Is a nuclear waste dump a good idea?

11 August 2016

With a serious proposal for a high-level nuclear waste facility now on the table, courtesy of the State Labor Government, I am having to ask myself whether or not this is a good idea for South Australia and its people.

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With a serious proposal for a high-level nuclear waste facility now on the table, courtesy of the State Labor Government, I am having to ask myself whether or not this is a good idea for South Australia and its people.

The facility is being proposed as a solution to South Australia's long-term economic woes, but do the facts and figures stack up? There will be no revenue flowing into state coffers for many years and job creation opportunities will be minimal; a nuclear dump is not an economic silver bullet. 

As I explore this important issue for our state's future, I am seeking answers to several questions:

1. Is the economic modeling used in the report by the Nuclear Royal Commission reliable? How can economists predict the price of nuclear waste in 50 years’ time when they can't tell me the price of oil next month?

2.  Who will be responsible for the waste on its journey from source country to South Australia?

3.  How will South Australia cope with massive management costs hundreds of years from now after the revenue from taking the waste has dried up?

4.  Will our food and tourism industries suffer brand damage as a result of South Australia's reputation as a nuclear waste dump?

5.  How can the government effectively secure a 'social license' from the people of South Australia for such a huge decision which binds many future generations? Is a statewide referendum required?

I'm determined to source answers to these questions and many others. I also want to know what your views are, not just if you are for or against a dump, but also what questions you would like answered.

Please let me know by clicking here to complete a short survey.