This week’s nuclear news – Australia and International

April 24, 2015

a-cat-CANAUSTRALIA 

ANZAC Day It’s a pity that this 100 year commemoration of the soldiers of Gallipoli has turned out to be, in some areas, more of a party, and an opportunity for jingoism.  Still, I visited a small country library, and was impressed with the tasteful and respectful way that the community had acknowledged this day. So I think that for most people, respect, and the desire for a peaceful world, are uppermost in their thoughts .   I felt  a bit sorry for Woolworths – they got into trouble for commercialising ANZAC Day – when heaps of others were doing the same – and all had been encouraged by the government.

Amongst all the ANZAC fuss, a small exhibition in Melbourne and online should not be missed.  FIRST WORLD WAR WOMEN working for peace 1914 – 1919. Primary sources remind us of the strength and influence of the anti war movement 100 years ago.

South Australia’s Nuclear Royal Commission. Quite  a secretive affair really. We don’t know who are the Commissioners, except for their pro nuclear chief Kevin Scarce. Only one (very narrowly defined) Issues Paper is available, yet Scarce (and we don’t know who else) are visiting country towns for “informed discussion”.  Only 35 people turned up at Mt Gambier. The S.A. govt is keeping it as a State matter, (not National). But when it comes to advice and help – well, that’s coming Internationally, from Canada’s corrupt nuclear industry, and the very troubled EPR nucleartechnology of France’s near-bankrupt nuclear industry.

Climate. Tony Abbott – having gone allout to shut down reputable climate science, offered University of Western Australia funding for a climate think-tank – headed by Bjorn Lomborg, who advocates no action on climate change. Theinternational nuclear lobby was delighted – they see nuclear taking over – much later, from coal.   Australia’scrumbling international reputation – questions on climate policy

Uranium. Rio Tinto and ERA passing the buck to each other on who pays for Ranger uranium clean-up

Aboriginal issues. Australia breaches international law in evicting remote Aboriginal communities

Solar power. In Nyngan in New South Wales Australia’s largest solar project is completed.

Australia’s Anti – nuclear fight goes to Canada to  World Uranium Symposium. Australian government aims to shut down critics of its environmental policies.

 

INTERNATIONAL

Nuclear Unsafety. Meticulous research indicates much greater likelihood of another Chernobyl-scale nuclear accident.  USA and Russian generals warn of danger of cyber criminals causing a nuclear disaster

Iran. Significant concessions made by Iran in nuclear deal. Iran nuclear deal a good template for all countries, to reduce nuclear weapons proliferation.

France/Finland. No easy fix for France’s multi-billion dollar Evolutionary Power Reactor (EPR).  Flamanville nuclear safety problem – a knockout blow for UK’s EPR reactor project? Finland’s nuclear regulator demands safety check forOlkiluoto 3 nuclear reactor’s pressure vessel

UK. Delays and yet more delays – safety issues for £24.5bn Hinkley Point nuclear power project

Japan. Court in south-west Japan rejects a residents’ injunction against restarting 2 nuclear power plants

Fukushima. As workers’ radiation exposure count rises, shortage of labour predicted at Fukushima nuclear plant.  Thedemise of 2 robots inside the Fukushima nuclear disaster.   ¥3.57 trillion needed in next 5 years for “rebuilding” Fukushima. Radiation has wreaked havoc with Fukushima’s birds

 Russia‘s thirst for Arctic mining causes effort to retrieve sunken nuclear submarines

USA. Nuclear lobby pushing for corporate welfare and exports, through the Export-Import Bank.  Obama keen to sell USA nuclear technology to China. Dozens of USA nuclear reactors at risk of closure for economic reasons.

South Korea hopes new deal with USA will forward its nuclear technology export business

Austria‘s opposition to nuclear power

Poor quality of the pro nuclear submissions to South Australia’s Royal Commission

April 23, 2015

Dennis Matthews, 23 Apr 15 I have just finished reading submissions to the draft terms of reference of the inquiry into the so-called “nuclear fuel cycle”. I was struck by the fawning attitude of many submissions from those who have a vested interest in the nuclear industry, and by the derogatory language used to describe those who oppose the nuclear industry.

One submission from an organisation with an apparent vested interest offered to help the commission with “independent” experts, whilst another claimed to be neither “pro nor anti-nuclear”.

Concerns about the Chernobyl and Fukushima disasters were dismissed as based on ideology.

