Archive for the ‘National’ Category

Nuclear industry ripping off South Australia AGAIN: this time a LABOR govt is letting it

October 20, 2016

Australia nuclear toiletUltimately, this dump is about helping the global nuclear industry. The current build-up of site-by-site waste acts as a brake on investment. They want somewhere to dump it forever so they can go on producing more of it.


South Australia to become global nuclear waste capital Sixty years ago, Maralinga went up in a mushroom cloud. The British government had been given permission to test atomic weaponry in South Australia.

That is to say, they had been given permission by the right wing Menzies government. The local Maralinga Tjarutja people had no say in it at all. Many of them were not even forewarned of the first blast. Thunderous black clouds condemned them to radiation exposure, illness and death, the survivors being driven from their homeland during the long years of British testing and fallout.

South Australia has a dark history with the nuclear industry. Maralinga remains contaminated, despite cheap clean-up efforts. Uranium tailings have leaked from BHP’s Olympic Dam mine at Roxby Downs. Fukushima’s reactors held South Australian uranium when catastrophe struck in 2011.

Today, Jay Weatherill’s state Labor government is trying to open a new radioactive chapter. He wants South Australia to construct the world’s first international high-level nuclear waste dump. This would mean no fewer than 138,000 tonnes of waste (one-third of the world’s total) being shipped from the world’s reactors into South Australian ports, to be permanently buried in Aboriginal land.

This would be history’s largest nuclear dumping operation, and make South Australia the hazardous waste capital of the world.

Weatherill, aware of most people’s instinctive and rightful mistrust of anything nuclear, has launched a meticulous, expensive PR campaign. He is trying to fit a Hello Kitty mask onto Mr Burns.

The propaganda machine was put into motion by the Nuclear Fuel Cycle Royal Commission, at a cost of $7.2 million. Headed by Kevin Scarce, a former naval officer and South Australian governor, the commission imagines a lip-licking profit to be made by importing and burying the waste. It also recommends expanding uranium mining and laying the groundwork for nuclear power generation.

To soothe concerns, the government is periodically erecting “Know Nuclear” stalls across the state. These stalls spread misinformation. For instance, the government pamphlet “What is Radiation?” boasts that bananas contain potassium-40, a low-level radionuclide found in nature. But they make no comparison to human-made fission products such as strontium-90, which releases almost 20 million times more radiation than your friendly fruity isotope.

In August, more than 150 high school students were whisked to a secretly organised forum about the future of nuclear industry in the state. Secrecy was justified by the suggestion that violent anti-nuclear protesters might endanger the pupils.

Why does the state need to pour such big bucks into this festival of confusing roadshows, misleading science, TV ads and youth re-education sessions? Because most people who know anything about nuclear waste will recognise the danger posed by the proposed dump.

We live in a country in which black lung disease has re-emerged. Mining companies, in a world of competition, refuse to pay for basic safety measures to prevent excessive coal dust inhalation. This logic of cutting costs infuses all business under capitalism; nuclear waste dumps are no exception. As the MUA correctly stated: “Maritime workers – seafarers and wharfies – will be the first exposed to this toxic waste … Nowhere on this planet has a country designed a safe repository for nuclear waste”.

Indeed, the most technologically advanced repositories in the world, no matter how deep underground, have failed. Over many years, German radioactive waste had been disposed of in a deep facility in Lower Saxony. In 2008, it was discovered that some of the 126,000 barrels of waste had been leaking into ground water for decades. In 2014, New Mexico’s Waste Isolation Pilot Plant suffered a burst drum, contaminating the whole facility, including ventilation and surrounding air. Soon after, workers at the plant tested positive for radiation exposure.

This is the most hazardous waste ever produced by industry or the military. The royal commission explains that this stuff “requires isolation from the environment for many hundreds of thousands of years”. That makes the Roman Empire seem like yesterday; it is longer than the human race has existed.

Moreover, previous projects have involved only national waste storage; to transport waste by sea to an international dump has never been attempted and involves multiple dangers of accidental spillage.

