Antinuclear

Australian news, and some related international items

Solar energy’s bright future

sun-powerBright future for renewable energy on display at giant solar show, Financial Post, Diane Francis diane@dianefrancis.com July 15, 2016 SAN FRANCISCO — It has been said that renewable energy is the energy of the future and always will be.

But the tipping point is nigh, thanks to Germany’s leadership, China’s pollution catastrophe and technological advances in battery storage, materials science and software.

At this year’s giant solar show – Solar 2016 – a future with abundant, clean and cheap energy was discussed and on display.

Success will be based on the continuation of five trends:

    • The Germans and Chinese have been dramatically transitioning to renewable energy by government edict, which has massively driven down costs for everyone through innovation and mass production;
    • The Americans, wary of government edicts of any kind, are increasingly adopting and developing viable solar “distributed power” units — a do-it-yourself and market-based approach designed to dramatically reduce or free residences and industries from any dependency on grids or utilities;
    • “Distributed power” is being adopted by developing countries to leapfrog the traditional giant power utility and extensive grid model. Power demands are high, fossil fuels are expensive and power grids inadequate so two-thirds of renewable development is underway in developing nations, led by China;
    • A materials science breakthrough involving solar cells made from a material called perovskite will be introduced next year and will drive down solar cell costs and exponentially increase efficiency;
    • Battery storage technology is advancing so dramatically that within three years a “tipping point” cost-wise will allow anyone with renewable power generation such as a rooftop solar system to go off grid.

The Germans have led the world to rid themselves of any dependency on fossil fuels from the Middle East or Russia as well as from nuclear power, which will be phased out by 2022. Their grand scheme — called Energeiwende — is publicly supported and German consumers pay a “green tax” of 24 billion euros annually to convert their economy to renewables such as biomass, wind and solar. Scaling and inventions have greatly reduced subsidies.

In the sunnier U.S., the biggest “tipping point” is closer thanks to cheaper storage, said Adara Power Inc. founder Greg Maguire. “Batteries are now US$650 per kilowatt hour and will be US$425 soon. In less than three years, they will hit US$200 and then there will be mass adoption.”……….http://business.financialpost.com/diane-francis/bright-future-on-display-for-renewable-energy-at-giant-solar-show

 

July 15, 2016 Posted by | Uncategorized | 2 Comments

South Koreans oppose USA’s THAAD ‘missile offense’ launchers,that make them a prime target

The world is turning against corporate control of the planet

antnuke-relevantCitizens Revolt in South Korea  http://space4peace.blogspot.com.au/2016/07/citizens-revolt-in-south-korea.html :  15 Jul 16
Yonhap News reportsPrime Minister Hwang Kyo-ahn visited the town of Seongju, which was tapped as the site for the deployment of an advanced U.S. missile defense system, on Friday, in the face of strong opposition from the residents who questioned the safety and legitimacy of the government’s decision.

 The trip is seen as a move to alleviate concerns that residents may have about the health issues related to the missile system’s powerful radar and questions raised about the fairness of the government’s decision-making process.

   “I would like to apologize for making the decision without prior notice,” Hwang said during his visit, adding that the government will make efforts to ease residents’ concerns over the safety.

   During his visit, however, protesters threw water bottles and eggs at Hwang, reflecting their anger over the deployment.

   The prime minister was blocked by resentful residents and physically barred from leaving the county for more than six hours.  

There is a real revolt going on in South Korea.  The US is forcing the South Korean government to deploy THAAD ‘missile offense’ launchers and the people know that it makes them a prime target.  Continue reading

July 15, 2016 Posted by | Uncategorized | 1 Comment

David Noonan at Parliamentary Nuclear Committee- “waste plan is based on misleading assumptions”

Noonan, DavidJOINT COMMITTEE ON THE FINDINGS OF THE NUCLEAR FUEL CYCLE ROYAL COMMISSION

p. 71 -72 Mr NOONAN: As a campaigner, rather than as a consultant. I think essentially the proposal presented by the nuclear royal commission is an above-ground nuclear waste storage agenda without a waste disposal capacity, and for that reason, therefore, it cannot be considered to be safe. The proposed disposal capacity is at least three decades away. It’s unproven in practice and it lacks a safety record. It may or it may not be realised in countries such as Finland and Sweden in the future, but it’s not something that the South Australian public can rely on in the near term in the time lines which the nuclear commission proposes actions to be taken and steps to be taken, steps that your committee is inquiring into.

If I could make a key point of guidance for the committee’s consideration and due deliberations and any recommendations that you would make, I draw your attention to the objects of the Nuclear Waste Storage Facility (Prohibition) Act 2000 which states:

…”to protect the health, safety and welfare of the people of South Australia and to protect the environment in which they live”…

The act then goes on to prohibit certain classes of nuclear waste storage and disposal facilities. I think that recommendation, those objects to protect the health, safety and welfare of the people of South Australia and the environment in which they live, should be the overriding guidance that this committee considers in how you address the findings of the nuclear royal commission and the business case as presented by the Jacobs Consultancy which is I think the primary matter that lies behind the nuclear commission’s findings and final report.

In my opinion, the nuclear commission, the findings and the final report, and the Jacobs Consultancy on which it is heavily reliant, present a number of assumptions which effectively mislead the public.

The project is projected to be at an inflated scale which has significant consequences both for the reality of the project but also for the claimed revenues. The revenues in this matter are a tonnage-based revenue multiplier. By Jacobs proposing that the world’s largest ever nuclear waste project in the world—the Yucca Mountain project in the USA, a project which failed and was cancelled by President Obama in 2009—could be doubled in scale has a significant question as to whether that is remotely reasonable, realistic, and whether that is a matter that effectively doubles the claimed revenues for the project. If this project had started with a proposal to equal the world’s largest ever proposed nuclear waste project, then the revenues would be half what they are presented in the report—half the numbers that are presented in the report—just on that step alone, that reality test of not exceeding what has ever been envisaged before in terms of scale of nuclear waste projects around the world. The project essentially also maximises aboveground storage, and I believe that compromises safety and it is an unnecessary step.

I believe that in a more realistic scenario, in more realistic time lines where this national matter—a matter that has no mandate to proceed—a matter that would not just realise bipartisan political support at state and federal level, it also needs to realise independent oversight and federal regulation. I believe it would have to be federal regulation and not state regulation. The state could be seen to have a significant conflict of interest in attempting to regulate this matter. Overseas players, whether it is the IAEA, client countries, and the public expectations in those countries, would reasonably expect as do the international conventions that such matters of highlevel nuclear waste be managed by a federal government and a federal authority, not by state.

I think that it is reasonable to project that that independent oversight would require a number of key steps and different time lines and different decision point assumptions than what are presented in the Jacobs report and the nuclear commission findings. The key one of those, I think, is that as an absolute minimum independent oversight would require that Australia not accept high-level nuclear waste prior to having an agreed licensed site for the potential geological disposal of that waste. That is a really key fundamental step that I believe public confidence, public consent, political support and independent oversight would rely on, not just in Australia but overseas through all the levels from consent of the state at a national and international level.

That one step alone—and I would consider that a four-year safety margin in the project that proposed imports could not be envisaged to be credible prior to what the project says is year 15 where they might first realise an agreed licensed site. That four-year safety margin actually realises a 40 per cent reduction in the claimed net present value of the project. A very small step, a very small initial step, in change of time line takes off 40 per cent of the claimed net present value the project is supposed to realise for South Australia………See: http://www.parliament.sa.gov.au/Committees/Pages/Committees.aspx?CTId=2&CId=333

July 15, 2016 Posted by | NUCLEAR ROYAL COMMISSION 2016, South Australia | Leave a comment

20 July Parliamentary hearing of Nuclear Committee – public can attend

scrutiny-Royal-Commission CHAINNext hearing of South Australia Joint Committee on Findings of the Nuclear Fuel Cycle Royal Commission

Wednesday, 20 July 9am – Parliament House

Giving evidence –

9.00am DemocracyCo (convenors of the Citizens’ Juries)

Chief Executive Officers:    Ms Emma Lawson   Ms Emily Jenke

Members of the public wishing to attend may report to reception in Centre Hall of

Parliament House and they will be escorted to the meeting room.  See: http://www.parliament.sa.gov.au/Committees/Pages/Committees.aspx?CTId=2&CId=333

July 15, 2016 Posted by | ACTION | Leave a comment

Minerals Council of Australia spends up big to promote moribund uranium industry

text-uranium-hypeAccording to IBISWorld Australia’s uranium sector employs less than a thousand people and it generates around $700 million in sales. The uranium industry accounts for 0.01% (0.0084%) of jobs in Australia and in the 20131/14 financial year accounted for 0.19% of national export revenue. It is a sector that has promised much and delivered little.

But this hasn’t stopped the Minerals Council from pumping funds into poorly advised social and hard media campaigns of late to try to breathe life into the comatose uranium sector.

Australia’s nuclear-powered PR in meltdown, Independent Australia, 14 July 2016 With nuclear energy take-up shrinking post Fukushima, Australia continues to ignore the UN’s call for an independent cost-benefit analysis of our high risk-low return uranium trade. ACF’s Dave Sweeney examines the continuing spin by the MCA. “…… the changed status of Australia’s embattled uranium sector.

“Fukushima changed everything.” This might sound like a line from the anti-nuclear lobby but it is a direct quote from BHP, the world’s biggest miner. And they are right.

The Fukushima disaster was directly fuelled by Australian uranium and increasingly its impacts are being directly felt by the Australian uranium sector.

In the continuing shadow of Fukushima nuclear powers contribution to the global energy mix is shrinking and has been eclipsed by renewables, and with over 200 reactor shut-downs due by 2040, the industry will have to run hard just to stay put.

The related uranium market meltdown has been severe and seen prices, profits and employment numbers go south. Continue reading

July 15, 2016 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, spinbuster, uranium | Leave a comment

Nuclear waste warning that must last for 100.000 years

waste warning Archbishops

all nuclear agencies have a duty to try to prevent radioactive sites from being disturbed by future civilisations, who may decide to excavate an area in ignorance or even in the misguided hope of finding some kind of treasure buried underground. To this end, they are trying to find a way to communicate with the distant future, in order to warn its inhabitants about what will happen if they become too curious, and also to encourage them to look out for any technical problems at the site. This is not just a moral obligation. In the US, for example, there is a legal obligation to try to keep the “memory” of the site alive so that it can be managed “in perpetuity”.

Timeline-human-&-radioactive

This is a mind-bending task. About 100,000 years ago Europe was populated by a different species of human, Homo neanderthalensis. We know they had heavy, ape-like facial features, and used basic hunting tools, but we have no knowledge of the language they used. We have no idea what will happen in the next hundred thousand years, and what kinds of societies will populate the planet, let alone how we might communicate with them.

antnuke-relevantNuclear waste: keep out for 100,000 years, Ft.com Michael Stothard, 14 July 16   Nuclear agencies are searching for the signs, language and solutions that will warn our descendants to stay away We are in a red metal cage bumping slowly down a mineshaft to our destination, half a kilometre under the ground near the small town of Bure in eastern France. Above us are yellow fields of oilseed rape. Below is the maze of reinforced concrete tunnels that, if it wins final approval from the French government, will from 2025 be the last resting place for the most destructive and indestructible waste in history. This is the €25bn deep geological storage facility for France’s high and medium-level radioactive waste, the residue of more than half a century of nuclear power. When the work here is finally finished, no one must ever take this journey again or, at least, not for 100,000 years. Continue reading

July 15, 2016 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Turnbull govt still backing Trans Pacific Partnership

Trans-Pacific Partnership: Trade Minister Steve Ciobo says he won’t give up on deal, Sydney Morning Herald,   July 14 2016 

The Turnbull government is refusing to give up on an ambitious 12-nation trade pact despite the prospect of a protectionist Senate and opposition in the US.