Pro-nuclear submissions referred to “every anti-nuke zombie” “lurching out of their coffins”, to “an ignorant and anti-scientific audience”, to “fear mongers”, to the “anti-nuclear lobby fear industry”, to “anti-nuclear propaganda”, and to “emotive arguments”.

The confidence with which supporters of the nuclear industry addressed their inappropriate remarks to the inquiry does nothing to allay fears that there is a strong pro-nuclear undercurrent to the inquiry.

Nuclear lobby likes Bjorn Lomborg’s “delay” strategy, on climate change

April 23, 2015

Nuclear lobby backs Abbott’s $4m gift to climate contrarian Lomborg,Independent Australia  Giles Parkinson 23 April 2015When push comes to shove to act on global warming, Big Mining will wheel in nuclear as a ploy to stall the take up of renewables. Is pro-nuclear Bjorn Lomborg’s thinktank in WA just a cynical move by Abbott to kill the clean energy industry? RenewEconomy’s Giles Parkinson runs the ruler over the nuclear option. THE PRO-NUCLEAR lobby has welcomed the decision by the Abbott government to award $4 million to Bjorn Lomborg, a climate “contrarian” who favours nuclear energy and opposes deployment of renewable energy.

Michael Schellenberger, president of the US-based Breakthrough Institute, a pro-nuclear think tank, tweeted over the weekend that the Australian government’s granting of funds to Lomborg was no different to the German government’s funding of an environmental think tank that favours renewable energy.

The difference may be that the Energiewende, or energy transition, is official bipartisan government policy in Germany. But Australia does not – at least officially, although its actions suggest otherwise – embrace climate obstructionism and nuclear technology. And it has defunded independent climate analysis such as that from the Climate Commission.

The tweet from the Breakthrough Institute might be unremarkable, but for that institution’s recent alliance with the pro-nuclear lobby in Australia, and the joint release of an “EcoModernist Manifesto” last week that says present day renewables are incapable of providing zero carbon energy, and that nuclear fission is the only technology capable of meeting most, if not all, the energy demands of a modern economy.

This, it would appear, seems to concur with the not-so-subtle secret agenda of Australian Coalition government policy. The Abbott government appointed Dick Warburton – a man who holds similar views, supporting nuclear and decrying renewables – to head the review of renewable energy target.

The government’s review stopped all investment in large-scale renewables in Australia, and it is still refusing to accept a compromise offer that would see the 2020 target reduced by nearly half. Warburton wanted the RET scrapped altogether.

Lomborg wants the government to go further. He told ABC Radio last December that no more solar modules should be installed. Instead, the world should wait for the next generation solar technology, and nuclear.

The authors of the “EcoModernist Manifesto”, which include Barry Brook, who is professor of environmental sustainability at the University of Tasmania and a member of the “experts panel” for South Australia’s Royal Commission into the nuclear industry, appear to be of a similar view………

the nuclear lobby appears determined to slow down the deployment of renewables — an outcome that favours few people apart from the owners of coal-fired generators, and those with a vested interest in centralised generation.

The biggest hurdle to this lies in the soaring costs and problems facing its preferred technology, nuclear, just as the costs of renewables continues to fall.

France, for instance, has placed its faith in next generation nuclear technologies, but its new reactor at Flamanville is proving a nightmare, already running years late, and with massive cost over-runs.

Those delays and costs are likely to increase because of a new finding by France’s nuclear safety authority that the builders may have used the wrong sort of steel for the pressure vessel, meaning they may have to start over again on that crucial piece of the plant.

This technology is supposed to provide the blue-print to re-boot the U.K.’s nuclear plan. But the planned Hinckley C complex, already costing $43 billion, may not go ahead. Despite offering tariffs starting at nearly $180/MWh, and rising with inflation to nearly $500/MWh 35 years later, as well as massive loan guarantees, the U.K. government is refusing to take the risk of cost-overruns.

So, too, is the French government, which owns the companies proposing to build the reactor, and also the the Chinese state-owned companies brought in as co-investors……….https://independentaustralia.net/environment/environment-display/nuclear-lobby-backs-abbotts-4m-gift-to-climate-contrarian-lomborg,7620

Abbott govt funds dodgy climate researcher, Bjorn Lomborg, while cutting back genuine science

April 23, 2015

UWA was approached by the federal government” [ to host Bjorn Borg’s Centre, with govt funding]

In an email to supporters of the Climate Council on Friday, former Australian of the Year Tim Flannery said it was “extraordinary” that the government had abolished the Climate Commission “which was composed of Australia’s best climate scientists, economists and energy experts” on the basis of lack of funding only to find the money to “import a politically-motivated think tank to work in the same space.”

