South Australia should build a used-nuclear fuel and intermediate-level waste storage facility, the final report of a state royal commission has recommended.
The South Australian Nuclear Fuel Cycle Royal Commission report supports the establishment of a nuclear waste facility that would hold 138,000 tonnes of spent fuel from around the world.
The report also makes 12 recommendations including simplifying mining approvals processes, and seeking a relaxation of federal restrictions on nuclear power generation.
Royal Commissioner Kevin Scarce said the state should seize the opportunity to host the world’s high-level nuclear waste in exchange for billions of dollars in revenue.
Minister for Resources, Energy and Northern Australia Josh Frydenberg said the Federal Government will carefully consider the findings of the report, and will consult with the SA Government in developing its response.
“We have an established uranium mining industry which supports thousands of jobs and is estimated to produce around $980 million in export income in 2015-16. The expansion of Australia’s nuclear industry beyond this current focus would require significant legislative and regulatory change,” he said.
The controversial report has sparked opposition from the anti-nuclear movement, however, SA Premier Jay Weatherill has asked citizens to consider the facts about the waste dump.
“I want to encourage South Australians first to keep an open mind,” he said.
“Second to appraise themselves of the facts that are contained in the report and thirdly for as many of them as possible to participate in this most important debate.”