Archive for the ‘National’ Category

South Australian govt ‘disappears’ Submissions from its Nuclear Royal Commission website

March 28, 2015

The very short time allowed for people to submit for the draft Terms of Reference nevertheless was enough for over 1000 submissions to be sent – the overwhelming majority raising issues that I bet the

nuclear lobby would not want raised.  No surprise then that the promised web page of all these submissions just vanished within  a day or two.

However, here below is  a sample of some of these excellent submissions. It is from  DR. PETER BURDON ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR ALEXANDER REILLY MR. PAUL LEADBETER of the University of Adelaide

 

To Whom It May Concern, RE: Royal Commission – Our role in nuclear energy

Thank you for the opportunity to contribute to the terms of reference for the Royal Commission into South Australia’s nuclear industry potential. We note the short window for submissions, but hope that we have the opportunity to contribute to the broader consultation between 23 February – 13 March.

While it is not part of the terms of reference, we think it is important that at least one-third of the appointed independent experts have demonstrated outstanding service, concern, and public interest in environmental policy. Moreover, given the likely impacts of any proposed expansion on aboriginal communities, we think that an additional two experts should be of Aboriginal descent.

  • With regard to the terms of reference, we contend that the commission should be charged to investigate in detail: 
  • The environmental legacy of the uranium industry in South Australia; 
  • All questions of safety of humans and the natural environment related to proposals to develop nuclear power in South Australia; 
  • The required regulatory framework to safeguard the environment and Indigenous interests in the areas affected by the development of a nuclear industry; 
  • All questions of safety of humans and the natural environment related to proposals to store radioactive waste in South Australia, including risks of transportation and how the technical integrity of the facility could be ensured over the period of radioactive decay of the wastes; 
  • The technical, engineering and construction requirements of the facility itself to protect against leakage of radioactive material to the surface, into the atmosphere and into groundwater;
  • The impact of nuclear waste storage on Indigenous communities; 
  • Any conflict that might arise within local communities during consideration of the proposal and subsequently affected by the construction and operation of the facility;
  • The reputational risks associated with proposals for South Australia to host an international repository for high-level nuclear waste; 
  • The impact of nuclear power on South Australia’s carbon reduction targets, including the carbon dioxide emissions which would result from construction, operation and decommissioning of nuclear power facilities; 
  • Impact of nuclear facilities on the insurance industry; 
  • The economic implications of proposals for uranium enrichment in South Australia, including realistic assessment of the scale of public subsidies that would be needed to establish and operate the industry; 
  • The workforce implications of creating a nuclear industry in terms of predicted labour force participation in the industry, the types and sustainability of the jobs created; 
  • The political security/policing arrangements that would need to be applied within Australia as a consequence of the construction and operation of a facility and what ,if any, implications they would have for freedom of speech and freedom of association for Australians; 
  • The impact of nuclear energy development on alternative energy sources and energy consumption patterns;; 
  • The measures necessary to ensure Australia has secure and environmentally sustainable energy supplies in the future; and 
  • The relationship of the uranium and nuclear industry to the stated goal of Ecologically Sustainable Development. Yours faithfully, DR. PETER BURDON ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR ALEXANDER REILLY MR. PAUL LEADBETER

Nuclear Royal Commission: narrow Terms of Reference announced

March 28, 2015

Below are the Terms of Reference.  You will note how very few related issues are included.nuclear-fuel-chain3

The Terms cover:

  • feasibility of expanding mining of radioactive materials
  •  feasibility of conversion, enrichment, fabrication or re-processing in South Australia
  • feasibility of generating electricity from nuclear fuels
  • feasibility of establishing facilities in South Australia for the management,
    storage and disposal of nuclear and radioactive waste
  • and a little nod to the impact on economy, environment, and community

