“If Premier Jay Weatherill wants an economic legacy equivalent to his own State Bank disaster, then pursuing an ill-conceived high level nuclear waste dump for South Australia could be just the thing to do it”, according to Mark Parnell MLC, Parliamentary Leader of the SA Greens.
“Reports that the Premier is already planning to proceed with the dump before receiving any of the commissioned second opinions shows a level of desperation that defies both logic and economics. No-one will thank him for throwing good money after bad.”
“As the Premier inspects the un-finished Finnish facility in Onkalo this week, he needs to consider the following sobering facts:
1. The Finnish facility does not have a licence to accept nuclear waste and will not open for at least 6 years.
2. It has been 3 decades in planning and construction.
3. It is twenty times SMALLER than what is proposed for SA.
4. It is a purely domestic facility for Finland’s own nuclear waste, which Finns accept is their own responsibility to deal with.
5. It is NOT designed to make a profit.
6. Nobody knows if it will work, because it has never been done before.
“As the Premier looks across the water from the Finnish nuclear visitor centre, he will see a new nuclear power plant under construction. That plant is already 9 years over schedule and 300% over budget. The owners and builders of this new nuclear power plant are arguing over who should bear the losses. And yes, these are the same people responsible for the Finnish nuclear waste dump.
“Having already wasted $10m of taxpayers’ money on this folly, the Premier needs to seriously consider at what point he allows economic reality rather than fanciful dreaming to enter this debate. Also, if he is serious about getting the whole picture, he should visit the many global nuclear waste failures and not just an unfinished unproven dump that is a fraction of the size of what his Royal Commission is proposing.”
NOTE: Mark Parnell MLC is a member of the Parliamentary Joint Select Committee that is investigating the Royal Commission’s findings. The Committee recently returned from inspecting nuclear waste facilities under construction in Finland and France as well as failed facilities in the United States.