For the sake of the future, we must progress the nuclear discussion

The South Australian Nuclear Fuel Cycle Royal Commission undertook detailed and far reaching investigations into the economic opportunities afforded to South Australia by the nuclear fuel cycle. It identified the opportunity for South Australia to build a durable new industry in managing the end-of-life stage of used-nuclear fuel.

The potential opportunity is enormous. The Royal Commission estimated $257 billion in long term revenue, a present value of over $50 billion and the potential to build a state wealth fund that would well-serve future generations of South Australians.  Even a proportion of these benefits could contribute:

  • Skilled, highly paid jobs for thousands of South Australians in project delivery;
  • An opportunity to engage meaningfully and partner with Aboriginal communities in project planning and delivery;
  • The capacity to invest in other opportunities including tourism, next-generation renewable energy and storage technologies, advanced manufacturing and agriculture;
  • The capacity to fully-fund the State’s services in health, environment, transportation, education and social development;
  • The potential to attract scientific and technological investment with stronger university engagement; and
  • A secure role for South Australia in the global economy, supporting nations in the delivery of clean energy systems       

Statewide consultation found more South Australians in favour of continuing these investigations than opposed*, with many South Australians still undecided. But today our state legislators are preventing South Australians from even looking at the opportunity properly. We are standing in our own way.

Much is made of our responsibility to future generations and we agree. We have a responsibility to explore this opportunity fully for current and future South Australians, and potentially to assist the world in meeting some of its greatest challenges.

We, the undersigned, call on South Australia’s elected representatives of all parties to continue to explore this opportunity.  We request further investigations into issues that a) are essential for better understanding project feasibility and b) could be investigated at relatively low cost[1]. We call for partnership between the State Government and relevant Federal Government agencies to formally meet with prospective client nations in order to gain greater certainty and ensure we are fully informed as to the nature of this opportunity.

This is the least we can do for South Australians, present and future, who desire a strong, healthy and independent state economy and the diverse benefits this brings. We, as a state, cannot afford not to know.

Signed (alphabetical order),

Ms Karlene Maywald;

Hon. Ian McLachlan AO

Mr Jim McDowell;

Prof. Mike Miller AO; 

Ms. Carolyn Mitchell

Prof. Tanya Monro;

Dr Craig Mudge AO;

Mr Creagh O'Connor AM; 

Dr Leanna Read; 

Prof. Karen Reynolds;

Prof. Goran Roos

Mr Richard Ryan AO; 

Mr Antony Simpson; 

Mr Michael Terlet AO;

Dr Meera Verma; 

Mr Graham Walters AM; 

Hon. Trish White

Mr Stephen Young


Mr Fraser Ainsworth AM;

Mr Rick Allert AO;

Mr C. Mark Butcher;

Mr Rob Chapman;

Dr Tim Cooper;

Ms Di Davidson;

Mr Geoff Day OAM;

Mr Colin Dunsford AM;

Mr Robert Gerard AO;

Ms Kathy Gramp;

Dr Ian Gould AM;

Mr Jim Hazel;

Mr John Heard AM;

Mr Mike Heard; 

Mr David Klingberg AO; 

Mr Theo Maras AM;


[1] As recommended by Nuclear Economics Consulting Group (2016)

* A penultimate copy, with incorrect wording, was published in hard-copy the the Sunday Mail, stating "the proposal" had more support than opposition rather than stipulating this support related to further investigations as called for in this letter. In the course of review this wording was updated to accurately reflect the data. Correct wording was supplied and confirmed by Bright New World within necessary timeframes. Regrettably the incorrect wording was published. Representative polling indicated 43% support for further investigation, 20% undecided or not enough information and 37% opposed to further investigation. 

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