Naoto Kan tells Australia risk with nuclear is too great, Toowomba Chronicle Rae Wilson | 29th Aug 2014 AS Queensland prepares for a return to export uranium mining, a former Japanese prime minister caught in the Fukushima nuclear disaster warned about the dangers of nuclear power.
Naoto Kan was prime minister in 2011 when a magnitude 9.0 earthquake trigged a tsunami that caused a triple nuclear meltdown at the Fukushima Dai-ichi plant.
Mr Kan concluded nuclear power could never be considered safe, switching off all of Japan’s nuclear power plants…….Mr Kan, a guest of Australian anti-nuclear action groups, said on Thursday there were issues related to storing and disposing of the waste from uranium mining, particularly radioactive contamination concerns.
But he said, speaking through a translator, he was most concerned about how the uranium would be used.
“Of course the uranium that would be mined is used as fuel in nuclear power plants and if asked on the issue of the safety of nuclear power plants my experience in the Fukushima nuclear disaster has taught me that the issue is not when or where an accident might occur but an accident is certain to occur if this risk is faced and the risk is enormous,” he said……….
Mr Kan said while nuclear power was once considered cheap, the disaster had taught him otherwise. – APN Newsdesk http://www.thechronicle.com.au/news/for-print-can-go-online-fridayrae-wilsonas-queensl/2368001/
I have a dream: A world free of nuclear weapons Aljazeera, Karipbek Kuyukov 28 Aug 2014 China, Egypt, India, Iran, Israel, North Korea, Pakistan and the US are still to sign the Nuclear Test Ban Treaty.
Thyroid cancer diagnosed in 104 young people in Fukushima, Asahi Shimbun August 24, 2014 By YURI OIWA/ Staff Writer The number of young people in Fukushima Prefecture who have been diagnosed with definitive or suspected thyroid gland cancer, a disease often caused by radiation exposure, now totals 104, according to prefectural officials.
The 104 are among 300,000 young people who were aged 18 or under at the time of the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster and whose results of thyroid gland tests have been made available as of June 30. They were eligible for the tests administered by the prefectural government.
Of these 104, including 68 women, the number of definitive cases is 57, and one has been diagnosed with a benign tumor. The size of the tumors varies from 5 to 41 millimeters and averages 14 mm.
The average age of those diagnosed was 14.8 when the Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami triggered the meltdowns at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant in March 2011……..
The figure can be extrapolated for comparison purposes to an average of more than 30 people per population of 100,000 having definitive or suspected thyroid gland cancer.
The figure is much higher than, for example, the development rate of thyroid cancer of 1.7 people per 100,000 among late teens based on the cancer patients’ registration in Miyagi Prefecture…….http://ajw.asahi.com/article/0311disaster/fukushima/AJ201408240011
Costs of Australia’s renewable energy target ‘not justifiable': review, SMH, August 28, 2014 – Lisa Cox National political reporter Tony Abbott has been given cover to break an election promise not to touch Australia’s renewable energy target after his hand-picked review panel recommended the scheme be dramatically cut back.
Clean energy industry leaders said the findings of the review, headed by businessman and climate sceptic Dick Warburton, represented the “worst case scenario” and would cost thousands of jobs and more than $10 billion in investment if the government adopted its recommendations. Clean Energy Council acting chief executive Kane Thornton said the proposals would “shut down the future of the industry” in Australia………
The panel recommended two options for Australia’s renewable energy target, which is currently set at 41,000 gigawatt hours of electricity from large-scale renewable energy by 2020 – now equivalent to about 27 per cent of expected generation.
Under the first option, the scheme would be closed to new investment beyond those under construction or winning full financial commitment within a month of the change. This scenario would slash the target to about 15 per cent.
Under the second option, the target would be set at 20 per cent. The target would be reset each year and new renewable energy power stations be given approval only if electricity demand increased. The target was one of the few climate change-related measures to enjoy bipartisan support before last year’s election………
Any change proposed by the government will set the scene for another parliamentary fight, with Labor, the Greens and Palmer United Party all opposed.
Analysis conducted for the report found coal-fired power stations would be the biggest beneficiaries of a cut in the target. The review acknowledged that the scheme had lowered wholesale electricity prices and that its impact on household bills over time would be “relatively small”. But the panel found the cost for emissions-intensive companies was not justifiable, and called on the government to find lower cost alternatives to cut carbon emissions.
The Greens said it was no surprise that a review led by a climate sceptic had “trashed” the target. Greens leader Christine Milne said both options put forward would destroy the renewable energy sector. “I’m glad this dangerous and ignorant report is finally public so everyone can see it for the climate denier drivel it is,” she said.
