Archive for the ‘National’ Category

Hawker ballot says no to nuke waste dump 

December 12, 2019

 https://www.9news.com.au/national/hawker-ballot-to-close-on-nuke-waste-dump/18ef3ba3-8409-4783-a114-2652368da458#close   By AAPstra6:12pm Dec 12, 2019 A community poll among residents in South Australia’s Flinders Ranges has narrowly voted against the construction of nuclear waste dump in the area.

About 52 per cent of the people who took part in the ballot voted against the federal government’s facility being established on land near Hawker.
The result came after a similar poll of residents on SA’s Eyre Peninsula voted almost 62 per cent in favour of the dump being built on one of two sites near Kimba.
The federal government is yet to respond to the poll, but environmental groups said it should rule out the Flinders Ranges as a potential dump site.
Australian Conservation Foundation campaigner Dave Sweeney said the result came amid clear opposition from regional pastoralists and the area’s native title holders.
“There is no broad community support for a national radioactive waste facility in the Flinders Ranges,” Mr Sweeney said.
While the Friends of the Earth said it was time for the federal government to abandon the dump plan altogether.

Report to Senate Nuclear Inquiry: Australia must keep its nuclear bans

December 7, 2019

REPORT ON PROCEEDINGS BEFORE  STANDING COMMITTEE ON STATE DEVELOPMENT URANIUM MINING AND NUCLEAR FACILITIES (PROHIBITIONS) REPEAL BILL 2019 At Macquarie Room, Parliament House, Sydney, on Monday 11 November 2019 

PRESENT The Hon. Taylor Martin (Chair) The Hon. Mark Banasiak The Hon. Mark Buttigieg The Hon. Wes Fang The Hon. Scott Farlow The Hon. Mark Latham The Hon. Natasha Maclaren-Jones The Hon. Mick Veitch (Deputy Chair)  JIM GREEN, National Anti-Nuclear Campaigner, Friends of the Earth Australia, affirmed and examined  DAVE SWEENEY, Nuclear Policy Analyst, Australian Conservation Foundation, affirmed and examined CHRIS GAMBIAN, Chief Executive, Nature Conservation Council of NSW, sworn and examined Monday, 11 November 2019 Legislative Council Page 30 

The CHAIR: Would anyone like to begin by making an opening statement?

Dr GREEN: Yes, we all would, with your permission. I am going to speak about nuclear power. Dave will speak about uranium, and Chris will speak about New South Wales energy issues—opportunities, road blocks and so on. I am going to quickly run through issues canvassed in our joint submission, and in particular the reasons why we believe that State and Federal bans against nuclear power should be retained.

The first one is that those bans have saved Australia and saved New South Wales from the catastrophic cost over-runs with every reactor project in Western Europe and the United States over the past decade. It is a sad truth that every one of those reactor projects is at least A$10 billion over budget. That’s $10 billion—with a ‘B’. It is hard to believe that but it is true. Perhaps the most catastrophic of all those catastrophic projects was in South Carolina, where they have had to abandon a reactor project mid-stream, having already spent over A$13 billion.

Nuclear power could not possibly pass any reasonable economic tests, and it certainly would not pass the tests set by Prime Minister Scott Morrison. It could not possibly be introduced or maintained without massive taxpayer subsidies. There are a couple of examples. Hitachi has recently walked away from a project in Wales in the United Kingdom, despite the offer of staggering, unprecedented subsidies. Also in the UK, the lifetime subsidies for the Hinkley Point project alone—a 3.2 gigawatt project—are estimated by the European Union to be A$55 billion for a two-reactor project. Other credible estimates put those lifetime subsidies at A$91 billion. These are extraordinary figures. I know it is hard to believe but it is all documented.

The other economic test set by Prime Minister Morrison is that nuclear power would need to reduce electricity prices, and clearly it would do no such thing. It would clearly increase electricity prices. Legislation banning nuclear power should also be retained because of the lack of a social licence, and in particular numerous polls over the past 10 years have found that only 20 per cent to 28 per cent of Australians would support living in the near vicinity of a nuclear power plant. As the Clean Energy Council put it, in its submission to this inquiry, it would require “a minor miracle” to win community support for nuclear power in Australia.

There is a lot more that could be said about nuclear economics and I am happy to field questions on that issue. There is plenty of information in our joint submission and in the separate Friends of the Earth submission dealing specifically with small modular reactors. There is one point that I would particularly like to make to the committee and to the secretariat, which is that there is an excellent critique of some of the claims made by nuclear lobbyists, both to this inquiry and to the Federal inquiry. This article neatly corrects and debunks those claims. The article is by Giles Parkinson. It was published at reneweconomy.com.au on 23 October. It is called, “Why the nuclear lobby makes stuff up about cost of wind and solar”. Our joint submission also does some of that work— debunking highly questionable claims made by nuclear lobbyists about nuclear economics. In particular I would draw your attention to sections 3.5 and 3.6 of our joint submission.

The next issues is that we believe legal prohibition should be retained because the pursuit of a nuclear industry would almost certainly worsen patterns of disempowerment and dispossession experienced by Australia’s First Nations. To give just one example of that, the National Radioactive Waste Management Act dispossessed and disempowers traditional owners in many different ways. To list one of many, the Act states that the nomination of a site for a radioactive waste dump is valid even if Aboriginal owners were not consulted and did not give consent. I would ask this Committee to consider recommending that those appalling and indefensible clauses of the National Radioactive Waste Management Act be repealed.

Legislation banning nuclear power should also be retained because no-one could have any confidence that satisfactory solutions could be found for waste streams. Globally, no country has a repository for high-level nuclear waste. There is one deep underground repository for long-lived intermediate level waste in the United States. It was set up in the late nineties. Almost as soon as it was set up, safety standards and layers of regulatory oversight were peeled away, and those failures led to a chemical explosion in an underground waste barrel, which shut the repository down for three years. Direct and indirect costs amounted to about $3 billion. The thing that I really want to focus on there is that safety standards and regulatory standards fell away straight away—and you are dealing with plutonium, with a half life of 24,000 years. We need to safely manage this waste for millennia; they failed to safely manage it for one single decade.

I want to make a quick point on wastage of another sort. That is that nuclear power reactors are voracious consumers of water. A single reactor typically consumes 50 million litres of cooling water every single day. Their water intake pipes are slaughter houses for fish and other marine creatures. Arguably, the best way to destroy a local fishery is to build a nuclear power plant nearby. This is just considering routine operations of a nuclear power plant. In the case of Fukushima, that disaster has crippled and almost killed the local fishing industry. Currently fishers in the region are fighting plans to dump vast amounts of contaminated water into the ocean surrounding the nuclear plant.

I have one final point. Legislation banning nuclear power should be retained because the introduction of nuclear power would delay and undermine the development of effective economic energy and climate policies based on renewables and energy efficiency. A December 2018 report by CSIRO and AEMO found that the cost of power from small modular reactors would be more than twice as expensive as power from wind and solar PV, even with some storage costs included. CSIRO and AEMO are about to release another report, which firms up that conclusion and also considers the costs of a higher degree of storage attached to renewables. They have canvassed the findings of that report. They find that, even with a considerable amount of storage factored in, renewables are still far cheaper than nuclear, comparable to the costs of existing fossil fuels and are almost certain to become cheaper than fossil fuels because of the clear cost trajectory of renewables and storage.

