Archive for the ‘National’ Category

Australia’s uranium lobby’s social media campaign a flop

April 25, 2016


text-uranium-hypePro-uranium social media campaign’s #epicfail  Why are some still championing nuclear power when renewable energy generation has doubled worldwide over the past decade? Jim Green, SBS, 25 Apr 2016

The Minerals Council of Australia launched a pro-uranium social media campaign on Wednesday. By that afternoon the twitter hashtag #untappedpotential was trending but ‒ as an AAP piece picked up by SBS and others noted ‒ contributors were overwhelmingly critical.

Nearly all contributors offered thoughts such as these: “A week away from the #Chernobyl 30-year anniversary and Minerals Council begins propaganda trip on the #untappedpotential of uranium. Huh?!” said Twitter user Jemila Rushton.

“We need to better harness the #untappedpotential of solar power”, tweeted Upulie Divisekera.

“#untappedpotential to put more communities at risk of nuclear waste dumps,” Ace Collective said.

“We concur that uranium has much #untappedpotential … for disaster, cost and time blowouts and proliferation,” Anglesea After Coal said.

No doubt the Minerals Council anticipated the negative publicity and is working on the basis that all publicity is good publicity. But what the MCA didn’t anticipate is that in recent days the uranium price has fallen to an 11-year low. noted in an April 20 article that the current low price hasn’t been seen since May 2005. The current price, under US26/lb, is well under half the price just before the 2011 Fukushima disaster, and under one-fifth of the 2007 peak of a bubble. quotes a Haywood Securities research note which points out that the spot uranium price “saw three years of back-to-back double-digit percentage losses from 2011-13, but none worse than what we’ve seen thus far in 2016, and at no point since Fukushima, did the average weekly spot price dip below $28 a pound.” notes that five years after the Fukushima disaster only two of Japan’s 50 nuclear reactors are back on line, and that in other developed markets nuclear power is also in retreat. The last reactor start-up in the U.S. was 20 years ago. The French Parliament legislated last year to reduce the country’s reliance on nuclear power by one-third. Germany is phasing out nuclear power. The European Commission recently released a report predicting that the EU’s nuclear power retreat ‒ down 14% over the past decade ‒ will continue.

China is a growth market but has amassed a “staggering” stockpile of yellowcake according to Macquarie Bank. India’s nuclear power program is in a “deep freeze” according to the Hindustan Times (unfortunately the same cannot be said about its nuclear weapons program), while India’s energy minister Piyush Goyal said on April 20 that India is not in a “tearing hurry” to expand nuclear power since there are unresolved questions about pricing, safety and liability waivers sought by foreign companies.

Even if all of Japan’s 50 reactors are included in the count, the number of power reactors operating worldwide is the same now as it was a decade ago. Zero growth despite the endless rhetoric about a nuclear renaissance.

A decision on two planned reactors in the UK could be announced in the next fortnight and the price-tag for the reactors explains why nuclear power is stagnant worldwide and why the Minerals Council is talking about uranium’s ‘potential’ rather than its current contribution to export revenue and employment. The total price-tag for the two planned reactors is A$45 billion. If the project proceeds, the industry will be hoping it doesn’t go three times over budget, as reactor projects in France and Finland have.

South Australian academic Richard Leaver has neatly summed up the uranium industry’s tiresome rhetoric: “‘Potential’ is one of the most powerful chemicals available to the political alchemist. Any individual, firm or sector deemed to have potential is relieved of a massive and perpetual burden − the need to account for past and present achievements (or, more probably, the lack of them). The history of Australian involvement in the civil uranium industry offers an excellent example of this alchemy at work.”

Whatever the future potential of the uranium industry, it contributes next to nothing to the economy at the moment: <0.2 percent of national export revenue and <0.01 percent of all jobs in Australia. And those figures will fade further into irrelevance with the end of mining and the gradual winding down of processing at the Ranger uranium mine in the NT.