(TO WIT)
HIS EXCELLENCY THE HONOURABLE HIEU VAN LE, Officer of the Order of
Australia, Governor in and over the State of South Australia:
TO
REAR ADMIRAL THE HONOURABLE KEVIN JOHN SCARCE, AC, CSC, RANR
GREETING
Whereas
A. At present, minerals containing naturally occurring radioactive materials are
extracted and milled in South Australia for shipment and sale. Small quantities
of radioactive substances are produced in South Australia for medical use
locally. Limited quantities of industrial and scientific radioactive wastes are
stored in South Australia, in addition to the storage and disposal of mine
wastes on mining sites. Otherwise, South Australia does not participate in the
conversion or enrichment of materials for the nuclear fuel cycle, the generation
of electricity from nuclear fuels, or in the management, storage and disposal of
other nuclear wastes.
B. Detailed consideration and analysis is required to be given to the potential of
South Australia’s further participation in the nuclear fuel cycle, whether
through the expansion of the current level of exploration, extraction and milling
of minerals containing radioactive materials, the further processing of those
minerals or processing and manufacture of materials containing radioactive
and nuclear substances, the establishment and operation of facilities to
generate electricity from nuclear fuels, or the establishment of facilities for the
management, storage and disposal of nuclear waste, and to the risks and
opportunities that those activities would present.
I, the Governor, with the advice and consent of the Executive Council, DO HEREBY
APPOINT YOU to be a Commissioner to inquire into and report upon the following
matters:
Exploration, Extraction and Milling
1. The feasibility of expanding the current level of exploration, extraction and
milling of minerals containing radioactive materials in South Australia, the
circumstances necessary for such an increase to occur and to be viable, the
risks and opportunities created by expanding the level of exploration,
extraction and milling, and the measures that might be required to facilitate
and regulate that increase in activity.
Further Processing and Manufacture
2. The feasibility of further processing minerals, and processing and
manufacturing materials containing radioactive and nuclear substances (but
not for, or from, military uses), including conversion, enrichment, fabrication or
re-processing in South Australia, the circumstances necessary for processing
or manufacture to be viable, the risks and opportunities associated with
establishing and undertaking that processing or manufacture, and the
measures that might be required to facilitate and regulate the establishment
and carrying out of processing or manufacture.
Electricity Generation
3. The feasibility of establishing and operating facilities to generate electricity
from nuclear fuels in South Australia, the circumstances necessary for that to
occur and to be viable, the relative advantages and disadvantages of
generating electricity from nuclear fuels as opposed to other sources
(including greenhouse gas emissions), the risks and opportunities associated
with that activity (including its impact on renewable sources and the electricity
market), and the measures that might be required to facilitate and regulate
their establishment and operation.
Management, Storage and Disposal of Waste
4. The feasibility of establishing facilities in South Australia for the management,
storage and disposal of nuclear and radioactive waste from the use of nuclear
and radioactive materials in power generation, industry, research and
medicine (but not from military uses), the circumstances necessary for those
facilities to be established and to be viable, the risks and opportunities
associated with establishing and operating those facilities, and the measures
that might be required to facilitate and regulate their establishment and
operation.
In inquiring into the risks and opportunities associated with the above activities,
consideration should be given, as appropriate, to their future impact upon the
South Australian:
a. economy (including the potential for the development of related sectors and
adverse impact on other sectors);
b. environment (including considering lessons learned from past South
Australian extraction, milling and processing practices); and
c. community (incorporating regional, remote and Aboriginal communities)
including potential impacts on health and safety.
You are required to report as soon as practicable but no later than 6 May 2016.
GIVEN under my hand and the Public Seal of South Australia, at Adelaide, this 19th
day of March 2015.
By command,
Recorded in Register of Commissions,
Letters Patent, Etc., Vol. XXVII
GOD SAVE THE QUEEN!

Australia moving Aboriginals off remote lands- uranium miners will be happy

March 28, 2015

Ghillar Michael Anderson, leader of the Euahlayi people and ambassador of the Aboriginal Tent Embassy in Canberra, wrote an open letter to the United Nations on March 3, in which he states that the proposed closures of remote communities are to open up the land for mining.

