Sutherland Shire to get radioactive waste storage facility St George and Sutherland Shire Leader By Jim Gainsford and Kate Carr Nov. 29, 2013 The Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency has given the green light to the controversial plan to build a nuclear waste storage facility at ANSTO.
Sutherland Shire mayor Steve Simpson said this afternoon that the council was ‘‘strongly supportive of the work ANSTO does but we are still calling on the federal government to expedite a permanent waste storage facility for nuclear waste collected throughout Australia’’………
This waste is returning from France in 2015 in accordance with agreements relating to the processing of the waste. The waste will comprise one flask of processed nuclear fuel and six smaller drums of waste. Fortunately the licence from ARPANSA will not cover waste to be returned from the UK which we’re told is due to be returned at a later date.
“The fact that the waste will end up at ANSTO as there is no National Radioactive Waste Repository is not good enough for the residents of the Sutherland Shire who are concerned about the safe transportation and storage of this nuclear waste.
“Indeed the ARPANSA approval notes that the interim storage of the waste at ANSTO is not in line with international best practice and ARPANSA stresses the need to establish a National Radioactive Waste Management Facility (NRWMF), as storage of nuclear waste at Lucas Heights is not an acceptable long term solution.
“The continued transportation of Intermediate Level Radioactive Waste to Lucas Heights in the form of reprocessed fuel represents an unnecessary risk to the surrounding residents and communities”….. http://www.theleader.com.au/story/1941466/sutherland-shire-to-get-radioactive-waste-storage-facility/?cs=12
Australian Solar Project Loan Funded By Citizen Donations http://www.energymatters.com.au/index.php?main_page=news_article&article_id=4052 29 Nov 13, CORENA (Citizens Own Renewable Energy Network Australia Inc.) has provided Tulgeen Disabilty Services an interest-free loan of $12,000 to install solar; with the loan funded entirely by donations from the public.
Two rooftop solar PV systems have been installed for Tulgeen; located in Bega, New South Wales. The Tulgeen cheese packaging facility, which employs people with disabilities, has a 4kW system that will supply 58% of its electricity needs. A 3kW solar panel array installed at the Training and Education Services day programs centre will provide 21% of that building’s requirements.
CORENA uses donations from the public to fund projects; then electricity sales and loan repayments from completed projects to help finance future projects, thus continuously recycling donated money. ”Eventually, when we have funded around 120 such projects, repayments from earlier projects will be enough to continue funding one new project per month forever, without ever needing more donations,” said CORENA spokesperson Margaret Hender.
Operating on a shoe-string budget, 100% of the money donated is spent the projects themselves. Currently the group relies on volunteers’ time for administrative functions. ”It enables everyone who wants more renewable energy now to collectively get on with the job, rather than just waiting on government action,” states the CORENA web site. Patron of the organisation is Monica Oliphant, who, among many other roles, was President of the International Solar Energy Society (ISES) in 2008/09.
Community-serving organisations are encouraged to apply for funding underCORENA’s Small Projects scheme.
Community-funded solar; both under an investment model or donation basis, has generated a great deal of interest in Australia; with dozens of communities and initiatives attempting to set the wheels in motion.
Government support for such initiatives has been scant to date, although a new ARENA-supported project due to commence early next year will delve into how to best realise the potential of community-owned renewable energy projects in Australia.
Sugar mill renewable energy plants kick started by overseas sale. ABC Rural News, 12 Nov 13 Swiss-based company Capital Dynamic has taken over two of the country’s major renewable energy assets for an undisclosed sum.The cogeneration plants at the Broadwater and Condong Sugar Mills, in northern NSW, recommenced operations last Friday processing sugar cane trash from the current harvest.
They cost the NSW Sugar Milling Co-operative $220 million to build but have been shut down while receivers looked for a buyer.David Scaysbrook, managing director of Clean Energy Infrastructure at Capital says they have had their eye on the plants for a year.
“We have a history of taking over broken assets..we’ve done similar things in the UK in gas, coal and methane assets. We are operational experts and we think we can add something to the resuscitation of the business.”…….. Capital Dynamics refers to its purchase of the two cogeneration plants as a “compelling investment”.