The stagnation and cost escalation of nuclear power contrast sharply with the trajectory of renewables. Driven by sharp cost reductions, renewable energy generation has doubled worldwide over the past decade and renewables now produce more than twice the amount of electricity as nuclear power. The gap is widening every day. Dr Jim Green is the national nuclear campaigner with Friends of the Earth, Australia.

Overseas junket of South Australia’ s pro nuclear businessmen and politicians to support Royal Commission’s nuclear waste dump goal

April 25, 2016


Business SA chief Nigel McBride, who will join the tour, told InDaily the delegation would examine “what most people regard as a state-of-the-art piece of engineering [in terms of a] high-level waste repository”. “We don’t want to see people rely on fear and oozing-green Simpsons-cartoon-like imagery”

SA leaders to tour key nuclear sites, Committee for Adelaide, 25 Apr 15    A high-powered delegation of South Australian business leaders and parliamentarians will jet off to Europe next month to visit key nuclear sites in a bid to facilitate a community debate on the merits of expanding the state’s role in the nuclear fuel cycle.

The trip was organised after consultation with Kevin Scarce’s Royal Commission, which last month handed down tentative findings outlining a multi-billion-dollar economic boon if SA established a high-level nuclear waste dump.

The delegation – to be capped at 10, plus prospective MPs and their staff – was organised by the Committee for Adelaide, an independent think-tank of community leaders, and will likely include representatives from environmental business consultants Golders, property group Knight Frank, engineering consultancy Mott MacDonald and Business SA, among others.

Committee for Adelaide general manager Matt Clemow told InDaily the tour would take in France, Finland, the UK and possibly Sweden, and was designed “to understand the issues and opportunities involved in the nuclear fuel cycle with specific focus on safety, alignment with agriculture and tourism, and associated industry regulations”.
“From the very start, one of the key purposes of the Committee for Adelaide was for industry to take a leadership role in important decisions,” he said…….
The tour also aims “to create a cohort of SA people who have experienced the operations of the nuclear fuel cycle and will be able to contribute to the public discourse”.

The delegation – whose members will pay their own way – departs in late April, returning the day before Scarce hands down his final recommendations on May 6……

 Business SA chief Nigel McBride, who will join the tour, told InDaily the delegation would examine “what most people regard as a state-of-the-art piece of engineering [in terms of a] high-level waste repository”.

“We don’t want to see people rely on fear and oozing-green Simpsons-cartoon-like imagery”

“I also personally want to talk about sovereign funds, and how they can work in situations where this kind of industry can be created,” he said…….

Pro-nuclear Labor whip Tom Kenyon is likely to join the delegation, while Liberal whip Peter Treloar confirmed: “I’ve had a couple of my Opposition colleagues express some interest in it.”

Treloar himself says he has been “very supportive of the RoyalCommission and very interested in it”.

He wrote on his blog in October after visiting the Lucas Heights reactor in NSW: “It’s my personal view that we shouldn’t sugar-coat the fact that we have a struggling state economy – an expanded nuclear industry presents us with a unique opportunity to turn around our economic fortunes.”

However, he told InDaily: “I can’t fit this trip in my schedule.”

Liberal MP Adrian Pedrick has also expressed an interest, but is yet to “fully commit”…….

Extraordinarily unwise deal to sell uranium to Ukraine, on eve of Chernobyl anniversary

April 20, 2016


For security reasons, Australia has suspended uranium sales to Russia. It seems extraordinary that Australia should now enter into a deal with even more unsafe and unstable Ukraine, in its present war and political crisis.      

No doubt the federal parliament’s influential Joint Standing Committee on Treaties (JSCOT) will examine the planned deal, that Julie Bishop signed up to in New York with Ukrainian Energy and Coal Industry Minister Volodymyr Demchyshyn. 

JSCOT recently warned against the agreement to sell uranium to India but its recommendations were ignored by the Coalition Government. Here’s hoping that there will be scrutiny on the Ukrainian agreement and that the government will pay attention. 

