Yurij Poetzl examines integrity of #NuclearCommissionSAust – and finds it lacking

submission goodSubmission To The Nuclear Fuel Cycle Royal highly-recommended Commission Regarding Issues Papers 1 and 4 by Yurij Poetzl http://nuclearrc.sa.gov.au/app/uploads/2015/09/Yuri-Poetzl-24-07-2015.pdf

I’m a private citizen and have no vested interest in the nuclear industry; however the nuclear industry does direct ly impact me, my family and my friends As a member of the public I wish to give evidence and express my concerns in regard to the issues being examined by the Royal Commission.

It is valid to examine economics and risks relating to the nuclear industry; however is the Royal Commission a fair and objective examination of the Nuclear Cycle? It has been disclosed that Kevin Scarce Is a shareholder in the Rio Tinto Group,who own and operate uranium mines in Australia and internationally. ls this a conflict of interest for the Royal Commissioner? It is of great concern that the Royal Commissioner has selected predominantly pro-nuclear experts for the R.C’s Advisory Committee (the single exception being Professor lan Lowe). See Appendix 1.

It also seems remiss that there isn’t any health or medical professionals engaged in the R.C’s Expert Advisory Committee or Key Commission staff. It’s well documented that by-products of the nuclear industry can have adverse effects on the health of the global community for many future generations. The omission of health experts makes me question whether the R.C is truly considering what is in my and the general public’s best interest.

The Public Health Association of Australia have made their position clear in regard to the R.C and the Nuclear Industry, see http :1 /www .phaa. net. au/ documents/item/51 0 or http://www .phaa.net.au/documents/item/264  The Royal Commission could prove to be pivotal in South Australia’s future having significant and far reaching consequences, affecting many future generations; however, was the process leading toward the establishment the Royal Commission flawed?

The S.A. public (and wider global communit y) deserve a balanced and unbiased assessment of the issues raised Appendix 2. Contains questions regarding issues papers 1 and 4  Yours sincerely Yurij Poetzl

Appendix. 1 4 of the 5 Royal Commissions Expert Advisory Committee appear to be pro nuclear. They are Professor Barry Brook, Dr Timothy Stone, John Carlson AM and Dr Leanna Read. Below is a brief summary oftheir involvement in the nuclear industry Professor Barry Brook is an active advocate of the Nuclear Industry. The self described”Promethean Environmentalist” is openly critical of people who have concerns regarding the Industry. Professor Brook is the author of, or contributor to several pro nuclear publications such as; Key role for nuclear energy in global biodiversity conservation, Australia’s nuclear options and, An Open Letter to Environmentalists on Nuclear Energy. To name a few.

Dr Timothy Stone is an advocate for nuclear power generation and nuclear industrial expansion in Australia. In the UK Dr Stone has held the position of Expert Chair ofthe Office for Nuclear Development and he is currently on the board of Horizon Nuclear Power as non-executive Director John Carlson AM has been Director General of the Australian Safeguards and Non-Proliferation Office. In part 6 of the introduction to Mr Carlson’s paper “Nuclear power for Australia”- an outline of the key issues he claims “Nuclear has a major advantage over other energy sources”. Later in the same document Mr Carlson states “Currently both major parties say that nuclear power is “offlimits”. While this is disappointing, at least it ensures neither side is making statements tlhat will later be embarrassing to retract” It is clear that Mr Carlson is pro nuclear providing the appropriate safeguards are met

Dr Leanna Read has publicly stated that she “has an open mind” regarding the Nuclear Industry. Dr Read is a Fellow of the Australian Academy ofTechnological Sciences and Engineering, which advocated for nuclear power in Australia in August 2014. This seems to contradict Dr Read’s claims of impartiality toward the nuclear industry Given the information in Appendix 1, can the Royal Commission be considered truly independent?