“Mr Lomborg’s views have no credibility in the scientific community,” Professor Flannery wrote. 

Abbott-fiddling-global-warmBjorn Lomborg centre: leaked documents cast doubt on Abbott government claims, The Age April 23, 2015 Lisa Cox, Matthew Knott It was the Abbott government’s original idea for the University of Western Australia to host a think tank created by the “sceptical environmentalist” Bjorn Lomborg, according to leaked talking points.

The government will provide $4 million over four years to bring Dr Lomborg’s Copenhagen Consensus Centre methodology to Australia at a new centre within the University of Western Australia (UWA) business school.

In the talking points, obtained by Fairfax Media, UWA says it does not plan to spend any money on the centre and that it believes government funding will largely cover its cost. The government has previously stated that UWA would also contribute to the centre and that the government is contributing only a third of its estimated cost.

While Dr Lomborg accepts the science of human-induced climate change, he is a controversial figure because he has argued that the risks of climate change have been overstated and it is more important to tackle problems such as malaria.

He has campaigned against the Kyoto Protocol and the use of carbon pricing as a solution to cut carbon emissions, instead favouring investments in research and development

Since the centre was announced, there has been speculation, including among university staff members, about how the centre was conceived and how it came to be funded.

Last week a spokesman for Education Minister Christopher Pyne said: “The government is contributing around a third of the total cost of the centre based on a proposal put forward by the University of Western Australia and Dr Lomborg’s organisation.”

But in talking points circulated to UWA staff members, David Harrison, UWA’ s head of corporate and government affairs, provides a suggested answer to any students or colleagues to the question: “How did the Australia Consensus Centre come to UWA?”

“UWA was approached by the federal government,” the talking points state……..

Fairfax Media understands that government ministers, following discussions with Dr Lomborg, had the idea of bringing his methodology to Australia and approached UWA about hosting the centre. The university then submitted a proposal to the government that was accepted.

Dr Lomborg has links to some of the government’s most senior figures. ……..

The establishment of the centre comes as the UWA has moved to axe other research facilities and academic staff in the sciences……..

In an email to supporters of the Climate Council on Friday, former Australian of the Year Tim Flannery said it was “extraordinary” that the government had abolished the Climate Commission “which was composed of Australia’s best climate scientists, economists and energy experts” on the basis of lack of funding only to find the money to “import a politically-motivated think tank to work in the same space.”

“Mr Lomborg’s views have no credibility in the scientific community,” Professor Flannery wrote.

“His message hasn’t varied at all in the last decade and he still believes we shouldn’t take any steps to mitigate climate change. When someone is unwilling to adapt their view on the basis of new science or information, it’s usually a sign those views are politically motivated.”http://www.theage.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/bjorn-lomborg-centre-leaked-documents-cast-doubt-on-abbott-government-claims-20150423-1mqfnn.html

Issues Paper South Australia Royal Commission – confused and inadequate

April 20, 2015

scrutiny-Royal-CommissionThe paper appears to be totally confused by what is a cyclic process. For example, the phrase “once-through” cycle is an oxymoron and reprocessing spent fuel is just that, not recycling. These terms come from the nuclear industry’s spin doctors.

Nowhere in this Issues Paper is information given on Government funding of the nuclear industry either directly in the form of grants and through government supplied services such as exploration, testing, environmental, and occupational health and safety services or indirect in the form of administrative services associated with the nuclear industry. We have no way of telling, for example, whether government expenditure has been recouped through royalties.

NUCLEAR FUEL CYCLE (sic) ROYAL COMMISSION
ISSUES PAPER ONE
EXPLORATION, EXTRACTION AND MILLING (of Uranium and Thorium),  critique by Dennis Matthews, 20 Apr 15 

This, the first issues paper of the SA Government’s commission into expanding SA’s role in the nuclear industry, will confirm the worst fears of those who suspect that this commission is an expensive farce funded by the taxpayers of SA , and that the decision to expand the nuclear industry in SA is an ALP-LP-nuclear industry done deal.

