Australian news, and some related international items

I will never give up the fight against the nuclear waste rubbish dump on Adnyamathanha yarta

Heather Mckenzie-Stuart Fight To Stop Nuclear Waste Dump In Flinders Ranges SA, 22 Nov 17, I am so sick of ANSTO and the Department of Innovation @ Science with their nuclear waste dump site of choice saga, the money packages, the problems, divisions, anxiety/stress, disrespect, envy, jealousy, malice, not pride, that they have brought and caused in the Flinders Ranges on yuras yarta re the proposed nuclear waste rubbish dump.

I am so over it,I will be glad the day ANSTO takes that nuclear dump and shove it wherever else they can put it as that will be the best day of my life.  That proposal has caused so much hate and anguish, breakdown of family, that it is unbelievable.

So I hope you people in the Federal Government see this, I hope you lot keep it off land where Aboriginal people still utilise for their enjoyment of their traditional ways and that people can live and die in peace, not poison by nuclear waste. The damage the nuclear dump proposal has caused is irreparable, family relationships will never be the same. I am so over it and all the evil that goes with it.

I will never give up the fight against the nuclear waste rubbish dump on Adnyamathanha yarta

November 22, 2017 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Now Russia admits to “extremely high contamination” of radioactive Ruthenium-106 around Ural Mountains

Russia admits spike in radioactive ruthenium-106 over Ural Mountains amid fears of nuclear accident, ABC News, 22 Nov 17,  Russian authorities have confirmed reports of a spike in radioactivity in the air over the Ural Mountains.

Key points:

  • Russia admits “extremely high contamination” of Ruthenium-106 around Ural Mountains
  • Air samples near Mayak nuclear plant showed levels nearly 1,000 times higher than usual
  • The state-controlled plant denies any nuclear accidents and claims there’s no health risk

But the suspected source of the leak, a nuclear fuel processing plant, denied it was the source of contamination.

The Russian Meteorological Service said in a statement on Tuesday it recorded the release of ruthenium-106 in the southern Urals in late September and classified it as “extremely high contamination”.

Russian authorities insisted, however, that the contamination posed no health risks.

France’s nuclear safety agency earlier this month said it recorded radioactivity in the area between the Volga River and the Ural Mountains from a suspected accident involving nuclear fuel or the production of radioactive material.

It said the release of the isotope posed no health or environmental risks to European countries.

Last month, when reports of a trace of ruthenium over Europe first appeared, Russia’s state-controlled Rosatom corporation denied any leak.

Rosatom reaffirmed on Tuesday that the ruthenium emission registered by the state meteorological service had not come from any of its facilities.

The corporation said it was working closely with international organisations to identify the potential source of the emission.

The Russian meteorological office’s report, however, noted high levels of radiation in residential areas near Rosatom’s Mayak plant.

The Mayak plant reprocesses nuclear fuel and produces radioactive material for industrial and research purposes. It accounts for half of Russian exports of radioactive isotopes.

Air samples in the town of Argayash in late September-early October, for example, showed levels nearly 1,000 times higher than those recorded in the previous months.

Mayak said it had not conducted any work on extracting ruthenium-106 from spent nuclear fuel “for many years”……..

Professor Paddy Regan at the University of Surrey said the fact that the ruthenium was found in isolation, rather than with other radioactive materials “suggests a leak from a fuel/reprocessing plant or somewhere they are separating the ruthenium” rather than a bigger nuclear accident.

“If it was a reactor leak or nuclear explosion, other radioisotopes would also be present in the plume and from the reports, they are not,” he said.

He added any health effect would be negligible.

Poor record of nuclear disasters

Mayak, in the Chelyabinsk region, saw one of the world’s worst nuclear accidents on September 29, 1957, when a waste tank exploded, contaminating 23,000 square kilometres and prompting authorities to evacuate 10,000 residents from neighbouring regions.

Some details of the disaster were first released to the public in 1989 as part of former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev’s openness campaign, but the exact scope of its impact on the local population has remained unclear.