Appendix 2

  • Question: 1. Even with best practice and best intentions, industrial accidents happen. What infrastructure is currently in place, should a truck loaded with uranium oxide be involved in an accident in the Metropolitan area and whilst doing so, have a breach of its load or catch fire?
  • Question: 2. Is it possible to insure against a nuclear mishap and how is Public Liability insurance affected in an accident scenario?
  • Question: 3.Many environmentalists believe that The Roxby Downs Indenture Act 1982 al lows wide ranging exemptions from key environmental laws such as the SA Environmental Protection Act 1993, Freedom of information Act 1991 and the Natural Resources Act 2004 critical water resources and Great Artesian Basin. Is this true?
  • Question: 4. If the answer to question 3 is true, please explain how these exemptions are in the public interest?
  • Question: 5.1s it possible that similar exemptions will be extended to waste dumps, uranium enrichment operations or nuclear power stations?
  • Question: 6. Recent revelations by the EPA {Environmental Protection Agency) reveal widespread and irreversible groundwater contamination by industrial practices in several of Adelaide’s suburbs. Wouldn’t it be prudent for the Commissions terms of reference to contain a review of current uranium mining and transport practices?
  • Question: 7. Would it be sensible to hold a review of the current condition of waterways and aquifers affected by mining practices before an expansion of SA’s nuclear industry commences?
  • Question: 8. Since the proposed expansion of Olympic Dam a few years ago, has the SA public been receiving fair and balanced media coverage on the nuclear Industry,  particularly in printed media?
  • Question: 9. What has been the ratio of Pro/Con nuclear industry stories and editorials in the Advertiser Newspaper since 201 0?
  • Question: 10. What influence has this ratio had on the general public’s current view towards the nuclear industry?
  • Question: 11. Will the commission call on medical and health specialists to give their perspectives on the nuclear industry and its impact on workers within the industry and the wider community?
  • Question: 12. Can Nuclear Energy really be defined as a low carbon emission energy source when millions of litres of Diesel are consumed in the Nuclear Cycle annually, particularly in the mining and transport of uranium oxide?
  • Question: 13. Uranium waste products can take hundreds of thousands of years to halve their level of toxicity. Pyramids are amongst the oldest surviving manmade structures and are no more than 5000 years old. Therefore what assurances are there, that nuclear waste can be safely stored over much longer periods oftime?
  • Question 14.1f South Australia is perceived to be a nuclear waste site by the global community, what will the impact be on Tourism, Real Estate, Food, Wine and manufacturing industries be?
  • Question 15.Highly toxic Radon gas is released by the mining activities at Roxby downs and apparently can be detected in Antarctica. This gas must pass through Adelaide to get there. What is the effect of Radon gas to workers in the mines and what impact does it have on the wider community?
  • Question: 16. What is the volume of airborne radioactive dust released into atmosphere by mining and storage of tailings exposed to the wind? Question: 17.What impact does radioactive dust released by mining practices, have on the Australian public, fauna and flora?
  • Question: 18.Presumably nuclear waste will be transported from Port Adelaide to its storage destination. What would be the outcome, in the advent of an accident, or fire to the transport within the M etropolitan area?
  • Question: 19. 33.6 percent of Australian uranium is exported to North America. The US military has depleted uranium coated ammunitions and armaments, such as bullets and tank shielding. There have been reports claiming an alarming rise of birth defects to children of returned US soldiers and civilians occupying militarised zones. These reports claim the birth defects can be attributed to use of depleted uranium coated ordnance. What checks are in place to guarantee no Australian uranium or its by-products is used to coat US military
  • Question: 20. Has uranium coated ordinance or tank shielding been used by the United States Army in war games in central Australia?
  • Question: 21. Prior to his selection as “Chair of the Royal Commission” Kevin Scarce had aligned himself with CEDA (the Committee for Economic Development In Australia). CEDA’s Policy Perspectives of Nov 2011 clearly supports and promotes the growth of South Australia’s nuclear industry. Is this a conflict of interest for the Royal Commissioner?
  • Question: 22.There are cl ips on You T ube(see Aug 12th 2014) where Kevin Scarce confirms his association with CEDA, using terms like “we were able to get our draft report considered by government. ” Given his connection with CEDA and their pro nuclear stance, is Kevin Scarce truly impartial and unbiased in regard to South Australia’s nuclear issues?
  • In Summary To be considered an effective, balanced, honest and legitimate assessment of SA’s role in the nuclear cycle, the Royal Commission needs to assess and answer many more tough questions than the ones listed above. Kind regards Yu.rij Poetzl Adelaide South Australia 
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