ADELAIDE HILLS CLIMATE ACTION GROUP -Submission Issues Paper 3 – Further processing and Manufacture
(Extract) The Adelaide Hills Climate Action Group reaffirms its commitment to eliminating the combustion of fossil fuels and our strong endorsement of clean, renewable energy systems.
The committee members of the Adelaide Hills Climate Action Group wish to record their unanimous opposition to all nuclear energy and nuclear weapons related industries – no uranium or thorium mining – no processing – no re-processing – no nuclear power stations – no high level nuclear waste dumps.
There are fundamental moral objections to imposing a burden of risk and the cost of perpetual maintenance, defence and surveillance of high level nuclear waste on to multiple future generations for geological time.
We acknowledge there is a valid role for a properly managed low level nuclear waste dump suitable for the safe long term storage of low level nuclear waste materials used for medical and research activities.
[ I was unable to copy the clear argument put here on the unfeasibility of siting nuclear facilities on the South Australian coast]
“……..There is no northern area suitable for the nuclear industry. Previous nuclear failures such as at Fukushima have demonstrated that when all systems break down, the fall back plan to deal with nuclear accidents is to cool and flush with water, despite this resulting in the spreading of pollution. In northern areas of South Australia, access to water is limited, even where this may be sourced from the Great Artesian Basin.
There is no agricultural region or southern area of South Australia suitable for nuclear power generation as no community would be prepared to tolerate nuclear power. Failures such as the Windscale fire, Chernobyl and Fukushima have shown that impacts on livestock and risk of picking up contamination result in the total shutdown of food and grown product industries in such regions with poor recovery prospects.
It is understood that approximately half of the electricity generated in South Australia is now coming from around $5 Billion of renewable energy investment made in the state since 2002. It is therefore reasonable to assume that further investment of another $5B would enable South Australia to produce towards 100% of its electricity from renewables for much of the time. Periods of shortfall would initially be made up by existing gas infrastructure and the interconnector (as they are now). However, increasing deployment of storage technologies and diversity in renewable sources will also significantly reduce the demand for gas and for electricity from other states.
Given that this is achievable at a cost that is below the cost of nuclear power, and that renewables do not have the inherent risks of contamination that nuclear technologies have, there is no financial place for nuclear power in South Australia.
The previous Uranium Mining Processing and Nuclear Energy Review referred to nonreferenced industry estimates that ”suggest wind could meet up to 20 per cent of demand without undue disruption to the network” (Commonwealth of Australia 2006). However, an example observed in Renew Economy – South Australia hits 100% renewables – for a whole working day (Parkinson, 7 October 2014), shows that South Australia regularly has periods where wind electricity is generating more than 80% of the state’s electricity needs. Contrary to the UMPNER Report, the management of the grid copes with the very high levels of renewables, and the coal fired power plants are not required as there is ample gas generation to meet residual needs. As other storage technologies are deployed, the dependency on gas generation can reduce even further.
The Royal Commission should investigate what level of gas generation would be required to back up renewables in South Australia should there be a doubling of wind capacity plus 100 MW of large scale Concentrated Solar Thermal capacity. The option for localised storage of thermal energy at the CST power plant should also be considered…..”
Indo-Pacific nuclear sub threat to rival Cold War AFR, by John Kerin, 3 Sept 15 The Indian and Pacific Oceans are becoming increasingly crowded with nuclear armed and conventional submarines increasing the risk of collision and nuclear conflict.
The warning is contained in a new Lowy Institute of International Affairs paper to be released on Friday which argues the region faces the greatest threat of a miscalculation involving nuclear armed submarines since the Cold War era.
“The regional contests for influence between the United States and China and China and India do not yet have the existential or ideological ‘life or death character’ of the Cold War,” the paper by Professor Rory Medcalf of the ANU based National Security College and Brendan-Thomas Noone from the Lowy International Security Program says.
“But quite literally below the surface a new and dangerous competition is emerging as China and India in particular start deploying nuclear weapons at sea………. Continue reading
Nuclear waste dumps: Abbott government close to releasing shortlist of possible sites, SMH, September 3, 2015 James Massola Political correspondent The Abbott government is close to releasing a shortlist of possible sites to host a nuclear waste dump, but has missed a self-imposed August deadline. At least four locations — two in South Australia’s Kimba shire, one in Leonora in Western Australia and one in Yalgoo, WA — are among those in the running to be on the shortlist of sites that will host the “national radioactive waste management facility”, though a final decision on the location is not due until 2017.
The delay in the release of the list has prompted suggestions from Labor of a link with the Canning byelection on September 19. Continue reading
By Craig Quartermaine Yellarie Source: NITV News 31 AUG 2015
TRANSCRIPT Malarndirri McCarthy: The Walkajurra Walkabout has international anti-nuclear protesters and traditional owners gathered together on some of the richest uranium deposits in the country.
Craig Quartermaine: I’m here at Yellerie Station for the Walkajurra Walkabout that will continue for the next two weeks it’s a dynamic mix of people who make their way through country
After protesters set up camp, they had a breakdown of the meeting with Toro Energy before turning in for the night……
Kado Muir is the Tjurrura man who has lead the event for the last five years .
Kado Muir, Walkajurra Walkabout organiser: So if they ever got the approval to mine it, it would dig up a 50 kilometre area, taking uranium out of the ground, turning it over, extracting the ore, leaving radioactive materials behind, all this beautiful land will end up being a radioactive wasteland……..Basically all these people share this common goal with us the Aboriginal people of this land of keeping uranium in the ground and shutting down the nuclear industry.
- WA Labor believes that:
- Enriching uranium poses significant risks to human health, the natural environment and is not a solution to climate change; and
- Thorium also poses significant risks to human health and the environment.
- In Government, WA Labor will:
- Oppose the mining and export of uranium;
- Oppose nuclear enrichment, nuclear power and otherwise the production of dangerous radioactive waste;
- Oppose the storage of nuclear energy waste in Western Australia;
- Oppose the testing or use of nuclear weapons in Western Australia or near our coastline;
- Encourage local governments to declare themselves ‘Nuclear Free Zones’; and
- Ensure that the mining of thorium in Western Australia only occurs under the most stringent environmental conditions and oppose thorium exports to countries that do not observe the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.
URANIUM MINING & NUCLEAR ENERGY (nb: from Industry and Regional Development chapter)
- Recognising the problems, hazards and dangers of nuclear power, especially relating to:
- The safety of the nuclear fuel cycle;
- The unsolved problems pertaining to the reprocessing and storage of radioactive wastes and spent plant;
- The growing concern about the biomedical effects of even low radiation;
- The coupling of nuclear energy and nuclear weapon development;
- The added danger of a future plutonium economy and the threats to civil liberties involved in a nuclear economy; and
- The fact that Labor policy contained herein on fossil fuels, energy conservation and renewable resources will ensure Western Australian energy self-sufficiency.
- WA Labor will:
- Reject nuclear power as an option for electricity generation in Western Australia;
- Oppose the establishment of a nuclear enrichment facility in the State;
- Reject the establishment of nuclear processing plants or the storage of nuclear wastes in the State;
- Allow no uranium mining or development in Western Australia; and
- Place thorium under the restrictions and conditions applicable to the mining, processing, sale and transportation of uranium currently mined in Australia as outlined in the Resources and Energy section of the National Platform, so far as they relate to nuclear non-proliferation.
- The platform recognises WA Labor’s long and continuous opposition to Uranium Mining. The commencement and continuation of any uranium project is inconsistent with WA Labor Policy. WA Labor will accept no obligation to complete approval processes or honour contractual arrangements entered into by a previous government where such approvals or contracts are directed towards an outcome inconsistent with WA Labor’s platform.
Support measures that prevent the use of Australian uranium exports in the proliferation of nuclear weapons or environmental degradation
Rosatom sells Honeymoon uranium mine in South Australia, SMH September 1, 2015 Simon Evans Russia’s state-owned nuclear energy company Rosatom has finally lost patience with the Honeymoon uranium project in northern South Australia and is selling it off to an ASX-listed minnow called Boss Resources.
Honeymoon is one of the five Australian uranium mines in Australia, four of which are located in South Australia, but it has been in mothballs for the past two years because of the plunge in uranium prices which made it uneconomic to continue mining from the site.
The Honeymoon mine is located about 75 kilometres north west of the town of Broken Hill and has been through a series of changes in ownership, the last being a buyout of the Canadian firm Uranium One by the Russian state-owned nuclear company Rosatom. This gave Rosatom ownership of Honeymoon.
Boss Resources chairman Evan Cranston told Fairfax Media on Tuesday that one of the big attractions was the 2600 square kilometre tenement package which came with the project…….
The complex buyout by Boss involves several components including a $2.4 million cash payment, a $200,000 “site access” fee and several milestone payments into the future if the mine does go into production again. http://www.smh.com.au/business/rosatom-sells-honeymoon-uranium-mine-in-south-australia-20150901-gjci9k.html#ixzz3kWS1eIJQ
Aurora Energy suspending uranium exploration in Labrador, CBC News Company cites low prices for decision to mothball Labrador operation Sep 01, 2015 Aurora Energy has announced it is suspending uranium exploration in Labrador and is blaming lower commodity prices for the decision.
Ches Andersen, Aurora’s vice-president of Labrador affairs, said since there’s no mining underway, the parent company will mothball the Labrador operation…..
Aurora is a member of the Paladin Energy Ltd. Group of Companies, based in Australia.
Lifting of moratorium
The issue of uranium mining in Labrador has been a divisive one.
The Nunatsiavut government narrowly passed a controversial bill to put a moratorium on exploration in place in April 2008. The decision to lift the moratorium was made unanimously late in 2011….http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/newfoundland-labrador/aurora-energy-suspending-uranium-exploration-in-labrador-1.3209939
India pushes for early implementation of nuclear deal with Australia, Economic Times By PTI | 1 Sep, 2015 NEW DELHI: India today conveyed to Australia its eagerness to conclude negotiations for early implementation of the bilateral nuclear deal besides pushing for joint production of defence equipment.
Both Swaraj and Andrews also discussed first ever naval joint exercise to be held later this month at the Bay of Bengal. …….http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/articleshow/48764027.cms?utm_source=contentofinterest&utm_medium=text&utm_campaign=cppst.
Australia, India to Hold First Ever Naval Exercise Amid China Concerns ( Source- The Diplomat / Author- Prashanth Parameswaran) September 1, 2015, Manoj Ambat, Prashanth Parameswaran
Wattle Day, [September 1st]on the other hand, acknowledges the natural beauty of this land, which, like Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, is ancient. This would be more sensitive to indigenous peoples, and it would bring unity, in celebrating the natural beauty of our lands and waters.
Why today should be Australia Day, news.com.au SEPTEMBER 01, 2015 Is there any more Australian sign of spring than wattle trees blossoming across the country, our nation al flower’s bright yellow blooms against the green of its leaves, the inspiration for our Australian colours of green and gold?
Acacia pycnantha, otherwise known as Golden Wattle, has earned its status as our national floral emblem: it symbolises May Gibbs’ Little Ragged Blossom; the green and gold garb of our cricket team; it signifies the golden sands of our beaches and the green of our gum trees.
This and many other reasons, is why Australia Day, our national celebration of who we are as a nation, should move from January 26 to September 1 — Wattle Day. The first of September is the first day of Spring, marking a time of birth, fresh beginnings….
Instead, we officially celebrate Australia Day on January 26. For our First Peoples, this is hardly a day to celebrate. It marks the day in 1788 that Captain Arthur Phillip invaded the Eora Nation, landing in Sydney Harbour and claiming the lands of indigenous peoples in the name of the British Empire. It marks the start of 227 years of suffering and loss, massacres of hundreds of thousands of people, and of the removal of tens of thousands of children from their mothers’ arms.
It is the height of insensitivity and hypocrisy to celebrate Australia’s nationhood on such a date, and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples have voiced their protest to it since the 1880s………
Wattle Day, on the other hand, acknowledges the natural beauty of this land, which, like Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, is ancient. This would be more sensitive to indigenous peoples, and it would bring unity, in celebrating the natural beauty of our lands and waters.
Changing the date of Australia Day is possible. We only have to look to the USA for inspiration, where the similarly insensitive ‘Columbus Day’ is no longer observed in Hawaii, South Dakota, Alaska and Oregon. South Dakota has actually changed the day to ‘Native American Day’ and the city of Berkeley in California, followed by a number of other cities, renamed it ‘indigenous Peoples’ Day’.
The last time changing the date was discussed on a political level was in 2009 when Mick Dodson was named Australian of the Year. He used the opportunity to urge national debate on changing the date of Australia Day, saying that the use of January 26 as Australia Day alienates Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people…….
>National symbols matter, and it is time for us to celebrate as a nation in a way that unites rather than divides us, under the green and golden branches of the wattle tree.
Tammy Solonec is indigenous Peoples’ Rights Manager for Amnesty International Australia. http://www.news.com.au/lifestyle/real-life/why-today-should-be-australia-day/story-fnixwvgh-1227507268253
Renewable investment drought to continue as utilities extend buyers’ strike, REneweconomy, By Giles Parkinson on 31 August 2015 The investment drought that has plagued the Australian large-scale renewable energy industry for the last two years could extend for another six to 18 months, with big and small electricity retailers showing no interest in contracting new wind or solar projects.
Infigen Energy said on Monday that the deal to cut the large-scale renewable energy target from 41,000GWh to 33,000GWh has yet to have any impact on the market, or to send a signal to retailers to contract new construction.
Infigen CEO Miles George says it could be six to 18 months before retailers will start to act. “The big three are in no hurry to contract now,” he told a conference call on Monday for the release of its annual results.
This confirms the indications from Origin Energy, AGL Energy and EnergyAustralia in recent weeks that they were not interested in writing long-term pricing contracts, either because of perceptions about the policy environment in Australia or because they had enough renewable energy certificates on their books.
Renewable energy investment in Australia plunged nearly 90 per cent since the election of the Abbott government, and even after the slashing of the RET the only projects going ahead now are those supported by the ACT government’s own renewable energy scheme (Ararat, Coonooer Bridge and Hornsdale).
Some big turbine manufacturers may enter the market on a “merchant basis” – taking the price risk – because they have the balance sheet to do so. This includes Suzlon’s Ceres project in South Australia and Goldwind’s project in NSW, and Infigen says it recently sold stakes in two wind projects with an unnamed wind turbine supplier with a mind to do the same thing.
The only other activity in the market has come from Queensland, where Ergon Energy has called for a tender for 150MW of renewable energy and the Queensland government has foreshadowed a tender for 40MW; and in Victoria, which has announced an initiative that may get a small number of wind turbines built.
In the meantime, the renewable energy developers are virtually hamstrung. Infigen Energy, despite the sale of its US wind and solar assets, remains loaded down with relatively high debt levels, so can’t develop projects on its own.
Pacific Hydro, the other major Australian developer, is up for sale and not in the construction market. Meridian Energy, the $5 billion New Zealand renewable energy giant, says it is not interested in investing in new wind farms in Australia as long as it is run by a government which does not like renewable energy…….
The federal government has commissioned the Clean Energy Regulator to do a regular update on the state of the market. The first one is due in April.
The industry is hopeful that this could be used as an incentive to push the industry along. But some fear – given the rhetoric from the Abbott government about renewable energy – that it could be used as an excuse to further weaken the target, despite the government’s promise not to do so before 2020.
Infigen reported a net loss of $304 million as it took a major hit from the write down of its US wind assets, which it sold to reduce its debt burden. It said wind conditions had been particularly poor in the last financial year, but were expected to improve. http://reneweconomy.com.au/2015/renewable-investment-drought-to-continue-as-utilities-extend-buyers-strike-28325
Maralinga is also raised because of the interest it attracts as a potential nuclear waste dump location. The logic appears to be that it is already contaminated, so it perfect for more radioactive waste. CBAA dismiss this logic outright.
Clean Bight Alliance Australia Submission to: Nuclear Fuel Cycle Royal Commission SA
Clean Bight Alliance Australia is a local community group based in Ceduna on the far west coast of SA. Members have a strong interest in the ongoing health of the marine and coastal areas of the Great Australian Bight and the Eyre Peninsular. CBAA advocate for appropriate use of the region’s natural marine resources and educate the community on the risks associated with industrialization of the marine environment.
Extract “……CBAA take the position that there are no suitable areas in South Australia for a nuclear reactor. Currently our position is supported by legislation as Nuclear Power generation in South Australia is prohibited by the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 Act and the Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Act 1998. CBAA strongly encourages the Royal Commission to appreciate the background to these important pieces of legislation and implications if these were to be further altered or weakened.
Furthermore Nuclear power generation requires large quantities of water for cooling – typically 36.3 to 65.4 million liters per reactor per day. 1 South Australia is known as one of the driest states on one of the driest continents. No inland areas are suitable for the establishment of a nuclear reactor for generating electricity. The amount of water needed can definitely not be sourced with current reservoirs and transportation of the large amounts of sea water required would be unfeasible and costly. Locating a Nuclear Reactor in South Australia is restricted to coastal areas.
However this is also highly unsuitable as siting a nuclear reactor would conflict with other key industries Continue reading
Nuclear royal commissioner Kevin Scarce about to start public hearings, The Advertiser August 29, 2015 PAUL STARICK CHIEF REPORTER Sunday Mail (SA) DISTINGUISHED economist Ross Garnaut will be among the first expert witnesses at the nuclear royal commission’s public sessions, as the inquiry reaches the business end.
From September 9, Royal Commissioner Kevin Scarce will question experts on topics such as long-term demand for electricity, along with the cost benefits and safety risks of expanding nuclear activity in South Australia.
Determining electricity demand for up to 40 years will effectively produce detailed predictions of the state’s economic future, aided by Professor Garnaut, because this will be required to determine predicted energy supplies.
The electricity market study will consider whether nuclear power will be economically viable and where it fits in the mix of renewable energy, gas and coal……..
……..would conduct 30 to 40 public sessions — two to three per day of about 90 minutes each — aided by counsel assisting, Chad Jacobi.
Mr Scarce, a former SA governor, left yesterday for what is expected to be the commission’s final overseas study tour, visiting South Korean nuclear power plants and speaking to the country’s nuclear regulator…….
……….we need to learn what’s worked well overseas and how that process can be managed.” [ note: S Korea is in a chaotic dilemma about its nuclear wastes]
Mr Scarce has repeatedly faced criticism that the royal commission is an expensive and time-consuming bid to mask state and federal governments’ desire to again impose a nuclear dump on SA.
The State Budget has set aside $1.83 million for the royal commission this financial year……….
Three leading environment groups — Conservation SA, the Australian Conservation Foundation and Friends of the Earth — this month said the axing of hundreds of jobs from the Olympic Dam uranium mine raised huge questions about the nuclear industry’s growth potential.
“SA’s future lies in renewable energy, not nuclear. It’s cheaper, safer and quicker to roll out,” Conservation SA chief Craig Wilkins said.
“With renewables, we can be in charge of our own destiny, not dependent on decisions made in corporate boardrooms on the other side of the world.”
Mr Scarce expects to release tentative findings, including detailed recommendations, in a report in February. After five weeks of public consultation, the final report is due by May 6. Policy decisions about whether to adopt any recommendations, should they call for a nuclear dump or other changes, will be taken by the State Government. http://www.adelaidenow.com.au/news/south-australia/nuclear-royal-commissioner-kevin-scarce-about-to-start-public-hearings/story-fni6uo1m-1227504415906
NSW ‘at bottom of pack’ for renewable energy; Government says it’s committed to clean projects, ABC News By state political reporter Brigid Glanville. 30 Aug 15, It may be known as the premier state, but New South Wales is a clear under-achiever when it comes to renewable energy.
NSW has the highest level of greenhouse gas emissions in the country and does not have a renewable energy target.
In 2014 the renewable industry body, Clean Energy Council, listed New South Wales at the bottom of the states for renewable energy production. Only 6 per cent of its electricity is from wind, solar and water — compared with Tasmania, which uses 95 per cent renewables. “New South Wales is at the bottom of the pack of the Australian states when it comes to renewable energy,” Climate Council CEO Amanda McKenzie said.
“It’s behind the pack in terms of generating renewable energy and the amount of rooftop solar on people’s roofs.”
New South Wales and the two territories remain the only jurisdictions where Solar PV panel penetration is under 10 per cent.
In South Australia, take up is almost 25 per cent.
Clean energy penetration by state
- Tasmania 95%
- South Australia 40%
- Western Australia 13%
- Victoria 10%
- Queensland 7%
- NSW 6%
Source: Clean Energy Council, Clean Energy Australia Report 2014
The directors said in the prospective that the “nimble and collaborative locally based social enterprise model” used by Enova could be replicated and scaled across like-minded communities in Australia.
The share offer closes on September 25.
Northern Rivers community seeks $4m in energy IPO http://www.theage.com.au/business/energy/northern-rivers-community-seeks-4m-in-energy-ipo-20150828-gja99q.html#ixzz3kLbExZM1 August 30, 2015 Angela Macdonald-Smith A community-owned organisation in north-eastern NSW is set to take on the big guns in electricity supply through a $4 million initial public offering to fund a renewable energy retailing and solar company it hopes will stimulate local renewable energy projects across the country.
Enova Energy, chaired by consultant and former NSW state librarian Alison Crook, is aiming to capture customers in the Northern Rivers region, where retailing major Origin Energy dominates the market.
Ms Crook said Enova was not aspiring to be a major competitor of Origin but sought mainly to provide a customer for small wind farms, hydropower and bio-energy projects that were not large enough to be of any interest to major retailers as a green power provider.
“We see this as a game-changer to get community renewable energy really going in Australia,” Continue reading