So nuclear simply is not even in this debate. There has been a big spat about the CSIRO and AEMO costings with respect to small modular reactors. Their costing is $16,000 per kilowatt of installed capacity, and the nuclear lobbyists are furious with that and strongly contesting it. What I would say is that if you average the cost of small modular reactors, which are actually under construction in China, Russia and Argentina, that average is higher than the figure given by CSIRO and AEMO. Also, if you look at the reactors being built in the United States—the large reactors—one again, the CSIRO and AEMO figure for nuclear is lower than the real-world cost for reactors that are actually under construction in the US. So the CSIRO and AEMO figure is entirely defensible. In conclusion I quote the senior vice-president of Exelon, which is the largest nuclear company in the United States, who said:

I don’t think we’re building any more nuclear plants in the United States. I don’t think it’s ever going to happen … They are too expensive to construct …

That is in the US where they have a vast amount of infrastructure and expertise but nuclear has clearly priced itself out of the market. The calculations in Australia would certainly be worse because we do not have that infrastructure, we do not have that expertise and we are blessed with renewable energy resources. As the Climate Council, comprising Australia’s leading climate scientists, puts it, nuclear power reactors “are not appropriate for Australia—and probably never will be.” I will leave it there.

A tiny number of rural South Australians to make decision on a NATIONAL nuclear waste dump

November 23, 2019

This is a decision which will affect all South Australians, not just a tiny percentage of people who have experienced four years of federal government promises and pressure to acquiesce.

the Minister failed to mention the main component of the project — long lived intermediate level waste from the Lucas Heights reactor  

Farmers and Traditional Owners decry SA nuclear more  https://www.eurekastreet.com.au/article/farmers-and-traditional-owners-decry-sa-nuclear-vote, Michele Madigan,20 November 2019 

    • On 12 November, Senator Canavan, federal Minister for Resources, took a question from the rather more junior Senator Alex Antic. The questioner wondered whether there was any recent progress on the federal nuclear facility proposed for Antic’s own state of South Australia.
The Minister was delighted to have the chance to announce that in the district area of Kimba the long awaited vote to host both a permanent facility for national low level radiactive waste and storage for intermediate level radioactive waste had concluded. The result: 61.17 per cent voted in favour.
Unsurprisingly, Canavan failed to mention that voting rights in the poll were severely restricted. The Barngarla Traditional Owners, native title holders of the area, were given no voice. Farmers whose land is actually closer to the site were also excluded as their properties are outside the allocated narrow boundary. 
 
Surprising however, even to four year battle-weary opponents of the scheme, was the fact that even on the second and third questions offered him by the willing SA Senator, the Minister failed to mention the main component of the project — long lived intermediate level waste from the Lucas Heights reactor  
 
With the total vote consisting of only 734 ballot papers, the yes vote represented just 452 people. My letter to the Advertiser of 11 November 2019 pointed out that on these figures we have .027 per cent of South Australians speaking for us all. In her response on 15 November, task force manager of the project, Sam Chard, wrote to the Advertiser that ‘the transport of waste will be conducted safely’ — a careful phrase. Unfortunately not even a federal government can prevent accidents from happening as they surely will — and already have.
South Australian filmmaker Kim Mavromatis’ just released video of an historic 1980 road accident involving nuclear waste from Lucas Heights graphically demonstrates the severe effects on former NSW police officers Bob Deards and Terry Clifford, who were tasked with cleanup. While there is no doubt that modern transport containers will be of better quality than in the past, the men’s warning is obvious: ‘The more they transport, the more accidents will happen.’
A later South Australian example was highlighted by the Advertiser‘s front-page headline of 9 December 1994: ‘Radioactive drum spills on SA road’. ‘A drum carrying low grade radioactive waste from New South Wales to Woomera has leaked contaminated material on to South Australian outback roads … Port Augusta police confirmed last night they were conducting an emergency clean-up of the site about 2km north of Port Augusta …’
Coober Pedy Aboriginal women Emily Austin and Lois Brown’s alarmed response was published a few days later: ‘When they were washing the truck after the leakage, they even took the water away. Why? if it was low-grade toxic waste. It must have been dangerous.’ Their warning: ‘Also that accident might have been low grade but what about the next time?’
Long-term Friends of the Earth environmentalist Dr Jim Green reiterates that nuclear transport accidents are commonplace. ‘Indeed the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO) acknowledges that a small number of nuclear transport accidents occur each year. If the industry is expanded, there will inevitably be more transport accidents. A British government database documents an average of 19 nuclear transport incidents each year. Countless thousands of Australians who live along potential nuclear waste transport corridors are being ignored and disenfranchised by the Morrison Government ”.

Union spokespeople are under no illusion that accidents are inevitable and about who will be automatically called for the cleanup. As Jamie Newlyn, South Australian Branch Secretary of the Maritime Union of Australia, warns: ‘MUA members work in critical points of the logistics cycle and therefore the safe handling and above ground storage for decades is of great concern to the MUA … ‘

A day of high temperatures and strong winds last month did nothing to deter opponents of the federal government’s nuclear plans from the latest Port Augusta Rally. Terry Schmucker, who owns a farm in nearby Poochera, had no vote in the recent poll. He was scathing about the inability of the nuclear industry to guarantee project safety when ANSTO has been unable to prevent radioactive leaks even on site.

After the rally, Aboriginal Co-Chairs of the Australian Nuclear Free Alliance (ANFA), Dwayne Coulthard and Vicki Abdulla, led a strong contingent to present ANFA’s petition to the office of South Australia’s Minister for Energy and Mining, Dan van Holst Pellekaan: ‘South Australia has legislation that makes such waste facilities illegal: The Nuclear Waste Storage (Prohibition) Act 2000 … We ask you to act now and protect South Australia and its people from Minister Canavan’s site selection process that has caused so much distress to South Australian communities … ‘

No, Senator Canavan, South Australians don’t believe that 452 people in one small town have the right to agree to burden us with all the nation’s nuclear waste — and forever.

In fact the Barngarla Determination Aboriginal Corporation has just set another challenge. With the results of their own Australian Electoral Company internal members vote showing 83 No and zero Yes votes, the Barngala have issued a statement which reads in part: ‘BDAC has written to Minister Canavan advising him of the result. BDAC has requested that given the first people for the area unanimously have voted against the proposed facility that the Minister should immediately determine that there is not broad community support for the project. ‘

With the arrival of the voting papers for the proposed alternative Flinders Ranges site on 14 November, the intensity of the division between potential yes and no voters in the small towns and hinterlands of Hawker and Quorn seems to have hit fever pitch. The potential yes voters welcoming of a new ‘industry’ to the area seem to disregard the effect a nuclear facility will have on the major tourism industry and Adnyamathanha heritage; not to mention the threats to groundwaters in an area subject to seismic activity and floods.

This is a decision which will affect all South Australians, not just a tiny percentage of people who have experienced four years of federal government promises and pressure to acquiesce.

USA desperate to sell Small Modular Nuclear Reactors to Australia?

November 20, 2019

Australia is the great ‘white’ hope for the global nuclear industry, Independent Australia, By Noel Wauchope | 19 November 2019, The global nuclear industry is in crisis but that doesn’t stop the pro-nuclear lobby from peddling exorbitantly expensive nuclear as a “green alternative”. Noel Wauchope reports.

The global nuclear industry is in crisis. Well, in the Western world, anyway. It is hard to get a clear picture of  Russia and China, who appear to be happy putting developing nations into debt, as they market their nuclear reactors overseas with very generous loans — it helps to have stte-owned companies funding this effort.

But when it comes to Western democracies, where the industry is supposed to be commercially viable, there’s trouble. The latest news from S&P Global Ratings has made it plain: nuclear power can survive only with massive tax-payer support. Existing large nuclear  reactors need subsidies to continue, while the expense of building new ones has scared off investors.

So, for the nuclear lobby, ultimate survival seems to depend on developing and mass marketing “Generation IV” small and medium reactors (SMRs). …..

for the U.S. marketers, Australia, as a politically stable English-speaking ally, is a particularly desirable target. Australia’s geographic situation has advantages. One is the possibility of making Australia a hub for taking in radioactive wastes from South-East Asian countries. That’s a long-term goal of the global nuclear lobby.   …..

