Community discussion: economics

When examining economics, the Citizens' Jury considered benefits, risks, employment and impacts on other industries in the state from the establishment of a nuclear waste storage and disposal facility. Tell us if these are also important for you, and why?

Comments closed

Government Agency

Consultation Team - Brooke

30 Oct 2016

Hi everyone, thank you for all your discussion on this board during the consultation program, we appreciate the time taken to provide your views and feedback. This board has now closed, all feedback submitted will be considered by the Citizens' Jury to help inform their recommendations and also assist the State Government in deciding the next steps.

John Collins

30 Oct 2016

While, for me, the risks of irretrievable environmental disaster are paramount, the purported ‘economics’ are also relevant.
Firstly the RC Report states: “There is no existing market to ascertain the price a customer may be willing to pay for the permanent disposal of used fuel.” (p.93)
It goes on, “the baseline scenario assumes that 50 per cent
 of the accessible quantities of used fuel and intermediate level waste will be stored and disposed of in South Australian facilities” (p.292 – see also p.98 and p.298)
To assume that a start-up venture for what is made out to be a highly profitable, low-risk undertaking will be able to capture a 50% market share seems most unlikely noting that the report itself acknowledges; “(i)t should be underscored that there is significant potential for other countries to develop a domestic solution …” (p.97)
The RC Report states: “The modelling assumed the establishment of a reserve fund to provide for the costs of decommissioning, remediation of surface facilities, closure, back fill of underground facilities and the ongoing, post-closure monitoring phase.” (p.301) The report also acknowledges that; “(t)he consequences of human error and ‘normal’ accidents must be anticipated, expected and planned for in system design and operation.” (p.91) It appears that the costing for these eventualities (noting the life of the dump is “at least 10 000 years and up to a million years” (p.85) has not been taking into account.
It seems to me that at very best the figures are ‘rubbery’.
And again I would ask the basic test question, ‘if importing high level waste is so straightforward, safe and so very, very profitable why are no other countries (or Australian States or Territories) doing so already?’ Noting that ‘other countries’ that could consider such a project are entrepreneurial, technically advanced, and, most importantly, experienced in handling nuclear waste (unlike SA). Such countries include, China, USA, Russia and the Scandinavian and EU countries.

Noel Wauchope

30 Oct 2016

It's a pity that this radioactive trash import plan has not been knocked out on grounds of risks to health, damage to environment, disrespect of Aboriginal people, and importantly - on its real purpose - to save and promote the global nuclear industry.

At least the Nuclear Fuel Chain Royal Commission South Australia had to admit that there is no argument for nuclear waste importing actually benefiting the Nation' or the State's health, environment, or indigenous people.

The Nuclear Fuel Chain Royal Commission had only one argument for the plan - that it would be an economic bonanza for South Australia. I could list the economic analysts who have destroyed that argument. But the well known Blind Freddie could see the economic flaws. South Australia is supposed to set up "interim" waste storage before the famous underground dump is built, - sort of using the money that will be paid for the dump to finance it - or some plan like that. South Australia has to spend $millions on the plan, for years before it gets any revenue. The planned revenue is entirely speculative, as there is no market for nuclear waste importing. If it goes ahead - any financial benefit will be decades away, yet South Australia needs economic development now, not decades later. If it were to go ahead, it could grind to a halt at any time - with changes in governments overseas, collapse of nuclear companies or untoward events, such as a disaster in the transport of the wastes. South Australia could well be left with expensive, dangerous, and useless Stranded Radioactive Trash.

Meanwhile, other clean, and quicker alternatives - in renewable energy, energy efficient design for example, have been neglected while South Australia pursues this toxic dream - which has the very real potential to bankrupt the state.

Malgo Schmidt

29 Oct 2016

Archie Roach:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AZ_pb_48KYU

Malgo Schmidt

29 Oct 2016

Labor readies for tense nuclear showdown amid opposition at state meeting http://www.adelaidenow.com.au/news/south-australia/labor-readies-for-tense-nuclear-showdown-amid-opposition-at-state-meeting/news-story/94b465193620d74f489a1f0cd3fc6e40 Political Reporter Sheradyn Holderhead, The Advertiser October 27 2016

..."Three motions have been listed for a vote that essentially call on the Government to abandon the proposed nuclear waste dump while others call for further consultation or a referendum. A joint motion from the Maritime and Rail, Tram and Bus unions demands the State Government “immediately cease and desist any further action or consideration” of any type of nuclear dump.

Among its concerns are a weak economic case, high upfront cost, political damage to Labor, safety risks to workers and the public, and ignoring the rights of Aboriginal people"...

Claudio Pompili

28 Oct 2016

I was shocked to read in 26 October's InDaily:
Jay spruiks nuclear expansion as an agent of economic change

Jay Weatherill has told a nuclear industry forum in Adelaide he is personally convinced of the potential for an expansion of South Australia’s role in the fuel cycle, framing the push as part of his ambition to forge a “new economy”.

It appears that Premiere Weatherill has at last come out and played his pro-nuke card. So much for his publicly-avowed position that he would make up his mind when the whole process of the RC has been undertaken. It’s patently clear that he’s been captured by the nuclear industry and foisted an expensive sham of a royal commission onto the SA public, which overwhelmingly has repeatedly been opposed to expansion of nuclear in this state.

The Royal Commission process and the biased ‘findings’ of its subsequent Report are deeply flawed on a range of issues from the dubious economics right through to the non-existent risk assessment. No project of this magnitude, scope, cost and risks into the far-distant future, should be entertained without a comprehensive Risk Assessment Plan. The Report does not meet the criterion in the Terms of Reference to present "the risks and opportunities associated with establishing and operating those facilities” It does present the supposed opportunities but dismisses the risks and assures us that risk assessments will be done in due course.

TOR, Management, Storage and Disposal of Waste

4. The feasibility of establishing facilities in South Australia for the management, storage and disposal of nuclear and radioactive waste from the use of nuclear and radioactive materials in power generation, industry, research and medicine (but not from military uses), the circumstances necessary for those facilities \0 be established and to be viable, the risks and opportunities associated with establishing and operating those facilities

Further, to base this project on the cost-benefit analysis of a single assessor, Jacobs MCM, that has ties to the nuclear industry, and consequently makes predictions based on the fictitious cost of a barrel of nuclear toxic waste, for which is there is no existing market price, is risible at best and unconscionable and criminally negligent at worst.

There is a vast range of well-founded criticisms from expert economists, scientists and engineers, academics, independent media, environmental groups such as Conservation Council of SA, Friends of the Earth etc, and most First Nation communities.