The Trans-Pacific Partnership: the dirtiest trade deal, you’ve never heard of

The upper house is shaping up to be difficult for the government’s free-trade agenda and its plans to ratify the Trans-Pacific Partnership. The Nick Xenophon Team, Pauline Hanson’s One Nation and Jacqui Lambie, considered either protectionist or anti-free trade, are readying to take their spots in the Senate.

Senator Xenophon said the government should throw in the towel on the TPP, which he believes will fail to deliver the promised benefits.

He fears the agreement will sacrifice tens of thousands of Australian jobs, accusing the government of failing to think through the real-life consequences.

But his most potent argument is that the deal could be dead in the water anyway given US presidential candidates Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton oppose it.

“Why are we jumping into this deal when whoever will be US president doesn’t want a bar of it?” Senator Xenophon told ABC radio on Thursday. However Trade Minister Steve Ciobo, who was in Washington this week to discuss the TPP, is not prepared to walk away.

But the minister was careful to pick up on the apparent rise of domestic scepticism on trade deals.

“I do appreciate that some Australians feel a little alienated by a globalised world, by a world in which currency flows, people flows, trade flows are happening at a faster rate than ever before,” Mr Ciobo told ABC TV.

“I don’t think you say it’s over till it’s over.”

He hopes the deal could at least be cleared at home with the help of the Labor Party. http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/transpacific-partnership-trade-minister-steve-ciobo-says-he-wont-give-up-on-deal-20160714-gq5ozu.html

July 15, 2016 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, politics international | Leave a comment

New nuclear build at zero, so far in 2016 – World Nuclear Industry Status Report

book World Status ReportNew nuclear reactor builds fall to zero in H1 2016: report http://www.reuters.com/article/us-nuclear-industry-decline-idUSKCN0ZT0QS Construction starts for new nuclear reactors fell to zero globally in the first half of 2016 as the atomic industry struggles against falling costs for renewables and a slowdown in Chinese building, a report on the industry showed on Wednesday.

The last time there were no new reactors started over a full year was in 1995, according to the World Nuclear Industry Status Report 2016. The number of reactors under construction is in decline for a third year, with 58 being built by the end of June, down from 67 reactors at the end of 2013, the report said.

The latest figures highlight the struggles the nuclear sector is facing after the Fukushima atomic disaster in Japan five years ago, as higher costs and delays take their toll while other sources of energy become cheaper.

The nuclear industry faces a risk it “will not be easily protected from: the economic and financial risks from nuclear power being irreversibly out-competed by renewable power,” Tomas Kaberger, energy and environment professor at Chalmers University of Technology in Sweden, wrote in a forward in the report.

Kaberger is also a member of the board of state-owned Swedish utility Vattenfall, which owns 10 nuclear reactors, according to its website.

Construction started on six reactors in China in 2015, three times more than the rest of the world, while eight went into operation there last year, out of 10 globally, underlining how the world’s biggest energy user is a bright spot for the nuclear industry.

Three reactors have started up this year in China, with one in South Korea and another in the U.S., Watts Bar 2, which took 43 years to build, according to the report.

But even in China, renewables investment and capacity additions are outstripping nuclear, the report said. Renewables investments totaled $100 billion in China last year, more than five times the amount for new reactors, which was $18 billion.

Wind energy output totaled 185 terawatt hours (TWh) last year in China, compared with 161 TWh for nuclear. Solar power output totaled 39 TWh in 2015, up from 23 TWh the year before.

The report’s lead authors are industry analysts Mycle Schneider, based in Paris, and London-based Antony Froggatt. Both have advised European government bodies on energy and nuclear policy.

