Australia’s pro nuclear lobbyists more interested in Small Modular Nuclear Reactors than in waste storage

Australia nuclear toilet

Back on the radar: Developing nuclear reactors along with storing nuclear waste, Independent Australia  Noel Wauchope 7 September 2016,  “……..recent pro-nuclear submissions to the South Australian Parliament’s Joint Committee on Findings of the Nuclear Fuel Cycle Royal Commission have instead focussed on the benefits of “new nuclear” technology, particularly “small modular reactors” (SMRs) — note how the word “nuclear” is left out since people distrust it.
The global nuclear lobby is keenly interested in the South Australian government’s plan to import nuclear waste, because it would solve the waste problem for nuclear companies wanting to sell reactors and particularly, new types of nuclear reactors, to Asian countries.

This idea was pioneered by Australians and spelt out early in 2015, just as the NFCRC was starting, in an ABC Radio National talk by Oscar Archer. Since then, we haven’t heard any more about this, as the whole emphasis in SA government propaganda, has been on the billions supposedly to be made by that state from importing nuclear wastes. The idea of developing new nuclear technology is mentioned in the NFCRC report (p56 and p63) but very much played down and not recommended for South Australia.
Still, for foreign nuclear companies, the underlying aim is to further, or more correctly, to save, the nuclear industry by setting up new nuclear reactors, in particular SMRs.
It is vital for the nuclear industry to have a nuclear waste disposal plan. The industry has pretty much given up on selling nuclear reactors to countries that already have nuclear power and they are struggling with the waste problem. The big hope is to sell to “new” countries.
They are clearly looking to South Asia, as shown at the conference, The Prospects for Nuclear Power in the Asia Pacific Region, held in August, in Manila. The deputy director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEAMikhail Chudakov said that IAEA sees South Asia as a region where nuclear energy is “high on the agenda” and could be one of the drivers for global nuclear power deployment.
The thing is, no country is going to embark on the nuclear power path – for small or large reactors – unless they have a prior plan for the disposal of radioactive wastes. This is vital for the nuclear industry — which is where Australia comes in…..

despite the NFCRC’s distinct lack of enthusiasm for new nuclear technology, three of the only five pro nuclear submissions were focussed, not on waste importing, but on new nuclear reactors.

Ben Heard‘s whole argument is directed at new reactors:

Our research indicates that South Australia could make a significant contribution in this technology development beginning at a modest reinvestment of revenues from used fuel.

Many nations in this region already exploit nuclear technology however this use is constrained by lack of a back-end solution…… The availability of a multinational solution for the back end of the nuclear fuel cycle could change these investment decisions profoundly.

Heard backs up his argument by playing the climate card of nuclear being “low carbon” and so on.

Dayne Eckermann writes:

‘The main motivation for myself and others to embrace and openly support this technology is its immense power output from a relative small facility.’

And the South Australia Chamber of Mines and Energy’s (SACOME‘s) view:

Australia’s well-equipped political, legal and educational structures mean that a reactor program could – with the support of experienced international partners – be started swiftly

SACOME strongly believes that the advances in small modular reactors and advanced reactor designs will provide the necessary facilities…..

I understand that, for the Parliamentary Committee, all submissions were actually published. This is in contrast to the NFCRC process, in which submissions from interested parties such as foreign nuclear companies were kept confidential……..

 Like Oscar Archer, at the beginning of the NFCRC saga, the Australian nuclear lobby is primarily keen for “new nuclear”, with the waste import as a necessary prelude……

https://independentaustralia.net/politics/politics-display/back-on-the-radar-developing-nuclear-reactors-along-with-storing-nuclear-waste,9437

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