Submissions for the Royal Commission into the Nuclear Fuel Cycle are closing soon.
This Commission could change our State forever.
Make sure you have a say in it. The Conservation SA team 26 June 15
This is too big an issue not to have your voice heard. Currently, our State government is weighing up a future that could see nuclear power, uranium enrichment and nuclear waste dumping here in South Australia. The window for the public to make comment on these issues closes in a month.
We encourage you to make a submission and draw on our resources to assist you.
In May nuclear expert Dr Jim Green produced some information resources about each of the issues the Royal Commission into the Nuclear Fuel Cycle is investigating. Please see a summary and full report here.
Only last week renewables expert Dr Mark Diesendorf from the University of NSW finished an exciting report showing that South Australia could be run on 100% renewable energy is just 15 years. You can view and download the summary version and Dr Mark Diesendorf’s full report online here.
- Issues Paper 1 (Extraction) and/or Issues Paper 4 (Storage and Disposal of Waste) is 24 July, 2015
- Issues Paper 2 (Further Processing) and/or Issues Paper 3 (Electricity Generation) is 3 August, 2015.
If you wish to provide a consolidated written submission addressing all Issues Papers you have until Monday August 3, 2015.
If you wish to make an oral submission call the Royal Commission on 08 8207 1480 to make arrangements.
It’s critical that your voice is heard. This commission could change our State for generations to come.
Now is the time to act.
Submission Points to Royal Commission Issues Paper 1 EXPLORATION, EXTRACTION AND MILLING – July theme
Submissions to this Paper are due by July 24 POINTS TO CONSIDER
They want you to direct your answers to the points they have set out in http://nuclearrc.sa.gov.au/our-reports/exploration-extraction-and-milling/ SO: here are a few ideas:
1.1 and 1.2. (economics of uranium industry) Australia’s uranium production of 5,000 tonnes in 2014 was the lowest for 16 years. The industry generates less than 0.2 per cent of national export revenue and accounts for less than 0.02 per cent of jobs in Australia. (1)
Nowhere in this Issues Paper is information given on Government funding of the nuclear industry either directly in the form of grants and through government supplied services.
1.12 (Uranium enrichment) and 1.7 (Future of uranium market) The 2006 Switkowski Review concluded that “there may be little real opportunity for Australian companies to extend profitably” into enrichment. (2) Conditions are no more conducive to the establishment of an enrichment industry now than they were in 2006. Former World Nuclear Association executive Steve Kidd noted in July 2014 that “the world enrichment market is heavily over-supplied”.(3)
1.8. (health effects) There is a well established link between uranium mining and lung cancer. (4) Exposure to even low-level radiation is a health hazard. That is the position of all relevant expert bodies such as the United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation. As the the US National Academy of Sciences’ Committee on the Biological Effects of Ionising Radiation states, “the risk of cancer proceeds in a linear fashion at lower doses without a threshold and … the smallest dose has the potential to cause a small increase in risk to humans.”
1.10 (risks) Enrichment plants can produce both low-enriched uranium for reactors and highly-enriched uranium for weapons.
1.13 (effects on other industries). South Australia’s remarkable success in renewable energy, and its reputation for clean agricultural produce would clearly be threatened by further development in the uranium/nuclear industry
(3) Nuclear Engineering International Magazine, May 2014
CaptD, 7 July15 I think it would be very helpful to begin to publish both near and long term comparisons between the money spent on all forms of Energy R&D and the money spent on actually installing different types of Solar (Renewable) Energy Generation. This information would enable a much needed discussion about where to best invest limited Energy capital to maximize its return while at the same time also benefiting mankind.
For example, the money spent on a new Nuclear reactor, like Hinkley C or SMR reactor R&D could instead be spent immediately on new Wind or some other form of Solar that would then start generating Energy (and start paying for themselves) in the very near future!
I would suggest that a 10, 20 and 30 year analysis would provide both decision makers and the public with a glimpse of their Energy future that few if any can now visualize. Today very few, if any, really understand what the long term “costs” are of new Energy R&D vs Solar Energy generation, which is why I believe this data will lead to not only a transformation in the Energy marketplace but also the way it is discussed from now on.
Since nobody that I know of is now providing this fiscal comparative information, which I believe should be key in any Energy decision, perhaps you would like to help model the way by starting to connecting the dots, so that everyone can better picture future Energy generation.
If I am right, then future shock will be provided by Renewables!
If half of the money spent on NEW Nuclear Energy Generation was spent on NEW Solar (of all flavors) then the World would be an order of magnitude safer than it is now, since far more people would be far less dependent upon traditional Energy sources not to mention that the air would be cleaner!
“……..South Australia has a nuclear industry the government wants to expand. There is uranium enrichment, but that is an economic non-starter, and then there is nuclear power, which is theoretically possible but very expensive and controversial.
The nuclear lobby is driving the idea that if you import other countries’ high-level waste, those countries would pay billions of dollars to get it off their hands. So there is all sorts of nonsense flying around South Australia, especially in the Murdoch press, that these billions of dollars would cover the entire cost of building nuclear reactors and would also allow the abolition of all state taxes.
But even with that sort of propaganda being circulated in the Adelaide Advertiser — a Murdoch tabloid — they found that fewer than one in six South Australians want a high-level nuclear waste dump.
It is a massive challenge, as the royal commission is stacked by pro-nuclear lobbyists. So it will issue a pro-nuclear report and we are doing the best we can to dull their enthusiasm.
We are building a separate campaign against the expansion. Traditional owners held a meeting in Port Augusta in April and this is the starting point to building an ongoing campaign.
A lot of these traditional owners have already experienced a track record of the industries of pollution and lies and they don’t want to be a part of it. They have seen the outrageous divide and rule tactics used by Heathgate against Adnyamathanha traditional owners. Then there is the long history of Olympic Dam uranium mine, and attempts to dump nuclear waste on Aboriginal land despite their ferocious opposition. Or go back to the Maralinga bomb tests in South Australia — there is a lot of history with people still suffering the varied impacts of that.
There is a lot of campaign strength in South Australia. Certainly we are putting in submissions to the royal commission but we don’t want to get sucked into their campaign too much because it is a fraud and the more important thing for us is to build campaigns and support Aboriginal people who want to build campaigns…..” https: //www.greenleft.org.au/node/59400
A FAMILY-owned business has taken out the Territory’s most prestigious business prize just five short years after opening its doors.
Country Solar NT, which is owned by husband and wife team Jeremy and Pam Hunt, was named 2015 Telstra Northern Territory Business of the Year at a gala ceremony at the Darwin Convention Centre last night.
The company, which began with the couple selling solar panels from the back of their ute, now has clients all across the Top End, including schools, supermarkets and remote communities.
Mr Hunt said the business was committed to providing a high quality local service.
“We’re local and we want to ensure that locals are getting the best renewable energy products available at the best prices to meet their energy needs,” he said.
“Amid the ever-changing rules about solar PV and the past performance of fly-in fly-out solar contractors, we have provided a stable alternative for the home, business and government markets.”
Mr Hunt said the business was committed to the local community and providing sustainable energy………http://www.ntnews.com.au/business/family-owned-business-country-solar-nt-named-2015-telstra-northern-territory-business-of-the-year/story-fnk2tq5v-1227428467238
South Australian Nuclear Fuel Chain Royal Commission might not even be aware of the plight of nuclear reactor companies in France (and Canada) – who are desperate to sell their product, because of their failing economic position
The Royal Commission is just back from getting itself “informed” by the AREVA and EDF companies, and are about to take off for Canada to be “informed” by Canada’s nuclear busineses – which are all too well known for corruption.
Burdened by losses, EDF’s foreign activities are currently unable to finance the increasing requirements at home, where the production costs of nuclear plants are rising by around 5% each year and investment needs are increasing.
The international trend is not for a nuclear renaissance but for a boom in renewable energy, and France will not be able to export significantly more reactors, or to develop new reprocessing contracts abroad under profitable conditions.
To understand just how far the French nuclear industry has fallen in recent years, look no further than the value of EDF and Areva. Since 2007, EDF’s stock price has fallen more than 70%; Areva’s by more than 85%. If Areva weren’t 83% government-owned, it almost certainly would have declared bankruptcy by now.
nuClear News July 15 http://www.no2nuclearpower.org.uk/nuclearnews/NuClearNewsNo75.pdf The deep crisis which the French nuclear industry is experiencing is not new, although it seems to have shocked some commentators. It actually represents the outcome of a strategy launched at the end of the 1990s which was always flawed. The project involved an aggressive export policy which it was hoped would disguise predictable difficulties at home, according to a report by WISE Paris for Greenpeace. (1)
The only logical reason why you want to go down the nuclear path is that you want to have the nuclear industry here as a stepping stone to developing nuclear weapons at some stage in the future. But not even the nuclear fuel lobby or the right-wing military types are proposing that.
Renewables now! Nuclear not an option, Green Left, July 4, 2015 The radioactive exposure tour — the RadTour — organised by Friends of the Earth and the Anti-uranium and Clean Energy collective (ACE), was on again this year from June 27 till July 8. Twenty-five people travelled from Melbourne through south and western NSW then onto South Australia.
Green Left Weekly‘s Rachel Evans caught up with the RadTour at Lucas Heights and spoke to Dr Jim Green from Friends of the Earth. How has the campaign to make Australia nuclear free been going?
Well, we have lost ground in the last decade unfortunately, with the ALP repealing the ban on uranium mining and several state governments overturning bans on uranium mining. In NSW they have started uranium exploration mining so that’s been a disaster.
Meanwhile, the economics of nuclear power are getting worse and worse, with fewer countries building nuclear reactors. The Fukushima disaster has given the industry a massive hit. So there is less demand for Australian uranium and mines keep closing.
Uranium mining has come to an end in Kakadu National Park after 40-odd years of massive controversy, so all they are doing at the Ranger mine at the moment is processing what has already been mined. In the past couple of weeks ERA has given up on the proposed expansion of the mine on the back of the famous campaign that stopped the Jabiluka mine.
So all of that is really extraordinary.
The other uranium mine is Roxby Downs. BHP Billiton cancelled the planned mega-expansion of Roxby and a bunch of others have been stopped as well.
Last year’s uranium production was the lowest in 16 years. Globally we have been hearing about this so-called nuclear renaissance, but there are actually fewer reactors now than there were a decade ago. So if that is a nuclear renaissance then I say bring it on.
The recent victory in the anti-nuclear campaign was the Muckaty win. Can you explain the ramifications of that win? Continue reading
Say goodbye to coal power in Australia, The Age July 5, 2015 Mark Diesendorf The writing is on the wall for coal-fired power in Australia. Despite federal government attempts to stop the growth of renewable energy, all they can do is delay the inevitable transition.
Tasmania already has almost 100 per cent renewable electricity, based on hydro supplemented by wind. The ACT is on track to reach its target of 90 per cent net renewable electricity by 2020, based on solar and wind.
South Australia, with no freshwater hydro-electric potential, is the leading mainland state in the transition to renewable energy. Last year 33 per cent of its annual electricity consumption was generated by the wind and 6 per cent from rooftop solar. Furthermore, its electricity system has already operated reliably and stably for hours when the contribution of variable renewable energy reached two-thirds of demand. Recently wind power and gas coped admirably when the coal-fired Northern power station went unexpectedly offline.
Coal power will soon disappear from SA and eventually from the whole country. Because wind has no fuel cost, it can bid the lowest price into the electricity market and so is ranked higher in operating order than coal. The result: coal is displaced from operating as base-load (24/7) power, coal’s economics become worse and incidentally the wholesale price of electricity decreases.
This is the real reason our Prime Minister is trying to stop the growth in wind power. It has nothing to do with aesthetics or the sham ‘wind turbine syndrome’, but everything to do with Mr Abbott’s misguided commitment to coal. Continue reading
South Australia’s Nuclear Fuel Chain Commission visited nuclear officials in UK, and France – in exactly the failing nuclear projects discussed in this article. To listen to Kevin Scarce’s report at http://blogs.abc.net.au/sa/2015/06/nuclear-energy-.html?site=adelaide&program=adelaide_mornings. you would think that these projects – Hinkley and Flamanville were are glowing success. Not so!
The UK Government is now said to be deeply concerned about the future of the Hinkley project following revelations about problems at the similar reactor being built at Flamanville
Nuclear needs a blank cheque Now that it is plain that nuclear power has failed miserably to compete with renewable energy even on the somewhat skewed playing field represented by the (proposed) Hinkley C deal, nuclear supporters are trying to engineer a ‘blank cheque’ to be given to nuclear developers
nuClear News, July 15 http://www.no2nuclearpower.org.uk/nuclearnews/NuClearNewsNo75.pdf There is a growing chorus of critics calling for Hinkley Point C to be scrapped altogether, according to the Sunday Times.
Labor, Greens slam Agriculture White Paper for lack of strategic vision or climate change consideration ABC Rural By Anna Vidot , 5 July 15 “…the Opposition has criticised the plan, saying it failed to deliver the broad strategic plan that Australian agriculture needs, while the Greens have slammed the absence of climate change considerations in the document……..
Climate change considerations absent from White Paper: Greens The Greens’ agriculture spokeswoman Senator Rachel Siewert said the absence of climate change considerations from the White Paper meant the document was “fundamentally flawed”.
She also flagged concern about the environmental impact of major dam expansions, which she says “doesn’t seem to be factored into the thinking” in the White Paper.
“But more importantly, they haven’t considered the impact of climate change on water supply and dams,” she said.
“Of course we need to be bettered prepared for drought, but drought isn’t the only thing that we address in climate change. Extreme weather events need to be factored in properly, planning for what our agriculture will look like in a drying climate and in a changing climate, but that’s not there,” she said.
“(As for) the significant investment investment that’s needed in R&D, while (the White Paper) put a little bit more in, it’s not enough to address how our agriculture is going to change under climate change.
“Climate change will shape the future of agriculture and it is fundamentally missing in here. The fact that it’s not acknowledged says a lot about where this government’s head is at.” http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-07-04/labor-greens-critical-of-ag-white-paper/6595078
nuClear News, July edition, http://www.no2nuclearpower.org.uk/nuclearnews/NuClearNewsNo75.pdf On June 16, seven international clean energy organizations launched a major new campaign aimed at keeping nuclear power out of all negotiations at the upcoming UN climate talks in Paris. The UN Climate Change Conference (‘COP-21’) will be held in Paris from November 30 to December 11.
- Nuclear Power is Not a Silver Bullet: Nuclear power could at most make a modest contribution to climate change abatement. The main limitation is that it is used almost exclusively for electricity generation, which accounts for less than 25% of global greenhouse emissions. Even tripling nuclear power generation would reduce emissions by less than 10% − and then only if the assumption is that it displaces coal.
- Greenhouse Emissions from the Nuclear Fuel Cycle: Claims that nuclear power is ‘greenhouse free’ are false. Nuclear power is more greenhouse intensive than most renewable energy sources and energy efficiency measures. Life-cycle greenhouse emissions from nuclear power will increase as relatively high-grade uranium ores are mined out.
- Nuclear Power – A Slow Response to an Urgent Problem: The nuclear industry does not have the capacity to rapidly expand production as a result of 20 years of stagnation. Limitations include bottlenecks in the reactor manufacturing sector, dwindling and ageing workforces, and the considerable time it takes to build a reactor and to pay back the energy debt from construction.
- Nuclear Power and Climate Change Countries and regions with a high reliance on nuclear power also tend to have high greenhouse gas emissions. Some countries are planning to replace fossil fuel-fired power plants with nuclear power in order to increase fossil fuel exports − in such cases any potential climate change mitigation benefits of nuclear power are lost.
- Climate Change and Nuclear Hazards Nuclear power plants are vulnerable to threats which are being exacerbated by climate change. These include dwindling and warming No2NuclearPower nuClear news No.75, July 2015 22 water sources, sea-level rise, storm damage, drought, and jelly-fish swarms. ‘Water wars’ − in particular, disputes over the allocation of increasingly scarce water resources between power generation and agriculture − are becoming increasingly common and are being exacerbated by climate change.
- Weapons Proliferation and Nuclear Winter Civil nuclear programs have provided cover for numerous covert weapons programs and an expansion of nuclear power would exacerbate the problem. Nuclear warfare − even a limited nuclear war involving a tiny fraction of the global arsenal − has the potential to cause catastrophic climate change.
- Renewables and Energy Efficiency: Global renewable power capacity more than doubled from 2004 to 2014 (and non-hydro renewables grew 8-fold). Over that decade, and the one before it, nuclear power flatlined. Global renewable capacity (including hydro) is 4.6 times greater than nuclear capacity, and renewable electricity generation more than doubles nuclear generation. A growing body of research demonstrates the potential for renewables to largely supplant fossil fuels for power supply globally. Energy efficiency and renewables are the Twin Pillars of a clean energy future. A University of Cambridge study concluded that 73% of global energy use could be saved by energy efficiency and conservation measures − making it far easier to achieve a lowcarbon, nonnuclear future.
Free Trade Agreement: Union says Government’s decision to remove skill assessment of Chinese Electricians ‘an Absolute Disgrace’
Originally posted on conspiracyoz:
Removing a requirement to assess the skills of Chinese electricians on temporary work visas will endanger the Australian community, the Electrical Trades Union (ETU) says.
Allen Hicks from the ETU said the Government’s decision to remove the mandatory skills assessment requirement for Chinese workers in 10 occupations as part of its new free trade agreement (FTA) with China was an “absolute disgrace”.
“For the Federal Government to come out and waive that under a free trade agreement, without any consultation with unions or employers, is an absolute disgrace,” he said.
“It’s going to create significant workplace dangers, not only just for electricians, but all those people who use electricity.”
Mr Hicks said China’s statistics of workplace deaths was of “genuine concern” to Australians.
“Australia leads the way in electrical safety. We’ve got some of the best electrical workers in the…
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Originally posted on jpratt27:
Despite recent cuts to the renewable energy target in Australia, leaders elsewhere are looking to a future without coal. So what are our other options? Carl Smith guides us through Australia’s alternative energy sources—exploring how they work, their potential and why they aren’t used already.
How does it work?
Windmills have been used for hundreds of years, and wind turbines expand on the simplicity of that design—using a rotor, gearbox and generator to create power. The wind spins the blades, and the tower transfers that energy to the generator.
A typical 80-metre tower has blades that are around 44 metres tall. They’re huge structures, and wind turbines have gotten bigger over the years, with some now taller than 100 metres. The bid to build higher turbines is driven by the fact that there’s more wind at higher altitudes.
How much have we got?
Australia’s potential wind resource is vast. Geoscience…
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Interestingly, the visit to Lucas Heights revealed another nuclear waste issue that apparently has been forgotten. None of the numerous employees and scientists present at the discussion knew what happened to the radioactive waste water – heavy water – from the HIFAR reactor. Is it still on site, has it been treated or even discharged? The risks in the latter would be enormous and the fact that no one had any information on it therefore both shocking and scary.
This is a strong reminder of the importance of independent monitoring of nuclear activities and the accountability civil society helps to enforce on operators. For Friends of the Earth, this is just the beginning of a tour that will release many more valuable lessons and incredible stories.
ANSTO’s radioactive waste management, Online opinion, By Anica Niepraschk , 3 July 2015 ANSTO, the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation, through its nuclear science, industry and medical operations at Lucas Heights in southern Sydney is the largest producer of radioactive waste in Australia.
Since 1959 Lucas Heights is producing ever growing amounts of low and intermediate level waste which it stores on site in designated facilities. The most recent addition to ANSTO’s waste facilities is an newly built hangar for reprocessed fuel, which has to return from France until the end of the year.
Although the construction of a reprocessing plant is currently discussed by the South Australian Royal Commission into the Nuclear Fuel Cycle Australia so far has no capacity to reprocess the highly radioactive contents of ANSTO’s nuclear fuel rods. They are therefore sent overseas for reprocessing. Agreements with France and the UK provide for the resulting intermediate level waste to be returned to Australia, with the French shipping due to arrive in Australia until the end of the year…………..
The so called Radtour has been taking a great number of interested people and anti-nuclear activists to key nuclear sites in Australia for over 25 years, providing an opportunity to learn about the country and affected communities in a way that is rarely part of public narratives. It has thereby created strong bonds with Aboriginal and other communities throughout the country. Continue reading
Arjun Makhijani, president of the Institute for Energy and Environmental Research, told VICE News that companies have spent $100 billion worldwide trying to commercialize breeder reactors without success.
“So now you’re telling me that this combination of reactors has $1.3 billion scattered over more than a dozen technologies?” he said. “Bill Gates’ investment … is hopeless.”
Tech Titans Like Bill Gates Are Gambling on Nuclear Power — But It Looks to Be a Losing Bet, VICE News, By Laura Dattaro July 4, 2015 Nearly 50 American and Canadian tech companies, including heavy hitters like Bill Gates, have invested over a billion dollars in next-generation nuclear technologies in the last 10 years, according to the think tank Third Way.
Despite declining public trust in nukes, especially since the Fukushima Daiichi meltdown in Japan in March 2011, proponents argue that nuclear is key — some say the key — to providing reliable energy while at the same time helping to rid the world of fossil fuels.
“We were compelled by a mission to get involved in a very pressing energy challenge …. Marcia Burkey, chief financial officer of TerraPower, told VICE News. Bellingham, Washington-based TerraPower was founded by Bill Gates and is developing new nuclear reactor technologies.
But critics of nuclear power say this rosy picture does not match the realities of the industry, and that the technologies are too far from being scaled up commercially to meet the urgency of lowering emissions. What’s more, they say, the money behind the current push for more advanced reactors is paltry compared to the costs associated with developing, licensing, and constructing even a single nuclear plant.
“You can’t really in good faith put forward a technology that we don’t know how to do, and have no real prospect of knowing how to do in the next couple of decades. The solution needs to be underway already or to be capable of beginning tomorrow,” Peter Bradford, a professor at Vermont Law School and former member of the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), told VICE News. “That’s really not true of any of those designs mentioned in the [Third Way] report.”
As for Paladin Energy (PDN, 25.5c), being the world’s only listed pure-play uranium miner with two operating mines (albeit on care and maintenance) hasn’t made for unfettered joy either……..
We rate ERA a sell and Alliance and Paladin as specbuys
Uranium stocks a mixed bad for investors THE AUSTRALIAN JULY 03, 2015 Tim Boreham Over the years the uranium caper has been much more fun for investors in the exploration chase, rather than the drudgery of actually mining the toxic substance. Continue reading