Archive for the ‘National’ Category
Port Augusta’s choice: clean, fast, affordable renewable energy, or dirty super costly, slow, nuclearFebruary 3, 2016
Port Augusta now has the opportunity to be part of Australia’s move into 21st Century clean energy. The
DP Energy project for a renewable energy park with wind and solar is up for consideration and public consultation.
What’s the betting that the snake oil salesmen of the nuclear lobby will be exerting pressure against this exciting new venture?
Remember – renewable energy projects can be up and runnning with a year ot two. Compare that with nuclear power’s record of literally decades to have operational. And even that’s in countries where nuclear power plant is permitted by law – which is not the case in Australia.
Readers of this site may be aware that sevral Submissions to the South Australia Nuclear Fuel Chain Royal Commission have their sights set on Port Augusta. For example, the one on this page, from the Australian Nuclear Association – that persistent lobbyist and publicist for the nuclear industry.
DP Energy seeks approval for big solar/wind project near Port Augusta as public urged to have say ABC News2 Feb 16 Port Augusta’s council is encouraging the public to share their views on a renewable energy park proposed to the south of the city, along the Augusta Highway.
DP Energy has submitted an application to the state Development Assessment Committee for the project, which contains up to 59 wind turbines and 1.6 million solar panels, to be built in stages south of Port Augusta.
Port Augusta Mayor Sam Johnson said the project fits in well in the region, which aims to be a centre for renewable energy.
“It’s been demonstrated in Port Augusta through Sundrop Farms using the technology which they’re using, in this case yes we know that wind turbines do exist around the world and around the countryside and in South Australia as well as solar PV [photovoltaic], but this one is the first of its kind in linking the two together,” he said.
The proposal is now out for public consultation and councillor Johnson is encouraging people to have a say……..http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-02-02/dp-energy-seeks-nod-for-solar-wind-project-near-port-augusta/7133076
#NuclearCommissionSAust Forget renewables: AUSTRALIAN NUCLEAR ASSOCIATION wants reactors on Spencer GulfFebruary 3, 2016
THE AUSTRALIAN NUCLEAR ASSOCIATION (ANA) put in a submission to #NuclearCommissionSAust devoted only to promoting NUCLEAR ELECTRICITY GENERATION. Of course, they made no attempt to consider renewable energy generation, let alone compare the costs. Heaven forfend, as that would have blown their argument right out of the water!
Anyway, they selected recommending Upper Spencer Gulf Area as the site for South Australia to get nuclear reactors:
“The sites are · Site 1 – Fleurieu Peninsula · Site 2 – Upper Spencer Gulf Crag Point · Site 3 – Kadina site, Spencer’s Gulf east coast”
ANA went to great lengths comparing the different types of nuclear reactors – large, small and medium reactor types.
They were hesitant about Generation IV (new nukes) stating that emerging technologies would be available too late to be effective against global warming.
As for Small Modular Nuclear Reactors, ANA sees hurdles, and is not enthusiastic:
“their deployment is highly dependent on: 1. An order book which matches factory scale manufacture to ensure their economic competitiveness 2. A new regulatory regime which enables operations and security personnel to be deployed in reduced numbers to match the scale of power output”
So, ANA wants to put existing types of nuclear reactors on Spencer Gulf coast:
“the Westinghouse AP1000, the Russian VVER1000 and the Enhanced Candu 6”
“nuclear power is a realistic option to connect the grid in SA provided the interconnector to Victoria is upgraded.” (Nary a word about how there’s have to be a nuclear waste dump site set up first. )
This is one of those pro nuclear Submissions that carefully hedges its bets, while coming out as weakly pro nuclear.
It comments on – “future world demand for nuclear fuels. We recognise that this is highly uncertain”
It even warns on the effect on Australia’s uranium industry, if nuclear reprocessing were to be adopted: “would alter the dynamics of the world market for nuclear fuels and potentially reduce the prospects for expanded uranium mining”
Peter Burn’s Submission comes up with that interesting bit of ?logic that I keep meeting. Acknowledging that currently there is a poor market for nuclear electricity, then his argument goes that we’d better get cracking on setting up a nuclear industry in case there’s a big demand later!
“these facts and uncertainties mean that any investment commitments are likely to be many years away – and that now is a good time to start preparing our energy options, including a potential nuclear generation sector.”
Like all the pro nuclear proponents, this AIG Submission calls for “review of the legal context of these developments” – i.e change Australia’s Environmental Laws.
