Australian news, and some related international items

“THE AUSTRALIAN’ newspaper’s pro nuclear bias continues.

News-Limited1Isn’t it interesting that when a Liberal politician, with a background in auctioneering and estate agency, produces his particular pro nuclear argument, it gets coverage from THE AUSTRALIAN?  But when Dr Helen Caldicott, an internationally regarded expert on matters nuclear offers an informed insight into the South Australian nuclear proposals – then there’s no room for that, in the same newspaper.

Liberal Senator Sean Edwards is repeating a story that sounds remarkably familiar: “We could end up with zero or low-cost power” … “The more you reprocess, the more electricity you have to get rid of.”


Senator Edwards is “briefing”  Industry Minister Ian Macfarlane and Trade Minister Andrew Robb on the (non existent) Integral Fast Reactor 

April 10, 2015 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, media | Leave a comment

FIRST WORLD WAR WOMEN – working for peace

 Experience an utterly different First World War in three ways!
 See it online, see the exhibition, and if you take pleasure in these women who worked so well for us so very long ago,
Book the exhibition so you can take friends to see it.


working for peace in Melbourne

1914 – 1919

The Women’s Political Association and
The Women’s Peace Army


1. Online on the Women’s Web stories actions website, 1914-1919 page
2. Also see the exhibition:
– Mid April to Mid May 1915 – Kildara Centre
There is also the book coming early next year
Further information  – contact Geraldine, at Women’s Web (03 9486 1808)

April 10, 2015 Posted by | ACTION, Resources | Leave a comment

Abbott government to help South Australia remove restrictions on the nuclear industry

Federal Gov White Paper on Energy prepares way to cut red tape on nuclear industry


Abbott-nukemonkTHE Federal Government is positioning itself to cut red tape blocking development of a nuclear industry in South Australia.

The Federal Government’s White Paper on Energy, launched on Wednesday by Industry Minister Ian Macfarlane, says the Commonwealth will consider the findings of SA’s royal commission into the nuclear fuel cycle.

“The royal commission will allow for a considered and informed community discussion on nuclear industries and energy, examining the opportunities and the risks,” the White Paper says.

It adds the government wants to work with states by “responding to technical developments and the streamlining and removal of any unnecessary regulation”.

Mr Macfarlane has said the Federal Government will not lead a push for nuclear energy. His spokeswoman said yesterday this remained the case but the Federal Government wanted to ensure it had the expertise to deal with any change advocated by SA.

SA Mineral Resources and Energy Minister Tom Koutsantonis welcomed federal co-operation. “A lot of the imports and exports of this industry are regulated by the Commonwealth,” he said. “Having Canberra on side with our royal commission is a great boost.

“It’s important to understand exactly what impediments there are to the importation of spent fuel rods.

“It’s important to understand the impediments to exporting uranium through all of our ports around the country; understanding exactly what grade of uranium can be exported and imported.

“So the red tape reduction is all about making sure that whatever industry we want to build in this state can be accomplished.

April 10, 2015 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, politics, South Australia | Leave a comment

Loves coal, hates solar, friendly to nuclear – Tony Abbott’s Energy White Paper

The energy white paper also continues its attack on solar…..

Abbott-dancing-3Interestingly, it says it recognises the argument that nuclear is a costly alternative to renewables, uses lots of water and has waste-disposal issues. But it also says others argue that it is “adequate” affordable and reliable, and has significant environmental benefits and public health advantages over other existing base-load technologies. It says it will consider the outcomes of the South Australian Royal Commission into the nuclear fuel cycle, including its use as an energy source.

The winners and losers of Abbott’s energy white paper (SPOILER: Tony likes coal), Abbott-fiddling-global-warmCrikey,  GILES PARKINSON | APR 08, 2015  In many ways, the Coalition’s energy white paper is a predictable piece of backward-looking falsehoods. But it does make some surprising concessions to a future of renewable energy. Today, the Coalition government released its energy white paper — the document that is supposed to outline the nation’s energy vision for the short and long term future. But there are no surprises for guessing that this is a document that is largely focused on the rear-view mirror.