Ultimately, this dump is about helping the global nuclear industry. The current build-up of site-by-site waste acts as a brake on investment. They want somewhere to dump it forever so they can go on producing more of it.

South Australian government’s clear conflict of interest in its nuclear waste import plan

October 20, 2016

Scarce thanks experts 1

Malgo Schmidt, from Your Say site  16 Oct 2016  “……..There is no independent Nuclear Regulator in Australia and SA has a conflict of interest

The nuclear dump plan proposes sitting a Nuclear port and an above ground high level nuclear waste storage facility in Project Year 5 – before potential nuclear waste contracts in Year 6′ This depends on assessment and approval by an lndependent Nuclear Regulator- that does not exist in Australia’
The current Federal nuclear regulator would requiré legislative amendments before it could claim to ‘regulate’ lnternational nuclear wastes. SA is disqualified from doing so by clear conflict of interest’
This senate can block any nuclear dump legislation up to the next Federal Election ALP, Greens and the Xenophon team can together block any pro-dump legislation in the senate
Four key themes in community concern over international nuclear waste dumping:
It is quite clear that there are 4 key concerns that have to be dealt with collectively. Failure to pass any of these tests should stop further consideration of a Nuclear Dump. They are:
1. safety of workers and community throughout the nuclear waste supply chain.
2. Flawed Economic assumptions
3. Aboriginal veto
4. Environmental and inter-generational concerns, risks and impacts

Safety is compromised by import of nuclear waste long before any disposal capacity

The Nuclear Commission proposed import of nuclear waste in Project Year 11′ four years ahead of an agreed licensed disposal site and some 16 years ahead of any potential waste disposal capacity
SA faces the threat of a Nuclear port receiving nuclear waste ships every month for decades
Reality check analysis shows there is No Profit in Nuclear waste

South Australians are being misled by inflated revenue claims, untenable assumptions including globally unprecedented scale of dump plans and under reported nuclear waste costs & liabilities’
Nuclear dump plans are prone to fail- like Yucca Mountain in the USA, and end in debt not profit.

Future generations – importing international nuclear waste is an irrevocable decision
The nuclear waste would be here forever and remain dangerous for hundreds of thousands of years’ our children will have no say in this decision hgt be left with this liability into the future ‘
The Campaign needs to mobilise mainstream community to oppose nuclear waste dumps

Countering the Premier’s nuclear waste agenda requires mobilising SA community’ working through the steps in who? when? where? and How? to engage groups across society on these issues’
We can all contribute to protect SA from nuclear dumping and build strength in our community’  For further info &

Nuclear Citizens Jury South Australia. These are the Recommended Witnesses

October 12, 2016

Citizens' Jury scrutinyThis is a full list of witnesses chosen by the Nuclear Citizens’ Jury on October 9th and invited to be witnesses for the next Nuclear Citizens’ Jury on 29 October.

Here I have endeavoured to shed light on the likely evidence of each, according to the following code :

GREEN = Anti-nuclear waste dumping, Yellow – doubtful on waste importing,  ORANGE=Neutral – Uncertain, about waste dumping, BLACK = I don’t know, PINK = probably pro waste dumping , RED = Pro nuclear waste dumping

  • I ran into a spot of bother with the many Aboriginals recommended. As far as I can tell, they are all opposed to importing nuclear waste, except Parry Agius .  Some of the most prominent Aboriginal persons are: Kevin Buzzacott,  Karina Lester, Vivienne McKenzie,  Enice Marsh.  
  • Some pro nuclear people might be opposed to the dump plan, so I put those in pink. 


