New economics report bursts nuke $ bubble

22 March 2016

New economics report bursts nuke $ bubble

A report released today by leading economic think-tank The Australia Institute has cast significant doubt on claims that a high-level global nuclear waste facility would be an economic windfall for South Australia.

The report, Digging for Answers, was commissioned by the Conservation Council SA as a submission to the Nuclear Royal Commission, which will hand down its final report on 6 May.

Conservation SA Chief Executive Craig Wilkins said, "Today’s report confirms what many South Australians suspect: the dump proposal being pushed by the Royal Commission seems way too good to be true."

"The big question is: if it such as good deal, then why aren’t other countries rushing to do it?  Something just doesn’t add up.

“The Australia Institute Report today gives us the answer by pulling apart the economic modelling from the consultants used by the Royal Commission.

“Because there is no international market for high level nuclear waste, any prices, or costs underpinning any possible return for our state are pure guess work based on assumptions and modelling.

“The consultants have made some extraordinarily optimistic assumptions about the price other countries will be willing to pay, and have assumed there won’t be any competition.

“To make it even worse, the only way their numbers stack up is if we stockpile this toxic waste for years above ground in temporary storage, and hope will be able to build a safe and secure underground down the track.

“They assume South Australia will be able do something that even experienced nuclear countries have never managed to do, at a cheaper price.

"They also ignore the very real possibility that SA could take a cut in its GST revenue if this project did manage to make money.

“Not only is there unlikely to be a huge windfall to South Australians, there is every chance it might cost us money. 

"A project with this level of risk to future South Australians needs to stack up on economic grounds as well as safety and ethical ones. Our concern is that this fails on all three," concluded Mr Wilkins.

Digging for Answers will be launched at 10.30am on Tuesday 22 March at the Mercure Grosvenor Hotel, Level 1, 125 North Tce, Adelaide.  Media welcome.

At the launch will be Dr Richard Denniss, Chief Economist with the Australia Institute, and Professor Dick Blandy from the University of South Australia.

Copies will be available from midday at


Media Contact:

Meg Sobey, Communications, 0411 028 930

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