Hawker ballot says no to nuke waste dump 

December 12, 2019

 https://www.9news.com.au/national/hawker-ballot-to-close-on-nuke-waste-dump/18ef3ba3-8409-4783-a114-2652368da458#close   By AAPstra6:12pm Dec 12, 2019 A community poll among residents in South Australia’s Flinders Ranges has narrowly voted against the construction of nuclear waste dump in the area.

About 52 per cent of the people who took part in the ballot voted against the federal government’s facility being established on land near Hawker.
The result came after a similar poll of residents on SA’s Eyre Peninsula voted almost 62 per cent in favour of the dump being built on one of two sites near Kimba.
The federal government is yet to respond to the poll, but environmental groups said it should rule out the Flinders Ranges as a potential dump site.
Australian Conservation Foundation campaigner Dave Sweeney said the result came amid clear opposition from regional pastoralists and the area’s native title holders.
“There is no broad community support for a national radioactive waste facility in the Flinders Ranges,” Mr Sweeney said.
While the Friends of the Earth said it was time for the federal government to abandon the dump plan altogether.

Past week in Australian climate and nuclear news

December 11, 2019

COP 25 – a chance to avoid catastrophic climate change. Not a lot happened in the first week of the COP25 climate talks in Madrid.  Dr Katharine Hayhoe on The Bible and Climate Change. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SpjL_otLq6Y&feature=emb_title  Disasters fuelled by climate change are the top driver of human displacement.

A bit of good news Renewable cities arising around the world. or  listen on You tube

AUSTRALIA

BUSHFIRES and CLIMATE CHANGE. Australia on fire. Scott Morrison under fire over bushfire emergency. UN climate talks: what’s on the agenda in Madrid and what it means for Australia. COP25, and Australia’s position at the Madrid climate talks. Australia is copping it at COP25 – and rightly so. Australia slammed for using First Nations people to try and dodge climate bill.

Australian govt’s dodgy climate accounting tricks to be tested in Madrid. Energy Minister Angus Taylor escapes the House and heads for Madrid, where more fact checkers await. Australia burns, as government leaders choose not to discuss this. Fire? What fire? It’s business as usual in Morrison’s Canberra bubble.

Hypocrisy of Australian Labor Party on climate change. Peter Garrett urges Labor to reconnect with environmental movement, warns ‘true believers are dying’. To National Party members. “Climate Change” is real, not “dirty words”.

Morrison sponsored report says reef tourism may be virtually wiped out by climate change .  Australia warned on climate refugees .

NUCLEAR. Community of small rural town Kimba “blown apart” by nuclear waste dump plan.  Money, Money, Money, or perhaps not. Plan to dump nuclear waste in the Flinders Ranges.  Dr Jim Green busts ANSTO’s spin about nuclear wastes.

Federal Nuclear Inquiry Report expected this week.

Traditional Aboriginal owners will not give up fight against planned WA uranium mine, despite legal loss.

BHP’s Olympic Dam expansion plan deserves serious scrutiny. BHP’s plan to take yet more water for huge copper-uranium mine.

ENVIRONMENT Investigative journalism – Victoria’s chemical waste scandal.  Australia – water ownership and the politics of waterEnvironment is downgraded, as Morrison merges government departments.  Morrison carves up environment and energy, praises Angus Taylor for waving big stick.

RENEWABLE ENERGY.

Coalition said 50% renewables would wreck the economy. Now their modest climate targets depend on it. Australia’s biggest businesses could deliver “a Yallourn” of new wind and solar. Huge influx of solar will reduce risk of power outages this summer, says AEMO

How Australia’s rooftop solar boom can be good news for the grid. Electricity prices set to plummet as strong wind and solar investment kicks in.  NSW installs record 60MW of rooftop solar in November.   NCH Launches built-for-purpose solar Panel cleaner for harsh Australian conditions.  Cattle Hill wind farm starts sending power to the grid in Tasmania .

INTERNATIONAL

Water shortages to hit 1.9 billion people as glaciers melt.

Research shows that Climate models have correctly predicted global heating. UN chief praises youth leadership on climate action, deplores government inaction.  Coal power becoming ‘uninsurable’ as firms refuse cover.

9 climate tipping points pushing Earth to the point of no return.

Bacteria to consume CO2 – a climate change solution?

ANTARCTICA. .Antarctic ice sheets could be at greater risk of melting than previously thought.

JAPAN.  The status of Japan’s nuclear policy and future prospects.  ‘ Scorpion‘ robot mission inside Fukushima reactor aborted.  Fukushima nuclear debris removal to begin in 2021.    High-level radiation hot spots found at J-Village, the starting point of Tokyo 2020 Olympic Torch Relay.  Korea to bring food, check for radiation at Tokyo Games.

EUROPE. Nuclear power headed to be excluded from EU green finance scheme. European report: don’t sacrifice the planet’s ecology in the drive for economic growth.  Technical fault shuts down Belgian nuclear reactor.

FRANCE. France’s nuclear industry in dire straitsAnother shutdown at French nuclear power station Golfech.

ISRAEL. Israel’s Foreign Minister Israel Katz suggests bombing Iran to stop its nuclear program.

IRAN. Britain, France and Germany press Iran over its ballistic missile program. Rafael Mariano Grossi, new UN nuclear agency chief, states he will be“firm and fair” stance on Iran.

UK . UK election. Nuclear power is a hot topic in Wales.      Significant obstacles to Rolls Royce’s fantasy of “clean” nuclear-supplied jet fuel.  Need for scrutiny of troubled Hunterston nuclear reactor before restarting it.

IRAQ. First the U.S. invaded Iraq — then left it poisoned .

CANADA. Ontario’s First Nations to vote on nuclear waste plan near Lake Huron. To store Canada’s nuclear wastes close to Lake Huron – the worst of the worst.  Small Modular Nuclear Reactors – many pitfalls, including security risks.

USA.

ARCTIC. Floating small nuclear reactors bring serious risks.

Report to Senate Nuclear Inquiry: Australia must keep its nuclear bans

December 7, 2019

REPORT ON PROCEEDINGS BEFORE  STANDING COMMITTEE ON STATE DEVELOPMENT URANIUM MINING AND NUCLEAR FACILITIES (PROHIBITIONS) REPEAL BILL 2019 At Macquarie Room, Parliament House, Sydney, on Monday 11 November 2019 

PRESENT The Hon. Taylor Martin (Chair) The Hon. Mark Banasiak The Hon. Mark Buttigieg The Hon. Wes Fang The Hon. Scott Farlow The Hon. Mark Latham The Hon. Natasha Maclaren-Jones The Hon. Mick Veitch (Deputy Chair)  JIM GREEN, National Anti-Nuclear Campaigner, Friends of the Earth Australia, affirmed and examined  DAVE SWEENEY, Nuclear Policy Analyst, Australian Conservation Foundation, affirmed and examined CHRIS GAMBIAN, Chief Executive, Nature Conservation Council of NSW, sworn and examined Monday, 11 November 2019 Legislative Council Page 30 

The CHAIR: Would anyone like to begin by making an opening statement?

Dr GREEN: Yes, we all would, with your permission. I am going to speak about nuclear power. Dave will speak about uranium, and Chris will speak about New South Wales energy issues—opportunities, road blocks and so on. I am going to quickly run through issues canvassed in our joint submission, and in particular the reasons why we believe that State and Federal bans against nuclear power should be retained.

The first one is that those bans have saved Australia and saved New South Wales from the catastrophic cost over-runs with every reactor project in Western Europe and the United States over the past decade. It is a sad truth that every one of those reactor projects is at least A$10 billion over budget. That’s $10 billion—with a ‘B’. It is hard to believe that but it is true. Perhaps the most catastrophic of all those catastrophic projects was in South Carolina, where they have had to abandon a reactor project mid-stream, having already spent over A$13 billion.

Nuclear power could not possibly pass any reasonable economic tests, and it certainly would not pass the tests set by Prime Minister Scott Morrison. It could not possibly be introduced or maintained without massive taxpayer subsidies. There are a couple of examples. Hitachi has recently walked away from a project in Wales in the United Kingdom, despite the offer of staggering, unprecedented subsidies. Also in the UK, the lifetime subsidies for the Hinkley Point project alone—a 3.2 gigawatt project—are estimated by the European Union to be A$55 billion for a two-reactor project. Other credible estimates put those lifetime subsidies at A$91 billion. These are extraordinary figures. I know it is hard to believe but it is all documented.

The other economic test set by Prime Minister Morrison is that nuclear power would need to reduce electricity prices, and clearly it would do no such thing. It would clearly increase electricity prices. Legislation banning nuclear power should also be retained because of the lack of a social licence, and in particular numerous polls over the past 10 years have found that only 20 per cent to 28 per cent of Australians would support living in the near vicinity of a nuclear power plant. As the Clean Energy Council put it, in its submission to this inquiry, it would require “a minor miracle” to win community support for nuclear power in Australia.

There is a lot more that could be said about nuclear economics and I am happy to field questions on that issue. There is plenty of information in our joint submission and in the separate Friends of the Earth submission dealing specifically with small modular reactors. There is one point that I would particularly like to make to the committee and to the secretariat, which is that there is an excellent critique of some of the claims made by nuclear lobbyists, both to this inquiry and to the Federal inquiry. This article neatly corrects and debunks those claims. The article is by Giles Parkinson. It was published at reneweconomy.com.au on 23 October. It is called, “Why the nuclear lobby makes stuff up about cost of wind and solar”. Our joint submission also does some of that work— debunking highly questionable claims made by nuclear lobbyists about nuclear economics. In particular I would draw your attention to sections 3.5 and 3.6 of our joint submission.

The next issues is that we believe legal prohibition should be retained because the pursuit of a nuclear industry would almost certainly worsen patterns of disempowerment and dispossession experienced by Australia’s First Nations. To give just one example of that, the National Radioactive Waste Management Act dispossessed and disempowers traditional owners in many different ways. To list one of many, the Act states that the nomination of a site for a radioactive waste dump is valid even if Aboriginal owners were not consulted and did not give consent. I would ask this Committee to consider recommending that those appalling and indefensible clauses of the National Radioactive Waste Management Act be repealed.

Legislation banning nuclear power should also be retained because no-one could have any confidence that satisfactory solutions could be found for waste streams. Globally, no country has a repository for high-level nuclear waste. There is one deep underground repository for long-lived intermediate level waste in the United States. It was set up in the late nineties. Almost as soon as it was set up, safety standards and layers of regulatory oversight were peeled away, and those failures led to a chemical explosion in an underground waste barrel, which shut the repository down for three years. Direct and indirect costs amounted to about $3 billion. The thing that I really want to focus on there is that safety standards and regulatory standards fell away straight away—and you are dealing with plutonium, with a half life of 24,000 years. We need to safely manage this waste for millennia; they failed to safely manage it for one single decade.