Nuclear Citizens Jury Two: Witness work




No      List Ref               Name                                                  Votes              Theme

1              123      Richard Dennis                                      96                 Economics

2             121       Professor Richard Blandy                    54                Economics

3            128       Professor Barbara Pocock                   45                 Economics

4            179        Professor Brian Cox                             45                 Safety

5            166        Hon Nick Xenophon                            44                Trust

6             56         Paddy Crumlin                                                34                  Safety

7                1         Timo Aikas                                             34                   Safety

8                4        Professor Rodney Ewing                                  31               Safety

9           168         Dr Karl Kruszelnicki                                       30              Safety

10          116         Dr Simon Longstaff                                          29             Trust

11              5          Robert J Halstead                                           27             Safety

12            19          Dr Jim Green                                         25              Safety

13              9          Dr Carl Magnus‐Larsson                     25            Safety

14            162         Ian Hore‐Lacy                                       22            Economics

15              49       Professor Tilman Ruff, AM                  22             Safety

16              53         Frank Boulton                                                  21            Safety

17           188         Someone from the Attorney Generals Department to provide advice on the legislation that will be required to be developed/changed. DemocracyCo seeking advice on who.   Trust

18             124         Assoc. Professor Mark Diesendorf    20             Economics

19                 7          Dr Andrew Herczeg                                      20             Safety

20              42         Dr Ian Fairlie                                          19             Safety

21             137         Hon Mark Parnell, MLC                      18             Economics

22              39         Dr Margaret Beavis                               18             Safety

23             119       Assoc. Professor Haydon Manning               17            Trust

24            122          John Carlson AM                                   16          Economics

25           200         Dr Benito Cao                                                  16        Economics

26             18           Professor David Giles                                    16       Safety

27            115           Steven McIntosh                                           16          Trust

28              2              Dr Ian Chessell                                            14          Safety

29              34          Professor Sandy Steacy                                14             Safety

30              69          Gill McFadyen                                                11                 Consent

31              74            Dave Sweeney                                       10              Consent

32            104           Bob Watts                                                        9             Consent

33            76            Ross Womersley                                             8             Consent

34            72            Dr Gerald Ouzounian                                    7            Consent

35             73            Dan Spencer                                                      6              Consent

36          126           Tim Johnson                                          7 Economics Invited to provide info on the Royal Commission economic modelling after 20+ requests on Information Gap Cards Dotmocracy Results ‐ 25 plus a few extras to allow for availability Top 6 from Consent ‐ as Gill is unavailable.

Nuclear Citizens Jury Two: Witness work


Doubts about impartiality of South Australia’s Nuclear Citizens’ Jury

October 9, 2016

Citizens' Jury scrutiny

I have not been watching today’s  Citizens’ Jury Two Livestreaming and Video.  However, these a-cat-CANsessions are available for viewing. I saw at the agenda – See the agenda here – that the gathering was to be opened by Premier Jay Weatherill, and Kevin Scarce, former chief of the Nuclear Fuel Chain Royal Commission.

Unlike may other critics of the nuclear industry, I have some faith in the process. I did think that DemocracyCo ran the first Citizens’ Jury meetings well, and the jury members asked intelligent questions.  The problems were:

  1. The whole premise was not really a jury situation in any sense. The jury were told that they were not to make a decision (the essential brief of any real jury). They were told to produce a ‘Summary of the Nuclear Fuel cycle Royal Commission’s Report.
  2. The witnesses were not always well informed, and some were both ignorant and biased. They were chosen at an early stage by the jury members, who clearly did not then have access to  impartial and well informed experts.
  3.  Members of the Nuclear Fuel Chain Royal Commission were far too prominently present and vocal. Greg War and Chad Jacobi made sure to dazzle all with their pro nuclear knowledge, whenever it looked as if criticism of the nuclear industry was coming up.

This new Citizens’ Jury has been given a loaded question to consider:

“Under what circumstances, if any, could South Australia pursue the opportunity to store and dispose of nuclear waste from other countries?”

So – much as I admire DemocracyCo’s the group management efforts, and real attempts at fairness, I am not optimistic about the outcome of this Citizens’ Jury 2.  I think it will boil down to another delaying tactic by the Weatherill government, to keep the State guessing – while behind the scenes, the nuclear lobby gets on with its preparations for nuclear waste importing to south Australia.

Stuff that the nuclear lobby doesn’t want the Citizens’ Jury to hear – South Australia

October 9, 2016


As the South Australian Government’s second nuclear “citizens’ jury” gets underway this weekend, it’s essential that participants aren’t denied important facts about global nuclear waste, says Mark Parnell MLC, Parliamentary Leader of the SA Greens.

