Nuclear waste storage plan based on optimistic assumptions, Australia Institute warns (March 2016)

A South Australian proposal to build a storage facility for nuclear waste is being based on very optimistic assumptions, an economic think-tank has warned.

The Australia Institute, backed by funding from Conservation SA, analysed the waste storage proposal raised in the early findings of SA’s Nuclear Fuel Cycle Royal Commission.

“If you get into the waste disposal business in the way proposed at the moment, what you’re going to get is a big loss to taxpayers in the short term and the potential, but not certain, benefits in the future,” the institute’s chief economist Richard Denniss told 891 ABC Adelaide.

“They’re based on very optimistic prices that the world will be willing to pay for nuclear waste.”

Dr Denniss urged South Australians to think carefully about where future taxpayer dollars were spent.

“What I’m anti is people who need to exaggerate the economic benefits of mines in order to convince taxpayers to fund them,” he said.

“I’m not anti-mining, I’m anti-propaganda being pushed as economic fact.

“If you spend billions of dollars on this project then that’s billions of dollars you won’t put into schools, roads, hospitals, transport — it’s up to you as residents of SA how you want to invest your money.”

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891 ABC Adelaide, Updated 22 Mar 2016, 12:52am, as posted at http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-03-22/australia-institute-questions-nuclear-waste-storage-plan/7265744

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