Four big reasons not to sell uranium to Ukraine,8895  Noel Wauchope 18 April 2016 As the 30th anniversary of the Chernobyl disaster approaches, Noel Wauchope outlines just a few compelling reasons why the Coalition Government’s uranium deal with Ukraine may have further disastrous consequences.

WHAT AMAZINGLY insensitive timing! As the anniversary of the Chernobyl nuclear catastrophe approaches, Australia makes a deal (at the Nuclear Security Summit) to sell uranium to Ukraine.

This is such a bad idea for so many reasons — it’s hard to know which to pick first!

Economics: simply because uranium exporting is not really economically worthwhile.

Chernobyl’s plight: because Ukraine’s Chernobyl radioactive disaster is continuing. (We supplied uranium for that other catastrophe — Fukushima.)

Insecurity: Ukraine’s dangerous nuclear industry due to civil war, ageing reactors, risks of smuggling and terrorism.

Political crisis: Ukraine’s notoriously corrupt and unstable political regime.

Let’s check those four reasons.


The global uranium industry is in a declining state. Price reporting companies describe repeated low and falling uranium prices. Australia’s uranium industry now accounts for 0.2 per cent of national export revenue — and that’s not counting profits that go overseas, due to the high degree of foreign ownership of companies mining uranium in Australia.

Chernobyl’s plight

The 30th anniversary of Ukraine’s Chernobyl nuclear accident is on 26 April 2016. Ukraine is still suffering from, and struggling with, the legacy of that radioactive catastrophe. The conservativeWorld Health Organisation (WHO) estimates the radiation caused deaths at 4,000 — based on itsreport ‘Health Effects of the Chernobyl Accident and Special Health Care Programmes’. The 2016 TORCH (The Other Report on Chernobyl) Report amplifies this discussion (summary here) but all sources agree that no conclusive figure can be given.

The legacy of the accident includes the struggle to contain the radioactivity of the shattered reactor.

Ukraine seeks international funds to complete its new concrete tomb being built over the reactor, the old cover having decayed to an unsafe state. The reactor itself is still too contaminated for workers to approach. Removal of radioactive materials there will begin only after the new confinement structure has been finished. But experts believe that it will contain radioactivity for only 30 years .


This issue of nuclear security is another irony in this uranium sales deal. Julie Bishop and Ukraine President used the meeting of the Nuclear Security Summit in New York to discuss the sale. The focus of the Summit was the need to protect radioactive materials from dangerous zones, and from the risk of terrorists obtaining them.

You couldn’t pick a more dangerous zone than Ukraine

Ukraine’s Zaporizhia nuclear facility is Europe’s largest and is only 200 kilometres from the conflict zone in eastern Ukraine. Already there have been sabotage events that affected its nuclear programme.

All of these events have led to an additional emergency shutdown of the electrical network of two units at thermal power plants – the Dnieper and Uglegorskaya – and the emergency unloading by 500 MW of nuclear power plants in Ukraine. This includes Zaporozhskaya NPP and the South Ukrainian NPP. I want to stress that such emergency unloading of a nuclear plant – it is very dangerous. ~ Senior Ukrainian energy official Yuriy Katich.

Some commentators have described nuclear plants in the region as pre-deployed nuclear targets and there have already been armed incursions during the recent conflict period.

Bankwatch recently listed 10 reasons why Ukraine’s nuclear power stations are a security danger for Europe. These include Ukraine’s ageing reactors – some already having exceeded their planned lifespan – and restrictions on the nuclear regulator’s ability to inspect reactors. Bankwatch regards Ukraine as a huge financial risk to Europe:

The European Commission, the European Parliament, and EU governments – particularly in neighouring countries that could be affected by the Ukrainian government’s reckless nuclear adventure – need to demand Ukraine complies with its international obligations, especially when EU public money is involved.

Petro Poroshenko’s Government is responding to Bankwatch’s criticism with a lawsuit against Bankwatch’s member group National Ecological Centre of Ukraine (NECU), in an attempt to silence criticism and avoid public scrutiny. Organisations in five European countries have joined in a campaign for transparency about Ukraine’s nuclear programme.

Even Ukraine’s own Progress Report to the Nuclear Security Summit admits some safety problems, listing over 1400 sources of ionising radiation that are not under regulatory control.

Ukraine now has a messy and competitive nuclear power system, in which Western companiesAREVA and Westinghouse compete in marketing and upgrading nuclear reactors and lobby to sell nuclear fuel. But Russia actually controls the fuel supply, providing nuclear fuel to 13 out of Ukraine’s 15 reactors.

Ukraine is just next door to Moldova, the heart of a 2014 nuclear smuggling gang. With Ukraine’s secretive nuclear arrangements, and inadequate regulatory system, the possibility of theft of radioactive materials is a real one in Ukraine.

Political crisis

If you thought that Ukraine’s nuclear regulatory regime was dubious, what about its political regime?   Many see corruption as Ukraine’s greatest danger. Russia was notorious for its oligarchs, but to some extent they were held in check. Not in Ukraine, where oligarchs appropriated government money to become very wealthy, using some of their wealth to buy politicians and set up a “convenient’ political system.

Oligarchs are reported to control 70 per cent of the state’s economy. The country has been described as a “cleptocracy” —with so much intrigue amongst corrupt politicians and oligarchs that it’s called “Ukraine’s Deep State”.

President Petro Poroshenko himself is a very successful businessman, whose business assets have increased over the past year. Before the last election, Poroshenko pledged to sell his company Roshen but now refuses to do so. He also owns a major TV channel. His private assets are larger than those of any other European leader. Poroshenko is currently involved in a real estate scandal.

Along with lawmaker and business partner Ihor Kononenko, Poroshenko is co-owner of the International Investment Bank. Kononenko is accused of being involved in a laundering scheme that moves money from Ukrprominvest (a group founded by Kononenko and Poroshenko) to the British Virgin Islands through offshore companies Intraco Management Ltd and Ernion. Economy Minister Aivaras Abromavicius, who worked to expose political corruption, resigned in disgust on 3 February, saying:

“Neither me nor my team have any desire to serve as a cover-up for the covert corruption, or become puppets for those who, very much like the “old” government, are trying to exercise control over the flow of public funds”.  

Aivaras claimed that Prime Minister Mr Yatsenyuk and Mr Poroshenko were blocking reforms aimed at tackling corruption. Ukraine Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk resigned suddenly on 11 April, under pressure from Poroshenko, who has replaced him with close associate, Volodymyr Groysman. Several reformers from Ukraine’s previous government are departing after declining to serve under Mr Groysman.

The West is watching the Ukrainian regime carefully. The IMF has been providing a $17.5 billion support scheme to cash-strapped Ukraine but has put it on hold, due to the corruption and instability of the regime.

Early this month, the Netherlands held a referendum regarding a potential Ukraine-EU treaty on closer political and economic ties. A whopping 61 per cent (2.509 million people) voted against Ukraine’s association with the EU. European nations, as well as many Ukrainians share in loss of confidence in the government, following this referendum as well as revelations of scandals in the Prosecutor General’s Office.

All this concern came to a head with the revelations of the Panama Papers, in which President Poroshenko figures largely. Unlike Iceland’s President, Poroshenko has no intention of resigning. The West has been very quiet about the allegations against him — presumably they support anyone who is opposed to Russia’s Putin.

Poroshenko claims that his financial arrangements have all been legal. But not everyone agrees with that. Igor Lutsenko, a member of Verkhovna Rada, Supreme Council of Ukraine, outlines how Poroshenko violated Ukrainian law in setting up the British Virgin Islands firm

For security reasons, Australia has suspended uranium sales to Russia. It seems extraordinary that Australia should now enter into a deal with even more unsafe and unstable Ukraine, in its present war and political crisis.

No doubt the federal parliament’s influential Joint Standing Committee on Treaties (JSCOT) will examine the planned deal, that Julie Bishop signed up to in New York with Ukrainian Energy and Coal Industry Minister Volodymyr Demchyshyn.

JSCOT recently warned against the agreement to sell uranium to India but its recommendations were ignored by the Coalition Government. Here’s hoping that there will be scrutiny on the Ukrainian agreement and that the government will pay attention.

Luxury Brekky for fans of #NuclearCommissionSAust

April 20, 2016


RC breakfastSpin all over the place about Australia’s so wonderful opportunities in the uranium/nuclear industry! It’s all part of the leadup to  the shonky Nuclear Fuel Commission’s unsurprising recommendation that South Australia should import radioactive trash.

I guess they had a good time with the charade of the Royal Commission, jaunts overseas for the nuclear shills, and the spurious business of taking submissions –  of course, as Kev says, the antinuke ones were mostly “emotional, so they don’t count anyway.

Let’s begin with good old reliable nuclear stooge Kevin Scarce. For just the measly $67.50 , you can have brekky with him – a sit-down hot breakfast, layered berry yoghurt muesli shot, seasonal fruit, brewed coffee, T Bar teas and fresh juice. Meanwhile, Kev will tell you how you beaut it will be when South Australia goes full steam ahead with importing radioactive trash and expanding the nuclear fuel chain. See more at Action Australia.

Anyway, it’s  a suitable breakfast price. We do want to keep the great unwashed out, after all .

Meanwhile, back at the struggling, barely surviving uranium mining industry, they are putting on  a bold face, too.

The Minerals Council of Australia’s Uranium Forum has today released a range of material that purports to demonstrate the potential benefits of further developing Australia’s uranium industry. ‘Uranium: Untapped Potential’ includes a poster, a series of videos featuring industry experts and voices, and social media material highlighting the untapped potential further growth of the uranium industry offers Australia.  They’r on Facebook, Twitter, Youtube. linked in, as well as the usual mainstream media.


Senator Nick Xenophon sits on the fence regarding nuclear waste importing plan

April 20, 2016

Xenophon sitting on fence

Nuclear caution vital, Port Lincoln Times, 18 Apr 16   ROAD funding, nuclear waste and drilling in the Great Australian Bight are among the issues on the agenda for recently announced candidate for Grey, Andrea Broadfoot.

Ms Broadfoot was last week announced as the Nick Xenophon Team’s candidate for the seat of Grey and said she hoped to make the safe Liberal seat marginal to attract the resources the region needed.

“We’re very committed in the community about getting out and talking to people and finding out what their issues are.”

Speaking in Port Lincoln on Thursday, Senator Nick Xenophon said Ms Broadfoot would give current member for Grey, Liberal Rowan Ramsey, a “run for his money”…….

Ms Broadfoot said the potential for a nuclear waste storage facility at one of three sites in South Australia was another issue she was concerned about.

She said the region needed to look at the long term impact on the perception of the region rather than the short term monetary gains that may be made.

“We need to be really cautious and careful about the decisions we make,” Ms Broadfoot said……..

She said the community was divided on the issue, with even the former Liberal member for Grey Barry Wakelin publicly coming out and saying Kimba was not the place for nuclear waste.

Mr Xenophon said it did not make sense to have a nuclear waste storage facility in a premium agriculture region……

Solar panels over waterways would make sense for South Australia

April 18, 2016

Solar panels over canal IndiaToday’s story from India – about setting up solar panels over water channels – set me thinking about South Australia. I think South Australia is the most beautiful State, and with a proud and interesting history.

It is also, arguably, the nation’s most water stressed State.

It is so frustrating that the politics and economics of beautiful South Australia are in the hands of ignorant neanderthals. That want to damage the country, and extract even more water than BHP Billiton now does at Olympic Dam uranium mine, – by expanding the water intensive nuclear industry. And all this with the risk of radioactively polluting the precious groundwater.

India’s solar panels over water channels not only provide electricity. They also reduce evaporation. What a boon for a hot climate! South Australia’s SunDrop Farms have also made use of the water-saving abilities of solar panels.

South Australia has the expertise to lead the world in clean energy and water management.

What a pity it is run by deadheads!

9 April: S Australia Nuclear Fuel Chain Royal Commission practically ignores waste transport dangers

April 9, 2016

ship radiation

As the days get a bit closer to #NuclearCommissionSAust’s announcement of its (predetermined) findings, we need to remember that the Commission’s “Issues Papers” almost completely ignored the question of the dangers of transporting highly radioactive trash across land and sea.

Paul Langley, in his fine response to the Commission’s “Tentative Findings”  raised this very important matter – in the extract below

Response to the Tentative Findings of the SA Nuclear Fuel Cycle Royal Commission A Submission by Paul Langley Nuclear Exhaust 16 Mar 16  “……Transport of HLNW from around the world to a SA HLNW geologic repository

The Royal Commission apparently assumes that the movements of many hundreds of thousands of tonnes of spent nuclear fuel from many countries around the world to the Gawler Craton will be low risk, no problems and perfectly safe. As contradictory as those stances are. I do not accept that position of default safety. Further I do not accept that the unloading of the HLNW will be perfectly safe. I do not accept that road transport from port to repository site will be perfectly safe, even on a dedicated purpose built road.

I would recommend that Super Freighters laden with the contents of countless reactor cores not sail down the Somali coast nor in the waters to the south of Thailand for fear of pirates. They should avoid man made Islands in the South China Sea. I suppose the ships will be guarded by 6 English policemen each with two revolvers between them. Rather than half the Pacific Fleet they would actually warrant. If they ever get to leave their home ports.  What is the Somali coast going to be like in 40 years? Peaceful or short of rad weapons?…….”

6 April Today’s scrutiny on #NuclearCommissionSAust

April 6, 2016

graph S Aust waste dump costs

It’s one month until the South Australian Nuclear Fuel Chain Royal Commission will announce its findings. And everyone knows what they will be  – “nuclear waste importing will be a bonanza for South Australia”

This is the first of the significant posts that will appear on this site each day, ,until 6th May.

Kevin Scarce has dismissed opposition to the plan as largely “emotional”, not “factual” . I suspect that will be the way in which the Commission will deal with the opposing Submissions.  Here’s today’s:

The Greens SA’s submission to the Nuclear Royal Commission’s Tentative Findings rejects the suggestion that an economic bonanza awaits our State if South Australians would only resign ourselves to becoming the world’s nuclear garbage bin.

“The Royal Commission has been blinded by imaginary wealth and sucked into believing that a project that has never succeeded anywhere else in the World is South Australia’s for the taking”, said Greens SA Parliamentary Leader, Mark Parnell MLC.

“The most obvious question is being ignored: If this is such a great deal, how come no other country has grabbed it before now?

“The Greens are urging the Royal Commission to “get real” and critically examine the supposed economic benefits alongside the ongoing economic, social, environmental and reputational costs.

“Washing your hands of responsibility for a toxic legacy left to future generations is just immoral.

“The solution to South Australia’s current unemployment problems won’t be solved with mythical jobs that are decades into the future with the creation of toxic liabilities that last hundreds of thousands of year.

On releasing the “Tentative Findings” Report to the media on 15th February 2016, Commissioner Kevin Scarce stated, “The community needs to understand the risks and the benefits.”  The Royal Commission’s “Tentative Findings” highlights many purported benefits but is scant on detail when it comes to the profound risks.

According to the Greens’ submission, the “Tentative Findings” suffer from:
1.Unrealistic expectations of the magnitude of the project;
2.Failure to appreciate 6 decades of international failure to solve the nuclear waste problem;
3.Missing costs, unfunded liabilities, missing contingencies and failure to recognise inevitable cost blow-outs
4.Heroic assumptions of other countries’ willingness to pay for SA to take their nuclear waste;
5.Lack of recognition of the potential for irrecoverable sunk costs and unlimited future liabilities;
6.Failure to address reputational damage and impact on other sectors of the economy; and
7.Naïve expectations that South Australia would get to keep all the profits from a nuclear waste dump in our State, without having to share them with other States.

