Top South Australians call for backing of nuclear repository

A group of 21 high-ranking South Australians have called on politicians to continue exploring the development of the proposed nuclear repository.

The group, including University of South Australia chancellor Jim McDowell, Coopers brewery chief Tim Copper, and Adelaide Crows chairman Rob Chapman, wrote an open letter to politicians, asking them to stop hindering further investigation into the nuclear repository, The Advertiser reports.

This comes after state opposition leader Steven Marshall’s lack of support for the nuclear Royal Commission proposal.

In the letter, the group cited the Nuclear Fuel Cycle Royal Commission’s latest investigation into the benefits of the nuclear fuel cycle, and how it can generate $257 billion in long-term revenue as well as thousands of high paying jobs for South Australians.

The letter also identified other benefits, such as funding the state’s environment, health, and education services, and potentially attracting scientific and technological investment.

The group said the state’s legislators were preventing residents “from even looking at the opportunity properly”.

“We have a responsibility to explore this opportunity fully for current and future South Australians,” the letter said.

“We request further investigations into issues that are essential for better understanding project feasibility and could be investigated at relatively low cost.”

The South Australian Chamber of Mines and Energy (SACOME) welcomed the call from the group, saying more debates and inquiries into the royal commission’s finding is necessary to identify the benefits of the repository.

“Major projects requiring long lead times and intensive study, from concept through to development and operation, are common for mineral, petroleum and infrastructure developments,” SACOME stated.

“The Royal Commission has progressed this concept to scoping study level.

“Deciding not to proceed at this point would be akin to cancelling a project before fully evaluating the resource. This is not the approach that has enabled South Australia’s biggest economic and employment contributors, such as Olympic Dam to come to fruition.”

Last month a citizen’s jury rejected the proposal to develop a high level nuclear waste dump in South Australia, indicating a range of issues including cost, safety concerns, and questioning its economic viability.