture or viticulture provided those facilities were operated safely and securely. This conclusion was reached by the Royal Commission based on the experiences of countries such as France and the USA who have significant involvement in all stages of the nuclear fuel cycle yet have world-leading industries as mentioned above. It’s also worth noting SA is already involved in uranium and other mining, and heavy industry without unduly damaging our clean, green image.

Bryan Tingey

01 Jul 2016

I'm a human being. One of the nearly 8 billion on this rock we share. Why should I be dictated to by a group of others because they have been selected to represent some divine family right and tell me how I should live my life?
I may trust this mob more if they backed up safety claims by living where they dump it.

Bill Pearce > Bryan Tingey

04 Jul 2016

The point is that South Australia is big enough that no one will have to live where they dump it.

David Richards

01 Jul 2016

TO THE JOINT COMMITTEE ON FINDINGS OF THE NUCLEAR FUEL CYCLE ROYAL COMMISSION

It is very hard to engage with this report – not simply because the issues are complex and the potential impacts are far reaching, but because of the multiple tasks the report seeks to enfold into the initial question of waste management. On the surface, its findings are primarily that South Australia should develop a commercial waste repository catering for intermediate level nuclear waste and spent fuel. However, this finding is just the introduction to a wider strategy of nuclear involvement that makes claims about the potential delivery of indirect benefits to the South Australian economy. These spin offs (it is implied) will be even greater than the direct benefits expected to flow from the management of the waste. The report talks about the possibility developing two research institutes, an underground research laboratory (“URL”) and a “Centre of Excellence” based at one of the State’s local Universities. These are envisaged as elements of a “staged process” (NFCRC Pg 110) within a wider strategy that will enable the State to value add the waste repository. Other opportunities include offering fuel leasing and the enrichment of nuclear fuel. The object of this phased approach is the “establishment of front-end facilities and services”. (NFCRC Pg 111) To underpin this strategy is the establishment of the waste repository.

I ask that the joint committee therefore not restrict its examination to the proposal for a waste site, but examine the ambit claims raised in the report concerning the potential benefit of these spin-offs, as well as the potential for the State to incur significant financial loss by pursuing these forecasted opportunities. In effect, the proposal offers the South Australian government an industry strategy in which involvement in managing waste is assumed lead to spin off business opportunities in the worldwide nuclear industry and research.

The report provides an optimistic funding model. It envisages baseline returns as high as A$1.75 million per tHM, discountable to A$750 000 per tHM in the event that 50 per cent of the accessible market (138 000 tHM) is secured. However, the project is also seen to remain viable where only a quarter of the forecast accessible market is able to be secured (or 69 000 tHM of waste). (NFCRC Pg 102)

With so much of the State’s industrial policy riding on this venture, my question to the joint committee is this – when do the operators of the facility know when the project is not viable, or failing? When will they have the clear vision to say that involvement in this noxious activity is not delivering the expected returns - when so many downstream consequences are seemingly riding on the success of the initial proposal?

We have already invested over $10.1 million in this scheme ($9.1 million for the NFCRC + $1 million for the social consent program = $10.1 million) the outcome of which is initial advocacy for a waste facility. Does this sizeable investment already make the project inevitable? How do our political leaders just walk away, when they have so much skin invested in the game? Consider what would have been achieved if this same money was invested in local projects such as the Pt Augusta power station renewable energy replacement, or in energy storage incentives to local householders to alleviate the State’s current energy fluctuations caused by a heavy reliance on wind power?