It is expected to be at least a fortnight before the government responds. http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/costs-of-australias-renewable-energy-target-not-justifiable-review-20140828-109m04.html#ixzz3BoVhIvbL.
Review of Renewable Energy Target helps fossil fuel lobby, aims to close large scale renewable energy schemes
RET Review panel calls for large-scale, solar schemes to close REneweconomy, By Giles Parkinson on 28 August 2014 The RET Review panel appointed by Prime Minister Tony Abbott has effectively rubber stamped the lobbying of the fossil fuel industry and called for the closure of Australia’s renewable energy target to new entrants as one of two options it is recommending to the government.
It is also calling for the immediate closure, or rapid wind back, of the small-scale renewable energy scheme, which supports rooftop solar and solar hot water. It says this scheme should either close now, or by 2020 at the latest. It also says it should be restricted to installations of less than 10kW – effectively cutting out the commercial-scale solar market. (It was previously open to 100kW systems).
As for the large-scale scheme, the panel says the two options are effective closure to new entrants, or a form of modification to restrict it to a “real” 20 per cent of demand.
If the government accepts either of the recommendations, Australia would become the first country to either ditch a renewable energy target, or wind it back – in much the same way as it was the first to scrap a carbon price.
Abbott is said to be in favour of the most drastic action, which is effective closure to new entrants. He personally appointed the panel, rather than follow the statutory requirements to have the review done by the Climate Change Authority, which just 18 months ago rejected the same arguments that the new panel has now accepted.
Although any legislative changes will be resisted and probably stopped in the Senate, the uncertainty will be enough to kill investment in large scale renewables. Changes to the small scale target could be done without the need for parliamentary approval……..
Here is the full list of recommendations:……..
Johnson’s Russia List, jackmatlock.com – Jack Matlock – August 26, 2014 “……Neither Russia nor the United States has any right, under what is generally accepted as international law, to be involved in selecting a government in Ukraine. Russia, however, has an infinitely greater stake in that government’s orientation than has the United States and a much greater ability to affect what happens on the ground…….
We are not in a new cold war, but the participation of our political leaders in public accusations, demands, and threats has helped recreate much of that atmosphere. This acrimonious public dialogue, at times descending to little more than name calling, set off destabilizing vibrations that become amplified by feedback at each exchange……..
The spate of official name-calling seems to be abating, and that is encouraging, for only quiet, realistic diplomacy is going to steer the warring parties in Ukraine away from the disastrous course they have chosen………
The planned meetings this week by Russian and Ukrainian representatives with European and, in some instances, American diplomats provide opportunities to nudge the warring parties to end the violence and to negotiate their differences………http://russialist.org/ukraine-cool-the-rhetoric-focus-on-the-outcome/
“The cost of renewables will drop like a rock once they reach economies of scale,”
With renewable energy growing and coal shrinking, what’s the future of nuclear plants like Palisades? Michigan Live, By Julie Mack | email@example.com on August 28, 2014 KALAMAZOO, MI “…..The jury is still very much out on how nuclear power fits into the picture, which leaves the long-term viability of Palisades Nuclear Plant near South Haven in question……. very possible the supply glut of natural gas and the increasing focus on renewables means those sectors will edge out nuclear as the go-to options for new power production.
Mark Cooper, an analyst for the Institute for Energy and the Environment at the Vermont Law School, maintains the proposed federal clean-energy standards won’t help the financial viability of the U.S. nuclear industry, which last opened a plant in 1989……
“Old nuclear reactors suffer from the fact that they’re not particularly efficient,” he said. “The day after the (clean-energy) announcement, those old plants were just as inefficient as the day before.
“In the dynamic state of the energy markets, if you’re not growing, you’re dying,” Cooper said. “And nuclear is not growing. … It’s going extinct.”…..
Meanwhile, renewable energy in Michigan is getting a boost from a 2008 state law that requires Michigan-based utilities to have renewables as 10 percent of their power production by the end of 2015.
“The cost of renewables will drop like a rock once they reach economies of scale,” Cooper said. In fact, the U.S. Department of Energy is projecting that wind-generated power will be more cost-efficient than coal and nuclear and even some types of natural gas plants by 2019……..
While solar power remains on the high end, wind is more economical than coal and nuclear, and some types of natural-gas plants.
Wind provided 2.4 percent of Michigan’s electricity in 2013, according to the American Wind Energy Association. That’s up from 1 percent in 2012, and is enough electricity to power 300,000 Michigan households, the AWEA says.