The issues paper is the product of the SA Government’s mining bureaucracy, a bureaucracy that has a long history of a gung-ho environmental vandalism in the name of development. In the days when uranium mining was being considered at Roxby, Beverley and Honeymoon it was called the Dept of Mines & Energy but was known in the environment circles as the Dept of Mines & Mines, there never was any interest in anything form of energy other than coal, gas, oil and uranium.

Thanks to the Australian Democrats we got the Renewable Energy Target (RET) which overnight led to significant investment in wind energy in SA. We then got an even better result in the form of rooftop solar, the ultimate challenge to the fossil-nuclear fuel lobby and to multinational energy corporations in general. Not surprisingly the Liberal-Labor duopoly is now trying to reverse this challenge to big business’ control over electricity generation. To a ruling duopoly, which has given us widespread privatisation of essential services, consumer control over electricity generation is anathema.

The issues paper has four sections. Under BACKGROUND the paper describes in broad terms the geology of SA in respect to deposits of uranium and thorium. The latter are described as “common, naturally occurring radioactive metallic elements in the Earth’s crust.” There is no mention of the associated radioactive elements such as radium and gaseous radon.

The fact that uranium and thorium are commonly occurring and natural appears to be intended to make the reader feel at ease. It is worth pointing out that many dangerous, toxic substances such as asbestos, lead, cadmium, mercury, and arsenic are also common and naturally occurring.

Because of its carcinogenic nature and because the industry successfully denied that it was a problem for many decades, asbestos is particularly relevant to the exploration, extraction and milling of uranium and thorium.

The use of radioactive thorium mantles for gas lamps used in enclosed spaces such as houses and tents was still common practice in the 1980’s. Such mantles were readily available in hardware and camping stores. When in use these radioactive mantles deteriorated forming a fine radioactive dust.

In this section, mention is made of existing uranium mines in SA but there is no mention of the associated social or environmental problems.

Section A. EXPLORATION also makes no mention of social and environmental costs.

Despite the fact that significant exploration occurred around about 1980 in relation to the Roxby Downs, Beverley and Honeymoon deposits no data is given on the expenditure. Instead the graph “South Australian uranium exploration expenditure” (Figure 3) starts in 1999-2000 with the first noticeable expenditure (about $2mill) occurring in 2003-04, rising to a peak of about $190mill in 2007-08 and falling to about $4mill in 2013-14. There is no information given as to whether the data in Figure 3 is in real $ (say 1992 $) nor whether it is private or government-funded expenditure.

Nowhere in this Issues Paper is information given on Government funding of the nuclear industry either directly in the form of grants and through government supplied services such as exploration, testing, environmental, and occupational health and safety services or indirect in the form of administrative services associated with the nuclear industry. We have no way of telling, for example, whether government expenditure has been recouped through royalties.

Section B. EXTRACTION AND MILLING talks about Radium Hill, Roxby Downs, Honeymoon, Beverley and Four Mile but no mention is made of radioactive waste dumping at these sites.

Honeymoon is said to have operated until 2013 and Beverley until 2014 but no mention is made of when they started operating or of the social, environmental and economic costs to the people of SA. Nor is any mention made of the fact that in 1983 the SA Government withheld permission for the Honeymoon and Beverley mines. It took 20 years for these projects to be resurrected only to be turned off within a decade.
The paper gives the irrelevant figure of an “estimated” 13,800 people “involved” directly in SA mining activities in 2012. No reason is given for using 2012 data instead of the latest figures which are probably lower.

The paper then goes on to state

“It is difficult to estimate the employment figure attributable to uranium extraction and milling alone as multiple commodities are extracted at Olympic Dam and figures are not separated in reported information.”

Presumably the Commission has the power to require that BHP Billiton provides this information.

On the basis that Olympic Dam is the largest employer in the SA mining industry and that uranium is a by-product of extracting copper then employment attributable to uranium extraction and milling in 2012 is probably of the order of less than 200.

Quoting a figure of 13,800 in the context of an issues paper on the nuclear industry is therefore highly misleading.

It is stated that international demand for uranium is primarily driven by its use in electricity generation. This conveniently overlooks the fact that the demand and price for uranium are influenced by the supply and demand for uranium to be used in weapons, including nuclear bombs and weapons containing high concentrations of uranium and its radioactive fission products (so-called “depleted” uranium or DU weapons). This becomes apparent when concentrated fissile uranium (so-called “highly enriched” uranium or HEU) from dismantled nuclear weapons is released onto the uranium market.

