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Craig WilkinsCraig WilkinsA nuclear waste repository under construction in Finland has few lessons for the global high level nuclear waste dump proposed for SA warns the state’s peak environment body, Conservation SA.

Conservation SA CEO Craig Wilkins said there were so many differences between the Finnish and the SA nuclear waste plans that the Premier’s current study trip there would provide little insight. “Comparing Finland to South Australia is a waste of time as the two nuclear dump plans are completely different,” he said.

“It’s like comparing apples and oranges - or in this case, lemons. If the Premier wants to see an operating deep underground nuclear waste facility, he should go to New Mexico’s $25 billion Waste Isolation Pilot Plant in the US – which has a very instructive history.

Craig WilkinsCraig WilkinsConservation SA CEO Craig Wilkins has slammed the potential $600 million price tag to investigate the idea of SA permanently storing high level radioactive waste from around the world.

Mr. Wilkins was responding to media reports that a consultant working on the Royal Commission has revealed that the State Government will need to find as much as $600 million to plan a nuclear waste dump - even if the project never gets off the ground.

"$600m is an extraordinary amount of money for taxpayers to spend on an idea that is very unlikely to proceed in the face of significant community opposition,” said Mr Wilkins.

Port Augusta expo to explore community concerns about proposed SA nuclear waste dump from September 2-4, 2016

Conservation SA CEO Craig WilkinsCommunity concern is mounting about plans to store high level radioactive waste above ground for years before building a proposed nuclear waste dump, warns Conservation SA CEO Craig Wilkins.

“From our public consultation, most people think this proposed dump is an 'out of sight, out of mind' idea, where we bury the waste deep in the outback and that’s it,” he said. “The reality is very different.

“The Nuclear Fuel Cycle Royal Commission was very candid: The project only stacks up financially if we import and stockpile 50,000 tonnes of nuclear waste above ground for as long as 17 years before we can deposit it in an underground disposal site. Indeed, that ‘interim’ surface site will store tens of thousands of tonnes above ground for the next 100 years.

“So, we acquire the risk and responsibility for this nuclear waste before we know if we can actually build and operate the ultimate repository – let alone obtain community consent for it.