The report is available in full at:   here

(Reporting by Aaron Sheldrick; Editing by Christian Schmollinger)

July 15, 2016 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Warning to Australia against being USA ‘deputy sheriff’ near China

Labor’s Bob Carr warns against ‘deputy sheriff’ military action in South China Sea, The Age, July 14 2016 Daniel Flitton  Former Labor foreign minister Bob Carr has warned Australia risks looking like a US “deputy sheriff” should warships sail close to China’s artificial islands…….

“The plain fact is if Australia joined American patrols or ran patrols of its own that penetrated the 12-mile radius of Chinese-claimed territory, we would be the only American ally to do so,” Mr Carr told Fairfax Media.

The United States has previously dispatched warships to sail past territory occupied by China in so-called “freedom of navigation” exercises to demonstrate it does not recognise control of the waters.

China has denounced the ruling in the arbitration case brought by the Philippines as “null and void” and threatened to impose controls on aircraft over the disputed waters.

The territorial dispute has escalated in recent years after China seized control of coral atolls and tiny islands in waters claimed by the Philippines, dredging the sea floor to reclaim land and construct aircraft runways, which could serve as military bases.

Speaking from Beijing, Mr Carr said a diplomatic course was more likely to find a solution.

Asked about Senator Conroy’s comments, Mr Carr said Bill Shorten and shadow foreign affairs spokeswoman Tanya Plibersek had shown “realism” by supporting the diplomatic path.

“If our response to the arbitration were to immediately signal patrols that mimicked the American patrols, Australia would be one out among all American partners in the region. We’d look like the deputy sheriff,” he said…….http://www.theage.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/labors-bob-carr-warns-against-deputy-sheriff-military-action-in-south-china-sea-20160713-gq5arp.html

July 15, 2016 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, politics international | Leave a comment

The People’s Solar at Melbourne’s Abbotsford Convent’s major crowd-funded solar energy project

solar-panels-and-moneyAustralia’s Largest Solar Crowdfunding Campaign a Success,  http://probonoaustralia.com.au/news/2016/07/australias-largest-solar-crowdfunding-campaign-success/  Pro Bono, Ellie Cooper, 14 July 16   For-purpose business, The People’s Solar has helped iconic Melbourne Not for Profit, the Abbotsford Convent raise $120,000 for its renewable energy project in the biggest crowdfunding project of its kind in Australia. The People’s Solar, part of Energy for the People, is a platform for delivering community-owned solar power to schools and Not for Profits.

Director and co-founder Tosh Szatow told Pro Bono Australia News this was the biggest solar crowdfunding project of its kind in Australia to date. It was also the largest project his business has been involved in.

“It’s really exciting. We’ve raised something like $250,000 now over two years, so the amount of money we’ve raised for projects has been doubling every six months, and that includes the project with the convent,” Szatow said. “We’ve now completed about 10 projects, it’s the biggest by some margin and it’s really confirmed for us that we can fund really big projects like this.

“And the other exciting thing is the organisations we’re working for would otherwise find it really hard to find the money to pay for solar power, and so it’s really great to know we’re able to help those organisations.”

The Abbotsford Convent, spread over 16.8 acres, has green space and historic buildings, which are said to house Australia’s largest multi-arts precincts. “It’s an iconic building in Melbourne… that’s really well loved by people in Melbourne, and the activities that are hosted at the convent are really important to the community,” Szatow said.

“As well as support for the creative arts and music, painting, sculpture and it’s a really valuable public asset. There’s a large green space which is a real oasis for people in that community. So there were a lot of reasons to get behind it.”

He said the $120,000 solar panel installation, half of which was crowdfunded through Pozible and the other half matched through a donor, would make a huge difference to the convent.

“It will save up to about $15,000 a year, and I believe that’s enough to fully fund the maintenance of their public open space so that’s all the gardening and upkeep on the gardens,” he said.

“So that’s a huge saving to their bottom line. And because it’s a Not for Profit organisation, it runs entirely on donations, saving that $15,000 every year is going to make a huge difference over the course of the panels lifetime.” The mission of Energy for the People is to help foster a “democratic” energy market where all Australians can access renewable energy. Szatow said The People’s Solar was started to focus on social impact and community benefit.