In 2004, it was confirmed that waste was being dumped in the local Techa River. Nuclear regulators say that no longer happens, but anti-nuclear activists say it is impossible to tell given the level of state secrecy.

In 2016, Associated Press reporters visited a village downstream from Mayak where doctors have for years recorded rates of chromosomal abnormalities, birth defects and cancers vastly higher than the Russian average.

A Geiger counter at the riverbank in the village of Muslyumovo showed measurements 80 to 100 times the level of naturally occurring background radiation.

A decades-long Radiation Research Society study of people living near the Techa River, conducted jointly by Russian and American scientists, linked radiation particularly to higher rates of cancer of the uterus and oesophagus………

November 22, 2017 Posted by | General News | 1 Comment

Anti Adani coal plan protest in Brisbane, as Queenland election nears

Anti-Adani protesters defy council, police in last-ditch action before election, SMH, Toby Crockford , 21 Nov 17 More than 200 anti-Adani activists have defied council and police by gathering in the heart of Brisbane for a last-ditch protest just days before the Queensland election.

Organisers hinted there could be mass arrests on Tuesday evening after Brisbane City Council and the Queensland Police Service refused to issue permits for the action, but despite a strong police presence, no arrests were made…….

Cr Sri also asked protesters to take pictures from the rally and post them onto social media in order to generate discussion about the Adani proposal in the days before voters head to the polls.

“No one wants the coal, the business model’s all wrong,” he sang.

“And if the trucks start to roll, you better bet we’re locking on.

“There are thousands of us, our supporters number millions, we’re gonna mobilise, a whole army of civilians.

“And if you don’t like it you might as well resign, ‘cos there’s no way we’ll ever let you build that mine, there’s no way we’ll ever let you build that mine.”…

November 22, 2017 Posted by | politics, Queensland | Leave a comment

New arms race as USA ramps up a $1.25 trillion nuclear arsenal

Reuters reported in February that in a phone conversation with Russian President Vladimir Putin, Trump denounced the New START treaty and rejected Putin’s suggestion that talks begin about extending it once it expires in 2021.

Some former senior U.S. government officials, legislators and arms-control specialists – many of whom once backed a strong nuclear arsenal — are now warning that the modernization push poses grave dangers.

Special Report: In modernizing nuclear arsenal, U.S. stokes new arms raceScot PaltrowWASHINGTON (Reuters), 21 Nov 17  – President Barack Obama rode into office in 2009 with promises to work toward a nuclear-free world. His vow helped win him the Nobel Peace Prize that year.

The next year, while warning that Washington would retain the ability to retaliate against a nuclear strike, he promised that America would develop no new types of atomic weapons. Within 16 months of his inauguration, the United States and Russia negotiated the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty, known as New START, meant to build trust and cut the risk of nuclear war. It limited each side to what the treaty counts as 1,550 strategic nuclear warheads.

By the time Obama left office in January 2017, the risk of Armageddon hadn’t receded. Instead, Washington was well along in a modernization program that is making nearly all of its nuclear weapons more accurate and deadly.

And Russia was doing the same: Continue reading

November 22, 2017 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

Australia’s Chief Scientist Alan Finkel urges more energy storage

Alan Finkel pushes for more energy storage to keep bills down and maintain reliability   Power bills will go up and energy supply will be less reliable unless Australia develops better storage systems, according to Chief Scientist Alan Finkel.

Key points:

  • Report emphasises batteries and other storage solutions including turbines and demand response are key to keeping costs down and maintaining reliability
  • It also notes Australia could source 50 per cent of its energy from renewables by 2030
  • Energy ministers are due to meet this week to discuss Turnbull’s National Energy Guarantee
 A new report from Dr Finkel’s office and the Australian Council of Learned Academics (ACOLA) warns planning and investment are needed to prevent power costs continuing to rise and to shore up reliability.The reliability of renewable energy depends on energy storage, particularly on days when the sun does not shine or the wind does not blow.

Storing the energy captured from renewable sources like solar and wind means suppliers are able to meet electrical energy demand at all times of the day.

Dr Finkel has recommended in the past that all large-scale wind and solar generators in Australia should have energy storage capacity.