“For the Western Australian government to now dispossess and displace the peoples of these homelands is designed to facilitate an expeditious expansion of mining interests and other developments,” he wrote.

The announcement of the closures coincides with the introduction of the Aboriginal Heritage Amendment Bill by the Barnett government last November. The bill, which is about to be debated in state parliament, proposes changes to the Aboriginal Heritage Act 1972. These simplify the process of gaining permission to develop Aboriginal sites, as the chief executive of the DAA will have sole discretion over whether to deem heritage protection. This would continue a DAA trend over recent years of site assessment which is beneficial to industry.

Are Mining Interests Behind Western Australian Remote Aboriginal Community Closures?http://www.vice.com/en_au/read/are-mining-interests-behind-western-australian-remote-aboriginal-community-closures March 20, 2015 by Paul Gregoir Yesterday, 18,000 people turned out at rallies across Australia in protest of the Western Australian government’s proposal to close up to 150 remote Aboriginal communities.

Aboriginal-protest-remote-W

 

The move will see municipal and essential services provided by the government cut. Premier Colin Barnett announced the closures in November last year, claiming many of these communities are economically unviable.

On March 1, the Matagarup Aboriginal Refugee Camp was set up on Heirisson Island in Perth, anticipating the looming refugee crisis that will be caused by the remote community closures. Indigenous groups estimate that 15,000-20,000 people could potentially be affected by the closures and some see the proposals as more of a land grab than a measure against any real financial concerns.

Figures from the WA Department of Aboriginal Affairs (DAA) detail 274 remote communities across the state, with 12,113 Aboriginal people currently living within them.

Over past decades, it’s been the federal government that’s provided funding for 180 of these communities. However last September, federal Indigenous Affairs Minister Nigel Scullion announced that the responsibility to provide services to these communities would be handed over to the state government on July 1 this year, along with $90 million in funding to cover a two year transitional period.

Last week, Prime Minister Tony Abbott defended the WA government’s decision to close communities down stating on ABC radio, “what we can’t do is endlessly subsidise lifestyle choices.” This remark outraged many in the Indigenous community, as they regard people living in remote communities as carrying on the cultural and spiritual obligations to the land they inherited at birth.

On March 5, Barnett announced that an official investigation was underway into which remote communities would be closed and suggested that this would uncover incidents of child abuse. This is reminiscent of the Northern Territory Intervention, when in 2007 troops were sent in to close down remote NT communities on the pretext that paedophile rings were in operation. These claims were subsequently proven false.

WA Shadow Minister for Aboriginal Affairs, Ben Wyatt, told VICE that the premier’s suggestion he will produce evidence of child abuse is an attempt to demonise Aboriginal people to justify his decision.

“Mr Barnett has shown no understanding of the history of the remote communities nor the likely impact if you shut 150 communities,” said Wyatt, himself a Yamatji man. “The larger centres currently do not have the capacity to provide services to their current populations, let alone an influx of people moving in from the remote communities.”

Mitch Torres is an organiser of Stop the Forced Closure of Aboriginal Communities, which mobilised yesterday’s national day of action in centres around the nation. A Djugun and Gooniyandi woman from the Kimberley region, Torres said the protests drew attention to the lack of consultation the government has undertaken with the remote Aboriginal communities and the pending homelessness crisis that could eventuate. She said there are grave fears the closures are a repeat of past removal policies, giving no consideration to future social impacts.

“This is about taking people off their sovereign domicile, where they want to live, which took them years to get back because of being moved off country because of stations, the pastoral leases and the stolen generation, which has had an intergenerational effect,” Torres said. “In the last 50 years people have fought to go back to their country and get established. Then we get told we don’t want that experiment anymore. It’s like pulling people off country and putting them into the missions.”