I want to make a quick point on wastage of another sort. That is that nuclear power reactors are voracious consumers of water. A single reactor typically consumes 50 million litres of cooling water every single day. Their water intake pipes are slaughter houses for fish and other marine creatures. Arguably, the best way to destroy a local fishery is to build a nuclear power plant nearby. This is just considering routine operations of a nuclear power plant. In the case of Fukushima, that disaster has crippled and almost killed the local fishing industry. Currently fishers in the region are fighting plans to dump vast amounts of contaminated water into the ocean surrounding the nuclear plant.

I have one final point. Legislation banning nuclear power should be retained because the introduction of nuclear power would delay and undermine the development of effective economic energy and climate policies based on renewables and energy efficiency. A December 2018 report by CSIRO and AEMO found that the cost of power from small modular reactors would be more than twice as expensive as power from wind and solar PV, even with some storage costs included. CSIRO and AEMO are about to release another report, which firms up that conclusion and also considers the costs of a higher degree of storage attached to renewables. They have canvassed the findings of that report. They find that, even with a considerable amount of storage factored in, renewables are still far cheaper than nuclear, comparable to the costs of existing fossil fuels and are almost certain to become cheaper than fossil fuels because of the clear cost trajectory of renewables and storage.

So nuclear simply is not even in this debate. There has been a big spat about the CSIRO and AEMO costings with respect to small modular reactors. Their costing is $16,000 per kilowatt of installed capacity, and the nuclear lobbyists are furious with that and strongly contesting it. What I would say is that if you average the cost of small modular reactors, which are actually under construction in China, Russia and Argentina, that average is higher than the figure given by CSIRO and AEMO. Also, if you look at the reactors being built in the United States—the large reactors—one again, the CSIRO and AEMO figure for nuclear is lower than the real-world cost for reactors that are actually under construction in the US. So the CSIRO and AEMO figure is entirely defensible. In conclusion I quote the senior vice-president of Exelon, which is the largest nuclear company in the United States, who said:

I don’t think we’re building any more nuclear plants in the United States. I don’t think it’s ever going to happen … They are too expensive to construct …

That is in the US where they have a vast amount of infrastructure and expertise but nuclear has clearly priced itself out of the market. The calculations in Australia would certainly be worse because we do not have that infrastructure, we do not have that expertise and we are blessed with renewable energy resources. As the Climate Council, comprising Australia’s leading climate scientists, puts it, nuclear power reactors “are not appropriate for Australia—and probably never will be.” I will leave it there.

Nuclear and Climate News to 3rd December – Australia and more

December 2, 2019

COP25, the annual United Nations international conference on dealing with climate change is now beginning, in Madrid.     Global climate tipping point is getting near – researchers say.

For December, my websites are focusing on that unfashionable subject – ETHICS.  Some aspects of “nuclear ethics” are climate change, health and environment, sustainability, developing countries, economic feasibility,  – conclusion – nuclear power is not an ethical choice.

A bit of good news – Humpback Whale Population Bounces Back From Near-Extinction—From Just 450, to Over 25,000

AUSTRALIA

NUCLEAR. Nuclear Inquiry Report now delayed, due to scandal over Energy Minister Angus Taylor? Minerals Council renews push for nuclear energy, but rather coy about its costs.

Shonky opinion poll results to give the go-ahead for Kimba nuclear waste dump?  Australia to get high level nuclear wastes from UK, in return for Lucas Heights nuclear waste sent to UK.

Three Tjiwarl women from WA’s goldfields win conservation award for uranium mine campaign.

CLIMATE. Catastrophic weather conditions, but Australian govt has no climate adaptation plan.  More than 160 bush and grass fires are burning across New South Wales.  Australia’s ‘permanently wet’ rainforests now burning for the first time.

Sir David Attenborough hits out at the federal government over climate position. Barnaby Joyce auctions lump of coal – in a glass jar – at Nationals dinner.

Public opinion: for the first time, Environment is Australians’ top concern. The Murray Darling water crisis and what governments must do to fix this.

RENEWABLE ENERGY.  Heating & cooling to go renewable and provide demand response.  Australian solar PV integrated window technology gains US approval.  Renewable South Australia posts lowest wholesale prices for second month in row.  The day rooftop solar met two thirds of South Australia’s total demand.  Power bills to fall by $40 as New South Wales Central West becomes wind and solar power hub.   Why is pumped hydro in Australia not used very much?

INTERNATIONAL

The negotiations in Madrid for COP 25 Climate Change Conference.   Tipping points leading to ‘Hothouse Earth’ already “active”, scientists warn.

Catholic doctrine; the use and even the possession of nuclear weapons is immoral.    Plans for nuclear waste disposal, but there’s no long term solution.

Despite Halting Progress, UN Continues its Push for a Nuclear-Weapons-Free Zone in the Middle East.

USA. 

MIDDLE EAST. Big risk factors for Middle East countries in adopting nuclear power.

UK. UK’s Labour and Greens parties have highly prioritised climate change action.   Cyber attack targets UK’s nuclear industry. Suffolk Coastal Labour opposes the development of new nuclear capacity at Sizewell.  UK Environment Agency Aims to Increase Tritium Limit in Irish Seaside Landfill .