The AWEA estimates Michigan has the potential to produce about 59,000 megawatt hours of electricity through wind power. That’s more than half of the state’s current consumption of electricity.
Shift at Consumers Energy
Consumers Energy, the dominant provider of electrical power in Southwest Michigan, seems to be casting its lot with natural gas and renewables…….. http://www.mlive.com/news/kalamazoo/index.ssf/2014/08/pros_and_cons_of_electrical_po.html
Better Market Your Uranium Someplace Else, Japan Appetite No Longer Huge as Before – Former PM Tells Australia Queensland Premier Campbell Newman International Business Times, By Esther Tanquintic-Misa | August 28, 2014 Campbell Newman, premier of Australia‘s Queensland state, has gotten an advice from former Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan, and that is to market the country’s uranium to someplace else. This, as a new study said the bill of damages from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant meltdown will zoom to over $105 billion, double than the earlier estimates released by authorities in 2011.
While Japan may restart some of its 54 idled nuclear power plants, Kan said Japan’s appetite for the yellow cake uranium won’t be “anywhere the same levels of uranium it has in the past.”
Kan was in Australia last week on a trip sponsored by the Australian Conservation Foundation. A previous staunch supporter of nuclear power, Kan is now against uranium mining, having seen the effects of the Fukushima Daiichinuclear power plant meltdowns in March 2011.
Kan was Japan’s prime minister at the time of the Fukushima nuclear disaster three years ago.
“Even if some did restart it would be practically impossible to return to the kind of levels of operation that were in place before the March 2011 disaster,” Brisbane Times quoted Kan………
He also stressed the appeal of the yellow cake to fuel nuclear power plants had simmered down, and thus Queensland has China as the only potential country it can export its primary product.
“The trends we are seeing in the United States and Europe – and also because of the very high costs of nuclear power – we are not seeing a growth in this market,” he said………http://au.ibtimes.com/articles/564339/20140828/uranium-japan-appetite-kan-australia-queensland-newman.htm#.VADXudJdUnk
He calls for a treaty with Australia’s Indigenous people….. All the advances of the latter 20th century – “Mabo, native title, Wik and so on” – have been distractions, he adds. A treaty is the main game.
“Until that happens then Australia will be, even compared with other colonial states, quite primitive. Compared with New Zealand, the United States and Canada, where there are many problems, in Australia there isn’t even the will or the goodwill to recognise these problems. There’s an indifference that easily becomes cynicism.”
John Pilger: Australia is a land of excuses, not the land of the fair go
In the leadup to his appearance at Sydney’s Festival of Dangerous Ideas, the film-maker and journalist renews his call for a treaty between Australia and its Indigenous peoples
Tony Abbott’s government has declared a “civil war of rich against poor” with the Indigenous population at the coalface as the country’s “people most denied”, the film-maker and journalist John Pilger has warned.
This year’s Australian federal budget was “a copy of the kind of declaration Margaret Thatcher made when she came to power”, says Pilger on the line from Britain before his return to Australia to appear at the Festival of Dangerous Ideas at the Sydney Opera House.
“It’s going to involve attacks on people’s working rights, social rights, right throughout the country, in a country that has declared itself – or [its] mythology has – as the land of a fair go.”
In his 2013 film Utopia, Pilger brought attention back to the Indigenous disadvantage in remote Australian communities, dismantling the Howard government’s basis for its Northern Territory intervention (the claim of widespread child abuse by Aboriginal men) and arguing that a new “stolen generation” of Indigenous children is emerging.
Clean energy industry calls for inquiry into renewable energy target review, SMH, August 27, 2014 Lisa Cox National political reporter “……the clean energy industry demanded an investigation into the conduct of the inquiry and Greens senators called for the full contents of the report.
The review, led by climate sceptic Dick Warburton, considered a number of scenarios but is expected to settle on two recommendations. The first would suggest the renewable energy target be wound up for all but current participants in the scheme.
The second option recommends a scaling back from the current target of 41,000 gigawatt hours of renewable energy production annually by 2020 to about 27,000 GwH.
The government’s response to the report is still some weeks away………
The clean energy industry has warned moves to abolish the target threaten more than $10 billion in investment, 5000 existing jobs and 18,000 jobs into the future.
Prime Minister Tony Abbott has previously said the RET puts “significant” pressure on electricity prices but government commissioned modelling for the review showed that consumers would be $56 better off, on average, a year from 2021 if the target was kept in place.
Lane Crockett, executive general manager at Pacific Hydro, said a wind back of the RET would mean “a transfer of about $8 billion to existing gas and coal generators”.
