BUSINESS SA’s Submission to South Australia’s Nuclear Fuel Chain Royal Commission http://nuclearrc.sa.gov.au/app/uploads/2015/11/Business-SA-03-08-2015.pdf
“South Australia’s clearest economically viable expansion opportunity in the nuclear fuel cycle will be in the form of used fuel storage and disposal”
“South Australia must focus on what the world needs, particularly in the case of used nuclear fuel storage or disposal.”
“In order to build community confidence, it is likely that a pilot storage site would need to be constructed first and this should form part of the Royal Commission’s deliberations.”
Business South Australia’s Submission clearly promotes the nuclear industry, with a commercial argument that completely ignores the negative effects that this would have on other industries in that State.
While its main focus is on the benefits of nuclear waste importing, (as a way of creating jobs, and fixing the budget deficit), Business South Australia is in fact favouring the whole nuclear fuel chain:
“the opportunity to recycle used fuel as technology advances will be lost if South Australia only considers its complete disposal. Storing used nuclear fuel in a deep geological repository will at least enable us to take advantage of advances in areas such as Generation IV nuclear reactor design”
It supports nuclear fuel reprocessing, with touching faith that a safe method will be found, some time in the future:
“Purex technology was developed in the 1950’s and the future of re-processing through the next generation of reactors should not be overlooked on the basis of the pros and cons of this technology alone. Furthermore, there is a view that in future a different process could be used to recover all anions together, including plutonium, to reduce the risks associated with Purex.”
Their submission is ambivalent about uranium enrichment, conversion and fuel fabrication, and nuclear power, but keen on the idea of South Australia developing a shipping industry geared to transporting nuclear fuels and wastes.
They are reassuring about any anxieties over safe transport of radioactive materials, especially shipping, but also about air transport:
“we request the Royal Commission to investigate the practicality of using air freight to deliver used nuclear fuel to a dedicated air strip adjoining a storage or disposal site.”
The State Government’s Industry Participation Advocate is seen to be an important aid to their case for South Australia expanding its nuclear industry role.
Business South Australia is worried about public opinion – it seems that they would like to have nuclear matters decided on by nuclear experts, rather than by the people of South Australia:
“ the Royal Commission should not be fixated on just what the general public prefers, but rather what is in the best interests of the State.”