JAPAN.  Pope Francis, in Japan, Warns of ‘Selfish Decisions’ on Nuclear Energy.  Thorny topic of Fukushima food at the 2020 Olympics. Onagawa nuclear plant to get approval for restart.

FRANCE. France wants to label nuclear as “green“. Germany will have none of it.

GERMANY. Germany must now face up to its nuclear waste problem.

HUNGARY. Hungary wants EU to weaken nuclear licensing rules, as it wants to expand Rosatom nuclear project.

IRAN. Iran warns EU that it may step back from UN nuclear watchdog.

RUSSIA. Russia’s nuclear company Rosatom in financial trouble trying to fund nuclear project in Turkey.  Rosatom planning to market Small Modular Nuclear Reactors to Europe.  Nuclear-capable air-launched ballistic missile tested over the Barents Sea.

CANADA. Premiers of Ontario, Saskatchewan, New Brunswick to plan development of Small Modular Nuclear Reactors.

SOUTH AFRICA. South Africa to create extra space for nuclear waste.

Australia and overseas – Nuclear and Climate News to 27 November

November 27, 2019

Greenhouse gases in the atmosphere are now at a record high levelMountain water serving half the world is disappearing.

Against the background of all the disturbing climate news, it’s a bit of a shock to learn the lengths of duplicity to which politicians will go, to prevent climate action.

And, on the nuclear scene, duplicity of a different kind. I hate to use that tawdry phrase “fake news”, but that’s what it was, a false report of a nuclear explosion in the South China Sea.

Some bits of good news – In India, an intrepid old farmer grew a lush oasis in a cold deserthttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-foEwcAu_zw. In drought-stricken Australia, some farmers are learning to improve the soil, and conserve water, with regenerative farming.  Patients’exposure to medical radiation is going down.

AUSTRALIA

Former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd says Assange faces ‘unacceptable’ and ‘disproportionate’ punishment. A previous Prime Minister intervened to help political prisoner: Scott Morrison could do this for Julian Assange.  Appeal from former political prisoner to Australia’s Prime Minister to help Julian Assange.

Australian government rushing laws to crack down on protestors. Journalists beware! Australia now a surveillance state.

CLIMATE. Bushfires flare and temperature records fall amid catastrophic conditions in South Australia. Climate change will make fire storms more likely in southeastern Australia.  Survey showed environment and climate to be Australian children’s top concerns.

How does the climate denialist Institute of Public Affairs (IPA) get away with being a “charity”?  Religiosity of Scott Morrison – about global heating and bushfires. Cuddling coal and people: does Scott Morrison think that Australians are that stupid about climate change?

University of New South Wales first engineering school to sign declaration to reduce harmful carbon emissions.

NUCLEAR.

“The case made by the uranium bulls is in reality full of holes

RENEWABLE ENERGY.

States go it alone on energy after Coalition buries talk of emissions. How are Australian States progressing on renewable energy? South Australia way ahead.  South Australia Liberals celebrate nation-leading switch to wind, solar and storage.

Australian billionaire Cannon-Brookes says $20bn solar project will be “lighthouse” to world.  Is Gina Rinehart finally ready to switch to green energy and cut emissions? NSW tenders $3.5 billion supply contract in firm test for wind and solar. Right-wing front group Institute of Public Affairs (IPA) wants to hit Electric Vehicles s with road tax “before they appear in every driveway”.  Electric car ultra rapid chargers arrive in heart of brown coal country.

INTERNATIONAL

Journalism’s future in crisis – the case of Julian Assange.  Political manipulations– the Swedish allegations against Julian Assange.

Global heating is shrinking and accelerating the jet stream.   Pursuing nuclear power slows down real action on climate change by faster, cheaper, energy sources. Analysis: Global coal power set for record fall in 2019.

On nuclear radiation – past and future – extract from article on Chernobyl.

MARSHALL ISLANDS. As the Runit nuclear waste dome crumbles, Marshall Islanders want honesty and justice.

IRAQ. New report on Iraqi babies, deformed due to thorium and uranium from U.S. military actions and bases.

UK. 

CHINA. Further debunking of the conspiracy nonsense about a nuclear explosion in the South China Sea.  China’s $2.5bn renewables investment in Inner Mongolia.

UKRAINE. Studies on Chernobyl nuclear disaster show that it’s relevant today, and for the future.

JAPAN.

SOUTH KOREA. South Korea nuclear regulator wants information on radioactive Fukushima water release.

USA.

FRANCE.  France’s nuclear company EDF – report – a litany of failures  France’s Flamanville nuclear financial catastrophe gets worse. France’s government is giving mixed messages on future of nuclear energy. France’s company EDF selling out of USA nuclear plants, Exelon to buy.

INDIA. India’s government ignores opposition as it plans to build spent nuclear fuel storage facility.

SOUTH AFRICA. South Africa’s nuclear waste storage almost completely full; a dangerous situation.

RUSSIA.  Putin told bereaved families that nuclear accident scientists were working on an “unparalled”weapon.

TAIWAN. Taiwan govt to give $2.55 billion to Orchid Island in nuclear waste compensation.

GERMANY. In Germany , renewables replace nuclear and lower emissions simultaneously.

CANADA. Toxic flushing of nuclear poisons into Lake Winnipeg.

IRELAND. Irish wind power for France, as France’s EDF nuclear electricity is in a financial mess

A tiny number of rural South Australians to make decision on a NATIONAL nuclear waste dump

November 23, 2019

This is a decision which will affect all South Australians, not just a tiny percentage of people who have experienced four years of federal government promises and pressure to acquiesce.

the Minister failed to mention the main component of the project — long lived intermediate level waste from the Lucas Heights reactor  

Farmers and Traditional Owners decry SA nuclear more  https://www.eurekastreet.com.au/article/farmers-and-traditional-owners-decry-sa-nuclear-vote, Michele Madigan,20 November 2019 

    • On 12 November, Senator Canavan, federal Minister for Resources, took a question from the rather more junior Senator Alex Antic. The questioner wondered whether there was any recent progress on the federal nuclear facility proposed for Antic’s own state of South Australia.
The Minister was delighted to have the chance to announce that in the district area of Kimba the long awaited vote to host both a permanent facility for national low level radiactive waste and storage for intermediate level radioactive waste had concluded. The result: 61.17 per cent voted in favour.
Unsurprisingly, Canavan failed to mention that voting rights in the poll were severely restricted. The Barngarla Traditional Owners, native title holders of the area, were given no voice. Farmers whose land is actually closer to the site were also excluded as their properties are outside the allocated narrow boundary. 
 
Surprising however, even to four year battle-weary opponents of the scheme, was the fact that even on the second and third questions offered him by the willing SA Senator, the Minister failed to mention the main component of the project — long lived intermediate level waste from the Lucas Heights reactor  
 
With the total vote consisting of only 734 ballot papers, the yes vote represented just 452 people. My letter to the Advertiser of 11 November 2019 pointed out that on these figures we have .027 per cent of South Australians speaking for us all. In her response on 15 November, task force manager of the project, Sam Chard, wrote to the Advertiser that ‘the transport of waste will be conducted safely’ — a careful phrase. Unfortunately not even a federal government can prevent accidents from happening as they surely will — and already have.
South Australian filmmaker Kim Mavromatis’ just released video of an historic 1980 road accident involving nuclear waste from Lucas Heights graphically demonstrates the severe effects on former NSW police officers Bob Deards and Terry Clifford, who were tasked with cleanup. While there is no doubt that modern transport containers will be of better quality than in the past, the men’s warning is obvious: ‘The more they transport, the more accidents will happen.’
A later South Australian example was highlighted by the Advertiser‘s front-page headline of 9 December 1994: ‘Radioactive drum spills on SA road’. ‘A drum carrying low grade radioactive waste from New South Wales to Woomera has leaked contaminated material on to South Australian outback roads … Port Augusta police confirmed last night they were conducting an emergency clean-up of the site about 2km north of Port Augusta …’
Coober Pedy Aboriginal women Emily Austin and Lois Brown’s alarmed response was published a few days later: ‘When they were washing the truck after the leakage, they even took the water away. Why? if it was low-grade toxic waste. It must have been dangerous.’ Their warning: ‘Also that accident might have been low grade but what about the next time?’
Long-term Friends of the Earth environmentalist Dr Jim Green reiterates that nuclear transport accidents are commonplace. ‘Indeed the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO) acknowledges that a small number of nuclear transport accidents occur each year. If the industry is expanded, there will inevitably be more transport accidents. A British government database documents an average of 19 nuclear transport incidents each year. Countless thousands of Australians who live along potential nuclear waste transport corridors are being ignored and disenfranchised by the Morrison Government ”.

Union spokespeople are under no illusion that accidents are inevitable and about who will be automatically called for the cleanup. As Jamie Newlyn, South Australian Branch Secretary of the Maritime Union of Australia, warns: ‘MUA members work in critical points of the logistics cycle and therefore the safe handling and above ground storage for decades is of great concern to the MUA … ‘

A day of high temperatures and strong winds last month did nothing to deter opponents of the federal government’s nuclear plans from the latest Port Augusta Rally. Terry Schmucker, who owns a farm in nearby Poochera, had no vote in the recent poll. He was scathing about the inability of the nuclear industry to guarantee project safety when ANSTO has been unable to prevent radioactive leaks even on site.

After the rally, Aboriginal Co-Chairs of the Australian Nuclear Free Alliance (ANFA), Dwayne Coulthard and Vicki Abdulla, led a strong contingent to present ANFA’s petition to the office of South Australia’s Minister for Energy and Mining, Dan van Holst Pellekaan: ‘South Australia has legislation that makes such waste facilities illegal: The Nuclear Waste Storage (Prohibition) Act 2000 … We ask you to act now and protect South Australia and its people from Minister Canavan’s site selection process that has caused so much distress to South Australian communities … ‘

No, Senator Canavan, South Australians don’t believe that 452 people in one small town have the right to agree to burden us with all the nation’s nuclear waste — and forever.

In fact the Barngarla Determination Aboriginal Corporation has just set another challenge. With the results of their own Australian Electoral Company internal members vote showing 83 No and zero Yes votes, the Barngala have issued a statement which reads in part: ‘BDAC has written to Minister Canavan advising him of the result. BDAC has requested that given the first people for the area unanimously have voted against the proposed facility that the Minister should immediately determine that there is not broad community support for the project. ‘

With the arrival of the voting papers for the proposed alternative Flinders Ranges site on 14 November, the intensity of the division between potential yes and no voters in the small towns and hinterlands of Hawker and Quorn seems to have hit fever pitch. The potential yes voters welcoming of a new ‘industry’ to the area seem to disregard the effect a nuclear facility will have on the major tourism industry and Adnyamathanha heritage; not to mention the threats to groundwaters in an area subject to seismic activity and floods.

