Australian news, and some related international items

Small Nuclear Reactors lobby turns to Australia, as safety rules too strong in USA

SMRs AustraliaWhy Australia is important to the Small Nuclear lobby. Independent Australia

 16 October 2015, Elsewhere in the world, proponents of small nuclear reactors are pitted against the large reactors, but here in Australia, as Noel Wauchope reports, proponents of small reactors see them as enabling conventional nuclear and uranium mining to flourish.   QUIETLY, AND pretty much under the media radar, a dispute is going on in the global nuclear industry between the advocates of “Generation III” — big nuclear reactors, and “Generation IV” — small nuclear reactors…….

 the nuclear lobby’s spiel to Australia is something different, and very original. No dispute — because the argument is that small reactors would further the large reactor industry.

First articulated by Oscar Archer on ABC RN, March 2015, the idea is that Australia, in setting up small nuclear reactors, would enable the conventional nuclear industry and uranium mining to flourish:….. As Archer says, Australia would indeed be the pioneer for the new technology.

And that’s what the USA “new nuclear” lobby desperately needs.  They need this, because they’re finding it impossible to go ahead in America. Why? Well it’s those pesky safety regulations imposed by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

What the “Small Nuclear” lobby needs is a “nuclear friendly” country – one with less stringent safety
scrutiny-Royal-Commissionregulations – to set up their nuclear reactors on a test site. Hence the enthusiasm of those lobbyists for the South Australia Nuclear Fuel Chain Royal Commission, as shown, for example, in a recent Royal Commission hearing speech by Thomas Marcille of Holtec International nuclear company.

……… the Nuclear Regulatory Commission(NRC) has proved to be real nuisance since it tightened regulations for the licensing process after the Fukushima nuclear disaster. The new nuclear marketers have had to go overseas, first to China, then perhaps to Australia?….,8263

October 16, 2015 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, marketing for nuclear, Nuclear Royal Commission | 2 Comments

Unable to sell them at home, Westinghouse trying to flog uneconomic nuclear reactors to Australia

buyer-beware-1Westinghouse eyes Australian nuclear potential, links with local suppliers, SMH October 8,  15, Angela Macdonald-Smith and Jenny Wiggins Nuclear technology giant Westinghouse sees the retirement of old coal-fired power plants in Australia as an opportunity for nuclear power and is positioning itself early to inform the political and public debate.

In Sydney to announce a tie-up with three local suppliers, Westinghouse chief executive Danny Roderick said the Japanese-owned company “wants to make sure that the facts are out there” on the safety of new-generation nuclear reactors.

He said that convincing the 8 per cent of the Australian public that is undecided about nuclear power would create “an overwhelming majority of people in Australia that would support a nuclear new-build”.

The company, part of Toshiba Corporation, already has strong links with uranium suppliers in Australia, and sees the latest step as “a very logical fit” to build on those and explore local manufacturing capacity for a new reactor……….

Public perception still an issue

Nuclear power made “a lot of sense” for Australia, Mr Chilcote added. “Look at what brown coal and the associated emissions are doing on the environment. There’s a lot less waste out of nuclear, the hardest part is overcoming the public perception.”

The option of nuclear power for Australia is being examined within a South Australian royal commission, with findings due next year. Meanwhile, the federal government’s greenhouse gas reduction targets, of 26 to 28 per cent cuts from 2005 levels by 2030, and the anticipated retirement of ageing coal-fired generators have also set the scene for discussion.

“In the next decade you have several very large coal plants that are going to need to be retired, and you’re going to have to choose to build something to replace those,” Mr Roderick said.

“If you’re going to talk about carbon reduction and greenhouse gas reductions you’re going to have to bring nuclear into the mix.”

Mr Roderick’s discussions this week included federal Environment Minister Greg Hunt, Port Adelaide member Mark Butler and senior officials from the offices of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, and Resources Minister Josh Frydenberg.

He has been pointing out that Westinghouse’s AP1000 nuclear plant uses “passive” technology that doesn’t require electricity to be able to safely shut itself down, averting a Fukushima-like situation. This type of plant is under construction in the US and is set to be used in the UK, China and India………..

October 9, 2015 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, marketing for nuclear | Leave a comment

Nuclear spin doctor the keynote speaker at Energy Conference in Melbourne: WHY?

Why is this pro nuke spinner the keynote speaker at  All Energy Australia International, the conference for the Asia Pacific,   tomorrow in Melbourne?

Energy alternatives ABC Radio 10 Oct 12,  Ticky is joined by Professor Chris Llewellyn Smith, Oxford
University’s Director of Energy and former head of CERN.
“…….TICKY FULLERTON  we  know you’re a big fan of nuclear playing a big part in our energy future. Has the global industry moved on from Fukushima or is it still in damage control in your view?

CHRIS LLEWELLYN SMITH: I think it’s in damage control as far as public relations are concerned, but we have to put Fukushima in perspective, as one of a British journalist wrote. You take a crappy old 1960s power station, you hit it with the biggest tsunami and earthquake you can think of – actually bigger than anyone thought of, that’s one of
the problems – make every possible mistake and nobody was killed.

( Christina Macpherson’s note : Just by the way – about that mention of the crappy old 1960s power station, well – in the USA, 23 reactors operate with same flawed GE design  that failed in the triple meltdown at the Fukushima plant and released over four times the amount of cesium-137 than was released in the 1986 Chernobyl disaster. )

So we shouldn’t forget that. Nobody’s been killed and probably … maybe there will be one or two radiation deaths. …. we have to treat it with great respect, but all forms of power production are dangerous and nuclear has a very, very good safety record compared to the others.

TICKY FULLERTON: It’s got a big bill behind it though. I see a report just on Europe reactors is a $30 billion repair job?

CHRIS LLEWELLYN SMITH: Yes, I think the weak spot of nuclear at the moment may be that the new generation of nuclear power stations – which were cracked up to be as cheap as coal – they’re coming out way over budget. We don’t know if that’s just because the first ones or the costs will come down….”

October 10, 2012 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, marketing for nuclear | Leave a comment

BHP funds a study to lead to nuclear power and nuclear submarines for Australia

Sub study to look at nuclear options BY: VERITY EDWARDS  The Australian June 20, 2012  UNIVERSITY College London will study whether the Australian navy could use nuclear propulsion in its next generation of submarines, despite the federal government ruling out its use in the immediate future.

UCL’s Adelaide-based International Energy Policy Institute, headed by Tim Stone, the senior adviser to the British Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, began its academic program this year with $10 million in funding from BHP Billiton and other energy companies……

The Gillard government has committed to building 12 submarines in Adelaide, but has ruled out nuclear propulsion. ….
The university will look at a third generation of submarine capabilities, which would also involve research into how long it would take to enable a civil nuclear market to be up and running in Australia.

The IEPI will this week advertise internationally for a uranium and nuclear power researcher, whose work will tie in with the submarine project. The researcher will evaluate the nation’s role in the nuclear fuel cycle, uranium enrichment and opportunities for the Australian market, and the lifecycle and environmental footprint of nuclear power.

June 20, 2012 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, marketing for nuclear, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Don’t worry: radiation’s OK: nuclear is cleaner than wind or solar energy – says uranium industry’s Michael Angwin

Facts ‘needed to end radiation fear’,  Herald Sun April 19, 2012 AUSTRALIANS would fear radiation less if they better understood the science behind it, a uranium advocacy group says.

A misinformed fear of radiation, from disasters like Chernobyl and Fukushima, drives public perception about uranium, the Australian Uranium Association (AUA) says…

.. AUA CEO Michael Angwin says radiation is a safe natural phenomena that need not be feared…… “You do see people who will become physically ill due to just the fear of the unknown.” He said he saw people sick with worry in Japan last year following the major earthquake and feared radioactive disaster at the Fukushima
nuclear plant….
Mr Angwin said while Fukushima had been a set-back for the image of uranium it remained a clean-energy option for the future. “Emissions from nuclear energy are very low, about the same as wind and in many cases less than a number of the solar technologies,” “For the same amount of electricity produced, the emissions from the nuclear industry are very low.”….

April 19, 2012 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, marketing for nuclear | 3 Comments

Uranium SA address to shareholders – all the right weasel words

Russel Bluck Chairman Uranium SA Limited gave a brave  Address to Shareholders
on 6 October.  
It was designed to jolly them up, and Mr Bluck is to be admired, for he has learned all the right terms.  I was reminded of schooldays, when I was taught certain religious beliefs and words by rote.  Obviously Australia’s uranium mining executives have followed the same sort of teaching.

First comes the admission – ” The rate of corporate and generational change has been slowed [ a better word than plummeted?] by external circumstance”

But this is followed quickly by the new nuclear dogmas:   about  “robust returns on invested capital”,…..”The failure of the Fukushima nuclear plants was an industrial [ not a nuclear?] catastrophe within the context of a major natural disaster.”…

…as the fog of disinformation [does he mean the facts on radiation?] clears , it is again clear nuclear power generation is safe and made even safer by the lessons of Fukushima,…

Nuclear power is the only proven technology which is able to deliver energy at the levels required to sustain and grow industry and urban populations – it has a secure future. [Oh Yeah?]
 the uranium market will continue to have a sound future structure [Oh Yeah?]
As a corporate entity, everything we do is done professionally and with integrity [ except telling the truth]

October 7, 2011 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, marketing for nuclear, uranium | Leave a comment

Pro uranium spin revs up, in Australia and USA

Toro Energy to commence regional public information days for Wiluna uranium project Proactive investors, August 10, 2011 Toro Energ  will begin the public information days on the Wiluna uranium project in regional Western Australia on August 15.

