Antinuclear

Australian news, and some related international items

Endless energy use- the nuclear dream – theme for June 17

The nuclear lobby boasts about meeting the planet’s ever-growing need for electricity. “Innovation” is the catch phrase – supposed to be always beneficial. Well, yes, – much innovative technology is beneficial: much of it takes over arduous and monotonous work, much of it increases safety, much of it actually reduces energy use.

But not all new technology is actually beneficial, and some of it increases energy use.

Take, for example, the use of robots .  Power is used in the mining and manufacture of materials (steel, cast ironand aluminum) to make robots.  Electricity is needed for their function, for maintenance and repair. Eventually robots become wastes, like all obsolete machines, energy again used in discarding them..

Leaving aside that major argument about jobs, let’s examine, as an example,  the use of robots in health and social care. Already used in Japan, and Europe, robots provide some nursing services and  “elderly social care” that assists old people at home or in nursing homes.   Some robots, such as Japan’s “Nadine” (below) have been made “personal”. Sounds great, doesn’t it?

 

 

 

BUT – I assert here, (yes, you’re right- I don’t have any evidence) that old people, (like all people) need that human touch, that human interaction, and robots simply do not meet that need. And then, there’s the robot baby-sitter. Same thing.

So – these are examples of robots, with deeply unsatisfying results, using up electricity, that take away jobs that many workers find satisfying.

With society’s problems of increasing obesity and lack of exercise, there is surely a question about jobs, that humans do well and enjoy, and in which human energy is expended, but which are taken over by electricity-guzzling robots.

The new nukes lobby bleats about being part of an “innovation revolution”. But “innovation” is not in itself necessarily good –   not if it just means de-skilling people, increasing energy use, just in order to increase business profits.

June 19, 2017 Posted by | Christina themes | Leave a comment

Today’s Renewable Energy News

Get in on the ground floor: how apartments can join the solar boom
Bjorn Sturmberg
While there are now more solar panels in Australia than people, the many Australians who live in apartments have largely been locked out of this solar revolution by a minefield of red tape and potentially uninformed strata committees.
https://theconversation.com/get-in-on-the-ground-floor-how-apartments-can-join-the-solar-boom-79172

Turnbull and Trump both demonising renewables for no reason
Giles Parkinson
Turnbull’s pursuit of “baseload dispatchable” power has all the hallmarks of the Trump administration’s campaign against renewables. But data shows that countries with lots of wind and solar have better energy security.
http://reneweconomy.com.au/turnbull-trump-demonising-renewables-no-reason-39272/
New South Wales
How apartments can join the solar boom
Do you live in an apartment and wish that you could join the solar power revolution? Here’s how one co-operative housing block in Sydney transformed their building and became one of the first apartment blocks to become equipped with solar and batteries.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-06-21/how-apartments-can-join-the-solar-boom/8639306

Foley pledges to ‘increase’ rooftop solar if elected
http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/luke-foley-pledges-to-massively-increase-rooftop-solar-if-elected-20170621-gwvo3i.html

 

Idea for solar on dam left in dark
A FLOATING solar farm proposed for Copperlode Dam was shot down before ever being considered by Cairns Regional Council, and at least one city official is not impressed.
http://www.cairnspost.com.au/business/friction-in-council-over-rejected-copperlode-dam-solar-farm/news-story/def540cc85d26a41973686c3bb5a5f14
South Australia
Uncertainty powers battery surge
Blackout fears in South Australia have led to a surge in interest in solar battery technology.
http://www.theaustralian.com.au/life/personal-technology/energy-uncertainty-powers-surge-in-solar-backup/news-story/9657d6efdb43f98da5bf8480ab36f3d4

June 23, 2017 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, energy | Leave a comment

Fukushima’s Radiation Will Poison Food “for Decades,” Study Finds

Fukushima 311 Watchdogs

Screen-Shot-2017-06-22-at-7.31.40-AMThree of the six reactors at Japan’s Fukushima-Daiichi complex were wrecked in March 2011 by an earthquake and tsunami. The destruction of emergency electric generators caused a “station blackout” which halted cooling water intake and circulation. Super-heated, out-of-control uranium fuel in reactors 1, 2, and 3 then boiled off cooling water, and some 300 tons of fuel “melted” and burned through the reactors’ core vessels, gouging so deep into underground sections of the structure that to this day operators aren’t sure where it is. Several explosions in reactor buildings and uncovered fuel rods caused the spewing of huge quantities of radioactive materials to the atmosphere, and the worst radioactive contamination of the Pacific Ocean ever recorded. Fukushima amounts to Whole-Earth poisoning.

