Antinuclear

Australian news, and some related international items

Australia’s betrayal of the global nuclear disarmament movement -theme for August 16

This week, sadly, I, and many others have to report that Australia’s history of doublespeak on nuclear disarmament  has now gone even further down the path of promoting nuclear weapons.

The Australian government did this by sabotaging the final day of the UN Open-ended Working Group on taking forward multilateral nuclear disarmament negotiations.  It did this by attempted to derail a ban on nuclear weapons at a UN meeting on disarmament, by single-handedly forcing a vote on a report that had been expected to pass unanimously.

thumbs-down Australia’s contribution.  More detail on this can be found in several recent articles quoted on this website
world-nuclear-weapons-free

August 27, 2016 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Christina themes, politics international, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Australian Nuclear, Climate , News to 27 August

a-cat-CANNUCLEAR Articles on weapons and disarmament dominate the nuclear news this week. On Monday 29 August,  an international conference entitled ‘Building a Nuclear Weapons Free World’ will take place in Astana, the capital of Kazakhstan. That day will also be the 25th anniversary of of the closure of the Semipalatinsk Nuclear Test Site – largest in the world, where 456 weapons tests happened, leaving  a terrible legacy for the people.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon calls for eradication of nuclear weapons.   The nuclear working group at the UN concluded its work in Geneva, and the majority of governments voted to recommended that the UN General Assembly set up a conference in 2017 to negotiate a new treaty prohibiting nuclear weapons, despite the Australian government’s best efforts to sabotage this. This is one of those times when I am ashamed to be Australian.

CLIMATE. A new study declares that human-caused climate change began at around 1830.  (I’ve always thought that it was 1801, because of the 1801 painting Coalbrookdale by Night – attached). Research indicates that the difference between 1.5 C and 2C  rise in global  temperatures will be significant, and in only 20 years’ time. Huge volume of Greenland Ice Sheet lost each year, due to global warming.  Again this year, Indonesia’s blanket of smoke is back.  India floods: Over 300 dead, millions affected  Louisiana National Guard Rescues 19,000 in Flood-Affected Areas.

AUSTRALIA

NUCLEAR Details on Australia’s disgraceful performance at UN in Geneva can be read here and here. It was pretty stupid and counter-productive, too – made Australia unpopular, and cemented the resolve of other countries for a disarmament conference in 2017. Secretive Pine Gap remains an integral part of USA’s nuclear ‘star wars’ plans (an old newspaper article, still relevant, but now removed from their website)

SOUTH AUSTRALIA‘s nuclear waste dump plan not economically viable? The global nuclear lobby doesn’t care.  Roger Cross: Reasons to Reject a Medium and High Level Radioactive Waste Dump in South Australia.  SA govt going allout with pro nuclear propaganda forums.

Energy Resources of Australia unable to meet costs of cleaning up Ranger uranium mine. (What a surprise – not)

In Greenland, Indigenous people oppose Australian company’s plan for massive uranium mine in Greenland

CLIMATE CHANGE  154 scientists press Australian government for urgent action on climate change.  Australia in grave danger if global warming exceeds 2 C.  Adaptation – South Australia in the lead.  Australian Government quietly removes Clive Hamilton’s page that listed climate deniers. Adani court decision: Traditional Owners say fight to stop QLD’s Carmichael mine continues.

RENEWABLE ENERGY South Australia: Future Business Council calls for National smart energy grid.  Canberra heads to 100% renewable energy, helped by wind power from South Australia. Community solar fund shares sold out in nine minutes!.

Landmark payout for Aboriginal custodians who have lost their native title rights.  BUT Suppression of native title for the Mirarr people= extinguishment of rights?

