In another potential blow to the South Australian government, which had pinned the state’s economic future on the original expansion plan, Olympic Dam asset president Jacqui McGill categorically rejected siting a high-level international nuclear waste repository on any land covered by its indenture agreement.
We’re not a waste repository company, so that’s not in our business model and it’s not in our plans,” she said. BHP had no moral responsibility to manage waste
BHP: Fukushima set uranium industry back for years THE AUSTRALIAN JUNE 27, 2016 Michael Owen SA Bureau Chief Adelaide A key reason for BHP Billiton’s decision four years ago to indefinitely mothball a $30 billion plan to turn Olympic Dam into the world’s biggest uranium mine was the Fukushima nuclear plant explosion rather than cost concerns, it has been revealed.
Senior BHP executives told The Australian that although lingering effects from the global financial crisis in 2008 were used to publicly justify the 2012 decision by BHP’s board not to proceed with the original expansion plan, the real concern was the effect of the Fukushima disaster on demand for uranium and its price.
“You have to consider the events that occurred around that time … Fukushima changed everything and probably set the nuclear energy and uranium industry back years, if not decades,” one senior BHP executive said.
Japan turned off its 50 nuclear reactors and other nations, such as Germany, announced plans to phase out nuclear power completely, while Switzerland, Belgium and Italy moved away from nuclear power and new reactors in Britain and the US faced stronger community resistance.
Other countries looked at Fukushima as a reason to change regulations, which has stalled the development of additional reactors, with China ordering a three-year hiatus in allowing any nuclear reactor project to be developed. By August 2012, BHP had shelved its expansion plans, which had been seven years in the making with federal and state environmental approvals in place.
Four years on, the uranium industry remains in a downturn, justifying the board’s decision, with the benchmark price this year at about $US28.
Olympic Dam asset president Jacqui McGill told The Australian during a tour last week of the mine that copper was her focus, although the mine still produced about 4500 tonnes o f uranium a year. In the large southern area of the mine, 70 per cent of the resource remains untouched……
In another potential blow to the South Australian government, which had pinned the state’s economic future on the original expansion plan, Ms McGill categorically rejected siting a high-level international nuclear waste repository on any land covered by its indenture agreement…..
despite the potential benefits to shareholders if BHP signed up as a corporate partner, Ms McGill rejected any such proposal.
“We’re a resources company. We’re not a waste repository company, so that’s not in our business model and it’s not in our plans,” she said. BHP had no moral responsibility to manage waste, despite mining and exporting uranium for use in international reactors, she added. http://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/mining-energy/bhp-fukushima-set-uranium-industry-back-for-years/news-story/2fd588434a47161a09b1893768b9d01f