According to issues paper 395 nuclear power stations (reactors?) are currently in operation, that 66 reactors are under construction, and another 165 planned. No timelines are given for either the construction or the planning. Given the past history of the nuclear industry, these figures should be viewed with considerable scepticism.

The paper then goes on to state that almost 200 reactors are due to be decommissioned “in the next 25 years”.

The net result of these figures is that there is highly unlikely to be any net expansion of the nuclear industry and no increase in demand for new uranium in the foreseeable future.

The paper quotes the International Energy Agency (IEA) as saying that the expansion of the nuclear industry “depends on listening to, and addressing public concerns, about the technology.”

The South Australian Government has chosen to ignore the advice of the International Energy Agency, and exclude public concerns from its inquiry and the inquiry commissioner has made a pre-emptive strike against such concerns by implying that they are emotional.

The paper appears to be totally confused by what is a cyclic process. For example, the phrase “once-through” cycle is an oxymoron and reprocessing spent fuel is just that, not recycling. These terms come from the nuclear industry’s spin doctors.

Figure 4 purports to show global uranium production (supply?) and demand. The production curve starts in about 1956 whilst the demand curve starts in 1947 with the demand curve much higher than the production curve until about 1986 when the production curve rapidly falls below the demand curve. This suggests that the excess demand from 1947 to 1986 was for nuclear weapons and the excess production from about 1990 to 2013 was due either to nuclear weapons material being put on the open market, or to stockpiling.

It is claimed “the interaction of these (production and demand) factors has been reflected in the traded price of uranium oxide [Figure 5].”
Figure 5 is unusual in several ways. Firstly, it doesn’t cover the same time period as Figure 4, it only gives prices from 1982 whereas the production-demand curves start in 1947.

Secondly, for spot prices, rather than the normal weekly values it uses yearly averages. This has the effect of smoothing out the erratic behaviour of the spot price and reducing the peaks in spot price. For example, the large peak which occurred in April 2007 at a spot price of USD136 /lb is shown in figure 5 as occurring in 2007 at $USD90/lb.

Thirdly, Figure 5 shows average US, Canadian and Australian export prices but not the more relevant average South Australian export price.

Fourthly, the price is expressed in current $ rather than real $, which makes it difficult to compare prices and to detect trends in the real value of the export.

The paper refers to the fact that the price on US long term contracts have increased in the last decade. Not only are the USD not real $ but the apparent increase is from a very low base and, according to figure 5, did not exceed (even in current $) 1982 values until about 2006. In real $, prices did not recover to 1982 values until much later. As a consequence, the vast majority of South Australian uranium was sold at rock bottom prices.

SECTION C. RISKS AND OPPORTUNITIES contains only a small amount of material that addresses issues that the International Energy Agency thinks are vital to the future of the nuclear industry. The fact that the commission is trying to ignore these issues means that millions of dollars of South Australian taxpayers is probably being wasted on a futile exercise. This is occurring at a time when the SA Government is crying poor and is looking at new ways of raising more money from taxpayers.

The crucial deficiency of this section is that the commission only wants to consider new or different risks for the health and safety of workers and the community, and new environmental risks or increased existing risks. This presupposes that existing risks are acceptable, an assumption that has no rational or scientific basis and which is the crux of what the International Energy Agency says must be addressed.

When it comes to South Australian finances the paper estimates only one figure on only side of the ledger, the royalties paid to the South Australian Government in 2013-14. It makes no attempt to estimate total royalties starting with commercial extraction of uranium at Roxby Downs in 1988, or the direct financial cost to the South Australian Government, or the net direct financial benefit to the South Australian Government.

Bearing in mind that all mineral resources belong to the people of South Australia, it is crucial that we be told what is the direct net financial return (if any) that we have received per kilogram of exported uranium.

South Australia’s biased Nuclear Royal Commission

April 20, 2015

20 Apr 15  The SA government’s Nuclear Fuel Cycle Royal Commission kicks off in Mount Gambier  today Dr Jim Green, national nuclear campaigner with Friends of the Earth, Australia, said:

“Kevin Scarce promised a ‘balanced’ royal commission but three of the five members of his ‘expert panel’ are pro-nuclear, with just one critic. There’s nothing wrong with including nuclear advocates on the panel but there should be balance.

