SA nuclear commission starts today

The first of South Australia’s public hearings of the Nuclear Fuel Cycle Royal Commission will begin today.

The hearing will lead with evidence from economist Ross Garnaut about predictions for climate change and the changes required for energy policy in the future.

Professor Garnaut will be followed by Anna Skarbak from Climate Works Australia to discuss investment challenges for future infrastructure and pathways to decarbonisation in 2050.

Professor John Quiggin from University of Queensland will speak by videolink on low cost methods of carbon abatement, energy demand trends and challenges to nuclear power viability.

Commissioner and former state governor Kevin Scarce will hold an expected 30 hearings up until mid-December, with a report to go before parliament early in 2016.

The royal commission was announced by the state premier Jay Weatherill in February, with the intention of examining the potential for expansion of the state’s nuclear industry.

The inquiry will specifically focus on uranium mining, processing and enrichment, power generation, and waste storage.

During consultation about the draft terms of reference, the commission received 785 submissions, as well as 300 comments online.

The next hearing will take place on 14 September, and hearings on geology and hydrogreology of South Australia will commence on 22 September.

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