Politicians playing dress up, as Australia’s ”leaders” pretend they’re interested in climate change

October 19, 2021

Nuclear news this week

October 18, 2021

The past week has seen a bigger than usual burst of news items about small nuclear reactors (SMRs) – with  numerous claims about how SMRs are going to be the focus of a nuclear revival that will combat climate change. In country after country, political leaders announce SMRs  as a central part of their climate policy, even reversing policies to phase out nuclear power. France is the leading example. There’s even a very interesting logic that goes like this: 
‘Big nuclear power reactors are unsustainable: therefore small nuclear reactors will be sustainable” –  as they say in all those police shows on TV – copy that!


Pandemic 
Coronavirus around the world.

 The climate disaster is here.  Climate. Earth is already becoming unlivable. Will governments act to stop this disaster from getting worse?


Some bits of good news.–  Solar-Powered Desalination Device Will Turn Sea Water Into Fresh Water For 400,000 People.  World’s First Totally-Green Tractor Set to Plow Down European Farming Emissions

AUSTRALIA.

  AUKUS nuclear submarines deal must be abandoned.     Australia’s nuclear submarines are looking more and more like a mirageUncertain delivery date for nuclear submarines. Australia’s existing fleet still in use in 2050? Inquiry to question whether Australia needs nuclear industry to support submarine program.   Senate Inquiry quizzes Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO) and Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency (ARPANSA) on infrastructure needs for nuclear submarines.

New push for nuclear energy in Australia, but does it really stand the test? Pro nuclear argument has ‘more holes than Swiss cheese’ – Ian Lowe. Nuclear power is too expensive for AustraliaCollapse of the nuclear industry‘s ”golden hope”. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DvpmGP8P6Mk

‘It makes us sick’: remote NT community wants answers about uranium in its water supply.

INTERNATIONAL.

Bizarre twists in USA’s war on Julian Assange and Wikileaks.

Epidemiology – research on baby teeth gives valuable information on health effects of ionising radiation.

What Does Building A Nuclear Power Station Mean for CO2 Emissions As We Near COP26 ?

Crypto currency and nuclear power – a worrying partnership.

Smoke from nuclear war would devastate ozone layer, alter climate.

The scale of global e-waste .

Vale Sister Megan Rice – an anti-nuclear hero. Libbe HaLevy’s interview with Sister Megan Rice 2019.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I_cguuNy-3U

Prince William: Saving Earth should come before space tourism.

Catholic Archbishop at UN urges immorality of nuclear weapons, and of militarising space.

Patients lack knowledge on radiation in medical imaging,

JAPANNuclear hawks under Kishida threaten Suga’s renewables push. Japan’s new pro nuclear push – and for small nuclear reactors. Lethal radiation levels detected in Fukushima nuclear plant reactor lid . Japan’s new PM won’t delay release of contaminated water into ocean.

CHINA. US nuclear submarine accident sparks safety fears in South China Sea.

EUROPE. European Commission urges member states to speed up solar energy deployment .

Prince William: Saving Earth should come before space tourism.

Catholic Archbishop at UN urges immorality of nuclear weapons, and of militarising space.

Patients lack knowledge on radiation in medical imaging,

JAPANNuclear hawks under Kishida threaten Suga’s renewables push. Japan’s new pro nuclear push – and for small nuclear reactors. Lethal radiation levels detected in Fukushima nuclear plant reactor lid . Japan’s new PM won’t delay release of contaminated water into ocean.

CHINA. US nuclear submarine accident sparks safety fears in South China Sea.

EUROPE. European Commission urges member states to speed up solar energy deployment .

USA.

FRANCE

UK. 

INDIA. India, China and the new missile silos.

BELGIUM. Belgium’s Energy Minister calls for the government to speed up plan to shut down nuclear reactors.

GERMANYNuclear power is not sustainable energy – German environment ministry.

NEW ZEALANDKeep space for peace – opposition to New Zealand’s space industry and its military connections.

PHILIPPINES. AUKUS and the Philippines – sleepwalking into military-nuclear entanglements.  

