Nuclear inquiry head says objections to uranium ‘overheated’ http://www.afr.com/news/nuclear-inquiry-head-says-objections-to-uranium-overheated-20151030-gkn2mo
by Simon Evans The former admiral overseeing South Australia’s nuclear inquiry says he is trying to be as straight as possible on what can be a divisive issue, but some concerns about the nuclear industry go too far.
Kevin Scarce, who was appointed by South Australian Premier Jay Weatherill this year to investigate if South Australia should go into nuclear enrichment, storage of waste and power generation, says he is on target to deliver preliminary findings by February before a final report by May. He says he is focused on objective evidence and tapping into global expertise, and accepts that many people have passionate views about the nuclear industry.
“Some of those concerns are overheated,” he told AFR Weekend. “I think it’s really important that we investigate all the issues and rely on fact-based evidence.”
Dr Loewen is an expert in the development of the company’s new generation of small, modular nuclear reactors designed to recycle spent nuclear fuel.
He was asked about the approximate costs of the new generation PRISM reactor, and said a United States Department of Energy report had estimated it at about $6 billion.
“We would describe that cost as very reasonable,” Dr Loewen said.
He was also asked his views on whether the technology could be licensed for use in Australia.
“You have a clean slate,” Dr Loewen said. “You have a unique opportunity that you could go in.”
Dr Loewen said in the United States the regulations were very tough because there was only one technology built around water-cooled reactors. He said the United Kingdom had used a different approach, with a variety of different technologies used including gas-cooled, sodium-cooled and water-cooled reactors.
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said this week that Australia should seriously consider getting involved in the nuclear fuel cycle to produce fuel rods, export them, then transport them back to Australia and store them in outback nuclear waste dumps. http://www.afr.com/news/nuclear-inquiry-head-says-objections-to-uranium-overheated-20151030-gkn2mo#ixzz3q59YYEqo