The submission process set up to fail: South Australia’s Nuclear Royal Commission #NuclearCommissionSAust

Submission Impossible: SA Royal Commission into nuclear fuel cycle,Independent Australia,  10 July 2015, The SA Royal Commission into the nuclear fuel cycle is calling for submissions but the mechanics involved have made it Submission Impossible, writes Noel Wauchope.

THE SOUTH AUSTRALIAN Labor government has ordered a Royal Commission, to inquire into the Nuclear Fuel Cycle: ‘Investigating opportunities and risks for South Australia’. This fast moving Royal Commission will receive submissions on this topic

All sounds good, doesn’t it? And who is supposed to send these submissions in? Well, any person or organisation in South Australia. As the Royal Commission (RC) has received little or no publicity outside South Australia, then it is likely that submissions will not be appreciated nor forthcoming from the other States.

However, the RC has invited nuclear technology companies from overseas, to put in submissions.

The RC has published four Issues Papers, with points for discussion. I could digress here, into the wording of these points, which are very much geared to receive input from nuclear companies.  But my interest here is not so much in the content of submissions, but rather in the mechanics of actually writing, and sending in a submission. Submissions are due by 24 the July (for two Issues Paper topics) and by 3rd August (for the other two)

This is what is required:

  • First, go to the RC’s website, Click on ISSUES PAPERS, and read the papers for each Issue………

Well, I’m thinking that the mechanics of this exercise pretty well trumps the content.

Submission Impossible

Imagine the scene … scenario 1:

You’re an executive of the French nuclear company AREVA, or of the Canadian nuclear company,SNC-Lavalin. (AREVA is in desperate financial straits and SNC-Lavalin in strife for corrupt practices). See report in the Financial Times 4 June 2015 ‘AREVA loses its reactor heart to EDF under French state plan’. Both companies are absolutely dependent on selling their nuclear technology overseas.

You have access to highly paid top lawyers, nuclear lobbyists and strategists, and access to top electronic equipment and computer skills. Indeed, this sort of thing is their job, and the company is well pleased to give them time to do this submission very thoroughly.

Submissions from a nuclear company do not need to be published. The Royal Commission deems that they can be kept private.

Imagine the scene … scenario 2:

You’re an ordinary citizen of South Australia, perhaps living in a rural area.  Do you have access to the Internet, for a start? Well, you could make the effort, using a town library’s facilities.  Then there’s the printing off of the ISSUES PAPERS, with those required question points. Then there’s the typing and printing of your Submission ….   the JP …. the scanning … the PDF …. and so on. Your Submission  will be published  on the Internet, with your name.

What if you’re an Aboriginal, and your command of English is not great?   No problem. The RC will send an officer to guide you.  Mmmm … is there a problem in this?

I haven’t even touched on the content. I wonder … do I really need to?

Most of the questions appear to me to be squarely aimed at the nuclear companies…….. Some people have criticised the plentiful graphs and diagrams in the Issues Papers as sometimes inappropriate. I don’t know. It hardly matters. Many ordinary people, who are worried about the prospect of the entire nuclear fuel chain being established in South Australia will be sufficiently intimidated by the whole process anyway — never mind the graphs, or even the written content.

Perhaps that was the Royal Commission’s intention?,7917


One Response to “The submission process set up to fail: South Australia’s Nuclear Royal Commission #NuclearCommissionSAust”

  1. Christina MacPherson Says:

    Reblogged this on nuclear-news.

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