The Government’s Know Nuclear propaganda unit hysterically pushes the one-sided agenda of Premiere Weatherill and his RC across all media channels and exhorts the people of SA to appraise ourselves of the facts. However, the overwhelming majority of South Australians understand the facts and do not support the findings of the RC and the proposed high-toxic nuclear dump or expanding the Nuclear Fuel Cycle, as evidenced across a range of media, including these forums.

The sentiments expressed are summed up by the questions on:

the false economics, “If the proposal is so good, why is it that no other country, especially the great nuclear super-powers, have embraced this wonderful ‘opportunity’? and,

on the viability of technology of long-term high-toxic nuclear dump, “If the technology is available and safe, why is it that not one other country has such a high-toxic dump as the one being proposed?”

In short, it doesn't pass the 'sniff' test. And no amount of exhortation by the pro-nukers to 'know the facts' aka red-herring obfuscation arguments about nuclear physics and engineering, crystal-ball gazing of cure-all waste technologies in the future, and hysterical rants about 'greenies', NIMBYS etc, has convinced the SA public of this credibility of the snow-job RC and its Report.

There is ample damning evidence about the global nuclear industry and the catastrophic consequences of its operations at places such as Sellafield (UK), La Hague (France), Gorleben (Germany, and the Yucca Mountains (USA).(1)

Premier Weatherill has pushed hard and long at extragavent expense this sham of a Royal Commission. He has played his pro-nuke hand and placed his political career on this process. So be it; the people of SA have been played for fools by Jay and his nuclear mates. Undoubtedly, with typical hubris, he will push this RC sham-democratic process to its inexorable outcome and approve the proposal. We, the people of SA, however, will have the final say and consign Weatherill and his pro-nuke supporters to the waste-bin of history. It will be his 'Bannon/State Bank' moment. Bring it on.

Footnote: (1) see for example, the new book by Andrew Blowers, The Legacy of Nuclear Power (Taylor & Francis, UK, 2016)

Claudio Pompili

28 Oct 2016

Steven McColl, you ask "Richard Blandy?
And what other economists ‘scathing’ assessment? Who?"

A small sampling:
- Assoc Prof Richard Bland http://indaily.com.au/business/analysis/2016/02/23/nuclear-waste-dump-fails-the-cost-benefit-test
- Dr Richard Denniss, https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/aug/18/an-expanded-nuclear-industry-in-south-australia-makes-no-economic-sense
- Prof John Quiggin, http://johnquiggin.com/2015/06/07/nuclear-power-in-australia/

Remember, Google is your friend

Government Agency

Consultation Team - Brooke

28 Oct 2016

Please note that the four current discussion boards will close at 5pm on Sunday, 30 October 2016. All feedback submitted by Sunday, October 30 will be considered by the jury to help inform their recommendations and also assist the State Government in deciding the next steps.

Many thanks,
Brooke
Consultation Team

Malgo Schmidt

26 Oct 2016

TO THE JURY:

I was made an Observer of the Jury 2 session in the afternoon of Oct 8. These are my observations.
1. Professional organizers, such as Gail Fairlamb, Director, Strategic Development in Dept of Premier & Cabinet, have the Jury on remote control of the gov.
2. Just like the Jury 1 (of 50), the Jury 2 (of 350) is being forced into chewing and re-chewing of the report by Kevin Scarce and his Royal Commission. The Jury is neither required nor expected to analyse public opinion.
3. Unlike the real jury this one is NOT a decision maker; the gov is.
4. The purpose of this staged pseudo-democracy, at $10 mil of taxpayers' money,
IS TO FABRICATE PUBLIC CONSENT, as it cannot be obtained by democratic means. The fabrication is carried out at the expense of time, good will and Sisyphean work of the Jury.
5. While the Holy Martyrs of the Jury were being used in the gov's treason, I was able to participate in the Adelaide Festival of Ideas (AFoI). I wish to report to the Jury what follows:

On Oct 22, 2016, American activist Erin Brockovich appealed to the full house at Bonython Hall to defeat the nuclear dump. At this point the head of the festival Greg Mackie addressed the audience: "Hands up if you want this project?" And he counted the hands: "Two...and a half". That was out of 1000.

I wish to extend my appreciation, gratitude and encouragement to the Jury. In order not to allow your sacrifice to be wasted by the gov:
Please MAKE SURE that YOUR FINAL REPORT SAYS NO, in the name of us all.
Thank you!

Des Menz

25 Oct 2016

In my personal journey of uncovering the other facts (www.sustainablespace.info), I discovered much that would be a threat to the economic viability of a nuclear HLW operation. Aside from Professor Richard Blandy's and other economists scathing assessment, aside from the Royal Commission being unlawful, aside from the fact that the national interest has not been considered, that the views of other states in the Federation have not been countenanced, that public trust has been pushed to one side, that the law has been contrived to allow "community consultation" to proceed, that other state law (Environment Protection Act) would be contravened, the RC report avoided what is happening globally about nuclear fuel reprocessing and recycling.

The discussions below contain elements of fact. But here are several aspects I found, and each would present a significant economic threat to a HLW operation.

1 Nuclear spent fuel reprocessing has the potential to limit high-level nuclear waste to one-fifth current levels, results in a much reduced attenuation period, and would almost eliminate uranium mining.
2 The Commission’s Report is at odds with what the World Nuclear Association has reported. Technology around reprocessing is significantly advanced today, and is exceedingly more beneficial to the producers of nuclear waste than what the Commission Report advances - geological burial in South Australia.
3 It is an enduring failure of the nuclear industry that the issue of nuclear waste has not been universally resolved.
4 The Commission’s view about “international consensus” for geological disposal is disputed and is actually based on a workshop about nuclear waste more than 20 years ago. What will technology produce in the next 20 years? Will majority reprocessing and recycling happen? One of the RC's referenced organisations, the World Nuclear Association, says ... “Used nuclear fuel has long been reprocessed to extract fissile materials for recycling and to reduce the volume of high-level wastes. New reprocessing technologies are being developed to be deployed in conjunction with fast neutron reactors which will burn all long-lived actinides, including all uranium and plutonium, without separating them from one another. A significant amount of plutonium recovered from used fuel is currently recycled into MOX (mixed oxide) fuel; a small amount of recovered uranium is recycled so far.” (See Harry Degenaar's description below).
5 WNA states that "...some 90,000 tonnes (of 290,000 t discharged) of used fuel from commercial power reactors has been reprocessed." What is happening in the US and around the world today about reprocessing and recycling is extensive research on a range of methods. These have been proven, such as the hydrometallurgical PUREX (Plutonium Uranium Extraction), UREX+ and its variants, COEX (Co-Extraction of actinides), GANEX (Grouped Extraction of actinides). Other ongoing research involves partitioning and electrolytic processing, advanced spent fuel conditioning process (ACP) to which South Korea is planning to have a commercial scale demonstration plant in 2025, “dry reprocessing”, and much more.
So, what does all this mean for the HLW operation? If technological advances continue around reprocessing and recycling, then the issue of HLW waste will be significantly diminished. AND, this is where local/regional national facilities, such as are being planned now, will be the preferred method. Here's the WNA again ... The objective of transmutation is to change (long-lived) actinides into fission products and long-lived fission products into significantly shorter-lived nuclides. The goal is to have wastes which become radiologically innocuous in only a few hundred years. The need for a waste repository is certainly not eliminated, but it can be smaller and simpler and the hazard posed by the disposed waste materials is greatly reduced.”

