Australian news, and some related international items

Five-and-a-Half Years After Fukushima, 3 of Japan’s 54 Nuclear Reactors Are Operating

Fukushima 311 Watchdogs


Since the accident at Fukushima Daiichi in March 2011 and the subsequent shutdown of nuclear reactors in Japan, five reactors have received approval to restart operations under the new safety standards imposed by Japan’s Nuclear Regulation Authority (NRA). Only three of those reactors are currently operating. Applications for the restart of 21 other reactors, including 1 under construction, are under review by the NRA. Some reactors that meet the new NRA safety standards and have been approved to restart continue to face legal or political opposition that may delay or forestall their restart.

After the Fukushima accident, all 54 of Japan’s reactors were shut down. Twelve reactors totaling 7.2 gigawatts (GW) were permanently closed. Restart applications for 20 previously operating reactors (totaling 19.5 GW) and 1 new reactor under construction (the 1.4 GW Oma Nuclear Power Station) have been filed with the NRA. The remaining 17 reactors (16 GW) have…

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September 16, 2016 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Burning debris from Fukushima

Fukushima 311 Watchdogs

Local government officials, rather than objectively scientifically determine whether it was safe or not for the people just accepted the central government political decision to have debris from Fukushima brought and burned in many municipalities and prefectures throughout Japan.

As a result not only the Fukushima people have inhaled radioactive nanoparticles, but also many other people in other locations.

The map below, from year 2012, shows locations where Fukushima debris was burned then, it was really spread all over Japan during the first 3 years, 2011, 2012, 2013.


Today incineration of Fukushima debris continues in 19 locations in Fukushima prefecture…

incinerators in fukushima.jpg

… and some of the Eastern Japan prefectures.

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September 16, 2016 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Welcome To The Nuclear State – wake-up song from Mike Roberts

The South Australian government is proposing to build a nuclear waste dump on traditional indigenous land in the stunningly beautiful Flinders Ranges. If plans come to fruition we may well be seeing high-level radioactive waste from around the world shipped into our pristine, clean green state hoping that a catastrophe from any of the inherent risks never eventuates. Mike Roberts’ song is a wake-up call about our scenario that will have impact both nationally and internationally.

Welcome to the Nuclear State – words and music Mike Roberts 2016
Mike Roberts – lead vocal, backing vocals, acoustic guitar
Quentin Eyers – slide guitar, bass guitar, drums, piano
Production – Quentin Eyers, Q the Music, Norwood, South Australia
Video Production – Jordan Roberts, FSR Media House
Photographs – Mike Roberts, Dianne Bills

September 16, 2016 Posted by | media | Leave a comment

Your Say – comments on the diseconomics of the nuclear waste dump plan

Paul Laris 31 Aug 2016 I am very concerned that SA may be placed at environmental and/or financial risk if the nuclear waste storage project goes ahead. The business case rests on the assumption of continuing demand for storage over several decades. This cannot be assured. If, over that period there is another nuclear power station catastrophe, or the cost of other renewable sources of baseline power falls significantly, then demand for storage, and income, will shrivel. These are both highly plausible scenarios. I note that Germany is committed to closing all nuclear power stations by 2022.

strandedThe business case involves temporary surface storage until there is a sufficient accumulation of income to build the very costly underground infrastructure required for safe millenial storage. If demand and income faulters during the next 30 years or so, there is a major risk that we will be left with a large amount of inadequately surface-stored waste – a stranded liability. To leave it that way will be environmentally iresponsible. To store it safely will be financially crippling.

Due dilligence demands we do not proceed to burden our children and suceeding generations with such high levels of risk.

Claire Catt 08 Aug 2016 There is a simple principal question, one needs to ask how a venture relaying on a once off payment of an uncertain amount could be viable when costs are unknown but certainly lasting for thousands of years. How could that ever add up.

I would speculate the money won’t last to actually pay for any underground storage many years hence.
There is certainly no precedent of any Government ever being able to manage a large amount of money responsibly so far into the future. And most certainly not this Government.

waste-USA-containersSo even to the average person, the economics look shonky. The risks however are crystal clear! Several above ground ‘temporary’ storage sites all over our state for a very very long time to be guarded and somehow kept from all forms of life for thousands of years.

Really, it’s unbelievable our own Government is even thinking about it. Money, even if it was there, doesn’t come into it. The nuclear industry needs to get out of this country and stop spreading their horrendous problems all over this world.

Claire Catt 14 Aug 2016 It is utterly unpredictable what the longterm maintenance and security costs of such a large and dangerous dump would be. All figures in the Royal Commission’ Report are speculative and untested. The optimistic promises of riches reek of bias and manipulation.

There is far more opportunity in South Australia in a clean and green future with a healthy, involved and participating population. We don’t want a dirty secretive industry here which will endanger the longterm well being of us all.

Mary-Ann Lovejoy 29 Aug 2016 The economics of this proposal IMO seem highly speculative. I understand they have not even been costed by someone reputable and independent of ANY bias (pro or con.)

secret-agent-AustI understand not even Treasury have been permitted to examine the figures – perhaps Belinda could answer that question definitively? Or tell us if that will happen, before we go any further in the debate of economics?
Nick Xenophon responded to my query on his nuclear position – he replied he did not support this proposal as the “alleged” benefits were outweighed by the potential risk. Given it’s such an important topic for his/our state, I’m sure he will have examined the figures well, prior to his statement of position.
What runs often through my mind, in discussion of nuclear, is the Deepwater Horizon oil disaster off the USA coast, where the technology that was stated to be beyond reproach caused a huge disaster. The costs, (environmental, economic and social) were devastating, and the company responsible did its best to avoid liability for the cleanup. That frightens me, as not only would our state be devastated by such an event (nuclear waste accident, terrorist attack, human error, equipment failure, whatever the cause) , but how could it be cleaned up? Is it even possible to do so? And what of the resultant cost? Surely it would bankrupt our state?
Like Xenophon, I think the benefits are speculative, and the potential risks too great.
I demand a vote of all citizens before this proceeds any further, to test community consent. If there’s not initial consent, how on earth can there be “on-going consent”?  important.…/statewide-survey

September 16, 2016 Posted by | NUCLEAR ROYAL COMMISSION 2016, South Australia, wastes | Leave a comment

Theresa May’s disastrous Hinkley nuclear choice – under pressure from France and China

may-theresaHinkley C nuclear go-ahead: May caves in to flag-UKpressure from France and China, Ecologist Oliver Tickell 15th September 2016 
The French and the Chinese may be celebrating the UK’s decision to press ahead with the Hinkley C ‘nuclear white elephant’, writes Oliver Tickell. But the deal is a disaster for the UK, committing us to overpriced power for decades to come, and to a dirty, dangerous, insecure dead end technology. Just one silver lining: major economic, legal and technical hurdles mean it still may never be built.

The UK’s energy department, BEIS, today announced the go-ahead for the controversial Hinkley Point C (HPC) nuclear power plant in Somerset.

Only weeks ago Theresa May’s government delayed the signing of the deal with EDF to confirm its subsidy package which is likely to cost UK energy users anywhere from £30 billion to over £100 billion for 35 years after it opens.

The surprise move was widely welcomed due to a broad range of concerns about the HPC project, including:

  • its very high cost, more than double the current wholesale power price and far more than the current cost of even high-cost renewable power from offshore wind;
  • security concerns over China’s involvement in core UK infrastructure;
  • the lack of any single example of a working EPR reactor anywhere in the world;
  • the severe delays, cost overuns and technical problems at all EPR construction sites;
  • and the low value of HPC’s contribution to UK energy supply in the new decentralised ‘smart grid’ era.

