Australian news, and some related international items

Zombie politics vs climate action: will the coming election focus on our future?

Originally posted on jpratt27:

The issue of climate change has had a significant and polarising impact on Australian politics in recent years. The political fortunes of several major players have revolved around it. While Kevin Rudd’s call to arms on the “great moral challenge of our generation” was rhetorically memorable, the debate in Australia has largely focused on developing policies that do not significantly alter the economic status quo.
Since 2007, when Rudd capitalised on the zeitgeist of climate change concern, the political debate has shifted from advocating policies to deal with the challenge to those that “axe the tax”. Australian politics has wrestled with climate change as both an existential global scientific phenomenon and a parochial political and ideological issue.

Climate change is surging again as a fundamental form of political contest in this country, yet without a politics of climate change in place. Action on climate change is, however, a key debate…

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September 1, 2015 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Big Bank Says It’s Going To Cost A Lot To Do Nothing On Global Warming #Auspol

Originally posted on jpratt27:

A new report from Citibank found that acting on climate change by investing in low-carbon energy would save the world $1.8 trillion through 2040, as compared to a business-as-usual scenario. In addition, not acting will cost an additional $44 trillion by 2060 from the “negative effects” of climate change.The report, titled Energy Darwinism, looked at the predicted cost of energy over the coming decades, the costs of developing low carbon energy sources, and the implications of global energy choices.

“What we’re trying to do is to take an objective view at the economics of this situation and actually look at what the costs of not acting are, if the scientists are right,” Jason Channell, Global Head of Alternative Energy and Cleantech Research at Citi, told CNBC. “There is a cost to not doing this, and although there is a cost to acting, what we’re trying to do is to actually…

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September 1, 2015 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Danger of nuclear stations to coastal communities, Aboriginal people and to water

submission goodThe ongoing impact of mass dispossession of Anangu people because of nuclear testing on their traditional homelands has very real consequences today, for many residing on the Far Coast of SA

Maralinga is also raised because of the interest it attracts as a potential nuclear waste dump location. The logic appears to be that it is already contaminated, so it perfect for more radioactive waste. CBAA dismiss this logic outright.

Clean Bight Alliance Australia Submission to: Nuclear Fuel Cycle Royal Commission SA 

Clean Bight Alliance Australia is a local community group based in Ceduna on the far west coast of SA. Members have a strong interest in the ongoing health of the marine and coastal areas of the Great Australian Bight and the Eyre Peninsular. CBAA advocate for appropriate use of the region’s natural marine resources and educate the community on the risks associated with industrialization of the marine environment.

Coast Great Australia Bight

Extract “……CBAA take the position that there are no suitable areas in South Australia for a nuclear reactor. Currently our position is supported by legislation as Nuclear Power generation in South Australia is prohibited by the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 Act and the Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Act 1998. CBAA strongly encourages the Royal Commission to appreciate the background to these important pieces of legislation and implications if these were to be further altered or weakened.

Furthermore Nuclear power generation requires large quantities of water for cooling – typically 36.3 to 65.4 million liters per reactor per day. 1 South Australia is known as one of the driest states on one of the driest continents. No inland areas are suitable for the establishment of a nuclear reactor for generating electricity. The amount of water needed can definitely not be sourced with current reservoirs and transportation of the large amounts of sea water required would be unfeasible and costly. Locating a Nuclear Reactor in South Australia is restricted to coastal areas.

However this is also highly unsuitable as siting a nuclear reactor would conflict with other key industries Continue reading

August 31, 2015 Posted by | Submissions to Royal Commission S.A. | Leave a comment

Kevin Scarce off to S Korea, later will conduct public hearings

Nuclear royal commissioner Kevin Scarce about to start public hearings, The Advertiser August 29, 2015  PAUL STARICK CHIEF REPORTER  Sunday Mail (SA) DISTINGUISHED economist Ross Garnaut will be among the first expert witnesses at the nuclear Scarce blahroyal commission’s public sessions, as the inquiry reaches the business end.

From September 9, Royal Commissioner Kevin Scarce will question experts on topics such as long-term demand for electricity, along with the cost benefits and safety risks of expanding nuclear activity in South Australia.

Determining electricity demand for up to 40 years will effectively produce detailed predictions of the state’s economic future, aided by Professor Garnaut, because this will be required to determine predicted energy supplies.

The electricity market study will consider whether nuclear power will be economically viable and where it fits in the mix of renewable energy, gas and coal……..

……..would conduct 30 to 40 public sessions — two to three per day of about 90 minutes each — aided by counsel assisting, Chad Jacobi.

The topics and his questions will be guided by more than 250 public submissions sent to the Australia guinea piginquiry………..

Mr Scarce, a former SA governor, left yesterday for what is expected to be the commission’s final overseas study tour, visiting South Korean nuclear power plants and speaking to the country’s nuclear regulator…….

……….we need to learn what’s worked well overseas and how that process can be managed.” [ note: S Korea is in  a chaotic dilemma about its nuclear wastes]

toilet map South Australia 2

Mr Scarce has repeatedly faced criticism that the royal commission is an expensive and time-consuming bid to mask state and federal governments’ desire to again impose a nuclear dump on SA.

The State Budget has set aside $1.83 million for the royal commission this financial year……….

Three leading environment groups — Conservation SA, the Australian Conservation Foundation and Friends of the Earth — this month said the axing of hundreds of jobs from the Olympic Dam ­uranium mine raised huge questions about the nuclear industry’s growth potential.

“SA’s future lies in renewable energy, not nuclear. It’s cheaper, safer and quicker to roll out,” Conservation SA chief Craig Wilkins said.

“With renewables, we can be in charge of our own destiny, not dependent on decisions made in corporate boardrooms on the other side of the world.”

Mr Scarce expects to release tentative findings, including detailed recommen­dations, in a report in February. After five weeks of public consultation, the final report is due by May 6. Policy decisions about whether to adopt any recommendations, should they call for a nuclear dump or other changes, will be taken by the State Government.

August 30, 2015 Posted by | Nuclear Royal Commission | Leave a comment

When it comes to Nuclear Power, Small Isn’t Beautiful, Nor Safe Nor Cheap Nor Even New. USNRC NuScale Comment Deadline Monday Night 31 August, One Minute to Midnight NY-DC Time

Originally posted on Mining Awareness Plus:

Comment Deadline 31 Aug. (Mon.) night, 11.59 pm, NY-DC (US Eastern) “NuScale Power, LLC, Design-Specific Review Standard and Safety Review Matrix“Docket Folder Summary!docketDetail;D=NRC-2015-0160 (If you don’t like the questions answer a different question, as per the advice that an MIT Ph.D. gave their grad student, and MIT is big on nuclear, the head of the US DOE, Moniz, teaches there, so it should be ok for this!)
NuScale in 2003 when it belonged to the US Gov and was called “MULTI-APPLICATION, SMALL, LIGHT WATER REACTOR (MASLWR)” INEEL/EXT-04-01626

Greenpeace’s Justin McKeating made an excellent analysis of NuScale last year (see below our commentary).

However, he overlooked that the US DOE actually invented NuScale under the name of MASLWR. So, this is at least a second round of government funding. The US government dropped MASLWR and former DOE workers picked it up, probably after the patent expired…

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August 30, 2015 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

NuScale ups its propaganda for Small Modular #Nuclear Reactors

text-relevantNuScale hopes to change the conversation on nuclear power, Corvallis Gazette Times. 30 Aug 15 “…….On Aug. 20 he was in Corvallis, speaking to more than 200 like-minded souls gathered for a fancy dinner in the main ballroom of Oregon State University’s CH2M Hill Alumni Center for an exposition on nuclear energy sponsored by NuScale Power, a local company working to develop what it hopes will be the first small modular reactor approved for use in the United States.

Over plates of steak and scallops, Shellenberger painted a picture of a golden future in which human suffering and environmental degradation could be overcome with the aid of affordable, plentiful, carbon-free energy — if only we can get past what he called our irrational bias against nuclear power.

“Saving nature in the 21st century,” he said, “is going to require that we confront our fears.”

It was a theme that came up over and over again during NuEx, a two-day trade show and networking extravaganza that reinforced NuScale’s status as the frontrunner to win the first Nuclear Regulatory Commission certification for a small modular reactor or SMR, a next-generation technology touted as cheaper, safer and more flexible than traditional large-scale nuclear power plants.

Some 230 nuclear industry representatives, investment bankers, political operatives and journalists descended on Corvallis for the event, where they were wined and dined, heard market forecasts and inspirational speeches, toured NuScale facilities and discussed possible business deals with the up-and-coming company……… Continue reading

August 30, 2015 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Idaho’s radioactive trash importing is a National, not just a State, matter

these contractors are doing work for the Department of Energy, a federal agency using taxpayer dollars. The federal government must be held accountable in Idaho at all times.

Idaho’s role in the national nuclear waste and research strategy deserves more scrutiny. The proposed fuel rods contain some of the most radioactive material on earth. The industry and government have not determined how to “safely” handle and store waste that has a half-life longer than any human civilization has existed. Perhaps, instead of raising alarmist notions that Idaho’s economy depends on begging for nuclear waste imports, the DOE could first finish what it started with the waste we already have.

radioactive trashantnuke-relevantIdahoans should demand accountability on nuclear waste. BY KELSEY JAE NUNEZ HTTP://WWW.IDAHOSTATESMAN.COM/2015/08/29/3961694/GUEST-OPINION-IDAHOANS-SHOULD.HTML August 29, 2015 The state of Idaho should stand tall while demanding that the Department of Energy honor its commitments to the people of Idaho.

While the Idaho National Laboratory may be an economic force in our state, the history of the site is plagued by the federal government’s irresponsible and shortsighted practices involving disposal of nuclear waste. These actions contaminated the air, the soil, and the Snake River Aquifer with radioactive materials that will remain hazardous until the end of fathomable time. Real people suffered. Decades of dumping and controversial plans to continue shipping nuclear waste from around the world into Idaho caused outrage among many of its citizens. Litigation led to the now-famous 1995 Settlement Agreement, which is hardly outdated — the deadlines have just recently starting to come due.

The 1995 Settlement Agreement represents a set of negotiated promises from the federal government to Idahoans — promises to clean up the nuclear waste it brought here, and promises to limit the importation of more. Enforcing the agreement is Idaho’s legal and moral obligation, and the people should not tolerate manipulative tactics and attempts to bully Idaho into abandoning it. Continue reading

August 30, 2015 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

New South Wales way behind on renewable energy

poster-renewables-rallyNSW ‘at bottom of pack’ for renewable energy; Government says it’s committed to clean projects, ABC News By state political reporter Brigid Glanville. 30 Aug 15,  It may be known as the premier state, but New South Wales is a clear under-achiever when it comes to renewable energy.

NSW has the highest level of greenhouse gas emissions in the country and does not have a renewable energy target.

In 2014 the renewable industry body, Clean Energy Council, listed New South Wales at the bottom of the states for renewable energy production. Only 6 per cent of its electricity is from wind, solar and water — compared with Tasmania, which uses 95 per cent renewables. “New South Wales is at the bottom of the pack of the Australian states when it comes to renewable energy,” Climate Council CEO Amanda McKenzie said.

“It’s behind the pack in terms of generating renewable energy and the amount of rooftop solar on people’s roofs.”

New South Wales and the two territories remain the only jurisdictions where Solar PV panel penetration is under 10 per cent.

In South Australia, take up is almost 25 per cent.

Clean energy penetration by state

  • Tasmania 95%
  • South Australia 40%
  • Western Australia 13%
  • Victoria 10%
  • Queensland 7%
  • NSW 6%

Source: Clean Energy Council, Clean Energy Australia Report 2014

Continue reading

August 30, 2015 Posted by | energy, New South Wales | Leave a comment

The Battle is on! #Auspol #ClimateChange #CanningVotes 

Originally posted on jpratt27:

The battle is on, on September 19 voters in my electorate of Canning in Western Australia have a chance to cast the first stone at the Abbott government.

A loss for the Abbott government in Canning would certainly put an end to Abbott’s Prime Ministership. With an election due next year a swing of ten percent would surely push the Liberal party to a leadership spill.

Tony Abbott infamous for his words “Climate change is crap” has abolished Australia’s price on carbon pollution & attacked the renewable energy industry relentlessly since him came into power. As a result Australia’s carbon emissions have reversed and our now climbing. Despite the fact that seventy three percent of Australians support lifting the renewable energy target.

The science is settled the global temperature is now at a record level and set to soar past the two degree C level some politicians have deemed the…

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August 30, 2015 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

How Much Climate Change Will Cost You if We Fail to Act? #Auspol

Originally posted on jpratt27:

Climate change could have a substantial impact on the world’s economy. If global leaders do nothing to combat its advance, the financial impact of climate change could be as much as $44 trillion, according to a new report released Tuesday by the U.S. financial firm Citigroup.

The report puts into perspective the potential financial impact of a scenario in which nothing is done to stave off the warming of the planet, something Citigroup researchers deemed “inaction.”
“[T]he central case we have in the report is that the costs in terms of lost (gross domestic product) GDP from not acting on climate change can be $44 trillion dollars by the time we get to 2060,” Citi’s Global Head of Alternative Energy and Cleantech Research, Jason Channell, told CNBC.

“What we’re trying to do is to take an objective view at the economics of this situation and actually…

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August 30, 2015 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Enova Energy New South Wales community organisation starts new renewable energy provider


The directors said in the prospective that the “nimble and collaborative locally based social enterprise model” used by Enova could be replicated and scaled across like-minded communities in Australia.

The share offer closes on September 25.


Northern Rivers community seeks $4m in energy IPO  August 30, 2015 Angela Macdonald-Smith A community-owned organisation in north-eastern NSW is set to take on the big guns in electricity supply through a $4 million initial public offering to fund a renewable energy retailing and solar company it hopes will stimulate local renewable energy projects across the country.

Enova Energy, chaired by consultant and former NSW state librarian Alison Crook, is aiming to capture customers in the Northern Rivers region, where retailing major Origin Energy dominates the market.

Ms Crook said Enova was not aspiring to be a major competitor of Origin but sought mainly to provide a customer for small wind farms, hydropower and bio-energy projects that were not large enough to be of any interest to major retailers as a green power provider.

“We see this as a game-changer to get community renewable energy really going in Australia,” Continue reading

August 30, 2015 Posted by | business, energy, New South Wales | Leave a comment

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon calls for legally binding Nuclear Test Ban

flag-UN.UN urges all States to sign, ratify Nuclear Test Ban as ‘critical step on road to nuclear-free world’ 28 August 2015 – For the fifth International Day against Nuclear Tests, United NationsSecretary-General Ban Ki-moon has welcomed voluntary moratoria on testing imposed by nuclear-armed states but stressed that these cannot substitute for a legally-binding treaty.

“The Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) is essential for the elimination of nuclear weapons,” Mr. Ban said in a message. “It is a legally-binding, verifiable means by which to constrain the quantitative and qualitative development of nuclear weapons.”

The UN General Assembly declared 29 August the International Day against Nuclear Testsin December 2009, adopting a unanimous resolution that calls for increasing awareness and education “about the effects of nuclear weapon test explosions or any other nuclear explosions and the need for their cessation as one of the means of achieving the goal of a nuclear-weapon-free world.” 2010 marked the inaugural commemoration of the International Day against Nuclear Tests.

Reminding the world that this year marks the 70th anniversary of the dawn of the nuclear age, the UN chief said 70 years ago in 1945, “the Trinity Test unleashed the power of more than 20,000 tons of TNT and precipitated over 2,000 additional nuclear tests.”

“Pristine environments and populated communities in Central Asia, North Africa, North America and the South Pacific were hit,” he said. “Many have never recovered from the resulting environmental, health and economic damage. Poisoned groundwater, cancer, leukaemia, radioactive fallout – these are among the poisonous legacies of nuclear testing.”

“The best way to honour the victims of past tests is to prevent any in the future,” he said, noting that two decades after the CTBT was negotiated, “the time has long past for its entry-into-force.” “I welcome the voluntary moratoria on testing imposed by nuclear-armed States,” Mr. Ban said “At the same time, I stress that these cannot substitute for a legally-binding Treaty.”

“On this International Day, I repeat my longstanding call on all remaining States to sign and ratify the Treaty – especially the eight necessary for its entry-into-force – as a critical step on the road to a nuclear-weapon-free world,” he said.

The General Assembly resolution that established the world day was initiated by Kazakhstan, together with a large number of sponsors and cosponsors with a view to commemorate the closure of the Semipalatinsk Nuclear Test site on 29 August 1991.

In his remarks, Assembly President Sam Kutesa said the recently held 2015 Review Conference of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) had highlighted the stark reality of the increasing divisions between the States parties over the future of nuclear disarmament.

“It is now time to bridge the gap and work with more resolute political will to ensure that the NPT continues to remain the cornerstone of global security,” he declared.

Mr. Kutesa applauded the efforts of the Government of Kazakhstan, not only for initiating the International Day, but also for its continuing leadership in efforts to end nuclear weapons testing and to promote a world free of nuclear weapons.

He also commend the recent announcement of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) on Iran’s nuclear programme, reached in Vienna between the international negotiators and Iran as an important step forward on this critical issue.

“I hope this agreement will benefit the non-proliferation regime and will lead to greater mutual understanding and cooperation on the many serious security challenges in the Middle East and beyond,” he said.

He also announced that on 10 September, he plans to convene an informal meeting of the General Assembly to mark the International Day under the overall theme ‘Towards Zero: Resolving the Contradictions.’

August 29, 2015 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

No place for nuclear power in Australia – economist warns

scrutiny-Royal-Commission CHAINNuclear power is an expensive, inferior resource that has no place in Australia’s future energy mix, a US economist has warned. 27 Aug 15 

Vermont Law School senior fellow for economic analysis Mark Cooper has called on South Australia’s Nuclear Fuel Cycle Royal Commission to ­reject nuclear­ power on the grounds that natural gas-fired generation is more cost-competitive.

The former Fulbright fellow’s submission to the royal commission argues that the rapid development of renewable energy technology renders nuclear power a 20th-century “relic” that will be outdated before a reactor can be built in Australia.

“Nuclear power is an inferior resource that has no place in a least-cost portfolio to meet the need for electricity in a low-carbon environment,” he says. “Before a new nuclear reactor could be brought online, efficiency, ­renewables, other distributed resources and the deployment of the physical and institutional infrastructure to build an intelligent electricity system should well be on their way towards creating a new 21st-century system.”

Nuclear reactors can take up to 15 years to build before becoming operational. Dr Cooper said the huge capit­al investment required over a long period of time to build a ­nuclear power plant meant invest­ors would be exposed to “significant risk”.

Royal commissioner Kevin Scarce has acknowledged the rapid development of renewable energy technology could quickly change the goalposts for assessing the economic viability of ­nuclear energy. Because of this, “heavy assumptions” were being built into the royal commission’s report to government, he said.

August 29, 2015 Posted by | Submissions to Royal Commission S.A. | Leave a comment

French ACT co-operation on renewable energy for Canberra and South Australia

French diplomacy delivers renewable energy to Canberra and $250m to South Australia, ABC, SA Country Hour By James Jooste, 26 Aug 15 A joint venture between French company Neoen and the Australian Capital Territory Government will inject $250 million into the South Australian economy and deliver clean energy to the capital. Continue reading

August 29, 2015 Posted by | ACT, energy | Leave a comment

Dr Ian Fairlie on Radiation Hormesis

US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC): Consultation. Dr Ian Fairlie Consultant on Radioactivity in the Environment LONDON United Kingdom “………..Comments on Hormesis It is true that some cell and animal experiments indicate that if small amounts of radiation were administered before later larger amounts, the damage done is less than if no previous small amount were given. (The word “tickle” is used in radiobiology lingo to denote such small amounts.)

On the other hand, other cell and animal studies using different doses, durations and endpoints fail to show this effect, and there is no human evidence, ie from epidemiology. But it is true that some evidence from chemistry indicates the same effect, and there is some theoretical support for an adaptive effect in animals and plants.

Hormesis advocates typically argue that although radiation attacks DNA and causes mutations, DNA repair mechanisms quickly correct these. These mechanisms are certainly numerous and busy – it is estimated over 15,000 repairs per hour are carried out in each cell – but from the sheer number of repairs, many misrepairs occur and it is the misrepairs that cause the damage.

But even if the existence of hormesis were accepted, the question remains – what relevance would it have for radiation protection? The answer- as stated repeatedly in official reports by UNSCEAR and BEIR etc – is zero.


For example, do we give “tickle” doses to people about to undergo radiation therapy, or to nuclear workers? Of course, we don’t. And what about background radiation? All of us receive small “tickle” doses of radiation – about 3 mSv per year of which about 1 mSv is from external gamma radiation.

Do these somehow protect us from subsequent radiation? How would we notice? And if it did, so what? That is, what relevance would it have for radiation protection, eg setting radiation standards? The answer is again ….none.

Indeed, as we show below, increasing evidence exists that even background radiation itself is harmful. …….  (NRC): Consultation

August 29, 2015 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment


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