There is much more that I have written about in my fact-finding report at the link above. The damning thing for me is that it seems the Royal Commission has adopted a 22 year-old strategy emanating from a workshop in 1994 about geological disposal being the best option for nuclear waste storage.
My report contains all references to statements above, should the reader wish to verify what I have said.

Steven McColl > Des Menz

25 Oct 2016

Hi Dez I went to the website your created – and do congratulate you on your efforts regards to presentation- well done, but some of us rush to pre-conceived notions, latch on to them and won’t let go.
.
Dez have you read the NFCRC commission report yet?
.
Or was this forum page here you’re first port of call?
Please read the NFCRC report Dez, I have not read it all yet myself and we can also reference our High School Chemistry and Physics books.
.
Dez do you know what Nuclear energy is?
.
Because nuclear energy, nuclear fuel, fission products and transuranics all have to be managed - (just like fire does); even gasoline - which itself can be used for engines or for napalm.
.
Dez, there is a lot of engineering, risk management, risk assessment that goes with nuclear deep space batteries, radiography, naval propulsion and electricity generation and even weapons production that from your website you have no reference to.
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Dez, it is clear from your website that you created is purely to resist nuclear energy in all its forms.
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Congratulations to your website presentation- which would appear to satisfy prejudice to the subject of nuclear energy and I noticed some references to almost semi-religious green zealots (not you), I have examples….
.
.
Okay here goes:
.
First you say: (A) ‘In my personal journey of uncovering the other facts (www.sustainablespace.info)’ [Dez this is your website I see so what facts?].
.
And from your post you say: “I discovered much that would be a threat to the economic viability of a nuclear HLW operation”.
.
[Dez, what economic modelling? Which software? Or done by hand? No.
By what method? Prime cost method or some other method say a function using calculus?
.
[Did you do calculus at school? Where is your economic modelling please Dez? No accountancy qualifications on you lol].
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[Dez what is High Level Waste (HLW) please? And to what economic viability?

You say above:: “threat to the economic viability of HLW operation” [What threat?].
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-Hey Dez what’s a fission product? Any idea?
.
FISSION PRODUCTS: have comparatively very short half-lives (about ten years) but are highly radioactive such as Strontium-90 and Ceasium-137, I even know this but you can read the NFRC report see in section five, page 90 please go and look at it.
.
FISSION PRODUCT SHIELDING: Dense materials which could be lead, mild or stainless steel around nuclear reactors in Submarines and Arctic ice-breakers.
.
Aside: did you know that all US and UK submarines are nuclear powered? Even the Russians are smart enough to maintain the ore-eminence that nuclear fuel offers in the under-sea battle space with the Russian 13500t Yasen-class Attack submarine,
the Russian24 000t Borey class and Russian 48 000t Akula class Ballistic missile submarines – leaving only one Diesel-electric boat for export. So why is that Dez?

.
And Dez why did you not at least make reference to the widely known ‘fission yield’ diagram? Have you had any military training?
.
Actually the ‘fission yield’ diagram is one of the first topics discussed during the radiation subjects at the Naval Nuclear Power Training Command (NNPTC) at Goose Creek South Carolina USA. Have you taught there?
.
.So Dez why your resentment to nuclear energy?
Do you resent Naval Nuclear too?
Do you resent the ten Nimitz class aircraft carriers (all fuelled by Uranium-235, Do you resent the US Navy’s 75 Submarines (also all fuelled by Uranium-235)?
Do you resent the Yucca mountain deep geological storage depository?
.
Now; Dez so why do you not mention transuranics in your post or your website?
.
These long-lived transuranics are almost harmless because they are primarily Beta and Alpha particle emitters.
.
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Then you say: (B): Aside from Professor Richard Blandy's and other economists scathing assessment, [ Dez who is Richard Blandy?
And what other economists ‘scathing’ assessment? Who?
Dez and professional working in a team takes a systems approach holistically reviewing something without prejudice and NOT with ignorance on the subect.
.
Did you know it’s unprofessional to comment on something outside one’s core area of expertise?]

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Then you say: (C): “aside from the Royal Commission being unlawful” [Dez how is a Royal commission unlawful?
This is actually funny, Dez the S.A Govt. has been very open and very kind to consider the population widely.
What’s with all the drama?