The energy white paper begins with a false assumption: that “Australia’s large quantities of traditional energy resources provide low cost, predictable and reliable power for Australia and the world”.

They don’t. Coal might be cheap to shovel into a boiler, but it is mighty costly to transport. Grid (delivery) costs make electricity in Australia some of the most expensive in the world. Transport and shipping costs make coal and gas expensive, to the point where they are now being undermined by local, renewable alternatives — or a new focus on environmental policy — even in major markets such as India and China.

Like the Abbott government’s discussion paper on emission reduction targets released late last month, this document also works on the principle that the world will do nothing new to address climate change. The energy white paper’s assumptions are based on the International Energy Agency’s “new policies” scenario, which sets the scene for what would be a catastrophic rise in temperatures to an average 4 degrees.

No matter, the Abbott government concludes: “Ongoing access to large volumes of coal and gas will also underpin our energy generation mix for some decades.” Although it does at least acknowledge that these fuels will be “increasingly exposed to competition from renewable energy”.

Not that it intends to accelerate that transition. Quite the opposite. Continue reading

April 10, 2015 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, energy, politics | 8 Comments

Effective opposition in Canada to hosting nuclear waste dumps

radiation-truckenvironmental groups, including Sierra Club Canadahave raised significant concerns about the transportation of liquid nuclear waste from Chalk River Laboratories near Ottawa to a U.S. government site in South Carolina.
antnuke-relevantCoincidence or success? Nuclear waste facility drops towns after protest,

BY  STEVE CORNWELL APRIL 8, 2015 Anti-nuclear organizers note a coincidence: towns with resistance to the construction of nuclear waste facilities are often declared “geoscientifically unsuitable” and struck from the list of potential hosts.

On March 3, the towns of Creighton, Saskatchewan and Schreiber, Ontario were dropped from considerationby the Nuclear Waste Management Organization (NWMO) to host a facility for highly radioactive used nuclear fuel.

Since 2010 the NWMO has been actively seeking a location to build what it calls a ‘long-term management site’ for the storage of used nuclear fuel. While there were originally 22 communities on the NWMO’s list of potential hosts, only nine remain, all in Ontario, as candidates for a high-level waste site for used nuclear fuel.

While community activists celebrate being dropped from the lists, concerns about nuclear waste transportation remain. Local politicians are also quick to note a potential economic loss for their communities.

‘Geological complexities’ arise when there’s opposition Continue reading

April 10, 2015 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The delusion of Small Modular Nuclear Reactors (SMRs)

The cost per unit of output of SMRs is currently higher than the already expensive conventional, larger reactors. But the industry sees SMRs as a way to reduce costs and speed up construction by using large-scale standardized manufacturing that will churn out dozens, if not hundreds, of identical plants, each of which would ultimately produce cheaper kilowatt-hours than large one-off designs. But first someone needs to build a massive supply chain. Money for that would presumably come from customer orders – if there were any. The problem is it appears that no one actually wants to buy one.


antnuke-relevantflag-UKSmall Reactor Delusion 9 Apr 15, The Financial Times seems to think that delays at Hinkley Point C will boost the argument for building small modular reactors (SMRs) in Britain.

In reality the nuclear industry is trying to find a silver lining to the cloud which is hanging over it, and using the problems of its own making to squeeze even more funds out of the hard pressed taxpayer. The FT reports that Rolls Royce wants more money for research for instance, and the recent House of Commons Energy and Climate Change Committee investigation concluded that deployment of SMRs is likely to be achieved through “sharing the costs between the public and private sector”.

There is already a provisionally agreed schedule to allow one SMR design to go through a Generic Design Assessment beginning in 2017. But this could take six years. By 2023 the cost of solar is expected to fall below that of gas, and the cost of offshore wind will have fallen below £100/MWh and will almost certainly be less than nuclear. Continue reading

April 10, 2015 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment