First test for Nukes Royal Commission credibility
16/02/2015 11:00 am
The coming week will be the first big test for the Premier’s Royal Commission into the Nuclear Industry with initial submissions to the Terms of Reference closing today, according to Mark Parnell MLC, Parliamentary leader of the Greens SA.
“If the Royal Commission is to have credibility, it must consider ALL aspects of South Australia’s involvement in the nuclear industry. That will involve airing some dirty linen and shining some light on SA’s past and present uranium industry before considering future directions. A half-baked and narrow inquiry will make it very difficult for the public to accept any findings.
“Whilst the Greens don’t believe that the Royal Commission is necessary, as it is to go ahead, it is important to ensure that all relevant issues are investigated.
The Greens’ submission lodged today calls for an investigation of 40 matters including:
• Whether nuclear energy is required to meet South Australia’s energy needs given our natural advantages in wind and solar and the plummeting costs of those technologies;
• Whether an expanded nuclear industry would help or hinder international nuclear disarmament;
• Secrecy provisions that protect the nuclear industry from public scrutiny;
• Current legal exemptions, concessions and privileges applying to uranium companies;
• Cost to taxpayers of Commonwealth and State industry support, infrastructure, tax breaks and other concessions;
• Liability for potential nuclear accidents (insurance exemptions restrict any claims);
• The impact of an expanded nuclear industry on South Australia’s reputation as a clean and green food and wine producer and tourism destination;
• The impact on indigenous communities of a radioactive waste dump in SA’s north;
• Risks to environment, including pollution or air, water, soil and groundwater through uranium mining or the disposal of radioactive waste;
• The rehabilitation of current and former uranium mines and facilities;
• The role played by South Australian uranium in the Fukushima nuclear disaster.
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