Now, researchers say, radioactive isotopes that were spread across Japan (and beyond) by the meltdowns will continue to contaminate the food supply for a very long time.

According to…

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June 22, 2017 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Vector/LG Chem win 5MW battery storage tender for Alice Springs — RenewEconomy

Vector wins tender with LG Chem battery storage, which grid operator says will allow significant increase in solar capacity in Alice Springs and a payback in 4 years.

via Vector/LG Chem win 5MW battery storage tender for Alice Springs — RenewEconomy

June 22, 2017 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Australian Parliamentary Treaties Committee nuclear fast-track cuts corners and lacks evidence

The federal parliament’s Joint Standing committee on Treaties (JSCOT) has today signed off on the use of public funds to support research into so-called Generation IV nuclear reactors. 

“This reckless decision follows a rushed process with no public hearings. It lacks evidence and justification and flies in the face of a clear and sustained global trend away from nuclear energy options,” said Australian Conservation Foundation campaigner Dave Sweeney.

ACF joined Friends of the Earth Australia in making a detailed critique of the nuclear plan to JSCOT (attached).

The submission highlighted that the various Generation IV nuclear systems share many of the same risks and constraints as the wider nuclear industry, including prohibitive costs and safety, waste and proliferation concerns. 

“Australia’s involvement with Generation IV promotion is a distraction from the real energy challenges and solutions,” said Dave Sweeney. 

“Propping up nuclear research is not consistent with clear action to address nuclear non-proliferation, energy transition or climate change. It’s also inconsistent with both Australian prohibitions and community expectations on nuclear power.”

These concerns have been noted in both the Greens’ dissenting report and federal Labor’s additional comments, however they are not reflected in the final report.

“Committing public funds to a risky, divisive and under-performing industry deserves the highest scrutiny and justification, not an under the radar rubber-stamp,” Mr Sweeney said. 

Further context or comment:

Dave Sweeney – ACF nuclear free campaigner – 0408 317 812

Dr Jim Green – Friends of the Earth Australia national nuclear campaigner – 0417 318 368

Committee Report: http://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Business/Committees/Joint/Treaties/CITES/Report_171

June 21, 2017 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, politics | Leave a comment

Murky dealings on “New Nuclear” – USA’s Michael Flynn, Russia, Saudi Arabia

House Dems probe into reported Flynn, Saudi Russia energy deal http://edition.cnn.com/2017/06/19/politics/michael-flynn-russia-energy-deal/index.html By Jim Sciutto and Tom LoBianco, CNNJune 20, 2017 (CNN)A pair of top House Democrats are digging into whether former national security adviser Michael Flynn may have misled officials on his security clearance form about two Middle East trips — including one reportedly about building $100 billion worth of nuclear energy plants with help from Russia’s nuclear power agency.

June 21, 2017 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Grand nuclear power scheme: Russia, USA, Saudi Arabia and Michael Flynn

the genius idea developed by Flynn and Co. was a U.S.-Russian partnership to build and operate nuclear plants and export the dangerous spent fuel under strict controls

It would be “funded entirely by Saudi Arabia and other Gulf countries” The kingdom’s upfront cost? “Close to a trillion dollars” 

the Saudis would recoup their costs by selling energy to Egypt, Jordan, Yemen and Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) members Kuwait, Bahrain, Oman, the United Arab Emirates and Qatar—

MICHAEL FLYNN, RUSSIA AND A GRAND SCHEME TO BUILD NUCLEAR POWER PLANTS IN SAUDI ARABIA AND THE AND THE ARAB WORLD http://www.newsweek.com/flynn-russia-nuclear-energy-middle-east-iran-saudi-arabia-qatar-israel-donald-623396
BY JEFF STEIN ON 6/9/17     By the time Michael Flynn was fired as President Donald Trump’s nationalsecurity adviser in February, he had made a lot of bad decisions. One was taking money from the Russians (and failing to disclose it); another was taking money under the table from the Turks. But an overlooked line in his financial disclosure form, which he was forced to amend to detail those foreign payments, reveals he was also involved in one of the most audacious—and some say harebrained—schemes in recent memory:

In 2015 and 2016, according to his filing, Flynn was an adviser to X-Co Dynamics Inc./Iron Bridge Group, which at first glance looks like just another Pentagon consultancy that ex-military officers use to fatten their wallets. Its chairman and CEO was retired Admiral Michael Hewitt; another retiredadmiral, Frank “Skip” Bowman, who oversaw the Navy’s nuclear programs, was an adviser. Other top guns associated with it were former National Security Agency boss Keith Alexander and retired Marine Corps General James “Hoss” Cartwright, former vice chief of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, whose stellar career was marred when he was prosecuted last year for lying to the FBI during a leak investigation.

In the summer of 2015, knowledgeable sources tell Newsweek, Flynn flew to Egypt and Israel on behalf of X-Co/Iron Bridge. His mission: to gauge attitudes in Cairo and Jerusalem toward a fantastical plan for a joint U.S.-Russian (and Saudi-financed) program to get control over the Arab world’s rush to acquire nuclear power. At the core of their concern was a fear that states in the volatile Middle East would have inadequate security for the plants and safeguards for their radioactive waste—the stuff of nuclear bombs.

But no less a concern for Flynn and his partners was the moribund U.S. nuclear industry, which was losing out to Russian and even South Korean contractors in the region. Or as Stuart Solomon, a top executive along with Hewitt at his new venture, IP3 (International Peace, Power and Prosperity), put it in a recent speech to industry executives, “We find ourselves…standing on the sidelines and watching the competition pass us by.” Continue reading

June 21, 2017 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Labor’s broken uranium promise a kick in the guts for communities and the environment. Uranium mine plans will be challenged

Leading environment groups have said the fight to keep Western Australia nuclear free was not over despite a serious broken promise by the McGowan Government on the key environmental issue.

CCWA Director Piers Verstegen said the decision to allow WA uranium mines to proceed on Aboriginal lands was a clear broken promise and a kick in the guts for communities and the environment.

“Should these mines go ahead they would cause permanent damage to our environment and communities and also export WA uranium to countries where it will inevitably result in radioactive waste and risk.

“This terrible decision is a betrayal of the many people, communities, Traditional Owners, trade unions, churches and environment groups who placed their faith in Labor to keep WA uranium free.

“Environmental standards went out the window under the Barnett Government and the approvals that were granted for these uranium mines are some of the most compromised decisions that government made.

“The decision by the McGowan Government to allow those approvals to stand without so much as an inquiry to investigate them, and without even consulting the local communities, workers and Traditional Owners who voted for them in good faith, sends a very bad message about the Government’s commitment to protecting our environment.

“The McGowan Government may think it is OK to let some of the worst decisions in the state’s history stand, but communities, environment groups, workers and Traditional Owners certainly won’t be backing down in our fight to prevent this bad decision turning into a series of toxic and polluting uranium mines.

“We believe there are serious legal flaws in the way these approvals were granted by the Barnett Government and we will continue to contest them at every stage of the process, including through pursuing legal options to protect our communities and environment from this toxic and unwanted industry.

“There will be a lot of members of the Labor Party, a lot of Traditional Owners, and a lot of voters who will be extremely disappointed by this decision which is a direct breach of long-standing state Labor policy and the trust that Western Australians placed in the McGowan Labor Party when they were elected.

“We have worked closely with local communities and Traditional Owners who would be affected by each of these proposals and we certainly won’t be abandoning them in the same way that the McGowan Government appears to be doing.”

National environment group the Australian Conservation Foundation has called the move a retreat from responsibility and will increase its efforts to end plans for uranium mining in WA.

ACF’s Nuclear Free Campaigner Dave Sweeney said “Premier McGowan went to the election saying that uranium mines would not be allowed to proceed unless they had final approval or were in construction.

“None of the four uranium proposal has final approval, none has begun construction and none of the companies have even made a final investment decision.”

“This decision is far from a done deal for uranium mining in WA. No uranium was mined or exported under the pro-nuclear Barnett Government and we will continue to do what is necessary to keep WA’s uranium in the ground.”

June 21, 2017 Posted by | opposition to nuclear, Western Australia | Leave a comment

Disappointment over Labor’s broken promise on uranium mining in Western Australia

The West Australia Nuclear Free Alliance, an Indigenous alliance opposed to uranium mining, have expressed their deep disappointment by the announcement from Labor that will allow four uranium mines to proceed, that have been contested by Traditional Owners

Janice Scott, Spinifex Pilgi Woman “The Labor Government, we thought they would stand up for us be strong, and all that we’re fighting for – be different from the other Government. They told us lies. We believed that Labor they would help us to stop uranium mining, they got our trust and that’s why we voted for them.”

Mr Glen Cooke Ngaanyatjarra elder “we will be stepping up the fight talking to our countrymen. This impacts our lands and stories all over not just the mine sites. Tribal people are saying we don’t want uranium. Enough is enough. We will take this further, this country is beautiful and we have to look after it for our children and grandchildren and all future generations.”

“What is so disappointing is that the Labor Government did not sit down and talk with us about this decision which affects our country. Today’s decision Labor has not made one friend but has lost them many.” Concluded Mr Cooke.

June 21, 2017 Posted by | politics, uranium, Western Australia | Leave a comment

Strong calls to have Kimba nuclear dump plan dumped

Groups call for nuclear dump to be droppedhttp://www.9news.com.au/national/2017/06/20/22/22/groups-call-for-nuclear-dump-to-be-dropped  Conservation and anti-nuclear groups have petitioned the federal government to scrap plans for a low-level nuclear waste dump on South Australia’s Eyre Peninsula.

The groups, including Conservation SA, Friends of the Earth and the Australian Conservation Foundation have lodged a submission with the federal Department of Industry, Innovation and Science calling on the government to abandon any plans for a dump at Kimba.

Farming land near Kimba is one of two sites being targeted for the dump, the other near Hawker in SA’s Flinders Ranges.

 Friends of the Earth campaigner Jim Green says the process to find a dump site has been flawed and divisive.

He says most of the waste is located at the Lucas Heights reactor site south of Sydney and that is where it should stay.

Australian Conservation Foundation campaigner Dave Sweeney said radioactive waste was a national issue that demanded the highest level of inclusion and scrutiny.

“All Australians have a right to be involved to help make sure that this difficult issue is given the best possible consideration,” he said.

“What is planned is a national radioactive waste facility so while local community consultation is useful, an evidence based, national conversation is essential.”

June 21, 2017 Posted by | Federal nuclear waste dump, South Australia | Leave a comment

Report shows how Australia is underestimating security threats from climate chnage

Australia warned it has radically underestimated climate change security threat
Senate inquiry starts as report into political, military and humanitarian risks of climate change across Asia Pacific released,
Guardian, Ben Doherty 21 June 17, As the Senate launches an inquiry into the national security ramifications of climate change, a new report has warned global warming will cause increasingly regular and severe humanitarian crises across the Asia-Pacific.

Disaster Alley, written by the Breakthrough Centre for Climate Restoration, forecasts climate change could potentially displace tens of millions from swamped cities, drive fragile states to failure, cause intractable political instability, and spark military conflict.

Report co-author Ian Dunlop argues Australia’s political and corporate leaders, by refusing to accept the need for urgent climate action now, are “putting the Australian community in extreme danger”. Continue reading

June 21, 2017 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, climate change - global warming | Leave a comment

Huge melt in Antarctica

Nansen Ice Shelf

A huge part of Antarctica is melting and scientists say that’s bad news, CNN,   By AJ Willingham, June 20, 2017 NASA: Rising sea levels more dangerous than thought

 

June 21, 2017 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The Finkel Report: Back To The Future And The 1960s

Ian McAuley, 20 June 17
The Finkel Report is not only too accommodating of the Coalition’s coal fetish, as Ben Eltham points out. It’s also too conservative from an engineering perspective because it’s constructed around a 1960s model of electricity supply
https://newmatilda.com/2017/06/18/the-finkel-report-back-to-the-future-and-the-1960s/

June 21, 2017 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

9 Renewable Energy Stories From REneweconomy.com.au

  • Batteries vs pumped storage hydropower – a place for both?
    Two very different storage technologies – one old, one new; one that takes years to build, one that can be built ‘within 100 days (or it’s free)’. How else do they differ, and is there a place for both?
  • Finkel: Investors prefer wind, solar because they cheaper than coal
    Finkel says it clear investors prefer wind and solar because they are cheaper to build than traditional generation such as hydro and coal.
  • Turnbull and Trump both demonising renewables for no reason
    Turnbull’s pursuit of “baseload dispatchable” power has all the hallmarks of the Trump administration’s campaign against renewables. But data shows that countries with lots of wind and solar have better energy security.
  • Australian company Vivid Technology enters MoU with Honeywell to become its preferred partner for IoT industrial-scale smart LED lighting in Australia
    Major strategic partnership opens the possibility of integrating Vivid Technology and Honeywell products to create complete smart buildings solutions.
  • Investing trillions in electricity’s sunny future
    NNEF has just published its fourth annual New Energy Outlook with electricity’s future looking sunny — and windy, too — to the tune of trillions of dollars of new investment.
  • AGL ridicules Coalition push for new “baseload” coal plants, saying that the only new “baseload” would be renewables, with gas or storage. “There’s a lot of misinformation out there,” says CEO Andy Vesey.
  • WA national park taken off-grid by local network
    Horizon Power’s stand-alone power project taking Fitzgerald River National Park off-grid with solar, battery storage and back-up diesel.
  • Queensland rejects battery swap, but restricts use of storage with premium tariffs
    Queensland decides against proposed voluntary “buy out” of premium solar feed in tariffs in exchange for battery storage, but announces new rules to stop premium tariffs being rorted by batteries.
  • Rooftop solar’s new boom – when installing PV becomes a no-brainer
    Falling technology costs and yet another hike in electricity prices are combining to make rooftop solar an economic no-brainer for most Australian households and businesses. Just ask Cory Bernardi.

June 21, 2017 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, energy | Leave a comment

PM urged, by small business, to decide on Finkel

Small business is urging Malcolm Turnbull to haul his backbench into line and bring forward a decision on energy policy……
http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/climate/turnbull-urged-by-business-to-decide-on-finkel-energy-review/news-story/51e0d980e502f6dd1e0310791710039a

June 21, 2017 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

Liberal Senator challenges Tony Abbott on his climate ;policy u-turn

Tony Abbott: Concetta Fierravanti-Wells challenges former PM on climate policy ‘about-face’ ABC News, PM  20 June 17 By political reporter Tom Iggulden, Former prime minister Tony Abbott is being accused of damaging Australia’s international reputation and his own political credibility in another outbreak of internal coalition infighting.

Key points:

  • Prime ministers are judged on what they’ve done when in government, Concetta Fierravanti-Wells says
  • Criticism follows Tony Abbott’s comment his Paris Agreement targets were “aspirational”
  • She calls on Mr Abbott to reflect on his actions for the good of the party

International Development Minister Concetta Fierravanti-Wells, once seen as an ally of Mr Abbott’s, says he has performed a “total about-face” on climate policy that is threatening to turn off investors.

“Credibility is a very important commodity in politics,” she told PM.

“Any former prime minister will be judged on what they’ve actually done when they were in government, not on what they say they should have done or could have done subsequently.”

The criticism follows Mr Abbott’s assertion last week that the Paris Climate Agreement targets he devised as prime minister in 2015 were “aspirational”.

Senator Fierravanti-Wells pointed to “categoric” comments Mr Abbott made in 2015 when he announced the “pledge” to reduce emissions by 26 to 28 per cent by 2030…….http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-06-19/abbott-shows-about-face-in-climate-policy:-fierravanti-wells/8631956

June 21, 2017 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, climate change - global warming, politics | Leave a comment