Archive for the ‘National’ Category

#ScottyFromMarketing’s propaganda triumph -nuclear submarines

September 19, 2021

Australia and the extraordinarily unwise nuclear submarine decision

September 18, 2021

Scott Morrison’s decision on nuclear submarines is his first foray into the murly world of Khaki electioneering. A pity that Joe Biden doesn’t even remember Morrison’s name. But no matter -the big thing is to sell super expensive U.S. nuclear technology to a willing, if somewhat ignorant and unimporrtant , customer.

During the coming week, this website will feature each day one of the various aspects of this extraordinarily unwise decision.

Australian Greens blast nuclear submarine deal.

September 16, 2021


Floating Chernobyls: : Greens blast sub deal  
https://www.perthnow.com.au/politics/floating-chernobyls-greens-blast-sub-deal-c-3978289, Matt CoughlanAAP, September 16, 2021

The Greens have warned Australia acquiring nuclear-powered submarines will create “floating Chernobyls” in the heart of major cities.

The UK and US will give Australia access to top secret nuclear propulsion technology for a fleet of new submarines to be built in Adelaide through new security pact AUKUS.

Greens leader Adam Bandt believes the move increases the prospect of nuclear war in the region and puts Australia in the firing line.

“It’s a dangerous decision that will make Australia less safe by putting floating Chernobyls in the heart of our major cities,” he told the ABC on Thursday.

It’s a terrible decision. It’s one of the worst security decisions in decades.”

Mr Bandt said the Greens would fight the decision and urged Labor to do the same.

“The prime minister needs to explain what will happen if there’s an accident with a nuclear reactor now in the heart of one of our major cities?” he said.

“How many people in Brisbane, Adelaide or Perth, will die as a result of it? What is going to happen if there is a problem with one of the nuclear reactors?”

It is understood the submarines will not require a civilian nuclear capability but rather will have reactors and fuel which will last the life of the vessel.

Independent senator and former submariner Rex Patrick wants an urgent parliamentary inquiry to report before the next federal election.

Senator Patrick, who has been a vocal critic of the $90 billion French submarine deal that is now over, said scrutiny was crucial.

We have to be careful we don’t move from one massive procurement disaster into something else that hasn’t been thought through properly,” he said.

The government has sunk $2.4 billion on the French program and is negotiating on other compensation, which remains commercial in confidence.

Labor leader Anthony Albanese and three senior frontbenchers received a briefing ahead of the announcement on Thursday morning.

Sloppy and unconvincing pro nuclear propaganda from the Australian Nationals and the Murdochracy

September 9, 2021

The Australian nuclear promotion is less persuasive. Coming predominantly from Murdoch media, the content of nuclear propaganda is sloppy, inaccurate, and at times downright weird

The Nationals and Murdoch media support nuclear power ahead of COP26, Independent Australia,By Noel Wauchope | 9 September 2021.

On 1 September 2021, Senator Matt Canavan called for Australia to boycott the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) to be held in Glasgow in November. 

Was he speaking on behalf of the coal or oil industries? Well, not exactly. 

This was the latest and strangest call from Australia’s noisy little band of pro-nuclear promoters. Canavan was responding to the news that the nuclear industry has been banned from having exhibits at COP26. He complained that the Climate Summit was a ”sham” for excluding nuclear power, a view supported by MP Ken O’Dowd.

O’Dowd said that nuclear power should be at the top of the climate agenda. Other National Party notables, David Littleproud and Bridget McKenzie, recently spoke out for nuclear power.

Like the nuclear industry worldwide, they are now taking up the cause of climate action with a vengeance. The nuclear lobby’s motives are clear. First, they likely want the tax exemptions and other subsidies that come with being declared as clean and sustainable. Secondly, they need that seal of approval, the public respectability which goes with acquiring the clean and green label.

The global lobby’s most persuasive argument is that a nuclear reactor’s operation generates a lot of electricity, with only a minuscule production of CO2

They don’t, of course, talk about the processes of the nuclear fuel chain from uranium mining through to demolition of dead reactors and disposal of wastes. Their favourite phrase ”emissions-free energy” doesn’t count emissions of radioactive strontium-90.

The Australian nuclear promotion is less persuasive. Coming predominantly from Murdoch media, the content of nuclear propaganda is sloppy, inaccurate, and at times downright weird. The Australian newspaper provides two outstanding examples

The first is this eye-catching article Savvy activists cast nuclear benefits in a fresh green light  subtitled:

‘For baby boomers, nuclear weapons and nuclear energy were conflated as an existential risk. This created an irrational fear that persists today.’