This is a decision which will affect all South Australians, not just a tiny percentage of people who have experienced four years of federal government promises and pressure to acquiesce.

USA desperate to sell Small Modular Nuclear Reactors to Australia?

November 20, 2019

Australia is the great ‘white’ hope for the global nuclear industry, Independent Australia, By Noel Wauchope | 19 November 2019, The global nuclear industry is in crisis but that doesn’t stop the pro-nuclear lobby from peddling exorbitantly expensive nuclear as a “green alternative”. Noel Wauchope reports.

The global nuclear industry is in crisis. Well, in the Western world, anyway. It is hard to get a clear picture of  Russia and China, who appear to be happy putting developing nations into debt, as they market their nuclear reactors overseas with very generous loans — it helps to have stte-owned companies funding this effort.

But when it comes to Western democracies, where the industry is supposed to be commercially viable, there’s trouble. The latest news from S&P Global Ratings has made it plain: nuclear power can survive only with massive tax-payer support. Existing large nuclear  reactors need subsidies to continue, while the expense of building new ones has scared off investors.

So, for the nuclear lobby, ultimate survival seems to depend on developing and mass marketing “Generation IV” small and medium reactors (SMRs). …..

for the U.S. marketers, Australia, as a politically stable English-speaking ally, is a particularly desirable target. Australia’s geographic situation has advantages. One is the possibility of making Australia a hub for taking in radioactive wastes from South-East Asian countries. That’s a long-term goal of the global nuclear lobby.   …..

In particular, small nuclear reactors are marketed for submarines. That’s especially important now, as a new type of non-nuclear submarine – the Air Independent Propulsion (AIP) submarine, faster and much cheaper – could be making nuclear submarines obsolete. The Australian nuclear lobby is very keen on nuclear submarines: they are now promoting SMRs with propagandists such as Heiko Timmers, from Australian National University. This is an additional reason why Australia is the great white hope.

I use the word “white” advisedly here because Australia has a remarkable history of distrust and opposition to this industry form Indigenous Australians…..

The hunt for a national waste dump site is one problematic side of the nuclear lobby’s push for Australia. While accepted international policy on nuclear waste storage is that the site should be as near as possible to the point of production, the Australian Government’s plan is to set up a temporary site for nuclear waste, some 1700 km from its production at Lucas Heights. The other equally problematic issue is how to gain political and public support for the industry, which is currently banned by both Federal and state laws. SMR companies like NuScale are loath to spend money on winning hearts and minds in Australia while nuclear prohibition laws remain.

Ziggy Switkowski, a long-time promoter of the nuclear industry, has now renewed this campaign — although he covers himself well, in case it all goes bad, noting that nuclear energy for Australia could be a “catastrophic failure“. ……

his submission (No. 41) to the current Federal Inquiry into nuclear power sets out only one aim, that

‘… all obstacles … be removed to the consideration of nuclear power as part of the national energy strategy debate.’

So the Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act (EPBC Act) should be changed, according to Switkowski. In an article in The Australian, NSW State Liberal MP Taylor Martin suggested that the Federal and state laws be changed to prohibit existing forms of nuclear power technology but to allow small modular reactors.

Switkowski makes it clear that the number one goal of the nuclear lobby is to remove Australia’s national and state laws that prohibit the nuclear industry. And, from reading many pro-nuclear submissions to the Federal Inquiry, this emerges as their most significant aim.

It does not appear that the Australian public is currently all agog about nuclear power. So, it does seem a great coincidence that so many of their representatives in parliaments – Federal, VictorianNew South WalesSouth Australia and members of a new party in Western Australia – are now advocating nuclear inquiries, leading to the repeal of nuclear prohibition laws.

We can only conclude that this new, seemingly coincidental push to overturn Australia’s nuclear prohibition laws, is in concert with the push for a national nuclear waste dump in rural South Australia — part of the campaign by the global nuclear industry, particularly the American industry, to kickstart another “nuclear renaissance”, before it’s too late.

Despite its relatively small population, Australia does “punch above its weight” in terms of its international reputation and as a commercial market. The repeal of Australia’s laws banning the nuclear industry would be a very significant symbol for much-needed new credibility for the pro-nuclear lobby. It would open the door for a clever publicity drive, no doubt using “action on climate change” as the rationale for developing nuclear power.

In the meantime, Australia has abundant natural resources for sun, wind and wave energy, and could become a leader in the South-East Asian region for developing and exporting renewable energy — a much quicker and more credible way to combat global warming. https://independentaustralia.net/politics/politics-display/australia-is-the-great-white-hope-for-the-global-nuclear-industry,13326

Climate/nuclear news this week

November 18, 2019

This is a bit more boring than usual, as, apart from the Australian bushfires, not many climate and nuclear events have been in the news this week.

A new book brings the nuclear and climate threats together in a scary warning. In The Plutocene: Blueprints for a post-Anthropocene Greenhouse Earth, Andrew Glikson considers a future scenario where nuclear war, radioactive pollution, and global heating combine to produce a new era. He urges a range of tactics to avert this gloomy future.

S and P Global Ratings has made it plain: nuclear power can survive only with massive tax-payer support.

A bit of good news –  Ocean Cleanup Makes History by Successfully Collecting First Plastic From Great Pacific Garbage Patch.

