Media Release

Nukes Royal Commission avoids tough questions

24/02/2015 11:00 am

The Draft Terms of Reference for the Nuclear Royal Commission released yesterday are inadequate and will need substantial revision if the process is to have any credibility, according to Mark Parnell MLC, Parliamentary leader of the Greens SA.

“The Terms of Reference as drafted pretend that South Australia’s past and continuing involvement in the nuclear industry is benign and the only question is how it should be expanded.

“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 involvement in the nuclear industry before considering future directions.

Key issues missing from the Draft Terms of Reference include:

  • Whether an expanded nuclear industry would help or hinder international nuclear disarmament;
  • The impacts on human health of an expanded nuclear industry
  • The range of secrecy provisions that protect the nuclear industry from public scrutiny;
  • The adequacy of existing regulations and the range of current legal exemptions, concessions and privileges applying to uranium companies;
  • Liability for potential nuclear accidents (you can’t insure against nuclear risks in SA);
  • 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 legacy of current and former uranium mines and facilities in SA, including rehabilitation of sites;
  • The role played by South Australian uranium in overseas nuclear accidents including Fukushima.

“One of the defining features of the nuclear industry is its secrecy.  The Government has kept that tradition alive by failing to publish any of the 309 submissions it has received on the Terms of Reference.

“The Greens call on the Government to come clean and publish all the submissions.  That’s the only way the public can find out whose voices are being listened to and who is being ignored,” concluded Mark Parnell.

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