Collapse of the nuclear industry’s ”golden hope”

October 14, 2021

Nuclear industry isn’t offering the ‘golden hope’ it promised  https://www.skynews.com.au/opinion/paul-murray/nuclear-industry-isnt-offering-the-golden-hope-it-promised/video/2d7dd9a7b928b85657fe94df1483c459, October 12, 2021  

Former NSW premier Bob Carr says cost blowouts and huge delays around the world are showing the nuclear industry is not offering the “golden hope” it promised. “In the whole of the United States there is only one nuclear power plant under construction and it is being subjected to the most extreme delays and cost blowouts,” he told Sky News host Paul Murray. “And meanwhile there are six currently being taken out of commission.

“In France there hasn’t been a new power plant added to their grid since 1999 and they’re taking at least three, perhaps six out of it. “The only new plant to be built in western Europe has been in Finland it was supposed to be operating in 2009 and there’ve been huge cost blowouts there.

“That’s why I say the industry is not offering us the silver bullet, the golden hope that we were led to believe and which persuaded me 15 years ago.” Mr Carr argued renewables backed up by batteries are Australia’s “safest bet” for pulling off a transition to net zero emissions.

Nuclear news this week -Australia and more

October 12, 2021

Keeping up with the pandemic – it’s all still happening.

The nuclear submarines and AUKUS have continued in the news, and re likely to keep going – problems about who’ll supply them, about their HEU fuel, about obsolescence, about anxieties in South East Asia, about revving up tensions between USA and China.
However, as this week develops, the news focus is shifting to the coming Cop26 climate conference. The nuclear lobby is now salivating about the possibility of it having a role in this international.summit

AUSTRALIA

Australians for Assange call for help – save our failing democracy, as USA continues, by despicable means, their case against him.

Nuclear submarines. Can the Australian government ignore this powerful letter exposing the foolish decision to ”go nuclear” with submarines and AUKUS? Morrison’s decision on AUKUS and nuclear submarines was made with no debate in Parliament. Growing pressure for Australia to scrap the plan for nuclear submarines fuelled by Highly Enriched Uranium (HEU). It’s unfortunate that the AUKUS nuclear submarine deal looks like weakening global nuclear non proliferation. Nuclear submarine deal needlessly raises tensions — Highly Enriched Fuel a particular danger. Nuclear submarines – A step towards nuclear power and nuclear weapons?  

 US and UK begin jostling to supply Australia with nuclear submarine fleet. Taiwan endorses AUKUS pact, asks Australia for help in war with China.

       Minerals Council pushes for the nuclear industry, despite its failing record compared to renewables. The facts contradict the pro nuclear spin of the Minerals Council of Australia‘s report, written by Ben Heard.

Radioactive waste dump and ANSTO.  Kimba Consultative Committee living in la la land over the prospect of stranded nuclear wastes. Danger in transporting nuclear wastes from Lucas Heights, and ANSTO’s conflict of interest. Questions for Ministers Taylor, Birmingham and Hunt, on their extravagant claims about ANSTO’s ”great commercial future”.

‘Do more’: COP26 president urges Morrison to make climate top priority 

Scott Morrison’s bromance with Boris Johnson is being tested, because Morrison might not attend Glasgow climate conference. Scott Morrison gets a mention on global summary of climate change leaders – and it’s not good!. Prince Charles urges Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison and other leaders to attend COP26 

Australia could ‘green’ its degraded landscapes for just 6% of what we spend on defence.

INTERNATIONAL

Pandora Papers reveal world’s Tax Avoidance B-Team. Where’s the A-Team? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W4kN2MeJg6c

The CIA Plot to Kidnap or Kill Julian Assange in London is a Story that is Being Mistakenly Ignored. Deathly Silence: Journalists Who Mocked Assange Have Nothing to Say About CIA Plans to Kill Him.
Chris Busby on the truth about black rain, radiation and cancer.  Nuclear Radiation – Incompatible with Life. Low dose radiation and cancer – the Linear No Threshold model holds good.