Is the Nuclear industry really one we (as a State of 1.4 million people) should be investing in? The price of Uranium (U3O8) has hit record lows, with miners the world over closing down production or stockpiling resources. Cost over-runs totalling billions of dollars and technology shortfalls have delayed the opening of new reactors in France (Flamanville) Finland (Olkiluoto 3) and Britain (Hinkley Point C). (http://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/business-spectator/new-nuclear-finlands-cautionary-tale/news-story/34f16247ec6f8f986e2f35a441c41d4e) In the western world, the nuclear industry is largely in retreat. (As Commissioner Scarce recently admitted during the Q&A of his Hawke Centre address, Wed 1st June: all aspects of the nuclear chain "certainly since Fukushima - it’s gone into the doldrums.” (see, Hawke Centre lecture recording, 1:06:00 minute mark).
http://www.unisa.edu.au/Business-community/Hawke-Centre/Events-calendar/Nuclear/
) In Europe, EDF (Electricité de France), the leading exponent of Generation III+ reactor technology would not be in business without considerable public support from the French Government. (http://www.wsj.com/articles/edf-to-go-ahead-with-u-k-hinkley-point-nuclear-plant-after-capital-increase-1461568044)

In an influential paper on the costs of nuclear reactor building, in the Journal, Energy Policy, Lovering, Yip and Nordhaus 9J.R. Lovering et al. Historical construction costs of global nuclear power reactors, Energy Policy 91 (2016:375)) discuss the decline of nuclear power in the west. They argue that excessive safety regulations placed on Western reactor builders in response to the 1979, Harrisburg, Three Mile Island, incident have placed heavy financial burdens on the contractors resulting in contracting reactor production in the west. They also note that South Korea’s focus upon large reactor size and standardization, multi-unit builds, and regulatory stability, has allowed them the go against the trend and reduce the kw/hr cost of developing new reactors in their country. However, Lovering et al conclude that limits to the growth and viability of nuclear power exist from “other trends in factors such as operational and maintenance costs, fuel, operational efficiency, and capacity”. (Ibid, Pg 381.)

Globally the nuclear fission reactor industry sits on a precipice, too big to fail, supported often by massive domestic government subsidies. As going concerns their market capitalisation often approaches junk bond status. (France’s Areva, for example, builder of Finland’s Olkiluoto 3, is in serious financial straits) (http://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/business-spectator/new-nuclear-finlands-cautionary-tale/news-story/34f16247ec6f8f986e2f35a441c41d4e) . The U.S. reactor manufacturer Westinghouse has withdrawn from production. It is only Rosatom, with support from the Russian government’s foreign aid budget, and the State power operators of China and India that are currently able to build new reactors. In the main, the OECD power companies struggle to deliver returns to their shareholders. Many reactors around the world are coming to the end of their operational lives of 40-60 years and their operators do not have the resources to upgrade them, let alone manage their final clean-up and decommissioning. The NFRC report makes no bones with the fact it is essentially seeking to offer these operators a subsidy, at great risk to the S.A. taxpayer and future generations.

It may in particular be attractive to nuclear newcomer countries, in terms of offering an acceptable solution to used fuel management, which might assist in achieving and maintaining social consent for new nuclear power facilities. It might also be attractive to nations with relatively modest nuclear power programs (and without significant market power) to avoid the need to construct domestic geological disposal facilities, or negotiate multiple front-end service contracts in unfamiliar markets. The ability for nuclear power utilities to structure their nuclear fuel supply as a lease rather than a capital acquisition might additionally have positive financing or taxation implications, depending on local laws. (NFCRC, Pg 381)

In the early 1980’s when the “Three mines policy” was being discussed I distinctly remember talk of the “moral responsibility” of countries with easily accessible uranium supplies to provide their minerals to countries lacking in these minerals. Now, in 2016 the same argument is once again employed: it is said, there is a “moral responsibility” to repatriate the noxious waste flowing from these exports. The argument is circular, a responsibility to dig it up and a similar responsibility to manage its burial. How do we get off this merry go round? If a nuclear accident was to occur at one of the reactors we were leasing fuel to, would we not also have a moral responsibility to help fund the clean-up? The nuclear industry is like a spider’s web it will draw you in, and once entrapped it is very hard to extract ourselves, and the costs for failure will be huge. As Kevin Scarce noted in this 2014 Investigator Lecture, Australia’s involvement in the uranium industry is around 1200 jobs and “adds a minuscule amount to national GDP”. ( http://www.flinders.edu.au/alumni/alumni-community/investigator-lecture.cfm (see:39:05 minute mark)) After reading the Royal Commission’s report, listening to his speech at the Hawke Centre in June 2016 and looking at the integration that exists between their proposals and current S.A industry and energy policy I fail to see the benefits outweighed by the risks to our sovereignty, financial and otherwise.