Pre-announcement spin indicated that the HPC deal would be subject to a number of“significant conditions” that would address these problems. But in the event energy secretary Greg Clarke is giving the go-ahead for HPC to almost precisely the same deal that was on the table before.

Ther only difference to be found in the energy department announcement is that arrangements have been put in place to allow the Government to “prevent the sale of EDF’s controlling stake prior to the completion of construction, without the prior notification and agreement of ministers.”

In particular the price remains unchanged……….

And as far as China is concerned, the UK is desperate to reach a trade deal with what is now by some measures the world’s largest economy and a major exporter to the UK. In particular the UK is seeking tariff-free access to the fast-gowing Chinese economy for UK manufactures, and the powerful financial services industry.

We can be sure that both countries leaders and ministers put the frighteners onto Theresa May and her entourage at the recent G20 summit to go ahead with HPC – and that she succumbed to that pressure at enormous cost to the UK, failing to win even the smallest concession on price.

September 16, 2016 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Your Say. Nuclear Commissioner Kevin Scarce biased: supporter of nuclear waste dumping

Scarce blah
JOHN CONNOLLY 05 Sep 2016 I think it is disgusting and dishonest that Kevin Scarce is speaking to children about nuclear waste. As a Commissioner he should have been impartial but we find he is one of the biggest supporters of having a nuclear dump in South Australia.…/statewide-survey

September 16, 2016 Posted by | NUCLEAR ROYAL COMMISSION 2016, South Australia | Leave a comment

Your Say: Nuclear waste deal – stealthy plan to get nuclear submarines?

submarine,-nuclear-underwatSteve Charles 13 Sep 2016 I suggest the real reason behind turning SA into a high level nuclear waste dump is that the SA Government knows that the submarines to be built in Adelaide are already a nuclear design and will need to be converted to diesel, but this is difficult and costly. Perhaps they are wanting to get nuclear submarines by stealth, but will need somewhere to dump the spent fuel. We cannot trust this government. See:      important.…/statewide-survey

September 16, 2016 Posted by | NUCLEAR ROYAL COMMISSION 2016, South Australia, wastes | Leave a comment

Britain’s Tories’ conflict of interest in Hinkley nuclear decision

When you have EDF granted access to the heart of government, former ministers now acting as lobbyists for the nuclear industry, and top-level Conservatives with their fingers in Hinkley’s financial pies, what’s best for the UK goes out of the window.


Hinkley: where Tories’ private bank balances are going nuclear, The Canary SEPTEMBER 15TH, 2016“……….a quietly released report by Greenpeace shows that the deal was probably always may-theresagoing to go ahead.

EDF: in bed with the UK government Continue reading

September 16, 2016 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Connected with Brexit: Hinkley nuclear deal bad for UK, France, investors

thumbs-downHow Hinkley delivers a bad deal for everyone By John Foley 

It’s rare that a deal leaves every side worse off. Yet that’s the case with Britain’s newest nuclear power plant, which belatedly received government approval on Sept. 15. Consumers, investors and Britain itself are all likely to end up bathed in toxic waste.

The economics of building Hinkley Point C for 18 billion pounds haven’t changed since last year, but they’re still not good. British energy users will effectively pay the difference between what operator EDF has been promised per megawatt hour, and the going market price. In September the UK government put that at 37 billion pounds over the contract’s 35-year life, or 15 billion pounds in today’s money.

It’s not much better for the French group. Should all go to plan, EDF could make a return on investment of around 9 percent a year, it says. But similar plants underway in France and Finland have run wildly over time and over budget.

Britain loses in another way too, because the new government is using Hinkley to launch a wide-ranging review of its authority to intervene in foreign takeovers of “critical infrastructure”. Over a decade ago, lawmakers deliberately took politics out of mergers. Interventions have been limited to matters of national security, media plurality and the stability of the financial system. The government now points out that other “major economies” have more stringent controls on foreign investment in infrastructure projects. That misses the point that Britain’s appeal has been that it is more open than places like France, China and the United States.

