Thursday 5th November, 2015
THE ROYAL COMMISSION INTO THE NUCLEAR FUEL CYCLE:
THE APPEARANCE OF BIAS â€“ NOT A GOOD LOOK
Today the Royal Commission into the Nuclear Fuel Cycle will be hearing oral evidence from London based insurance company Nuclear Risk Insurers, on the subject of insuring against a nuclear accident. Â On 1st October 2015, Dr Timothy Stone, member of the Royal Commissionâ€™s Executive Advisory Committee, was appointed director of this company.
â€œHow critically will evidence given by this company be treated, when a member of the Executive Advisory Committee is also one of its directors?â€ asked Nectaria Calan of Friends of the Earth Adelaide.
On Friday 30th October GE Hitachi gave oral evidence to the Royal Commission on their new PRISM reactor design.Â GE Hitachi is a global nuclear alliance between General Electric (US) and Hitachi (Japan).Â Hitachi is the parent company of Horizon Nuclear Power, a UK energy company developing new nuclear power stations, of which Dr Stone is also a director.
â€œDr Stoneâ€™s connections with these companies highlights the broader issue here, which is his direct involvement in the nuclear industry, regardless of whether companies heâ€™s employed by are giving evidence. He also owns Alpha-n Infrastructure, an elusive company with a partially built website which promotes nuclear power. This interest has not been disclosed by the Royal Commission on its website,â€ said Ms Calan.
Dr Stone is not the only Royal Commission member directly involved in the nuclear industry. Julian Kelly, its Technical Research Team Leader, is currently the Chief Technology Officer of Thor Energy, a Norwegian company focusing on the use of Thorium in nuclear reactors.
â€œIf youâ€™re directly involved in the very industry the Royal Commission is considering expanding, you potentially stand to gain something if a recommendation is made that this industry expand.Â At the very least there is an appearance of bias here that will undermine the credibility of the Royal Commissions findings,â€ said Ms Calan.
Details on todayâ€™s public session can be found here:
For comment contact:
Friends of the Earth Adelaide