Archive for the ‘spinbuster’ Category

Fact-checking the false nuclear claims of NSW Deputy Premier John Barilaro

March 13, 2020

NSW Deputy Premier John Barilaro’s nuclear falsehoods the nuclear falsehoods of NSW Deputy Premier and Nationals leader John Barilaro. Mr. Barilaro has been repeatedly provided with factual information so there is no excuse for his ignorance., March 2020, Jim Green, FoE Australia national nuclear campaigner,

Mr. Barilaro: Nuclear power is “probably the cheapest cost to the average Australian household”.


* Nationals Senator Matt Canavan acknowledges that nuclear power is “very expensive”.

* Industry insiders and lobbyists freely acknowledge that nuclear power is suffering from an economic crisis that could prove to be terminal.

* Nuclear power is in decline worldwide and a growing number of countries are phasing out nuclear power including Germany, Switzerland, Spain, Belgium, Taiwan and South Korea.

* Laws banning nuclear power has saved Australia from the huge costs associated with failed and failing reactor projects in Europe and North America, such as the twin-reactor project in South Carolina that was abandoned in 2017 after the expenditure of at least A$13.4 billion, bankrupting Westinghouse. That expensive fiasco could so easily have been replicated in NSW if not for the prudent legal ban.

* There are many other examples of shocking nuclear costs and cost overruns, including:

‒ The cost of the two reactors under construction in the US state of Georgia has doubled and now stands at A$20.4‒22.6 billion per reactor.

‒ The cost of the only reactor under construction in France has nearly quadrupled and now stands at A$20.0 billion. It is 10 years behind schedule.

‒ The cost of the only reactor under construction in Finland has nearly quadrupled and now stands at A$17.7 billion. It is 10 years behind schedule.

‒ The cost of the four reactors under construction in the United Arab Emirates has increased from A$7.5 billion per reactor to A$10‒12 billion per reactor.

‒ The cost of the only two reactors under construction in the UK has increased to A$25.9 billion per reactor. A decade ago, the estimated cost was just A$4 billion. The UK National Audit Office estimates that taxpayer subsidies for the project will amount to A$58 billion.

Mr. Barilaro: “As I write this piece, a further 50 nuclear reactors are being built globally (450 reactors currently operate in 31 counties) including in Finland, France, the UK, China and Canada.”


* The number of power reactors under construction has fallen steadily from 68 in 2013 to 49 as of Feb. 2020.

* As noted above, reactors under construction in Finland, France and the UK have been subject to catastrophic cost overruns.

* There has only been one reactor construction start in China in the past three years. The number of reactors under construction in China has fallen from 20 in 2017 to 10 now. Renewables generate twice as much electricity in China as nuclear power.

* No reactors are being built in Canada.

Mr. Barilaro on small modular reactors (SMRs): “Given their size and efficiency, their waste is minimal (new advancements in technology continues to address the waste issue)”.


* SMRs would produce more nuclear waste per unit of energy produced compared to large reactors.

* A 2016 European Commission document states: “Due to the loss of economies of scale, the decommissioning and waste management unit costs of SMR will probably be higher than those of a large reactor (some analyses state that between two and three times higher).”

* Mr. Barilaro’s “new advancements” (‘Generation IV’ concepts) have failed spectacularly and have clearly worsened nuclear waste management problems (see p.42-43 of our joint submission to the NSW inquiry).

Mr. Barilaro: “The compact nature of SMRs means they need close to only 5 per cent of the nuclear fuel required for large conventional reactors.”

Fact: As the South Australian Nuclear Fuel Cycle Royal Commission report noted: “SMRs have lower thermal efficiency than large reactors, which generally translates to higher fuel consumption and spent fuel volumes over the life of a reactor.”

Mr. Barilaro: SMRs are “becoming very affordable”.


* Every independent economic assessment finds that electricity from SMRs will be more expensive than that from large reactors.