Why go ahead with such an unappealing project? The answer is Brexit. Voters’ decision to leave the European Union means Britain needs friends prepared to sign favourable trade deals. Scrapping Hinkley would poison the water for future talks with China, which is putting up a third of the cost of the project. Meanwhile, since almost half of Britain’s gas comes from continental Europe, developing more home-grown nuclear power may strengthen Britain’s hand ahead of negotiations over access to the single market.

Seen that way, going ahead with Hinkley may deliver a short-term benefit in the next couple of years, as Britain’s post-Brexit arrangements are hammered out. But the long-term disadvantages and financial costs will, like nuclear waste, contaminate the country for decades

September 16, 2016 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Nuclear industry utterly depends on waste disposal facility for it to have any future

antnuke-relevantFlag-USAProgress on waste issue key to support for nuclear: US senator Washington (Platts)–15 Sep 2016 US Senator Dianne Feinstein of California said at an appropriations subcommittee hearing Wednesday that she cannot continue to support nuclear power if there is “no strategy for the long-term storage of the waste.”

Feinstein, the senior Democrat on the Appropriations Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development, criticized the nuclear power industry in her opening statement on what she called its failure to speak with “one voice” on the need for interim storage of utility spent fuel. The country, she said, “should be working to establish interim [spent fuel] storage far away from reactors and population centers.” The hearing was scheduled to look at the future of nuclear power.

The lesson of the Yucca Mountain repository project is “any solution to nuclear waste needs to be voluntary,” Feinstein said. She and subcommittee chairman Lamar Alexander, a Tennessee Republican, and Senators Lisa Murkowski, an Alaska Republican and chairman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, and Maria Cantwell of Washington, the ranking Democrat on the energy committee, have introduced legislation that would, among other things, establish a consent-based siting process. The bill has not moved out of committee, however.

Dr Pangloss

The Department of Energy dismantled the Yucca Mountain repository project in Nevada in 2010, two years after it submitted a repository license application to the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission, saying in part that the state of Nevada’s unyielding opposition to the proposed disposal facility made the site unworkable.

Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz told the subcommittee that a voluntary siting process is needed and that DOE will discuss during at a public meeting Thursday in Washington input the department received during eight public meetings held across the US on what a consent-based siting process should involve this year.

Support for a nuclear waste facility has to be aligned on the community, state and federal levels to avoid “bad surprises later on,” Moniz said.

In response to a question from Feinstein, Moniz said DOE’s general counsel has said the department has the authority, although not specifically stated, to use a private-sector facility to store utility spent fuel. He said DOE could move forward on setting up contracts with such facilities.

Currently, private-sector efforts are underway in Texas and New Mexico to site consolidated interim storage facilities that would have DOE as its only customer.

September 16, 2016 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Your Say: brand South Australia to be irrevocably smirched by nuclear waste dump

South Australia nuclear toiletadrian hill 04 Sep 2016 Safety isnt what we should be worrying about

Our brand is more at risk. We want to be known for our great food and wine. While there is not risk at all the waste will reach anywhere near our food chain, we know the how the media can paint a city. I’m concerned that SA will be rebranded as the waste dump state which could affect our tourism. It wouldnt bother me if we could redraw the boarders so the area is not our state. Could it be an independant state like canberra? Or do we name a town where the dumping will occur and push the name of that town rather than associate with SA….google ‘snowtown  important.…/statewide-survey

September 16, 2016 Posted by | NUCLEAR ROYAL COMMISSION 2016, South Australia, wastes | Leave a comment

Britain approves Hinkley nuclear power project, but uncertainty remains

Should additional regulatory scrutiny get in the way of Beijing’s other nuclear ambitions in the UK, notably a planned power plant at Bradwell, it could jeopardise the rationale for Chinese investment at Hinkley Point. EDF has warned that, without Chinese money, it may not proceed with the Hinkley scheme.

The last word on Hinkley may not have been written. Mrs May has addressed the concernsof security chiefs with a compromise that avoids an outright block. But she has deferred greater clarity on the extent to which she sees China playing a strategic role as an investor in the UK.

Hinkley planAn amber light for China in UK nuclear power
Uncertainty about the £18bn Hinkley project survives a review 
After unexpectedly announcing a review at the end of July, the UK government has given the go-ahead for construction of the nuclear power station at Hinkley Point. This is the most important strategic decision since Theresa May became prime minister — one that has a bearing not only on the UK’s future competitiveness, but on its relations with China and France.

Regrettably, Mrs May has eschewed the chance to amend the commercial terms of the project, to be built at the gargantuan cost of £18bn by EDF, the French utility, with co-investment from the China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC) and China Guangdong Nuclear Power. She has, though, announced a plan for new rules governing foreign investment in critical infrastructure. The impact of these on the nuclear programme is uncertain. If sufficiently stringent they could yet put the Hinkley project in doubt. Continue reading

September 16, 2016 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Moratorium on fracking now in place in Northern Territory

Fracking moratorium takes effect in NT, Chief Minister Michael Gunner says, By Avani Dias  A moratorium on hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, begins today, with Northern Territory Chief Minister Michael Gunner announcing the move at an oil and gas summit in Darwin.

“I announce that the Government will as of today implement this election commitment to introduce a moratorium of hydraulic fracturing of the Territory’s unconventional gas resources,” Mr Gunner told the South East Asia Australia Offshore and Onshore Conference…….

September 16, 2016 Posted by | energy, Northern Territory | Leave a comment

Finance Minister Mathias Cormann says new cut to Clean Energy Fund , in exchange for saving Australian Renewable Energy Agency (Arena)

Corman,-Matthias-monsterCoalition says deal with Labor to save Arena funding will lead to new clean energy cut
Mathias Cormann tells Sky News that the capital available to Clean Energy Innovation Fund will be reduced, Guardian, 
, 13 Sept 16, The finance minister, Mathias Cormann, has said the Coalition’s deal with Labor to save some funding for the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (Arena) will be balanced by a new cut to the Clean Energy Innovation Fund – but Labor has denied that was the agreement.

Speaking on Sky News, Cormann said: “Labor has asked for us to restore $800m of that for grants funding so we will do that but the capital available to the Clean Energy Innovation Fund will be reduced accordingly.”

It is understood that would in effect be cutting the Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) by $800m, because the innovation fund is part of the CEFC……..

The Greens’ climate and energy spokesman, Adam Bandt, called on Labor and theCoalition to clarify what the finance minister meant.

“It seems the finance minister thinks the government still gets to rip over a billion dollars from clean energy and that Labor has been outplayed,” Bandt said. “Far from saving clean energy, Labor just did a dirty deal with the Liberals to gut renewables.”

September 16, 2016 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, energy, politics | Leave a comment

Australia loses valuable weather forecasting as Govt closes Macquarie Island research station

climate-changeMacquarie Island research closure will lead to deterioration in weather forecasting, scientist says, ABC News, By Elise Fantin , 15 Sep 16 The closure of the Macquarie Island research station will put weather forecasting at risk, a climate scientist has warned.

Key points:

  • Rainfall, temperature, wind and cloud measurements are taken daily on the island
  • Weather balloons are launched daily for atmospheric measurements
  • Loss of data will lead to deterioration of forecasting, scientist says

The Australian Antarctic Division announced on Tuesday to close the station in March next year and restrict research to field huts during the summer period only.

Atmospheric scientist Professor David Karoly — who sits on the Federal Government’s Climate Change Authority — said the station’s closure would have long-term consequences for data collection……

September 16, 2016 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, climate change - global warming | Leave a comment