Here are eight inconvenient truths that the citizens’ jury needs to hear:

1.       The much-heralded Finnish underground nuclear waste facility (visited by the Premier recently) does NOT yet have a licence to accept nuclear waste, will not open for at least six years and has been three decades in planning.  It is also 20 times SMALLER than the facility proposed for SA by the Royal Commission.

2.       The nuclear industry is without peer in terms of cost blow-outs and time over-runs.  This is likely to eliminate any anticipated profit for South Australia – which is the sole rationale for the proposed SA dump.

3.       According to the Royal Commission’s own consultants, it could cost South Australia more than $600 million before we even know whether the project is viable.

4.       The main client countries anticipated to send nuclear waste to South Australia, including South Korea and Japan, are already exploring domestic solutions to their nuclear waste problem and are not considering overseas solutions.

5.       The world’s only operating underground nuclear waste facility, in New Mexico, USA, closed in 2015 following a chemical explosion brought about by human error.  It is still contaminated and yet to re-open.

6.       The most advanced nuclear nation on Earth, the USA, is yet to come up with a permanent solution for waste from its nuclear power plants.  The proposed underground nuclear dump in Yucca Mountain, Nevada, has been stalled by community opposition and may never go ahead.

7.       Whilst it may be the best idea so far, nobody knows if deep geological disposal of nuclear waste will work in the long term, because it has never been done before.

8.       South Australia is not unique in its geology and has regular earthquakes of magnitude 4 and above.

Without all the facts, the citizens’ jury can’t possibly make an informed decision.

NOTE: Mark Parnell MLC is a member of the Parliamentary Joint Select Committee that is investigating the Royal Commission’s findings. Mark and other Committee members recently returned from inspecting nuclear waste facilities under construction in Finland and France, as well as failed facilities in the United States.

South Australia Nuclear Citizens’ Jury – look out for the Witness List

October 9, 2016

citizen jury

I say “Look out for the witness list, because for citizens’ jury 1, the big weakness was in
the witnesses – some of whom were clearly ignorant and biaseed. This was particularly apparent in the appalling way they covered (up) the question of ionising radiation and health.

October 8th and 9th Citizens’ Jury Two Livestreaming and Video

See the agenda here.  Note these two important sections  on Sunday 9th:

3.45pm  Working afternoon tea – witness selection

4.15pm Defining the witness list

Citizens’ Jury Two will be held over two weekends in October and one weekend in November. The original 50 members of Citizens’ Jury One will be supplemented by an additional 300 South Australians to answer the question: Under what circumstances, if any, could South Australia pursue the opportunity to store and dispose of nuclear waste from other countries?

The Jury will deliberate on the question using both the Nuclear Fuel Cycle Royal Commission Report and first Citizens’ Jury report, with feedback from the community consultation and expert witnesses also used as important inputs.

The unedited and unchanged jury report will be presented to the Premier and tabled in the South Australian Parliament. The report will play a vital role in informing the State Government’s response to the Royal Commission’s Report later this year.

Dates for Citizens’ Jury Two are 8/9 October, 29/30 October, 5/6 November 2016.

Adelaide Advertiser, mouthpiece of the nuclear lobby, excels itself in sycophancy

September 25, 2016
I knew that The Advertiser was the mouthpiece of the nuclear lobby, anyway, but their latest effort wasreally sick-making. A rave which portrays Premier Weatherill as some kind of democratic champion, and which is pushing the soft sell that the decision on nuclear waste importing will not happen soon, but be dragged on for years.  (They  don’t say this, but in the interim, the nuke lobby has time to get secret arrangements made – and money lent to South Australia, so that ultimately, it might all be just too committed to turn back.)
A Premier with any spine might make a decision, a soon decision, and a wise one, to say no to the whole noxious scheme, – send home the business lobbyists and the propaganda spruikers like Geraldine Thomas, put the lid on the shonky Nuclear Royal Commission’s biased report, stop the silly nuke spinning Forums, and get on with running South Australia properly.   Such an opportunity that State has, as a world leader in renewable energy!
Lack of trust more toxic than nuclear dump notion: Daniel Wills, The Advertiser September 23, 2016   “South Australia is still at the stage where it needs reassurance about the science, as well as the competency and motivations of a government that would oversee its administration.

