Nuclear Royal Commission: narrow Terms of Reference announced

Below are the Terms of Reference.  You will note how very few related issues are included.nuclear-fuel-chain3

The Terms cover:

  • feasibility of expanding mining of radioactive materials
  •  feasibility of conversion, enrichment, fabrication or re-processing in South Australia
  • feasibility of generating electricity from nuclear fuels
  • feasibility of establishing facilities in South Australia for the management,
    storage and disposal of nuclear and radioactive waste
  • and a little nod to the impact on economy, environment, and community

(TO WIT)
HIS EXCELLENCY THE HONOURABLE HIEU VAN LE, Officer of the Order of
Australia, Governor in and over the State of South Australia:
TO
REAR ADMIRAL THE HONOURABLE KEVIN JOHN SCARCE, AC, CSC, RANR
GREETING
Whereas
A. At present, minerals containing naturally occurring radioactive materials are
extracted and milled in South Australia for shipment and sale. Small quantities
of radioactive substances are produced in South Australia for medical use
locally. Limited quantities of industrial and scientific radioactive wastes are
stored in South Australia, in addition to the storage and disposal of mine
wastes on mining sites. Otherwise, South Australia does not participate in the
conversion or enrichment of materials for the nuclear fuel cycle, the generation
of electricity from nuclear fuels, or in the management, storage and disposal of
other nuclear wastes.
B. Detailed consideration and analysis is required to be given to the potential of
South Australia’s further participation in the nuclear fuel cycle, whether
through the expansion of the current level of exploration, extraction and milling
of minerals containing radioactive materials, the further processing of those
minerals or processing and manufacture of materials containing radioactive
and nuclear substances, the establishment and operation of facilities to
generate electricity from nuclear fuels, or the establishment of facilities for the
management, storage and disposal of nuclear waste, and to the risks and
opportunities that those activities would present.
I, the Governor, with the advice and consent of the Executive Council, DO HEREBY
APPOINT YOU to be a Commissioner to inquire into and report upon the following
matters:
Exploration, Extraction and Milling
1. The feasibility of expanding the current level of exploration, extraction and
milling of minerals containing radioactive materials in South Australia, the
circumstances necessary for such an increase to occur and to be viable, the
risks and opportunities created by expanding the level of exploration,
extraction and milling, and the measures that might be required to facilitate
and regulate that increase in activity.
Further Processing and Manufacture
2. The feasibility of further processing minerals, and processing and
manufacturing materials containing radioactive and nuclear substances (but
not for, or from, military uses), including conversion, enrichment, fabrication or
re-processing in South Australia, the circumstances necessary for processing
or manufacture to be viable, the risks and opportunities associated with
establishing and undertaking that processing or manufacture, and the
measures that might be required to facilitate and regulate the establishment
and carrying out of processing or manufacture.
Electricity Generation
3. The feasibility of establishing and operating facilities to generate electricity
from nuclear fuels in South Australia, the circumstances necessary for that to
occur and to be viable, the relative advantages and disadvantages of
generating electricity from nuclear fuels as opposed to other sources
(including greenhouse gas emissions), the risks and opportunities associated
with that activity (including its impact on renewable sources and the electricity
market), and the measures that might be required to facilitate and regulate
their establishment and operation.
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 to be established and to be viable, the risks and opportunities
associated with establishing and operating those facilities, and the measures
that might be required to facilitate and regulate their establishment and
operation.
In inquiring into the risks and opportunities associated with the above activities,
consideration should be given, as appropriate, to their future impact upon the
South Australian:
a. economy (including the potential for the development of related sectors and
adverse impact on other sectors);
b. environment (including considering lessons learned from past South
Australian extraction, milling and processing practices); and
c. community (incorporating regional, remote and Aboriginal communities)
including potential impacts on health and safety.
You are required to report as soon as practicable but no later than 6 May 2016.
GIVEN under my hand and the Public Seal of South Australia, at Adelaide, this 19th
day of March 2015.
By command,
Recorded in Register of Commissions,
Letters Patent, Etc., Vol. XXVII
GOD SAVE THE QUEEN!

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