Olympic Dam Mine: Largest User of Energy in S. Australia; Largest User of Australia’s Precious Water Resource – The Great Artesian Basin 31 Friday Jul 2015 by miningawareness The largest single user of electricity in South Australia is the Olympic Dam uranium, copper, gold, silver mine. Almost 60% of the energy in South Australia comes from renewables! Why would they need nuclear? Why a “Royal Commission”? They clearly want nuclear power so that they can sell their uranium to make energy to mine more uranium. Furthermore, the wise shun uranium, so to keep mining it in Australia, they need to dump it on Australia in the form of depleted uranium from enrichment, nuclear power, and the too often forgotten nuclear waste, to go with the radioactive tailings which they already have.
Nuclear anything is even more dangerous in a dry climate, so prone to bushfires, and even fire tornados! Using up the precious water resource of the Great Artesian Basin by uranium, or any other mining, is criminal….https://miningawareness.wordpress.com/2015/07/31/olympic-dam-mine-largest-user-of-energy-in-s-australia-largest-user-of-australias-precious-water-resource-the-great-artesian-basin/
Japan’s atomic bomb survivors continue in fight against nuclear weapons
As Japan prepares to mark the 70th anniversary of the world’s first nuclear attack, survivors ponder how to continue warning of the horrors of nuclear war, Guardian, Justin McCurry 31 July It is not as if Sunao Tsuboi needs another reminder of his violent encounter, as a 20-year-old university student, with a “living hell on earth”. The facial scars he has carried for seven decades are proof enough. But, as if to remind himself of the day he became a witness to the horrors of nuclear warfare, he removes a a black-and-white photograph and points to the shaved head of a young man looking away from the lens.
“That’s me,” he says. “We were hoping we would find some sort of medical help, but there was no treatment available, and no food or water. I thought I had reached the end.”
The location is Miyuki Bridge, Hiroshima, three hours after the Enola Gay, a US B-29 bomber, dropped a 15-kiloton nuclear bomb on the city on the morning of 6 August 1945. Between 60,000 and 80,000 people were killed instantly; in the months that followed the death toll rose to 140,000.
In the photo, one of only a handful of surviving images taken in Hiroshima that day, Tsuboi is sitting on the road with several other people, their gaze directed at the gutted buildings around them. To one side, police officers douse schoolchildren with cooking oil to help soothe the pain of their burns.
As Japan prepares to mark the 70th anniversary of the first nuclear attack in history, Tsuboi and tens of thousands of other hibakusha (atomic bomb survivors) are again confronting their own mortality.
“People like me are losing the strength to talk about their experiences and continue the campaign against nuclear weapons,” says Tsuboi, a retired school principal who has travelled the world to warn of the horrors of nuclear warfare.
The average age of the 183,000 registered survivors of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki attacks rose just above 80 for the first time last month.
While each has a unique recollection of the morning of 6 August and its aftermath, near disbelief at the scale of destruction is a theme that runs through hibakusha testimony…..
“If the hibakusha continue to speak out against nuclear weapons, then other people will follow suit. That’s why we have to continue our campaign for as long as we are physically able.”….http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/jul/31/japan-atomic-bomb-survivors-nuclear-weapons-hiroshima-70th-anniversary
Turn and burn: the strange world of fire tornadoes December 17, 2012 Rick McRae, ACT Emergency Services Agency and Jason Sharples, UNSW Australia Rick McRae is Researcher at ACT Emergency Services Agency. Jason Sharples is Lecturer, School of Physical, Environmental and Mathematical Sciences at UNSW Australia.
We’ve all seen footage of out-of-control bushfires sweeping the Australian landscape, burning out hectares of native forest in their wake. But you might not have heard of a fire tornado, let alone seen one.
For many years now researchers have theorised that fire tornadoes could be possible. Now, in studying the 2003 Canberra bushfires, our colleagues and us have shown fire tornadoes do indeed exist.
So what are fire tornadoes? Where do they come from? And what sort of damage can they cause?
To answer these questions, we first need to understand a separate – but related – phenomenon: fire thunderstorms, also known as pyro-cumulonimbus clouds……….