* SMRs will inevitably suffer from diseconomies of scale: a 250 MW SMR will generate 25% as much power as a 1,000 MW reactor  but it will require more than 25% of the material inputs and staffing, and a number of other costs including waste management and decommissioning will be proportionally higher.

* A December 2019 report by CSIRO and the Australian Energy Market Operator concluded that wind and solar power, including two to six hours of storage, is two to three times cheaper than power from small reactors per unit of energy produced. Nuclear lobbyists dispute the construction costs that underpin this estimate but, in fact, they are a neat fit with real-world construction costs (as opposed to self-serving industry speculation). Indeed the CSIRO/AEMO estimate is lower than the average cost of small-reactor projects in China, Russia and Argentina.

* SMRs in China, Russia and Argentina are, respectively, 2, 4 and 23 times over-budget. None could be described as “very affordable”.

Mr. Barilaro: SMRs “are now on the horizon”.


* A handful of SMRs are under construction (half of them to power fossil fuel mining operations in the Arctic, the South China Sea and elsewhere).

* Private sector investment has been pitiful and the main game is to find governments reckless enough to bet billions of taxpayer dollars on high-risk projects. SMRs under construction are all being built by government agencies.

* The prevailing scepticism is evident in a 2017 Lloyd’s Register report based on the insights of almost 600 professionals and experts from utilities, distributors, operators and equipment manufacturers. They predict that SMRs have a “low likelihood of eventual take-up, and will have a minimal impact when they do arrive”.

* Likewise, a 2014 report produced by Nuclear Energy Insider, drawing on interviews with more than 50 “leading specialists and decision makers”, noted a “pervasive sense of pessimism” regarding SMRs.

Mr. Barilaro: SMRs are “not as water hungry as traditional nuclear power plants, because they use air or sand to cool the core.”


* SMRs will likely use as much water per unit of energy produced compared to large reactors ‒ possibly more due to lower thermal efficiencies. Nuclear power, large or small, is incredibly thirsty: a typical large reactor consumes 35‒65 million litres of water per day. Gas cooling creates its own set of problems and inefficiencies, leading to higher costs ‒ that is why a very large majority of reactors are water-cooled.

* Sand to cool a reactor core? Perhaps he means sodium ‒ which has caused a number of fires in fast neutron reactors. Sand has only been used as a desperate measure in the event of major accidents, e.g. Chernobyl. (more…)

“Ecomodernists”- Australia’s fake environmentalists- shills for the nuclear industry

January 26, 2020
even in Heard’s scenario, only a tiny fraction of the imported spent fuel would be converted to fuel for imaginary Generation IV reactors (in one of his configurations, 60,000 tonnes would be imported but only 4,000 tonnes converted to fuel). Most of it would be stored indefinitely, or dumped on the land of unwilling Aboriginal communities.
Russell’s description of Aboriginal spiritual beliefs as “mumbo-jumbo” is beyond offensive.
Silence from the ecomodernists about the National Radioactive Waste Management Act (NRWMA), which dispossesses and disempowers Traditional Owners in every way imaginable:
Now, Traditional Owners have to fight industry, government, and the ecomodernists as well.


Desperate nuclear lobby tries to con us all with a new book

May 30, 2019

U.S., Canada Energy Leaders Announce New Book on Nuclear Innovation in Clean Energy USA Dept of Energy 
MAY 28, 2019, VANCOUVER, CANADA – Today, leaders from the United States and Canada are unveiling a new book, Breakthroughs: Nuclear Innovation in A Clean Energy System, at the Tenth Clean Energy Ministerial (CEM10), a forum including ministers from 25 nations, occurring this year in Vancouver, Canada from May 27-29.  MAY 28, 20

 “The combination of vision and innovation is having a profound impact on our energy landscape, and nowhere is that more true than nuclear energy,” said U.S. Under Secretary of Energy Mark W. Menezes. “Nuclear energy is one of our most reliable and cleanest sources of energy, and we are determined to revive and revitalize the nuclear energy industry with advanced and smart designs. This book highlights some of the incredible transformative opportunities nuclear innovation can bring to society and the clean energy future of our planet.”

Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources Amarjeet Sohi said, “The Clean Energy Ministerial is part of building the world’s clean energy future. Canada is proud to host the 10th Clean Energy Ministerial in Vancouver at this historic moment in time. We are pleased to be working with the United States, Japan, and other countries under the nuclear innovation initiative. We also welcome the release of Breakthroughs – a collection a real stories about nuclear innovations and how they can contribute to our climate change goals.”  ………

The Breakthroughs book is a product of the CEM Nuclear Innovation: Clean Energy Future (NICE Future) initiative that was launched at the May 2018 Ninth CEM in Copenhagen, Denmark. The NICE Future initiative envisions nuclear energy’s many uses in contributing to clean, reliable energy systems of the future.  ……..

In promoting nuclear power, Australia’s nuclear shills are also promoting coal

May 27, 2019

Coal and the nuclear lobby (updated), John Quiggin  AUGUST 13, 2018It’s reasonable to ask why I would bother arguing about nuclear power, given my frequently expressed view that it’s DEAD AS A DOORNAIL. The problem is that nuclear fans like Ben Heard are, in effect, advocates for coal. Their line of argument runs as follows

(1) A power source with the characteristics of coal-fired electricity (always on) is essential if we are to decarbonise the electricity suppy
(2) Renewables can’t meet this need
(3) Nuclear power can
Hence, we must find a way to support nuclear

The problem is that, on any realistic analysis, there’s no chance of getting a nuclear plant going in Australia before about 2040 (see over the fold). So, the nuclear fans end up supporting the Abbott crew saying that we will have to rely on coal until then. And to make this case, it is necessary to ignore or denounce the many options for an all-renewable electricity supply, including concentrated solar power, large-scale battery storage and vehicle-to-grid options. As a result, would-be green advocates of nuclear power end up reinforcing the arguments of the coal lobby.

Looking at the argument set out above, point (1) is generally taken as self-evident, even though the idea of baseload demand is basically a nonsense, at least until the renewables share gets much closer to 100 per cent.

Point (3) is based on the claim that since France did this 40 years ago, Australia can do it today. The fact that France has long since lost the special characteristics that made its dash for nuclear power possible isn’t even considered.  When I looked at the issue a few years ago, I concluded that only China had anything like the characteristics needed, but nuclear power has stalled even there.

Coming back to the Australian debate, it’s striking that it’s still going on, given the negative findings of the SA Royal Commission, established at the behest of the nuclear lobby. But I’ll spell out the problem one more time. Let’s look at the most optimistic possible timetable. The hardest evidence relates to the time between the issuing of a contract to build a nuclear power plant and the connection to the grid. The best-case scenario is that of the KEPCO contract in the UAE, one of the rare cases where the construction phase was completed on time and on budget. There have, however, been unexplained delays in startup.  The contract was signed in December 2009 and, on current projections, the first plant (of four) will be connected to the grid ten years after that, at the end of 2019.

So, to get nuclear power going in Australia before 2040, we’d need signed contracts by 2030 at the latest. What needs to happen before that goal can be achieved.

* First, obviously, both major parties need to be convinced of the case for nuclear power. That’s highly unlikely but let’s suppose it can somehow be done by 2020

* Next, the current ban on nuclear power needs to be repealed. This ban looms large in the  minds of nuclear fans, but actually it’s such a minor problem we can ignore it

* Next, we need to set up, from scratch a legislative and regulatory framework for nuclear power, and establish and staff a regulator similar to the US NRC. Bear in mind that there is essentially no one in Australia with any relevant expertise. I’d be surprised if this could be done in five years, but let’s suppose three

* Next we need to license designs that can be built here and, at the same time, completely remodel the National Electricity Market in a way that makes nuclear cost-competitive with both gas and renewables, while not opening the door for new coal (again, three years would be incredibly optimistic)

* Next we need to identify greenfield sites for multiple nuclear power plants, almost certainly on the east coast, and go through the processes of EIS, Environment Court and so on. In any realistic view, this would never succeed, but let’s suppose another three years.

After all that, we have to find companies willing to build the plants, and organize the necessary contracts. Given the absurdly opimsitic schedule set out above, this would have to be done inside a year. In summary, even on magical assumptions it would be impossible to get nuclear power going in Australia before 2040, by which time we would already have had to close most of the coal-fired generation fleet. It follows that the only effect of nuclear advocacy is to prolong the life of coal-fired power to the limits of technological feasibility.

In practice, support for nuclear power in Australia is support for coal. Tony Abbott understands this. It’s a pity that Ben Heard and others don’t.

Tania Constable – meet Australia’s newest pro nuclear propagandist

January 26, 2019

Australia’s coal and nuclear lobbies have just recruited a new puppet, Independent Australia,  25 January 2019, Newly-appointed Mining Council CEO Tania Constable has been championing nuclear power at a time when we should be discussing renewables, writes Noel Wauchope.WHAT BAD TIMING. Only in dictatorships – Russia and China – is nuclear power thriving. In the Western world, it’s problematic due to costs and waste issues. As for coal, even China is working to phase it out.

In Australia, renewable energy is going ahead in leaps and bounds. Our coal-loving Liberal Coalition Government is so on the nose, they’ll be forgotten men within a few months.

But never mind, Australia’s fossil fuel and nuclear lobbies are on the propaganda trail and they’ve just recruited a new puppet, Tania Constable. Appointed as CEO of the Mining Councilin July last year, Ms Constable’s first job is to mouth the standard pro-coal and nuclear platitudes. Here she goes.

A headline in the 22 January edition of The Daily Telegraph reads: ‘Heatwaves proof positive Australia needs nuclear’.

In the article, Constable says:

“Energy costs are rising and renewables can’t meet all our needs but a new generation of clean reactors could.”

‘Heatwaves proof positive Australia needs nuclear’?No, Tania, proof positive that Australia needs solar air conditioners. She seems unaware of the fact that nuclear power is highly water intensive, and subject to shutdowns due to hot weather.

Ms Constable mourns that:

“The influx of part-time power sources such as wind and solar which make it more difficult for older baseload power stations to operate will likely see the early closure of a number of them well before 2030.”

So, it’s renewable energy’s fault that coal is not doing well? She goes on to enthuse about “baseload” power — coal, of course. But that’s seen as a myth, nowdays, as reliable power is no longer synonymous with coal.

She has a bash at the AEMO and CSIRO:

[They] missed a golden opportunity of lowering power prices, ensuring reliability and lowering emissions through advanced coal technology.”

She doesn’t mention the high costs of this advanced coal technology, needing government subsidy and the fact that it’s not all that clean anyway.

Now she gets to her main point – changing the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 – which happens to be due for review this year.

“The removal of four words — ‘a nuclear power plant’ — in Section 140A(1) (b) would allow nuclear industries to be considered for development in Australia.”

Ms Constable writes approvingly of nuclear power in countries around the world – not a mention of the financial problems of nuclear power development in UK and USA, and Japan, too.  Not a mention of the nuclear waste problems…..

[She goes on to praise “new nukes’ – Small Modular Nuclear Reactors, singling out Terra Power and Transatomics, – But]

First of all, Bill Gates has just had the door slammed on his TerraPower project. He’s closed it down for now, but hopes to find a country that will back it.

Secondly, Transatomic has also had a big setback. Its nuclear start-up folded, in disarray. This company was spruiked by an enthusiastic young woman, Leslie Dewan. The nuclear lobby seems to pick them for the poisoned chalice of propaganda work.,12313

Australia’s nuclear top gun Adi Paterson has free rein and unlimited funds to promote the industry?

August 6, 2018

Dr Adi Paterson is the man behind the nuclear push by secretive taxpayer-funded agency Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO).

Australians are not privy to information on how much ANSTO spends, particularly on this latest frenzy to convince rural South Australians  that they have a moral duty to public health to host radioactive trash, – further encouraged by generous bribes.

Adi Paterson seems to have not only an open cheque to spend on this, but also carte blanche to do whatever he likes regarding nuclear decisions.

In 2016, he signed Australia up, all on his own, to the Framework Agreement for Generation IV Nuclear Energy Systems, committing Australia to work towards the establishment of new nuclear reactors. The government was informed of this afterwards. A month later, a Senate Committee simply ratified Adi Paterson’s action. No Parliamentary discussion, no public discussion.  How long will Australians let this man make nuclear decisions for us, and pull the wool over the eyes of poorly informed farmers?

ANSTO CEO, Dr Adi Paterson, is part of a delegation who are visiting the communities of Kimba, Hawker and Quorn on 6 and 7 August, for Community Information Sessions being led by the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science.

Three sites in South Australia, two in Kimba and one at Wallerberdina Station near Quorn and Hawker, are considering whether to host Australia’s National Radioactive Waste Management Facility.

The Community Information Sessions are an opportunity for those communities to ask any remaining questions ahead of a five-week community ballot that begins on 20 August.

Dr Paterson will join the CEO of the Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency (ARPANSA) Dr Carl-Magnus Larsson, and representatives from the Department.

“In particular, I will be focused on talking about the partnerships that are possible between nuclear organisations and their neighbouring communities.

South Australia: academia infested with nuclear promoters right at Universities’ top!

June 26, 2018

Correction to this post, thanks to reminder from Arnold Garnsey. I originally forgot to add these salient points:

UniSA Chancellor Jim McDowell is also Chair of the ANSTO Board & ex-CEO of BAE.
AdUni Chancellor is Nuclear Fuel Chain Royal Commissioner Kevin Scarce.

University of Adelaide and UniSA in merger talks, InDaily,   Bension Siebert- 19 June 18 The University of Adelaide and UniSA have announced historic talks to merge into a single university which they claim could be immediately placed within the world’s top 100 universities.

The governing councils of both universities have agreed to a six-month “period of collaboration” to negotiate a potential merger, according to a joint statement released by the universities today.

University of Adelaide Vice-Chancellor Professor Peter Rathjen and UniSA Vice-Chancellor David Lloyd will oversee a joint report into the prospective merger, to be delivered by the end of the year.

The university councils will decide on the viability and merits of a merger at that time.

In a joint statement, University of Adelaide Chancellor Kevin Scarce and UniSA Chancellor Jim McDowell say now is the right time to consider joining together as a single university.

“Now is the time to facilitate a conversation about whether uniting our universities would create a new internationally renowned university of scale that would be well placed to anticipate and respond to this changing landscape,” the statement reads……..
Merging the Adelaide University and UniSA was an ambition of former Labor Premier Jay Weatherill in 2015, but universities and both sides of federal politics were opposed to the idea. ……..

However, this morning Federal Education Minister Simon Birmingham, Premier Steven Marshall and SA Labor Leader Peter Malinauskas all congratulated the universities on the move. …..

Fake “Great Debate” exposed. Warren Centre’s “Future of Nuclear Energy in Australia” stacked with nuclear propagandists

June 8, 2018

Jim Green  Nuclear Fuel Cycle Watch South Australia, 7 June 18 

Dear Warren Centre, re the upcoming nuclear ‘debate’, I would be grateful for responses to these questions.

1. Why is this event called a ‘debate’ given that all speakers are pro-nuclear?

2. Will you amend the bio-note on the Warren Centre event webpage to note that Ben Heard’s so-called environment group ‘Bright New World’ accepts secret corporate donations?
3. During the ‘debate’, will it be made clear to the audience that Mr Heard’s group accepts corporate donations including secret corporate donations? Is such disclosure not required by the Warren Centre’s ethical guidelines?

4. The Warren Centre event webpage mentions Heard returning to his NGO roots. He has no NGO roots. Will you amend that claim?

5. During the ‘debate’, will you make it clear that Mr Heard’s contribution to the SA Nuclear Fuel Cycle Royal Commission was rejected by the Commission? Specifically, the final report of the Royal Commission said: “[A]dvanced fast reactors and other innovative reactor designs are unlikely to be feasible or viable in the foreseeable future. The development of such a first-of-a-kind project in South Australia would have high commercial and technical risk. Although prototype and demonstration reactors are operating, there is no licensed, commercially proven design. Development to that point would require substantial capital investment.”

6. Will you ensure that the audience attending this ‘debate’ is provided with some basic factual information that Mr Heard and the other two contributors to the ‘debate’ certainly won’t be volunteering, e.g.
— A$40 billion capital cost for two new reactors in the UK (A$20 billion each)
— A$16 billion capital cost for new reactors in France and Finland
— bankruptcy filing of Westinghouse due to catastrophic cost overruns building conventional reactors in the US (including A$13+ billion wasted on reactors in South Carolina that were cancelled last year).
— Westinghouse, Toshiba and a number of other utilities exiting the reactor construction business
— Ziggy Switkowski, head of the Howard government’s Nuclear Energy review, now says he believes “the window for gigawatt-scale nuclear has closed”, and that nuclear is no longer lower cost than renewables and that the levelised cost of electricity of the two is rapidly diverging in favour of renewables

7. Will you ensure that webinar participants are informed that Mr Heard has continued lobbying for the importation of 138,000 tonnes of high-level nuclear waste to SA despite being well aware of the overwhelming opposition of Aboriginal Traditional Owners?

8. What steps will you take to ensure that participants are provided with some credible information about high-temperature gas-cooled reactors given that these seem to be Mr Heard’s latest fixation? Some information is copied below.

9. If Mr Heard claims that high-temperature gas-cooled reactors are ‘meltdown-proof’, or other such inanities, what steps will you take to ensure that his falsehoods are corrected?
Excerpt from M. V. Ramana, April 2016, ‘The checkered operational history of high-temperature gas-cooled reactors’, Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists,
“Proponents of HTGRs often claim that their designs have a long pedigree. … But if one examines that very same experience more closely – looking in particular at the HTGRs that were constructed in Western Europe and the United States to feed power into the electric grid – then one comes to other conclusions. This history suggests that while HTGRs may look attractive on paper, their performance leaves much to be desired. …
“Although Germany abandoned this technology, it did migrate to other countries, including China and South Africa. Of these, the latter case is instructive: South Africa pursued the construction of a pebble-bed reactor for a decade, and spent over a billion dollars, only to abandon it in 2009 because it just did not make sense economically. Although sold by its proponents as innovative and economically competitive until its cancellation, the South African pebble-bed reactor project is now being cited as a case study in failure. How good the Chinese experience with the HTGR will be remains to be seen. …

“From these experiences in operating HTGRs, we can take away several lessons – the most important being that HTGRs are prone to a wide variety of small failures, including graphite dust accumulation, ingress of water or oil, and fuel failures. Some of these could be the trigger for larger failures or accidents, with more severe consequences. … Other problems could make the consequences of a severe accident worse: For example, pebble compaction and breakage could lead to accelerated diffusion of fission products such as radioactive cesium and strontium outside the pebbles, and a potentially larger radioactive release in the event of a severe accident. …

“Discussions of the commercial viability of HTGRs almost invariably focus on the expected higher capital costs per unit of generation capacity (dollars per kilowatts) in comparison with light water reactors, and potential ways for lowering those. In other words, the main challenge they foresee is that of building these reactors cheaply enough. But what they implicitly or explicitly assume is that HTGRs would operate as well as current light water reactors – which is simply not the case, if history is any guide. …

“Although there has been much positive promotional hype associated with high-temperature reactors, the decades of experience that researchers have acquired in operating HTGRs has seldom been considered. Press releases from the many companies developing or selling HTGRs or project plans in countries seeking to purchase or construct HTGRs neither tell you that not a single HTGR-termed “commercial” has proven financially viable nor do they mention that all the HTGRs were shut down well before the operating periods envisioned for them. This is typical of the nuclear industry, which practices selective remembrance, choosing to forget or underplay earlier failures.”

A slick pro nuclear submission frm Ben Heard to the Australian Senate

March 21, 2018

Yes, Ben Heard is on the job, with this slick submission, in which he:

enthuses over the Kimba region nuclear waste dump plan, while touting his own supposed environmental credentials as executive director of Bright New World, his membership of as a member of the Independent Assessment Panel – but all the same he stresses that he’s “an everyday Australian”. (not a mention that he works as a consultant for nuclear firm Terrestrial Energy, and trips around the globe promoting nuclear power.)

contends that nuclear waste is nothing special, really no different in safety needs from other kinds of industrial wastes.
dismisses the idea that a nuclear waste dump in this agricultural reason would have any negative effects on the agricultural economics or reputation of the region.

puts a long and unwieldy case for confining broad community support to just the immediate local community.

reminds firmly that no stakeholder group has power of veto and goes on to waffle worthy statements about Aboriginal heritage etc.

says that The District Council of Kimba is an appropriate definition of community in relation to these site nominations, and that citizens in wider areas do not need to be informed.

State and National citizens do not need to take part in these decisions, which are best left to Parliament.

minimises the importance of radioactive trash dumping- not much more important than household garbage collection.
Glosses over the more toxic radioactive waste that will be included. Ignores the fact that with the planned “temporary” dump there is no prospect of a permanent dump being in place. Ignores the effect on the communities through which the radioactive trash will be transported

Extracts from Heard’s submission

Submission to Senate Standing Committee on Economics – appropriateness and thoroughness of the site selection process for a national radioactive waste management facility at Kimba and  Hawker in South Australia

. ……My overall view is that the current site selection process represents among some of the best practice in the world for such a challenge, and it should be supported and continued.

I am now the executive director of Bright New World, an environmental NGO that seeks greater harmony between human development and the conservation, protection and restoration of our natural world. In relation to Australia’s nuclear medical and research sector, Bright New World is strongly supportive of its continued operation and preferably expansion. … nuclear technologies and techniques are demonstrably valuable for improving human well-being

I am pleased to offer the committee my perspectives in response to the Terms of Reference. Ben Heard (Ph.D., MCESM) Executive Director – Bright New World

Speaking as a member of the Independent Assessment Panel and an everyday Australian, the proposed multiple on the land value seems unremarkable. The acquisition would be consequential and beneficial for all Australians, as it will enable Australia to move much closer to international best practice in the management of radioactive wastes from the domestic research and medical sectors. We must expect compensation at above market value, given that consideration of nuclear-related matters in Australia invariably attracts scrutiny and alarm beyond scientifically robust assessment of hazards. The precaution applied to low and intermediate radioactive wastes is exceptional (not only in Australia) compared to many other waste streams and industrial activity. Relevant examples include our sanguine attitude toward transport, use, and management of wastes from agricultural chemicals[5-7], including ammonium nitrate fertiliser[8] and hydrocarbon fuel[9, 10]. So long as we take an exceptional approach with radioactive waste, there can be no valid criticism of above-market values for land acquisition

……There is no compelling evidence globally that such a facility would have negative reputational or economic impacts to the region (though this concept is much-touted). It is therefore reasonable to weight the sentiment of stakeholders with either (i) greater proximity to the site itself, or (ii) responsibilities for regional oversight and representation such as:

  • The nominating landowner
  • The immediate neighbouring landowners
  • Stakeholders in the closest settlement to the facility
  • Stakeholders in closer proximity to the main transport corridors
  • Local government authorities
  • Representative economic or industry groups in the local region……

If stakeholders of close proximity to the site and those with responsibilities of oversight (i) have beenadequately consulted and consider themselves to be well-informed, and (ii) offer either their consentor active support, then the Department might also make a robust case for ‘broad community support’.

The Department of Industry, Innovation and Science has indicated from the outset that it is seekingbroad community support, while asserting no individual or single stakeholder group has power of veto……….

In this region, Banggarla people are traditional owners, and National Resources Eyre Peninsula has anestablished Aboriginal Advisory Committee[18]. These ought provide appropriate points of contact and consultation with those who can speak on behalf of traditional owners.

The District Council of Kimba is an appropriate definition of community in relation to these site nominations. ……. Direct consideration of Eyre Peninsula or state-wide community views in this decision is contradictory to the premise on which this process was based from the outset, being (i) freely volunteered sites from a process open to all Australians, by those with the legal right to offer the site, to be followed by (ii) a process of community consultation and engagement.

The District Council of Kimba has been offered resources ………Nor can we expect citizens in those larger catchments to take an equivalent level of interest in becoming informed. Whole-of-state (or whole-of-nation?) decisions are the job of our elected representatives in parliament. This voluntary, consent-based, local community process was established to move away from that top-down model.

any other related matters. The Australian community at large benefits from Australia’s nuclear research and medical sectors every day. Our nation-wide preparedness to consume these benefits can be reasonably inferred to represent a broad level of consent, indeed an actual expectation, that the associated waste will be managed according to international best practice. Nearly every Australian household puts a garbage bin at the kerbside once a week, in the expectation of a well-managed service to meet our need…….

A worthy aspiration is the active support and enthusiasm of a community that will embrace and enhance this project. We cannot achieve these outcomes by stripping local  communities of their agency. more

How much is the taxpayer paying for ANSTO’s spin and lies?

March 7, 2018

Australia does not produce any high level waste.” [???] said Bruce McCleary, the General Manager of the National Radioactive Waste Management Taskforce

[He also did not mention that these wastes for Kimba will be temporary, i.e. STRANDED WASTES]

ANational Radioactive Waste Management Facility:
Kimba locals welcomed to Australia’s nuclear facility Eleven members of the Kimba community were on site at Lucas Heights yesterday, to see first-hand Australia’s nuclear technology and radioactive waste management expertise.

The delegation to the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO) included people with a variety of views on Kimba hosting the National Radioactive Waste Management Facility.

It included four neighbours of the two volunteered sites in Kimba, and three members of the Kimba Consultative Committee (KCC), as well as other interested community members.

Patricia Beinke saw the OPAL multi-purpose reactor, where ANSTO stores low and intermediate level radioactive waste, and how waste is prepared for transportation.

“It was a much bigger campus and complex than I had ever envisaged. I read all the information that comes my way, but wasn’t expecting this scale,” Mrs Beinke, who is a member of the KCC, said.

“I just found the trip so good. The scientists and engineers spoke on a level that everyone could understand.

“I saw the reactor, and we had a great discussion about how the waste is prepared for transportation, including the processes it would go through before being sent to a national facility.”

Austen Eatts has property that neighbours one of the volunteered sites, and is opposed to the facility, but was pleased to have seen ANSTO’s campus.

“I have always had a reasonable idea of what happens at ANSTO regarding medicine and industry, and what they are doing there is very good actually,” Mr Eatts said.

“The waste has to be put somewhere. I am still of two minds about whether it should be located in Kimba, but I found the trip very informative.”

Mr Eatts stressed that he is against the idea of a facility anywhere in Australia that could store high level, imported waste from overseas – a proposition not being put forward by the Federal Government.

Bruce McCleary is the General Manager of the National Radioactive Waste Management Taskforce, and said it was great to host people with a variety of views on trips such as this.

“Tours of ANSTO’s medicine manufacturing and radioactive waste facilities are a great information tool for communities considering if they want to host a radioactive waste industry,” Mr McCleary said.

“They are also a way of us establishing what questions the community still has, and for them to see and hear from experts who work with this material every day, first-hand.

“I can confirm for Mr Eatts – and anyone else who shares his concern – that the national facility will not hold international or high level waste, because it is for Australian waste only, and Australia does not produce any high level waste. [????]

“Our national facility needs 100-hectares for an above ground low-level waste disposal and temporary storage of intermediate-level waste, whereas an international high-level facility would need to be far larger and would require a deep underground facility in order to be safe and economically viable.”

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