August 29, 2016 Posted by | Christina reviews | Leave a comment

Australia trapped in its status as Nuclear Umbrella State

Aust-weaponsThe great nuclear disarmament divide,   “……On the one hand, there are umbrella states that are addicted to their nuclear protection, and on the other, there are umbrella states that clearly feel trapped by it, Livemint, 29 Aug 16 W.P.S. Sidhu,  Austria, which remained neutral and nuclear weapon-free during the Cold War, has become the leading anti-nuclear crusader in the post-Cold War era. Last year, Austria, along with a group of non-nuclear countries—mostly from the southern hemisphere and Africa, which is entirely covered by nuclear weapon-free zones—proposed several United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) resolutions including on the humanitarian consequences of nuclear weapons. One of the significant Austrian co-sponsored resolutions proposed an open-ended working group (OEWG) to take forward multilateral disarmament negotiations.

Although this resolution was overwhelmingly supported by 138 countries, the five permanent nuclear weapon states of the UN Security Council plus Israel voted against it. While India and Pakistan abstained, North Korea, curiously, supported the resolution. Significantly, 34 states—mostly members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (Nato) and those protected by the US nuclear umbrella—also abstained.

Subsequently, while all nine nuclear-armed states (including India) stayed away from the OEWG deliberations in Geneva, the group made substantial progress. By 19 August, the group’s final report had drafted far-reaching recommendations, including a call to initiate negotiations in 2017 on a legal instrument to prohibit nuclear weapons—unlike biological and chemical weapons, nuclear weapons have never been banned. There were indications that this report would be carried by consensus among the states participating in the OEWG. Clearly, a consensus report recommending a treaty to ban nuclear weapons outright would be anathema not only for the nuclear armed states but also the so-called ‘umbrella states’, which depend on the nuclear protection particularly of the US. Thus, the nuclear-armed states sought to influence the OEWG process by proxy.

Enter Australia. In the past, Australia played a leading role in pushing disarmament initiatives, for instance, when it resurrected the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty in 1996 and co-sponsored an International Commission on Nuclear Non-proliferation and Disarmament in 2008. However, this is at odds with its dependence on nuclear weapons.

As an umbrella state, it depends on the perceived security of US nuclear weapons. In the OEWG, Australia became a proxy of nuclear weapon states and a disarmament spoiler: it called for a vote on the group’s final report even though it was evident that the majority would support the report’s recommendations.

Australia’s objective was two-fold: first, to break the emerging consensus and, second, to close ranks among all the umbrella states. Australia almost succeeded in its second goal. Although 19 Nato states plus Australia and South Korea voted against the report, several other Nato members plus Japan abstai-ned, indicating that not all umbrella states are willing to sustain nuclear weapons and deterrence in perpetuity.

The OEWG process reflects a great disarmament divide not only among the nuclear haves and have-nots, but also among the umbrella states. On the one hand, there are umbrella states that are addicted to their nuclear protection, even though it is not apparent that such security is omnipotent. On the other hand, there are umbrella states that clearly feel trapped by the protection provided, but are unsure how get out of this situation. This debate will now play out on the floor of the UNGA…..http://www.livemint.com/Opinion/4smGv8MNF3hg63Y1WpRzQL/The-great-nuclear-disarmament-divide.html

August 29, 2016 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, politics, politics international, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Surface nuclear waste spurs community concern

Community concern is mounting about plans to store high level radioactive waste above ground for years before building a proposed nuclear waste dump, warns Conservation SA CEO Craig Wilkins.
“From our public consultation, most people think this proposed dump is an ‘out of sight, out of mind’ idea, where we bury the waste deep in the outback and that’s it,” he said. “The reality is very different.

“The Nuclear Fuel Cycle Royal Commission was very candid: The project only stacks up financially if we import and stockpile 50,000 tonnes of nuclear waste above ground for as long as 17 years before we can deposit it in an underground disposal site. Indeed, that ‘interim’ surface site will store tens of thousands of tonnes above ground for the next 100 years.

waste containers New Mexico

“So, we acquire the risk and responsibility for this nuclear waste before we know if we can actually build and operate the ultimate repository – let alone obtain community consent for it.

“Before we get there, ships containing that high-level waste enter South Australian waters through problem areas such as the South China Sea, then traverse our prawn and tuna fisheries, aquaculture zones and tourism hotspots every month for 70 years. That is a huge amount of risk.

“The plan would require a purpose-built nuclear port and rail line with nuclear waste being stored at five different locations across the state. While these facts are publicly accessible, they’ve been obscured by the promise of eye-popping windfall profits from this proposal.”

