Climate, nuclear, news to 24 March

March 24, 2017

CLIMATE. The worrying thing about climate change is not only that it’s happening so fast, but that it could now be seen as “normal”. The  World Meteorological Organisation is telling us that the world climate is now in  ‘uncharted territory’.

This month, my websites have focused on MEDIA. And that scene is worrying, too, as mainstream media has trivialised or ignored climate change. . However, that might now be changing.

NUCLEAR. As climate change risks becoming “normalised”, so, too, does the Fukushima situation. As if the 6th anniversary is over – now we can all ‘move on’?  Deadly nuclear radiation levels detected in Fukushima.  80% of families not going back to Fukushima after housing aid ends. Fukushima fishermen fight release of tainted water as tritium standoff continues.  Yakuza gangsters thriving. And lots more…

AUSTRALIA

CLIMATE. Leaders of Australian Climate Change Authority quit over government’s inaction

This week, it’s all about Adani’s planned mega coal mine. The Stop Adani Alliance is being lainched by former Greens leader Bob Brown. Adani investors misled? Money shifted to tax haven as Australian govt subsidises loan. Immense coal mine “good for the environment” says fossil fuel lackey Resources Minister Matt Canavan. Australian cricketing great Ian Chappell wants Adani solar, but NOT Adani coal mine. 73% of Australians want investment in solar, not coal.

RENEWABLES and MEDIA. Australian media distorts facts on renewable energy: 1. ABC’s Chris Uhlmann. Media distortion 2. THE AUSTRALIAN. Media distortion 3. Fairfax. 

“Small” rooftop solar is driving Australia’s solar energy boom: rooftop solar the unsung hero in recent South Australia blackouts. Victoria and South Australia embrace grid-scale storage for power reliabilityFirst Nations Renewable Energy Alliance- a formidable lobby group takes off.

NUCLEAR. Radioactive Repeat: federal radioactive waste Groundhog Day increases uncertainty. Govt advances 2 sites at Kimba on the Eyre Peninsula for assessment as radioactive waste dumps.

Aboriginal issues. Senate Inquiry report tabled: Labor support for Native Title Bill profoundly disappointing.

INTERNATIONAL

New Study: Rapid Transition to Renewable Energy Helps Global Economy, Prevents Worst Climate Impacts

USA.

JAPAN.   Japan stages mass evacuation drills, following North Korean missile launches.  Toshiba’s financial meltdown set off by nuclear power plans. Govt plans A Campaign to Tackle “Misinformation” about Radioactive Contamination. Japanese companies exploit refugees for Fukushima radioactive clean-up work.

NORTH KOREA. North Korea’s Capability Has Entered A ‘New Phase’ – warns U.N. Nuclear Inspector Yukiya Amano.

INDIAIndia could launch ‘preemptive’ nuclear strike against Pakistan, says expert.India Already Facing Water Shortages Ahead of Dry Season

UK. Request by UN to Britain: Pause Hinkley Nuclear Plant Work for Environmental Assessment.   As Toshiba’s $500m nuclear bankruptcy looms, Britain’s Moorside project could be  doubtful. Campaign groups mobilise against UK’s Bradwell nuclear power project.

NORWAY. At Svanhovd another tiny measurement of radioactive iodine – ongoing release?

RUSSIA. Russia developing Major Naval Base for Nuclear Warships in Syria.

PERU.  Signals of Climate Change Visible as Record Fires Give Way to Massive Floods in Peru

SOUTH AFRICASouth Durban Community Environmental Alliance (SDCEA) organising anti nuclear petition

The week that has been in nuclear and climate news

March 18, 2017

I scratch around for good news. There is plenty, on the renewable energy scene. And this: CO2 emissions from energy remain flat for third year running.  Total number of global nuclear weapons has dropped.

Not so good news. Disaster looms over North Korea: how could this be stopped? US Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, rejects negotiation with North Korea, and keeps journalists out. Tillerson considers a pre-emptive strike against North Korea.

AUSTRALIA

CLIMATE and RENEWABLE ENERGY The week has been a bewildering cascade of news, views, and squabbles about energy. Best news – THE AUSTRALIAN newspaper, longtime mouthpiece of the right-wing and fossil fuel lobbies – today pronounced Australia’s unstoppable transition to renewable energy. ! That came after: South Australia announcing  a new energy plan, a huge kerfuffle about gas, heaps of news about solar battery storage, and, finally, a desperate Snow job by Malcolm Turnbull.

The Turnbull magic trick is his plan for Snowy River pumped hydro power. That could work, in the longer term, a decade or so. However it smells more like Turnbull scrambling to cover up government failure to address immediate energy problems, and also to distract attention from Elon Musk’s offer to fix South Australia’s energy by solar and storage, within 100 days.

Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) could require financial institutions to test climate risks’

Adani coal mine expansion plans. Queensland Premier backs this, despite strong opposition from Aboriginal landowners, and a delegation of other prominent Australians.

NUCLEAR. 

Aboriginal issues. Senate Inquiry told  Native Title amendments  will disenfranchise Traditional Owners.

INTERNATIONAL

Massive amounts of heat being stored in the oceans.   G20 will not be mentioning that nasty left-wing phrase “climate change”.

EUROPE. The very serious threat of sea level rise.

USA.

JAPAN. 

UK. UK government boycotts UN nuclear disarmament talks.  UK plans for small nuclear reactors stalling. Bechtel pulls out. UK’s Moorside nuclear project in more doubt, with Toshiba’s crisis.

RUSSIA. Russia Plans to Fuel Floating Nuclear Reactor(s) in St. Petersburg – Endangering the City of 5 Million, Before Towing It Around Scandinavia. Russia will pay Kenya to buy its nuclear technology.

TAIWAN. Taiwan govt reaffirms aim to phase out nuclear power by 2025. Thousands in Taiwan protest against nuclear power, demand low carbon sustainable energy.

TURKEY. Call for Turkey to get its own nuclear weapons.

FRANCE. Areva factory for nuclear parts gets poor report from regulator.

Anniversary of Fukushima nuclear catastrophe, and other news this week

March 12, 2017

Japan and the sporting world are cheerfully preparing for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. It will bring in 32.3 trillion yen. And goody – they’re going to have trans gender toilets! Forget about Fukushima. That’s all fixed up. But, actually, – No!  Fukushima remains a lurking global catastrophe. Despite the propaganda, Fukushima nuclear clean-up is not under control.

Fukushima nuclear disaster evacuees pressured to return to contaminated homes.  About 40 percent of 42 local leaders along the coasts of Iwate, Miyagi and Fukushima prefectures doubt their areas will recover by the time of the 2020 Tokyo Games due to the ongoing Fukushima nuclear crisis. Link between the Fukushima nuclear meltdown and thyroid cancer in children?. Roaming, radioactive boars slow the return of Japan’s nuclear refugees. Financial crunch time looms for Fukushima’s ‘voluntary evacuees’.

AUSTRALIA

CLIMATE and RENEWABLE ENERGY   (I’ve left out heaps here)  State of the Environment report says climate change impact on Australia may be irreversible. Australia’s record-breaking summer heat linked directly to climate change.  Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (Apra) could require financial institutions to test climate risks.  Australia’s peak farming group asks govt to consider emissions trading scheme.

In 2017, Australia has already 43% increase in solar rooftop installations.  Already cheaper than grid: – Solar and Storage.

NUCLEAR South Australian Liberal Party condemns the plan to import nuclear wastes.

INTERNATIONAL

(I’ve left out heaps. – especially on climate and renewable energy)

Nuclear lobbyists in disarray on what to do about the nuclear industry’s crisis.

EUROPE. 

USA. Trump brinkmanship as B-52 NUCLEAR BOMBERS sent to South Korea. Trump administration locks out the media, retreats into secrecy. EPA – USA’s Environment Punishing Agency Now – as Scott Pruitt promotes climate change denialism. The Trump and Congressional Republican Assault on Our Environment.

NORTH KOREANuclear warning from North Korea.

JAPAN. Reasons for Japan to dump nuclear power more obvious now than ever.

News from the past week – Climate and Nuclear

March 5, 2017

a-cat-CANSorry – this  is too long. And I ‘ve left out some! I will try putting what I see as particularly significant in red text

The most significant article of the week comes from 3 very  distinguished writers, in the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists,  in explaining how the USA’s military upgrade means a vast expansion of the killing power of the most numerous warhead in the US nuclear arsenal, with the ability to launch a”first strike”. Consequently, the Russians are   gravely concerned, and are developing new sea-based weapons.

President Trump’s  rather sweet  and antiseptic speech to Congress, avoided his previous bellicose promises, but did mention a big increase in defense spending, though not how he would pay for that.

AUSTRALIA

Historic discussions in South Australia towards a Treaty with Aboriginal Nations. Call to Block Native Title Amendment (Indigenous Land Use Agreements) Bill 2017.

CLIMATE an  ENERGY . Issues surrounding  coal mining dominated the news:

More Bleaching on Great Barrier Reef. New South Wales is set to experience many more hot summers, with extreme heat days.

Economist Prof John Quiggan puts convincing case for public-owned Australian power grid.

Murdoch media wages war on renewable energy.

Solar farms to benefit farmers in Geelong, Ballarat and Bendigo areas.  Victorian government more than doubles solar-feed-in tariff.   Clean Energy Finance Corporation to repeat its solar success in battery storage.  National Australia Bank now investing in renewable energy in Europe, US and UK.  Plan for solar panels accessible to flat dwellers.

NUCLEAR. A renewed push for South Australia to import nuclear waste, with a letter to politicians from  43 citizens, turns out to emanate from Australia’s most talented nuclear propagandist, Ben Heard. With his nuclear front “group”, Bright New World, Heard is pretty much a one man nuclear band, on  the international, as well as the national, pro nuclear scene, and is seeking charity status. Next week he is off to help the South African nuclear lobby, in their very troubled cause.

Radioactive cows buried in Werribee, Victoria.

One of my own articles – Media and nuclear – Australia

INTERNATIONAL

CLIMATE.  With New El Nino Predicted, 3rd Hottest January on Record May be Cool Mark for 2017. Rapid spread of ocean acidification in the Arctic.  Antarctic Sea Ice Hits New All-Time Record Low. Huge slabs of permafrost disintegrating in Northwest Canada. Famine Warning Issued in Four Countries Following Worst African Droughts in Decades.  Experts gather at Vatican conference with call to avoid ‘biological extinction’.

NUCLEAR 

EUROPE. Europe’s wild boars posing a radioactive problem

UK.  Up to £219 billion to clean up the UK’s nuclear mess: autonomous robots to be developed.  Britain’s Failing New Nuclear Programme. UK taxpayers up for tens of billions of pounds sterling as govt bends to pressure to build new nuclear reactors.  Hinkley Point C – “risky and poor value for money” – House of Lords Committee. New Nuclear Reactors in Jeopardy because of Brexit?   “Small Nuclear” lobby not very happy – says taxpayer funding is essential. Oil and gas boss appointed to run UK’s Nuclear Decommissioning Authority.

JAPAN  The spin begins- sanitising Fukushima for the Olympics.  TEPCO blunders raise doubts on ability as nuke plant operator.    Daunting obstacles to Fukushima cleanup, even as evacuees move back.  Bribery scandal over Fukushima decontamination.

SOUTH KOREA. Amid Nuclear Reactor Radiation Fears, South Korea Abandons Japan Airport Flights.

USA. How Donald Trump manipulates media news anchors. Trump’s renewed attack on news media.     Scott Pruitt appointed as EPA chief in order to destroy EPA? : his emails revealed.

Worker sneaked a gun into a nuclear power station. US Senators introduce Bill to promote easier licensing of nuclear reactors.  Georgia Power Suspends Study for Nuclear Plant Near Columbus.  America’s Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) itself has nuclear safety culture problems.

INDIA.  India launches nuclear destroyer missile.   India forced to back out of nuclear project sites, due to local opposition.

Last two weeks in nuclear and climate news

February 25, 2017

a-cat-CANBlissfully away from news, and from all matters digital, –   I returned to find that the climate and environment politics are worse than ever in USA and Australia.

Meanwhile, on the nuclear scene, things would be farcical, if they were not so dangerous. Donald Trump wants to expand US nuclear arsenal, make it ‘top of the pack’. Australia’s own Dr Helen  Caldicott set out all too  clearly the grim situation at Fukushima Daiichi  nuclear  complex.

The farcical  part is in the nuclear lobby’s pretense that theirs is a viable industry. As the giant Toshiba corporation nears bankruptcy, and nuclear power stations go down like dominoes in USA, it’s really only China where the industry still might save itself. And that’s dubious, too.

And -sorry- this newsletter is too long today!

AUSTRALIA

NUCLEAR Australia stands out- in self-imposed exile from global summit on treaty to ban nuclear weapons.   Pine Gap protestors to be prosecuted: may be gaoled for 7 years.

South Australia No place for nuclear enthusiasts in South Australia’s Liberal Party. Department of Industry, Innovation and Science avoids hard questions on nuclear waste. Will the nuclear waste of Sydney’s dead HIFAR nuclear reactor be sent to South Australia?

CLIMATE  

RENEWABLE  ENERGY. There’s heaps of news on this: World-first digital energy marketplace for rooftop solar launched by Australian consortium. South Australia’s Spencer Gulf ideal for pumped hydro energy storageGlobal battery storage industry to fight Australia home bans.  Shorten speaks out f or Labor’s 50% renewable energy target.     Poll shows that majority of Australians support Labor’s renewable energy goal. 

INTERNATIONAL

Global action is needed, NOW, to defeat the out-of-control Fukushima nuclear disaster.

Effect of air pollution might have masked mid-20th Century sea ice loss.

EUROPE. Iodine 131 reported in Europe in January 2017 – European radiation facts revealed. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o_30LrqgHqg   Radiation ‘sniffer plane’ over Europe.

USA.

JAPAN.  Almost six years on, Fukushima nuclear disaster still ongoing nightmare. Global nuclear catastrophe waits in the wings, as Japan plans for Olympics.  Fukushima nuclear disaster evacuees ‘pressured’ to return to contaminated homes, says Greenpeace. Nuclear station restart at Oi is approved – but local consent is needed.   Toshiba’s c rippling burden of its overseas nuclear business.

SOUTH AFRICA. Court case to save South Africa from nuclear-industry caused bankruptcy.

FRANCE. Long closure of Flamanville nuclear reactor is costing EDF £1m a day.

CHINA. China delays nuclear reactor start again and again. Opposition to nuclear power grows. China’s culture, and the fear of speaking out on environmental concerns.

INDIA. Solar power for 7,000 Railway Stations In India.

PAKISTAN. Pakistan and India have agreed to extend their bilateral nuclear safety agreement.

RUSSIA. Russia lessening its reliance on nuclear weapons.

ALGERIA. Algerian human rights agency to prosecute France for nuclear tests.

UNITED ARAB  EMIRATES. Arab states might develop nuclear weapons? United Arab Emirates push for nuclear power

To February 10 Climate and Nuclear News

February 10, 2017

a-cat-CANI don’t know which is the worst news this week – climate or nuclear.   But I am going away for a week on a boat, WITH NO ACCESS TO ANYTHING DIGITAL.  I can’t wait. I’m taking one of those old things we all used to use – A BOOK.

But I digress:

CLIMATE. I hardly know where to start. I think that the worst thing is  connected with the collapse of journalism – as articles appear denouncing climate scientists as “frauds”. This, despite the 97 percent scientific consensus on climate change.

NUCLEAR. Remarkable apathy prevails, as nuclear weapons tensions hot up.

AUSTRALIA

CLIMATE and ENERGY

Fossil fuel generators, not renewables, are to blame for high electricity prices. Australian Energy Council warns on likely electricity problems in New South Wales. Australian Energy Market Operator now  confident of wind power security in South Australia. Queensland govt will back renewable energy, not new coal-fired power stations.

Powershop electricity customers funding community renewable energy.

Western Australian Greens propose solar battery rebate scheme.

NUCLEAR A responsible global citizen would not sell uranium to Ukraine.

South Australia

Western Australia.Ruling in favour of challenge against Noongar Indigenous land use agreement may lead to amendment of Native Title Act.

INTERNATIONAL

CLIMATE  January sea ice volume is lowest on record, by a considerable margin. Global warming might accelerate, due to the Interdecadal Pacific Oscillation, “El Tío” (the uncle).

NUCLEAR. Delays, ballooning costs, stall Next-Generation Nuclear Reactors.    Uranium companies having ‘worst time ever’.

USA.

FRANCE. Explosion in engine room at Flamanville nuclear station. A legal breakthrough for French Polynesia’s nuclear test victims. France’s Next President Said to Face $3 Billion Nuclear Hangover.

JAPAN.   Toshiba’s nuclear dominoes collapsing . Hitachi to take a 70 billion yen hit after U.S nuclear project fails.  Beyond nuclear power: Japan’s smart energy communities mushroom.  Robot could not cope with the radiation levels inside damaged Fukushima nuclear reactor. Lost in translation: Fukushima readings are not new spikes, just the same “hot mess” that’s always been there.  Fukushima nuclear disaster: Worker sues Tepco over cancer

UK.  Blow to UK nuclear strategy as Toshiba considers pulling out of Cumbria plant  Europe’s biggest nuclear construction project now hangs in the balance. Harmless radiation” – the message from Britain’s fake charity Weinberg Next Nuclear

CANADA. Nuclear waste dump saga continues in Canada

CHINA. China more than doubled solar capacity in 2016

SOUTH AFRICA Civil society organisations call on President Jacob Zuma to scrap South Africa nuclear deal.

SOUTH KOREA. Seoul Administrative Court finds in favour of local residents, orders closure of nuclear facility.

PAKISTAN. Pakistan demands that India bring its nuclear programme under International Atomic Energy Commission (IAEA)’s safeguards.

INDIA. Toshiba to withdraw from Indian nuclear projects

RUSSIA Russia finally admits to a nuclear reactor failure that it covered up for 2 months

Nuclear propagandist Ben Heard caught out in shoddy misinformation on nuclear waste importing plan

February 4, 2017

heardben

The only way to avoid gambling hundreds of millions or billions of SA taxpayers’ dollars would be in the wildly improbable scenario that potential client countries would take that gamble.

Taipower clearly states that it would not consider sending waste to another country unless and until that country has developed a repository. Yet the economic case developed by Jacobs and MCM collapses if revenue (and waste) is not received before construction of a repository.

Finally, Mr Heard’s promotion of fast breeder reactors is beyond stupid….. Most of the countries that invested in fast breeder reactors have given up, deciding not to throw good money after bad. Last year, Japan decided to give up on the Monju fast breeder reactor, a fiasco that will cost Japanese taxpayers A$17.3 billion in construction, operation and decommissioning costs despite the fact that the reactor rarely operated.

The Royal Commission completely rejected proposals advanced by Heard and others for ‘advanced fast reactors’, noting in its final report that such reactors are unlikely to be feasible or viable in the foreseeable future; that the development of such a first-of-a-kind project would have high commercial and technical risk

Friends of the Earth Australia has today written to all Members of the SA House of Assembly and Legislative Council, and SA political representatives in the Federal Parliament, responding to the latest round of misinformation from those proposing to turn SA into the world’s high-level nuclear waste dump.

——————————————————————————–

To: Members of the SA House of Assembly and Legislative Council

From: Jim Green
National nuclear campaigner
Friends of the Earth, Australia     Feb. 3, 2017

EXPOSING THE LATEST MISINFORMATION FROM THE NUCLEAR WASTE DUMP LOBBY

Dear Members of the SA House of Assembly and Legislative Council,
The Advertiser has today run an article including false claims from nuclear lobbyist / uranium industry consultant / PhD student Ben Heard that Jay Weatherill’s plan to turn SA into the world’s high-level nuclear waste dump could be pursued without the need to gamble hundreds of millions or billions of dollars with no guarantee of any return on the investment.

Mr Heard is quoted saying that the “notion of high upfront cost to South Australia is a persistent and deliberate lie first peddled by deceitful environmental groups and now, sadly, taken up by the Liberal Party.”

In fact, the necessity of gambling hundreds of millions or billions of dollars ‒ without the slightest guarantee of any return on the investment ‒ is clearly spelt out by Jacobs, the economics consulting firm commissioned by the Nuclear Fuel Cycle Royal Commission.

Jacobs Project Manager / Consultant Tim Johnson told the SA Joint Select Committee that “total expenditure prior to the decision to proceed” is likely to be from around A$300 million to in excess of A$600 million, depending on the timing of the decision to proceed. (Letter to Joint Standing Committee, 5 July 2016.)

Dr Johnson told the Joint Select Committee that the project entails very significant economic risks: “It isn’t a risk-free process to go into this. There is a very significant risk.” Yet the nuclear waste dump lobby persist with the fabrication that the project can be pursued without economic risks.

Jacobs noted the potential for initial outlays in the billions in its report for the Royal Commission: “Under the cash-flow assumptions of the baseline, where no revenues ahead of delivery are assumed (a deliberately conservative assumption), there is an initial outlay of A$2.4 billion (real) in net terms.” (Jacobs, Paper 5, sec 4.4, Cash flow profile for the baseline, p.205.)

Any suggestion that the nuclear waste dump project could be a quick fix for the SA economy were dispelled by the Royal Commission’s report, which stated (emphasis added): “Careful characterisation over several decades is required to confirm the suitability of the geological conditions.”

The only way to avoid gambling hundreds of millions or billions of SA taxpayers’ dollars would be in the wildly improbable scenario that potential client countries would take that gamble. If anyone needs any convincing as to the improbability of that scenario, it came late last year in correspondence from the Taiwanese government’s energy and nuclear agencies. As Daniel Wills reported in The Advertiser: “TAIWAN’S state-owned energy company has bluntly rejected Investment and Trade Minister Martin Hamilton-Smith’s claim the country would consider paying to help set up a nuclear waste dump in SA, saying in a letter that it “hereby declares this is a false information”.”

Taipower clearly states that it would not consider sending waste to another country unless and until that country has developed a repository. Yet the economic case developed by Jacobs and MCM collapses if revenue (and waste) is not received before construction of a repository. The Final Report of the Royal Commission states (p.300) (emphasis added): “Figure J.8 also demonstrates that a facility configuration scenario is viable only with the establishment of a surface interim storage facility capable of accepting used fuel prior to construction of geological disposal facilities. Configurations 3 and 4, which did not include interim storage facilities (see Table J.1), did not generate profits because of the delay in receiving waste and associated revenues.”

Taiwan’s Atomic Energy Council is clearly sensitive to SA public opinion, pointing to the Citizen Jury’s rejection of the proposal and noting that: “Without the understanding and support from Australian … nuclear waste storage cannot be developed.”

The nuclear waste dump lobbyists are hanging on to the ludicrous proposition that potential client countries will gamble hundreds of millions or billions of dollars on a waste dump plan that is:
* Opposed by three political parties in SA (Liberals, Greens, NXT) and by many within the ALP.
* Opposed by a majority of South Australians (e.g. 31% support vs. 53% opposition in the SA Government’s statewide consultation process; and a November 2016 poll commissioned by the Sunday Mail found just 35% support.)
* Opposed by a vast majority of Aboriginal Traditional Owners on whose land the high-level nuclear waste dump would necessarily be located. (The SA government’s Community Views Report said: “There was a significant lack of support for the government to continue pursuing any form of nuclear storage and disposal facilities. Some Aboriginal people indicated that they are interested in learning more and continuing the conversation, but these were few in number.”)
* Rejected by two-thirds of the 350-strong Citizens’ Jury “under any circumstances”.

Taiwan has clearly stated that it has no intention of gambling vast sums of money on a nuclear dump in SA and it is equally improbable that any other potential client country would do so. In which case South Australians would need to gamble hundreds of millions or billions of dollars on a project with no guarantee of any return on the investment.

Late last year, Mr Heard had to correct a statement falsely claiming that most South Australians support the high-level nuclear dump plan and he begins 2017 with another falsehood. He should have the decency to apologise to the Liberal Party and to environment groups for his latest falsehood and slander. Interestingly, the statement falsely claiming that most South Australians support the high-level nuclear dump plan was endorsed by SA’s Chief Scientist, Dr. Leanna Read. Shamefully, the state’s chief fact-checker didn’t bother to check her facts.

Mr Heard also conveniently ignores real-world experience with nuclear waste projects:
* Estimates of the clean-up costs for a range of (civil and military) UK nuclear sites including Sellafield have nearly doubled from a 2005 estimate of £56 billion (A$91.6 billion) to over £100 billion (A$163.6 billion)
* In 2005, the French government’s nuclear waste agency Andra estimated the cost of a deep geological repository at between €13.5 and €16.5 billion (A$19.0‒23.2 billion). In 2016, Andra estimates the cost of the repository at between €20 billion to €30 billion (A$28.1‒42.2 billion). As with the UK, the latest French estimates are nearly double the earlier estimates.
* Between 2001 and 2008, the estimated cost of constructing the Yucca Mountain high level nuclear waste repository in the USA and operating it for 150 years increased by 67%, from US$57.5 billion to US$96.2 billion (A$75.1 billion ‒ $125.7 billion). Yucca Mountain was abandoned – so the USA wasted US$13.5 billion (A$17.6 billion) and still doesn’t have a repository.

The Nuclear Economics Consulting Group report commissioned by the SA Joint Select Committee concluded that the nuclear waste import project could be profitable under certain assumptions but the report then raises serious questions about most of those assumptions. The NECG report notes that the Royal Commission’s economic analysis didn’t even consider some important issues which “have significant serious potential to adversely impact the project and its commercial outcomes”; that assumptions about price are “overly optimistic” and if that is the case “project profitability is seriously at risk”; that the 25% cost contingency for delays and blowouts is likely to be a significant underestimate; and that the assumption the project would capture 50% of the available market had “little support or justification”.

Finally, Mr Heard’s promotion of fast breeder reactors is beyond stupid. For all the rhetoric about Generation IV fast breeder reactors, and the US$100+ billion invested worldwide, only five such reactors are operating worldwide (three of them experimental) and only one is under construction (in India). Most of the countries that invested in fast breeder reactors have given up, deciding not to throw good money after bad. Last year, Japan decided to give up on the Monju fast breeder reactor, a fiasco that will cost Japanese taxpayers A$17.3 billion in construction, operation and decommissioning costs despite the fact that the reactor rarely operated.

The Royal Commission completely rejected proposals advanced by Heard and others for ‘advanced fast reactors’, noting in its final report that such reactors are unlikely to be feasible or viable in the foreseeable future; that the development of such a first-of-a-kind project would have high commercial and technical risk; that there is no licensed, commercially proven design and development to that point would require substantial capital investment; and that electricity generated from such reactors has not been demonstrated to be cost competitive with current light water reactor designs.

Hansard reveals how Australian government tricks the public on High Level Nuclear Waste

February 4, 2017
text-half-truth Steve Dale Nuclear Fuel Cycle Watch South Australia, 4 Feb 17   Seems like Australia put a lot of effort to get other nations to call “High Level Waste” intermediate level. It didn’t work. USA, Canada, France, Japan and UK still call Vitrified reprocessed waste “High Level”.
From Hansard: “Mrs CROSIO – If we have international definitions, why in evidence we have received do they keep on saying that ANSTO refer to their waste at one level as intermediate waste where America would classify that same waste as high level waste? Why are we different?

Prof. Garnett – America is the one that is different. America has not yet adopted the internationally agreed definitions. Dr Cameron is on the committee. He is also involved in the International Atomic Energy Agency. My director of materials, Dr Jostsons, whom you met, is also on relevant committees, and at this stage America is not conforming with the internationally agreed definitions.” Joint Committee on Public Works 14/05/99
In a response to Professor Garnett 21/02/2002 – “Senator SCHACHT —We have had a raging debate in South Australia about whether there should be a depository for low level nuclear waste, high level nuclear waste and—now I can see—intermediate level waste. If you want to go to South Australia and announce that no high level nuclear waste from Lucas Heights will be stored in the future, but we are going to call it intermediate nuclear waste from the spent fuel rods after reprocessing, good luck to you as you get chased out of town. No-one is going to believe you that that is a thing that South Australians want to live with.”decades.  https://www.facebook.com/groups/1021186047913052/

South Australian Liberals criticised unfairly by Ben Heard

February 4, 2017

logo-bright-new-world

In his latest pro nuclear spiel, on his front group “Bright New World” Ben Heard attacks South Australia’s Liberal Party. He attacks them for ignoring the evidence of (so-called) “Independent” experts.

