n.b. Australia’s top nuclear expert Jim Green on ABC Radio National “Ockham’s Razor” next Sunday 18 October at 7.45 a.m. EST (later available as podcast) Dr Helen Caldicott to speak at Sydney University on Sat 17th October.
Critical scrutiny on Australia’s stance on nuclear weapons.
Secrecy on nuclear waste plans, as Fed govt delays announcing site for radioactive trash dump.
Govt to investigate ERA’s Ranger uranium mine burnoff and subsequent Kakadu fire.
Unable to sell them at home, Westinghouse trying to flog uneconomic nuclear reactors to Australia.
Labor Party to launch a managed, predictable, energy transition process.
South Australia Nuclear Fuel Chain Royal Commission -an Aboriginal group slams its processes. Is the Small Modular Reactor (SMR) a lemon? – a critical look at the public hearing held on October 7th. Royal Commissioner Kevin Scarce says South Australia as radioactive trash dump is our best nuclear bet.
CLIMATE CHANGE. AUSTRALIA’S SHAME: getting UN climate draft to drop action to help climate refugees. Displacement Solutions (NGO for climate refugees) targets Australia as worst climate offender. Climate draft for Paris leaves Australia further behind in its lack of climate plan. Climate Change Authority gets five new board members in possible reprieve. Talking about bushfires: we should be talking about climate change too.
Trans Pacific Partnership‘s Investor-State Dispute Settlement [ISDS] provisions are bad for environment.
RENEWABLE ENERGY PM Turnbull could end the govt’s war on wind farms; but will he? New South Wales town Uralla shows the way to 100% renewable energy. Perth home entirely powered by solar energy shows the way. New low-cost, high efficiency solar panel launched in Australia. Study finds that storage for solar energy can replace gas in our electricity networks.
Water. Australia’s Great Artesian Basin – what will its future be?
Leading up to Paris Climate talks, the nuclear lobby is still going hard at spinning Lie No. 1 – that New Nuclear technology solves the radioactive trash problem. But for October, the focus is on Lie No. 2, – that ionising radiation is harmless, indeed , good for you.
Their favourite tactic is to confuse the public, by comparing the harmless Potassium K in bananas (of very low radioactive intensity), with man-made Cesium 137 and Strontium 90 (of very high radioactive intensity). Their next favourite is to promote the quack theory of “hormesis” – the claim that ionising radiation is actually beneficial to health.
CLIMATE CHANGE. Still possible to contain climate change: Paris UN conference will be critical. Pope Francis’ US visit has triggered awareness of climate change as a moral issue. Bank of England warns on climate change’s threat to global stability. Coming refugee crisis as sea levels rise on Pacific Islands.
South Australia Nuclear Fuel Chain Royal Commission. Analysis of the pro nuclear submissions shows that the major aim is to get South Australia to set up “New Generation” nuclear reactors. (yes, they’re the ones that still exist only on paper). The nuclear companies, not South Australia, would pay the costs of setup – because Australia would pay them back later from the proceeds of importing radioactive trash. The Commission is paying lip service only to renewable energy as a”low carbon’ option.
Of course most of these submissions come from nuclear companies, from individuals connected to nuclear technology, and from a couple of wannabe famous South Australian politicians.
However, the nuclear front group The Breakthrough Institute also has a submission published.
Meanwhile, at the public hearing in Adelaide , October 1st, Dr Arjun Makhijani explained the diseconomics of nuclear power, the irrelevance of it to climate action, (too slow), and the futility of the drive for Small Modular Nuclear reactors (SMRs).
Nuclear lobby aiming to overturn an Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act ban
BHP and Toro energy look to climate action as the reason why the uranium market ( now in doldrums) should have a ‘renaissance’, though, interestingly, BHP actually mentions the possibility of another nuclear disaster mucking things up for them. Toro’s Wiluna uranium project is now stalled indefinitely.