This is not a very enthusiastically pro nuclear Submission. It lists 7 recommendations, all of which come straight from Australia’s pro nuclear front group “Think Climate Consulting”, headed by Barry Brook.
The two major ones are a “cost benefit” study of South Australia importing nuclear waste, and of setting up nuclear recycling. Left to Barry Brook’s nuclear lobby group, we can guess what the outcome of that study would be.
Energy.Proj.AU presents: C. M. Waite’s CONSOLIDATED PAPER A Submission to SA’s Nuclear Fuel Cycle Royal Commission C. M. Waite, M Sc, B Sc Ed .
Charles Waite’s Submission to the South Australian Nuclear Fuel Chain Royal Commission is a hymn of praise to new nuclear technology.
“South Australia has before it a great opportunity to PIVOT into Nuclear Energy”
“SA Government announced its $20 Billion plan to PIVOT the State to a Nuclear Energy economy”
“Molten Salt Reactors have been proven safe, viable & reliable”
And also a hymn to to those new nuclear companies, – Bill Gates’ Terra Power, Terrestrial Energy, Transatomic Power etc
Interestingly, he does not recommend GE-Hitachi’s IFR PRISM reactor as too expensive.
Waite wants the South Australian government, i.e: the taxpayer to buy “new nukes”
“It seems to me “best” for SA to own+run some WAMSR’s, so that it has at least some customers for its processed Fuel Rods.”
“SA should consider owning some MSRs, ie, rather than being dependent on the whims of a private generator; since SA Govt’s announcement of a plan to PIVOT the State to a Nuclear Energy economy”
Waite’s chosen location for these new, untested Molten salt Nuclear Reactors? – near South Australia’s desalination plant ?(Port Stanvac)
Australian Government prepared to change environmental Law to suit nuclear industry – Submission to #NuclearCommissionSAustFebruary 1, 2016
The Australian Government put in a lengthy Submission. For now, I will select just one part – what the Australian government wants, in legislation.
ENVIRONMENTAL LAW In a submission that is in its overall theme, favourable to the nuclear industry, Government wants some legislative changes, quietly giving the nod to to changing Australia’s environmental laws that prohibit Australia’s further involvement in the nuclear fuel chain:
“Whether or not immediate opportunities exist, the Commonwealth considers that any possibilities that do emerge should not be closed off by governments where they have a demonstrated net benefit, and the risks can be managed effectively. We are working with the States and Territories on improving the regulation of nuclear industries, including by responding to technical developments and streamlining or removing unnecessary regulation.”
“Commonwealth legislation prohibits some of the activities under consideration by the Royal Commission, including construction or operation of nuclear reactors for generating electricity or facilities for enriching uranium, fabricating nuclear fuel or reprocessing spent nuclear fuel. The Commonwealth Government looks forward to considering the Royal Commission’s report, the response of the South Australian Government and the implications for Commonwealth policy and regulatory framework.”
LIABILITY LAW Secondly, the Government points to the need for laws covering liability in the case of nuclear accidents:
“Nuclear liability The IAEA and the OECD Nuclear Energy Agency have developed an international regime covering compensation for damage from nuclear activities – civil nuclear liability. Most countries undertaking nuclear activities have developed national legislation consistent with that regime, irrespective of whether they are parties to the relevant international conventions.
Exceptionally, Australia has no special legislation covering civil nuclear liability. There are significant differences between liability under general law and liability under the international nuclear liability regime, particularly in relation to the responsibility of the facility operators and the standard of proof required.
Further involvement in the fuel cycle would require the adoption of nuclear liability legislation to ensure operators are held liable for incidents and are able to provide adequate compensation, and that claims for compensation for an accident in Australia are dealt with in Australia.”
Christopher Camarsh Submission to South Australia Nuclear Fuel Chain Royal Commission http://nuclearrc.sa.gov.au/app/uploads/2015/11/Christopher-Camarsh-03-08-2015.pdf
Mr Christopher Camarsh is an investment manager and Managing Director of AIXI Investments. His lengthy submission is a detailed promotion for a company selling underwater nuclear reactors.
“The Blue Energy System (BES) is a new production system for global power generation and distribution. It utilises transportable submerged power stations produced at a central facility that can be located off shore from energy consuming centers.”
Like all the company promotions to the RC, this submission sticks to its role, so of course, no attention to comparisons to non nuclear energy systems.
However, Camarsh does give an opinion approving of South Australia as nuclear dump site
” MANAGEMENT, STORAGE AND DISPOSAL OF NUCLEAR AND RADIOACTIVE WASTE We believe that a waste, storage, disposal strategy is ultimately a sovereign matter but have strong convictions that the commission should recommend South Australia engage in this activity as it contains in our view the most suitable locations globally”
BUSINESS SA’s Submission to South Australia’s Nuclear Fuel Chain Royal Commission http://nuclearrc.sa.gov.au/app/uploads/2015/11/Business-SA-03-08-2015.pdf
“South Australia’s clearest economically viable expansion opportunity in the nuclear fuel cycle will be in the form of used fuel storage and disposal”
“South Australia must focus on what the world needs, particularly in the case of used nuclear fuel storage or disposal.”
“In order to build community confidence, it is likely that a pilot storage site would need to be constructed first and this should form part of the Royal Commission’s deliberations.”
Business South Australia’s Submission clearly promotes the nuclear industry, with a commercial argument that completely ignores the negative effects that this would have on other industries in that State.
While its main focus is on the benefits of nuclear waste importing, (as a way of creating jobs, and fixing the budget deficit), Business South Australia is in fact favouring the whole nuclear fuel chain:
“the opportunity to recycle used fuel as technology advances will be lost if South Australia only considers its complete disposal. Storing used nuclear fuel in a deep geological repository will at least enable us to take advantage of advances in areas such as Generation IV nuclear reactor design”
It supports nuclear fuel reprocessing, with touching faith that a safe method will be found, some time in the future:
“Purex technology was developed in the 1950’s and the future of re-processing through the next generation of reactors should not be overlooked on the basis of the pros and cons of this technology alone. Furthermore, there is a view that in future a different process could be used to recover all anions together, including plutonium, to reduce the risks associated with Purex.”
Their submission is ambivalent about uranium enrichment, conversion and fuel fabrication, and nuclear power, but keen on the idea of South Australia developing a shipping industry geared to transporting nuclear fuels and wastes.
They are reassuring about any anxieties over safe transport of radioactive materials, especially shipping, but also about air transport:
“we request the Royal Commission to investigate the practicality of using air freight to deliver used nuclear fuel to a dedicated air strip adjoining a storage or disposal site.”
The State Government’s Industry Participation Advocate is seen to be an important aid to their case for South Australia expanding its nuclear industry role.
Business South Australia is worried about public opinion – it seems that they would like to have nuclear matters decided on by nuclear experts, rather than by the people of South Australia:
“ the Royal Commission should not be fixated on just what the general public prefers, but rather what is in the best interests of the State.”
Submission to South Australia Nuclear Fuel Chain Royal Commission –ASSOCIATION OF MINING AND EXPLORATION COMPANIES (AMEC)
A common theme is emerging in the pro nuclear Submissions to the RC. Apart from the common factor these Submissions mostly come either directly or indirectly from vested interests, their common agenda is very often that the RC should recommend public education about the nuclear industry. (and I don’t think that they mean informing the public about the environmental, health, safety, economic hazards – quite the reverse.)
- An equally important theme is to push for removal of laws that accept the nuclear industry as especially hazardous, due to its special danger of ionising radiation:
AMEC wants “The removal of “mining or milling of uranium ore” from the definition of ‘nuclear action’ in section 22(1)(d) of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999”
- AMEC confines itself to promoting the uranium industry – getting tax-payer incentives for exploration, easier licensing, Commonwealth funding, and lessening regulations, weakening environmental approval processes e.g:
“Early implementation of the ‘one stop shop’ environmental assessment and approval process.”
“it is important that the policy barriers applying to container ports identified for uranium export are removed”
- Importantly AMEC wants to make making it easier to get around Native Title:
“Priority focus on resolving outstanding Native Title claims.
Mechanisms that will provide greater clarity and certainty to third parties who need to engage with the Applicant and native title claim group outside the claims process (for example in the context of making future act and heritage agreements) are required.
That consideration should be given as to whether an Applicant can authorise an agent to act on its behalf, and what powers can be abrogated to the agent.”
- And on course – the public education bit:
“The development of a national public education and awareness strategy” The challenge is to increase public education, awareness, confidence and acceptance of the uranium industry.” …’ http://nuclearrc.sa.gov.au/app/uploads/2015/11/Association-of-Mining-and-Exploration-Companies-24-07-2015.pdf