In particular, small nuclear reactors are marketed for submarines. That’s especially important now, as a new type of non-nuclear submarine – the Air Independent Propulsion (AIP) submarine, faster and much cheaper – could be making nuclear submarines obsolete. The Australian nuclear lobby is very keen on nuclear submarines: they are now promoting SMRs with propagandists such as Heiko Timmers, from Australian National University. This is an additional reason why Australia is the great white hope.

I use the word “white” advisedly here because Australia has a remarkable history of distrust and opposition to this industry form Indigenous Australians…..

The hunt for a national waste dump site is one problematic side of the nuclear lobby’s push for Australia. While accepted international policy on nuclear waste storage is that the site should be as near as possible to the point of production, the Australian Government’s plan is to set up a temporary site for nuclear waste, some 1700 km from its production at Lucas Heights. The other equally problematic issue is how to gain political and public support for the industry, which is currently banned by both Federal and state laws. SMR companies like NuScale are loath to spend money on winning hearts and minds in Australia while nuclear prohibition laws remain.

Ziggy Switkowski, a long-time promoter of the nuclear industry, has now renewed this campaign — although he covers himself well, in case it all goes bad, noting that nuclear energy for Australia could be a “catastrophic failure“. ……

his submission (No. 41) to the current Federal Inquiry into nuclear power sets out only one aim, that

‘… all obstacles … be removed to the consideration of nuclear power as part of the national energy strategy debate.’

So the Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act (EPBC Act) should be changed, according to Switkowski. In an article in The Australian, NSW State Liberal MP Taylor Martin suggested that the Federal and state laws be changed to prohibit existing forms of nuclear power technology but to allow small modular reactors.

Switkowski makes it clear that the number one goal of the nuclear lobby is to remove Australia’s national and state laws that prohibit the nuclear industry. And, from reading many pro-nuclear submissions to the Federal Inquiry, this emerges as their most significant aim.

It does not appear that the Australian public is currently all agog about nuclear power. So, it does seem a great coincidence that so many of their representatives in parliaments – Federal, VictorianNew South WalesSouth Australia and members of a new party in Western Australia – are now advocating nuclear inquiries, leading to the repeal of nuclear prohibition laws.

We can only conclude that this new, seemingly coincidental push to overturn Australia’s nuclear prohibition laws, is in concert with the push for a national nuclear waste dump in rural South Australia — part of the campaign by the global nuclear industry, particularly the American industry, to kickstart another “nuclear renaissance”, before it’s too late.

Despite its relatively small population, Australia does “punch above its weight” in terms of its international reputation and as a commercial market. The repeal of Australia’s laws banning the nuclear industry would be a very significant symbol for much-needed new credibility for the pro-nuclear lobby. It would open the door for a clever publicity drive, no doubt using “action on climate change” as the rationale for developing nuclear power.

In the meantime, Australia has abundant natural resources for sun, wind and wave energy, and could become a leader in the South-East Asian region for developing and exporting renewable energy — a much quicker and more credible way to combat global warming. https://independentaustralia.net/politics/politics-display/australia-is-the-great-white-hope-for-the-global-nuclear-industry,13326

Government study found Kimba and Flinders Range areas to be unsuitable for nuclear waste dump

October 12, 2019

Fight To Stop Nuclear Waste Dump In Flinders Ranges https://www.facebook.com/groups/941313402573199/ 11 Oct 19

A 2005 feasibility study by URS Australia for the SA government found both Flinders Ranges and Kimba unsuitable for Radioactive Nuclear Waste Dump. Anyone told Canavan and Marshall?

Lyn Allen and Richard Ledger make a fine nuclear submission for the public good

September 28, 2019

Allen, Lyn and  Ledgar, Richard Submission No 30

to the FEDERAL. Inquiry into the prerequisites for nuclear energy in Australia…  Extracts “…..there are overwhelming economic, environmental and social reasons why nuclear energy is not an appropriate contributor to Australia’s energy mix.