Renewable energy. Australian govt to promote battery storage, through Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) and Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC). Australia world top in household solar panel installations. Canberra school Amaroo to get benefits from ACT’s largest rooftop solar system.
The deck chairs at the Titanic Paris Climate Talks in December include a chair for EDF the giant French nuclear company, which is a sponsor of the conference. Meanwhile in UK, the Thorium Nuclear lobby has got itself charity status. The global nuclear lobby is working hard to win the world to its new, though yet non-existent, technologies. It is using 3 main lies:
LIE 1 “new nuclear solves the wastes problem”. For September www.antinuclear.net and www.nuclear-news.net have focused on that particular lie. LIE 2. “Low dose ionising radiation is harmless, even good for you” – a focus for October. LIE 3. “nuclear solves climate change” – the focus for November.
SOUTH AUSTRALIAN NUCLEAR FUEL CHAIN ROYAL COMMISSI0ON is beavering away, holding public hearings with interested parties, and with some who must be a nuisance to it. Sept 23rd they had to put up with Professor John Quiggin, telling them that renewables are happening, and CANDU nuclear reactors just aren’t. Rebecca Keane’s Submission didn’t help them either, spelling out South Australia’s potential as leader in renewable energy. Electrical trades Union of Australia dispelled the hype about Generation IV Nuclear Reactors.
Australian politics is in a pretty parlous state. We have just got rid of the worst Prime Minister in Australia’s history. We now have Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, a more likable personality, with a better general intelligence. But the policies remain the same, especially on climate change, as Graham Readfern has shown, in a devastating critique. But, Malcolm Turnbull might move slowly and subtly on climate change. As PM Tony Abbott was the Labor Opposition’s best asset, we wait to see what happens in that camp.
SOUTH AUSTRALIA NUCLEAR FUEL CHAIN ROYAL COMMISSION
- Tactics of a Public Relations company Michels Warren were revealed on South Australia’s Nuclear Fuel Chain’s own website – the need to ‘soften up’ the South Australian community. (Posts stay up on that site for only a week).
- At Commission hearing, energy expert finds nuclear power too expensive , too inflexible. And economics professor demolishes the case for Small Modular Nuclear Reactors in South Australia
- A preliminary analysis of submissions
Nuclear disarmament Australian govt ‘sees no value’ in humanitarian pledge on nuclear disarmament. Australia, formerly a leader on nuclear disarmament, now a leper in the regional disarmament movement
CLIMATE CHANGE. Survey findings Rio Tinto, Business Council of Australia to be top climate hypocrites. Australia’s and New Zealand’s Prime Ministers just don’t care about Pacific Islands with sea levels rising.
Victorian Environment Protection Authority wants ILuka Resources to explain radioactive trash dump plan.
Renewable Energy: Companies looking for renewable energy investments in Australia
Aboriginal Issues. Aboriginal Freedom Summit 2 pushes for Treaty
- “new Generation IV will solve the nuclear waste problem”
- “low dose ionising rdaiation is OK – even good for you”
- “nuclear power will solve climate change”
BUT – I missed an important one. They’ve got a new gee-whiz idea – called “ACCEPTABLE RISK”. Australian nuclear propagandist Geoff Russell used this one in his submission to the South Australia Nuclear Fuel Chain Royal Commission – as he argued that people falling off roofs with solar panels is a bigger health danger than Fukushima radiation.
They have another great way of confusing us (that’s the aim – confuse the world and delay action against a truly dangerous industry) – they call it ‘residual risk”:
it is not meaningful to say that an activity or facility is safe or unsafe. The proper way to say it is that the residual risk is tolerable or acceptable given the benefits that are derived from this activity or facility. The NRRC is helping Japanese utilities to accurately quantify the residual risk from nuclear power plants so that measures can be taken to reduce it to as small a number as possible. – (George Apostolakis, Japan News, 30/8/15)
SBS TV showed “The Sugar Conspiracy” on 6th Sept. This documentary revealed the tactics of the International Sugar Association, in PR over decades, showing that fructose (sugar) does not cause dental decay, diabetes, obesity, heart disease. They convinced health authorities, governments, media, by spending $billions on propaganda that just shed doubt on medical facts about fructose.
Familiar story? the Tobacco corporations did the same thing – just shed doubt for decades, on the facts in cigarette smoking and lung cancer. The Asbestos companies did it for decades about mesothelioma. The Fossil Fuel companies successfully shed doubt on the science about global warming.
The Sugar documentary just reminded me that all the Nuclear lobby needs to do, is to shed doubt on the science about ionising radiation. Just delay the truth – and keep on with the business!
Well – I digress, but I enjoyed it!
South Australia’s Nuclear Fuel Chain Royal Commission. ( a few) SUBMISSIONS:
- Questionable Integrity of Royal Commission examined in Submission by Yurij Poetzl.
- ENUFF’s submission the the RC raises objections to its whole modus operandi.
- City of Port Adelaide Enfield notes poor prospects for New Nuclear Technology.
- Geoff Russell’s pro nuclear submission claims that falls from solar rooftop are a bigger danger than the Fukushima nuclear situation.
Hearing held on Sept 9th. Anna Skarbek told Commisison hearing about the opportunities for renewable energy. Ross Garnaut told Royal Commission of ever cheaper solar photovoltaic electricity, but got his facts wrong about uranium enrichment.
WESTERN AUSTRALIA. Walkatjurra Walkabout still on the road and going well.
CLIMATE CHANGE. Tony Abbott’s deceptive spin about the Paris Climate Targets. Tony Abbott has ‘a very good story to tell’ Pacific Islanders, about climate change Naomi Klein here , says “Australia is full of climate heroes”, also and calls new nuclear power plants a ‘distraction from real climate action‘
“Everything I was Dreaming of is Gone” — How Climate Change is Spurring a Global Refugee Crisis to Rapidly Worsen.
CSRP 2015 – The Fifth Citizen-Scientist International Symposium on Radiation Protection
International conferences in Hiroshima: call for disarmament measures is weakened by USA, Britain and Canada.
Nuclear lobby’s wishful thinking about Small Modular (SMR) and Generation IV reactors.
‘Climate Change Fix” chosen as 2015 theme by World Nuclear Association.
- Record rain overwhelming Fukushima’s nuclear station’s drainage pumps.
- Fukushima Daiichi drainage system enters operation.
- Scrutinising Japan’s government PR about The Reopening Of Nahara Fukushima.
- Japan’s Monju nuclear reprocessing reactor, plagued by safety errors, offline for most of 20 years.
- Significant setback to Japan’s #nuclear revival.
- In Japan’s hot summer, solar power ramped up its contribution to electricity.
KAZAKHSTAN’s disaster of dead animals near Semipalatinsk Nuclear Test Site.
FRANCE heading towards a nuclear industry phaseout?
USA. Outrageous decision of USA’s Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) to cancel research on cancer-nuclear links. Nuclear Regulatory Commission prevents hearing on Fermi nuclear plant. Nuclear Regulatory Commission scraps public rulemaking on weak GE containments. St Louis suburb anger about radioactive landfill. Washington State sues US Energy Dept over Hanford workers made sick by toxic fumes.
UK. EDF admits Hinkley Point Nuclear Station won’t be ready by 2023.
CHINA. Anxieties in China over the safety of the nation’s nuclear power programme.
The cashed up nuclear lobby will be there promoting themselves as the world’s saviour from climate change, and pollution.
They will base this claim on 3 lies:
- that new nuclear power will solve the wastes problem
- that low dose ionising rdaiation is harmless, even healthy
- that nuclear power is essential to combat climate change
I would love it if people would join in examining and exposing those 3 lies.
For September the focus is on Lie No. 1
I see that the Nuclear Information and Resource Center has already a website for this: http://www.nirs.org/cop21/dontnuketheclimate.htm
Much as I hate Facebook, I have started a Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/No-Nuclear-for-Paris-Climate-Action/1490419381255842 The more the merrier- perhaps.
Another area for study is – the Submissions to South Australia’s Nuclear Fuel Chain Royal Commission. As I plough through these at http://nuclearrc.sa.gov.au/submissions/?search=Submissions I find many excellent submissions for the public good. I would be grateful to anyone who sends me a good extract from one of these. I publish selected extracts from the good ones on antinuclear.net . For example – today’s –ADELAIDE HILLS CLIMATE ACTION GROUP unanimously opposes all nuclear industries.
Nuclear wastes: Importing nuclear waste is illegal in Australia. The Lucas Heights returning waste is an exception, due to legal obligations of the contracts with UK, France and Argentina. Abbott govt soon to give shortlist of sites for Lucas Heights nuclear waste dump. What’s the betting that it will be South Australia, as the nuclear lobby regards it as a foot in the door for making that State the world’s radioactive toilet?
Western Australian Labor holds firm to nuclear-free policies. Australian uranium company Paladin mothballing uneconomic project in Labrador, Canada. Rosatom now selling uneconomic Honeymoon uranium project in South Australia.
I hope that The Age and other media will make clear the fact that this radioactive trash returning from UK and France, emanates from radioactive trash that originated at Lucas Heights. Australia is legally obliged to take it back. A completely different proposition from the hare-brained idea of importing foreign nuclear wastes.
The nuclear lobby, and the South Australian government will use this exception to confuse the public – so that this exception could become a foot in the door for the ill advised plan by some greedy Australian individuals, and by the desperate overseas nuclear companies, for South Australia to become the world’s nuclear toilet.
All appears to have gone quiet, on nuclear matters. This is not really the case. Nuclear lobbyists continue to work quietly on the very receptive Australian government, and the South Australian Nuclear Fuel Chain Commission (RC) publishes their submissions, except, of course, for those that are “commercially sensitive”.
I’d love to know if the Canadian company SNC Lavalin put one in. They make the CANDU nuclear reactor – the one that the Commission was so interested in when it visited Toronto on July 14th. The same company that’s responsible for Canada’s top position in World Bank’s most corrupt countries.
To be fair, the RC is also publishing many fine submissions that are written for the public good, as well as all those from vested interests. You can read significant sections of some these at Submissions to Royal Commission. (I can’t quite keep up with all, at the moment)
On the media front there’s Dr Derek Muller, known for his Youtube shows that confuse and minimise the risks of ionising radiation, with bananas as examples. . The SBS documentary “Uranium – Twisting the Dragon’s Tail” was superbly produced and very entertaining. The first two episodes were terrific. Episode 3 moved into shill territory, and became a sophisticated plug for the nuclear industry.
How badly we need science writers who are motivated by concern for the public good, rather than for the benefit of corporations with deep pockets for employing media!
CLIMATE CHANGE. Australia’s bushfire and flood danger, as climate change accelerates. Canning voters are urged to reject Liberals’ war on solar energy. Citigroup analysis finds that renewable energy IS cheaper than fossil fuel energy. Climate expert Connie Hedegaard in Australia to discuss Paris talks. Uterne 4.1MW solar expansion complete, ready to power Alice Springs.
SOUTH AUSTRALIA. Let’s not forget that the purpose of the Nuclear Fuel Chain Royal Commission is to have South Australia become the world’s nuclear toilet. For that reason, the most important submissions are those concerning Issues Paper 4 – Management, Storage and Disposal of Wastes.
Many submissions newly published. I’m not able to keep up. I single out an outstanding, powerful submission from Josephite SA Reconciliation Circle. A top Submission on Nuclear Waste Importing for South Australia comes from NGOPPON TOGETHER INC. And there’s Claire Catt’s fine Submission.
South Australian government warned on the illegality of using public money to encourage nuclear industry.
FEDERAL POLITICS. Family First (!!) Senator Bob Day not able to dismantle Australia’s law against establishing nuclear facilities . He tried. Abbott’s plan to change environmental law puts Great Barrier Reef at risk. Farm organisations angry at Abbott plan to restrict legal action against resource projects. Very little use made of “third-party appeal rights” in Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act.
ABORIGINAL ISSUES. A beautiful article by Jeff McMullen on Aboriginal custodianship of Australia
RENEWABLE ENERGY . Huge solar panel array for Canberra Hospital’s roof. Sunshine Coast solar farm to start building before Christmas. Australian. Victorian government to back new wind farms as part of renewables plan. Electric Vehicle Association launched in Tasmania.
THE NUCLEAR PR WAR intensifies. The South Australian Nuclear Fuel Chain Royal Commission is now publishing submissions. Rather selectively. Issues Paper 4 – Management, Storage and Disposal of Waste is the most important topic, because the whole aim of the nuclear lobby and its shonky Commission is to get South Australia to take in the world’s radioactive trash.
But they did manage to publish 29 pro nuclear ones. With one exception ( the Australian Workers Union), all of these come from industries, associations, and individuals who would benefit commercially or career-wise from the nuclear industry.
ABC Radio National came to the pro nuclear party, with Philip Adams hosting two nuclear propagandists. SBS TV is to an extent coming to the same party, hosting a confusing programme about uranium. For just one thing, that programme buys the nuke lobby’s false story about bananas being equal to nuclear fission in their effects on the human body.
No time just now to do credit to the fine submissions from Australian organisations and individuals. But I cannot resist mentioning a splendid little piece from Brett Bernard Stokes. Brett lightens things up – even though what he says is true, anyway.
CLIMATE CHANGE. Many Australians, and international observers are dismayed, and shocked, at the Abbott government’s deliberately pathetic greenhouse gas emissions target. A UN climate expert warns that Australia will have to improve on this. But Abbott has no intention of meeting even his emissions target.
Surprise surprise! Australian women are more concerned about climate change, and more anti nuclear, than Australian men are.
ABORIGINAL ISSUES: Winda-Mara – Aboriginal success stories that we just don’t hear about.
RENEWABLE ENERGY. Electricity companies offer solar, battery, technologies for lease.
This week is marked by Hiroshima commemorations around Australia -news reports from Canberra , Lismore, Newcastle are already online. Some splendid writing by the Mirrar people of Northern territory , and by Prof Tilman Ruff, and Dr Sue Wareham on the atomic bombing, and on moves to ban nuclear weapons.
CLIMATE CHANGE This month I am concentrating on the damage that climate change is doing to uranium and nuclear facilities. I was prompted to this by hearing of the disastrous wildfires in the Northern Hemisphere, that threaten the nuclear industries. Australia’s turn will come – what insanity to plan for the nuclear industry in Australia’s summer climate conditions! Climate change makes nuclear power unviable and unsafe for Australia.
Australian Youth Climate Coalition calls for NO Bjorn Lomborg Climate Centre at Flinders University, What’s Australia’s water security under future climate? Olympic Dam Uranium mine- Australia’s largest water guzzler – it’s criminal in a dry climate.
SOUTH AUSTRALIA South Australia Nuclear Royal Commission – outcome is already decided? A #NuclearCommissionSAust for the nuclear industry, not for the people of South Australia. Tom Kenyon MP revealed as the man who sold the radioactive trash idea to South Australia Short term greed overtakes long term prospects in South Australia’s push for nuclear waste importing.
All the submissions to the Royal Commission that have been uploaded so far can be found by clicking on the four pictures on the following page: http://nuclearrc.sa.gov.au/submissions/?search=Submissions
Two good submissions to the Royal Commission on Issues Paper 4:
Wind inquiry: Australia’s pro-nuclear Senate trio downgrades nation’s peak medical research body. The Senate wind farm inquiry report designed to kill the industry. Senate inquiry into wind power a ‘stitch up’.
Renewable energy Largest coal mining union backs Labor’s Renewable Energy Target. Australian Renewable Energy Agency helps kick off Queensland’s ‘Virtual solar plant’. Energy storage is revolutionising electricity – especially in off-grid solar
When I got a policeman to witness my last 2 submissions, he said (completely unexpectedly and unsolicited by me) “You won’t win., you know. They’ll do it. They’ve got all the money”
Yes, it’s a shonky Royal Commission, with Kevin Scarce’s shares in Rio Tinto, and the Commission’s heavies connected to nuclear agencies.
But – as Redgum said, 20 years ago “If you don’t fight, you lose”
- On this site you will find tips on submissions, and Answer Points for Submission Issues Paper 2 Further Processing and Manufacture, and Answer Points for Issues Paper 3 Electricity Generation.
- Dr Helen Caldicott’s Submission on all 4 Nuclear Royal Commission Issues Papers. She is now receiving double the usual insulting flak on Twitter, ( on hashtags #NuclearCommissionSAust and #thorium etc).
Pro Nuclear Royal Commission Pushes on With Determination, calls for tenders.
Federal Labor frontbencher Anthony Albanese opposes Australian further involvement in nuclear fuel chain.
Northern Territory development : Aboriginal owners asked to agree to extinguish native title.
CLIMATE CHANGE: Tony Abbott’s sly way of stopping action on climate change. Labor leader Bill Shorten foresees a climate change election. Climate change harming wine industry (nuclear power would, too) They are using giant $55,000 electric fans. (Apparently these are not ugly, like wind turbines?)
Australian Labor Party delegates vote for 50 per cent renewable energy plan. VICTORIAN Liberal MP Sarah Henderson breaks ranks, supports investment in renewables. Poll finds 60% believe carbon tax had little or no effect on electricity bills.
I am currently struggling with my Submission to the Commission on the questions in Issues Paper 3 – “Electricity Generation From Nuclear Fuels”. it’s a doozy. They’ve excelled themselves this time – with questions designed to elicit lovely answers from nuclear companies Transatomic, Bill Gates’ Terra Power , SNC Lavalin, NuScale, – anyone but you and me.
Given that the nuclear lobby’s plan is for Australia to be the guinea pigs for new untested (not yet existent) gee whiz reactors, Those companies are gonna love questions like this:
3.2 Are there commercial reactor technologies (or emerging technologies which may be commercially available in the next two decades) that can be installed and connected to the NEM?
3.3. Are there commercial reactor technologies (or emerging technologies which may be commercially available in the next two decades) that can be installed and connected in an off-grid setting?
3.6. What are the specific models and case studies that demonstrate the best practice for the establishment and operation of new facilities for the generation of electricity from nuclear fuels?
Australia should wake up to the realities about nuclear waste, and shut down the Lucas Heights reactor
Australia must face up to the reality that its radioactive trash that originated in Lucas Heights must come back to this country. It’s not a large amount, and probably could be safely stored at Lucas Heights.
Relatively safely, that is, because it will remain toxic for thousands of years.
Australians need to wake up to the distinction between this situation, of legal obligation to have wastes returned, and the cranky South Australian plan to be the only nation in the world to actually INVITE in the world’s radioactive trash.
In a reasonable world, in which future generations are considered, the sane thing to do is to shut down the Lucas Heights nuclear reactor, and stop making this trash.
The cry will rise up – “medical benefits, blah blah”. Well the medical isotope thing was the fig leaf tacked on to the nuclear reactor. Medical isotopes can be made by a speciaLised cyclotron, as is being done in Canada. Sure, that’s expensive, FOR THIS GENERATION. The current system’s plan is to pass on the costs to our grandchildren and beyond. So yes, it LOOKS cheaper.