In addition to battery storage, which today’s report said was the most cost-effective way to strengthen energy security, it also listed alternatives including fast-start gas turbines, spinning reserves in wind turbines, demand response and load shedding measures.

“As we have more and more penetration of variable renewable energy, solar and wind, then we’re going to need storage to be a very important component of having a stable, secure and reliable grid,” the report’s lead author Bruce Godfrey said.

“[That will also help to] enable the environmental benefits that come from low-emissions sources.”

The report estimates Australia will need to spend about $11 billion on storage before 2030 in order to provide a secure energy supply.

But more money may need to be spent to ensure power supply is reliable as Australia makes the transition to renewable energy.

Dr Finkel said Australia had a “long way to go” on storage, and predicted future storage projects would dwarf those already being developed.

“The challenge is to manage the transition from here to there. We are going to be moving to a new future, it’s happening around the world, it’s inevitable,” Dr Finkel said.

“What this report shows is that if storage is used effectively, we can manage that transition as smoothly at the lowest possible price.”

The report has been released ahead of a meeting of state and federal energy ministers to discuss the Turnbull Government’s National Energy Guarantee (NEG).

Under the NEG 28 to 36 per cent of power generation is projected to come from renewables by 2030.

Climate Council modelling shows that means Australia will miss out on between 6,000 and 20,000 new jobs that would have otherwise been created.

Andrew Stock, who has decades of experience in the energy sector and sits on the council, says at least 50 per cent of power generation should be renewable by 2030.

“The current aspiration level that the Federal Government is talking about, that’s way too short of what’s required, so we need more aspirational plans for electricity. That will bring more jobs, up to 20,000 more jobs in this sector,” he told AM.

The Chief Scientist’s report said this target could be easily met without risking reliability or requiring further significant investment in energy storage.

November 22, 2017 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, storage | Leave a comment

Britain’s nuclear trade will grind to a halt, as UK leaves European Union and its nuclear regulatory agency

The consensus is clear: there is no upside to a nuclear Brexit, Guardian, Clare Moody, 21 Nov 17,  This government must heed the warnings – leaving the treaty on nuclear energy, Cabinet resignations, a government with no majority in the Commons, a make-or break-budget for the chancellor and a fast-approaching Brexit negotiating deadline means it is easy for issues to slip out of the public consciousness. Against this backdrop, Euratom and the UK’s future nuclear safeguarding regime risk being forgotten.

As the nuclear safeguards bill – one of the “Brexit bills” announced in the Queen’s speech – makes its way through the parliamentary process, nuclear experts were called to present evidence to MPs. The message from experts is unequivocal – there is no upside to the UK leaving the Euratom treaty.

Be it Prospect, the trade union representing civil nuclear experts, EDF Energy, or the Nuclear Industry Association (NIA), the sector is united in its message to the government: leaving Euratom is complicated, and the potential consequences could be disastrous for our country. Rupert Cowen, a nuclear expert at Prospect Law, claims the UK is “sleepwalking” to disaster: “If we do not get this right, business stops … no nuclear trade will be able to continue.”

This is not scaremongering. Analysis of the facts shows just how much is at risk by leaving Euratom, and how complex this process is, given the government’s unnecessary, self-imposed deadline. This government must start listening.

Euratom, among other things, provides safeguarding inspections for all civil nuclear sites in the UK. Inspectors are employed by Euratom and many are EU nationals. It takes five years to train a nuclear inspector and there is currently a limited pool of qualified inspectors from which to recruit. As Sue Ferns, deputy general secretary of Prospect, said in her evidence to the nuclear safeguards bill committee, “this is a highly skilled, very specialist area, which is why there is such a premium on this source of labour” and this is why we must question the wisdom of the government’s actions so far.

The government plans for the Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR) to take over the role that Euratom currently carries out, but the ONR and the NIA have made clear that new arrangements will not be in place by the time we are due to leave Euratom in March 2019. Asked by MPs whether new arrangements could be put in place within the timeframe, Dame Sue Ion, chair of the Nuclear Innovation and Research Advisory Board, said: “I do not think it is possible.”

Should the UK fail to have its safeguarding regime in place by March 2019, nuclear trade would halt, as well as cross-nation technology sharing that some of our nuclear power stations rely on to function. Again, this is not an exaggeration of the problem, or political point-scoring. Put simply, if we don’t have our safeguarding regime in place, our nuclear industry will face major, potentially dangerous, disruptions……..

November 22, 2017 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

22 November More REneweconomy News

  • Queensland’s election – what do the energy numbers say?
    I hate to break the news, but north Queensland will not be getting a new coal fired power station if the LNP are elected on Saturday.
  • First turbine erected at Mount Emerald Wind Farm
    Ratch Australia Corporation announced the completion of the first wind turbine at the Mount Emerald Wind Farm near Walkamin today after the three 16 tonne blades, each 57m long, were positioned in place atop a 90-metre tower.
  • ICO and ACCIONA sign a loan agreement for 75 million Australian dollars to finance the construction of a wind farm in Australia
    The new wind farm, which will come on stream in the second semester of 2018, has a total capacity of 132MW. The electricity generated by the facility will all be sold in the wholesale market.
  • 100% renewables “cheaper, less risky” than building new coal: ATA
    ATA report says a 100% renewable grid by 2030 not just doable for Australia, but cheaper and safer than building new coal plants.
  • Solar and storage peak bodies rebrand as Smart Energy Council
    Solar and storage bodies create Smart Energy Council to better reflect merger of solar, storage and smart software technologies.
  • Plunging cost of solar means peak coal looms in India
    New modelling predicts India is within a decade of peak coal demand for the power sector. This is sooner than anyone has predicted.
  • The climate science denial promoters behind Queensland’s energy scare election headlines
    In the final week before an election, the biggest-selling newspaper in the Australian state of Queensland screamed a front-page headline that cut into one of the poll’s most divisive issues.
  • Coalition’s NEG aims to engineer an early death for big solar
    So long solar. NEG design assumes no large scale solar investments in Australia for at least eight years – despite recognition that large scale renewables responsible for most bill reductions.
  • National Energy Efficiency Awards 2017
    Corporate leadership, individual excellence and energy efficiency innovation have been recognised and awarded at the National Energy Efficiency Awards 2017.
    • Coughing up for coal-fired power
      If Australian tax payers are made to cough up for a new coal plant in north Queensland, locals will also be coughing up – literally.
    • LNP, One Nation would force Queensland energy prices up; Greens, ALP down
      New report says LNP and One Nation support for uneconomic coal fired power station would force prices up in Queensland, and add to system security risks.
    • Darth Vader or not, the Tesla truck changes everything
      With the Tesla truck, Elon Musk has torn down the final frontiers of the campaign against the clean energy transition: cost. And it matters little whether Tesla itself can pull it off – it has already turned two trillion-dollar industries upside down.
    • Australia to lead storage boom, as home batteries become “ubiquitous”
      BNEF report names Australia among 8 countries to lead global energy storage boom, with market forecast to double six times over between now and 2030.

November 22, 2017 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, energy | Leave a comment

Australia’s govt and nuclear lobby soften up South Australians for nuclear waste dumping

National Radioactive Waste Management Facility:21 November 2017 
Industry has one week left to tender for Site Characterisation Works

Industry is invited to get involved in the process to build a National Radioactive Waste Management Facility, with tenders now open for Site Characterisation works.

The tender is to deliver a range of technical assessments that will form part of Phase Two of the process in relation to the proposed National Radioactive Waste Management Facility, including:

  • Assessing flora and fauna, geology, seismic activity, risks, the surrounding environment, transportation and other infrastructure.
  • Inputting into the Detailed Business Case, with reference to the site specific design and cost estimates that arise from site characterisation.
  • An additional option, following site characterisation, for the preparation and development of submissions for licensing and approvals process…….

Bruce McCleary, General Manager of the National Radioactive Waste Management Facility Taskforce said that site characterisation is an important activity in the next part of the project.

