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Submissions to nuclear inquiries

ANSTO has made two public submissions to parliamentary inquiries with another to be submitted in February 2020 on matters relating to nuclear technologies, their peaceful applications, and the nuclear fuel cycle.

A submission was made to the Federal Parliament’s House Standing Committee on the Environment and Energy inquiry into the prerequisites for nuclear energy in Australia. This was followed by a submission to a NSW parliamentary committee conducting an inquiry into a repeal bill regarding the current prohibitions on uranium mining and nuclear facilities in the State.

ANSTO representatives have appeared at public hearings held by the respective committees, as well as at a public roundtable on the nuclear industry in Australia held by the Federal parliamentary committee on Industry, Innovation, Science and Resources.

“It is part of ANSTO’s mandate to advise government on matters relating to nuclear, including the development of nuclear technologies overseas,” said Dr Geordie Graetz, Government and International Affairs Advisor in the Office of the CEO, who coordinated the responses for ANSTO in association with numerous contributions from across the organisation.

The terms of reference for the federal inquiry encompassed nuclear power in the world today, waste management, transport and storage, environmental impacts, energy affordability and reliability, and economic feasibility. It extended to community engagement, workforce capability, security implications, national consensus, and other relevant matters. The submission is available for viewing here.

“A lengthier submission went to the state-based inquiry into the uranium mining and nuclear facilities prohibitions repeal bill because the terms of reference were broader in scope,” said Graetz.

 “The involvement of ANSTO’s Minerals business unit, Australia’s leading minerals process development consultancy, was invaluable for technical and environmental matters,” said Graetz.

Minerals staff have expertise in the leaching and processing of uranium ores and have been active in the development and application of technologies for the uranium industry for more than 35 years. 

A copy of the submission is available for viewing here.

ANSTO is currently preparing a submission for the Victorian parliamentary inquiry into nuclear prohibitions, which is being overseen by the Environment and Planning Committee. This inquiry is focused on the potential benefits to Victoria from involvement in the nuclear fuel cycle should the prohibitions be removed.

The Australian Synchrotron, which is in Victoria, is expected to collaborate on this submission, which must be made by the end of February.

“These submissions enhance and strengthen our interactions with parliamentarians, who are keen to learn more about ANSTO’s unique expertise and capabilities,” said Graetz. “They also provide an opportunity for various individuals and teams from across the organisation to come together to contribute to important government relations activities, including through ‘Leap and Learn’ opportunities, as was the case with ANSTO’s Dr Mark Ho, who assisted our team in the preparation of the submissions.”

The Federal inquiry has concluded  and their report released, while the NSW and Victorian inquiries will report sometime next year.