Ghillar Michael Anderson, leader of the Euahlayi people and ambassador of the Aboriginal Tent Embassy in Canberra, wrote an open letter to the United Nations on March 3, in which he states that the proposed closures of remote communities are to open up the land for mining.

“For the Western Australian government to now dispossess and displace the peoples of these homelands is designed to facilitate an expeditious expansion of mining interests and other developments,” he wrote.

Anderson points out that the proposed closures are a continuation of others in the past. The Swan Valley Nyoongar community in Lockridge, Perth was closed in 2003 andOombulgurri in the Kimberley in 2011. Both were bulldozed last year.

The announcement of the closures coincides with the introduction of the Aboriginal Heritage Amendment Bill by the Barnett government last November. The bill, which is about to be debated in state parliament, proposes changes to the Aboriginal Heritage Act 1972. These simplify the process of gaining permission to develop Aboriginal sites, as the chief executive of the DAA will have sole discretion over whether to deem heritage protection. This would continue a DAA trend over recent years of site assessment which is beneficial to industry.

Marianne MacKay is an organiser of the refugee camp at Matagarup, which is part of theNyoongar Tent Embassy. The Yoorgabilya woman from the Nyoongar nation said the camp is designed, “to show the world that we feel like refugees in our country.” And she questions whether the government has any plans to resettle the people who will be forced off their land.

“Our people are being pushed off communities and having water, electricity and essential services cut off, so they’ll move and then when they do they’re considered to be abandoning their lands and mining leases go up and exploration leases,” MacKay explained. “Services are still going to be needed, just somewhere else. So it’s not like they’re going to be making extra money. They’re going to be kicking people off their homelands to steal that land for big business and mining.”

Last week, the camp was issued with an ultimatum by the City of Perth to dismantle all permanent structures at the site by 12 pm on March 13. When this was not adhered to around 50 police moved in with horses and dogs. They began dismantling the embassy, seizing mattresses, chairs and a marquee, which they loaded into trucks. MacKay downplayed the police confiscations, stating they’d already packed most of the camp away, so it couldn’t be taken.

“We stood in a circle because our mission was to protect the sacred fire. They weren’t putting it out and we didn’t let them,” MacKay said, as the Matagarup camp defiantly continues.

Follow Paul on Twitter: @paulrgregoire

Nuclear Royal Commission South Australia – secretive, confused, incompetent?

March 26, 2015

incompetenceWe wait to find out just who are to be the experts on South Australia’s Nuclear Royal Commission, (and what their agendas might be). We already know that the Terms of Reference exclude important issues, – so that the whole thing is likely to end up as just an eminently forgettable PR exercise for the nuclear lobby.

The Royal Commission received well over 1000 Submissions on its Terms of Reference. But now it seems that all have been removed from its website.

Could this be because the submissions were so overwhelmingly critical of the proposed Terms of Reference, that the nuclear lobby is embarrassed?

The nuclear submarine lobby and it’s chairman’s conflict of interest

March 26, 2015

Nuclear submarine option pushed by industry Financial Review  by John Kerin, 24 Mar 15,  Australia’s peak defence industry group has urged Prime Minister Tony Abbott to reconsider buying or leasing a nuclear submarine fleet to replace the ageing Collins class, saying the absence of a supporting domestic nuclear power industry no longer presents a hurdle.

Australian Industry Group Defence Council chairman Chris Jenkins, who is also the Australian chief of French industry giant Thales, said today’s submarine nuclear power plants were so efficient and required so little maintenance that an onshore nuclear power industry was hardly a requirement.

conflict-of-interest

He said nuclear submarine powerplant technology was constantly improving and you would need a trained workforce but not necessarily a power industry to support it.

The defence council is the peak body representing the’s $8 billion 24,000 strong defence sector. “That’s been said [you need a nuclear power industry] but I think nuclear energy these days is much more modularised than people think….like anything else [the submarine] powerplant is manageable,” Mr Jenkins said.