However, community concern has grown as South Australian citizens identify problems with the financial viability, environmental impact and community effects of the proposed nuclear waste dump.

In Port Augusta, a two-day community forum, called Exposure 2016, will run this weekend, from September 2-4, at the city’s Institute Theatre, starting on Friday night with ‘Talking Straight Out’. This exhibition showcases the famous Irati Wanti campaign when senior Aboriginal women from Coober Pedy, the Kupa Piti Kungka Tjuta, defeated Federal Government plans to dump radioactive waste on their land.

The free event will also include sessions on the SA Government’s international nuclear waste dumping plans; current Federal Government plans to dump waste in the Flinders Ranges; traditional owners’ voices and rights; impacts of radiation on people and the environment; impacts on industries including tourism, farming and recreation and the track record of radioactive waste management / mismanagement in South Australia and globally.

For many South Australians, the proposed nuclear waste dump in the State’s outback invokes memories of Maralinga and Emu Fields, the South Australian sites of nine British secret nuclear tests between 1953 and 1963. The tests exposed local Aboriginal communities to radiation that caused cancers, blindness and ongoing genetic damage. British and Australian servicemen were also exposed and radioactivity was detected in SA, NT, NSW and Queensland.

South Australian singer Mike Roberts also communicates concern about the nuclear waste dump in his new song Welcome to the Nuclear State. Listen at http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/mikeroberts23#. For community concerns about the SA nuclear waste dump, visit http://www.nodumpalliance.org.au/.

August 29, 2016 Posted by | Nuclear Royal Commission, South Australia, wastes | Leave a comment

Montreal Declaration For Nuclear Fission Free World

We invite all people, groups and organizations involved in the effort for a world without nuclear fission and uranium mining, to commit themselves to this effort. We also ask them to endorse this declaration and to transmit it widely in their networks.

This declaration is partly inspired by the Tokyo Appeal issued by the First Thematic World Social Form for a Nuclear-Free World held in Tokyo and Fukushima in March 2016.

People and organizations who wish to sign this statement should write to ccnr@web.ca, indicating their e-mail addresses and country.

renewables-not-nukes

 http://www.globalresearch.ca/montreal-declaration-for-nuclear-fission-free-world/5542890 By Countercurrents.org Global Research, August 28, 2016 By Global Network for a nuclear-free world.

As citizens of this planet inspired by the Second Thematic World Social Forum for a Nuclear-Fission-Free World, conducted in Montreal from August 8 to August 12, 2016, we are collectively calling for a mobilization of civil society around the world to bring about the elimination of all nuclear weapons, to put an end to the continued mass-production of all high-level nuclear wastes by phasing out all nuclear reactors, and to bring to a halt all uranium mining worldwide.

This call goes out to fellow citizens of all countries worldwide who see the need, whether as an individual or as a member of an organization, for a nuclear-fission-free world. We are committed to building a global network of citizens of the world who will work together, using the internet and social media to overcome isolation, to provide mutual support and to coordinate the launching of joint actions for a world free of nuclear fission technology, whether civilian or military.

We will begin by creating communication channels to share information and educational tools on legal, technical, financial, medical, and security-related matters linked to military and non-military nuclear activities. Continue reading

August 29, 2016 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Climate inaction leaves Whopping $8.8 Trillion Tab for Next Generation

Report Shows Whopping $8.8 Trillion Climate Tab Being Left for Next Generation
26 August 2016 
http://www.skepticalscience.com/9-trillion-climate-tab.html This is a re-post from Common Dreams by Lauren McCauley

“We do not inherit the Earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children,” is an oft-quoted proverb, frequently used to explain the importance of environmental preservation. Unsaid, however, is how much it will impact the next generation if the Earth is bequeathed in a lesser state.

Environmental campaigners NextGen Climate and public policy group Demos published a new study that attempts to quantify the true cost of not addressing climate change to the millennial generation and their children.

graph-Climate-Action_vs_Ina

The Price Tag of Being Young: Climate Change and Millennials’ Economic Future (pdf) compares some of the high costs millennials will face in the “new inequality economy”—such as student debt, child care costs, stagnant wages, as well as financial and job insecurity—against the fiscal impacts of unmitigated global warming.

“The fact is,” the report states, “unchecked climate change will impose heavy costs on millennials and subsequent generations, both directly in the form of reduced incomes and wealth, and indirectly through likely higher tax bills as extreme weather, rising sea levels,drought, heat-related health problems, and many other climate change-related problems take their toll on our society.”

The impacts from climate costs alone, the report finds, are “comparable to Great Depression-era losses.” The study employs a model developed by researchers from Stanford University and University of California at Berkeley that measures the effects of rising temperatures on long-term economic growth and national productivity drawing on 50 years of data from 166 countries.

“no climate action” scenario found that by 2100 global per capita GDP will shrink by 23 percent relative to a scenario without climate change. The U.S. is estimated to take a 5 percent hit by 2050 that jumps to 36 percent by 2100 should no climate action occur.

This adds up to a loss of nearly $8.8 trillion in lifetime income for millennials and tens of trillions for their children. Continue reading

August 29, 2016 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

State of the Climate – 10 startling facts

Book State of the climate 15The 10 most startling facts about climate in 2015 — the warmest year on record [excellent maps and graphs]  WP, By Jason Samenow August 2 Last year was unequivocally the warmest year on record for Earth. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Tuesday released a 300-page report documenting the historic warmth as well as scores of other aspects of 2015’s climate.

The hefty report, State of the Climate in 2015, was produced by more than 450 scientists from 62 countries around the world — more than any previous edition.

Every single direct indicator of temperature described in the report leaves no doubt that 2015’s global surface temperature towered over any year preceding it. Numerous other climate indicators related to temperature exhibited characteristics consistent with such historic warmth.

2015’s exceptional warmth was fueled by a record-challenging El Niño event, in which warmer-than-normal tropical Pacific Ocean waters infused heat into the atmosphere, and by record-setting concentrations of heat-trapping gases from human activity.

Here are the 10 most impressive findings from this report:

1. The global temperature was the highest on record…….

2. The average ocean surface temperature was warmest on record…..

3. Upper ocean heat content was highest on record…..

4. Global sea level was highest on record…..

5. The El Niño event was among the strongest on record……

6. Greenhouse gases were highest on record……

7. Record number of major tropical cyclones in Northern Hemisphere…….

8. Arctic sea ice had its lowest maximum extent……

9. Glaciers continued shrinking….

10. Extreme temperatures were most extreme on record……

The report is available online and will be published by the Bulletin of the America Meteorological Society. https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/capital-weather-gang/wp/2016/08/02/the-10-most-startling-facts-about-climate-in-2015-the-warmest-year-on-record/

August 29, 2016 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Underground Coal Gasification (UCG) a disaster for climate

Friends of the Earth has recently released a report called ‘Fuelling the Fire: the chequered history of Underground Coal Gasification and Coal Chemicals around the world’

The report draws together evidence of UCG test projects over the last three decades and highlights how destructive UCG and Coal Chemicals are

climate-changeFuelling the fire: New coal technologies like UCG spell disaster for climate https://independentaustralia.net/environment/environment-display/fuelling-the-fire-new-coal-technologies-like-ucg-spell-disaster-for-climate-,9393  Cam Walker 26 August 2016Given UCG’s disastrous history including Linc Energy’s irreversible environmental damage in Queensland, Friends of the Earth is calling for a moratorium on all UCG projects in AustraliaCam Walker fromFriends of the Earth reports. 

IN RECENT years Australia, like many countries around the planet, has seen a major expansion in the development of unconventional oil and gas drilling.

These are oil and gas resources which cannot be produced by conventional processes (that is, through using the natural pressure of the wells to release the resource trapped in a coal or rock seam).

Until the 1990s, production of conventionaloil and gas kept prices relatively stable, so there was limited incentive to develop technologies to explore and produce unconventional oil and gas resources.

In the 2000s, prices started to increase, and with known reserves starting to peak, it was clear that this trend would continue into the future.

As debate increasingly focused on energy independence, a number of countries who consume large volumes of fossil energy such as the USA, Canada and China started to realise they had potentially enormous volumes of unconventional oil and gas. This in turn lead to a major development effort that saw a huge expansion in the use of hydraulic fracturing (‘fracking’) to access methane in shale beds to produce gas in the USA and elsewhere.

Australia also has major reserves of oil and gas which could potentially yield through the use of unconventional drilling methods. Here the unconventional gas resource includes coal seam gas (CSG), shale gas and tight gas. Exploration for CSG in Australia began in 1976 in Queensland’s Bowen Basin. The industry took hold, initially in Queensland, where there are currently around 4,000 onshore gas rigs. More than 37% of the Australian landmass is currently under exploration permit or application for coal or gas.

The UCG industry has been strongly resisted by regional communities and environmental groups around the country and the many dangers of fracking are well documented. This has resulted in moratoriums on fracking in states such as Victoria. Continue reading

August 29, 2016 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, climate change - global warming, energy, Queensland | Leave a comment

Solar powered desalination for drinking water

solar pipe desalinate California

Solar-powered Pipe desalinizes 1.5 billion gallons of drinking water for antnuke-relevantCalifornia, http://inhabitat.com/solar-powered-pipe-desalinizes-1-5-billion-gallons-of-clean-drinking-water-for-california/ Inhabitat, by , 29 aug 16 The infrastructure California needs to generate energy for electricity and clean water, which will be significant, need not blight the landscape. Designs like The Pipe demonstrate how the provision of public services like these can be knitted into every day life in a healthy, aesthetically-pleasing way. A finalist of the 2016 Land Art Generator Initiative design competition for Santa Monica Pier, the solar-powered plant deploys electromagnetic desalination to provide clean drinking water for the city and filters the resulting brine through on-board thermal baths before it is reintroduced to the Pacific Ocean.

“LAGI 2016 comes to Southern California at an important time,” write Rob Ferry and Elizabeth Monoian,co-founders of the Land Art Generator Initiative. “The sustainable infrastructure that is required to meet California’s development goals and growing population will have a profound influence on the landscape. The Paris Climate Accord from COP 21 has united the world around a goal of 1.5–2° C, which will require a massive investment in clean energy infrastructure.” Continue reading

August 28, 2016 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Canadian nuclear scientists want an end to censorship of safety concerns

see-no-evilflag-canadaNuclear scientists push for freedom to express views without fear of reprisals http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/nuclear-scientists-push-for-freedom-to-express-views-without-fear-of-reprisals/article31219139/ GLORIA GALLOWAYOTTAWA — The Globe and Mail, Aug. 01, 2016 Scientists working for the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission have asked their union to negotiate a policy on scientific integrity that would allow them to express their views about nuclear-safety issues without fear of reprisals from management. Continue reading

August 28, 2016 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Another dumb Resources Minister supports ‘clean coal’ myth

clean-coal.Coalition climate numbskulls back again flogging CCS at a cost of $209 billion  Lachlan Barker, Independent Australia  25 August 2016,  The Coalition’s latest brainsnap of flogging Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) as a solution to CO2 emissions from coal-fired power stations will set the taxpayer back an eye-watering $209 billion, says Lachlan Barker. “…… the utterly ludicrous notion of Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS), as a solution to CO2 emissions from coal fired power stations has raised its idiot head once more.

The CCS process involves capturing the CO2 emitted from the burner chamber, compressing it, and sequestering it underground.

Canavan, Matt climateResources Minister Matt Canavan recently handed out $23.7 million to various bodies around the country to (once more) discover CCS can never work.  So I can tell you right here, right now, CCS is not feasible in any way — financially, ecologically or in an engineering sense.

However since Canavan has done this thing, once more we are all forced to go through the mill of showing why CCS is an utterly fallacious idea.

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) has an excellent reference page for CCS, so I’ve distilled the Power Plants CCS Projects page down for you here: [excellent charts and graphs on original]……..https://independentaustralia.net/politics/politics-display/coalition-climate-numbskulls-back-again-flogging-ccs-at-a-cost-of-209-billion,9394

August 28, 2016 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, climate change - global warming, politics | Leave a comment

Climate change is going faster than scientists predicted

Map Turnbull climateCan progress on climate change keep up with its quickening pace? WP, By Tom Steyer August 26 Tom Steyer is founder of the advocacy group NextGen Climate. July was the hottest month in recorded history, by a lot, and August isn’t looking any better.  So how do we interpret that? What does it mean?

…. global climate change… may be happening faster than scientists previously predicted. Monthly global average temperatures have set records in each of the past 15 months . The concomitant climate events have been extreme: from wildfires burning in California to floods in Baton Rouge after rainfall of historic proportions to neurotoxic algae bloomschoking Florida beaches. Even the beloved moose of New Hampshire have been decimated by ticks that thrive in a warmer world……

If the new analyses imply an unpredictable and riskier world, that will necessitate a more urgent, and more difficult, response. Based on initial data, it now appears possible that the climate will warm by 2 degrees Celsius over pre-industrial levels — an amount of warming that scientists consider the danger zone — not by 2050, as once predicted, but years earlier. If further analysis supports this conclusion, this would be an enormous, and scary, change…..

if scientists start to project a dramatically shorter timeline for the impacts of climate change, any comfortable replacement scenario becomes something much more daunting. If we don’t have the decades needed for the vast bulk of our productive capacity to be replaced in the normal course, we would need to replace assets that had not reached the end of their usable lives — and that would affect industries beyond purely oil and gas.

Regardless of the scientific projections, we cannot afford to repeat the painfully slow and politically motivated dance of the past 10 years. As new data and analysis become available over the next year or so, we must be prepared to act decisively even though the cautious critics will want to wait for more definitive information. We will never have 100 percent certainty, except in hindsight. …..

Even cautious scientists are debating whether the previously accepted climate timelines are overly conservative. Meanwhile, Mother Nature has a timeline of her own. And she calls the tune. https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/can-progress-on-climate-change-keep-up-with-its-quickening-pace/2016/08/26/f5934118-68b8-11e6-8225-fbb8a6fc65bc_story.html?utm_term=.5d5c88ee5f7b

August 28, 2016 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

India’s “solar trees” save space

Indian Scientists Design Solar Tree to Save Space for Solar Power Generation VOA, 26 Aug 16 NEW DELHI Indian scientists have designed a “solar tree” that they hope will help overcome one of the key challenges the country faces in the generation of solar power.

With photovoltaic panels placed at different levels on branches made of steel, “solar trees” could dramatically reduce the amount of land needed to develop solar parks.

“It takes about four-square meters of space to produce energy which otherwise would have required 400 square meters of space. So almost 100 times the space is saved, which as you know is very valuable,” said Daljit Singh Bedi, chief scientist at the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) in New Delhi, whose laboratory in Kolkata developed the tree.

A scarce resource in India, acquisition of land to develop roads, factories and other infrastructure is a sensitive issue that has led to frequent and sometimes violent protests from displaced people.

Scientists estimate the energy generated by a solar tree would be sufficient to light up five homes. They say the space-saving tree would not only make it easier to increase solar power generation to light up homes and streets in cities, but also in rural areas where farmers are unwilling to give up large tracts of land for solar panel installations.

The solar tree will also harness more energy compared to rooftop panels. “This design, it facilitates placement of solar panels in a way that they are exposed more towards sun and that way they are able to harness 10 to 15 per cent more energy, which is more or less equivalent to one hour more than the conventional format,” said Bedi……http://www.voanews.com/a/indian-scientists-design-solar-tree-to-save-space-for-solar-power-generation/3481641.html

August 28, 2016 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Desk-Size Turbine Could Power a Town

exclamation- https://www.technologyreview.com/s/601218/desk-size-turbine-could-power-a-town/  GE sees its new turbine as a strong rival to batteries for storing power from the grid. by David Talbot, April 11, 2016  GE Global Research is testing a desk-size turbine that could power a small town of about 10,000 homes. The unit is driven by “supercritical carbon dioxide,” which is in a state that at very high pressure and up to 700 °C exists as neither a liquid nor a gas. After the carbon dioxide passes through the turbine, it’s cooled and then repressurized before returning for another pass.

The unit’s compact size and ability to turn on and off rapidly could make it useful in grid storage. It’s about one-tenth the size of a steam turbine of comparable output, and has the potential to be 50 percent efficient at turning heat into electricity. Steam-based systems are typically in the mid-40 percent range; the improvement is achieved because of the better heat-transfer properties and reduced need for compression in a system that uses supercritical carbon dioxide compared to one that uses steam. The GE prototype is 10 megawatts, but the company hopes to scale it to 33 megawatts.

In addition to being more efficient, the technology could be more nimble—in a grid-storage scenario, heat from solar energy, nuclear power, or combustion could first be stored as molten salt and the heat later used to drive the process.

While such a heat reservoir could also be used to boil water to power a steam turbine, a steam system could take 30 minutes to get cranked up, while a carbon dioxide turbine might take only a minute or two—making it well-suited for on-the-spot power generation needed during peak demand periods.

GE’s system might also be better than huge arrays of batteries. Adding more hours of operation just means having a larger or hotter reservoir of the molten salt, rather than adding additional arrays of giant batteries. “The key thing will come down to economics,” says Doug Hofer, the GE engineer in charge of the project. While there’s work ahead, he says, “at this point we think our economic story is favorable compared to batteries.”

August 28, 2016 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The Unlimited Power of Ocean Winds

wind-turbine-oceanThe Unlimited Power of Ocean Winds, NYT By THE EDITORIAL BOARDAUG. 27, 2016 The first offshore  wind farm in American waters, near Block Island, R.I., was completed this month. With just five turbines, the farm won’t make much of a dent in the nation’s reliance on fossil fuels, but it shows the promise this renewable energy source could have. When the turbines start spinning in November, they will power the island, which currently relies on diesel generators, and will also send electricity to the rest of Rhode Island.

Putting windmills offshore, where the wind is stronger and more reliable than on land, could theoretically provide about four times the amount of electricity as is generated on the American grid today from all sources. This resource could be readily accessible to areas on the coasts, where 53 percent of Americans live.This technology is already used extensively in Britain, Denmark, Germany and other European countries, which have in the last 15 years invested billions of dollars in offshore wind farms in the North, Baltic and Irish Seas. In 2013, offshore wind accounted for 1.5 percent of all electricity used in the European Union, with all wind sources contributing 9.9 percent of electricity. By contrast, wind power made up only 4.7 percent of electricity in the United States last year.

While electricity generated by offshore wind farms is more expensive than land-based turbines, costs have fallen with larger offshore turbines that can generate more electricity. Construction firms have also become more efficient in installing offshore farms……http://www.nytimes.com/2016/08/28/opinion/the-unlimited-power-of-ocean-winds.html?ref=opinion&mtrref=www.nytimes.com&assetType=opinion&_r=0

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August 28, 2016 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Public cost of Fukushima nuclear accident cleanup topped ¥4.2 trillion as of end of March

Fukushima 311 Watchdogs

OB-ZB691_Money_D_20130927101517.jpg

Electric Power Company Holdings Inc.’s stricken Fukushima No. 1 plant topped ¥4.2 trillion by the end of fiscal 2015, it was learned Sunday.

The cumulative total at the end of last March, including costs for radioactive decontamination, reactor decommissioning and compensation payments to affected people and organizations, translate into about ¥33,000 per capita.

The public financial burden is expected to increase, with Tepco seeking further government assistance.

Jiji Press scrutinized the government’s special-account budgets through fiscal 2015 for the reconstruction of areas affected by the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami. It summed up the amounts of executed budgets related to the nuclear disaster and additional electricity rates consumers and businesses were charged by Tepco and seven other regional power utilities to help finance compensation payments, among other costs.

According to the study, a total of ¥2.34 trillion was disbursed for decontamination of affected areas, disposal of contaminated waste and an…

View original post 295 more words

August 28, 2016 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

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