In the second part of his evidence to South Australia’s Nuclear Royal
Commission, Dr Lyman explains that direct disposal is the safest and the most prudent approach for nuclear power. In recycling, as in pyroreprocessing, the risks outweigh the benefits.
Dr Lyman has studied pyroreprocessing in great detail. The fact that its products are highly radioactive does not act to deter thieves, especially those aiming to use these products for weapons proliferation.
Also, “the IEA is still struggling to provide even technical approaches for how you would get weapons grade accountancy in pyroprocessing, and that’s a great concern”……”Many minor actinides that would be in the pyroprocessing product are also weapons useable “… “It’s also easy, if that combination were to be stolen, to separate out plutonium from the minor actinides”.
Lyman describes the pyroreprocessing process as an “unmanageable enterprise”. The United States decided not to pursue re-processing and fast reactors in the 1970s, for these very same risks of terrorism and weapons proliferation.
SA NUCLEAR FUEL CYCLE ROYAL COMMISSION DR EDWIN LYMAN, Union of Concerned Scientists TRANSCRIPT OF PROCEEDINGS ADELAIDE 7.30 AM, TUESDAY, 17 NOVEMBER 2015 DAY 23
The Commission’s first witness today, Dr Edwin Lyman, is a senior scientist in the global security program at the Union of Concerned Scientists in the United States. His areas of interests include nuclear proliferation, terrorism and nuclear power safety and security, and he’s published articles in a number of 5 journals and magazines on these topics. Dr Lyman is a member of the Institute of Nuclear Materials Management and has given evidence before the US Congress and Nuclear Regulatory Commission, the NRC, on multiple occasions. 10 Prior to joining the Union of Concerned Scientists, Dr Lyman was president of the Nuclear Control Institute, the CI, in Washington, an organisation concerned with nuclear proliferation. The Commission calls Dr Edwin Lyman……..
The transcript of Dr Lyman’s interview can be read at http://nuclearrc.sa.gov.au/app/uploads/mp/files/videos/files/151117-topic-14-day-1-transcript-full.v5.pdf