.
Please check but was it President Nixon in June 1973 that enacted through Parliament the Yucca mountain nuclear waste deep geological depository – and there was no Royal Commission then, so why now?
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And Dez further to President Nixon, much earlier the US Federal Parliament despite all the in-fighting and bickering enacted and authorized the world’s first nuclear reactor to go into a submarine. USS Nautilus SSN-577 was Christened by first lady Mamie Eisenhower on 21 Jan 1954 and was a complete success.
.
And ever since all US Navy submarines have been nuclear powered. Reference: 151 million miles steamed safely on nuclear power US Navy and Dept of Energy. So Dez how do you respond?].
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Then Dez, you say (D): “aside from the fact that the national interest has not been considered” [so you represent the views of everyone else in the country now].
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Then you say (E): “that the views of other states in the Federation have not been countenanced” [what views in other states? and countenanced?}, You say: “that public trust has been pushed to one side, that the law has been contrived to allow community consultation" to proceed, [this is nonsense Dez].
.
You say: “ that other state law (Environment Protection Act) would be contravened [Dez how? So now you are an expert on Work Health and Safety (WHS), because Dez you have not read the following references:
.
(1) WHS Act & Regulation 2011 or
(2) Workcover code of practice: due diligence or
(3) AS4804 Occupational Health and safety management systems or
(4) AS/NZ 4360 Risk management.
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Dez would you like me to UN-stich the rest of your post and your website?
Here are some of the rest of your unfounded claims man:
.
"the RC report avoided what is happening globally about nuclear fuel reprocessing and recycling.
The discussions below contain elements of fact. But here are several aspects I found, and each would present a significant economic threat to a HLW operation.
1 Nuclear spent fuel reprocessing has the potential to limit high-level nuclear waste to one-fifth current levels, results in a much reduced attenuation period, and would almost eliminate uranium mining.
2 The Commission’s Report is at odds with what the World Nuclear Association has reported. Technology around reprocessing is significantly advanced today, and is exceedingly more beneficial to the producers of nuclear waste than what the Commission Report advances - geological burial in South Australia.
3 It is an enduring failure of the nuclear industry that the issue of nuclear waste has not been universally resolved.
4 The Commission’s view about “international consensus” for geological disposal is disputed and is actually based on a workshop about nuclear waste more than 20 years ago. What will technology produce in the next 20 years? Will majority reprocessing and recycling happen? One of the RC's referenced organisations, the World Nuclear Association, says ... “Used nuclear fuel has long been reprocessed to extract fissile materials for recycling and to reduce the volume of high-level wastes. New reprocessing technologies are being developed to be deployed in conjunction with fast neutron reactors which will burn all long-lived actinides, including all uranium and plutonium, without separating them from one another. A significant amount of plutonium recovered from used fuel is currently recycled into MOX (mixed oxide) fuel; a small amount of recovered uranium is recycled so far.” (See Harry Degenaar's description below).
5 WNA states that "...some 90,000 tonnes (of 290,000 t discharged) of used fuel from commercial power reactors has been reprocessed." What is happening in the US and around the world today about reprocessing and recycling is extensive research on a range of methods. These have been proven, such as the hydrometallurgical PUREX (Plutonium Uranium Extraction), UREX+ and its variants, COEX (Co-Extraction of actinides), GANEX (Grouped Extraction of actinides). Other ongoing research involves partitioning and electrolytic processing, advanced spent fuel conditioning process (ACP) to which South Korea is planning to have a commercial scale demonstration plant in 2025, “dry reprocessing”, and much more.
So, what does all this mean for the HLW operation? If technological advances continue around reprocessing and recycling, then the issue of HLW waste will be significantly diminished. AND, this is where local/regional national facilities, such as are being planned now, will be the preferred method. Here's the WNA again ... The objective of transmutation is to change (long-lived) actinides into fission products and long-lived fission products into significantly shorter-lived nuclides. The goal is to have wastes which become radiologically innocuous in only a few hundred years. The need for a waste repository is certainly not eliminated, but it can be smaller and simpler and the hazard posed by the disposed waste materials is greatly reduced.”
There is much more that I have written about in my fact-finding report at the link above. The damning thing for me is that it seems the Royal Commission has adopted a 22 year-old strategy emanating from a workshop in 1994 about geological disposal being the best option for nuclear waste storage.
My report contains all references to statements above, should the reader wish to verify what I have said. "
.
Bye Dez.

Harry Degenaar

24 Oct 2016

Noel Wauchope - I will have to repeat this again. If nuclear and MOX are so bad why is it that Japan has restarted its nuclear electricity generation including the Ikata No. 3 MOX reactor. The Ikata power plant is the fifth unit reactivated under tougher regulations. The No. 3 reactor at the plant in Ehime Prefecture runs on uranium-plutonium mixed oxide, or MOX, fuel. MOX fuel, created from plutonium and uranium extracted from spent fuel, is a key component of the nuclear fuel recycle program pursued by the nuclear power industry and the government.

Furthermore, despite its apparent intention to close the Monju facility, the Japanese Cabinet appeared to have reaffirmed its commitment to a fast breeder program of some kind, essential if Japan's stockpile of some 50 tonnes of plutonium is to be disposed of. The successor to Monju is expected to be a larger demonstration plant that will be completed around 2025, built by the newly formed Mitsubishi FBR Systems company. The Japanese government aims to bring it's nuclear reactors back online and plans to have nuclear power account for 20 to 22 percent of the country's total electricity supply in 2030 to cut greenhouse emissions and lower imported fuel costs.

Today MOX is widely used in Europe and in Japan. Currently about 40 reactors in Europe (Belgium, Switzerland, Germany and France) are licensed to use MOX, and over 30 are doing so. In Japan about ten reactors are licensed to use it, but as I mentioned above only one is in operation. These reactors generally use MOX fuel as about one-third of their core, but some will accept up to 50% MOX assemblies. France aims to have all its 900 MWe series of reactors running with at least one-third MOX. Japan also planned to use MOX in one-third of its reactors in the near future and APDC expects to start up a 1383 MWe (gross) reactor with a complete fuel loading of MOX at the Ohma plant being built in Japan in 2022. Other advanced light water reactors such as the EPR or AP1000 are able to accept complete fuel loading's of MOX if required.

With the resurgence of nuclear electricity generating; recycling nuclear waste in South Australia will be a good business opportunity to manufacture MOX. Two plants currently produce commercial quantities of MOX fuel, in France and the UK. Japan is planning to start up a 130 t/yr J-MOX plant at Rokkasho in 2019. Meanwhile, construction on a MOX fabrication facility at the Savannah River Site in the USA is underway.

Noel, can you tell me how you would handle electricity generation; intermittent wind and solar can't do this and you will need another resource in the mix. What resource would you use. Please take into account that we have not much time left anymore to experiment and get to the point of no return on Global Warming. For your information, the state of California moved big time into renewable electricity generation and closed except for one the nuclear power plants. They now realise that intermittent renewable power needs base-load support. Read up on California's energy future: the view to 2050 http://ccst.us/publications/2011/2011energy.pdf it makes mention of "advances in nuclear power could be a game changer".

Harry Degenaar

21 Oct 2016

Nuclear Fast Breeder Reactors (FBR's) are not just theoretical speculation. FBR's have been built and operated in the United States, the United Kingdom, France, the former USSR, India and Japan. Currently there are 3 in operation and 1 being commissioned. The US Department of Energy's Savannah River site, subject to the S-PRISM design receiving full NRC licensing approval, which should allow the construction of a demonstration plant based on GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy fast breeder reactor. Russia has a plan for increasing its fleet of fast breeder reactors significantly. The China Experimental Fast Reactor (CEFR) is a 25 MW(e) prototype for the planned China Prototype Fast Reactor (CFRP). It started generating power on 21 July 2011. South Korea is developing a design for a standardised modular FBR for export.

