Economic case for South Australia’s Nuclear Waste Importing Plan is based on wild assumptions

Royal Commission bubble burst

Blandy conveyed his objections to the royal commission — which substantially ignored them. Instead, the commission continued putting its trust in Jacobs MCM, which it had engaged to perform its financial modelling.

Jacobs, The Australia Institute notes, “consult extensively to the nuclear industry and have an interest in its expansion and continuation”

Nuclear waste dump case unravels, World News Report, 13 July 16 , Green Left By Renfrey Clarke  “…….That the environmental and health risks posed by the international waste scheme are alarming and the economics could well be prohibitive are being ignored by the scheme’s supporters.

In its February “tentative findings” and in its May 9 final report, the state government’s royal commission set the hucksters drooling with its view that a high-level waste dump “could generate more than $100 billion income in excess of expenditure over the 120-year life of the project”.

Even this sum was too modest for the Murdoch-owned Adelaide Advertiser as it sought to herd public opinion behind the government’s plans. Working only from revenues and ignoring costs, the newspaper declared on February 17 that “a gigantic $445 billion would be pumped into the state’s finances over at least 70 years”.

The truth is that the economic case for the project rests on such wild assumptions that any competent entrepreneur would view it as a business plan from hell.

Hopes of a monster pay-out were savaged during March when The Australia Institute published a detailed analysis of the waste dump scheme.

Retired professor of economics Richard Blandy, the economic commentator for the Independent Dailyexploded the royal commission’s guesswork still more definitively on June 7.

The figure for net income of $100 billion, Blandy explained, was based on a completely fanciful estimate of the price that South Australia could expect to obtain for storing spent reactor fuel.

To obtain this estimate, of $1.75 million per tonne of heavy metal, the commission had assumed that the South Australian authorities of the future would have perfect knowledge of the maximum price that potential customers were willing to pay and that the state would face no competitors in the waste storage market-place.

The reality, as Blandy pointed out, is that India and China — to name just two countries — have extensive nuclear power industries and are highly likely to create their own waste repositories.

For these countries to add extra capacity to accommodate international customers would be relatively cheap — and much cheaper than could be managed by an Australian dump relying exclusively on imported waste.

The “$100 billion” figure also reflected an estimate that 37 countries that now have nuclear power industries — or that might someday set them up — would contract with South Australia to store 50% of their reactor waste.

But what if this estimate was grossly inflated?

If South Australia’s dump attracted only a quarter of the wastes targeted, Blandy calculated, and if the price received equalled the costs of building storage capacity in Sweden or Finland (costs, we must assume, that would be high compared to those in India or China) then the South Australian dump would lose money.

Blandy conveyed his objections to the royal commission — which substantially ignored them. Instead, the commission continued putting its trust in Jacobs MCM, which it had engaged to perform its financial modelling.

Jacobs, The Australia Institute notes, “consult extensively to the nuclear industry and have an interest in its expansion and continuation”…… plans.https://world.einnews.com/article/334731841/OM4SBscz5Dp42697

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