Should We Be Concerned About Low Levels of Radiation?’ a talk by Dr.Ian Fairlie
Derek Abbott Nuclear Fuel Cycle Watch South Australia March 18 Thought for the day: When nuclear apologists gleefully announce that more solar panel workers die falling off roofs than nuclear workers from radiation, their excitement is not only creepy but the sentiment is flawed on three counts.
1) The long term effects of radiation accidents haven’t been fully quantified as we have not yet had long term post-Chernobyl empirical experience.
2) The chance of death on the road is over a 1000 times higher than in flight. Yet we all know that air travel is potentially much more dangerous than road transport. And because it is so much more dangerous, the governance around flight is much more strict. We are seeing relatively few immediate deaths from nuclear precisely because it is so strictly controlled. People falling off roofs is tragic: but it does not absolve nuclear. Instead it does tell us we need to increase roof worker safety standards.
3) Solar penetrates urban areas in a distributed fashion, whereas nuclear is placed away from urban centres. So the comparison is not fair to begin with. If we hypothetically replaced domestic solar panels with small nuclear reactors at each house, this decentralized penetration of nuclear would be open to many more mishaps. This would be the correct comparison https://www.facebook.com/groups/1021186047913052/
Whereas high energy prices often drive Indigenous people off their traditional lands, lower-cost renewables can help communities to thrive no matter how remote.
“We can build a power station where the community exists,” .. “so people are able to successfully live in the environment the way they want to live and have access to power which enables them to better determine their economic future.”
How an Indigenous renewable energy alliance aims to cut power costs and disadvantage
First Nations lobby group will support remote communities looking to make transition – and tackle climate change, Guardian, Dyani Lewis, 17 Mar 17
Like so many of the Indigenous communities dotted across the Australian continent, the remote communities in north-west New South Wales are struggling. “These are not happy places,” says the Euahlayi elder Ghillar Michael Anderson.
Many of the 300 or so residents of Anderson’s hometown of Goodooga rely on welfare, he says. Exorbitant electricity bills – up to $3,000 a quarter for some households – further exacerbate the poverty. “We’re always at the end of the power line, so the service that is there is quite extraordinary in terms of cost.”
Many other communities rely on expensive, emissions-intensive diesel-powered generators to meet their electricity demands. “It’s a real problem and we need to make sure that we fix this,” Anderson says.
To that end, Anderson and 24 other Indigenous leaders have formed the First Nations Renewable Energy Alliance, which aims to tackle high power costs and entrenched disadvantage – along with climate change – by pushing for renewable energy in Indigenous communities. Continue reading
Households abandoning the grid have ‘lost faith’ , The Age, Brian Robins, 17 Mar 17 The federal government has been warned that the rise in spending on solar energy systems is clear evidence households have “lost faith” in their energy suppliers, as they move to get greater control over the cost of their electricity bill.
In its submission to the Finkel Review which is being conducted into the future security of the electricity market, Energy Consumers Australia said its research has highlighted the shift that is now emerging.
“While assumptions are often made that generous feed-in-tariffs and solar PV’s clean attributes have been the primary motivators for their uptake, our research indicates that the primary reasons consumers are investing in this technology is to manage consumption and gain control of costs. The desire for independence from the grid is a particularly strong driver for early interest in battery storage,” it says.
“We see this as a clear indication that consumers have lost faith in the traditional market’s capacity to deliver value for money, and are taking matters into their own hands.”
Energy Consumers Australia undertakes regular detailed surveys of household attitudes to their energy supplies and while most households are not actively engaged in the retail market for electricity, due to a variety of factors, as many as 1.5 million households have engaged by making a significant investment in solar rooftop photo voltaic systems, it said.
And even as the historically generous subsidies supporting the installation of these systems is being wound down, its research has found that a third of households are considering installing these systems over the next five years, with as many as 27 per cent considering installing battery storage systems. But these options are more limited for households which rent or live in accommodation which is unsuitable for the installation of these systems.
“This risks the costs of building and maintaining the [national electricity market] being increasingly recovered from a subset of consumers who are on lower incomes, haven’t been able to break into the housing market, or small businesses in commercial premises subject to investment decisions by owners,” it noted in its submission to the review.
Similarly, its community consultations have found more consumers want to be able to trade or share electricity at the local level……. http://www.theage.com.au/business/energy/households-abandoning-the-grid-have-lost-faith-20170316-gv07mz.html