A small digression…
I find it curious that all through the report there are references to SMR’s . On the surface it would seem reasonable to investigate the possibility of small reactors for our power needs in S.A. However, I find the attention paid to them inordinate, especially when their generation IV technology is untried and proven. The world Nuclear Association quoting an OECD study expects their cost to be 50 to 100 percent higher than conventional generation III reactors. (http://www.world-nuclear.org/information-library/nuclear-fuel-cycle/nuclear-power-reactors/small-nuclear-power-reactors.aspx) Later in discussion of the findings, the NFCRC raises the possibility of partnering with the major vendor SMR’s and undertaking “front-end nuclear fuel cycle activities”. (NFCRC Pg 110-111.) In 2015 The Australian newspaper carried reports of a defense white paper, calling for submarines with nuclear propulsion. In June of this year, a report in the Financial Review carried a report stating that the reason why the French company DCNS was selected as the contractor for the submarines, was that unlike the other two contenders they offered the possibility of a “nuclear version”. (http://www.afr.com/business/manufacturing/coalition-plans-nuclearpowered-submarine-fleet-over-long-term-20160429-goieal) It seems to me that the vested interests and hidden forces already stacked up in favour of this proposal are significant, and decisions have already made (such as the submarine build) have effectively taken the decision to say YES or NO away from the people of S.A. I live in hope, that with the clear-sightedness of this committee we will be able to defeat these proposals, which at best represent no more than a throw of the dice, and a hope for the best.

Government Agency

Consultation Team - Brooke > David Richards

06 Jul 2016

Hi David, thanks for your submission - please do note that you'll need to submit this directly to the Committee by means of the following:

Email to: Guy Dickson - Secretary - guy.dickson@parliament.sa.gov.au

Or; address to:
Secretary, Joint Committee on Nuclear Royal Commission
C/- Parliament House
GPO Box 572
Adelaide
SA 5001

David Richards > David Richards

07 Jul 2016

Thank you ‘Brooke’ for the encouragement to send my submission to the Joint Parliamentary Committee assessing the recommendations of the Royal Commission. It is important to advise others interested in making a submission, however, that the call for submissions closed on 1/07/16 - the same day I posted the copy of my submission here. Consequently, the advice on 6/7/16, after the close of the call for interest, is not helpful.

‘Brooke’, you may not have been aware of the closing date for public submissions to the Joint Parliamentary Committee. Fortunately, however, many earlier posts by contributors on this discussion board have highlighted the deadlines and emphasised the importance of submissions.

I wonder if the ‘Consultation Team’ is really paying attention to the content of what the SA public are discussing on this site? To date, I feel the Team’s forays into this discussion have contributed little to information or education of the issues around the debate. The Consultation Team’s posts (over the last day or two) offer little more than a plea to trust the NFCRC – because any issue raised by the public has already been worked out by the impressive array of “experts” employed to argue the NFCRC case. (By contrast, I believe it is true to say that that there is a growing number of South Australians with serious doubts.)

Alan Barber

01 Jul 2016

It seems that the notion to use the 90%+ in liquid fuel reactors has merit. SA would be rich in energy to have the dump of nuclear waste which can be consumed in a Weinberg reactor. If that idea is coupled with Hydrogen/Solar powered fuel cells then SA and indeed the rest of Australia could benefit enormously. Alan IO

Alan McMahon McMahon

29 Jun 2016

How come when I click on "like" - "unlike" scores a 1.

Is this just a faulty program or this a faulty Royal Commission?

Government Agency

Consultation Team - Brooke > Alan McMahon McMahon

03 Jul 2016

Hi Alan, your 'like' is registering, but offering you the option to 'unlike' (in case you accidentally clicked it) which may appear confusing. Rest assured other users can't see the unlike option.