Adam Giles may offer NT nuclear waste site if traditional owners fail to nominate location 105.7 ABC Darwin By Rick Hind 1 Oct 2014, NT Chief Minister Adam Giles has suggested his Government may put up a site for a national nuclear waste dump if traditional owners fail to nominate one.
Traditional owners in the Northern Territory were asked to nominate their land for a nuclear waste facility by September 30.
Federal Industry Minister Ian Macfarlane had indicated that if a site was not nominated, a selection process involving land owners from anywhere else in the country would start in November……..
“We haven’t decided whether we will at the moment, but I think we will look at it if the land councils don’t nominate a site,” he said…….
“Potentially it’s an economic opportunity for the Territory, but it’s also an opportunity for the Northern Territory to show leadership on the national stage about where to store nuclear waste,” Mr Giles said……..
However, Mr Giles added that any discussion of a possible location for a waste facility was jumping the gun.
“Let’s not get too far in this argument because we haven’t done all the analysis at this stage,” he said……..
The Northern Land Council and the Industry Minister Ian Macfarlane have declined to comment until the nomination deadline passes. http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-09-30/giles-may-offer-up-nuclear-waste-site-if-traditional-owners-dont/5779394
See below a very strong critique of the Australia-India nuclear cooperation agreement from John Carlson, former head of the Australian Safeguards and Non-Proliferation Office, who worked tirelessly for many years to weaken safeguards standards …
It is not good enough to simply say that we trust India because it has an ‘impeccable’ non-proliferation record (and India’s record in any case is not ‘impeccable’).The reporting procedures are not optional; they are fundamental to Australia’s ability to confirm that our safeguards conditions are being met. They have long applied to close and trusted partners such as the US, the EU, Japan and South Korea. There is absolutely no case to waive them for India.
Is the Abbott Government abandoning Australia’s nuclear safeguards standards for India? John Carlson AM is a Nonresident Fellow at the Lowy Institute. He was Director General of the Australian Safeguards and Non-Proliferation Office and its predecessor the Australian Safeguards Office from 1989 to 2010. Lowy Interpreter, 1 October 2014http://www.lowyinterpreter.org/?COLLCC=737147385&
The signing last month of a civil nuclear cooperation agreement between Australia and India has been greeted as an important step towards closer relations between the two countries, as well as bringing India into the global nuclear energy mainstream. These are worthy objectives, but not at any cost. Continue reading
Australia’s 2013 heatwave due to climate change, researchers conclude http://www.theage.com.au/environment/australias-2013-heatwave-due-to-climate-change-researchers-conclude-20140930-10o1sj.html September 30, 2014 Lisa Cox National political reporter Record temperatures in Australia in 2013 were almost certainly caused by man-made climate change, five separate studies have found.
Researchers from the University of Melbourne, the Australian National University and the University of NSW have concluded it is “virtually impossible” that the heatwaves that hit Australia in 2013 would have occurred were it not for carbon emissions caused by human activity.
The reports have been published in the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society as part of a global project examining the impact of climate change on extreme weather.
The results, which are the strongest statement yet on the impact of climate change on Australia’s weather patterns, are a wake-up call for the Abbott government a week after it was criticised for failing to take beefed-up emissions reduction targets to a special summit of world leaders in New York.
Five teams of researchers examined the heat that baked Australia for much of 2013, leading to the hottest day, month, spring and summer since records began.
They concluded that the record temperatures for the whole of that year would almost certainly not have occurred without man-made climate change and that the chance of heatwaves occurring was more than 2000 times greater because of human-caused climate change.
Professor David Karoly, one of the authors, said the results mark the first time that researchers had concluded that a specific weather event couldn’t or most likely couldn’t have occurred in Australia without the increase in greenhouse gas emissions caused by human activity.
“The Prime Minister last year said that studies hadn’t been done and the CSIRO cautioned against attributing individual extreme weather events to climate change,” Professor Karoly said.
“Now the studies have been done and the results are very clear.”
The teams of researchers used a variety of computer-based simulations that modelled 20th and early 21st century temperatures.
One set of models factored in natural variations in climate and human influences on climate, while another set showed what temperatures would have looked like without man-made climate change.
Out of 12,500 simulated years, only one result in the latter group produced temperatures higher than those seen in Australia in 2005 – the hottest year before 2013 – and none as hot as 2013.
