Tomorrow morning the South Australian Nuclear Fuel Cycle Royal Commission will provide interim findings.
I am hopeful of a strong endorsement of the concepts and opportunities brought forward relating to the establishment of a multinational storage facility for used nuclear fuel and the subsequent recycling of that material for clean power.
Should this happen there will likely be amorphous talk of risk and danger relating to our expanded role. No doubt this speculation will take an extreme form from some parties.
Such talk will be fallacious. Such a facility in our wonderful state will do much to make Australia, our region and world a safer place.
The following is an extract from Eliminating Nuclear Threats: A practical agenda for global policy makers. It is a 2009 report of the International Commission on Nuclear Non-proliferation and Disarmament, co-chaired by Gareth Evans (Australia) and Yoriko Kawaguchi (Japan). The following extract is from page 145, in the Chapter “Multi-lateralizing the nuclear fuel cycle” and provides, in the clearest terms, emphatic support for the actions we have proposed.
15.48: The Commission strongly believes that multilateralizing the nuclear fuel cycle would play an invaluable role in building global confidence in the peaceful uses of nuclear energy and any efforts to that end should be encouraged. Such arrangements would provide an important foundation for a world free of nuclear weapons, where all sensitive fuel cycle activities will need to be under multilateral verification and control.
Recommendations on Multilateralizing the Nuclear Fuel Cycle
39. Multilateralization of the nuclear fuel cycle- in particular through fuel banks and multinational management of enrichment, reprocessing and spent fuel storage facilities- should be strongly supported. Such arrangements would play an invaluable role in building global confidence in the peaceful uses of nuclear energy and provide an important foundation for a world free of nuclear weapons, for which a necessary requirement will be multilateral verification and control of all all sensitive fuel cycle activities.
Whatever happens tomorrow, some stakeholders will stop at almost nothing to try and frighten South Australians.
As well as the potential to benefit economically, we may have the opportunity to shift the world to a decisively safer state of relations. There has never been a more important time to listen to the experts. In more ways than one, our future depends on it.