ADELAIDE HILLS CLIMATE ACTION GROUP -Submission Issues Paper 3 – Further processing and Manufacture (Extract) The Adelaide Hills Climate Action Group reaffirms its commitment to eliminating the combustion of fossil fuels and our strong endorsement of clean, renewable energy systems.
The committee members of the Adelaide Hills Climate Action Group wish to record their unanimous opposition to all nuclear energy and nuclear weapons related industries – no uranium or thorium mining – no processing – no re-processing – no nuclear power stations – no high level nuclear waste dumps.
There are fundamental moral objections to imposing a burden of risk and the cost of perpetual maintenance, defence and surveillance of high level nuclear waste on to multiple future generations for geological time.
We acknowledge there is a valid role for a properly managed low level nuclear waste dump suitable for the safe long term storage of low level nuclear waste materials used for medical and research activities.
[ I was unable to copy the clear argument put here on the unfeasibility of siting nuclear facilities on the South Australian coast]
“……..There is no northern area suitable for the nuclear industry. Previous nuclear failures such as at Fukushima have demonstrated that when all systems break down, the fall back plan to deal with nuclear accidents is to cool and flush with water, despite this resulting in the spreading of pollution. In northern areas of South Australia, access to water is limited, even where this may be sourced from the Great Artesian Basin.
There is no agricultural region or southern area of South Australia suitable for nuclear power generation as no community would be prepared to tolerate nuclear power. Failures such as the Windscale fire, Chernobyl and Fukushima have shown that impacts on livestock and risk of picking up contamination result in the total shutdown of food and grown product industries in such regions with poor recovery prospects.
It is understood that approximately half of the electricity generated in South Australia is now coming from around $5 Billion of renewable energy investment made in the state since 2002. It is therefore reasonable to assume that further investment of another $5B would enable South Australia to produce towards 100% of its electricity from renewables for much of the time. Periods of shortfall would initially be made up by existing gas infrastructure and the interconnector (as they are now). However, increasing deployment of storage technologies and diversity in renewable sources will also significantly reduce the demand for gas and for electricity from other states.
Given that this is achievable at a cost that is below the cost of nuclear power, and that renewables do not have the inherent risks of contamination that nuclear technologies have, there is no financial place for nuclear power in South Australia.
The previous Uranium Mining Processing and Nuclear Energy Review referred to nonreferenced industry estimates that ”suggest wind could meet up to 20 per cent of demand without undue disruption to the network” (Commonwealth of Australia 2006). However, an example observed in Renew Economy – South Australia hits 100% renewables – for a whole working day (Parkinson, 7 October 2014), shows that South Australia regularly has periods where wind electricity is generating more than 80% of the state’s electricity needs. Contrary to the UMPNER Report, the management of the grid copes with the very high levels of renewables, and the coal fired power plants are not required as there is ample gas generation to meet residual needs. As other storage technologies are deployed, the dependency on gas generation can reduce even further.
The Royal Commission should investigate what level of gas generation would be required to back up renewables in South Australia should there be a doubling of wind capacity plus 100 MW of large scale Concentrated Solar Thermal capacity. The option for localised storage of thermal energy at the CST power plant should also be considered…..”