“[We were] talking with a lot of organisations that were struggling to find the money to go solar even though solar power has a pretty good financial payback. We were really looking for a solution to that,” he said.

“And I think more broadly there’s a really strong ethic in what we do with Energy for the People. We’re really keen to give back to the communities that we do work in, and solar is a really nice way of executing that and bringing together our skills and capability in clean energy with our interest and enthusiasm for the community side of things.”

July 15, 2016 Posted by | solar, Victoria | Leave a comment

Global climate threat if Amazon forest catches fire

Why we should all worry about the Amazon catching on fire this year, WP, By Chris Mooney July 12 When you Google “Amazon fires,” the first thing you encounter is a tablet device. But in the coming months, if scientific forecasts prove correct, that may change.

Researchers are increasingly concerned that the Amazon rain forest — the world’s largest tropical forest, a huge repository of carbon and a vital cycler of water into rainfall across much of South America — will soon burn in a way that has not been seen in many years.

The reason is the lingering effect of the recent El Nino event. Forecasts from NASA and the University of California-Irvine, and from the International Research Institute for Climate and Society suggest that because of how El Nino reduced precipitation in the region earlier this year, the Amazon is far drier than usual, and primed to burn once the dry season reaches its height this summer (the fire season runs from June through November with a September peak).

According to the NASA/U.C. Irvine forecast, the Amazon is currently “far drier than 2005 and 2010 — the last years when the region experienced drought.” The years 2005 and 2010 also saw major blazes in the Amazon.

Indeed, the NASA/U.C. Irvine researchers shared data suggesting that the storage of water in the Amazon in March of 2016, as measured by NASA’s twin GRACE satellites (which detect gravitational anomalies at the Earth’s surface), is far lower now than it was in March during these prior years.

“We have the possibility of killing hundreds of thousands of trees in the Amazon in 2016, if you let these fires start,” says Paulo Brando, an Amazon fire expert at the Woods Hole Research Center and Ipam (the Amazon Environmental Research Institute).

If these forecasts are verified, there will be a great deal at stake. It isn’t just that huge, dangerous clouds of smoke could reach major urban areas ranging from Manaus to Rio. It’s that the fires risk helping to tip the Amazon into a new state that scientists fear — one in which it will be drier, store less carbon, cycle less water and generate less rainfall.

That would be disastrous for the Earth’s climate overall. The Amazon alone stores an enormous amount of carbon,  120 billion tons worth. Put that stuff in the atmosphere and the result would be justly termed catastrophic………

It is important to note that so far, what we are looking at are bad fire forecasts for this summer in the Amazon — but not a catastrophe at this point. The forecasts may not be realized. (That happens!) And the forecasts could also drive at least some action in Brazil and other Amazon countries to take steps to prevent people from starting fires, blunting the potential consequences of drought.

That’s the good news. The bad news is that scientists continue to talk about the Amazon in the same way they talk about, say, West Antarctica or the overturning circulation of the Atlantic Ocean — as a delicate system that we could tip, with enormous consequences. https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/energy-environment/wp/2016/07/12/the-ultimate-forest-fire-whatll-happen-when-the-amazon-burns/

July 15, 2016 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

UK Government axes climate department

flag-UKGovernment axes climate department By Paul Rincon Science editor, BBC News website, 14 July 16,  The government has axed the Department of Energy and Climate Change (Decc) in a major departmental shake-up.

The brief will be folded into an expanded Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy under Greg Clark.

Ed Miliband, the former energy and climate secretary under Labour, called the move “plain stupid”.

It comes at a time when campaigners are urging the government to ratify the Paris climate change deal…….One of the most pressing items on the environment agenda is the ratification of the Paris climate deal, which was inked last year.

The climate “sceptic” group Global Warming Policy Forum has long demanded the demise of Decc, so alarm bells are ringing loudly for some green groups……

The Green Party and Friends of the Earth, for instance, see the move as potentially a major downgrade for climate as a government priority.