“Three sites, two in Kimba and one at Wallerberdina Station were voluntarily nominated by their landowners and moved to Phase Two assessment after the community supported continuing the discussion,” McCleary said.

“Phase Two involves building a detailed understanding of the nominated sites, through in depth community consultation and technical assessments.

“Community consultation is now well underway, including appointment of locally engaged officers and establishment of site offices at both sites, creation of committees and working groups, and regular visits from members of the project team and experts to provide information on the project.

November 22, 2017 Posted by | Federal nuclear waste dump, South Australia | Leave a comment

In UK, government and nuclear lobby soften up Cumbria citizens for nuclear waste dumping

Radiation Free Lakeland 19th Nov 2017, West Cumbria was ruled out as a site to bury nuclear waste 20 years ago because the geology was unsafe. The plan this time round is ten times as big and to include high level nuclear wastes, so not surprisingly Cumbria County Council said NO in January 2013.

However, in order to build new nuclear plants the industry and government need to be seen to have a
“final solution” to the problem, no matter if that “final solution” is dangerous to life in Cumbria and on planet earth. The ducks are being lined up.

To soften the public up in West Cumbria deep mining is once again being promoted as a “good thing” no matter that it is for coal, the mining expertise and infrastructure is being aggressively put into place
creating a “demand”. Companies like Eden Nuclear and Environment are sprouting up like toxic mushrooms and promoting their services: “Our team has undertaken work for a range of disposal facilities including the Geological Disposal Facility” (the one that is planned for Cumbria?)

November 22, 2017 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

22 November REneweconomy news

  • ACCIONA announces new head of Australian energy business
    ACCIONA has appointed Brett Wickham as the new Managing Director of its Australian energy business.
  • Spain: The high cost of political interference in power markets
    Spain is the latest example of governments intervening in power markets to prop up gas, coal and nuclear power, including capacity and “grid reliability” payments.
  • Conservatives attack storage report as “eco-evangelism”, Finkel responds
    Conservatives says new report on battery storage is just “eco-evangelism”. This is what chief scientist Alan Finkel said in response.
  • Hunter Valley biofuel facility to advance ethanol production
    As part of a $48 million project, Ethtec aims to construct a $30 million purpose built pilot-scale facility based in the Hunter Valley in New South Wales.
  • Schott: Modelling assumptions change, but result more or less the same
    Schott scolds government for “spitting the dummy” on Clean Energy Target, but defends design of NEG, saying it clear that more renewables have weakened energy system.
  • New Tesla roadster will be the fastest production car ever
    If the Corvette is the halo car for Chevrolet and General Motors, the new Roadster will be the halo car for Tesla.
  • Know your NEM: Waiting for COAG to vote on the NEG
    Federal Government is something of a lame duck and, in our view, lacks moral authority in the area of energy policy.

November 22, 2017 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, energy | Leave a comment

ESB modeling confirms NEG designed to shut door on renewables

New modelling confirms little if any new renewable energy investment will be made under the NEG. But it reveals that the big savings the Coalition is claiming from the NEG are driven almost entirely by the policy it sought to kill – the renewable energy target.

via ESB modeling confirms NEG designed to shut door on renewables — RenewEconomy

November 22, 2017 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Climate Change could kill 50-80% of Pacific fish. #StopAdani #Qldvotes #CoralnotCoal


Climate change could kill 50-80% of Pacific fish species: study

From Dateline Pacific, 6:04 am today

Pacific island nations could lose between 50 and 80 percent of their fish species by the end of the century if climate change continues unabated.

The figure is published in a new study, published in the journal Marine Policy, which examined more than a thousand species across the region to see how they are reacting to changes in the ocean.

Its lead researcher, associate professor Rebecca Asch from the University of East Carolina, says the Pacific’s temperature has little variability, with the temperature being more or less the same all year.

She told Jamie Tahana this means species are unlikely to be able to adapt to dramatic changes in ocean temperatures, and could die out.

REBECCA ASCH: So we did look at two climate change scenarios. One that is a warmer kind of…

View original post 900 more words

November 22, 2017 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment