Until the boffins can perfect the technology of nuclear fusion reactors, which appears to be little closer than anticipated decades ago, the proliferation of fission technology remains the second greatest threat to the biosphere, after climate disruption.
Leaving aside namby-pamby greenie concerns about the environmental consequences of transport accidents, terrorism, or other mishap, the proposition for a nuclear waste dump, from a simple economic analysis, is just another Ponzi scheme; perhaps the ultimate Ponzi scheme.
Leaving aside the cost of establishing such a facility, the forward estimates of management would certainly dwarf any income generated. It is worth noting that the figures quantifying such income are rather vague; varying from 50 billion to ten times that figure. Presumably the same may be said of the costs.
However, let us suppose the most conservative cost projection possible. I presume that the SA Government would anticipate providing at least nominal security over such potentially dangerous material.
Let us assume the most absurdly nominal monitoring and management; one security guard. Such a guard would need to be provided with the necessities of life in a demanding and remote environment and be well remunerated for such a responsible, arduous and potentially dangerous occupation. Given the cost of the most unskilled labour in remote situations, it is difficult to imagine that with on-costs, such a guard would cost less than $200,000 per annum.
Presuming that the facility would need to be guarded 24/7, this would require 5 security officers per week. Allowing for annual leave, long service leave and other contingent leave, perhaps another three officers might be required, bringing the bare employment bill to approximately 1.6 million pa.
Added to this of course would be the costs of servicing the needs of the security force, maintaining the facility, scientific monitoring of the waste and surrounding environment and a supporting bureaucracy. Let’s be conservative and add another 5 million for a bare-bones effort.
So if we accept the unrealistically cheap figure of 6.6 million per annum, the total cost amortised over (conservatively) 250,000 years, would be a snip at $16,500,000,000,000.
Add to this the cost to the State’s current “clean, green” image for agriculture and tourism over a similar time frame and you have probably the worst business plan in the history of idiot economics 101.
Clearly you are not an idiot; so presumably you have simply concluded that the electorate would be eager to go for the short term cash pot, so that they can continue to buy “shiny things” and leave the consequences as an unfunded liability for posterity. In other words, as Douglas Adams would say, an S.E.P. (Someone Else’s Problem).
And why not? After all, that is the basis of our entire economic system; is it not?
Yours in profound disgust,