Decc has made the UK a world leader in climate policy, and scrapping the department removes the words “climate change” from the title of any department. Out of sight, out of mind, in the basement, perhaps…….http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-36788162

July 15, 2016 Posted by | Uncategorized | 1 Comment

UK’s Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) reports on nuclear power – uncompetitive

flag-UKNuclear competitiveness falling with rise of renewables, says government watchdog, businessGreen, Jocelyn Timperley, 14 July 16, A new report on the future of Britain’s electricity supply from the government spending watchdog has highlighted the falling costs of renewables compared with nuclear, with figures projecting onshore wind and solar will be the cheapest ways of generating electricity by 2025.

The report examines how new sources of electricity can be used to meet the looming capacity gap the UK faces over the coming decade while supporting emissions targets and keeping energy bills affordable.

Its findings show that renewables may be a cheaper option than conventional energy sources, with Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) forecasts for the levelised cost of energy of wind and solar in 2025 having decreased since 2010. The cost forecast for nuclear during the same time period has increased while it has remained constant for gas.

“Supporting early new nuclear projects could lead to higher costs in the short term than continuing to support wind and solar,” the report concludes. “The cost competitiveness of nuclear power is weakening as wind and solar become more established.”………

The NAO also lays out how the projected costs of Hinkley Point C have skyrocketed since the strike price was initially agreed based on an estimated cost of £6.1bn in October 2013. Projections laid out in the report show the top-up subsidy payments for the nuclear plant have changed along with forecasts of the wholesale price of power, with the most recent estimate in March 2016 valuing the payments at £29.7bn.

In addition, the NAO warned of the risks for consumers of signing up to the 35-year Hinkley Point C contract, expected to begin in 2025, due to the difficulty in predicting how wholesale electricity prices will fluctuate, as well as how other energy technologies will develop. “Over a longer time frame there is greater potential for technological changes that reduce the competitiveness of nuclear compared with other power sources,” the report says.

The new report comes just days after DECC vastly raised its estimate of how much the Hinkley project would cost in subsidies over its lifetime, suggesting it will cost £37bn in total subsidies, more than double its £14.4bn estimate a year ago……..

Among a host of other environment and energy decisions, Theresa May will soon have to make the long-awaited decision on whether to go ahead with Hinkley Point. And the NAO report makes clear it will be as much a strategic and political decision as an economic one. http://www.businessgreen.com/bg/analysis/2464823/nuclear-competitiveness-falling-with-rise-of-renewables-says-government-watchdog

July 15, 2016 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

USA’s and Russia’s provocative nuclear ‘war games’

nuclear-warheadsUnited States “playing nuclear chicken with Russia, http://www.b92.net/eng/news/world.php?yyyy=2016&mm=07&dd=12&nav_id=98588 “Helen Caldicott, the 1985 Nobel Peace Prize nominee, has warned about the danger related to the decisions made during a recent NATO summit. SOURCE: SPUTNIK TUESDAY, JULY 12, 2016 “The decisions reached at NATO are hardly believable considering current world politics and the state of play between Russia and the United States, both heavily armed nuclear nations… as they practice nuclear war exercises and ‘games’ adjacent to their respective borders,” she told Sputnik.

The two-day summit in Warsaw on Friday and Saturday approved the deployment of four battalions on Russian borders, made up of about 4,000 troops.

“Surely, the politicians and military personnel in Washington must realize that they are playing nuclear chicken with Russia,” said Caldicott, founding president of Physicians for Social Responsibility, and added:

“Large increases in NATO troops and equipment in countries once an integral part of the Soviet Union (and) anti-missile bases in Romania, Poland, Turkey and Spain, are extremely provocative to Russia which is clearly concerned for good reason.”

Sputnik noted in its report that Caldicott is the author of numerous books, including “The New Nuclear Danger: George W. Bush’s Military Industrial Complex,” and that the Smithsonian Institution named her “one of the most influential women of the 20th century.”

July 15, 2016 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, politics international | Leave a comment