“The idea of a nuclear industry as a fundamental necessity, I am not convinced, but I did think it was quite a good thing that there was a call for a really deep review from South Australia in to nuclear energy,” Mr Jenkins said.

Mr Jenkins was referring to a royal commission called by South Australian Premier Jay Weatherill into the development of nuclear power.

Defence Minister Kevin Andrews will deliver the opening address at a major two-day summit on Australia’s Future Submarine, where experts are expected to fiercely debate the competitive evaluation process given ongoing concerns over the future of Adelaide based ASC and jobs in Adelaide……..

the French firm DCNS has offered a diesel powered version of its 5000 tonne Barracuda submarine.The nuclear version of the Barracuda will be in service with the French Navy from 2017.

 Prime Minister Tony Abbott commissioned advice from his own department last year on nuclear submarine options including the 8000 tonne US Virginia class but the government continues to rule out the option.

But its understood DCNS could offer the nuclear version of the Barracuda from around 2030 if Canberra wished to go down that route……..

Mr Jenkins said. “Given the concern over jobs, South Australia should be as keen to know the answer as anyone because itwould undoubtedly be the centre of Australia’s nuclear industry,” he said. http://www.afr.com/news/politics/nuclear-submarine-option-pushed-by-industry-20150324-1m5cpx

Ten things to worry about concerning South Australia’s Nuclear Royal Commission

March 26, 2015

scrutiny-Royal-CommissionRadioactive Waste Management in Australia: The federal government’s revised search for a national facility ACF briefing paper: March 2015 Continuing issues and concerns:  “……·      The Government seems determined to establish a site before the next federal election, which is expected in the second half of 2016. There is no apparent plan in place if a suitable site cannot be found according to the assessment criteria in the proposed timeframe. There are no social or technical reasons to rush a decision that demands the highest quality decision-making, as the facilities currently storing the majority of Australia’s nuclear waste are secure and can provide adequate storage for many years.

  • Despite a wide range of civil society organisations calling for an independent Inquiry into the full range of nuclear waste management options, including decentralised storage, the Government appears set on a centralised co-located facility without an objective assessment of other management options.
  • The revised process allows for nominations of land from any State or Territory. South Australia, the Northern Territory, Western Australia, Victoria and the Australian Capital Territory all have legislation in place prohibiting the storage or disposal of externally produced nuclear waste on their land. The National Radioactive Waste Management Act 2012, (section 19) provides the federal government with the power to override these laws. Such a scenario undermines the commitment to ‘volunteerism’, as the democratic rights of the affected electorate would be violated. The federal government has stated that if ‘a freehold landowner put forward a site to become a nuclear waste dump, states or territories would not have veto powers, but the Government did not want to impose its decision without consultation’.
  • The Government has asked all nominators to give consent to public disclosure of the nomination and currently states that it will make nominations public. Ongoing monitoring during the nomination period is required to ensure this occurs and to inform our understanding of community attitudes in nominated regions.
  • The Government has stated its intention to engage with the regional communities in which short-listed sites are located, but does not declare consent by the community to be a condition for final site selection. Furthermore, an Independent Advisory Panel has been established whose objective is partly to develop a site identification methodology that best reflects stakeholder and community values. However, a truly inclusive approach should go beyond the identification stage and include actual consent to the siting. So far, the Department of Industry has only expressed that it may seek evidence of community support.
  • ‘A package of benefits may also be negotiated with the community of the selected site in recognition of the potential development, construction and operational impacts of the facility.’ No details have so far been given on the potential amount and duration of benefits, and this remains a point to observe and brief targeted communities on.
  • Further clarity is also needed in relation to the proposed National Repository Capital Contribution Fund – a fund of at least $10 million, which is a provision of the Act to enhance public services and/ or infrastructure in the State or Territory hosting the selected site. It remains unclear who makes decisions referring to this allocation and on what basis.
  • According to the National Radioactive Waste Management Act 2012, section 9 (3) the Minister does not have a duty to consider a nomination. This leaves potential for the un-justified preference of some nominations over others and requires monitoring.
  • It is currently uncertain what the position of the Government is on the potential withdrawal of nominations. This, however, seems to be an essential factor to consider in relation to ‘volunteerism’ and the decision making of interested landowners.
  • Compensation for the acquisition of the declared site is open to negotiations but supposed to be guided by a Land Value Calculation and a premium of 3 times the established market price. For 100 hectares of land in remote Australia, this does not equate to a large financial incentive for the landowner. Furthermore, ‘the Commonwealth reserves its right to determine, at its sole discretion, any offer it makes for the acquisition of property’, potentially making the compensation issue less transparent.
  • The actual declaration of a nominated site as the chosen one for a facility gives the Minister the right to acquire adjacent or related land required to access the declared site and may therefore affect the rights of community members, again a potential interference with the concept of ‘volunteerism’ and an issue to alert affected communities to…..