“There was an increase in the frequency of heatwaves in 2013 and the intensity of heatwaves due to climate change,” Professor Karoly said “It was three times the frequency and two times the intensity.”
Prime Minister Tony Abbott predicts $30 billion Olympic Dam expansion will go ahead POLITICAL EDITOR TORY SHEPHERD THE ADVERTISER SEPTEMBER 30, 2014 A $30 billion Olympic Dam expansion is likely to go ahead “in the months and years ahead”, Prime Minister Tony Abbott says.
BHP Billiton shelved the expansion plans in the face of low commodity prices and spiralling costs. However the expansion moved a step closer recently, after the Government waived stringent environmental tests to let them trial a cheaper way of processing minerals…….
BHP Billiton is expected to give more detail on their plans at their AGM in Adelaide in November. Chief executive Andrew Mackenzie has said they have reduced costs and might be able to go ahead with a smaller or incremental expansion.
Before the election Mr Abbott pledged to create the economic conditions that would give the expansion the best chance of going ahead.
Federal ministers have met with BHP and have been talking up the prospects of the expansion …….http://www.adelaidenow.com.au/news/south-australia/prime-minister-tony-abbott-predicts-30-billion-olympic-dam-expansion-will-go-ahead/story-fni6uo1m-1227075708200
Members of Ngapa Aboriginal clan complain about ‘obstruction’ to their volunteering to host nuclear waste
Pro-nuclear owners accuse land council of holding them back Amos Aikman THE AUSTRALIAN OCTOBER 01, 2014 THE Northern Land Council has blocked Aboriginal economic advancement by “obstructing” traditional owners’ attempts to gain millions of dollars in development aid by hosting nuclear waste on their land at Muckaty Station, according to a formal complaint obtained by The Australian.
A three-month window for Aboriginal land councils to bid exclusively to host a nuclear waste dump in the Northern Territory expired last night with no nominations. The window was established in June after the NLC controversially withdrew a longstanding nomination to host Australia’s nuclear waste at Muckaty Station near Tennant Creek.
Anti-nuclear groups at the time hailed the decision as a victory. But members of the Ngapa clan, who are part of the Muckaty Land Trust and have not hitherto spoken publicly, told The Australian they were not properly consulted and are now contemplating taking multi-million-dollar legal action.
The group has since been trying to nominate a second site at Muckaty Station, under development since 2012 and believed to be on undisputed Ngapa land. The Australian has seen a petition dated in June, purportedly signed by 59 traditional owners, expressing support for a new nomination.
The NLC is legally obliged to act on behalf of traditional owners. But according to a formal complaint sent to Minister for Indigenous Affairs Nigel Scullion earlier this month, it has “failed to take any meaningful action” to support the second nomination, leading to an “impending loss of opportunity” for the Ngapa people.
Jason Bill, one of the aggrieved parties named in the complaint, told The Australianit had been a “tough road” for his family, which began moves to host a nuclear waste dump in 2005.
It is estimated traditional owners could gain between $12 million and $20m in compensation.
The complaint requests “urgent consideration is given to the unique circumstances of our clients who are currently being obstructed by the NLC from making an urgent new nomination”……..
Senator Scullion told The Australian shortly after receiving the complaint that the allegations were “of the most serious nature … and we are seeking advice on how best to investigate and pursue the matter. The traditional owners say they’ve been aggrieved by the actions of a commonwealth authority,” he said.
“This is a matter of mischief by a commonwealth authority.”
NLC chief executive Joe Morrison said his organisation had acted properly and was being thorough.
“(The Ngapa) approved dropping the original bid … I think we consulted with them appropriately.” http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/indigenous/pronuclear-owners-accuse-land-council-of-holding-them-back/story-fn9hm1pm-1227075690477
“It’s best understood as the latest chapter in a long-running saga of how Australia deals with radioactive waste. We’ve got this spent nuclear fuel which is high level nuclear waste and later classified as long-lived intermediate level waste and that’s sent overseas for reprocessing and that’s the waste that’s going to come back.”
Government searching for nuclear waste site as time runs out SBS News 30 Sept 14, Next year more than 11 tonnes of Australian nuclear waste will return from France after being sent overseas more than a decade ago. The government now faces the difficult and controversial task of finding a permanent home for it…….
Next year, more than 11 tonnes of nuclear waste will return to Australia after being sent to France more than a decade ago.
There, it’s been reprocessed into a more stable – but still highly radioactive – form.
Lucas Heights Plant Manager, David Vittorio explains.
“Reactor fuel is created in a form that’s useful for reactors. It’s not actually a form that’s useful for long-term storage so the whole idea of reprocessing is repackaging it into a chemical form and a materials form so that it’s suitable for long-term storage,” he says.
“So really what we’re receiving from France is in a glass matrix, suitable for long term storage.”
Under an agreement with France, Australia must take back the reprocessed waste in 2015. Continue reading
French company AREVA will get to have 51% interest , later more, in joint uranium venture with Toro Energy
Toro signs NT deal with AREVA https://au.news.yahoo.com/thewest/business/wa/a/25132512/toro-signs-nt-deal-with-areva/ The West AustralianSeptember 29, 2014 Toro Energy has signed a farm-in and joint venture agreement with French uranium and nuclear power giant AREVA in the Northern Territory.
The agreement covers a 2292sqkm tenement package in the Wiso Basin, southwest of Tennant Creek.
“Toro believes that its relatively unexplored Wiso Basin tenement package is ideally placed for exploring for a sandstone-hosted uranium mineralising system of a size and scale not unlike those found in Kazakhstan, where six of the world’s top 15 producing uranium mines are currently in operation,” the company said in a statement.
Toro’s managing director Dr Vanessa Guthrie said the company was excited to have AREVA participate in a substantial exploration portfolio at a time when few companies were actively exploring for uranium in Australia.
“We look forward to adding value to our NT exploration targets through a long and beneficial relationship with one of the world’s most respected uranium groups,” she said. Under the terms of the agreement, AREVA will spend $500,000 within two years of to earn a 51 per cent interest in the joint venture properties.
Upon reaching 51 per cent, AREVA will then have the option to spend another $1.5 million over four years for a further 29 per cent interest for a total 80 per cent stake.
Drilling is expected to begin in the first half of 2015.
Toro shares closed steady at 9.1 cents.
“Speaking with one voice” – WA’s changes to Aboriginal Heritage law rejected at bush meetings, anthropologist Dr Stephen Bennetts. Be careful what you pray for. By proposing to strip away protection for Aboriginal people’s heritage across the board, and throughout the State, the Barnett Government appears to have unwittingly conjured up a strong, united and angry Aboriginal coalition which is now mobilising against the AHA amendments. Crikey, 30 Sept 14 BOB GOSFORD | SEP 30, 2014
ABORIGINAL LEADERS IN THE KIMBERLEY, PILBARA AND PERTH HAVE REJECTED WA GOVERNMENT PLANS TO AMEND THE STATE’S ABORIGINAL HERITAGE ACT TO FURTHER STREAMLINE PROVISIONS UNDER SECTION 18 OF THE AHA WHICH ALLOW FOR THE DESTRUCTION OF ABORIGINAL SITES BY DEVELOPERS. Continue reading
What neither industry likes to talk about is the pricing of the network – did they invest too much money in network infrastructure, and shouldn’t they take a write down on those assets, rather than just charging customers more?.
Gas networks attack solar policies, fearing mass defections By Giles Parkinson on 26 September 2014 Gas industry calls for solar hot water rebates to remove to try to slow down mass defections from gas networks it fears will be caused by soaring gas prices.
The Energy Network Association has released a report that suggests the industry could lose one quarter of its customers as a result of soaring prices. It says 1.15 million households could drop gas and defect to solar hot water in coming years. Continue reading
Investors lobby PM on renewable energy http://www.investordaily.com.au/36340-investors-lobby-pm-on-renewable-energy 01 October 2014 | Staff Reporter A group of institutional investors representing $1 trillion has accused the prime minister of undermining the Renewable Energy Target.
In an open letter to Prime Minister Tony Abbott published in the Australian Financial Review, the Investor Group on Climate Change argued that the savings of more than 10 million Australians are invested in a “clean energy future”.
“The health of our economy is vitally dependent on investor confidence in government and the stability of its policies,” the letter said.
“For years we’re been investing the savings of Australians in projects on the basis of bipartisan support for boosting renewable energy,” it said.
“This is now at risk. Our investments, together with skilled industries and jobs that the Renewable Energy Target is creating, are at risk due to the uncertainty of your government’s commitment to the legislated 41,000 giga-watt-hour target.”
Australia ought to be growing renewable energy rather than “stepping back” from its international commitments, said the letter.
“Investors need predictable long-term policies to be confident to make investments in the energy sources of the future,” it said.
“This environment requires bipartisanship on the need for more renewable energy, not less. We encourage you not to change that now,” said the letter.
The Investor Group on Climate Change includes AustralianSuper, BT Financial Group, AMP Capital Investors, Colonial First State Global Asset Managers and Cbus among its members.
Renewable Energy Target review leaves wind power in doldrums: Senvion http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/climate/renewable-energy-target-review-leaves-wind-power-in-doldrums-senvion/story-e6frg6xf-1227074429666 THE AUSTRALIAN SEPTEMBER 30, 2014 A $1.5 BILLION wind farm, slated to be the largest in Australia, is at risk from potential changes to the national Renewable Energy Target, the proponent says.
Senvion Australia chief executive Chris Judd said the 197-turbine Ceres wind farm proposed for the Yorke Peninsula would be jeopardised if the federal government adopted changes proposed in the Warburton review.
The Abbott government is yet to finalise its response to the RET review overseen by businessman Dick Warburton, which recommended either closing the program to new entrants or moving to a demand-limited scheme that was reviewed each year.
A spokesman for Environment Minister Greg Hunt said the government would not make any changes that would adversely affect companies that had already invested in the sector.
Mr Judd said if changes removed the revenue stream for renewable energy, significant investment would be at risk. “We are still progressing with the project, but there is a cloud over it in regards to the Renewable Energy Target policy. We need the policy framework to be able to create an investment environment where people would view investment in renewable energy favourably.
“There is no logic in what has been put forward to make the case for change — the review confirms that the policy is working, creating jobs and lowering emissions.”
The wind-farm project, which will underpin 500 jobs, is among $4.5bn worth of investment in South Australia that Premier Jay Weatherill says is stalled as a result of the federal review.
“We have billions of dollars worth of investment queuing up waiting to occur, but it is stalled because the commonwealth government in an extraordinary act has decided to review the Renewable Energy Target,’’ he said.
Mr Hunt’s spokesman said the government was not scrapping the RET. “The government will not make changes that will impact those who have already made an investment — small or large — under the RET,” he said.
Brad Davy, a Senvion technician, said the Snowtown wind farm 150km north of Adelaide had supported many local jobs. “It’s been good for everyone, “ he said.
to Energy White Paper Taskforce
Department of Industry ,
from D Jim Green
The White Paper misrepresents Friends of the Earth in relation to nuclear power and I am seeking immediate clarification on a couple of points.
The WP states: “However, the relative safety of nuclear power is reflected in a 2013 study commissioned by Friends of the Earth, which concluded that, “overall the safety risks associated with nuclear power appear to be more in line with lifecycle impacts from renewable energy technologies, and significantly lower than for coal and natural gas per MWh of supplied energy.”
Question 2: Why does the WP fail to note that the commissioned paper raised multiple objections to nuclear power, and that FoE UK retained its anti-nuclear policies as a result of the review process, e.g. from the article below ‘The non-nuclear energy pathway that Friends of the Earth advocates is credible …’
Please provide immediate answers to the above questions since the misrepresentation is a matter of great concern.
Please also advise if the Department or the Minister will immediately issue a media release correcting the mirepresentation. Alternatively, will the Department put a note on the relevant webpage noting that the WP fails to specify that the Friends of the Earth group in question is FoE UK and that FoE UK retained its anti-nuclear policies as a result of the review process.
Jim Green B.Med.Sci.(Hons.), PhD
National nuclear campaigner – Friends of the Earth, Australia
Dear Dr Green
Thank you for your email to the Energy White Paper Taskforce regarding the citation of the Tyndall Centre report.
To clarify, the paper released is the interim Green Paper, which is the basis for consultation on policy issues. Submissions received until 4 November will help inform the development of the Energy White Paper. We expect to release the Energy White Paper later this year.
On the referencing of the report, we note that the quotation is accurate, and the footnote referencing provides enough detail to clarify that the report is based on a UK analysis, and allows for easy access to the online report in full, including the report origins and relevant disclaimers, as would be normal practice.
We acknowledge your preference that the report be linked to Friends of the Earth UK more explicitly in text, rather than through accessing the commissioning and disclaimer detail of the report itself. Given that concern, should the reference be used in the Energy White Paper, we will ensure that the body of our text includes the distinction. We would appreciate your guidance as to whether the preference is to use UK, or the full ‘England, Wales and Northern Ireland’ as per the report cover.
Energy White Paper Taskforce
Department of Industry
Attachment 3: Nuclear energy issues p. 71 ………– In 2013, the Bureau of Resources and Energy Economics found that, over the projection period to 2050, nuclear remains cost-competitive with both renewable and non-renewable technologies on a levelised cost of energy basis. …….
A hard-headed look at nuclear power Mike Childs 02 August 2013 http://www.foe.co.uk/news/nuclear_40884All the evidence is that we are facing a planetary emergency, especially with rapidly rising greenhouse gases and warnings from scientists of the potential breaching of tipping points. This isn’t a reason to panic but it is a reason to take a hard-headed approach in assessing and reassessing positions on technologies and practices. It also requires an ability to think out of the box and imagine a different future; or as Friends of the Earth’s strap-line says, see things differently.
It was with this hard-headed, seeing things differently, approach that we embarked on a review of the evidence for and against new nuclear power stations in the UK. The review could have thrown up information or evidence that would require us to change our current opposition to new nuclear power, but we undertook this review because we consider, objectively and without prejudice, the facts on the issues we work on. This is an important guiding principle given the planetary emergency context we are operating in.
To help us in our reassessment of the evidence we commissioned the Tyndall Centre at Manchester University to carry out a review. We commissioned them because they do not have a position for or against new nuclear power, they have expertise in nuclear power, and they are leading academics on climate change, especially carbon budgets. Their review was peer reviewed by academics in favour of nuclear power and against.
After receiving the Tyndall Report, and after considering it properly, we are of the view that continued opposition to new nuclear power stations in the UK is still a credible position.
The Tyndall Report found:
- The non-nuclear energy pathway that Friends of the Earth advocates is credible and compatible with the capabilities of a future electricity grid. The researchers suggested we should regularly review our energy pathway to take into account technological developments, particularly if higher levels of electricity are needed than modelled due to faster roll out of electric cars and heat pumps than the already very ambitious levels within our energy pathway. We will of course do so but given that the UK is particularly blessed with large amounts of renewable energy it is our current view that the resources are likely to be adequate to fulfil any potential extra demand.
- The health impacts of coal are worse than nuclear power – as Friends of the Earth has said in the past – and that recent life-cycle research also suggests this is the case for gas, including gas with CCS. It also suggests that life-cycle health impacts for renewables are broadly comparable to nuclear, but cautions that the life-cycle assessments have not accounted for all the health impacts resulting from nuclear accidents (e.g. mental health impacts as a result of relocation).
- Nuclear waste management remains an “unresolved issue” in the UK with no safe repository in place. A new build nuclear programme would not add significantly to the quantity of waste but could increase the overall radioactivity of the waste inventory by around 265 per cent.
- Higher estimates of the cost of nuclear power are more plausible than estimates of low costs, stating that “claims that nuclear power is cheaper than other low carbon options (including CCS and wind) are unlikely to be borne out in reality”.
The researchers urged us to advocate changes in energy use, supply and storage that are commensurate with reducing the UK’s emissions as fast as possible, and with the aim of securing a carbon intensity of electricity below 50g/CO2/KWh by 2030.
Since receiving the report we have updated our position paper. We continue to oppose the construction of new nuclear power stations, promote the rapid introduction of renewable energy – particularly offshore wind – and oppose the provision of subsidies to nuclear power as they are reducing the amount of money available to more sustainable energy saving and renewable energy technologies.
Groups fight for renewable energy target, Herald Sun AAP SEPTEMBER 29, 2014
CUTTING the renewable energy target (RET) will leave Australians reliant on natural gas and drive up electricity bills, a group of consumer and community advocates say.
THEY have written to Prime Minister Tony Abbott urging him to reject the recommendations of a review that called on the government to cut the target.
The economic, environmental and social impacts of the RET scheme were well-documented and overwhelmingly positive, states the letter from groups including the Australian Council of Social Service, the Brotherhood of St Laurence, the Consumer Utilities Advocacy Centre and the Clean Energy Council.
“If the RET is cut, Australia’s greater reliance on gas-fired power will increase the cost of power for all energy users,” they say…….http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/breaking-news/groups-fight-for-renewable-energy-target/story-fni0xqi4-1227073457547