From the outset, the argument is an attack on anti-nuclear activists, instead of arguing the case for nuclear power.

The hero of the piece is Zion Lights, formerly of Extinction Rebellion, who created her own pro-nuclear group, Emergency Reactor.

She works closely with Michael Shellenberger, who, himself, has lost the support of the general nuclear lobby, due to his many inaccurate statements. Zion Lights and The Australian go into a lengthy digression on the foibles of the baby boomers, who have ‘conflated nuclear weapons and nuclear energy as an existential risk that could wipe out humanity’.

The health effects of the Chernobyl and Fukushima disasters are minimised and renewable energy is rubbished as being ineffective.

The author, Claire Lehmann, concludes that the too-slow movement towards carbon neutrality is the fault of the misguided anti-nuclear baby boomers.

The second article is ‘Nuclear stacks up — cue the meltdown‘ by Greg Sheridan, who starts by accusing Australians as being ‘environmental outliers’ for prohibiting nuclear power…………..

the main thrust of this pro-nuclear argument moves on to an attack on Labor, the Greens and so forth:

‘… the deadly, wretched, wholly negative, nihilistic scare campaigns and demonising that the ALP left and its Green allies have conducted against nuclear energy.’

There is no attempt to address any of the worrying issues that surround nuclear power  costs, safety, environmental damage, radioactive waste. He reminds us that Bill Gates backs nuclear power. Well of course Gates does  he owns a nuclear power company, Terra Power.

He also quotes the European Union (EU) as backing nuclear power. While several EU countries do have nuclear power, the EU as a whole is not recommending nuclear powers as a climate solution. In fact, the nuclear industry is banned from exhibiting at the green zone at COP26………

As I write this comes the breathtaking news that the Murdoch media is changing its attitude to global warming. From a rather crude sort of climate denialism, they will likely move to supporting technical “climate fixes” spruiked by the fossil fuel industries. This is a more subtle way of sabotaging real climate action. 

Perhaps we can expect them also to provide something more credible on the nuclear issue in the future. https://independentaustralia.net/environment/environment-display/the-nationals-and-murdoch-media-support-nuclear-power-ahead-of-cop26,15496

Nuclear lobby stooge Senator Matt Canavan wants Australia to boycott COP 26

September 2, 2021

On Wednesday, Queensland Nationals Senator Matt Canavan called on Australia to boycott Glasgow, labelling the conference a “sham” in reaction to news that the nuclear industry has not been granted permission to host exhibits at the conference.

“They have banned nuclear technologies – reliable, emission-free power – from presenting. Climate change activism is not about changing the climate, it is about changing our politics. Australia should not bother going,” Senator Canavan tweeted.

Retiring Flynn MP Ken O’Dowd said Britain, the USA and Canada use nuclear power and he would “tend to agree” with Mr Canavan.

Why would the Glasgow conference not want to discuss it? It should be one of the first items on the agenda,” Mr O’Dowd said.

Business urges government to take net zero pledge to UN climate talks,   https://www.theage.com.au/politics/federal/business-urges-government-to-take-net-zero-pledge-to-un-climate-talks-20210831-p58nma.html By Mike Foley,  September 2, 2021 Australia’s energy, business and oil and gas lobbies are joining calls from key international allies for Prime Minister Scott Morrison to set a net zero emissions deadline ahead of the United Nations climate conference in Glasgow this November.

But division within the federal government threatens to block the Prime Minister’s push for a commitment, with the Nationals still opposed to a deadline that is supported by every major farming group.

Senior officials from the European Union, Britain and US have urged Australia to set more ambitious goals. US presidential climate envoy John Kerry said scientists’ dire warnings over global warming placed more pressure on Australia.

Australia has pledged to reduce its greenhouse gas contribution by at least 26 per cent by 2030, based on 2005 emissions, but has not set a deadline to hit net zero emissions. Most other developed nations have committed to roughly halve their emissions by 2030 and reach net zero by 2050 or earlier.

But the government has not committed to greater action because the Nationals party, which has not yet backed a carbon-neutral deadline, has demanded to see the economic cost of greater climate action before signing up.

Mr Morrison says he wants to achieve net zero as soon as possible – “preferably by 2050.”

On Wednesday, Queensland Nationals Senator Matt Canavan called on Australia to boycott Glasgow, labelling the conference a “sham” in reaction to news that the nuclear industry has not been granted permission to host exhibits at the conference.

Australia’s petroleum lobby, its peak employer association, big power generators and investors from the booming clean energy industry say the government should head to the high-profile international climate talks armed with a 2050 commitment for carbon neutrality.

“They have banned nuclear technologies – reliable, emission-free power – from presenting. Climate change activism is not about changing the climate, it is about changing our politics. Australia should not bother going,” Senator Canavan tweeted.

Retiring Flynn MP Ken O’Dowd said Britain, the USA and Canada use nuclear power and he would “tend to agree” with Mr Canavan.

“Why would the Glasgow conference not want to discuss it? It should be one of the first items on the agenda,” Mr O’Dowd said.

However, former Nationals leader Michael McCormack said, in response to Mr Canavan, that Australia must be “at the table” in Glasgow.

“We have to be part of discussions, part of finding the way forward,” Mr McCormack said.

Australian Energy Council, which represents Australia’s largest electricity providers and major emitters including AGL, Origin and EnergyAustralia, backs a net zero deadline. Chief executive Sarah McNamara said the industry had a key role in climate action.

Settling on an economy-wide target will let us then decide the best ways to get there at the lowest cost and undoubtedly prompt a steady reduction in our emissions,” Ms McNamara said.

The Australian Industry Group chief executive Innes Willox said it was crucial government deliver on its promise to release a long-term strategy for climate change before Glasgow.

“(It) should include a clear long term national goal of net zero emissions by 2050 to guide government policy and private investment (and) medium term emissions reduction goals in line with the long-term goal and Australia’s peers,” Mr Willox said.

Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association also backed net zero by 2050 and said the industry was investing heavily to reduce emissions.

“Anyone reading the sobering report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change this week knows the world has no other option but to take practical steps to address the climate challenge,” an APPEA spokesman said.

Peak mining lobby the Minerals Council backs the Prime Minister’s current policy stance to reach net zero by as soon as possible and preferably by 2050. It called for Australia to open its carbon credit scheme, which pays private industry for emissions reduction, to international trading.

The council lodged a submission this week on the Japan-Australia Economic Partnership Agreement which said Japan’s commitment to decarbonise its economy provided a significant opportunity for the mining industry to supply “technologies of the future, including hydrogen with carbon capture storage”.

The Clean Energy Investor Group, which represents Macquarie Bank, Andrew Forest’s Squadron Energy and the world’s largest asset manager BlackRock said Australia would take an economic hit if it took weaker climate commitments to Glasgow.

Chief executive Simon Corbell said Australia should set an economy-wide net zero deadline of 2040 including a 2035 deadline for the electricity sector.

“This would only result in the cost of capital for clean energy projects in Australia remaining more expensive than other advanced economies,” he said.

The Investor Group of Climate Change, backed by funds managing $2 trillion of assets, said many nations had moved beyond net zero and were making more ambitious near term goals

“Australia risks being the only major advanced economy to not substantially and formally increase its 2030 target by Glasgow,” said policy director Erwin Jackson.

“Capital is mobile and will move to countries which deliver the best long-term returns. For long-term investors this is a net zero emission economy. Investors expect nations to demonstrate strong ambition to 2030 to get on an orderly pathway to net zero emission by 2050.”

20 reasons why the Lucas Heights unviable production of medical isotopes is a sham and a dud.

August 31, 2021

The claim by Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO) that it requires additional storage
capacity for intermediate level nuclear or radioactive waste at its Lucas Heights operations is completely false and consequently unjustified in all respects.
REASONS

  1. The present storage capacity at Lucas Heights is more than adequate for many years and even decades – this is the view of the Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency (ARPANA) as the regulator and licensing authority
  2. The main undertaking representing 80% of its total operations and activity by ANSTO at Lucas Heights is the
    production of nuclear medicineThe main undertaking representing 80% of its total operations and activity by ANSTO at Lucas Heights is theproduction of nuclear medicine
  3. Only some 10% of this production annually is for local use in Australia
  4. The remainder is sold overseas but it is a very limited market
  5. The predominant purchasers of this production of nuclear medicine are third world countries
  6. These countries cannot afford to pay ANSTO for this nuclear medicine and hence it is treated as additional foreign aid by Australia
  7. The manufacture of nuclear medicine even in fully and proper commercial circumstances is a large loss making proposition
  1. It is estimated from authoritative overseas research that revenue from isotope production for nuclear medicine would likely offset only approximately 10% to 15% of the costs of the reactor used for the production and this does not include all the other costs associated with the production

9. Added to this ANSTO is regarded by world standards as an extremely high cost manufacturer of nuclear medicine

  1. ANSTO is fully funded as to its existence and operations by the federal government

11. On top of this ANSTO has proved to be a less than efficient producer of nuclear medicine due to the instances of shutting down of its reactor at Lucas Heights

  1. When this has occurred ANSTO purchased the nuclear medicine isotopes from overseas which has proved to be more efficient and cheaper than local production
  1. It was reported that ANSTO received $238 million last year as its annual funding from the federal government
  1. ANSTO because of this funding has no incentive or need to achieve profitability particularly in its production of nuclear medicine which represents its major undertaking and operational activity
  1. In any case there is a strong move in medicine throughout the world away from using nuclear medicine in all diagnosis and treatment due to its harmful nature
  1. Some countries are virtually banning nuclear medicine both in its manufacture and its use locally and for export because of its inherent dangerous nature
  2. An alternative permanent disposal would be better.
  1. The indisputable conclusion internationally is that the use of nuclear medicine generated by reactors is rapidly declining to a level where its future production will no longer be viable
  1. In view of the foregoing there are no justifiable or valid reasons or pretext for :
    (a) the continued production by ANSTO of nuclear medicine by using a nuclear reactor for whatever reasons at Lucas Heights or elsewhere in Australia;
    (b) the continuing loss making production of nuclear medicine by ANSTO at Lucas Heights for export overseas;
    (c) the need to increase the storage capacity at Lucas Heights for intermediate level waste generated by the production of nuclear medicine; and

20 No pretext for the establishment whatsoever of the nuclear waste management facility by the federal government at Napandee

Need to investigate ANSTO’s tax-payer funded, loss-making, unnecessary nuclear medicine production

August 28, 2021

Australian government watcher, 28 Aug 21, The production of isotopes for medical purposes by nuclear reactors is a declining industry due to its inherently dangerous and risky nature and its extremely high manufacturing costs

These isotopes are being replaced by cyclotron produced isotopes which are practically and completely free of any risk to the patients and can be produced by relatively easier and safer means at a greatly reduced costs

The only reason that isotopes produced by nuclear reactors are used for medical purposes is that their manufacture is highly and unrealistically subsidised by government grants as is the case with ANSTO in Australia

The rapid growth in the international use of cyclotron isotopes for medical therapies is making the production of isotopes by nuclear reactors obsolete

As a result the continued production of isotopes for medical purposes by ANSTO at Lucas Heights could be stopped
immediately with huge savings in government expenditure and no effect on the provision of medical therapies

There were also arguments within ANSTO against the proposed corporatising of the medical isotopes production since this would expose all of its problems including its obsolete and outdated status and the extremely high production costs

In addition there are concerns both externally and within ANSTO internally about the cost and marketing difficulties with the Synroc technology which is far from the initially promoted commercial success and has been overtaken in many countries by their own developed alternatives to reduce the volume of nuclear waste and treat it to make it suitable for long-term storage and eventual disposal

In view of this it is essential for a full and proper independent inquiry and investigation into ANSTO to determine the true situation and make practical and hopefully cost saving recommendations as to its future operations

Murdoch’s THE AUSTRALIAN grudgingly admits that nuclear power has no future in Australia

August 27, 2021

Uncharted waters leave little room for nuclear option, THE AUSTRALIAN,   GRAHAM LLOYD   AUGUST 25, 2021 The proposals being put forward are not necessarily geared to supporting any one option. ………..

Generation is not the only problem raised by the lower-emissions transition. The ESB makes it clear that massive investments are still needed in grid infrastructure to accommodate an electricity system more dependent on intermittent sources of power…..


It favours the creation of renewable energy zones to give the benefit of economies of scale to the infrastructure investment.

Individual states will also be given greater powers to make decisions to safeguard their own interests within the national market.

The ESB is probably correct that community concerns about the impact of fossil fuel generation on carbon emissions, together with the declining financial viability of thermal coal generation, leaves little interest or commercial appetite for future investment in thermal coal generation.

Supporters of the nuclear option have little to cheer about in this transition road map.

The big focus on renewables backed up by batteries from electric cars and sophisticated management systems and minimal gas leaves little room for a return on investment for a [nuclear] technology…..

Little chance for genuine community consultation on Napandee nuclear waste dump decision

August 24, 2021

MY COMMENTS
What is difficult about these legislative provisions is to know what they mean and why are they there
They are probably meaningless for it is only an invitation with no result to a very restricted group of persons.

I should have thought that if you had a right or interest in the nominated land then you would have been included in the formal nomination
The only persons with a right or interest may be Aboriginal peoples under customary or ancestral ownership

What’s the betting no one in Pitt’s group will have a proper answer or even knows what it means as it is extremely poor drafting

NATIONAL RADIOACTIVE WASTE MANAGEMENT ACT 2012 as amended in 2021
There appear to be only very limited rights for community consultation underthe National Radioactive Waste Management Act 2012 as recently amended despite statements to the contrary

The problem under subsections (5) and (6) of section 10 of this legislation – and replicated for a subsequent situation by subsections (2) and (3) of section 18 – is that there is reference to only persons with a right or interest in the land

Regrettably this is rather vague and on black letter law extremely narrow in its context – what is the right or interest in the land ? with whom and how is the consultation process started ?


These provisions do not encompass or provide for the general community consultations claimed by virtue of the ultimate amendments to the legislation


In fact the community consultation process under the new legislation is extensively restrictive and does no credit to the senators claiming to have achieved a basis for considerable and comprehensive consultations before a ministerial declaration is made under the legislation.

It is certainly not the strong community consultation lauded as having beenachieved by the recently agreed amendments
Added to the seemingly lack of knowledge or simply ignorance of the technicalities and dangerous nature of nuclear waste and its proper management becomes unintentionally a rather toxic combination playing right into the current responsible minister’s hands.


It is unrealistic to rely on the progressive development of the facility for community consultations as obviously the minister will want to rush throughThe the facility’s establishment without any impediments or delays

Section 10(5) of original 2012 legislation reads


Division 4—Procedural fairness in relation to Minister’s declarations and
approvals
10 Procedural fairness in relation to Minister’s declarations and approvals
Section 10

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Medical Association for the Prevention of War (MAPW) supports a new Intermediate Level Solid Waste Storage Facility at Lucas Heights

August 1, 2021

MAPW supports the construction of a new Intermediate Level Solid Waste Storage Facility at Lucas Heights.
MAPW strongly recommends:
• an open and independent review of nuclear waste production and disposal in Australia, and
• progressing a shift to cyclotron rather that reactor-based production of isotopes for nuclear medicine as rapidly as feasible.

Arguments that radioactive waste should all be at one site overlook the ongoing need for hospitals to store clinical waste. After nuclear medicine is used in a patient, the vast majority of the residual material and radioactively-contaminated equipment is stored on site while the radioactivity decays away. Within a few days, it has lost so much radioactivity that the material can go to a normal rubbish tip. There will always need to be multiple waste storage locations at sites which utilise radiopharmaceuticals.

Clean cyclotron production of Tc99m has recently been approved and is being implemented in
Canada. This should rapidly become the future of isotope production

Medical Association for the Prevention of War (MAPW) 30 July21, Submission to the Public Works Committee regarding Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation Intermediate Level Solid Waste Storage Facility Lucas Heights, NSW.

SUMMARY
MAPW supports the construction of a new Intermediate Level Solid Waste Storage Facility at Lucas Heights. As noted in the ANSTO submission, there will be minimal expected impact on the community and ANSTO has excellent existing security.

This contrasts with the massive distress and community division in regional and remote communities that has been created by a succession of nuclear waste storage proposals.

This facility will be useful over a much greater timeframe if ANSTO’s rapidly expanding production of isotopes for nuclear medicine is reined in. This very heavily subsided export business has only a small minority of the radiopharmaceuticals produced being utilised in the care of Australians. There is no evidence whatsoever of more than minimal cost recovery. The burgeoning amounts of ILW produced will be a liability for Australians or many generations.


More reliable, safer, cheaper and much cleaner cyclotron production of technetium99m (Tc99m) has been shown to work and is being implemented in Canada. Japan, the USA, the UK and several European countries are all looking to implement cyclotron.

The proposed new ILW facility provides an opportunity to identify and implement world’s best practice ILW disposal options and update and reset nuclear medicine production tocleaner, cheaper and more reliable methods.

MAPW strongly recommends:
• an open and independent review of nuclear waste production and disposal in
Australia, and
• progressing a shift to cyclotron rather that reactor-based production of isotopes for nuclear medicine as rapidly as feasible.

Individual criteria will now be addressed.

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