Important issues carefully left out of South Australia’s Nuclear Royal Commission

March 26, 2015

scrutiny-Royal-CommissionRadioactive Waste Management in Australia: The federal government’s revised search for a national facility ACF Briefing paper compiled by Anica Niepraschk, March 2015

“…………Related issues/ wider impact

As the current process focuses on the selection of a site, it leaves some issues untouched that are of high importance when establishing a National Radioactive Waste Facility:

  •  The safety of workers at the facility as well as in the wider nuclear waste industry (such as in the transport and securing of waste) needs to be ensured.
  • Not only the community in near proximity of the site will be affected but also the communities along the transport routes between the facilities producing or currently storing nuclear waste and the newly established facility. A clear plan on how to engage with these communities and ensure their safety should be developed. At the current stage, there is no indication any such engagement will take place and once again, resistance among the transport routes can indirectly interfere with the proposed concept of ‘volunteerism’.
  • Communities are organic mechanisms and so are characterised by change. Engaging with the affected community at the selected site only during the selection process does not live up to the requirements of such a high-safety issue. Continuous engagement, including consultations and sensitisations as well as transparent access to information, is required beyond the selection process, encompassing the establishment and day-to-day operations of the facility for its whole lifespan.

 For questions, comments or additional information please contact:

Dave Sweeney – Nuclear Free Campaigner, ACF: d.sweeney@acfonline.org.au

Anica Niepraschk – Nuclear Free Campaign Intern, ACF: a.niepraschk@acfonline.org.au

Natalie Wasley – Beyond Nuclear Initiative (BNI): beyondnuclearinitiative@gmail.com

Solar farm in Victoria – independent of any tax-payer funding

March 26, 2015

what makes the Mildura plant so special is that it was built without a cent of government grants being tipped in.

helps illustrate how solar’s smaller, highly modular scale and fast construction time could allow it to play a far greater role in ensuring the target for the large-scale RET is met

Belectric have a developed a standardised 3MW solar power installation system they call the 3.0 MegaWattBlock (pictured below) which they roll-out across the globe.


Solar-installation-Belectri

Australia’s biggest solar farm powers-up but solar’s potential shines elsewhere, Business Spectator, TRISTAN EDIS  23 MAR 

Australia’s largest ever solar power plant, AGL’s 102 megawatt Nyngan – has begun feeding power into the grid. But there’s a far more interesting solar power plant no one is talking about in Mildura.

The Nyngan plant in Western NSW now has its first 25MW of capacity, involving 350,000 solar modules made by First Solar, generating power that is exporting power to the grid. Further generation will progressively be brought online over the next three months as the remaining three sections of the plant are individually commissioned.

It’s unambiguously good news, yet I’m far more excited about the solar power plant in Mildura even though it’s substantially smaller – 3MW of capacity versus Nyngan’s 102MW. In fact it’s quite astounding that the completion of the Mildura plant has received no press whatsoever, because when it started feeding power to the grid in April last year it was the second largest operational solar power plant in the country at the time, and remains comfortably the largest in Victoria.

