Antinuclear

Australian news, and some related international items

Disadvantages of thorium reactors

High start-up costs: Huge investments are needed for thorium nuclear power reactor, as it requires significant amount of testing, analysis and licensing work. Also, there is uncertainty over returns on the investments in these reactors. For utilities, this factor can weigh on the decisions to go ahead with plans to deploy the reactors. The reactors also involve high fuel fabrication and reprocessing costs.

High melting point of thorium oxide: As melting point of thorium oxide is much higher compared to that of uranium oxide, high temperatures are needed to make high density ThO2 and ThO2–based mixed oxide fuels. The fuel in nuclear fission reactors is usually based on the metal oxide.

Emission of gamma rays: Presence of Uranium-232 in irradiated thorium or thorium based fuels in large amounts is one of the major disadvantages of thorium nuclear power reactors. It can result in significant emissions of gamma rays.  http://nuclear.energy-business-review.com/news/major-pros-and-cons-of-thorium-nuclear-power-reactor-6058445

February 16, 2018 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

Britain’s nuclear test veterans to be DNA tested

DNA tests for UK’s nuclear bomb veterans http://www.bbc.com/news/health-43075718 16 February 2018 

Decades ago they witnessed nuclear weapons tests in the South Pacific. Now some veterans hope new DNA testing will prove it was responsible for their subsequent ill health, which they say ruined their lives.

“It was awe-inspiring, like another sun hanging in the sky. The blast bowled people over. A few men were on the ground screaming.”

(Picture is not of Bob Fleming. It is of Gomer Hickman) 

Bob Fleming was wearing a T-shirt, khaki shorts and flip flops when the bomb went off.

At just 24, he had just witnessed one of the most powerful weapons on earth detonate on Christmas Island in the Pacific Ocean.

It was 1956 and the Cold War threat was growing.

The RAF serviceman was one of around 22,000 British service personnel who witnessed nuclear weapons tests on mainland Australia, the Montebello Islands off Western Australia and Christmas Island in the South Pacific between 1952 and 1958.

With their backs to the bomb, they felt the intense heat from the explosion first.

Then, after the countdown, they were ordered to turn round and look directly at the huge mushroom cloud in front of them.

“We had no protective clothing,” said Bob, who’s from Downham Market in Norfolk.

“We were guinea pigs. It was so bright I could see the bones in my hands with my eyes closed. It was like an X-ray.”

‘Genetic curse’

The veterans say the nuclear tests ruined their lives, causing cancers, fertility problems and birth defects passed down the generations.

Now 83, the great-grandfather believes that three generations of his family are living with the “genetic curse” of those explosions. Sixteen out of 21 of his descendants have had birth defects or health problems.

His youngest daughter, Susanne Ward, has thyroid problems and severe breathing difficulties, and her teeth fell out prematurely.

“It just gets worse as the next generation comes along. Our grandchildren have similar problems,” Suzanne said.

“My dad blames himself, but it isn’t his fault.”

  • The Fleming family now hope new DNA testing could end decades of uncertainty.

    Last week, the UK’s first Centre for Health Effects of Radiological and Chemical Agents was launched at Brunel University in London.

    One of its projects is a three-year genetic study looking for any possible damage to the veterans’ DNA caused by the tests.

    Blood samples will be taken from 50 veterans who were stationed at nuclear test sites, and compared with a control group of 50 veterans who served elsewhere.

    Blood will also be taken from their wives and any children they have together.

    Dr Rhona Anderson, who is leading the study, said a major question to answer is whether “there is a genetic legacy of taking part at these nuclear tests”.

