Antinuclear

Australian news, and some related international items

While the nuclear/fossil fuel establishment pontificates, young Australia is on the move

My greatest challenge is…

Thinking up ways to help our 70,000 members make the biggest change they can on climate change. It’s a huge, global issue and sometimes it’s tough finding the most strategic points of influence. But ultimately, what we need is a movement of people all pushing in thesame direction, and luckily that’s what we’re building…..

Changemakers – Ellen Sandell Pro Bono News, April 23, 2012 llen Sandell, National Director at the Australian Youth Climate Coalition, is profiled in Changemakers – a regular column which examines inspiring people and their careers in the Not for Profit sector. Continue reading

April 23, 2012 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, people | Leave a comment

Fukishima nuclear disaster is still critically dangerous

The Fukushima Nuclear Disaster Is Far From Over   HUFFINGTON POST, Robert Alvarez, Senior Scholar, Institute for Policy Studies, 22 April 12,  Spent reactor fuel, containing roughly 85 times more long-lived radioactivity than released at Chernobyl, still sits in pools vulnerable to earthquakes.

More than a year after the Fukushima nuclear power disaster began, the news media is just beginning to grasp that the dangers to Japan and the rest of the world are far from over. After repeated warnings by former senior Japanese officials, nuclear experts, and now a U.S. Senator, it’s sinking in that the irradiated nuclear fuel stored in spent fuel pools amidst the reactor ruins pose far greater dangers than the molten cores. This is why:

• Nearly all of the 10,893 spent fuel assemblies sit in pools vulnerable to future earthquakes, with roughly 85 times more long-lived radioactivity than released at Chernobyl

• Several pools are 100 feet above the ground and are completely open to the atmosphere because the reactor buildings were demolished by explosions. The pools could possibly topple or collapse from structural damage coupled with another powerful earthquake.

• The loss of water exposing the spent fuel will result in overheating and can cause melting and ignite its zirconium metal cladding resulting in a fire that could deposit large amounts of radioactive materials over hundreds, if not thousands of miles……

The urgency of the situation is underscored by the ongoing seismic activity where 13 earthquakesof magnitude 4.0-5.7 have occurred off the northeast coast of Japan between April 14 and 17. This has been the norm since the first quake and tsunami hit the Dai-Ichi site on March 11 of last year. Larger quakes are expected closer to the power plant.

Spent nuclear fuel is extraordinarily radioactive and must be handled with great care. In a matter of seconds, an unprotected person one foot away from a single freshly removed spent fuel assembly would receive a lethal dose of radiation within seconds. As one of the most dangerous materials on the planet, spent reactor fuel requires permanent geological isolation to protect humans for thousands of years…… http://www.huffingtonpost.com/robert-alvarez/the-fukushima-nuclear-dis_b_1444146.html

April 23, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Australians have not yet realised the country’s future for solar energy

stable, consistent policy is very important – and that’s the case for any industry – and by looking at an economically justified, low-cost feed-in tariff system is the way the government can get stability because it’s providing benefit to the community. It’s not costing anyone anything, it’s sustainable.  That’s the kind of policy you can get with solar power

Sunburnt country ‘not convinced’ by solar, SMH, Adam Cooper April 23, 2012 THE head of one of Australia’s most successful solar start-ups admits negative perceptions are preventing the renewable energy industry fulfilling its potential, and that more consistency from governments would encourage people to embrace greener energy.

Energy Matters chief executive Jeremy Rich believes there is no reason Australia cannot one day attain a near-100 per cent commitment to solar energy, domestically and commercially, thanks to the sunny
climate and industry expertise…. ”They’ve got the ability to do so. We’ve got low costs, it’s a sunny continent and it’s a great place for solar, really.” Continue reading

April 23, 2012 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

The facts on wind power in Australia

Although the cost of wind energy continues to fall, government support such as the Renewable Energy Target (RET) Scheme is crucial to support investment in the industry and enables the wind power sector to play a major role in helping Australia’s transition to a low carbon economy. The introduction of a price on carbon, which is anticipated for
mid-2012, will provide the focal point of the government’s strategy to reduce emissions.

Five new wind farm projects were commissioned in 2011 in Australia, Reve April 23, 2012 At the end of 2011, Australia had 1,211 operating wind turbines across 58 wind power plants with a total installed wind energy capacity of 2,224 MW.

Australia’s exceptional wind resources have allowed wind energy to make an increasing contribution to Australia’s energy mix. Although it is still a relatively new industry, wind farm supplies over 6,400 GWh annually, which represents more than 2% of national electricity consumption.

At the end of 2011, Australia had 1,211 operating wind turbines across 58 wind power plants with a total installed wind energy capacity of 2,224 MW. The total installed capacity of wind power has grown by an average of 35% per year over the past five years.

Although the cost of wind energy continues to fall, government support such as the Renewable Energy Target (RET) Scheme is crucial to support investment in the industry and enables the wind power sector to play a major role in helping Australia’s transition to a low carbon economy. The introduction of a price on carbon, which is anticipated for
mid-2012, will provide the focal point of the government’s strategy to reduce emissions. Continue reading

April 23, 2012 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, wind | | Leave a comment

Goodbye Nuclear – Hello Wind Power

Small-scale wind power facilities could be used in developing countries and in remote areas. In developed countries, small-scale wind power turbines are also gaining in significance with consumers because the electricity generated with them costs less than that offered by many energy providers. Experts see a long-term growth potential in small wind technology.

More than half the wind turbines in Germany are run by private citizens, farmers and local communities.

  Wind energy blowing away nuclear power, by  Gero Rueter http://www.dw.de/dw/article/0,,15903703,00.html  23 April 12, Wind energy supplies 3 percent of global electricity needs and will soon supply more electricity than nuclear power. In 2011, some 50 billion euros were invested in wind, leading some to say it’s cheap and creates jobs.

Wind energy is booming and it is gaining in significance worldwide. It supplies some 20 percent of electricity in Spain and Denmark as well as about 10 percent in Germany. By 2020, the share of wind energy will have risen to between 20 percent and 25 percent in Germany, according to estimates.

Last year, new wind power plants with a total capacity of some 40 gigawatts (GW) were installed worldwide, according to the World Wind Energy Association (WWEA). This puts wind energy’s global capacity at 237 GW by the end of 2011- the equivalent of what some 280 nuclear power plants generate. Currently, there are some 380 nuclear power
plants producing electricity worldwide.

Four times more wind power by 2020 Continue reading

April 23, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Electricity price rise from carbon tax – less than expected

Carbon tax to raise electricity prices less than expected http://www.independentaustralia.net/2012/business/consumers/carbon-tax-impact-on-electricity-prices-less-than-expected/ 19 April, 2012 12:01 am  The effect of the carbon price on retail electricity will be lower than predicted and vary considerably by region, a new University of Queensland study has projected.

The most accurate estimate to date for the impact of the carbon price on retail electricity prices reveals the burden will vary considerably, depending on a household’s location.

Tasmanians, with a relatively low carbon footprint, are set to gain significantly from the carbon price once tax and pension changes are factored in, while Queenslanders – heavily dependent on coal to generate electricity – will wear the biggest increase in power prices, according to economic models run on “supercomputers” at The University of Queensland. Continue reading

April 23, 2012 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, business, climate change - global warming | | Leave a comment