Noel Wauchope > Harry Degenaar

24 Oct 2016

Surely not just "theoretic speculation " - in fact - practical financial and environmental disaster - Financial disaster of America’s failed Mixed Oxide Fuel Fabrication Facility (MOX) . America giving up on the Mixed Oxide Nuclear Fuel (MOX) boondoggle. https://nuclear-news.net/?s=MOX Fukui poised to benefit from decision to scrap Monju nuclear reprocessing failure. https://nuclear-news.net/?s=monju

Harry Degenaar > Harry Degenaar

24 Oct 2016

Noel Wauchope - I will have to repeat this again. If nuclear and MOX are so bad why is it that Japan has restarted its nuclear electricity generation including the Ikata No. 3 MOX reactor. Furthermore, despite its apparent intention to close the Monju facility, the Japanese Cabinet appeared to have reaffirmed its commitment to a fast breeder program of some kind, essential if Japan's stockpile of some 50 tonnes of plutonium is to be disposed of. The successor to Monju is expected to be a larger demonstration plant that will be completed around 2025, built by the newly formed Mitsubishi FBR Systems company. Can you tell me how you would handle electricity generation; wind and solar can't do this and you will need another resource in the mix. What resource would you use. Please take into account that we have not much time left anymore to experiment and get to the point of no return on Global Warming. The state of California moved big time into renewable electricity generation. They now realise that intermittent renewable power needs base-load support. Read up on California's energy future: the view to 2050 http://ccst.us/publications/2011/2011energy.pdf it makes mention of "advances in nuclear power could be a game changer".

Harry Degenaar

21 Oct 2016

Claire Catt - Again, this discussion is not just to focus on the importation of high level nuclear waste from abroad. May I suggest that you have a good read on the information provided on the South Australian Government covering the topic. What is the nuclear fuel cycle?

http://nuclear.yoursay.sa.gov.au/know-nuclear/know-the-facts/trust

South Australia already participates in the nuclear fuel cycle through the exploration, extraction and milling of uranium. The Royal Commission was established to investigate the opportunities that the other stages of the nuclear fuel cycle might offer. The Commission explored both the opportunities and risks of greater South Australian involvement in further processing to convert mined uranium into fuel for use in nuclear power plants, nuclear power generation, and the waste storage and disposal phases of the nuclear fuel cycle.

Claire Catt

21 Oct 2016

Despite the extensive and well meaning comments below, it is important to stay focussed on what is actually being proposed by the Weatherill Government, namely the importation of high level nuclear waste from abroad. Nothing else.

The rest is theoretical speculation, none of which has solved the nuclear industry's waste problem.

Harry Degenaar

19 Oct 2016

It is wrong to state that the proposed nuclear waste reprocessing plant can only provide the fuel for PRISM FAST BREEDER REACTORS. As a matter of fact a nuclear waste reprocessing plant can provide fresh fuel for existing and future nuclear power plants. Over the last 50 years the principal reason for reprocessing used fuel has been to recover unused plutonium, along with less immediately useful unused uranium, in the used fuel elements and thereby close the fuel cycle, gaining some 25% to 30% more energy from the original uranium in the process. A secondary reason is to reduce the volume of material to be disposed of as high-level waste to about one-fifth. In addition, the level of radioactivity in the waste from reprocessing is much smaller and after about 100 years falls much more rapidly than in the used waste itself. These are all considerations based on current nuclear power reactors, but moving to fourth-generation fast neutron reactors in the late 2020's changes the outlook dramatically, and means that not only used fuel from today’s reactors but also the large stockpiles of depleted uranium become a fuel source. Uranium mining will become much less significant.

Small Nuclear Power Reactors (SMR), are expected to have greater simplicity of design, economy of series production largely in factories, short construction times, and reduced siting costs. Most are also designed for a high level of passive or inherent safety in the event of malfunction. Also many are designed to be placed below ground level, giving a high resistance to terrorist threats.

The US Department Off Energy (DOE) in 2015 established a Gateway for Accelerated Innovation in Nuclear (GAIN) initiative "to provide the new nuclear energy community with access to the technical, regulatory and financial support necessary to move new nuclear reactor designs toward commercialisation. GAIN is based on feedback from the nuclear community and provides a single point of access to the broad range of capabilities – people, facilities, infrastructure, materials and data – across the Energy Department and its national laboratories." In January 2016 it made grants of up to $40 million to X-energy for its Xe-100 pebble-bed HTR and to Southern Co for its Molten Chloride Fast Reactor (MCFR), being developed with TerraPower and Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL). In February 2016 TVA said it was still developing a site at Oak Ridge for a SMR and would apply for an early site permit (ESP, with no technology identified) for Clinch River in May with a view to building up to 800 MWe of capacity there. TVA has expanded discussions from B&W to include three other light-water SMR vendors. The DOE is supporting this ESP application financially from its SMR Licensing Technical Support Program, and in February 2016 DOE said it was committed to provide $36.3 million on cost-share basis to TVA.

In 2015 Westinghouse had presented a proposal for a “shared design and development model" under which the company would contribute its SMR conceptual design and then partner with UK government and industry to complete, license and deploy it. The partnership would be structured as a UK-based enterprise jointly owned by Westinghouse, the UK government and UK industry. In October 2016 the company said it would work with UK shipbuilder Cammell Laird as well as the UK’s Nuclear Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (NAMRC) on a study to explore potential design efficiency to reduce the lead times of its SMR. NuScale said it aims to deploy its SMR technology in the UK with UK partners, so that the first of its 50 MWe units could be in operation by the mid-2020s. Rolls-Royce is reported to have submitted a detailed design to the government for a 220 MWe SMR unit.

Noel Wauchope > Harry Degenaar

24 Oct 2016

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

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

if borehole technology works as intended, and at the prices hoped for, why would any country pay another to take their waste for $1,370,000 a tonne, when a solution exists that only costs $216,000 a tonne, less than one sixth of the price? ...... https://nuclearinformation.wordpress.com/category/1-nuclear-issues/technology/reactor-types/small-modular-nuclear-rractors/

Harry Degenaar

19 Oct 2016

Claire Catt - I don't know where you are coming from; this discussion is about nuclear waste, economics, investment, job creation and Australia's possible future role in this. Global nuclear waste represents an energy resource equivalent to some $150 trillion worth of electricity.

Generation IV Nuclear Reactor's can use for fuel the global stockpile of depleted uranium and sustain the world's population energy usage for over a millennium. The argument, why bring this waste to Australia. It's not only Australia that is looking at this as a business opportunity. The USA, UK, Japanese and French Governments are currently considering such GEN IV Breeder Reactors. FYI Gen IV, Nuclear Reactor's are capable of burning spent fuel from Generation II & III Light-Water Reactor's, which is currently discarded as radioactive waste, and furthermore support nonproliferation efforts by consuming the material from former nuclear weapons, thus eliminating them as a threat.

A commercial version of a GEN IV S-PRISM FAST BREEDER REACTOR, can be built in a factory and transported to site. The small modular design 311 MWe modules reduces costs and allows nuclear plants of various sizes to be economically constructed. Because of their small size they can be built underground. This new reactor technology offers natural safety features which enable them to safely shut down and self-cool, with no operator action, no AC or DC power, and no external water.

