To the nuclear industry the concept of ENOUGH is anathema. If you saw their slick advertising film “Pandora’s Promise” you would note that their major theme is endless GROWTH that will perpetually require ENDLESS ENERGY.
The nuclear industry’s shills, and there are many of them, love to portray the anti-nuclear movement as wanting to send people back to living in a “dark ages” style. Nothing could be further from the truth. Genuine environmentalists (as against nuclear lobby shills like Patrick Moore) want all people to have a life of more light, of reasonable comfort and leisure time, of enough of the good things of this world, rather than of too much.
World leaders met in Brisbane, Australia for a fairly pointles summit, devoted to “economic growth”. While the host country ruled by a scientifically illiterate Prime Minister Tony Abbott, insisted “no talk of climate change”, those words were indeed heard, around the traps. While the formal agenda of the G20 was pretty meaningless, as will be its formulaic communique, – perhaps the personal talks in the sidelines might reflect the reality that the global economy just cannot sustain this mindless growth
It’s time that governments, bankers, industry leaders woke up to the reality that the world economy is threatened by growth, threatened by the accelerating destruction of this planet’s air, water, land, and biodiversity. The destroyer is the growing human population and its growing consumption of ever more unnecessary products and unnecessary energy use.
It’s time that people stepped away from endless individualistic consumption, and towards a reasonable life of more cooperation, of working less hours. It’s time to move from our suicidal consumer culture, to a conserver culture.
Australia’s Future Fund invests in nuclear weapons development and our banks are happy to provide capital as well.
The protesters were drawing attention to the fact that the federal government’s $101 billion Future Fund invests more than $260 million in foreign companies involved in the manufacture of nuclear weapons (and that figure has increased by $33 million since last June)…….. Continue reading
The nuclear house of cards Online opinion, By Mia Pepper - Thursday, 20 November 2014 “…….. While the nuclear ideologues are charging ahead, many investors are treading carefully.
Mining journalist Dryblower this week made an interesting distinction between uranium and other minerals: “Because uranium is really not part of the pure mining industry but an arm of the nuclear industry it’s easy to understand why most investors prefer simpler metals where there is a chance that a discovery can be brought into production without incurring multiple layers of complexity.”………..
The marginal and short-term increase in uranium is hardly cause for celebration. Even from the miners’ point of view, there is little to celebrate since the current price is barely half that needed to make new mines viable or profitable.
All this excitement is really based on the hope from the industry that there will be a long-term increase in the demand for uranium. Often pointing to new build reactors in India and China, the industry is optimistic.
However according the World Nuclear Industry Status Report of 2014 there are currently 39 operating reactors that are operating over their 40 year life expectancy and due for closure. The report projects a long term decline in the number of reactors after 2020.
Likewise, in a report released last week the International Energy Agency warns of a looming “wave of retirements” of ageing reactors with almost 200 of the 434 reactors expected to be shut down by 2040. IEA chief economist Faith Bristolsaid: “I am afraid we are not well-prepared in terms of policies and funds which are devoted to decommissioning. A major concern for all of us is how we are going to deal with this massive surge in retirements in nuclear power plants.”
In the face of nuclear war, nuclear disaster, public opposition, financial struggle, and the growth and competitiveness of renewable technologies, the house of cards that is the nuclear industry is bound to collapse again. http://www.onlineopinion.com.au/view.asp?article=16869
France’s ambitious goals for renewable energy contrast with Abbott’s plans to crush renewable energy development
France, Australia take diverging paths to renewable energy http://www.fierceenergy.com/story/france-australia-take-diverging-paths-renewable-energy/2014-11-19 November 19, 2014 | By Barbara Vergetis Lundin While France has set ambitious goals to increase the share of renewables in its energy portfolio, Australia has taken a completely opposite approach — repealing its 2011 Clean Energy Act, which established a carbon pricing mechanism, according
to an analyst with research and consulting firm GlobalData.
France’s lower house of parliament recently set a target of 32 percent energy generation from renewable sources by 2030, as part of the approval of the country’s energy transition law. The law also aims to reduce carbon emissions by 40 percent from 1990 levels and cut fossil fuel use by 30 percent. (at left, France’s Hanwha solar farm)
In contrast, since Australia’s Prime Minister Tony Abbott assumed power in September 2013, he has made radical changes to the country’s energy policy, including abolishing the carbon tax and reducing a goal to install one million solar roofs. “France is committed to increasing its share of renewable energy, with Feed-in Tariffs (FiT) and tradable green certificates being the main types of support. The country also has plans to decrease its nuclear power share from the current 75 percent to 50 percent by 2025,” said Pranav Srivastava, power analyst, GlobalData. “Meanwhile, Australia’s renewable energy targets that are currently under review may be significantly reduced, although the opposition Australian Labor Party is refusing to accept the level of reductions proposed. The country’s renewable policy review has severely affected the industry, as investments in the sector were low in the first half of 2014, lower than since the first half of 2001.”
Effective from July 2014, Australia’s minimum retailer FiT price has been cut from $0.076 per kilowatt hour (kWh) to $0.06/kWh, according to the analyst.
While Australia’s alternative energy space has been hit hard, France is pressing forward with plans to promote the industry.
“France plans to invest about €10 billion ($13.41 billion) in renewable energy to cut the country’s oil and gas bill and reduce its reliance upon nuclear energy,” Srivastava said. “The development of renewable power plants will help the country to create more jobs and decrease greenhouse gas emissions.”
- see this report
Abbott finds his French Connection on emission controls, The Age, November 19, 2014 Mark Kenny and David Wroe Tony Abbott has called on countries to set strong binding emissions reductions targets at next year’s major climate conference in Paris, warning the world cannot afford another disappointment like the Copenhagen summit in 2009.
And after years of arguing that Australia should only move faster once major polluters also moved, he has now described climate change as “an important subject” and one “the world needs to tackle as a whole”.
The declaration followed one-on-one talks with his French counterpart, President Francois Hollande, in Canberra ranging across trade, security and the need for binding emissions targets. ……..
Mr Abbott’s softening, however, has not convinced everyone, with Opposition Leader Bill Shorten slamming his comments as “lip service”.
“He fought tooth and nail to keep climate change off the G20 agenda – and he failed,” Mr Shorten said.
“Climate change is a major economic issue, the defining issue of the 21st Century according to Ban Ki-Moon – the only person who doesn’t seem to get that is Tony Abbott.
“Tony Abbott’s stubborn isolationism is not only costing Australia our economic competitiveness but also our international reputation.”
It also brought a hostile reaction from Greens leader Christine Milne. She accused him of telling “outright lies” to appease foreign leaders and the international media.
“This is not a cheeky sleight of hand. This is Australia’s climate denying prime minister telling outright lies to world leaders and international media,” said Senator Milne.
“Tony Abbott does not intend to ‘do more’ to tackle climate change. He intends to undo more, and add the CEFC to the scrapheap he’s built with our emissions trading scheme and our mining tax.”
EDF must start French nuclear closure in 2015 despite delay on replacement http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/11/19/france-nuclear-idUSL6N0T93HX20141119 PARIS Wed Nov 19, 2014 Nov 19 (Reuters) - EDF will still need to start shutting down some nuclear capacity in 2015 despite a new delay in finishing a replacement in northern France, the official in charge of the closure of France’s oldest plant said on Wednesday. Continue reading
Greens call for an end to Vic coal power, Herald Sun AAP NOVEMBER 20, 2014 GREENS leader Christine Milne has called for a phase out of coal-fired power in Victoria but says it doesn’t have to affect jobs.
THE Greens are leading a push to close Victoria’s coal-fired generators and rehabilitate the sites in a gradual phase-out that they say will leave communities better off.
- “There are 485 jobs that could be created straight away from the rehabilitation and decommissioning of mines,” Australian Greens leader Christine Milne told reporters on Thursday.”A lot of the jobs of people working in electricity generation are transferable to constructing and maintaining renewable energy systems as well.”The Greens have pinpointed the closure of the Hazelwood and Anglesea power stations, which they say are among the dirtiest in Victoria.Senator Milne said there was already an oversupply on the Victorian grid and the phase-out would have no effect on supply.”The Australian Energy Market Operators are saying that there is too much energy in the system,” Senator Milne said.”My question for Denis Napthine is: is AEMO wrong when they say there is 2200 megawatts excess capacity in the system?”…….
- Senator Milne said the closure of coal-fired power was inevitable and it should be a gradual phase-out rather than a rapid closure when the sites are no longer viable.”With huge excess power supply and last century technology they will become junk assets,” Senator Milne said.”After the fires in Morwell, Denis Napthine really needs to look at the impact of coal-fired power not just on the atmosphere but on the health of people.”
UK Tories slam Tony Abbott on climate policy, The Age, November 20, 2014 Paola Totar The attitude of Prime Minister Tony Abbott to the global challenges of climate change is “eccentric”, “baffling” and “flat earther”, according to a group of senior British Conservatives.
The group, including Prime Minister David Cameron’s Minister for Energy and a former Thatcher Minister and chairman of the Conservative Party, says Mr Abbot’s position on climate change represents a betrayal of the fundamental ideals of Conservatism and those of his political heroine, Margaret Thatcher.
In a series of wide-ranging, separate interviews on UK climate change policy with The Age, they warn that Australia is taking enormous risks investing in coal and will come under increasing market and political pressure to play its part in the global battle against climate change.
Their comments come almost 25 years to the day since former British prime minister Margaret Thatcher addressed the United Nations to place climate change on the global environmental agenda. “It is mankind and his activities which are changing the environment of our planet in damaging and dangerous ways,” she said………….. Mr Abbott declined to comment. http://www.theage.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/uk-tories-slam-tony-abbott-on-climate-policy-20141120-11qos6.html
Nuclear power may not be needed, says top atomic advocate, Telegraph, UK, 22 Nov 14 Sir David King, former chief scientist and champion of the nuclear newbuild, says the top priority must be to develop storage for renewable energy, reports Geoffrey Lean ……. I was riveted as Prof Sir David King, the former government Chief scientist,ranged over subjects from population growth to water resources, the growth of cities to commodity prices, spewing out new information and insights.
But while he said a lot about the promise of renewable energy, he said almost nothing about nuclear power – despite for long having been one of its foremost and most influential advocates in Britain, describing it, for example, as a “massive economic opportunity” for the country.
So I got up and asked him about it, expecting the same pro-nuclear response as I had heard from him many times before. Instead he amazed me by suggesting that Britain “might well” be able to do without atomic power altogether, and that the real priority should be on developing ways of storing electricity so as to be able to depend on famously intermittent sun and wind.
“We have to keep reassessing the situation”, he said. “I believe that what we need, more than anything, is a surge of activity to develop energy storage capability …. Once we can do that technologically, why would we not just keep with renewables.”
For a country like India, with plenty of sunlight and deserts where it can be collected, he went on, “there’s no reason” for it not to go “directly wholesale into solar energy”. After all it was already “three to four times” cheaper to provide villages unconnected to the grid in India and China with solar electric panels and batteries than to connect them up……….
later he came back to the question …: “if we can get the costs down we might well manage our future basically on renewable energy and energy storage”.…….http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/energy/nuclearpower/11244499/Nuclear-power-may-not-be-needed-says-top-atomic-advocate.html
Shares in the French engineering business plunged by almost a quarter after Areva warned it must suspend future profit predictions because of problems centred on a similar power station project in Finland.
Both that scheme at Olkiluoto and another at Flamanville in France are massively over-budget and over-schedule, forcing Areva to consider whether it needs an injection of new cash to survive.
Peter Atherton, a leading energy company analyst at Liberum Capital in the City, said Areva appeared to be in deep trouble and this must be a matter of grave concern to the British government.
“If I was sitting in Whitehall this would scare the daylights out of me. Areva is designing and building the first two EPRs [European Pressurised Reactors] inEurope and both projects have gone disastrously wrong.
“The [UK] government has commissioned the most expensive power station in history and the only company that can provide the equipment is in trouble. That is a big problem for Hinkley.”
As well as providing the design, Areva currently holds 10% of the equity in the Hinkley Point C project, which has been predicted by the European commission to cost almost £25bn – if it is built on time by 2023. EDF holds 45%-50%, with Chinese state nuclear companies holding the remainder…………http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2014/nov/19/hinkley-point-c-nuclear-plant-future-doubt-areva
Australia will miss emissions target due to Direct Action, UN says, The Age November 21, 2014 – Michael Koziol Australia is “no longer on track” to meet its 2020 emissions target and the Abbott government’s decision to axe the carbon tax is to blame, the United Nations has found.
The 2014 Emissions Gap Report, prepared by the UN Environment Programme, names Australia among four international pariah states that will require further action to meet their governments’ emissions pledges.
Instead of hitting a target of 555 million tonnes of CO2 in 2020, Australia was on track to produce between 685 and 710 million tonnes, the report said. ……
“Australia had been on track to meet its pledge in part through its carbon pricing mechanism, but this mechanism was abolished on 1 July 2014.”
In a section of the report comparing countries’ pledges, trajectories and recent policy developments, the authors state in relation to Australia: “New government replaced carbon-pricing mechanism with Emission Reduction Fund. This results in an increase in projected emissions for 2020.”
Labor environment spokesman Mark Butler said the report showed up the Prime Minister’s claim at the G20 summit in Brisbane that Australia that would “deliver” on its emissions targets.
“World leaders, including some of Australia’s largest trading partners, have pledged to increase their emissions reduction targets,” he said.
“Tony Abbott would rather pay polluters to pollute and keep his head in the sand.”………http://www.theage.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/australia-will-miss-emissions-target-due-to-direct-action-un-says-20141121-11rn2h.html
Foreign Minister Julie Bishop chides Barack Obama over Great Barrier Reef climate change remarks ABC News 20 Nov 14 Foreign Minister Julie Bishop has criticised US president Barack Obama for a speech in Brisbane last weekend in which he claimed climate change threatened the Great Barrier Reef.
Speaking to 7.30 from New York, where she is attending a meeting of the United Nations Security Council, Ms Bishop said “there was an issue regarding [Mr Obama's] statement” and she could “understand the Queensland Government’s concern”……..
Bishop latest Coalition politician to take aim at Obama
Ms Bishop is not the only Coalition politician to voice criticism of Mr Obama, with frontbenchers Joe Hockey and Jamie Briggs making comments in the wake of the Brisbane speech.
Mr Briggs labelled the address as a “massive, massive distraction” from the rest of the G20 summit, while the Treasurer said it would be difficult for Mr Obama to deliver on his stricter emissions standard pledge.……..
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has warned the Great Barrier Reef could be at risk if more is not done to reduce carbon emissions………The UN’s World Heritage Committee has deferred a decision on whether to list the Great Barrier Reef as “in danger” until next year. http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-11-20/julie-bishop-chides-barack-obama-over-climate-change-remarks/5906570
Goldman to wind down uranium desk; may sell Colombian coal mines -report Thu Nov 20, 2014 Nov 19 (Reuters) – Goldman Sachs will wind down its small uranium trading business after failing to find a buyer and may sell its Colombian coal mine subsidiary, two of its most controversial commodity divisions, according to a Senate report released on Wednesday…….http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/11/20/commodities-banks-goldman-uranium-idUSL2N0T931M20141120
BHP has, in the past, always spruiked climate change and carbon pricing – in the knowledge that the nuclear industry was, and is again,putting over the world the lie that uranium/nuclear power is the cure for climate change
BHP says action needed on climate change but won’t rule out coal investments at AGM, ABC Radio The World Today Sue Lannin reported this story on Thursday, November 20, 2014
ELEANOR HALL: BHP Billiton held its annual general meeting in Adelaide today
Its executives have been attempting to explain to shareholders why the company is helping to drive the drastic fall in commodity prices.
BHP Billiton promised to hold a vote for investors in May next year to enable shareholders to have their say on the company’s plans to spin off its less profitable businesses.
But many shareholders at the meeting focused on the environment and BHP Billiton’s record on climate change.
Our resources reporter, Sue Lannin, has been listening in and joins us now. So Sue, what sort of a turnout was there at the AGM today?
SUE LANNIN: Yes, we had many groups attending such as the Australian Conservation Foundation, residents’ groups, and environmentalists from Australia and overseas, which we often see at BHP Billiton AGMs.
And of course BHP is the world’s biggest miner with operations around the world in commodities such as iron ore, coal, copper and uranium……..
SUE LANNIN: For the time being the expansion plans are on hold. BHP Billiton put them on hold for economic reasons but it is doing trials, what’s it’s called leeching trials of the copper and uranium ore.
Now residents and environmental groups are concerned about the trials that are going on and also the existing uranium exports, and BHP Billiton actually admitted there had been an incident a couple of weeks back……..
Great Barrier Reef will be ‘slaughtered’: scientists dismiss Julie Bishop’s claim reef not at risk November 21, 2014 – 3:59PM Peter Hannam Environment Editor, The Sydney Morning Herald World-leading scientists say the Great Barrier Reef will be “slaughtered” this century as seas warm and become more acidic, dismissing comments by Foreign Affairs Minister Julie Bishop that Australia’s natural icon was not at risk.
Ms Bishop told Sky News on Friday her office had sent the White House a briefing outlining the Australia’s efforts to preserve the reef after US President Barack Obama’s warning in Brisbane last weekend that its “incredible natural glory” was threatened by climate change.
“Of course, the Great Barrier Reef will be conserved for generations to come. And we do not believe that it is in danger,” Ms Bishop said……….
on Brodie, a chief research scientist from James Cook University, said Ms Bishop’s comments contradicted the government’s own report on the state of the reef.
The Great Barrier Reef Outlook Report 2014 “found the reef to be in poor condition and the outlook is for continuing deterioration,” Dr Brodie said. “It’s obviously in danger.”
“Climate change remains the most serious threat to the Great Barrier Reef and is likely to have far-reaching consequences in the decades to come,” the report said. http://www.smh.com.au/environment/climate-change/great-barrier-reef-will-be-slaughtered-scientists-dismiss-julie-bishops-claim-reef-not-at-risk-20141121-11r4a6.html#ixzz3JluffhbH
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