“One way or another Kevin Scarce needs to act to restore credibility to the Royal Commission. Otherwise it will be treated with the same ridicule as the Switkowski Review, which was comprised entirely of ‘people who want nuclear power by Tuesday’ according to comedian John Clarke.”

Despite its bias, the 2006 Switkowski Review was sceptical about proposals to expand Australia’s role in the nuclear fuel cycle, as was BHP Billiton in its submission to the Switkowski Review (see attachment below). Conditions are no more favourable now than in 2006. Despite the hype about a nuclear ‘renaissance’, the number of reactors has declined over the past decade.

Dr Green said: “Presumably the Royal Commission sees Mount Gambier as a potential site for a nuclear power reactor. The local community should consider the legacy of high-level nuclear waste that would remain in the Mount Gambier region indefinitely since there is no disposal site for high-level nuclear waste in Australia − or anywhere in the world for that matter. The only deep underground nuclear waste repository in the world − in the US state of New Mexico − has been shut down following an underground chemical explosion that spewed radiation to the outside environment and contaminated 22 workers.
“Nuclear power is incredibly thirsty − a single reactor requires 35−65 millions litres of cooling water daily. The huge water intake pipes destroy marine life by the tonnes.”

The local community should also consider scientific research linking nuclear reactors to increases in childhood leukemias. UK radiation biologist Dr Ian Fairlie notes that over 60 studies have examined cancer incidence in children near nuclear power plants and more than 70% of those studies found increased cancer rates. Dr Fairlie concludes that “the matter is now beyond question, i.e. there’s a very clear association between increased child leukemias and proximity to nuclear power plants”.1
“The community of south-east SA also needs to consider the small risk of a catastrophic accident. The costs of the Fukushima disaster in Japan will probably exceed $500 billion − more than enough to ruin not only the local economy but the entire state’s economy,” Dr Green concluded.

Contact: Jim Green 0417 318 368, jim.green@foe.org.au

  1. www.ianfairlie.org/news/childhood-leukemias-near-nuclear-power-stations-new-article/

Australia’s climate policies seen as not credible, by China, USA, Brazil

April 20, 2015

Abbott-in-hot-panChina and other big emitters challenge Australia over its climate change policies, The Age, Adam Morton and Tom Arup April 20, 2015  The world’s biggest greenhouse gas emitters, including China and the US, have questioned the credibility of Australia’s climate change targets and “direct action” policy in a list of queries to the Abbott government.

In the latest sign of diplomatic pressure over Canberra’s stance on global warming, China accused Australia of doing less to cut emissions than it is demanding of other developed countries, and asked it to explain why this was fair.

Beijing also questioned whether the Abbott government’s emissions reduction fund – the centrepiece of its direct action policy, under which the government will pay some emitters to make cuts – would be enough to make up for the axed carbon price and meet Australia’s commitment of a minimum 5 per cent emissions cut below 2000 levels by 2020.

The questions have been lodged with the United Nations for Australia to answer in the lead-up to the December climate summit in Paris, where the world is supposed to sign a global deal to combat climate change.

It comes as Australia is facing questions in diplomatic circles for not sending a minister or its chief climate change negotiator to a meeting of the Major Economies Forum on Energy and Climate in Washington DC, starting on Sunday.

Climate Institute deputy chief executive, Erwin Jackson, said the world saw Australia’s climate commitments as “woefully inadequate”.

To be opened by US Secretary of State John Kerry, the forum is meant to bring together ministerial representatives from 17 major countries in a bid to accelerate work on a climate deal. Australia is being represented by environment department head Gordon de Brouwer​.

In other questions posed to Australia through the UN:

  • The US asked whether the emissions reduction fund was the main replacement for carbon pricing, or whether Australia planned to introduce other policies.
  • Brazil accused Australia of having a “low level of ambition”, and asked whether it would boost its target to cut emissions more quickly. It also said Australia had effectively reduced the pace at which it cut industrial emissions by expanding the number of agricultural programs included in its greenhouse accounting, summarising: “This kind of action seems to make the level of ambition lower, not higher.”
  • Both China and Brazil noted Australia’s industrial emissions increased by more than 30 per cent between 1990 and this decade, and it was relying on accounting rules that reflected changes in emissions from the land to give it a chance to meet its targets.
  • The European Union questioned whether the emissions reduction fund could deliver a 15 or 25 per cent cut by 2020 – targets Australia has said it would embrace if other countries did the equivalent……….

