Jury dumps SA nuclear waste proposal

A citizen’s jury has rejected the proposal to develop a high-level nuclear waste dump in South Australia.

The 350-strong jury gave the final report to the state government on Sunday with 70 per cent rejecting the proposed dump, according to the AAP.

The report signalled issues including costs, safety concerns, and uncertainty over the government’s ability to properly regulate the facility. It also had objections from indigenous communities and held questions over the dump’s economic viability.

In contrast, a minority report questioned the overrepresentation of opponents to the dump’s proposal, and called for more economic modelling to be done before a final decision was made.

Premier Jay Weatherill said both the reports would aid the cabinet make a decision and further acknowledged the majority report’s strong opposition.

“They’ve said no but there are also 50 pages of why they’ve said no and we need to understand that,” he said.

This verdict will be taken into consideration alongside the wider community consultation that came after a royal commission into expanding the state’s role in the nuclear fuel cycle beyond mining uranium and into developing a dump as well.

The state government plans to make a decision by the end of the year.

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