So we should not keep referring the proposed nuclear waste project as being a "waste dump". It should be looked upon as being a storage and reprocessing facility thus providing a commercial export opportunity for supplying the nuclear fuel for current Generation II & III and future Generation IV Nuclear Power Plants.

Claire Catt > Harry Degenaar

21 Oct 2016

Sounds very knowledgable. But none of it is relevant to Weatherill's proposal which is, sorry to say, just a high level nuclear waste dump.

Even the Royal Commission has found all other nuclear activities uneconomical. The nuclear industry and unexplainably our Government just want a dump here.

Noel Wauchope

19 Oct 2016

PRISM [Power Reactor Innovative Small Module]The PRISM reactor is based on technology piloted in the US, up until the program was cancelled in 1994. 20 It offers existing nuclear-power nations what appears to be a tremendous deal: turn those massive stockpiles of waste into fuel, and reduce the long-term waste problem from one of millennia to one of mere centuries. It promises to be cheap, too, with the small modular design allowing mass production.
Despite this promise, not a single PRISM reactor has actually been built. Officials at the South Korean Ministry of Science have said that they hope to have advanced reactors – if not the PRISM then something very similar – up and running by 2040.21 The Generation IV International Forum expects the first fourth generation reactors – of which the PRISM is one example – to be commercially deployed in the 2030’s.2
After decades spent developing the technology in the United States, a US Department of Energy report dismissed the use of Advanced Disposition Reactors (ADR), a class which includes the PRISM-type integral fast reactor concept, as a way of drawing down on excess plutonium stocks.......
Crucially, under the plan, Australia would have been taking spent fuel for 4 years before the first PRISM came online, assuming the reactors were built on time.
The risk is that these integral fast reactors might turn out to be more expensive than anticipated and prove to be uneconomical. This could leave South Australia with expensive electricity and no other plan to deal with any of the spent fuel acquired to fund the reactors in the first place.
By the time the first PRISM is due to come online it will be too late to turn back, no matter what unexpected problems may be encountered. Australia would have acquired thousands of tonnes of spent fuel with no other planned use.
Counting on the development of other PRISM reactors around the world is another gamble. The proposed reprocessing plant accounts for all of the 4,000 tonne reduction in waste over the life of the plan. Australia will have no use for most of this material – the rest must be used by other PRISMs. If PRISMs are not widely adopted, Australia will have no takers. This could leave Australia with even more than 56,000 tonnes of waste, with no planned or costed solution.

Harry Degenaar

18 Oct 2016

Noel Wauchope, I know that you are a long time campaigner against nuclear power. Let me tell you that I am all for clean renewable energies. I am a retired professional engineer that has built some of the biggest plants the world has seen. Now in retirement I carryout R&D on energy efficiency, and do work on Power to Gas technology, a process of converting surplus renewable energy into hydrogen gas by rapid response electrolysis and its subsequent injection into the gas distribution network.

Do you believe in climate change? Just have a look at what is happening at the 3rd pole and the impact of global warming leading to the release into the atmosphere of harmful gases in the Arctic hitherto frozen in the ground. It is estimated that not less than 1,400 gigatonnes (Gt) of carbon is presently locked up as methane and methane hydrates under the Arctic submarine permafrost, and 5-10% of that area is subject to puncturing by open taliks. The release of up to 50 Gt of methane hydrate is highly possible for abrupt release at any time now. That would increase the methane content of the planet's atmosphere by a factor of twelve. I can carry on with the warming of the oceans but it would take to long.

Why do I make mention this; solar and wind produce energy when the wind is blowing or the sun is shining, and we are not talking just about residential solar systems. On a grid, they need a substantial amount of energy storage and batteries can not provide for this. For that very reason, I do R&D work on power-to-gas systems, for deployment as energy storage, injecting hydrogen into gas fired combined-cycle power plants. I still find that in the energy mix we need nuclear power generation. Have a look at global life electricity generation -http://data.reneweconomy.com/LiveGen - when you study this it is clear that we are not going to make it with wind and solar.

Australia is mostly coal fired electricity generating and a big exporter of coal, shown life http://reneweconomy.com.au/nem-watch
The WHO attributes at least 1 million deaths a year to coal mining, including its related transport and operating accidents and air, soil and water pollution. In countries where coal is a big part of the energy mix (like in Australia), this increases healthcare costs (tax payer) by an estimated 10 per cent.

We can not just sit back and hope that the experiment with solar and wind development is going to do the job. Germany's 1 trillion euros wind experiment has already backfired. No one in his/her right mind expects Germany to meet its 2020 target, let alone 2030. Other countries have to be insane (or have lots of money to burn) to follow the German example. Another risk factor with wind and solar power is the change in weather patterns due to global warming. Modern design wind turbines can withstand wind speeds of 72 m/s (259 km/h. Studies have shown that category 5 cyclones, would destroy 50% of the wind turbines over a 20-year period. With global warming and changing weather patterns, hurricane 5 monsters have recorded wind speeds in excess of 280 km/h.

The good news is that there are a good number of Generation 3 Nuclear Plants coming on line beginning next year. The development of GEN iV Fast Breeder Reactors is also progressing. Australia would do well in starting the process of implementing the GE Hitachi PRISM reactor. The PRISM FAST BREEDER plant would take five years to license, five years to build, and could destroy the world’s most dangerous stockpile of plutonium.

Claire Catt > Harry Degenaar

19 Oct 2016

This discussion we're having is not about power generation, nuclear or otherwise. It is not about the future.

It is about accepting high level nuclear waste from all over the world, waste already existing, already causing huge problems and presenting enormous security risks. Nations who chose to go down the nuclear path always knew they would be left with this dangerous longterm problem.

And I for one don't want to impose such hazards on future generations of Australians when quite clearly we are lucky and can just say NO THANKS. Yes perhaps one day we will find better solutions than just dumping this toxic materials in remote areas, but in the meantime I remain sceptical and unprepared to take the risk.

Christopher Huckle > Harry Degenaar

19 Oct 2016

(other Huckel).
@ Harry: I admire your willingness to work with the fixated in some of the posts below Claire's here.
@ Claire: Lovely person, we appreciate your good posts too.
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Japanese nuclear reactor to re-open, 13 August 2016.
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Japan is about to start producing electricity from nuclear reactors again, more than four years after the Fukushima Daiichi disaster.
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The Kyushu Electric Power Company announced this week that the Sendai Plant had started up and would be generating electricity from tomorrow, 14 August 2016.
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Kyushu is the most southerly of Japan’s four main islands and the Sendai plant is on its west coast so was well protected from tsunami that devastated the eastern coast of Honshu in 2011.
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The wave of the tsunami swept over the seawall of the Fukushima Daiichi Boiling Water Reactor (BWR), flooding the plant, causing equipment failure that ultimately led to the plant failure including the Hydrogen explosion.
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As a consequence of the accident and subsequent inquiries into its causes, plants across were Japan were progressively shut down and the country has been nuclear-free for almost two years up till now.
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In May, Japan’s Nuclear Regulation Authority gave permission for both the Sendai nuclear reactor units to restart, although at this stage, it is only Unit 1 which has restarted.
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The World Nuclear Association said it expected another 42 reactors to come back online over the coming months and years.
"This is a hugely important step which sets the country firmly on the path to restoring its trade balance and regaining energy independence, as well as reducing emissions" said WNA director general Angela Rising.