Saving Us: A Climate Scientist’s Case for Hope and Healing in a Divided World. Developing countries demand action on climate from the polluting rich countries

The stagnating landscape of the nuclear industry -no chance of competing with renewables.

Why Greta Thunberg’s speech was the best – blah none

What is Cop26 and why does it matter? The complete guide

Who’s who at Cop26: the leaders who hold the world’s future in their hands

Will all submarines, even nuclear ones, be obsolete and ‘visible’ by 2040Nuclear submarine deal needlessly raises tensions.

Organised crime highly active in the nuclear industry.

UKRAINEBirth defects in the Chernobyl region (from the archives).

GERMANYMushrooms in Germany are still contaminated by Chernobyl radiation.


FINLAND. 
Finland lobbied EU to declare nuclear power sustainable after unpublished cabinet decision. Finland’s Greens turn a lovely shade of nuclear yellow, as they back nuclear power as ”sustainable”.

JAPAN. Security lapses at Kashiwazaki-Kariwa nuclear power plant in Niigata . A-bomb survivor Setsuko Thurlow hopes Japan’s new PM can lead nuclear disarmament debate. Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida praises Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. Nuke disaster radiation continues to threaten traditional ways of life in northeast Japan. Industry minister vows to promote scrapping of Fukushima plant as top priority.

CHINAWhy China sent a record number of fighter jets and nuclear-capable bombers into Taiwan’s defence zone. China demands answers on US nuclear submarine accident in South China Sea.

INDIA. Tamil Nadu Assembly Speaker, activists oppose spent nuclear fuel storage facility in Kudankulam.

UK.

USA

SOUTH AFRICAWe must question why small modular reactors and the rebirth of nuclear energy are all the rage.

FRANCE. 2022 French Presidential candidates divided over nuclear energy. The French are mainly for nuclear power, but not so keen on new nuclear stations.

NORWAY. Norway led the way in 25 years of clean-up of Russia’s dead nuclear submarine radioactive trash.

NORTH KOREATime to find more realistic options than complete, verifiable, and irreversible dismantling of the North Korean nuclear program .

RUSSIA. Russia aims to lift old dead nuclear submarines from the bottom of the Barents and Kara Seas by 2030. Russia’s perilous job in raising sunken nuclear submarines. Russia withdraws offer to freeze nuclear warhead production. Terrorists trying to get secrets on production of nuclear weapons

MIDDLE EAST. The risks of a catastrophic spent nuclear fuel fire near the Persian Gulf..

PACIFIC ISLANDSCNMI House slams Japan’s plan to dump nuclear waste into Pacific.


SWEDEN
. Swedish insurance group Länsförsäkringar cuts off investment to nuclear weapons.

CHILE. Chile ratifies UN Nuclear weapons ban treaty .

IRAN. US calls for ‘imminent’ return to nuclear talks with Iran. Preventing an accidental nuclear crisis in Iran and beyond.

ISRAEL. Israel May Accept Iran As Nuclear Power According To Secret Talks.


PAKISTAN
. Pakistani nuclear weapons scientist Abdul Qadeer Khan dies aged 85. How A.Q. Khan brought the atomic bomb to Pakistan and beyond.

NEW ZEALAND. Jacinda Ardern warned twice Rocket Lab’s launches could break Nuclear Free Law.

Pandora Papers reveal world’s Tax Avoidance B-Team. Where’s the A-Team?

October 10, 2021

Kimba Consultative Committee living in la la land over the prospect of stranded nuclear wastes

October 9, 2021

A VIEWING PLATFORM……Soooooo….let me get this right….People from around the world, will come flooding into Kimba (this is paraphrasing Adi Paterson’s claim that it will be a “tourist” attraction), to “view” the dump from a viewing platform!!!

And it gets better – “Members seem to be strongly for the visitor centre in the township and liked Mr Osborn’s idea about the viewing platform. It was also raised that they did not want to see the visitor centre offer coffee or lunch, as it would affect local businesses.” 

Kazzi Jai  Fight to stop a nuclear waste dump in South Australia, 8 Oct 21,

For those time poor, here is a brief summary of the latest minutes of the Kimba Consultative Committee August 26th 2021

1. Downplaying Judicial Review….What a surprise! Biggest laughable line – “Choosing Napandee is an educated decision based on in-depth community consultation and extensive technical assessment work undertaken over a 4 year period, which started with voluntary land nomination by the owners of land.”!!

2. Cultural Heritage Assessment….to be done AFTER site acquisition because apparently “the work is quite costly and it would be prudent to wait until the site is acquired to spend further public money on this activity.”!! 

3. Fluff words – no substance – “ARWA will work with ANSTO, CSIRO, and others to develop this research and implement an Australian appropriate disposal pathway in due course” – with respect to the “temporary” storage of Intermediate Level Nuclear Waste!

NOT ONE RED CENT SPENT YET TO DEAL PROPERLY WITH INTERMEDIATE LEVEL NUCLEAR WASTE – SO NOT GOING TO HOLD ONE’S BREATH ON THIS “PROMISE”….ALWAYS “LOOKING INTO IT” SEEMS TO BE THE FALLBACK ANSWER TO “APPEASE” PEOPLE….FROM WHAT WILL BE IN FACT STRANDED WASTE!!!!! ….Again….why is there no mention of a HOT CELL should the Intermediate Level Nuclear Waste be stored in Kimba? TN-81 casks ONLY have a 40 year lifetime manufacturer’s warranty. Given that it will now NOT be ANSTO’S PROBLEM – THEY ARE ONLY THE CUSTOMERS……WHERE DOES THIS LEAVE THE TN-81 WASTE??

4. Seems there is a REDUCTION in ACTUAL SECURITY already happening BEFORE EVEN DECLARATION OF THE SITE HAS HAPPENED!!…..”There were questions around the police presence in the community with an influx of people for construction, and whether this is something that has been considered. Mr Osborn said that this is something that needs further discussion with South Australian Police and Council. There will be security at the site, however it is yet to be decided if it will be Australian Federal Police (AFP).”
5. “Mr Osborn said that he envisaged a visitor centre in town and the possibility of there being a viewing platform at the facility where people can look over the site to get a birdseye view.”

A VIEWING PLATFORM……Soooooo….let me get this right….People from around the world, will come flooding into Kimba (this is paraphrasing Adi Paterson’s claim that it will be a “tourist” attraction), to “view” the dump from a viewing platform!!!

And it gets better – “Members seem to be strongly for the visitor centre in the township and liked Mr Osborn’s idea about the viewing platform. It was also raised that they did not want to see the visitor centre offer coffee or lunch, as it would affect local businesses.”   https://www.facebook.com/groups/344452605899556

Nuclear power for Australia? It’s not going to happen!

October 8, 2021

Nuclear enthusiasts and fellow travellers like me once said of solar it’s the greatest future source of power and always will be. Solar investors may aim that rhetorical dart at small modular reactors and, indeed, the nuclear sector as its energy share, for years stagnant, proceeds to go backwards.

In Australia nuclear attracts not the remotest investor interest. If nuclear were an option a merchant bank or superannuation fund might be manoeuvring to own the space. They might have formed a consortium with a miner and a construction company or two, with a brace of lobbyists at work. It’s not happening.

The contrast with the surge to renewables is stark………..

[ED. An interesting and important piece here re the failure of nuclear power in today’s Australian.
Important because Bob Carr used to be pro-nuke and has changed in response to evidence.
This is timely and a good reinforcement to federal Labor re their strong opposition to any domestic nuclear industry.
]

Nobody’s really interested in the nuclear option

BOB CARR, OCTOBER 7, 2021,THE AUSTRALIAN

Australians may be open to nuclear power, as evidenced by Tuesday’s Newspoll. But nuclear is not open for them.

Globally the industry is moribund. “The dream that failed,” says The Economist magazine, concluding it needs government money for life support.