The company’s David Scaysbrook, managing director the Clean Energy and Infrastructure team, says their investment breathes new life into the power plant operation and the future prospects for the local community in which they operate.
He says “especially to the local sugar cane growers who are so critical to the region’s economy.”
Capital Dynamics plans to “operate the assets over the very long term, to improve them and to deliver to their investors strong financial returns from multiple revenue sources”.
Mr Scaysbrook says it is a genuine, long-term partnership model.
The company’s chief executive officer, Stefan Ammann, says their team has decades of experience in successfully investing and operating thermal plants as well as other renewables such as wind and solar.
Capital Dynamics now owns and manages more than 230 mega watt of clean energy capacity in North America, Europe and Australia, with 68 MW of those now in northern NSW. http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-11-11/cogen-plants-sold-to-foreign-investor/5083058
MP calls for rethink on nuclear power, SMH November 4, 2013 Sean Nicholls A Liberal MP has renewed his push for serious consideration of nuclear power generation in Australia, arguing the risks are overstated and disasters like Chernobyl and Fukushima can be avoided with modern technology and safety standards.
In an article for the journal Energy News state MP for Davidson, Jonathan O’Dea, says nuclear energy is a “proven supplier of secure, affordable base load power” and the issue of nuclear waste is “manageable”……
Mr O’Dea says carbon dioxide from burning coal and natural gas is “undoubtedly contributing to damage to our oceans and atmosphere…..
The comments come as Resources and Energy Minister Chris Hartcher prepares to announce which mining companies will be invited to apply for uranium exploration licences in NSW following last year’s lifting of a 26-year ban. The ban on exploration has prevented a clear understanding of potential uranium deposits in NSW but the government says it is aware they may exist around Broken Hill.
Premier Barry O’Farrell has said that despite lifting the ban the government is “not about to rush into uranium mining http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/mp-calls-for-rethink-on-nuclear-power-20131104-2wxbo.html#ixzz2jntFzRRo
Scientists warn bushfire season getting longer The Age, October 19, 2013 Craig Butt, Lara O’Toole A bushfire season that starts in spring and stretches well into autumn will be the new norm for Australia’s south-east, according to scientists.
Melbourne University research fellow in climate science Sophie Lewis said catastrophic events such as the fires in NSW should come as no surprise, due to a dry winter and the ongoing effects of climate change.
The past 12 months have been the warmest documented, while 2013 is set to go down as the hottest calendar year in Australia.
”Now is the time we need to plan for a longer fire season,” Dr Lewis said. ”It’s something we’re going to expect, looking to the future.”
O’Farrell cut climate change watchers, SMH, Peter Hannam, 21 Oct 13 Deep cuts to staff and funding by the NSW government have largely dismantled the state’s ability to investigate and prepare for the effects of climate change such as more frequent extreme fire weather, a former senior scientist with the government said.
Peter Smith, who led the state’s climate change science group until March, said his team of 10 had been slashed to just three whose work remained climate-focused. A similar cut had been made to a separate team of 10 working on climate adaptation, he said.
Dr Smith, who now works as an adviser on United Nations projects, was a contributor to peer-reviewed research reports that found Australia was already facing an increase in bushfire dangers. The shift was particularly clear in spring, with national mean temperatures rising 0.9 degrees since 1960.
”We know the [climate] science is unequivocal,” Environment Minister Robyn Parker told a Nature Conservation Council meeting on Saturday. ”It is for governments to respond. What we are doing is investing in climate change science, and so minimising the impacts of climate change on communities. http://www.smh.com.au/environment/climate-change/ofarrell-cut-climate-change-watchers-20131020-2vuyr.html#ixzz2iNnGz1mI
De Bortoli to launch Oz wine industry’s largest solar system REneweconomy, By Sophie Vorrath on 15 October 2013 De Bortoli winery near Griffith NSW will launch its new solar power and hot water system on Thursday this week, having completed installation of a 230kW PV generator and 200kW solar thermal preheater – both individually the largest installed of their kind at any Australian winery to date.
The two solar power installations at Bilbul Estate are expected to save the third-generation family wine company tens of thousands of dollars a year through offset electricity and gas consumption, and to reduce greenhouse gas emissions at the site by more than 314 tonnes of carbon dioxide a year……http://reneweconomy.com.au/2013/de-bortoli-to-launch-oz-wine-industrys-largest-solar-system-49988
‘The people of Sutherland Shire call on the government to address the long-term future of nuclear waste associated with the continued operation of the ANSTO reactor and increased waste production associated with the new nuclear medicine centre.’
‘‘The continued transportation of intermediate level radioactive waste to Lucas Heights in the form of reprocessed fuel represents an unnecessary risk to the surrounding residents and communities.’’.
Mayor reacts to ANSTO licence for new nuclear medicine facility at Lucas Heights St George and Sutherland Shire Leader Oct. 4, 2013, .The Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency (ARPANSA) has issued a licence to the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation to prepare a site for the ANSTO Nuclear Medicine Molybdenum-99 Facility at Lucas Heights.
The move prompted Sutherland Shire mayor Steve Simpson to renew the council’s calls for the federal government to address the problem of long-term management of radioactive waste from the Lucas Heights centre and establish a national nuclear waste repository as priority.
Visy Group backs waste plan as funding flees http://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/companies/visy-group-backs-waste-plan-as-funding-flees/story-fn91v9q3-1226724734376 DAMON KITNEY SEPTEMBER 23, 2013
THE Pratt family’s Visy Group will not rule out proceeding with a revolutionary $300 million project to turn household garbage into energy that would generate 3000 jobs across the economy, despite federal government moves to slash funding for clean energy projects.
The government last week scrapped the Climate Commission and has previously indicated it wants to wind up the $10 billion Clean Energy Finance Corporation created by Labor to fund renewable energy projects that would otherwise struggle to get commercial backing.
Visy is seeking $100m in government funding for the $200m waste-to-energy plant from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency, or ARENA, the independent statutory body established to provide financing assistance for projects that strengthen renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies. Read more »
Australian Concentrating Solar Thermal Trial To Proceed http://www.energymatters.com.au/index.php?main_page=news_article&article_id=3954 24 Sept 13 The first Australian trial of concentrating solar thermal (CST) technology has been given the green light by Forbes Shire Council. ABC News states Vast Solar aim to have the demonstration 1.2MWth solar array with high temperature receivers and integrated thermal storage operating by March next year.
“This project will provide Vast Solar with data on system performance that will support the continued development and commercialisation of CST technology that can break the $100/MWh barrier,” says James Fisher, Principal Investigator and Chief Technology Officer of Vast Solar. Read more »
Australia: Spotlight on indigenous affairs today: 20 September 2013 by Charles Harrison, Josephine Heesh, Patricia Monemvasitis, Peter Punch and Janine Smith Carroll & O’Dea ABORIGINAL LAND RIGHTS ACT 1983 (NSW)2013 marks the 30th anniversary of the passing of the New South Wales Aboriginal Land Rights Act 1983 (‘the Act‘), recently celebrated as part of NAIDOC week.
The 1983 Act, passed by the Wran Labor Government, was New South Wales’ first piece of land rights legislation. The Act followed a two year consultation period, facilitated by a Legislative Assembly Select Committee chaired by Maurice Keane, which involved 4,000 individuals across the State and received 262 submissions.
The Act significantly acknowledged prior ownership and occupancy, made unused Crown Land available to claim and established mechanisms to facilitate Aboriginal self-determination. While some Aboriginal activists at the time felt that the Act did not go far enough, the High Court’s previous Justice Kirby once characterised the Act as “little short of revolutionary”, considering its pre-Mabo context.
To mark the anniversary the History Council of NSW organised a seminar during NAIDOC week titled “ Daring ideas: Is Land Rights Enough?“. A panel of lawyers, lecturers, activists and those involved with the administration of the Act discussed and debated the Act’s current operation. There seemed to be consensus amongst the participants, and members of the audience, that while the Act represented a significant step forward, there is still a way to go to deliver meaningful land rights to Aboriginal Australians…….. http://www.mondaq.com/australia/x/263784/indigenous+peoples/Spotlight+on+indigenous+affairs+today
Final NSW Renewable Energy Action Plan released http://ecogeneration.com.au/news/final_nsw_renewable_energy_action_plan_released/083533/ Fri, 20 September 2013
The final New South WalesRenewable Energy Action Plan has been launched, detailing three goals and 24 actions to grow renewable energy generation in the state.
The Plan’s three key goals are:
- Attract renewable energy investment and projects
- Build community support for renewable energy
- Attract and grow expertise in renewable energy technology.
The Plan positions New South Wales to increase the use of energy from renewable sources at the least cost to the energy customer.
Key actions of the plan include: Read more »
More CSG Greenwashing? http://www.energymatters.com.au/index.php?main_page=news_article&article_id=3948 18 Sept 13, What’s been a good way in the past to distance a nasty product from its bad reputation? Simply change its name. However, the strategy isn’t so effective these days in an increasingly online world where news travels fast.
According to a report on the ABC, a briefing note from the office of Resources Minister Chris Hartcher suggests changes be made to the way the coal seam gas (CSG) industry and fuel is described within Government communications and texts. Instead of the crisp ‘CSG’ term or ‘coal seam gas’, it seems Mr. Hartcher would like to see it referred to as ‘natural gas from coal seams’ and that references to coal seam gas or CSG be removed from sentences.
‘Natural’ may work as an effective greenwashing term for some products; but the recommended change won’t fool many – it will (and has already) just further incited those dedicated to exposing the many serious issues involved with extracting the fossil fuel. In addition to the interruptions to agriculture and potential contamination of water supplies; according to Zero Emissions and other sources, coal seam gas is even more emissions intensive than coal when total lifecycle emissions are taken into account.
Research recently carried out by scientists at the University of Queensland determined that not only would a shift from coal-fired to gas-fired electricity generation in Australia fail to deliver significantly lower carbon dioxide emissions;wholesale electricity prices would be higher than with a renewable energy option.
According to Aidan Ricketts from CSG Free Northern Rivers, quoted by theNorthern Star; the attempt to relabel coal seam gas is “.. just another example of the government falling in line with industry. They’re trying to get away from the words which have become poison.”
It would seem changing how CSG is referred to is just a case of putting lipstick on a particularly filthy and greedy pig.
Boggabri pub leads the way in community solar “revolution”http://reneweconomy.com.au/2013/boggabri-pub-leads-the-way-in-community-solar-revolution-33313 By Emma Fitzpatrick on 16 September 2013 A new community-based solar investment company has completed its first community-funded solar installation – at a pub in the heart of a NSW coal-mining region – and says it is revolutionising small scale solar power generation in Australian communities.
ClearSky Solar Investment works off trust-based investor model, planning to link local investors with high quality solar projects. The company is one of many eyeing up to several hundred community solar projects around the country. The company has completed its first project, a 15kW system at the Royal Hotel in Boggabri, NSW. The project, which comprises 60 250W Trina solar panels and a 15Kw SMA inverter, and was completed on June 10. It had about 10 investors, an agreed investor term of 7 years, and a planned total term yield of 171 per cent.
Under the model, investors own the modules and sell the output of the system to a local consumer – usually the landowner. Each project has a maximum of 20 investors and a minimum investment of around $2500 or $5000, depending on the size of the project and the number of investors. Read more »
Controversial wind farm gets clean bill of health SMH, September 3, 2013 Peter Hannam ”……….Opposition hopes Lyn Jarvis, a member of the Bodangora Wind Turbine Awareness Group, said her community group remains opposed to the wind farm despite the NSW Health and Planning Assessment Commission’s findings.
Ms Jarvis said the commission had ignored an independent noise assessment by Steven Cooper, an acoustics technician that found the wind turbines would be harmful.
“It’s fallen on deaf ears,” she said. “We had 94 per cent of the submissions against the development.”
The group is pinning its hopes on the election of Liberal candidate for Hume, Angus Taylor, to help lead a pushback against renewable energy, particularly wind farms.
“Hopefully, he will pull the renewable energy credits and it won’t get built – or any wind farms won’t get built in inappropriate places,” Ms Jarvis said. http://www.smh.com.au/business/carbon-economy/controversial-wind-farm-gets-clean-bill-of-health-20130903-2t1u2.html#ixzz2dxXonk7R