Of course 3MW is nothing special; in the overall scheme of things it’s actually tiny. Over the last few years we’ve averaged over 800MW of solar installations per annum (mainly household installations of 5 kilowatts or smaller). Indeed the average coal power station is typically 200 times the size of the 3MW plant in Mildura.

But what makes the Mildura plant so special is that it was built without a cent of government grants being tipped in. Meanwhile AGL will receive $166.7 million from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) and a further  $64.9 million from the NSW Government to build Nyngan and its associated 53MW plant in Broken Hill. In addition, other large-scale solar plants like FRV’s 56MW plant in Moree, the 10MW plant in Carnarvon and the 6.7MW Rio Tinto plant in Weipa are all recipients of significant government grants covering around half the capital cost. Other solar projects in the ACT benefit from government feed-in tariffs which pay a significant premium over the market price of the electricity and renewable energy certificates the projects create.

Yet the Mildura solar farm will operate based solely on the revenue it earns from the large-scale Renewable Energy Target and the electricity it produces, via a long-term power purchase agreement with Diamond Energy – an upstart power retailer focussed on renewable energy.

In this respect the Mildura project provides a vastly more convincing case that solar PV could be a significant player in not just competing at the retail level on rooftops, but also the wholesale electricity market. The project also helps illustrate how solar’s smaller, highly modular scale and fast construction time could allow it to play a far greater role in ensuring the target for the large-scale RET is met than many currently expect…..

Essentially, they [The Germany company that built the project – Belectric –] approach it as a simple electrical installation rather than a large customised construction project. Belectric have a developed a standardised 3MW solar power installation system they call the 3.0 MegaWattBlock (pictured above) which they roll-out across the globe.

By keeping projects at a moderate size and employing simple, standardised equipment and framing, the project becomes a cookie-cutter exercise – not unlike like a household solar installation – just repeated over and over again. This enables them to employ local, small electrical contractors, keeping competition high and pricing sharp, avoiding the union-dominated, high-cost labour typically involved in large-scale construction projects in Australia. It also means they’ve become very quick at rolling these projects out because they’ve done them several times before. It’s utility scale power as mass production rather than one-off construction project……..http://www.businessspectator.com.au/article/2015/3/23/solar-energy/australias-biggest-solar-farm-powers-solars-potential-shines

The nuclear lobby sets out its agenda for South Australia

March 20, 2015

What does the nuclear lobby want, for South Australia?, Online Opinion, 

By Noel Wauchope    19 March 2015 “….It is difficult to work out exactly what is planned in nuclear industry expansion for South Australia. The plans involve some or all of these industries: uranium enrichment, nuclear power, importation and storage of nuclear wastes, 4th Generation nuclear reactors, and expansion of uranium mining.
However, we can be grateful to ABC Radio’s Ockham’s Razor programme, as it provided the nuclear lobby with a platform for setting out succinctly their intentions. Oscar Archer, a well -known voice for the nuclear industry, explains……
Australia should get a fleet of PRISM small nuclear reprocessing reactors – Archer’s plan is for  “IFS+IFR: Intermediate Fuel Storage and Integral Fast Reactor, namely the commercially offered PRISM breeder reactor from General Electric Hitachi.”What he means here is the Power Reactor Innovative Small Module

Archer then sets out the sequence of events that would lead to the establishment of this fleet. In Archer’s words “it goes like this. Australia establishes the world’s first multinational repository for used fuel – what’s often called nuclear waste”

However, he notes that “This is established on the ironclad commitment [my emphasis] to develop a fleet of integral fast reactors to demonstrate the recycling of the used nuclear fuel”……

the sting in the tale of his plan is really exactly what he calls the first step – the overturning or weakening of Federal and State laws. The Federal Act protects against nuclear reprocessing and expanded nuclear industries. ARPANSA sets safety standards for exposure to ionising radiation. South Australian State Law would have to be overturned, too – under the Nuclear Waste Storage Facility (Prohibition) Act 2000
These laws are not frivolous products of tree huggers – and are there for sound health and environmental reasons.