Uranium Safe to Eat With a Spoon!, OpEd by David Swanson, 11 Aug 11, Carefully ignoring Fukushima, Los Alamos, Vermont, and Nebraska, a comforting new announcement informs us that “nuclear energy is safe.” A series of soothing television ads and videostells us that mining uranium in Virginia would produce jobs and protect us from scary foreigners.

Virginia newspapers carried an article from theAssociated Press this week that did not pretend to be anything but one-sided, reporting on the agenda of corporations that would profit from mining uranium while including no other views or any verified facts. The Washington Post did the very same thing. These articles are essentially press releases that have been tweaked. The online versions even include the videos.

We can expect even less actual news reporting than that (yes, less than nothing) to come through our televisions. But these ads hyping uranium mining as a job solution will be aired. And the television networks will consequently view the mining corporations as customers not to be needlessly offended or inconvenienced……

Thousands of years of danger, to provide what the uranium mining companies claim might be 65 years of uranium use. That seems like the kind of deal only a U.S. president could consider a bargain. Let’s hope Virginia still has more life left in it than Washington.

August 11, 2011 Posted by | marketing for nuclear, uranium, Western Australia | Leave a comment

Alexander Downer’s plan for a radioactive South Australia

You’ve got to hand it to  former Liberal MP Alexander Downer.  In a week when everyone else is respectfully remembering the Japanese victims of Hiroshima and Fukushima,   – or at least tactfully shutting up about Australia’s involvement in the nuclear industry there – Downer comes out with blatant marketing of the nuclear industry. – C.M. 

Downer: Nuclear power makes cents – Alexander Downer, The Advertiser, August 01, 2011…..we could build a nuclear power station. Just imagine replacing the Northern power station at Port Augusta with a nuclear power station which would be pollution free. The uranium would come from just up the road at Olympic Dam, it could be enriched at a new enrichment plant at, say, Whyalla, the waste could be stored at the world’s safest location for long-term storage, near Woomera…..

To me, it all makes perfect sense.

If we were really ambitious, we would use these facilities to make the world a safer place….”

August 6, 2011 Posted by | marketing for nuclear, South Australia | | Leave a comment

Fukushima ‘incident’ makes nuclear industry safer, says Paladin chief

He said the Fukushima incident in Japan had been nothing more than a smokescreen obscuring the positive underlying fundamentals of the industry.A positive side to the Fukushima incident, where there were no deaths despite alarmist reports, was that it will make the industry even safer

Paladin Energy CEO delivers broadside against Greens Party, A leading Australian uranium industry figure fired a broadside at the country’s Greens Party which has pushed a case that Australia could be run totally on renewable energy by 2040. Ross Louthean, Mineweb 21 Jul 2011 PERTH – – 

Speaking in the last session of the Australian Uranium Conference in Fremantle this evening, Paladin Energy Ltd’s chief executive John Borshoff described the case made by the country’s Greens Party that Australia could be run totally on renewable enrergy by 2040 as stupid. Continue reading

July 21, 2011 Posted by | marketing for nuclear, Western Australia | Leave a comment

Australia’s Commonwealth Bank joins in the Murdoch press’s pro-nuclear marketing hype

Long-term contract prices are forecast to move steadily higher, following upward-trending spot prices and consistent with production increasing and shifting up the industry cost curve, the bank said….

Fukushima Accident Delays, Doesn’t Stop, Nuclear Renaissance -CBA, Fox News, By Ray Brindal,  July 20, 2011,CANBERRA – The accident at Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear complex, which reignited concerns about the safety of nuclear power worldwide, hasn’t stopped the industry’s growth plans in many countries, though it has delayed the process, Commonwealth Bank of Australia reported Wednesday. Continue reading

July 20, 2011 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, marketing for nuclear | Leave a comment

Oblivious of world trends, Australia’s nuclear marketeers hype on

Greens’ Senator Scott Ludlam says the Minister is underestimating the impact of this year’s nuclear disaster in Japan….”The nuclear industry’s been going backwards. They’ve closed more reactors than they’ve opened since 2002.”

Uranium exports predicted to quadruple ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation) Jun 10, 2011  An independent analyst has supported a statement by the Federal Government that Australian uranium exports could quadruple in the next 20 years.The Minister for Resources and Energy, Martin Ferguson, made the statement during this week’s AusIMM uranium conference in Perth….

Get ready for nuclear, Sydney Morning Herald, Mark Hawthorne, June 11, 2011
  WITH energy needs, carbon pricing and the tragic events at Fukushima firmly on the agenda, Andy Lloyd walked into Media House this week to deliver a Lowy Institute lecture on Australian attitudes to nuclear power.

Lloyd is chief development officer for uranium with Rio Tinto and, despite the tragedy at Fukushima, had a clear message – unless we are willing to pay more, nuclear power will have to play a major role in Australia’s future energy mix …….”I am not advocating a start on nuclear power today, but we need the foundations for a nuclear future.”

Erica SmythNuclear power should also be considered for Australia, she says.”We have good, stable geology, we have the right sort of environment, particularly on the east coast,”

 – Female trailblazer Erica Smyth still fired up * Matt Chambers   The Australian *June 13, 2011

“……Smyth, 59, is now a professional director, with one of her roles being chairwoman at uranium explorer and developer Toro Energy…… Continue reading

June 13, 2011 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, marketing for nuclear | Leave a comment

Australia’s mining industry to promote itself again with $multimillion advertising

Miners dig in to improve image,The Age Clare Kermond, Lucy Battersby.June 10, 2011 THE mining sector is ramping up its new multimillion-dollar marketing campaign, expected to run for the next three years, aimed at improving the industry’s public image. A second wave of ads about the industry’s contribution to the nation is due for release soon, with three already in rotation….

June 10, 2011 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, marketing for nuclear | Leave a comment

Australia’s nuclear salesmen at Canadian “clean” energy talks

Australian scientists tops in international  talks about CLEAN ENERGY .  Sounds great, doesn’t it?   But what are these talks, and who are Australia’s scientific representatives?

Well, the (poorly attended) talks were in Canada, (another uranium producing country), and of Australia’s four representatives, two  look very like nuclear salesmen.

There’s Barry Brook, well known nuclear power enthusiast, and Robin Batterham, formerly of giant uranium mining company, Rio Tinto

Fortunately the other two have more believable credentials on clean energy.- Christina Macpherson

Aussie scientists dominate global energy talks ABC News By Sara Phillips, Jun 7, 2011 Australian scientists represent almost a quarter of invited guests at an international energy conference that aims to “reboot the global dialogue on energy”. The Equinox Summit 2030 in Waterloo, Canada has gathered 17 international experts in energy generation, storage and distribution to map a path to a clean energy future.

With the world in dire need of an alternative to fossil fuels to prevent further climate changing greenhouse gases from being released into the atmosphere, the race is on to develop and roll out cleaner technologies. Continue reading

June 9, 2011 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, marketing for nuclear | Leave a comment

Australia’s nuclear salesmen dream on, in secluded comfort in Perth hotel

In the safe and comfortable ambience of the Pan Pacific Hotel, Perth, the nuclear salesmen dream on.

Nuclear reactor by 2022, uranium body says, Sydney Morning Herald, Josh Jerga June 8, 2011 Australia should try to get its first electricity generating nuclear reactor up by 2022, despite the Fukushima nuclear plant accident in Japan, the head of the Australian Uranium Association says.

Michael Angwin, CEO of the AUA, told an International Uranium Conference in Perth on Wednesday he was puzzled why the country was debating a carbon price without talking about…….

June 9, 2011 Posted by | marketing for nuclear, Western Australia | Leave a comment

Toro talks up uranium, as its shares slump

UP AND ATOM Sydney Morning Herald, Colin Kruger June 7, 2011 Human catastrophe and financial markets are never a pretty mix. Just ask the uranium explorer Toro Energy, which dedicated yesterday’s shareholder update to clearing the air on some of the ”sensationalist” media coverage of the Fukushima nuclear plant accident.

Toro’s concern is understandable. Its share price nose-dived after the incident and the stock is retracing recent lows following Germany’s promise to close down all its nuclear facilities by 2022.

The company says ”a sequence of extraordinary forces unleashed by an unprecedented natural disaster” caused the accident at the reactors, ”not an operating failure, human error or design fault of the reactors themselves”.

Your columnist feels safer already.

”The lessons learnt from this incident will make nuclear power even safer than its already impressive record would attest,” the company says, while noting that the precautionary radiation checks provided ”plenty of sensationalist film footage” for the media and anti-nuclear groups.

It was not enough to cheer up its share price yesterday. The stock continued its slide, closing 0.3¢ lower at 8¢…

June 7, 2011 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, marketing for nuclear | Leave a comment


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