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It is completely understandable that people's faith in nuclear technology was shaken by the events of 11 March 2011, but now the Japanese people need to see their reactors performing efficiently and reliably with operators fully committed to protecting public health and the environment.”
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Rising said the restart of Sendai unit 1 puts Japan on the road to recovery.
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"Going forward, it is essential that the nuclear industry works harder at building better relationships with the public as well as improving our performance and future technology offerings," she said.

Noel Wauchope

18 Oct 2016

from Peter Mahoney
The economic case in the Royal Commission report was done by Jacobs Consulting, a large commercial consultant to the nuclear industry. It was based on a market that doesn't exist, but which Jacobs has a very large vested interest in trying to create.
Jacobs' fundamental and short term priority is to help struggling nuclear power enterprises achieve mid-term refinancing by banks who are now finally awake to the fact that the nuclear industry has absolutely no idea how to solve its "back end" problem (the "disposal" of its waste).
The search was on quickly to find a patsy state - and they think they have found it, here. Moral, economic and jobs arguments have been released in a barrage of coercive pressure on the SA public, when all Jacobs and their employers really want is a quick fix to their financial problems.
The renewable energy industry is likely to overtake nuclear power generation in a few short decades, but if SA goes down this path we will be left with a very long term problem that the nuclear companies won't be around to help with. The incredibly long timescales and ridiculously speculative nature of the economic modelling make any relevance to SA's current economic challenges absurd.

Christopher Huckle > Noel Wauchope

19 Oct 2016

What a load of spin.

Malgo Schmidt

18 Oct 2016

"Weatherill, aware of most people's instinctive and rightful mistrust of anything nuclear, has launched a meticulous, expensive PR campaign."

Jack Crawford, https://redflag.org.au/node/5521

Peter Mahoney

17 Oct 2016

The economic case in the Royal Commission report was done by Jacobs Consulting, a large commercial consultant to the nuclear industry. It was based on a market that doesn't exist, but which Jacobs has a very large vested interest in trying to create. Jacobs' fundamental and short term priority is to help struggling nuclear power enterprises achieve mid-term refinancing by banks who are now finally awake to the fact that the nuclear industry has absolutely no idea how to solve its "back end" problem (the "disposal" of its waste). The search was on quickly to find a patsy state - and they think they have found it, here. Moral, economic and jobs arguments have been released in a barrage of coercive pressure on the SA public, when all Jacobs and their employers really want is a quick fix to their financial problems. The renewable energy industry is likely to overtake nuclear power generation in a few short decades, but if SA goes down this path we will be left with a very long term problem that the nuclear companies won't be around to help with. The incredibly long timescales and ridiculously speculative nature of the economic modelling make any relevance to SA's current economic challenges absurd.

Noel Wauchope > Peter Mahoney

18 Oct 2016

Sorry - repeated your fine comment, which I found on Facebook

Harry Degenaar

17 Oct 2016

Japan has restarted its nuclear electricity generation including the Ikata No. 3 MOX reactor. Furthermore, despite its apparent intention to close the Monju facility, the Japanese Cabinet appeared to have reaffirmed its commitment to a fast breeder program of some kind, essential if Japan's stockpile of some 50 tonnes of plutonium is to be disposed of. The successor to Monju is expected to be a larger demonstration plant that will be completed around 2025, built by the newly formed Mitsubishi FBR Systems company.

Currently nuclear reactor capacity is extending further; mainly in Asia, with a relatively large number of nuclear reactors 70 in total being under construction.

Nuclear power's PR problem is yet another way it's different for China. One of the reasons that country has been so successful in its nuclear development plan is that it has effectively ignored the prospect of public opposition. The urgency around climate change is increasingly overtaking and subsuming concerns about nuclear and is opening up the idea of nuclear being part of the solution. China will likely be the modular epicentre. Nurtured by a huge domestic deployment, Chinese factories could produce cheap sub-modules and parts for nuclear projects around the world, just as they now make the world’s solar panels.
China has also designed a reactor based on an Areva design the Hualong 1, for domestic builds and export. South Korea is ahead of China in nuclear exports; it is supplying four APR-1400 units for the Barakah plant in the United Arab Emirates, now half built. Russia is also building several plants in foreign countries.

These successes illuminate what’s gone wrong in the United States and Europe. The great model change-over to Generation III+ reactors with novel design features has gotten mired in delays and over-runs in Western countries that haven’t built new reactors for decades.

In an open letter to be published in the journal Conservation Biology, more than 65 biologists, including a former UK government chief scientist, support the call to build more nuclear power plants as a central part of a global strategy to protect wildlife and the environment.

Noel Wauchope > Harry Degenaar

18 Oct 2016

Those biologists were led by the amazing nuclear propagandist Barry Brook. They probably belong to the warmy cuddly fuzzy Ecomodernist Manifesto http://clivehamilton.com/the-technofix-is-in-a-critique-of-an-ecomodernist-manifesto/

An interesting collection of well-intentioned professionals who don't do their homework.

For a long time, this front group for the coal industry expressed scepticism about climate change. Until the likes of Barry Brook and Ben Heard suddenly discovered a way to become famous - by believing in climate change, and promoting nuclear power as the cure.

The coal industry is quite happy with all this - seeing that all this "Gen IV" super costly nuclear development is unlikely to ever happen, or will not happen until all the coal has run out.

It's a sad thing that Premier Jay Weatherill and the ignorami who surround him, have fallen for the nuclear lobby's desperate propaganda.

Japna's Monju fast breeder experiment coast them a heap, and their next effort - Rokkasho is doing the same. Not a good outlook for Japan's beleagured nuclear industry. Meanwhile solar and wind development is racing ahead.

Harry Degenaar > Harry Degenaar

18 Oct 2016

Noel Wauchope, I know that you are a long time campaigner against nuclear power. Let me tell you that I am all for clean renewable energies. I am a retired professional engineer that has built some of the biggest plants the world has seen. Now in retirement I carryout R&D on energy efficiency, and do work on Power to Gas technology, a process of converting surplus renewable energy into hydrogen gas by rapid response electrolysis and its subsequent injection into the gas distribution network.

Do you believe in climate change? Just have a look at what is happening at the 3rd pole and the impact of global warming leading to the release into the atmosphere of harmful gases in the Arctic hitherto frozen in the ground. estimate that not less than 1,400 gigatonnes (Gt) of carbon is presently locked up as methane and methane hydrates under the Arctic submarine permafrost, and 5-10% of that area is subject to puncturing by open taliks. The release of up to 50 Gt of methane hydrate is highly possible for abrupt release at any time now. That would increase the methane content of the planet's atmosphere by a factor of twelve.

Why do I make mention this; solar and wind produce energy when the wind is blowing or the sun is shining. We are not talking here about a residential solar system. On a grid, they need a substantial amount of energy storage and batteries can not provide for this. For that very reason, I do the work on power-to-gas systems, for deployment as energy storage, injecting hydrogen into gas fired combined-cycle power plants. I still find that in the energy mix we need nuclear power generation. Have a look at global life electricity generation -http://data.reneweconomy.com/LiveGen - when you study this it is clear that we are not going to make it with wind and solar.

Australia is mostly coal fired electricity generating and a big exporter of coal, shown life http://reneweconomy.com.au/nem-watch
The WHO attributes at least 1 million deaths a year to coal mining, including its related transport and operating accidents and air, soil and water pollution. In countries where coal is a big part of the energy mix (like in Australia), this increases healthcare costs (tax payer) by an estimated 10 per cent.

We can not just sit back and hope that the experiment with solar and wind development is going to do the job. Germany's 1 trillion euros wind experiment has already backfired. No one in his/her right mind expects Germany to meet its 2020 target, let alone 2030. Other countries have to be insane (or have lots of money to burn) to follow the German example.

The good news is that there are a good number of Generation 3 plants coming on line beginning this year. The development of GEN iV Fast Breeder Reactors is also progressing.

Tony Glasson

16 Oct 2016

Yes , I support your concerns . The aboriginal people and their lands are not given enough respect.
Is the proposed dump site owned by the same people as Maralinga ?
That was a shameful shambles too........

Malgo Schmidt

16 Oct 2016

Msg received at the Anti-Nuclear Rally at Parliament House, Oct 15
From: Adnyamathanha Traditional Land Association RNTBC Aboriginal Regional Authority
Please note that the traditional owners do not see, or look for any economic benefits, neither for themselves nor anyone in future generations.

“I am sorry I cannot be with you all today but I would like to thank you all for being here on behalf of the Adnyamathanha people.
The Adnyamathanha Traditional Lands Association (ATLA) is totally opposed to the nuclear waste dump at Wallaberdina in the Flinders Ranges – in our yarta!
But this is bigger than just the Adnyamathanha people this will affect us all! Radiation is NOT racist.
We do not have the right to leave poisoned land for our future generations.
I don’t want to leave toxic land for my great grandchildren or yours. Thank you for standing with us today to stop this dump in Adnyamathanha Yarta.”
Vince Coulthard ATLA CEO
ceo@atla.com.au Ph 0429900222; PO Box 4014 Port Augusta 5700

Sam Powrie

14 Oct 2016

The world is encountering 'peak-everything' - oil, coal, wood, food, fish, nitrogen, phosphorous - you name it! We're not running out of most of these things but we are just about at the point where they are no longer available in a form that will sustain industrial society! And we are already exceeding out environmental footprint by at least 2 planets with population continuing on its exponential pathway. To build this high-grade nuclear storage facility assumes many, many things that remain quite unknown and ill defined. But one thing is very clear to me - it's far too late in the day to be imagining that either we in Australia or other supposedly interested parties elsewhere could conceivably sustain the unimaginable financial, social, educational and technical investment and development required to sustain the construction and commissioning of such a facility. That's the fact of the matter - it's just far too late - maybe by several decades (if we take into account the experiences of countries such as France, Japan, Russia and Finland!) And then we have a responsibility to future generations to consider - what on-going investment in such things we'd be saddling them with for hundreds of generations into the future, especially in a world where it's very, very clear that food, energy, clean water and clean environments and productive land are all rapidly diminishing and are at a premium. This is supposed to be the 'economic' thread at this forum and IMHO it beggars belief that facing such a situation, 1.2 million otherwise rationale human beings can possibly even think about engaging in this utterly pointless and completely fanciful thought experiment. We should be thinking about how we are going to survive as a human race and how we might possibly salvage and sustain something resembling civilisation in the face of the many challenges that are upon us. But we are not and instead we're running around in circles doing little more than chasing our tails!

Greig Ebeling > Sam Powrie

16 Oct 2016

Sam, we are talking about management of waste THAT ALREADY EXISTS, and is sitting in temporary facilities all around the world. Considering your argument, that we face certain economic collapse, how do you see this existing waste managed? Doesn't your view suggest that the most environmentally responsible option for the protection of future generations, is to isolate and bury this existing waste as soon as possible, before the collapse?

Sam Powrie > Sam Powrie

17 Oct 2016

Yes Greg - I understand that there is a large quantity of this high-level waste that already exists AND that there may well be much more generated in the future that the current discussion is also considering. And I think you are probably correct in suggesting what the most environmentally responsible strategy is (I've read through many of your contributions to these discussions)! My concerns is simply that I have no confidence that SA is in a position economically to undertake this role. Certainly not to fund it anyway - either in terms of initial capital outlay and probably not in the medium term either (I construe 'medium term' as likely to be the next 2-3 decades). I think we'll have far more pressing and immediate financial, environmental and social issues to deal with. I have experienced the same anxieties about toxicity etc as others in this discussion. To some extent - for me - these have been resolved. However I am acutely conscious of the many completely unresolved questions that remain regarding risk, liability and responsibility now and for future generations that remain. I can't resolve these and I don't hear others attempting to do so. Hence my concerns about need for clarity in this discussion - real clarity about what's coming down the track and what it may mean! I've always lived by the proposition that 'hope' - while it may feel good and may generate some comfortable language - is most definitely not a 'strategy'. So all the statements here and on the other discussions about 'future' technical capabilities or indeed, some of the 'moral' arguments all leave me completely unimpressed I'm afraid. I want to see and understand the facts - what's realistically possible rather than what is proposed! I'll freely admit that I sound like a 'catastrophist', but if you take a good look at what the science says about where we are heading, one has little choice in ones outlook. So I fully acknowledge the problem that other countries face in storing the high-grade waste that they have generated. I just am not yet convinced that it's at all realistic that it could be appropriately stored here in SA or that as a community, we can realistically take on this sort of responsibility!
Sam P.