Those experts are in fact, highly biased pro nuclear lobbyists. Dr Tim Johnson of Jacob Consulting, a leading advocate for underground nuclear storage in S.A. Jim Voss the ex-MD of Pangea Resources – a failed joint venture attempt to bring High Level nuclear waste to Australia in the late 1990s. Voss has global links in the nuclear industry at the highest level. Through UCL he lectured South Australians on the glories of nuclear.

Nuclear and climate news over the past week

February 4, 2017

a-cat-CANHow good it would be to be able to ignore Donald Trump! But he sees to it that this is pretty much impossible, in any current affairs media. On the nuclear scene, many worry a lot:

Meanwhile the global nuclear industry is in financial crisis.  And Fukushima nuclear reactor radiation at highest level since 2011 meltdown.

Trump is having his impact on climate change news and action, too.

Joint Statements on Climate Change from National Academies of Science Around the World.

AUSTRALIA

CLIMATE. Well, Prime Minister Turnbull and Resources Minister Matt Canavan have flung themselves well and truly into the embrace of the  coal industry. They have set up a task force to promote coal. They are setting up a $5 billion fund for ‘clean-coal’ power stations, and plan to use the Clean Energy Finance Corporation to fund “clean coal”, seeing that no private investor would take that risk. New “clean” coal plants would cost $billions in taxpayer subsidies, and not clean anyway.

However, there is one clear, intelligent and influential voice for  Australia’s energy future – Chief Scientist Alan Finkel   Finkel says ‘clean coal’ has to stack up.

Australia’s national government falters on climate policy. Victoria races ahead.

South Australia is in position to be renewable leader, stabilise Australia’s energy system with supergrid. Snowy Hydro turns to solar

Solar power now taking off in a big way in Western Australia.

NUCLEAR

Federal nuclear waste dump plan  ( This is not just a South Australian issue – it’s national.) Extracts from Hansard show how the Australian government seeks to deceive the public on the definition of “High Level Nuclear Wastes”

Kimba Mayor wants a referendum first, before any decision on nuclear waste dump. South Australian property owners offer land for nuclear waste – at Napandee and Lyndhurst, near Kimba. Community survey shows strong local opposition to Federal nuclear waste dump at Barndioota, South Australia. Nuclear propaganda group to visit Port Augusta.

Ben Heard, of nuclear front group “Bright New World” in unfair attack on S Aust Liberals.   Response to Ben Heard’s misinformation on the proposed nuclear waste importing plan.

Federal govt embarrassed over backlash to its plan to expand Shoalwater Bay military training area.

INTERNATIONAL

Antarctic Sea Ice Likely to Hit New All-Time Record Lows Over Coming Days.

Delays, ballooning costs, stall Next-Generation Nuclear Reactors

UK.

JAPAN. Radiation in Fukushima reactor containment vessel at deadly level: TEPCO.   Fukushima nuclear disaster: Worker sues Tepco over cancer.  Niigata governor Ryuichi Yoneyama stands firm against restart of Kashiwazaki-Kariwa plant.

Hitachi to take a 70 billion yen hit after U.S nuclear  project fails.     Toshiba’s financial woes continue – about to be sued by trust banks. Toshiba to withdraw from nuclear plant construction, chairman to quit.

IRAN.     Iran tested ballistic missile, but did not breach nuclear agreement

USA. US Defence Secretary Jim Mattis warns NKorea against nuclear attack .  Fear of nuclear war leads Texans to build expensive bunkers.   America’s EPA head announces pullout from a global pact to cut emissions.  A Washington State judge uses doubt on climate change as legal cause to block a climate activist’s defense.

FRANCE. France’s next President to face costly propping up of the nuclear industry. China decides against taking stake in Areva .

INDIA. Toshiba to withdraw from Indian nuclear projects.

SOUTH AFRICA Only government-owned nuclear companies have responded to Eskom on nuclear marketing.

GREENLAND. Greenland – environment future threatened by mining for uranium and rare earths.