“This is a bizarre situation to be in – it was a promise by this government before the election to keep the RET,” Mr Crockett said. “Frankly, if they do this, I would call for a Senate inquiry into what’s gone on.
“There’s certainly the numbers in the Senate to get an inquiry up.”
Labor, the Greens and the Palmer United Party have all said they will block attempts to change the RET during this Parliament, meaning the government currently does not have support in the Senate if it wants to change the target.
On Wednesday, Greens leader Christine Milne said that attempts to change the target would be “economic vandalism” after the Senate passed her motion calling for the Warburton review to be released in full after weeks of speculation about its contents.
“They have caused such investment uncertainty and sovereign risk for the renewable energy industry that it is absolutely outrageous that they are sitting on this report,” Senator Milne said.
“This is incredible that we have a government that says Australia is open for business and does everything it can to destroy an industry and the jobs associated with it.” http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/clean-energy-industry-calls-for-inquiry-into-renewable-energy-target-review-20140827-10974m.html#ixzz3BoqyUPrE
Success. The Renewable Energy Target’s greatest failing, SMH, August 29, 2014 – Peter Martin Economics Editor, The Age The good news is the Renewable Energy Target has been a success. It’s built up a wind and solar power generation industry at a very low cost to electricity users. In six years’ time it’ll start to push power prices down. The bad news is the panel doesn’t like it.
It thinks it’s been too successful.
Originally intended to snare 20 per cent of Australia’s electricity generation industry by the end of the decade, it’s on track to grab 28 per cent, all the while having an impact on prices the panel says “appears to be small”. What’s not to like?
It’s killing the coal-fired power generation industry. The panel doesn’t put it that crudely. It refers instead to a “transfer of wealth among participants in the electricity market”. If by 2020 retailers are required to buy 41,000 gigawatt hours from new pollution-free suppliers, the old polluting suppliers are going to sell 41,000 gigawatt hours less.
It would have hurt in any event, but a time when electricity use is sliding (thanks largely to the carbon tax) it means what was to have been 20 per cent is on track to become 28 per cent.
The abolition of the carbon tax gave coal-fired power generators a windfall. Kneecapping the Renewable Energy Target will give them a second helping…………..: http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-opinion/success-the-renewable-energy-targets-greatest-failing-20140828-109m7t.html#ixzz3Bore9HGW
Australia’s Solar Soldiers http://www.energymatters.com.au/index.php?main_page=news_article&article_id=4467 28 Aug 14 The Australian National University says it will seek to commercialise its design of a wearable solar panel system for soldiers after successful field tests demonstrated the technology could easily replace heavy battery packs normally used to power combat equipment.
The Soldier Integrated Power System (SIPS) was developed by scientists at the ANU Centre for Sustainable Energy Systems. SIPS will dramatically reduce the weight members of the Australian Defence Force must now carry in order to power an increasingly tech-heavy arsenal.
“Much of the equipment carried by Australian soldiers requires heavy battery packs, such as night-vision goggles, lights, GPS devices and communication systems. Currently, soldiers depend on conventional batteries to power these devices,” said ANU Project Development Manager Dr Igor Skryabin.
Energy Matters reported on the ANU’s plan to integrate SLIVER cells into a solar vest for soldiers in 2011, when nations such as the USA and UK were fitting infantry with portable solar panels and inverters for use in combat missions. But the ANU team were primarily focused on designing a simple system that would ensure the mobility of Australian infantry.
The solar panel system is based on the ANU’s SLIVER solar cell – flexible solar cells the thickness of a human hair but with a high power-to-weight ratio of more than 200 watts per kilogram. They are also bi-facial, allowing either side of the cell to convert light to energy.
In a 72-hour field test under real mission conditions, the ANU flexible panels produced sufficient power to maintain battery charge. In sunny conditions the panels fully charged the batteries.
“The trials were performed by soldiers in a real mission environment with normal usage of power,” Dr Skryabin said. “Based on the success of this demonstration, ANU will be commercialising the project outcomes with industrial partners.”
The SIPS project was a collaboration between the ANU, CSIRO and Tectonica Australia, as part of a $2.3 million contract awarded under round 15 by the Capability and Technology Demonstrator (CTD) Program managed by the Defence Science and Technology Organisation.
Why was there a clash of culture between white and black and what was the nature of the clash? http://17ryanc.blogspot.com.au/2014/08/why-was-there-clash-of-culture-between.html I share and learn by Chelsear 28 Aug 14 Ever since the Europeans settled on the shores of Australia in the late 17th century, the differences in white and black cultures, has been notable both physically and emotionally. The contrast between aboriginal and European people ran deeper than the colour of their skin and what they wore, the gulfs existing between both cultures, seemingly irreconcilable. Relationships between the Europeans and Aboriginies deteriorated quickly due to these differences.
When the whites sailed to Australia, their journeys were recorded in diaries, with pen and paper. Their memories and findings were documented in these for personal pleasure and safe-keeping. The Aboriginies recorded their history orally. With no need for pen and paper, stories and skills were passed down from generation to generation by words only.
Another difference noticible, is the fact that the Europeans were a strictly individualistic race. This was the polar opposite to the Aboriginies, who relied completely on eachother to survive, and helped any tribe members in need, putting others first. The white peoples concept of land was determined by how much wealth or status the person had. The land was divided and given to the richest of people, giving them the rights to the property. The Aboriginies on the other hand, shared their land, and had no concept of individual ownership. This lead back to their spiritual beleiefs, of having a harmonious relationship with the land and environment around them. I believe it was these beliefs and differences, that created a great divide between these two cultures, and eventually led to violent confrontations, along with the unnecessary deaths of many innocent people from both cultures.
Australia – uranium and nuclear power, Online opinion By Helen Caldicott -, 26 August 2014
“………… an ardently pro-nuclear group in Adelaide has arisen led partly by Barry Brook a Professor of Climate change at Adelaide University, who is an adamant supporter of uranium mining and nuclear power in Australia and is promoting small modular reactors http://www.huffingtonpost.com/helen-caldicott/small-modular-reactors_b_5653378.html.
To make matters worse former Prime Minister Bob Hawke is advocating that Australia enrich uranium and become the repository for the world’s nuclear waste. “We would get an enormous stable flow of income which could be used for the benefit of the world and our own benefit” he says. Nuclear waste must be isolated from the environment for 1,000,000 years according to the US Environmental Protection Agency – a scientific impossibility.
These people clearly do not understand the carcinogenic and medical dangers arising at all stages of the nuclear fuel chain, nor do they understand radiobiology, genetics or teratology. Furthermore nuclear power does not alleviate global warming because it is supported by a massive industrial infrastructure which creates large quantities of global warming gases including CO2 and CFCs. It is hugely expensive – $12-15 billion per new reactor, and unable to gain funding from Wall Street it is totally government subsided. And most importantly, investment in nuclear power would take money away from desperately needed renewable energy.http://progressillinois.com/quick-hits/content/2014/05/18/report-new-nuclear-power-technology-would-siphon-resources-away-renewa.
Each large reactor contains as much radiation as 1000 Hiroshima bombs, and uranium becomes one billion times more radioactive in a reactor, creating 200 new dangerous radioactive isotopes……..http://www.onlineopinion.com.au/view.asp?article=16621
Pandering to coal-fired utility companies. Tony Abbott is out to destroy the Renewable Energy Target
Abbott and some in his Cabinet are close to the coal-fired electricity generators whose business model the target is helping to destroy.
Unused to competition, even competition that coal-fired generators knew was coming, they feel wronged.
But their beef is nothing to that of the less well-connected solar and wind generators who would be hung out to dry by a changed or axed target.
They’ve invested $11 billion to date on the understanding that both sides of politics meant what they said when they set the requirement at 41,000 gigawatt hours. Some will go bankrupt if the Renewable Energy Target is abandoned. Others will never invest in Australia again.
Renewable energy target in the spotlight http://www.smh.com.au/comment/renewable-energy-target-in-the-spotlight-20140825-107zn1.html August 26, 2014 Peter Martin Economics Editor, The Age So concerned was Greg Hunt about the future of the solar industry that he went skydiving at Tooradin in his electorate of Flinders to back an industry he said was in freefall.
That was in 2008 when he was shadow environment minister. Labor had means tested its solar panel rebate. More recently, after the 2013 election, he promised $500 million for a One Million Solar Roofs program and a further $50 million each for a Solar Towns and Solar Schools program. He was going to plant 20 million trees and keep the Renewable Energy Target.
The budget killed his One Million Solar Roofs program, shrank his Solar Towns program to just over $2 million and made no mention of his Solar Schools program.
The Renewable Energy Target stands, just. Introduced by the Howard government in 2001, it forces electricity retailers to buy an increasing number of gigawatt hours of electricity from renewable sources peaking at 41,000 a year in 2020 and staying there for a decade.
It’s given foreign and Australian investors the confidence to build $10 billion of new wind and solar farms knowing there’ll be a market for what they produce.
Even better, it’s had bipartisan support. The targets are locked in by law.
Cutting or axing them mid stream would leave the investors stranded with little hope of making good on the money they’ve outlaid. Continue reading