AUSTRALIA

CLIMATE.

NUCLEAR.

Federal Govt to decide on new radioactive waste storage facility next year.    Flood risk at proposed nuclear dump site at Wallerberdina.  Open letter from Japan, to nuclear waste site candidates.  With 40% opposed to Kimba nuclear waste dump, is this “consensus”.  A duplicitous letter from Sam Chard, General Manager, Radioactive Waste Taskforce.

Australian Government report states that Lucas Heights spent nuclear fuel rods (for Kimba dump?) are High Level Wastes.

Rio Tinto drives ERA rehabilitation of Ranger uranium mine.

From Ziggy Switkowski – a new load of nuclear codswallop.

RENEWABLE ENERGY. ACT introduces first electric bus on path to zero transport emissions . Rooftop solar hits 45% of demand and sets new grid low in W.A. Rooftop solar delivers yet another record low in grid demand for South Australia. Renewables sector slams new network pricing proposals, says it will kill investment.

INTERNATIONAL

Climate change is a health emergency – physicians.

World Nuclear Waste Report.   Dangerous radioactive hot particles span the globe.    Still no country for old nuclear waste. Tritium and other radionuclides are hazardous,even in transport and storage.

Will Air Independent Propulsion (AIP) submarines make nuclear submarines relatively obsolete?

400,000 insect species face extinction.

ICELAND. In framing Julian Assange, The FBI tried to make Iceland complicit.

MARSHALL ISLANDS. U.S. won’t clean up Marshall Islands nuclear waste dome but wants it free of anti-U.S. graffiti.  Nuclear tomb: The Runit Dome is chipping and cracking. The climate crisis https://www.esquire.com/news-politics/politics/a29760935/marshall-islands-nuclear-waste-climate-change/is tied up in the dangers of nuclear weapons in ways that nobody predicted

UK. Jeremy Corbyn could scrap UK’s nuclear weapons, in deal with Scottish National Party. A UK Labour govt would make ‘collective’ decision over use of nuclear weapons? Boris Johnson and the unlikely future for small nuclear reactors.  Likely delay in clean-up of radioactive contamination at Dalgety Beach. New type of uranium nuclear fuel has safety risks.

USA.

JAPAN. Fukushima: Japan’s government has not solved its many technical, economic, and socio-political problems. The plight of Fukushima nuclear workers getting leukaemia.  As Fukushima food export barriers fall, Japan aims to persuade ChinaPope Francis, visiting Hiroshima and Nagasaki, wants a total ban on nuclear weapons.

NORTH KOREA. North Korea issues warning on nuclear negotiations deadline. US- North Korea negotiations may be revived.

EUROPE. European Union struggles to preserve Iran nuclear deal.

CHINA. China General Nuclear Power Group to invest $2.5 billion into a huge solar project – plus 2 GW of wind turbines.

BULGARIA. Bulgaria nuclear reactor capacity reduced over generator malfunction.

RUSSIA. Nuclear-Powered Aircraft failed for both USA and Soviets.

AFRICA. The push for nuclear power in Africa, but what happens to the wastes? Africa has fourfold growth potential with renewable energy plan.

FRANCE. France extends nuclear reactors outage after earthquake. France considering building 6 new EDF nuclear reactors at a cost of at least 46 billion euros ($51 billion).

To 12 November – nuclear and climate news Australia and beyond

November 11, 2019

Global heating is behind critical news in California, and Eastern Australia. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QyNHKrM0qBE.  Following the huge wildfires, Californians are realising that it’s more like a war situation, with more battles to come. Preparedness and adaptation are now the immediate needs, as well as reducing carbon emissions. And extreme heat waves will bring public health crises to American cities, despite the current very cold burst.

Australia’s ruling Liberal Coalition is still studiously avoiding the words “climate change”, and pouring abuse on The Australian Greens for their supposed insensitivity in mentioning those words in connection with bushfires and drought.

A bit of good news  – New Zealand – one small nation shows how to be nuclear- free and climate friendly.

AUSTRALIA

Australia’s media fights for freedom of press – BUT NOT FOR JULIAN ASSANGE.

CLIMATE. Australia’s out of control bushfires (all along the region where the nuclear lobby wants to put reactors!).  Sydney and surroundings – “Catastrophic” fire warning.

Climate dispute between Scott Morrison and the Greens.  Massive bushfires in New South Wales are NOT “part of a normal cycle” – fire-fighting expert.

Scott Morrison wants to shut down moderate climate action group, Market Forces, BECAUSE IT’s TOO EFFECTIVE. Strong public demand for climate action, but Australian government determined to punish climate protesters. Double standards on “unacceptable” protests.

Australia’s over-exploited water supply – an issue being ignored.

NUCLEAR

RENEWABLE ENERGY. First offshore wind farm in Australia being tested. Western Australia set to decide on 180MW solar farm for state’s south. Solar and battery offered as “standard” in Victoria new-build housing project.

INTERNATIONAL

Planet in peril as world leaders ignore global heating’s catastrophes.

Julian Assange’s father comes to Ireland, Europe, to campaign for his son’s release.

Nuclear medicine has radiation dangers – a reminder to clinicians.

JAPAN.  Fukushima:  Radioactive waste bags still missing after Typhoon Hagibis.  Japan still has land space to store radioactive waste tanks, but tries to justify dumping into ocean.  $2.7 Billion Renewables Project to revitalise Fukushima. 11 solar power plants and 10 wind power plants for Fukushima prefecture. Decommissioning Fukushima nuclear station – cost-cutting culture is causing mistakes.

