#NuclearCommissionSAust – real aim -to get global nuclear waste dumping in Australia?

If it did take more than 25 years to build a nuclear power plant then the technology could be made obsolete by renewables.

Last October, South Australia managed for the first time to get more than 100 per cent of its electricity needs for a working day between 9.30am to 6pm, from a combination of wind and solar energy. Overall it gets more than 30 per cent of its power from renewables, and has a target of 50 per cent to be achieved within 10 years.

Prof Diesendorf said it would only take 15 to 20 years to go to 100 per cent renewables in the state.

“The global enrichment market is oversaturated, and no-one credibly believes nuclear power is a realistic proposition for the sparse South Australian grid,” Greens senator Scott Ludlam argued in a column for New Matilda.

 “That leaves only the probability that this whole exercise is designed to build the case for a national or international radioactive waste dump.”

Is building a nuclear waste dump in Australia really the best idea? THE ADVERTISER, CHARIS CHANG JULY 09, 2  “………….at least one expert believes the [Nuclear expansion]  scenario is too good to be true, and would do little to help the state’s economy in the short to medium term. The technology Senator Edwards has suggested is still in development and will not be feasible for more than 20 years.

Retired researcher Richard Leaver, formerly of Flinders University, told news.com.au that no Generation IV reactors had yet been built. These reactors are not generally expected to be available for commercial construction before 2030-40.

“And sodium cooling has, so far, a four-decade history of failure and serious accident,” Mr Leaver said.He said the state government should wait until someone managed to get the reactor working on an industrial scale before accepting anyone’s spent nuclear fuel.

Even if researchers could develop a Generation IV generator as a working technology, this would likely reduce the potential economic benefits.

“If a Generation IV reactor could be built then there would not be any need to bring the irradiated fuel to South Australia for reprocessing, as this fuel could be used to burn and generate power in a Generation IV reactor so why would any country want to get rid of it?” Mr Leaver said.

Mr Leaver said spent fuel would become more valuable and the new technology would also mean that countries would not need to buy more uranium, as they could just reprocess their own stockpiles of used fuel for energy.

Commissioner Kevin Scarce, who is leading a royal commission investigation into the viability of nuclear energy in South Australia, agrees that Generation IV reactors are not yet viable.

Commissioner Scarce has just returned from a trip overseas to inspect nuclear facilities in Taiwan, Japan, Finland, Austria, France and the United Kingdom.

During an interview on ABC Adelaide, he said Generation IV reactors would be a lot safer but the challenge was understanding when they might be commercially available.

The research group looked at sodium cooled reactors in particular and Commissioner Scarce said: “I certainly wouldn’t think based on what we’ve seen to date that they’ll be available much before 2040”.

Senator Edwards had previously acknowledged that it would take time to develop a regulatory framework, to carry out all necessary studies, to pass relevant legislation and to construct the necessary facilities. He described this as taking “no less than five years”.

YOU SNOOZE, YOU LOSE

If it did take more than 25 years to build a nuclear power plant then the technology could be made obsolete by renewables.

Associate Professor Mark Diesendorf, deputy director of the Institute for Environmental Studies, University of New South Wales said that technology for renewable energy had advanced so quickly it was now possible to run the entire national electricity network using these energy sources.

“There is no need for nuclear energy for South Australia or Australia as a whole,” Prof Diesendorf said during a CRC CARE workshop held on June 16 to discuss Australia’s nuclear future.

One of the reasons why there will be continuing job losses in South Australia is due to the closure of the Port Augusta power stations and Leigh Creek coal mine by 2018, which will see about 440 jobs lost.

The closures are partly being blamed on the rise of renewable energy sources and an oversupply in the National Electricity Market, which SA Manufacturing Minister Kyam Maher has described as holding more capacity than is needed to meet demand.

Last October, South Australia managed for the first time to get more than 100 per cent of its electricity needs for a working day between 9.30am to 6pm, from a combination of wind and solar energy. Overall it gets more than 30 per cent of its power from renewables, and has a target of 50 per cent to be achieved within 10 years.

Prof Diesendorf said it would only take 15 to 20 years to go to 100 per cent renewables in the state.

“We can now say that a scenario involving a mix of renewable energy sources would be less expensive, and emit less carbon dioxide emissions over its life cycle than a nuclear plus fossil (fuel) scenario,” Prof Diesendorf said.

He said nuclear would also be the worst possible partner for renewable energy systems in South Australia because nuclear energy was much less flexible in its operation so it would be difficult for it to match variations in wind and sun.

“Peak load stations need matching, not base load stations. Nuclear is too large. and smaller (nuclear plants) are a long way from being on market,” he said.

BUT WHO’S GOING TO PAY?

Alinta Energy has investigated building a solar thermal plant at the Port Augusta site and said it was technically feasible……..

“The global enrichment market is oversaturated, and no-one credibly believes nuclear power is a realistic proposition for the sparse South Australian grid,” Greens senator Scott Ludlam argued in a column for New Matilda.

 “That leaves only the probability that this whole exercise is designed to build the case for a national or international radioactive waste dump.”……….

Associate Professor Mark Diesendorf said the real impacts of the Fukushima accident could not be known after just four years. He said it would take decades for the impact to be seen and this was also difficult to assess because it was hard to determine whether cancer was caused by radiation or something else.

Research from the International Agency for Research on Cancer also estimated that radiation from the accident at Chernobyl in the Ukraine, could cause 41,000 cases of cancer.

“The claim that nuclear is one of the safest just doesn’t stand up to scientific scrutiny,” Prof Diesendor said. “It’s also based on the notion that accidents … should be ignored when their impact are enormous.”

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One Response to “#NuclearCommissionSAust – real aim -to get global nuclear waste dumping in Australia?”

  1. Christina MacPherson Says:

    Reblogged this on nuclear-news.

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