No site has been selected to house the world’s high-level international waste for profit, should the state choose to build one, nor any explanation of how one would be picked. The State Government is yet to overturn laws that ban public money being spent on investigating the establishment of a nuclear dump or even to pick up the phone to ask places like Japan what they would pay…….
The Finnish operators say they would jump at the chance to form an alliance with SA to build a dump here…..

Mr Weatherill is likely to confirm before Christmas that the Government will begin the serious work of developing a robust business case…….

Expect the Government to seek money from overseas to undertake a major geological survey that rules out places too unsafe for disposal to occur. At a cost of up to $1 billion, this is too expensive for SA to fund itself, but could have the benefit of doubling as a discovery tool for new mining deposits.

From there, it is likely the offer will be thrown open to communities to show an interest, and estimates made of what they could receive. Even on the most extremely rapid timeline, that point is unlikely to have been reached by the time voters head to the polls in March 2018.

This project is multi-generational, with a point of no return years away. But it is a doubtful and open question as to whether our politics are up to the job…….Mr Weatherill has framed this as a great test of our democracy’s ability to consider difficult questions and come to wise solutions. …

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

September 13, 2016

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……,9437

South Australian government’s secret nuclear forum for schoolchildren

August 31, 2016
secret-agent-AustThe South Australian government is going to a lot of trouble to set up a forum for 160 students and 60 teachers to hear  a presentation from the former Nuclear Royal commissioner, Kevin Scarce, and the Chief Executive of the Nuclear Consultation and Response Agency, to tell them all about the plan for South Australia to import foreign nuclear waste.
They are also to hear from “a range of experts”.
It is very concerning that this plan is so secretive. Neither the time nor the place of this forum has been divulged, nor any details about the experts presenting the information.
The reason for this secrecy has been given as safety concerns, following anti nuclear protests in June. The agency’ s director of engagement, John Phalen , explained that “the safety of our students is our number one priority”
Are South Australia’s anti nuclear protestors actually a danger to schoolchildren?   It sounds more likely that  the government is keen to protect the children from information  that might cause them to ask difficult questions about the plan to make South Australia rich by importing foreign nuclear waste.

Global nuclear lobby doesn’t care if South Australia’s radioactive trash dump is not economically viable

August 26, 2016

toilet map South Australia 2

The global nuclear lobby surely does not care about whether or not the South Australian nuclear waste importing scheme is economically viable. Their fairly desperate need is to sell nuclear reactors to those countries that don’t already have them. In particular, the ‘small nuclear” lobby sees an urgency now, with ‘big nuclear’ failing, to get their industry happening.

A commitment by an Australian State to take in nuclear waste could do the trick for them – as Oscar Archer put it – by unblocking the back end of the nuclear fuel cycle.

Mixed motives in South Australia’s nuclear waste import plan. Online Opinion, Noel Wauchope, 23 Aug 16  In South Australia the continued nuclear push focusses solely on a nuclear waste importing industry. Yet that might not be economically viable. Behind the scenes, another agenda is being pursued – that of developing new generation nuclear reactors.

First, let’s look at the message. The message from the Nuclear Fuel Cycle Royal Commission (NFCRC) is clearly a plan to make South Australia rich, by importing foreign nuclear wastes. …..This theme has been repeated ad nauseam by the NFCRC’s publicity, by politicians, and the mainstream media.…..

Whereas other countries are compelled to develop nuclear waste facilities, to deal with their waste production from civil and military reactors,that is not a necessity for Australia, (with the exception of relatively tiny amounts derived from the Lucas Heights research reactor).

So, the only reason for South Australia to develop a massive nuclear waste management business is to make money.

If it’s not profitable, then it shouldn’t be done.

Or so it would seem.