UK.

USA.

IRAN. Iran building a second nuclear reactor at Bushehr plant.

ARCTICFrozen nuclear city to ‘seep radiation into environment’ as ice melts.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VXELlX-5iFY&t=12s

INDIA. In Tamil Nadu, Rooftop Solar Has the Potential to Outdo Nuclear Power.

NEW ZEALAND. Deadline looms for nuclear veterans and descendants study.

PHILIPPINES. Philippines not prepared for the dangers of nuclear energy.

PACIFIC ISLANDS. Tuvalu heads for 35% renewables with $6m solar and storage grant.

NETHERLANDS. Netherlands floats its solar boat as it aims for 27GW by 2030.

The week in climate/nuclear news – Australia and overseas

November 5, 2019

This week, Katharine Hayhoe, climate scientist and evangelical Christian, sends a powerful message to other Christians, on the urgent necessity to act on climate change. Scientific warnings have intensified over recent month. It used to be “a problem for our grandchildren“, but climate change is here, now. With a new urgency, the United Nations Climate Change Conference 2019 will be held from 2-13 December in Madrid.California wildfires signal the arrival of a planetary fire age.

Mainstream media has been silent on the threats, and indeed the impacts, of extreme weather on nuclear facilities.  There is minimal (and all too reassuring) coverage following on the effects of Hurricane Hagibis on Fukushima’s collections of radioactive trash.   There is not a mention of the threats to  nuclear facilities, in the reporting on the Californian wildfires. For example, there are fires in Ventura County, which has the notorious nuclear Santa Susana Field Laboratory

A bit of good news – the Living New Deal Project.

AUSTRALIA

Is climate change playing a role in Australia’s drought? Hotter and drier- Australia’s weather records set to be broken this year.

CLIMATE.-Dry weather set to return after thunderstorms bring temporary reliefClimate change is bringing more extreme weather events to Sydney and Melbourne.

Coal from six biggest miners in Australia produces more emissions than entire economy. Coercion is coal’s only friend. Australia’s surging diesel emissions from cars and utes cancel out wind and solar gains.

Scott Morrison’s threats against climate activists – getting a bit sinister. Scott Morrison doesn’t like even the “quiet people” speaking up. Scott Morrison delivers a speech that sounds very like an attack on democracy. Morrison’s crackdown on climate protests could have unintended consequences.

Energy Minister Taylor’s ‘expert panel’ in search of emissions reductions shuts out clean energy sector. Coalition’s carbon market plans at risk from low quality “grey” credits.

It’s time that the Australian government declared a water emergency. A national approach needed to a national river system.

NUCLEAR.

RENEWABLE ENERGY.  Renewable energy target now overshot by nearly 1GW, says regulator. Victoria 50% by 2030 renewable energy target voted into law.  South Australia had lowest cost of supply in main grid in October. Hydro Tasmania pushes “battery of the nation” plan, will unlock wind and solar.  Hydro Tasmania pushes “battery of the nation” plan, will unlock wind and solar. Carnegie Clean Energy set to resume trading, with big plans for CETO wave power. Coalition gives $1bn to CEFC for 24/7 reliable renewable power.

INTERNATIONAL

Ruthless and relentless – USA-UK destruction of Julian Assange.

Fukushima is not safe for 2020 Olympics, nuclear scientists warn.

The human species at threat of wipeout – nuclear war in space.

A Global Review : Threats o f Nuclear Conflict. How an India-Pakistan nuclear war could start—and have global consequences.  United Nations adopts Japan’s nuclear disarmament resolution.

Argentina’s Rafael Grossi chosen to head UN nuclear agency.

No, thorium nuclear power is still not a viable energy technology.

 Greta Thunberg and Leonardo Di Caprio join forces in climate crusade.

INDIA. Heat deaths in India will increase greatly, if greenhouse emissions increase.

JAPAN.

EU to ease Japanese food import restrictions.

FRANCE. French activists broke into nuclear plant, demonstrating the risk of terrorism.   EDF – a nuclear business financial meltdown.

USA.

MARSHALL ISLANDS. Legal action on The Marshall Islands’ leaky radioactive nuclear waste dome?

UK. UK launches review of net zero emissions. Nuclear costs escalate as wind prices keeps falling. Warning on ecological impacts of Sizewell nuclear project.   Britain’s Dungeness nuclear reactors -extended outages, since corrosion found in pipes.   Residents of Gillingham UK unaware of proximity of nuclear waste dump. UK Government propaganda for nuclear war in the 1980s.

IRAN. US renews support for foreign companies working with Iran’s nuclear program .

BRAZIL. 10th International Uranium Film Festival in Rio de Janeiro, May 2020

RUSSIA. Beware of secrecy over Russian Nuclear explosion, and of American nuclear dangers. Russia’s Rosatom nuclear firm targets its marketing at African countries.

TURKEY. Turkey Has Long Had Nuclear Dreams.

PHILIPPINES. Only Russia will benefit if Philippines goes nuclear.

AFRICA. African countries being conned into nuclear debt, by Russia. No nuclear in South Africa’s future energy mix.

SAUDI ARABIA. USA negotiating nuclear sales with Saudi Arabia. Countries vie to market nuclear reactors to Saudi Arabia.