Mr Jackson said analysts have found that China’s actions to date were likely to deliver the biggest policy-driven cut in emissions ever seen.

It is the world’s biggest investor in renewable energy, and has announced policies to build a clean energy system the size of the entire US electricity network in 15 years.

“China can do more, but is doing far more than Australia by a country mile at the moment,” he said.

“China is introducing carbon pricing while the Australian government tearing up legislation. China is increasing renewable energy targets while the Australian government is reducing it.” http://www.theage.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/china-and-other-big-emitters-challenge-australia-over-its-climate-change-policies-20150419-1mnqt3.html

Australians! Don’t get “emotional” about the Pro Nuclear Royal Commission

April 18, 2015

Kevin Scarce expects debate around the future of the nuclear fuel cycle in SA to be ‘emotional’ CAMERON ENGLAND THE ADVERTISER APRIL 17, 2015 “……. Commissioner Scarce said he expected there to be a lot of “emotion” associated with the debate, and he was committed to running a transparent process.

“Today really is the start of business,’’ Commissioner Scarce said. “We are issuing our first issues paper which covers the opportunity to expand mining and exploration, and also the risks and costs of doing that……..

“I think there’s going to be a lot of emotion about the nuclear industry. We can’t walk away from the factcartoon- emotional
that when there are accidents they are catastrophic and I would expected there will be a lot of emotion about the risks, the impact on the environment, and I want to encourage people, again in an evidence-based way, to give us their views on that, but at the end of the day, the purpose of a Royal Commission is to inquire and to get evidence-based information back…….

The issues paper addresses issues around exploration, mining and milling uranium, and poses 13 questions for discussion around what could be done to foster more activity, whether that is economically viable, and what the environmental and social costs might be.

Three further issues papers will be released over the next two to three weeks, looking at fuel management and storage, fuel enrichment and power generation.

Commissioner Scarce said once all of the issues papers were released there would be 90 days for companies, organisations and individuals to make submissions.

“The we’ll take all of that evidence, bring it together in a report, and then we will engage the community in the outcomes of all of the reports that come to us through the issues papers.’’

Commissioner Scarce will spend the next month travelling to areas such as Aboriginal communities including the APY Lands, and Maralinga and regional areas including Port Pirie and Whyalla……http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/kevin-scarce-expects-debate-around-the-future-of-the-nuclear-fuel-cycle-in-sa-to-be-emotional/story-e6frg6n6-1227307853022

Kevin Scarce to jetset to global nuclear industry sites. Who else is going?

April 18, 2015

International nuclear-site visit on cards for royal commissioner MEREDITH BOOTH THE AUSTRALIAN APRIL 18, 2015

scrutiny-Royal-CommissionSouth Australia’s nuclear fuel cycle royal commissioner Kevin Scarce will visit nuclear sites in Finland, France, Britain and Japan as well as prioritise talks with indigenous people before reporting his findings on May 6 next year……
Later this year, the commission would visit countries successfully using nuclear power and storage, as well as Japan, which was hit by the devastating nuclear disaster at the Fukushima power plant in March 2011…….
http://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/mining-energy/international-nuclear-site-visit-on-cards-for-royal-commissioner/story-e6frg9df-1227308901763

Nuclear Royal Commission chief Kevin Scarce makes an unconvincing start

April 17, 2015

Scarce,--Kevin-glowDennis Matthews 17 April 15 Commissioner Kevin Scarce has made an unconvincing start to his inquiry into the nuclear industry, now officially “The Nuclear Fuel Cycle” Royal Commissioner.

By accepting the nuclear industry spin that it is a nuclear fuel cycle he has immediately identified himself with the nuclear industry. Do we talk about the coal fuel cycle or the gas fuel cycle? No, like nuclear fuel these are one way processes – fuel in, heat and waste out.

It is typical of the nuclear industry that they would like to give the impression that it is otherwise – fuel in, more fuel out – a mirage fostered by its so-called fast breeder programme, itself another example of nuclear spin. The only thing fast about fast breeders is that they use fast neutrons to attempt to slowly produce nuclear fuel in a nuclear reactor. This technology has not only failed to produce significant amounts of nuclear fuel but has rapidly consumed huge amounts of tax payers money.

If Kevin Scarce and the SA Government want to retain any skerrick of credibility then they will take immediate steps to change the name to the “Nuclear Industry” commission.


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