Australian news, and some related international items

Gloom in the global nuclear industry – 10 reasons why – theme for May 2015

terminal-nuclear-industryThe global nuclear industry is sick, indeed, it is in palliative care.  And here are 10 good reasons why:

1. Gloom overlies the nuclear lobby, fear of this question: the next nuclear catastrophe.  NotIF it will happen, but WHEN and WHERE?

2.  Aging, dangerous nuclear reactors that are too costly to make safe. .

3. “New nuclear” is  a joke. The nuclear lobby will boast of so many “planned”, “proposed” reactors. But new ones actually being built? – just two and a half duds.

4 Discord and dissension in the nuclear camp.  Nuclear countries cannot afford new reactors, so desperately compete to sell  them to other countries.

Meanwhile nuclear companies battle it out to market their particular new gee-whiz nuclear reactor version.

5. Climate change affects nuclear reactors.

6. Nuclear weapons now out-dated. 21st Century conflict is all about smaller, targeted missile-envy
weapons, like the USA’s assassination drones.  Pride and status are now the only motives for having nuclear weapons.

7. Decline in electricity use

8 Renewable energy, both centralised and small scale, is fast being developed, and widely popular (unlike nuclear).

9. Danger – whatever kind of nuclear facility – there is always the danger of accident or terrorism –  they are  a target for terrorists.

10 Public opinion. Worldwide – people just don’t like nuclear power.

May 23, 2015 Posted by | Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Iodine pills for South Australians- is that in the Nuclear Royal Commission’s planning?



Will South Australian communities and nuclear workers get iodine pills, once the State launches into its role as the international nuclear hub?

Canada’s communities near nuclear facilities ware getting them.  Kevin Scarce’s Nuclear Fuel Chain scrutiny-Royal-Commission CHAINRoyal Commission will be getting Submissions from Canadian nuclear companies. Perhaps the potassium-iodate-pillsCommission will be visiting Canada, as part of its international junket.

Presumably the South Australian Nuclear Fuel Chain Commission will be keen to keep up with all the safety requirements that Canada has.

May 25, 2015 Posted by | Christina reviews, Nuclear Royal Commission | Leave a comment

Unique gap between women and men on attitude to nuclear power

antnuke-relevantMen and Women Divided on Nuclear Power, Morning Consult  DAVIS BURROUGHS   |   MAY 24, 2015 As the nuclear power industry pushes to build more reactors, they face pronounced unpopularity among an unexpected bloc: women.

A Morning Consult survey finds that a plurality of female voters, 42 percent, oppose increasing the use of nuclear power to generate electricity in the United States; 38 percent support it. A strong majority of men, 70 percent, support using more nuclear power, while 23 percent oppose.

The male-female gap is uniquely wide on this issue.


Previous Morning Consult polling has found much smaller differences between men and women on energy issues. In one poll from Jan. 2015, the gender split on approval for other energy source was 7 percent for natural gas, 10 percent for coal, 3 percent for wind, and 1 percent for solar. For nuclear, the split was 27 percentage points.

“It’s tough to speculate on what makes women more averse to nuclear power than men,” said Sheril Kirshenbaum, director of The Energy Poll at the University of Texas at Austin. “Across issues, women are both less engaged on energy topics, and far less likely to express concern.”……..

A separate survey question reveals three possible explanations as to what’s driving female voter’s concerns over building more nuclear facilities: trepidations over storing nuclear waste, the risk for a disaster or meltdown, and the availability of “better” energy alternatives.

“It doesn’t take a brain surgeon to figure that one out,” said Linda Mayrand, a survey participant from Melbourne, Florida, “there are better alternatives.” Mayrand said she would never live within the Nuclear Regulatory Commission designated evacuation zones, areas that span a 10-mile radius from a nuclear power plant……..

Nicky Davies, a campaigns director for Greenpeace USA, an environmental advocacy group, said the nuclear industry has two Achilles heels. “It is a fact that there’s no safe way to expose of nuclear power,” and secondly “it’s incredibly expensive.”……….

The Morning Consult poll was conducted from April 5 and 7, 2014, among a nationwide sample of 2,047 registered voters. Results from the survey have a margin of error of plus or minus 2 percentage points.