If Australia is going to move to a sustainable future then we need to concentrate on producing energy from renewable resources. Uranium is not a renewable resource and even more so than coal, uranium mining produces waste that remains toxic for thousands of years.

Additionally, while nuclear power generation does not produce greenhouse gases, greenhouse gases are produced at every step in the process from mining to refinement and building nuclear power generation facilities. Like uranium mines, nuclear power stations expose the community and the environment in which they are built to significant risks ……

The future of Australia’s energy generation should to take advantage of our abundant natural resources such as sun, wind, tidal potential. Nuclear power station are massively expensive to build and take years to complete, whereas wind and solar generators and new storage technology (such as the batteries installed in South Australia) can be developed quickly and relatively inexpensively …

water. Generating nuclear power needs large quantities of water. Given Australia’s climatic conditions, the shortage of water in many of our major river systems,

Many countries around the world that currently use nuclear power are already starting to phase it out in favour of wind and solar generation. Australia can get in front of the energy production business by putting our skills, and efforts into an alternative energy grid that suits our climate, is safe for future generation and takes advantage of ‘free’ sources of energ

To Australia’s Federal Nuclear Inquiry – a Submission for the Public Good

September 24, 2019

Recommendation. There is no need to change Australia’s laws prohibiting nuclear activities. They were devised to protect Australians from the health, and safety risks of nuclear facilities, – far-sighted in that they have saved Australia from the unnecessary expense of a now collapsing industry. Meanwhile Australia is very well placed to put energy and funds into truly modern developments, and could become a world leader in energy efficiency and renewable energy.

To start with, the title of this Inquiry , featuring the word  “prerequisite” really makes clear the major issue.

What is the major prerequisite?

Obviously the one important  prerequisite is to repeal Australia’s laws banning nuclear activities. 

First the Federal Law would have to be repealed. (a1)

Then – State Laws –  Victoria’s  NUCLEAR ACTIVITIES (PROHIBITIONS) ACT (a2) -and South Australia’s Nuclear Waste Storage Facility (Prohibition) Act 2000 (a3)

(a1)    https://www.environment.gov.au/epbc/what-is-protected/nuclear-actions

(a2)   http://www8.austlii.edu.au/cgi-bin/viewdb/au/legis/vic/consol_act/naa1983337/

(a3) https://www.legislation.sa.gov.au/LZ/C/A/NUCLEAR%20WASTE%20STORAGE%20FACILITY%20(PROHIBITION)%20ACT%202000.aspx

Once these laws are repealed, then nuclear industry proponents will be free to spend much money on publicising the benefits of the industry. With helpful politicians and press, particularly from the predominant Murdoch media, this will give the industry huge boost. As Australia moves further into drought and water shortages, they will claim that nuclear power is essential to solve climate change.  (Even if nuclear power could combat climate change, it would take decades to establish, and by then it would be too late.)

So – that is what the global nuclear industry needs, especially for South Australia, which has specific legislation against spending public money on promoting the nuclear industry .

While Australians have concerns about cost, safety, environment , health, wastes, Aboriginal rights, weapons proliferation etc, I am sure that the nuclear lobby will be able to overcome those hesitations, with an effective programme.

So, I have my doubts that the Terms of Reference matter all that much, but – here goes.  I understand that the emphasis in this Inquiry is on Small Modular Nuclear Reactors (SMRs)

a . waste management, transport and storage.    (more…)

Barrie Hill explains how Australia’s tax-payers must fund nuclear power development

September 12, 2019

Barrie Hill gives an insight into just what the global nuclear lobby wants from Australia.  They want to overturn Australia’ s laws prohibiting nuclear activities, and get the tax-payer to fund the development of the nuclear industry in Australia

His submission (no.60) to the FEDERAL. Inquiry into the prerequisites for nuclear energy in Australia is a fine example of the nuclear-lobby-speak that is turning up in these submissions from nuclear power experts.  He’s the Managing Director of SMR Technology, and makes sure to outline his impressive background in the industry.

