The very short time allowed for people to submit for the draft Terms of Reference nevertheless was enough for over 1000 submissions to be sent – the overwhelming majority raising issues that I bet the
nuclear lobby would not want raised. No surprise then that the promised web page of all these submissions just vanished within a day or two.
However, here below is a sample of some of these excellent submissions. It is from DR. PETER BURDON ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR ALEXANDER REILLY MR. PAUL LEADBETER of the University of Adelaide
To Whom It May Concern, RE: Royal Commission – Our role in nuclear energy
Thank you for the opportunity to contribute to the terms of reference for the Royal Commission into South Australia’s nuclear industry potential. We note the short window for submissions, but hope that we have the opportunity to contribute to the broader consultation between 23 February – 13 March.
While it is not part of the terms of reference, we think it is important that at least one-third of the appointed independent experts have demonstrated outstanding service, concern, and public interest in environmental policy. Moreover, given the likely impacts of any proposed expansion on aboriginal communities, we think that an additional two experts should be of Aboriginal descent.
- With regard to the terms of reference, we contend that the commission should be charged to investigate in detail:
- The environmental legacy of the uranium industry in South Australia;
- All questions of safety of humans and the natural environment related to proposals to develop nuclear power in South Australia;
- The required regulatory framework to safeguard the environment and Indigenous interests in the areas affected by the development of a nuclear industry;
- All questions of safety of humans and the natural environment related to proposals to store radioactive waste in South Australia, including risks of transportation and how the technical integrity of the facility could be ensured over the period of radioactive decay of the wastes;
- The technical, engineering and construction requirements of the facility itself to protect against leakage of radioactive material to the surface, into the atmosphere and into groundwater;
- The impact of nuclear waste storage on Indigenous communities;
- Any conflict that might arise within local communities during consideration of the proposal and subsequently affected by the construction and operation of the facility;
- The reputational risks associated with proposals for South Australia to host an international repository for high-level nuclear waste;
- The impact of nuclear power on South Australia’s carbon reduction targets, including the carbon dioxide emissions which would result from construction, operation and decommissioning of nuclear power facilities;
- Impact of nuclear facilities on the insurance industry;
- The economic implications of proposals for uranium enrichment in South Australia, including realistic assessment of the scale of public subsidies that would be needed to establish and operate the industry;
- The workforce implications of creating a nuclear industry in terms of predicted labour force participation in the industry, the types and sustainability of the jobs created;
- The political security/policing arrangements that would need to be applied within Australia as a consequence of the construction and operation of a facility and what ,if any, implications they would have for freedom of speech and freedom of association for Australians;
- The impact of nuclear energy development on alternative energy sources and energy consumption patterns;;
- The measures necessary to ensure Australia has secure and environmentally sustainable energy supplies in the future; and
- The relationship of the uranium and nuclear industry to the stated goal of Ecologically Sustainable Development. Yours faithfully, DR. PETER BURDON ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR ALEXANDER REILLY MR. PAUL LEADBETER