Australian news, and some related international items

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 2016 | 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

Mining Awareness +

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 


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


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 | 1 Comment