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Thursday, 22 May 1980
Page: 3156


Mr Holding (MELBOURNE PORTS, VICTORIA) asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs, upon notice, on 19 February 1980:

(   1 ) Who are the Australian representatives to the International Nuclear Fuel Cycle Evaluation Conference (INFCE), to which Commonwealth Departments and authorities are they attached and what are their designations and salaries.

(2)   How many meetings have they attended, where were those meetings and what was their duration.

(3)   What was the cost of Australia's participation, by Department, to 5 December 1979.

(4)   Has his attention been drawn to reports which appeared on or about 5 December 1979 regarding conference predictions that hundreds of nuclear power plants would be built in the next 20 years.

(5)   Has his attention also been drawn to critiques of those conference predictions which claim that those predictions are based on 1977 statistics.

(6)   If so, do those critiques have any foundation in fact.

(7)   Did the Conference carry out any detailed evaluation of the Three Mile Island reactor accident in March 1 979, and other subsequently reported accidents and losses at nuclear power and uranium enrichment plants in the United States of America.


Mr Peacock - The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

(1)   Over the full period of the International Nuclear Fuel Cycle Evaluation (INFCE) from October 1977 to February 1 980, the following officers represented Australia for varying periods at one or more of the meetings of the Plenary Conference, the Technical Co-ordinating Committee and the eight Working Groups which are listed in the answer to (2) below.

 

 

(2)   The following INFCE meetings were attended by Australian representatives:

Organising Conference, 19-21 October 1977- Washington

Working Group 8, 15-16 November 1977-Washington

Working Group 7, 22-23 November 1977-Vienna

Working Group 4, 6-7 December 1977-London

Technical Co-ordinating Committee, 12-13 December 1977- Vienna

Sub-groups A and B of Working Group 4, 23-27 January 1978- Vienna

Working Group 1,26-27 January 1978-Vienna

Working Group 3, 30 January-3 February 1978-Vienna

Working Group 8, 30-3 1 January 1 978-Vienna

Working Group 7, 15-17 February 1978-Vienna

Sub-group B of Working Group 2, 23-24 February 1978-Vienna

Working Group 6, 8-9 March 1978-Vienna

Sub-groups A and B of Working Group 7, 20-23 March 1978-Vienna

Sub-groups A and B of Working Group 4, 30 March-3 April 1978-Vienna

Sub-groups C and D of Working Group 5, 6-7 April 1978-Vienna

Working Group 3, 24-28 April 1978-Vienna

Working Group 7 and Sub-groups A and B, 8-11 May 1978-Vienna

Working Group 4 and Sub-groups A and B, 15-19 May 1978-Tokyo

Working Group 1 and Sub-group A of Working Groups 1 and 2, 31 May-2 June 1978-Vienna

Working Group 6 Task Groups, 5-9 June 1978-Vienna

Technical Co-ordinating Committee, 12-14 June 1978-Vienna

Sub-group A of Working Groups 1 and 2, 10 July 1978-London

Working Group 7, 1 1-12 July 1978-Helsinki

Working Group 3, 24-28 July 1978-Vienna

Working Group 8,11-13 September 1 978-Vienna

Sub-group B of Working Group 2, 14-15 September 1978-Vienna

Sub-groups A and B of Working Group 4, 18-21 September 1978-Vienna

Working Group 7, 9-12 October 1978-Braunschweig, West Germany

Working Group 6, 9-13 October 1978-Vienna

Working Group 2 and Sub-group A of Working Groups 1 and 2, 16-19October 1978-Vienna

Working Group 1 and Sub-groups B, C and D, 16-19 October 1978-Vienna

Technical Co-ordinating Committee, 23-25 October 1978-Vienna

Working Group 3, 30 October-3 November 1978- Vienna

First Plenary Conference, 27-29 November 1 978- Vienna

Sub-groups A and B of Working Group 4, 29 November- 1 December 1978-Vienna

Working Group 3, 29 November-5 December 1978- Vienna

Working Group 8, 6 December 1978-Vienna

Working Group 3, 22 January-2 February 1979-Vienna

Working Group 7, 23-25 January 1979- Cadarache, France

Working Group 4 and Sub-groups A and B, 24 January- 1 February 1979- San Francisco

Working Group 1 and Sub-groups A, B, C and D, 6-9 February 1 979-Vienna

Working Group 2 and Sub-group B, 8-13 February 1979- Vienna

Working Group 8, 12-15 February 1979-Vienna

Technical Co-ordinating Committee, 27-28 February 1979-Vienna

Working Group 6, 12-16 March 1979-Vienna

Sub-groups A and B of Working Group 4, 2-6 April 1979-Vienna

Working Group 7, 3-5 April 1979-Vienna

Working Group 3, 18-27 April 1979-Vienna

Working Group 1, 2-4 May 1979-Vienna

Sub-group B of Working Group 2, 10-11 May 1979-Vienna

Working Group 4 and Sub-groups A and B, 14-18 May 1979-Vienna

Working Group 8, 15-17 May 1979-Vienna

Working Group 6,21-25 May 1979-Madrid

Working Group 7, 2 1 -25 May 1 979-Vienna

Working Group 2, 28-29 May 1979-Vienna

Working Group 3,28 May- 1 June 1 979-Vienna

Technical Co-ordinating Committee, 23-25 July 1979-Vienna

Working Group 1 and Sub-groups A and B, 26-27 July 1979- Vienna

Working Group 6, 3-7 September 1979-Cadarache, France

Working Group 2, 12-13 September 1979-Vienna

Working Group 1, 13-14 September 1979-Vienna

Working Group 4, 1-4 October 1979-Vienna

Technical Co-ordinating Committee, 12-16 November 1979, 7-1 1 January 1980, 22-23 February 1980- Vienna

Final Plenary Conference, 25-27 February 1980- Vienna

(3)   Up until 30 June 1978 Departments met costs individually. After that date, the direct costs of all INFCE representation were met by the Depanment of Foreign Affairs. The figures set out below represent the best possible estimate of costs up until 5 December 1979 given that some expenditure was incurred for travel for purposes in addition to attendance at INFCE meetings.

 

(4)   and (5) Yes.

(6)   INFCE recognised that longer-term nuclear capacities could not be forecast with a high degree of accuracy. World energy demands and the mix of fuels to meet this demand would depend on a large number of factors, including population growth, economic growth, technological developments in supply and utilisation of fuels, availability of resources and national and international policies.

INFCE did not attempt to predict the most probable nuclear energy capacity at any future date. Instead, it developed a high and a low case in order to illustrate a wide range of possible installed nuclear capacities over time to serve as a basis for projecting requirements for nuclear fuel, heavy water and nuclear fuel cycle services between now and the year 2025. It was recognised that these projections were not limiting bounds, but representative projections and that higher and lower capacities were possible, depending on future developments and decisions.

Future requirements for nuclear fuel, heavy water and fuel cycle services would also depend in part on the types of reactors operated over the longer term and the fuel cycle options adopted by different countries.

(   7 ) No. It was not within the terms of reference of INFCE to evaluate the environmental, health or safety aspects of nuclear power programs or the management and operation of specific national nuclear facilities.







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