News State SA News SA citizen’s jury vote against storing nuclear waste

SA citizen’s jury vote against storing nuclear waste

Two thirds of a citizen's jury did not want South Australia to store high-level nuclear waste "under any circumstances".
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Two thirds of a citizen’s jury deliberating the Nuclear Fuel Cycle Royal Commission do not want South Australia to store high-level nuclear waste “under any circumstances”.

The jury of more than 300 randomly selected people delivered its 50-page report to Premier Jay Weatherill on Sunday evening after deliberating on the issue across three weekends in October and November.

Premier Weatherill signalled the nuclear debate was not over, saying all community views must be considered. Photo: ABC
Premier Weatherill signalled the nuclear debate was not over, saying all community views must be considered. Photo: ABC

The report outlined concerns with the economics of the proposal, trust, safety and a lack consent, particularly from Aboriginal elders.

“Many jurors say ‘no’ to the state being a dump due to consent, economics, trust and safety and we should cease spending any further public funds.

“The long-term viability of the project is in doubt as it does not consider new technology providing alternatives for the use of the waste; this undermines the economics to the project.”

The verdict is in but the debate is not over

But Premier Weatherill says even though the majority of jurors had voted against the proposal, it was not the end of the debate.

“The status quo is no. This jury doesn’t believe the present proposal should be taken forward but we need to take into account a whole range of other broad community views,” he said.

“This is what we did this for to understand what exactly people were thinking and why they were thinking it, to assist us to make our decision.

“I will now review their report and weigh it up against all of the other data compiled over the past few months.”

Juror Alex Tennikoff said he had a lot of concerns with the Citizen’s Jury process and doubted the State Government would accept no for an answer.

“The process was sort of fast and well organised but sort of steered in one direction for a yes vote but then the no vote came through which is what we were all really after,” he said.

South Australian Premier Jay Weatherill travelled to Finland to inspect a nuclear waste dumping system.
South Australian Premier Jay Weatherill travelled to Finland to inspect a nuclear waste dumping system.

 

“They’ve got the verdict today, they’ll go to the office tomorrow and there’s Plan B that comes out.”

Another juror Fuzzy Trojan said he was also happy with the outcome.

“Too many unknowns and too many risks,” he said.

Cabinet will consider the jury’s report on Monday with the Government to deliver its own report on the Nuclear Fuel Cycle Royal Commission by the end of the year.

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