In 2010 one enthusiast predicted within 10 years fourth-generation reactors and small modular reactors would be commonplace, including in Australia. None exists, here or abroad.

More damning, the industry lacks a single example in a Western country of a new power plant being built remotely on time and budget. According to the World Nuclear Industry Status Report, 94 plants were to come on line across the last decade but 98 get decommissioned. Yet 48 of those to be built are to be in China. Remove them and that leaves 46 coming online and – stubborn fact – 98 being decommissioned in the rest of the world.

In 2019, for the first time, renewable sources, excluding hydro, generated more power than nuclear.

In Australia nuclear attracts not the remotest investor interest. If nuclear were an option a merchant bank or superannuation fund might be manoeuvring to own the space. They might have formed a consortium with a miner and a construction company or two, with a brace of lobbyists at work. It’s not happening.

The contrast with the surge to renewables is stark. Andrew Forrest and Mike Cannon-Brookes are prepared to put their own funds into a vast solar farm in the Northern Territory and Forrest to make a huge commitment to hydrogen. There is no single investor with a comparable zest for nuclear power, either high net worth individual or institution.

Ziggy Switkowski produced a report on nuclear power for John Howard in 2007. It was to be the foundation of Australian nuclear power, a decades-long dream. Even with a partiality for the industry Switkowski could only conclude nuclear power, at double the price of coal and gas, would require a price on carbon – and even additional government subsidy.

Three prime ministers – Tony Abbott, Malcolm Turnbull, Scott Morrison – have not reopened the debate. For his part, by becoming chair of Crown in August, Switkowski seems to demonstrate more confidence in gaming-based tourism than the commercial potential of the nuclear fuel cycle.

I argued a pro-nuclear case within the Labor Party and scorned what I saw as the left phobia against the nuclear option. Like British scientist James Lovelock I thought coal more destructive and nuclear the bridge to the era of renewables.

But it’s now clear nuclear is lumbering, subject to breakdowns and cripplingly expensive. New renewable sources such as wind and solar increased by 184 gigawatts last year while nuclear grew by only 2.4GW. The number of active reactors has barely changed since the 1980s.

France was the poster child. But no new reactor has been connected to its grid since 1999. It closed its pressurised water reactor in 1991 and followed by terminating two fast breeder reactors and a small heavy-water reactor.

Poor reliability plagues the fleet. On any day at least four plants are at zero output because of technical failures. The average per plant is a month per year at zero production. But investment in upgrades faces competition from renewables and tough new EU energy efficiency standards.

Not even Scandinavian efficiency can provide a happy pro-nuclear narrative. Finland became the first country in western Europe to order a new nuclear reactor since 1988 but it’s running 13 years late, plagued with management and quality control issues, bankruptcies and investor withdrawals.

Who could have the faintest confidence that Australia could throw up a nuclear reactor with more panache – exceeding with efficiency not only the Finns but the British with their delays and cost blowouts and the Americans with their construction disasters in Georgia and South Carolina?

Doing big complex projects is hardly an Australian competitive edge. Think of the 50 years opining about a second Sydney airport, or – killer fact – the fumbling with submarines.

Where is the shire council putting up its hand to host a nuclear power plant? Harder to find than a sponsor for a high-temperature toxic waste incinerator.

Nobody in the Hunter Valley has urged nuclear for the Liddell site, even on the footprint of this coal-fired power plant scheduled to close. And not even invoking the prospect of a small modular reactor that 10 years back was the vanguard of the nuclear renaissance. About to be planted across the Indonesian archipelago and the rest of Asia, we were promised. Today they exist only on the Rolls-Royce drawing boards they have adorned since the 1970s.

Nuclear enthusiasts and fellow travellers like me once said of solar it’s the greatest future source of power and always will be. Solar investors may aim that rhetorical dart at small modular reactors and, indeed, the nuclear sector as its energy share, for years stagnant, proceeds to go backwards.

Bob Carr is the longest-serving premier of NSW and a former Australian foreign minister.

Nuclear Radiation – Incompatible with Life

October 6, 2021

Eiichiro Ochiai – from  Nuclear Issues  in the  21st Century  – Invisible Radiation Effects on Life,As argued in this whole book, the basic reason for “NO NPP on the Earth” is “Radiation is Not Compatible with Life”.  What this means is that life cannot defend itself against the damaging effects of radiation.   This has been true throughout the whole history of life on earth, though such effect by the naturally occurring radiation is minimal, and cannot be identified as such unless careful and systematic studies are conducted.  This issue is discussed in chapter 11. 

The radiation effects on human health have increased since the human started to add radioactive materials artificially to the environment.  This is a fact, and needs to be recognized by the entire human race,

Very Small Quantity of Radioactive Nuclides can be Lethal 

It was argued in section xxx why external exposure of such a small energy (10 Gy) is lethal. This energy is to raise the body temperature by only 0.0024 degrees.  The following is an example of lethal internal radiation caused by a much smaller radiation exposure.

 One of the Bandazhevsky investigations showed that the Cs-137 Bq value in the heart was 200 Bq/kg on average in those died from heart failure after Chernobyl accident [Fig. 8.x on original].  This radioactivity is caused by 6 x 10-11 g of Cs-137.   If the body (heart) was exposed to this radiation activity for a year, the exposure dose would have been about 1 mGy/kg.  In terms of ICRP and other such organizations’ estimate, this low level exposure should have no significant health effect.  The fact is that it was lethal.  This radiation source emitted 6.3 x 109 radioactive particles. Assuming 1 MeV per particle, the exposure would have destroyed about 1 x 1014 molecules in the heart cells.  Some critically important molecules for heart activity could have been destroyed; hence heart failure and death.

This is to illustrate how small quantities of radionuclides can be lethal.  If this argument is reasonable, even smaller quantities can be supposed to be able to cause serious diseases, including cancers.

he operation of NPP inevitably produces a large amount of radioactive material.  Typically 3-4 kg of U-235 will be burned per day at a NPP, so that a NPP burns about 1 tons of U-235 per year.  The basic problem is to dispose safely the radioactive nuclides.

     The wastes we produce, whether biological or industrial, can be dealt with.  The biological wastes can be thrown into “toilet”, after which they are processed chemically, biologically, otherwise and eventually returned in harmless forms back to the environment.  They can be used as manure, as well.  Or animals’ wastes are collected and dried, and then used as fuel without any harm to people in certain regions.  These ways of dealing with the wastes are possible because they are chemicals.  Of course the problems are not simply theoretical matters, and are big problems in reality, as exemplified by the “plastic wastes”.

NPP have no toilet for its radioactive wastes; the spent fuel rods are typically stored in cooling pools.  The radioactive wastes produce both heat and radiation through decaying processes.  When the fuel rods become sufficiently cool after certain period of time (years), they would be transferred into sturdy containers being cooled by air, and no further treatment.  Well they are supposed to be deposited in deep caves where they would be left in forever.  The basic problem with radionuclides is that we, chemical means, cannot change them to the non-radioactive.  Therefore, they are left radioactive; some of them last million years (see Fig. 24.1).  How safely they are stored in such places (deep cave, etc) is a good question.  Geological activities may damage the containers or radioactivity may be enough to damage the containers for such a long period (may feel forever for human race).

Can the Australian government ignore this powerful letter exposing the foolish decision to ”go nuclear” with submarines and AUKUS?

October 5, 2021

Ed. note. Here I summarise the points in this well-researched letter: Diplomatic Repercussions –  Geopolitical Tensions and Australian National Security(Why the decision makes Australias national security worse not better)  – We now have No Submarine Program at All.  – But Is Nuclear the Best Stealth? – Can we Build them at Osborne?  -Time to re-evaluate our Submarine Program? –The worst option is to do as we have now done. – Conclusion – This decision  should be re-visited

Conclusion

The submarine decision, especially within the context of the new ‘AUKUS’ grouping, but even taken on its own:

Worsens rather than improves Australias own national security, making us (more of) a nuclear target than we have ever been, and extending the targeting potentially from joint facilities to Australian cities and naval bases.

Worsens rather than improves regional security, adding impetus to regional arms racing, and increasing the likelihood that other Governments may decide they would like to have submarines fueled by HEU 

Leaves Australia currently with no replacement program for the Collins Class submarines

Makes no sense even within its own restricted terms of reference because it does not offer a submarine with the best stealth

—Requires a submarine  that may not be possible to construct even in part at Osborne. 

Letter Sent 5 October to Cabinet Security Cttee, Senate, Reps, DFAT, re Nuclear Subs, AUKUS,

PEOPLE FOR NUCLEAR DISARMAMENT

HUMAN SURVIVAL PROJECTNUCLEAR SUBMARINES, AUKUS

Dear Prime Minister Scott Morrison, other decision-makers on the Australian nuclear submarines project, Cabinet National Security Committee, AUKUS:

Summary:

The decision to establish a new diplomatic/military grouping, AUKUS, deepens confrontational tendencies in the Indo-Pacific region and is hence destabilizing, and worsens rather than improves Australia’s national security. It helps to ‘paint nuclear targets on Australia’s backside’.

The decision to equip Australia with nuclear submarines fueled with highly enriched uranium is both destabilizing and proliferative even if technically within the letters of the NPT.  The decision to go with HEU fueled subs in particular opens a proliferation ‘pandoras box’.

https://thebulletin.org/2021/09/the-new-australia-uk-and-us-nuclear-submarine-announcement-a-terrible-decision-for-the-nonproliferation-regime/

The decision to ‘go nuclear’ with submarines has been justified on the supposed technical superiority of nuclear over conventional subs. However a look in detail at the real – world technical and operational characteristics of advanced conventional and nuclear subs shows clear technical superiorities on the part of advanced conventional submarines exactly where we are being told nuclear subs are superior – in the area of quietness and non-detectability. The technical case for nuclear over conventional submarines is not established.

No analysis, and no thought, has been given as to what are Australia’s real security needs, and into whether submarines of any description fit into it.

The decision leaves Australia with currently NO replacement program for the Collins Class subs.        

The Submarine Decision and AUKUS

The decision to cancel an existing, well – established, contract with the French Naval Group for a diesel version of the Suffren class attack submarine has not met with universal acclaim, particularly from the French.

At the same time, the  closely related decision to establish a new military/diplomatic grouping to be known as ‘AUKUS’ (Australia-UK-US) has also raised questions as to its  geo-strategic impact, and contributed further to the deterioration of our relations with China, and possibly with Russia, with potentially catastrophic implications for Australias national security and the safety of all Australians.

It has quite reasonably been suggested that the establishment of ‘AUKUS” cements Australia into an ‘Anglo-sphere’ that is intrinsically limited in scope (how for example, does it relate to the ‘quad’ of India, Australia, Japan, US?), that excludes other nations that have strong Indo-Pacific interests and are allies (including France itself, now snubbed and smarting), and above all, that deepens confrontational attitudes in the region, especially with China.

It is by no means clear that the decision to substitute nuclear powered submarines is even the best decision on technical grounds, or that nuclear powered submarines are necessarily superior in the respects that might be important to Australia and particularly in extreme stealth – to conventionally powered submarines, either the existing Collins class, the erstwhile projected French submarine, or to an evolutionary successor to Collins.

Read the rest of this entry »

Nuclear news this week – Australia and beyond

October 4, 2021

This month, my websites are focussing on ionising radiation.  Not that this is a topic in the news media.  Far from it. Yet it is strange that the world media is preoccupied with tiny invisible viruses that quickly can bring about illness and death, yet ignores tiny invisible radioactive particles that slowly can bring about illness and death.    
Well, the global nuclear lobby has done a darn good job in convincing the world that low level nuclear nuclear radiation is OK, perhaps indeed good for you. Now they’re gearing up for an even bigger push about nuclear being good for the climate.
AUSTRALIA. Ionising radiation – the forgotten health disaster.

AUKUS and nuclear submarines. Australia’s nuclear submarine deal a distraction from climate actionAustralia the sucker for cash-strapped U.S, and U.K submarine companies General Dynamics and BAE Systems. Australia’s nuclear submarines – a grand announcement leading to a grand shambles. No solution to submarine nuclear waste. Australia would be crazy to take on this mess.  Australia’s nuclear submarines likely to be obsolete and useless.


IAEA concerned that AUKUS could weaken non-proliferation system . Malcolm Turnbull on nuclear submarines – nothing is agreed. There is no design, no costing, no contract. Australian govt will take 18 months at least to find out if we’re leasing nuclear submarines. The giant question: is Australia able to deal with submarine nuclear wastes?  Russia warns that AUKUS is a ” a great challenge to the international nuclear non-proliferation regime.” Vatican not happy with Australia getting nuclear submarines (that’s except for George Pell, who backs them). Unknowns about Australia’s proposed nuclear submarines, especially weapons proliferation risks.

Trevor St Baker and the latest push for nuclear energy.

Kimba nuclear waste dump plan. Kimba nuclear waste dump is absolutely not a foregone conclusion. ARPANSA may not give licence for Kimba nuclear waste dump: Nuclear wastes best managed at Lucas Heights. When talking about nuclear waste and radioactivity, blurring the figures is a good pro nuclear strategy! To be internationally credible, ARPANSA (Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency) needs to include detail on radionuclides in Intermediate Level nuclear waste. 

 Climate.    Liberal Coalition prepares for greenwashing at the Glasgow climate summit. Scott Morrison confirms he’s unlikely to attend UN climate summit in Glasgow. Australia should not be a climate laggard at Glasgow- Matt Kean (Liberal) – Cheaper renewables make Narrabri gas project obsolete .

Scott Morrison’s ‘net zero by 2050’ emissions reduction plan will be filled with tricks and rorts 

INTERNATIONAL

World Nuclear Industry Status Report 2021. Global nuclear agencies get together to launch the big propaganda show ”Group of Vienna” ahead of COP26.

Climate solutions must be assessed on cost and speed of operation – nuclear fails on both, while reduced demand is a winner.  The most important factor in the nuclear-power debate: Cost.

Nuclear for climate? – DON’T MENTION RADIATION!

Greta Thunberg mocks world leaders’ words at Youth4Climate.

No, a nuclear-powered superyacht won’t save the world.


Unknowns about Australia’s proposed nuclear submarines
, especially weapons proliferation risks.

ARCTIC. Russian and American nuclear wastes in the Arctic may release radiation as global heating melts the ice.

NORWAYNorway paid to help Russian nuclear submarine waste clean-up – but now – new submarines!

JAPAN. Japan’s independent English language newsletter, analysing nuclear issues, is struggling to survive.

CANADAOntario’s Unfunded Nuclear Decommissioning Liability is in the $18-$27 Billion CAD Range.

USA. Why USA needs a fundamental reappraisal of nuclear weapons policy. An added small nuclear reactor would just increase the burden of radioactive trash at Columbia Generating Station. Elon Musk , world’s richest man, pays no tax, likes nuclear power.  Entergy faces federal fine for violations at its nuclear power plant near St. Francisville

UK.

FRANCEHigh rates of cancer and deaths among former nuclear workers at Ile-Longue nuclear submarine base. With its reprocessing plant in La Hague, Two French nuclear workers affected by contaminated water.    France has the highest radioactive discharges at sea in Europe.  French company EDF getting anxious and urgent about UK getting funding for Sizewell C nuclear project.


HUNGARY
. Hungary’s nuclear watchdog withholds permits for two new reactors.

NORTH KOREAChina supports North Korea’s call to revise sanctions, return to nuclear talks.

RUSSIAThe sunken nuclear submarines: Russia’s ‘slow-motion Chernobyl’ at seaRussia confirms that ”Nuclear is Green”- (George Orwell would be fascinated.)

IRAN. Iran calls on US to unfreeze $10 billion before returning to nuclear talks.