The central premise of Oscar Archer’s promotion of this nuclear chain of events is that Australia should go out on a limb – be the first country in the world to import nuclear wastes and to order a mass purchase of PRISM reactors…..

The PRISM reactor exists only on paper and its development is decades away from completion. David Biello, in Scientific American comments “Ultimately, however, the core problem may be that such new reactors don’t eliminate the nuclear waste that has piled up so much as transmute it. Even with a fleet of such fast reactors, nations would nonetheless require an ultimate home for radioactive waste, one reason that a 2010 M.I.T. report on spent nuclear fuel dismissed such fast reactors.”

nuclear-wizards

The PRISM can’t melt down in the way that conventional nuclear reactors can. However, its essential use of plutonium entails hazardous transport – vulnerability to terrorism and use as a “dirty” bomb. And – finally the PRISM reactor itself becomes radioactive waste requiring security and burial.

There is another, underlying premise here that needs to be examined. This is the premise that it is OK for Australia and the world to continue to consume energy endlessly…….

consumer-world-nuke

The plan purports to reduce greenhouse emissions by means of thousands of little reactors, (and big ones) – but their development is so many decades away that it would be too late for climate change action.

We are left with a plan that looks suspiciously as if the troubled nuclear industries of USA, Canada and UK have selected Australia as the guinea pig for a plan to reverse their industries’ present decline.

corruptionIt is a worry that the South Australian Government is looking to Canada to take part in the Royal Commission. If ever there were a troubled nuclear industry, it is in Canada. The World Bank’s Corrupt Companies Blacklist is Dominated By Canada, because of one company, SNC Lavalin, – exporter of small nuclear reactors………http://www.onlineopinion.com.au/view.asp?article=17185

South Australia’s Royal Commission is, from the very start, pro uranium, so pro nuclear

March 20, 2015

Nuclear Royal Commission will ignore the elephant in the room 20 Mar 15, The biggest hole in the nuclear Royal Commission isn’t the proposed open cut pit at Olympic Dam, but rather the omission of any consideration as to whether South Australia should be LESS involved in the nuclear industry, rather than MORE involved, according to Greens SA State Parliamentary Leader, Mark Parnell MLC.

“Despite the Premier’s assurance that he has an “open mind”, the most fundamental question of SA’s role in the global nuclear industry won’t be considered at all.  The Royal Commission is only charged with considering NEW ADDITIONAL involvement or expanding our existing involvement; it won’t be looking at whether SA should extract itself entirely from the nuclear cycle.” said Mark Parnell.

“If you don’t ask all the questions, you won’t get all the answers.

“Clearly, there are many South Australians who are opposed to South Australia’s involvement in the nuclear cycle.  With our natural advantages and nation-leading performance in wind and solar, South Australians see that the future is to embrace clean renewable energy, rather than flirting with dangerous, dirty and expensive nuclear power.  Becoming the nation’s or world’s nuclear waste dump is not most people’s vision for our State’s future or the legacy that we want to leave our children.”

scrutiny-Royal-Commission

Now that the Royal Commission is underway, the next critical decisions will be around the selection of key staff including “Counsel assisting the Royal Commission” and any technical or other research staff.

“Choosing people who are partisan or have vested interests will be seen by the public as evidence of a biased process and the credibility of any findings will be diminished.”

The Royal Commission also needs to announce how it intends to conduct its inquiry, including opportunities for personal submissions, public hearings, site visits and how all South Australians can engage with the process.

“The Greens will engage with the process, but we won’t hesitate to publicly criticise the Royal Commission if it becomes secretive, biased or otherwise limits the ability of South Australians to have their say on their State’s future.” said Mr Parnell.


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 565 other followers