“The Commission’s final report due on 6th May should recommend that the folly of South Australia’s increased involvement in the nuclear industry be abandoned.

“In relation to the other Terms of Reference, increased uranium mining, uranium processing or nuclear power were never really an option for SA and the Royal Commission was an expensive way to tell us what we already knew”, concluded Mark Parnell.

Nuclear waste dump decision will affect future generations of South Australians

April 5, 2016

Buy politicians

Saving the Environment or Centralized Control of a Monopoly in Power (Electricity)? Pan Chemistry, Gareth Lewis 03/03/15  “………Political terms versus environmental time-lines  This section raises an important point with environmental issues or challenges: the short duration of political terms (often three to six years) limits the amount that can be done in the field of environmental protection. This means that global problems, such as air pollution and global warming that have no geographic boundaries and are likely to be long-term challenges may not be attempted. Even ‘smaller’ challenges like  preserving the Great Barrier Reef and ensuring the viability of water supply and usage along the River Murray cannot be addressed in any one political term (nor have they been): there’s just insufficient time and funds to do so. Additionally, the political fallout from such ventures may not ensure the duration of the political term (a political paradox). A case could easily be argued that such issues should be written into Federal politics and once initiated they should go ahead regardless of the social and political climate.

The proposed nuclear industry and global radioactive nuclear waste dump in South Australia is similarly a complex issue and will affect many generations to come. However, given the comparatively simple challenge of managing water supply and usage along the Murray River how likely is it that a proposed nuclear industry would be managed efficiently? I am not being overly ‘emotive’ here, I’m simply saying this: any proposed nuclear industry will ‘outlive’ a Royal Commission, a State and Federal Government and all of us! So; very careful consideration is needed, not only for the current generation of Australians, but for future generations who will not have a say in the decision making process that will determine the cleanliness  and viability of ‘their’ environment………

Is the notion of establishing a nuclear industry in South Australia really about centralized control in the creation and distribution of energy (electricity)?

A skeptic:-/ could easily argue that the use of nuclear energy has nothing at all to do with ‘saving the environment:’ but that it’s really about centralized control in the production and sale of electricity in a monopoly system. After all, it’s easy to control a centralized supply and demand system, and it’s exactly what we have in place today in the world-wide production and sale of fossil fuels.

This notion of ‘centralized control’ is a whole topic in itself and is beyond the scope of the original question: ‘should a nuclear industry (uranium mining, sale of uranium and storage of global radioactive nuclear waste) be established in South Australia. My personal opinion (emphasis) and answer to this question at this time is no. I believe we have sufficient solar energy and land mass in Australia to develop and perfect the solar cell industry and such technology could then be licensed and sold overseas. Besides, the success of this approach has been clearly demonstrated in other countries, many of which have far less sunshine and land mass than Australia.

Additionally, the inherent risks of initiating what may be an untethered proliferation of nuclear (fission) power plants has also been demonstrated in the past at Chernobyl and Fukushima, with close calls in Long Island. However, what has not been demonstrated (thankfully) is what could happen to our environment (groundwater and surrounds) if global radioactive nuclear waste was compromised in transit or in storage by man-made or natural means. It remains to be seen whether the proposed Royal Commission will make the ‘right recommendation’ to the government in South Australia that will benefit and protect not only the current generation, but also of many future generations of Australians: so; fingers crossed:-/ :-\:-/😉

Madness to risk radioactively polluting South Australia’s precious groundwater, by nuclear waste dumping

April 5, 2016


why take the risk(s)? Well, the short answer is that it would be worth taking the risk by the few and their families who would profit from the proposed venture in the short-term; but not the rest of us. Additionally, it will not be their families and their descendants that will suffer the consequences of a poor decision at this time since they will be able to afford to move elsewhere: the same may not be possible for future generations of Australians.

So, (hypothetically) what would Australia end up with should a nuclear industry go ahead in a self-promoting process? There would likely be many disused mining sites and disused nuclear reactors, the largest radioactive nuclear dump in the world, possibly a compromised water table and ecosystem and a few wealthy individuals (who may not be based in South Australia😉

Saving the Environment or Centralized Control of a Monopoly in Power (Electricity)? Pan Chemistry, Gareth Lewis 03/03/15“……….Domestic and global transporting of nuclear waste is inherently risky and ocean, rail and road accidents do occur. Additionally, security in the transport of such waste would have to be assured to prevent the misuse of waste in our age of terrorism (would risks of nuclear weapons or dirty bombs increase in our attempt to curb global warming using nuclear energy?): such security would be complicated and expensive………

Comments by the Royal Commissioner

The Royal Commissioner commented that the notion of establishing a nuclear industry and waste dump in South Australia was ‘an emotive issue…’ Well, yes it is, and why shouldn’t it be based on the track records in Chernobyl, the Fukushimadisaster (with ongoing environmental pollution of the sea ecosystem) and a near miss in Long Island (there may be ‘other events’ that students could research).

What is also an issue is the destructive power of nuclear weapons and ‘dirty bombsthat can be manufactured from uranium and its radioactive waste products.  Such devices could be made ‘anywhere’ in the world that may operate beyond the political term of any one local government that may initiate a nuclear industry in South Australia.

The Proposed South Australian Storage Depot

The grade and amount of waste will depend on the type of nuclear reactor. So, what then happens to radioactive waste? It would likely arrive in steel or
plastic drums and then be stored in geologically stable strata within
South Australia. The strata would have to be stable since radioactive nuclear waste takes thousands of years to reach safe levels (or levels that are unlikely to cause harm to

South Australia is well known for being one of the ‘driest places on the driest continent,’ but that’s not always been the case. We also get flooding events that may increase in intensity and severity as global weather pattern change, caused in part by our use of fossil fuels? Well, the vast majority of scientists seem to think so, and so do many politicians.

Let’s play ‘what if’ at this point, since it’s just a hypothesis or ‘one of those ideas.’ What if an extreme weather event caused massive flooding in the northern parts ofSouth Australia as often occurs in Queensland? That would mean that salts would be dissolved to create a hypersaline corrosive liquid. If this solution came into contact with the steel drums that contain radioactive waste they would begin to corrode. Alternatively, even plastic drums will deteriorate over time as their inner surfaces are bombarded by particles emitted from the
decaying radioactive waste. At that (hypothetical) stage, which may take thousands of years,
it would not be possible to move such a large mass of radioactive waste accumulated from throughout the world, it would simply be too risky. There is the argument that spent radioactive waste can be recycled and then reused, however the remaining residue (on reprocessing) will also provide another source of waste. Additionally, by that time other sources of energy (maybe even fusion) may provide economic benefits that far exceed the reclamation and reuse of fissionable material that has been accumulated over time and the original radioactive waste may simply remain where it was initially stored.

The northern parts of South Australia has a large Artesian Basin of fresh water deep beneath its surface which may then be put at risk from contamination by global radioactive nuclear waste that may have been stored over the millennia…….

why take the risk(s)? Well, the short answer is that it would be worth taking the risk by the few and their families who would profit from the proposed venture in the short-term; but not the rest of us. Additionally, it will not be their families and their descendants that will suffer the consequences of a poor decision at this time since they will be able to afford to move elsewhere: the same may not be possible for future generations of Australians.

So, (hypothetically) what would Australia end up with should a nuclear industry go ahead in a self-promoting process? There would likely be many disused mining sites and disused nuclear reactors, the largest radioactive nuclear dump in the world, possibly a compromised water table and ecosystem and a few wealthy individuals (who may not be based in South Australia ;-)………


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