Tracing the tornado
We showed that the weather conditions the fires were burning in were also suitable for tornado formation. We mapped the damage path, from the air and on the ground and could track the tornado in weather radar data………..
The 2003 Canberra fire tornado
Unlike the fire whirls observed by firefighters, the 2003 Canberra fire tornado was linked to the base of a thunderstorm, lifted off the ground, and then touched down again, three times.
What made this fire different to other fires was the wide range of observations being made as the edge of Australia’s capital was threatened.
In Light of Fast Moving Wildfires; Evacuations, US Senators call on NRC to Stop Waiving Emergency Response Measures at Decommissioned Nuclear Sites (to no avail) miningawareness51 July 15
Despite calls by Senators in 2014 to stop elimination of emergency response measures at decommissioning nuclear reactors: “In June 2015, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) approved elimination of off-site emergency planning for San Onofre, even though they know the waste is extremely dangerous. This means fewer emergency planning staff, reduced funding and less radiation monitoring. … The San Onofre fire staff has been reduced. Continue reading
ERA’s loss widens to $255m, Yahoo 7 Finance, 1 Aug 15 Uranium miner Energy Resources of Australia has slumped to a $255 million half year loss after shelving a major mine expansion in challenging conditions.
The Rio Tinto-controlled miner will not pay a half year dividend and said the uranium market remained challenging as an oversupply kept prices week……Half of the company’s board quit last month after ERA decided its proposed new underground mine at Ranger the Northern Territory would not proceed to a final feasibility study due to a sluggish uranium market.
Controlling shareholder Rio Tinto then pulled its support for any expansion of the mine, despite ERA saying it would seek to extend its authority to operate Ranger in order to re-visit the expansion at some stage.
ERA’s net loss in the six months to June 30 is significantly larger than the $127 million loss incurred in the same period of 2014, due mainly to a $197 million writedown related to the mine decision……https://au.finance.yahoo.com/news/eras-loss-widens-255m-051004998.html
The Senate inquiry is led crossbenchers David Leyonhjelm, John Madigan and Bob Day
.Senate inquiry into wind power a ‘stitch-up’ http://thenewdaily.com.au/news/2015/07/31/senate-inquiry-wind-power-stitch/ Jul 31, 2015 Renewable energy sector claims industry would be destroyed if recommendations are followed. The Clean Energy Council (CEC) has accused a Senate inquiry of a “biased political stitch-up” against the renewable energy industry. Continue reading
Abbott passes new wind war http://www.macrobusiness.com.au/2015/07/abbott-passes-new-wind-war/ By Houses and Holes From The Australian:
The Abbott government is being urged to strip billions more from subsidies to wind farms in the final report of a Senate committee that has already pushed renewable energy investment to favour solar.
In its recommendations, the committee says renewable energy subsidies for new wind farms should be limited to five years from more than 20.
It also wants the issue of renewable energy certificates restricted to projects in states that adopt federal regulations on infrasound and low frequency noise.
Why not adopt regulations on unicorns and bunyips?
The technology trap Could new types of nuclear power station solve the problem? “Fast breeder reactors” produce more nuclear fuel than they use and so would theoretically have much lower life-cycle CO2 emissions than existing “burner” reactors. But in practice breeders are even more complex, dangerous and expensive than burners. As a result they have been stuck at the demonstration stage for decades and even some nuclear proponents admit that breeders are unlikely to be commercialized for at least another two decades, if ever.
The government’s issues paper mentions the possibility of nuclear reactors based on the thorium fuel cycle, but these are also more complex than uranium-based nuclear energy and there are no commercial systems operating as yet.
To sum up, based on existing commercial technology, nuclear energy is not a solution to the global climate crisis, because it will soon become too emissions-intensive. It is also not a short-term solution, because it is a very slow technology to plan and construct. It is dangerous and very expensive.
Sure, let’s debate nuclear power – just don’t call it “low-emission”,
miningawareness Mark Diesendorf, UNSW Australia, 31 July 15 Nuclear power is back on Australia’s radar. In its recent issues paper released as a preface to September’s Energy White Paper, the Abbott government reopened the debate thus:
With environmental considerations constraining the further development of hydro-electric sources, nuclear technologies continue to present an option for future reliable energy that can be readily dispatched into the market.
This sentence appears in a passage dealing with the “move to low-emissions energy”, and although nuclear is not explicitly described as a low-emission option, it certainly looks as if the government is prepared to consider embracing nuclear power as part of an alleged move away from fossil fuels.
Is nuclear energy really low-emission?
Unfortunately, the notion that nuclear energy is a low-emission technology doesn’t really stack up when the whole nuclear fuel life cycle is considered.
In reality, the only CO2-free link in the chain is the reactor’s operation. All of the other steps – mining, milling, fuel fabrication, enrichment, reactor construction, decommissioning and waste management – use fossil fuels and hence emit carbon dioxide.
Several analyses by researchers who are independent of the nuclear industry have found that total CO2 emissions depend sensitively on the grade of uranium ore mined and milled. The lower the grade, the more fossil fuels are used, and so the higher the resulting emissions. Continue reading
It was the first time an Australian political party has got serious about designing a plan to support electricity workers and their communities with the transition from a coal-fired electricity system to a future where renewables play an increasing role in powering our homes and workplaces……….
So Labor’s plan for the electricity sector is an Australian first. It establishes a dedicated agency to manage any transition and oversee redeployment, retraining and income support. This has budget implications but it is the only way forward.
We need a clear industry adjustment package and workforce plan. The approach to retraining and redeployment requires a serious analysis of growth industries where energy and mining workers’ skills are transferable, combined with government intervention and financial support to help individual workers make a transition.
With thermal electricity plants closing one by one, we need a clear focus on redeploying workers to jobs in the energy and mining sector, including to remaining plants with continuous vacancies due to their age profile………
Labor’s electricity modernisation strategy announced on Saturday charts the way forward. It is designed to manage necessary industry restructure and support workers and their communities, while reducing emissions. It deserves broad support but, make no mistake, if Labor in government doesn’t deliver for workers, we will wage a concerted campaign to get what has been promised.
Tony Maher is national president of the Construction Forestry Mining and Energy Union http://www.theaustralian.com.au/opinion/labors-energy-policy-an-australian-first-in-supporting-workers/story-e6frg6zo-1227462344435
Was carbon taxation ever given a fair go?……..
Pricing carbon: the simpler, the better..….. If we are to reduce carbon-emitting activities, the prices of those activities must be increased. Appropriate prices are the key here, and one way to make people happier about paying them is to make them as simple and transparent as possible. That’s what a carbon tax does
Politics aside, a simple carbon tax makes more sense than a convoluted emissions trading scheme, The Conversation, David Hodgkinson Associate Professor at University of Western Australia Rebecca Johnston Adjunct Lecturer, Law School at University of Notre Dame Australia July 31, 2015 Writing recently on The Conversation, Clive Hamilton correctly pointed out that an emissions trading scheme (ETS) can in no sense be called a tax – the two are fundamentally different. Under an ETS, the amount of emissions is fixed by the government and the market then sets the price; under a carbon tax, the price of emissions is fixed and polluters decide how much to emit.
In this sense, Hamilton is right to opine that “emissions trading is the opposite of a carbon tax”. But during Australia’s fractious debate about climate policy in recent years, the two have often been conflated together, and we have generally been starved of sober analysis of the contrasting merits of different policy instruments.
To put it more succinctly, what are the actual merits of a carbon tax, specifically as opposed to an ETS?
Originally posted on jpratt27:
As 2015 shapes up to be the hottest year on record, scientists warn the world could be halfway towards surpassing countries’ self-set red line of 2C temperature rise.
New research commissioned by the New Scientist shows that four out of the five major surface temperature records are set to pass the 1C point this year, measured from the 1850-1899 average.
At 1C climate change is already affecting the world’s poorest and most vulnerable populations as warming brings escalating sea level rise and more intense and volatile weather extremes.
Rising temperatures and changing weather patterns already increase heat-related illnesses, enhance the spread of disease, reduce crop yields and threaten access to clean water and could result in forced migration, conflict and social disruption.
Bold climate action will save huge numbers of lives and produce significant cost savings in the health sector. Direct health impacts from climate change are expected to cost…
View original 79 more words
Alinta’s Leigh Creek coal mine may close at end of year ahead of power plant shutdowns , ABC News, By political reporter Angelique Donnellan and staff , 31 July 15 Alinta Energy cannot rule out closing its Leigh Creek coal mine by the end of the year.
The shutdown looms as the company confirmed that it would shut its Port Augusta power stations between March next year and March 2017……..
“An investment in solar thermal in the Port Augusta region is just crying out to [be] made because you have huge community support, you have the conditions, you have the solar radiation, you have the space, and you have a skilled workforce that could transition,” she said…… http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-07-31/alintas-leigh-creek-coal-mine-may-close-at-end-of-year/6663568
What industry leaders understand is that renewable energy promises to be one of the leading industries of the 21st century.
These industries promise not just reliable and secure energy, but also industrial and manufacturing strength, exports, technological innovation and jobs.
Why Australia should look to renewable energy to stay amongst leading nations, http://www.businessreviewaustralia.com/leadership/1772/Why-Australia-should-look-to-renewable-energy-to-stay-amongst-leading-nations Stephanie Ocano 31 July Last week, opposition leader Bill Shorten told the Labor Party conference that the party’s policy should be amended for 50 per cent of electricity to come from renewables by the year 2030.
According to our sister publication Energy Digital, this would bring Australia abreast with international competitors such as California and Germany. Shorten’s plan promises to be effective in building a new power sector to eclipse the present fossil-fuelled sector.If adopted, the policy would allow the Labor Party to finally free itself of the politically damaging obsession with using carbon pricing—either in the form of a carbon tax or a cap and trade scheme—as its principal green platform. Continue reading
Western Australia: Fracking is ‘dead’, ALCOA scraps $40m gas deal http://thaiindynews.blogspot.com.au/ The call for a “frack free” Kimberley is winning, at least for now. Greens hailed ALCOA Australia in dumping its $40 million deal with Buru Energy to supply up to 500 petajoules of gas, a deal struck eight years ago. Continue reading
Vanishing Paradise Kiribati – A Case of Ecomigration : Dr Abe V Rotor http://avrotor2.blogspot.com.au/ 31 July 15 Kiribati main island is formerly Atoll Christmas, named by Captain Cook when he arrived on Christmas Eve in 1777. The island, like most islands in the region, faces irreversible submergence and sea water intrusion as a result of rising sea level brought about by global warming. The island was used as nuclear testing ground by the United States in the fifties and sixties.
Aerial view of the Kiribati group of islands. Rising sea level is forcing inhabitants to leave permanently their home islands, a classical example of modern day exodus – ecomigration. Displaced inhabitants are being settled mainly in Australia, New Zealand and Papua New Guinea.
Kiribati (pronounced /ˈkɪrɨbæs/ ( listen) KIRR-i-bas; Gilbertese: [ˈkiɾibas]), composed of 32 atolls and one raised coral island, dispersed over 3.5 million square kilometres, (1,351,000 square miles) straddling the equator, and bordering the International Date Line at its easternmost point. Kiribati is the only country in the world located on both hemispheres and lying on both sides of the 180th meridian.
The groups of islands are:
* Banaba: an isolated island between Nauru and the Gilbert Islands
* Gilbert Islands: 16 atolls located some 930 miles (1,500 km) north of Fiji
* Phoenix Islands: 8 atolls and coral islands located some 1,100 miles (1,800 km) southeast of the Gilberts
* Line Islands: 8 atolls and one reef, located about 2,050 miles (3,300 km) east of the Gilberts.
Caroline Atoll channel between west side of Long Island and Nake Island.
Used for nuclear testing in the 1950s and 1960s, the island is now valued for its marine and wildlife resources. It is particularly important as a seabird nesting site—with an estimated 6 million birds using or breeding on the island, including several million Sooty Terns.
According to the South Pacific Regional Environment Program, two small uninhabited Kiribati islets, Tebua Tarawa and Abanuea, disappeared underwater in 1999. The islet of Tepuka Savilivili no longer has any coconut trees due to salination. The UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change predicts that sea levels will rise by about half a metre (20 in) by 2100 due to global warming and a further rise would be inevitable. It is thus likely that within a century the nation’s arable land will become subject to increased soil salination and will be largely submerged.
Rising level level is also being felt in many countries, particularly island-countries like the Philippines.