There is another, quieter, message. When you read the Royal Commission’s reports, you find that, while the major aim is for a nuclear waste business, in fact, the door is kept open for other parts of the nuclear fuel chain………

Nowhere in the NFCRC report, do they make a link between establishing the waste repository and planning for nuclear reactors. It is as though the two projects are not related. But they are.

The clearest explanation of this came early in 2015, just as the NFCRC was starting, in an ABC Radio National talk by Oscar Archer. He outlined a plan:

Australia establishes the world’s first multinational repository for used fuel – what’s often called nuclear waste. This is established on the ironclad commitment to develop a fleet of integral fast reactors …The development of the intermediate repository and the first reactors is funded by our international partners……

By unblocking the back end of the nuclear fuel cycles for our international partners and customers, rapid development in conventional Generation III+ nuclear technology receives a strong boost …

Each PRISM “power block”, or set of twin reactors, adds 622 megawatts of saleable zero-carbon generation to Australia which further improves the revenue position. …….The transition to PRISM world-wide is under-way on the back of Australia’s pioneering embrace of this technology with support of key partners.

Archer’s plan is significant because it illustrates a very important point about South Australia’s nuclear waste plan – IT SOLVES A GLOBAL NUCLEAR INDUSTRY PROBLEM. Both in ‘already nuclear’ countries, especially America, and in the so far non nuclear counties, such as in South Asia, the nuclear industry is stalled because of its nuclear waste problem. In America, the “new small nuclear”, such as the PRISM, technologies (Power Reactor Innnovative Small Module) cannot even be tested, without a definite waste disposal solution. But, if South Australia provided not only the solution, but also the first setting up of new small reactors, that would give the industry the necessary boost……..

Once Australia has set up a nuclear waste importing industry, the nuclear reactor salesmen of USA, Canada, South Korea, will have an excellent marketing pitch for South Asia, as the nuclear waste problem has been removed from their shores.. And South Asia is exactly the market that the NCRC has in its sights. The NFCRC eliminated most of the EU, Russia, China, North America as customers. This was explained by Dr Tim Jacobs, of Jacobs Engineering, (financial reporters to the NFCRC), at the recent hearing of the South Australian Parliamentary Joint Committee on Findings of the Nuclear Fuel Cycle Royal Commission .

Globally, the ‘conventional’ nuclear reactor business is struggling, The ever escalating costs of USA’s nuclear reactorsbeing built, of France’s Flamanville reactor, and most notable lately, Britain’s Hinkley C nuclear fiasco, have cast a gloom over ‘big nuclear reactors’

However, this is quite good news for the ‘small nuclear’ lobby. In the USA, the charge is led by Bill Gates, and a bunch of billionaires, who work to get governments, and taxpayer funding to support their novel nuclear reactor projects. In Britain, the nuclear charity (yes, it has charity status!) the Alvin Weinberg Foundation , and 33 new nuclear companies are practically ecstatic at the news that Teresa May’s government is having doubts about Big Nuclear.

Australia has its own cadre of small nuclear enthusiasts. These individuals have, in a short period of time, achieved world recognition as advocates for the various types of new small nuclear reactors. On the international scene, leading lobbyists are the Breakthrough Institute, with their Ecomodernist Manifesto. (They put in a submission to South Australia’s NFCRC), and Australian lobbyists Barry Brook and Ben Heard……..

South Australia’s government is influenced by a strong nuclear lobby push and the Royal Commission advocacy for solving that State’s present financial problems by a futuristic nuclear waste repository bonanza scheme.

The global nuclear lobby surely does not care about whether or not the South Australian nuclear waste importing scheme is economically viable. Their fairly desperate need is to sell nuclear reactors to those countries that don’t already have them. In particular, the ‘small nuclear” lobby sees an urgency now, with ‘big nuclear’ failing, to get their industry happening.

A commitment by an Australian State to take in nuclear waste could do the trick for them – as Oscar Archer put it – byunblocking the back end of the nuclear fuel cycle. The NFCRC plan also promises the chance of a market in Australia for the mini nuclear reactors.