His is a long submission, in 3 long documents.  Here are snatches from his main document.:

*****************************************************

Hill says that for Australia replacing coal with nuclear will be “ the least cost alternative “. He recommends a South Korean type nuclear chain. Says that “the viability and advantages of small modular reactors is fully covered in a separate submission”. Recommends setting up a Federal government authority to lead Australia’s nuclear program. Recommends the South Korean Advanced Power Reactor 1000MWe (APR1000).

It is recommended that the groundwork for an inevitable future nuclear power program is put in place beginning with the removal of all legislated prohibitions and increased support or familiarisation and training programs.”

the government will need to guarantee high level positions with appropriate salaries for  qualified persons coming from existing nuclear areas”

Recommends used fuel storage to be ready by 10 years from first plant commissioning “and that storage allow for eventual fuel recovery”. Wants high regulation and documentation, and sites for reactors chosen early.

Outlines his strong background in the nuclear industry.

Discusses the needs for electricity, and limitations of renewable energy. Criticises the electricity marketing structure. All existing subsidies should be removed. Says base-load power is critically needed. Wants a single independent Australian Electricity Commission to be set up.

Goes on at length and in detail about projected.electricity costs. The development of nuclear reactors for power generation provides a cost effective, safe, and reliable option for the progressive replacement of the current Australian base load generation fleet.” and suggests direct replacement by Small Modular Reactors.

Says that Westinghouse indicated a  good potential for widespread industry involvement within Australia”.

Hill attributes the “difficult acceptance” of nuclear power to “accident outcomes sensationalised by technically uninformed media.”

At an early point in the process the Federal and State governments should act to remove all legislative bans prohibiting a final decision to proceed so that the work may be developed unobstructed and finally judged on it’s merits. It is clear that the existence of the bans has restricted expenditure on thorough analysis to date particularly by government  agencies and has been a severe detriment to the establishment of a coherent energy policy for the nation.”

He moves on to “Stage 2” – a feasibility study, resulting in a “national investment decision”, the forming of a Nuclear Energy Program Implementing Organisation, bring in many experts, including foreign experts for “high level knowledge” . Recommends Government Leadership and Continuous Investment in Nuclear Infrastructure….. “ The Australian government therefore should play a lead role in the program from the initial phase with investment funds, manpower selection, and appropriate planning –

With the existence of a firm financial guarantee from the government local and overseas companies will actively participate in the national nuclear power construction program with reduced risk. ”.

Only an Australian government agency can arrange and manage the required level of investment estimated to total $150B to eventually replace all retiring coal fired power stations, to ensure maximum benefit for the Australian community and minimum riskThe Reserve Bank has noted that this time of unprecedented low interest rates is the perfect  opportunity for government investment in productive new assets such as power stations.

Lengthy discussion on need for training and education especially tertiary. International co-operation, especially on safeguards. Need for a standard nuclear design.

[on nuclear wastes)”The work carried out for the Nuclear Fuel Cycle Royal Commission based in South Australia has provided sufficiently detailed pre-feasibility studies to commence final feasibility work for the implementation of used fuel storage in Australia. It is recommended that used fuel storage be available ten years from first plant commissioning and that storage allow for eventual fuel recovery.”

Recommends importing nuclear wastes, as a way to fund nuclear power development :“The economic viability and revenue streams defined for used fuel import storage as part of the work carried out by the South Australian Royal Commission could in the extreme provide sufficient revenue to fund the development of a nuclear power program for all of Australia. This massive economic opportunity cannot be overlooked”

Need for a strong independent regulator.

On insurance, Hill explains why beyond a certain level risk had to be socialised. It is now understood that the state needs to accept responsibility as insurer of last resort”

Hill dismisses the idea of any necessary connection between nuclear power and nuclear weapons proliferation.

Discusses how to organise a leadership team, then process for choosing sites for reactors.

Discusses radiation at length, tending to minimise the health effects of Chernobyl and Fukushima, and reassures about the nuclear industry’s good safety culture.

Recent OECD and local studies suggest that Federal action to introduce nuclear power is the only economically viable option to meet minimum cost of supply, maximum reliability of supply, and key environmental imperatives for the Australian electricity sector.”

Hill gives detail on choosing a reactor type- recommending a Korean one.

On risk analysis – “Humans are poor risk managers, focusing too much on consequences and too little on probabilities – something insurance and lottery salesmen relish.Gives lengthy detail on risk identification and risk mitigation. He includes not only safety risks, but also financial risks, and ways to mitigate them.

Finally, Hill turns to the issue of climate change, recommending nuclear power for reducing greenhouse gases, and replacing coal power.

The Federal government will be required to manage the financing, construction and operation of all nuclear power stations for the foreseeable future.
A prerequisite for the investment is the establishment of a government leadership andmanagement control organisation the Australian Electricity Corporation”

“ It is time for the Australian Federal government to lead a strategy for change before all those benefits are
irretrievably lost.”

Australia is wise to have laws prohibiting nuclear power

September 7, 2019

 

Submission 25 Greig Myer   Hopefully this will be the final time that our elected representatives waste time and money on a form of energy that has no public support in pretty much every country on the planet. This has been indicated time and again when the general public has been allowed to have a referendum on the issue. Historically the Australian government has sensibly recognised this in its general moratorium on nuclear power. I will rely on others providing the facts backing up the following broad statements:

There remains no proven long term safe storage facility for nuclear waste anywhere in the world. All facilities to date have experienced increasing leakage risks or actual leakage as time has gone on. The waste also requires ongoing management far beyond the average extent of human planning ability and is based on the assumption of an extraordinarily long stability of government and human affairs that have historically never persisted.

This remains the most basic and fundamental reason that nuclear power should not be considered.

The health and safety risks of nuclear power are massive and exist end to end. From mining uranium, to operating the facility, to dismantling it and storing the waste, at all points humans and the natural environment are exposed to very real risk of radiation exposure, and that is assuming things are operating well.

Nuclear power is currently the most expensive form of electricity generation available, as well as the most dangerous and the most polluting. The estimated costs of generating nuclear power never include the dismantlement of the reactor at the end of its life as well as the multi-generational cost of storage of the waste. These costs must be included in an assessment of nuclear power.

If experts are to be sought to provide an overview of nuclear power then some should be sourced from Germany which is closing down all its nuclear power, and Japan that is currently dealing with the reality of nuclear power when it goes wrong.

Australia as a major supplier of uranium is an enabler of the nuclear waste problem that is going to plague the world for generations. Just because an industry provides profit or jobs does not make it a conscionable activity. Australia could make a major contribution to ensuring that nuclear waste is at least somewhat reduced by shutting down its uranium producing mines. –

Some nuclear proponents raise the red herring of carbon emissions as a reason for nuclear power. Carbon dioxide is only one form of pollution that humanity has to deal with it as a result of its activities. Replacing one form of pollution with a far more toxic alternative is not progress.

There is urgent need for focus on the long-term stabilisation of Australia’s energy grid and this would be a much more appropriate focus for a Parliamentary Inquiry. Solar and wind power are cheap and whatever problems they have they are insignificant compared to the extreme risks that exist with nuclear power.

Electric cars are coming and they provide a real opportunity to provide the grid stabilisation that is needed, if the Australian Government provides the appropriate guidelines (universal plug for all cars, all charging to be done between 10am and 2pm??). It is time to focus on the future and leave nuclear power in the past where it belongs. It has had 50 years to prove itself and it has failed comprehensively.

Australian govt tricking rural South Australians into a quiet plan for IMPORTING NUCLEAR WASTES?

August 30, 2019