May 24, 2015 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Nuclear power being phased out – Former US Nuclear Regulatory Commission chairman

Jaczko,-GregoryNuclear power not cheap, being phased out: expert By Sean Lin  /  Staff reporter Former US Nuclear Regulatory Commission chairman Gregory Jaczko yesterday said that nuclear energy is playing an increasingly insignificant role in electricity generation worldwide, and that, contrary to popular belief, it is actually more expensive than a range of methods of energy generation.

At a news conference in Taipei, Jaczko said that the future for nuclear power generation in the US and terminal-nuclear-industryworldwide is one of “decreasing use and eventual phase-out.”

Referencing data generated by the US commission, Jaczko said that even if all US nuclear power plants were able to renew their operational licenses, the use of the energy source in the nation would come to an end by about 2055.

Diminishing use of nuclear power is a global trend, with just about 70 reactors under construction worldwide — a small fraction of operational reactors worldwide, he said, adding that the majority being built are in China.

The number of new plants is much lower than the number of facilities scheduled to be decommissioned, he said. “The countries that have nuclear power plants are not building anywhere close to the amount of plants they need to replace existing plants,” Jaczko said. “Given the long lead time to build the plants, the cost and other factors, it is unlikely that nuclear energy will play a significant role in electricity generation in the next several decades.”

There is more than enough time for governments to look into alternative technologies without compromising their carbon reduction goals, he said, adding that global energy use is expected to grow significantly over the next 30 years.

He said that energy from nuclear power plants is not as inexpensive as advocates claim.

Referring to a chart compiled by the US Energy Information Administration in 2013, Jaczko said that the “total system levelized cost” for power plants utilizing advanced nuclear energy stood at US$108.40 per megawatt-hour (mWh), while for plants generating power from natural gas with carbon sequestration technology or from geothermal sources, costs were US$93.40 and US$89.60 per mWh.

The estimates skip the money required for nuclear waste disposal and site decommissioning, which constitute the most expensive part of such plants, he added.

Asked to comment on a plan by the state-run Taiwan Power Co to ship nuclear waste to France to be reprocessed, which has been proposed based on an agreement for cooperation between Taiwan and the US, Jaczko said that nuclear waste of US origin must gain US approval before it can be exported.

“Just because it is in the agreement does not mean it has to be done,” he said, adding that Taipower’s plan “does not make any sense.”

May 24, 2015 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Canada distributing Potassium Iodate pills to communities near nuclear recators

antnuke-relevantflag-canadaKI pill distribution coming near Pickering, Darlington nuclear stations OPG developing extensive awareness campaign prior to fall distribution Ajax News Advertiser By Keith Gilligan DURHAM 24 May 15  — Ontario Power Generation is planning an extensive public relations campaign prior to distributing potassium iodide (KI) pills near the Pickering and Darlington nuclear stations.

Last year, OPG’s federal regulator, the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission, mandated that KI pills be distributed to all homes and businesses within a 10-kilometre radius of nuclear stations.


Kevin Powers, the director of corporate relations and communications for OPG, told the Pickering Community Advisory Council on Tuesday, May 19 that distributing the pills is “quite a change in what our normal operations are.”

To better understand public knowledge of the pills, OPG has been doing research, Mr. Powers noted.“We did research to understand attitudes on KI pills. We wanted a better understanding of what their understanding was,” he said.

He noted only seven per cent of residents currently have the pills in their homes……… Distribution of pills has been done in New Brunswick and Quebec. It’s being done around the Pickering, Darlington and Bruce stations this year.

Pills are currently in some pharmacies within the 10-kilometre radius, “but not many people know. This change is in how we distribute them,” Mr. Powers noted…… The pills will continue to be available at pharmacies, he said. That’s because people might not get enough pills at their home or have moved and don’t have the pills.

“The CNSC mandated that pharmacies within 50 kilometres have the pills,” Mr. Powers said.

May 24, 2015 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The Bjorn Lomborg recipe for inaction on Climate Change

Bringing Lomborg’s work to Australia seems to have been the personal project of Prime Minister Tony Abbott who found $4 million in a budget that cannot afford to support other scientific work on climate change. Abbott is, of course, famous for dismissing climate science as “crap” and choosing as his chief business adviser a man, Maurice Newman, who believes climate science is being used by the UN to impose authoritarian rule over the world.

The Lomborg Ruse, Clive Hamilton 23 MAY 2015 No one in Australia has more relentlessly attacked environmentalists, climate science, carbon taxes and the aspirations of the United Nations than Murdoch columnist Andrew Bolt.

Lomborg, Bjorn

So what does it mean when Bolt sings the praises of a man who is a declared environmentalist, accepts the body of evidence for climate change, supports a carbon tax and is a strong supporter of the United Nations? Oh, and he’s also a gay vegetarian who’s never out of a trendy black T-shirt.

And what are we to make of it when Bolt, who has complained bitterly that the nation’s universities are stacked with leftists, is now up in arms because a man with admittedly left-leaning politics is sent packing from one of those universities.

I speak of course of Bjorn Lomborg and the University of Western Australia’s reversal of its decision to host his Consensus Centre and so reject the $4 million offered by the Federal Government.

Bolt is not Lomborg’s only unlikely defender. John Roskam of the Institute of Public Affairs writes that the opposition to Lomborg “demonstrates all that’s wrong with Australia’s universities”. The IPA, from the late 1990s the epicentre of the dissemination of climate science denial in Australia, now claims that the man who declares “I believe in global warming” has been “muzzled” and must be heard. (The IPA hosted a Lomborg visit to Australia in 2003, at the prompting of federal industry minister Ian Macfarlane.) Continue reading

May 24, 2015 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, climate change - global warming, politics | Leave a comment

AUDIO: Paris climate deal faces hurdles

climate-changeHear-This-wayNew climate deal faces hurdles

Originally broadcast on Thursday 21 May 2015 7:30PM, repeated Sunday 24 May 2015 10:00AM

With six months to go until the next global climate treaty talks in Paris, environmentalist and former US vice president Al Gore has declared that “the future of the world depends” on their outcome. Lord Nigel Lawson, former energy secretary in Margaret Thatcher’s government, delivers his assessment of the prospects of the world reaching a new climate deal. (29min 20sec)

(Background information about Lord Nigel Lawson and the Global Warming Policy Foundation is available on the DeSmogBlog website at: and – and on the SourceWatch website at: and The program presenter, Tom Switzer, is an Adjunct Fellow of the Institute of Public Affairs –his profile is available at:

May 24, 2015 Posted by | Audiovisual | Leave a comment

Senator Leyonhjelm – Nuclear power is fine: wind power is the danger!

Leyonhjelm,-DavidSenator David Leyonhjelm wants government to monitor wind turbine noise, The Age, May 24, 2015 Adam Gartre It seems the only thing colourful crossbench senator David Leyonhjelm hates more than red tape is wind farming.

Despite typically being a fierce opponent of new government regulation, the Liberal Democrat is calling on the government to set up a new regulator to monitor noise levels near wind turbines.

He claims a Senate inquiry he set up has uncovered “credible evidence” that some people are suffering wind-farm-evil-1health concerns caused by low frequency noise and vibrations known as infrasound.

Australia’s peak medical agency this year concluded there is no direct or consistent evidence that wind farms damage human health, after conducting a year-long study into so-called “wind turbine syndrome”.

 Indeed, many health experts and environmentalists have long dismissed turbine-related health concerns as a myth…….Senator Leyonhjelm’s inquiry attracted 418 submissions and is set to report back to parliament in August. It is the latest in a long line of investigations into renewable energy and wind turbines.

May 24, 2015 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, politics, wind | Leave a comment

AUDIO: Latest research on battery energy storage

battey TeslaHear-This-wayDeveloping new batteries for cars, houses, devices and the grid

Saturday 23 May 2015

Bigger, better and cheaper batteries promise to change our world. Their capabilities will determine how we use small devices, what cars are produced, and how energy is supplied to households.  But are some battery technologies approaching their limits? Where to next?  The answer is new materials. We hear excerpts from this year’s American Association for the Advancement of Science meeting in San Jose where speakers report on the latest lines of research, the challenges ahead and the prospects when current hurdles with batteries are overcome.

May 24, 2015 Posted by | Audiovisual | Leave a comment

New Zealand Commission to investigate effects of Pacific nuclear testing – could be just a charade

antnuke-relevantNuclear testing victims dubious about commission The head of an organisation representing victims of nuclear testing in French Polynesia says a commission set up to assess the aftermath of the testing could just be a charade.

It was set up by France’s defence minister, and will be made up of 24 members and chaired by the French High Commissioner in Papeete.

The director of Moruroa e Tatou, which represents victims of testing on the atolls of Mururoa and Fangataufa, says 80-percent of the members suffer serious health conditions, including cancer.

Roland Oldham is questioning why more more evidence is needed.

“Why more more and more commissions…isn’t there enough proof now that it had a bad impact on the environment, and a bad impact on the health of polynesian people – itsn’t it enough proof?”

He says they will make themselves heard.

“As far as we’re concerned, we will be speaking with a very loud voice, because we have had enough of all these lies, of 40 years of lying, and if this commission’s just for another lie, then it’s just a waste of money and a waste of time.”

Mr Oldham says the first meeting will be held in two days.

May 24, 2015 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Greedy businessmen just can’t wait for the Royal Commission’s final report

greed copyNuclear Royal Commission urged to fast-track storage talks DANIEL WILLS STATE POLITICAL EDITOR THE ADVERTISER MARCH 03, 2015 BUSINESS has urged South Australia’s nuclear Royal Commission to fast-track consideration of hosting the nation’s first major waste dump, amid fears the state could miss out on a lucrative opportunity to take a foothold in a future storage industry.

The Federal Government has announced a new tender process for a national radioactive waste management facility and is seeking site nominations until May 5. However, South Australia’s Royal Commission is not expected to conclude until late this year or early 2016.

BusinessSA chief executive Nigel McBride – “The thing that really stands out as an opportunity is spent nuclear fuel storage,” he said.

“Maybe we need to fast track that. Maybe that’s the part of the Commission that needs to come out first. “We can’t just wait until the Commission is over. They’re calling for it now….

Federal Industry Minister Ian Macfarlane said an independent advisory panel has been established to assess nominations and advise on the suitability of applicant sites.

The Federal Government has promised “a package of benefits” for the tender winner……..

Australian Conservation Foundation nuclear free campaigner Dave Sweeney called for the tender to be delayed amid fears a rushed process could harm communities and the environment….

May 23, 2015 Posted by | Nuclear Royal Commission | Leave a comment

Nuclear business lobby geared up to make submissions to the South Australian Nuclear Fuel Chain Royal Commission

Mr Hundertmark said it was not simple to “overcome the anti-nuclear feeling” but that modern nuclear technology was far safer than older reactors, such as Fukushima in Japan


Scarce,--Kevin-glowKevin Scarce, who is in favour of a debate on nuclear and is heading up the Royal Commission, has said he was sick of hearing politicians say they’re not opposed to nuclear power then doing nothing about it.

The $20bn blueprint to create a nuclear industry in SA  TORY SHEPHERD POLITICAL EDITOR THE ADVERTISER FEBRUARY 22, 2015 A $20 BILLION blueprint to create a South Australian nuclear industry that turns around the state’s fortunes by employing tens of thousands of people has been developed by a panel of experts.

The draft plan says the project would make the state a “world centre” for nuclear energy by offering storage for radioactive waste, enriching our uranium and building nuclear reactors, creating a new industry.

SA Nuclear Energy Systems Pty Ltd, chaired by Bruce Hundertmark, comprises a range of nuclear experts and hopes to work with the US Department of Energy and other major international entities in scrutiny-Royal-Commission CHAINits quest to make the plan a reality.

The group, which has an office in Wayville, hopes to make a submission to the Royal Commission into a nuclear industry. Continue reading

May 23, 2015 Posted by | Nuclear Royal Commission | Leave a comment

Japan’s communities refused to volunteer sites, so now the government will impose them

antnuke-relevantflag-japanMETI changes tactics after search for nuclear waste host proves futile

KYODO The government will select potential areas to host nuclear dump sites instead of waiting for communities to volunteer, according to the revised policy on permanent disposal of high-level radioactive waste that was adopted by the Cabinet on Friday. Continue reading

May 23, 2015 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Japan keen to make Australia’s new submarines

Japan Security Council Approves Bid to Build Australian Submarines  DEFENSE STUDIES. FOCUS ON DEFENSE CAPABILITY DEVELOPMENT IN SOUTHEAST ASIA AND OCEANIA 22 Mei 2015 The Japanese proposal for the 4200-tonne Soryu would involve using contractors Kawasaki Heavy Industries and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, with the bid competing against TKMS’s 4000-tonne Type 216 and a conventional version of DCNS’s 5000-tonne nuclear-powered Barracuda. (photo : Nosint)

Japan is to exploit the easing of its postwar ban on arms exports by entering the race to jointly develop and build a new generation of submarines for the Australian navy.

Members of Japan’s security council this week approved the country’s participation in the bidding process, months after the Australian prime minister, Tony Abbott, abandoned plans to buy Soryu-class submarines from Japan under pressure from ruling party and opposition politicians.

Instead, Japan will join non-nuclear submarine developers from Germany and France in Canberra’s “competitive evaluation process” to decide who builds the Australian navy’s next fleet of submarines.

South Australian government and defence industry representatives have gone to Europe to convince companies bidding to build Australia’s next fleet of submarines to do the work in Adelaide.

Yoshihide Suga, Japan’s chief cabinet secretary, confirmed that the security council had decided Japanese firms should join the process “in light of the importance of defence cooperation between Japan and Australia”.

Suga told reporters that the decision was in line with Japan’s revised rules on the transfer of arms and defence technology……….

Continue reading

May 23, 2015 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, politics international | Leave a comment

Wealthy climate change sceptics funded Bjorn Lomborg’s climate action delaying Centre

antnuke-relevantThe Millions Behind Bjorn Lomborg’s Copenhagen Consensus Center US Think Tank DeSmogBlog  By Graham Readfearn • Tuesday, June 24, 2014 “………..The only income for the CCC in its first year in the US came in the form of a $120,000 grant from the New York-based Randolph Foundation. The foundation, seeded by money from the Richardson family’s sale of the Vick Chemical Company in 1985, gave CCCanother $50,000 in 2012.

The main trustee at Randolph is Heather Higgins, the president and CEO of Independent Women’s Voice and the chairman of its sister organisation Independent Women’s Forum. Higgins is the daughter of R. Randolph Richardson, a member of the family that sold Vick Chemical Company to Procter & Gamble for $1.2 billion.

Staff writers of both organisations regularly express scepticism about the science of human-caused climate change and cite Lomborg’s views approvingly.

Lomborg, Bjorn

A recent article from IWF senior fellow Vicki Alger claimed “a majority of scientists believe that global warming is largely nature-made” — ignoring several studies that show the vast majority of research from scientists studying climate change believe exactly the opposite.

IWF funders include the Claude R. Lambe Foundation, controlled by Charles Koch, and Donors Trust, a fund for conservative philanthropists that has pushed millions into organisations promoting climate science denial and fighting laws to cut greenhouse gas emissions.

Higgins is also board member at the Philanthropy Roundtable, another route for conservative philanthropy which shares two members of personnel with Donors Trust or its partner organisation Donors Capital Fund. Also on the board of trustees at Randolph is Polly Freiss, the daughter-in-law of conservative Christian businessman Foster Freiss.

Foster Freiss put more than $2 million into Republican Senator Rick Santorum’s 2012 run for his party’s nomination for the presidency. Freiss also bankrolled conservative news outlet The Daily Caller, which regularly publishes articles supporting the views of climate science denialists.

On his personal web page, Freiss promotes climate science denial sources including Climate Depot and The Heartland Institute. Friess’s website has also promoted Lomborg’s views.Foster Freiss and his daughter Polly attended the Koch brother’s secretive 2010 strategy meeting in Aspen, along with Heather Higgins and a host of other conservative activists.

The tax records of the Kansas-based Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation indicate it has given the CCC two $150,000 grants — one in 2011 and another in 2012……..

DeSmog’s analysis of the tax records of not-for-profit groups and foundations donating to CCC accounts for only $520,000 of the total $4.3 million income of the CCC since it was launched in the US. The center’s new website makes no mention of its funding.

When so little is known about the funding for CCC, it is hard for anyone to know if Lomborg’s hope to find “unassailable” donors has come true……

May 23, 2015 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 752 other followers