    “If no differences (in the DNA) are seen between test and control groups then this will be reassuring for the nuclear community.” Continue reading

February 16, 2018 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

“Shameless”: Cheap energy option for consumers still being buried — RenewEconomy

AEMC blasted for not providing robust signals for demand response technologies – clearly the smartest, cleanest and cheapest option to solve many energy issues, but not one favoured by generators.

via “Shameless”: Cheap energy option for consumers still being buried — RenewEconomy

February 16, 2018 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Labor MP calls for climate change action #auspol #qldpol #StopAdani #TorresStrait — jpratt27

Queensland Labor MP Cynthia Lui has called for action on climate change during her maiden speech. Queensland Labor MP Cynthia Lui has called for more to be done about climate change in an emotional maiden speech to Queensland parliament. Ms Lui is the first Torres Strait Islander to sit as an MP in any Australian […]

via Labor MP calls for climate change action #auspol #qldpol #StopAdani #TorresStrait — jpratt27

February 16, 2018 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

So far, 4 pro nuclear Submissions to Senate Committee on nuclear waste dump selection.

My advice to those writing submissions is to take your time, and do it properly.

 

I have skimmed through the 4 submissions already published, and they are pretty crummy, repetitive pro nuclear stuff –  all emphasising that the writer thinks that the Federal Nuclear Waste Dump is really a matter for the local, not the wider, community

 

The writers are: Denise Carpenter, Ian Carpenter, Chelsea Haywood and Janice Alex McInnis

February 16, 2018 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Federal nuclear waste dump | Leave a comment

Nuclear waste dump? A new abuse for Brewarrina’s Aboriginal people?

Brewarrina, or “Bre” as it is known, is an historic and fascinating town on the Barwon-Darling River. New South Wales.With 68% of the local population identifying as indigenous it is essentially an Aboriginal town. ….
It is hard to underestimate the importance of the Aboriginal stone fish traps which, at 40,000 years old, may be the oldest man-made structures on the planet.

Brewarrina was the scene of a huge massacre of Aboriginals. “They rounded them up like cattle, old and young, on the Quantambone plain, and shot them. It is said that there were about 400 and that was how Hospital Creek got its name”

No Nuclear Bundabunda at Brewarrina – bad poison [SIGN THE PETITION] https://www.thepetitionsite.com/513/682/502/no-nuclear-bundabunda-at-brewarrina-bad-poison/?taf_id=51207201&cid=fb_na#bbfb=750086702

It is disappointing that the local Councillors and Council would even consider such an atrocity as a nuclear waste dump at Brewarrina.
If Nuclear waste was so safe why is it taken over 35years to find a site, why are they seeking to build in isolated communities with the majority off the population being Aboriginal?
Brewarrina is known worldwide for the oldest man-made structure in the world with Baiame’s Ngunnhu Fish Traps and we want to keep it that way, not to be known as a nuclear waste facility.
The local Council approached the Federal Government for this proposal without consultation with the community and without negotiation with the Local Land Council or the Ngemba Community Working Party or other local councils.
We believe the health of the community will be at risk. We are being promised 15 jobs, what is 15 jobs compared to the health of the community and the land and water.
There are other options available to boost the economy of the town such as solar power, tourism and the abattoirs.
No Nuclear Bundabunda at Brewarrina – bad poison
(please note; 7 out of 9 Councillors have supported this proposal)
Council released their survey for the proposal to go ahead.
The Greens will table our petition in Federal Parliament.

February 16, 2018 Posted by | aboriginal issues, Federal nuclear waste dump, New South Wales | 2 Comments

The North Korean Olympic “thaw”- unwise to treat this with cynicism

The West risks missing a chance at peace if it continues to treat North Korea’s change of heart with cynicism  Could it be that Trump’s bombast over the airwaves cut through in Pyongyang in a way that conventional diplomacy had failed to do? The Independent UK, Mary Dejevsky  @IndyVoices 16 Feb 18

“”…………The mixed messages about the North Korean skaters, however, highlighted – or so it seemed to me – something else: a reluctance on the part of the foreign policy establishment, including the media, to look good news in the face, especially when it has not been expected.

How long ago was it –in fact, a bare six weeks – that Kim Jong-un and the US President were trading very public, very macho, insults, culminating in Donald Trump’s memorable boast that his nuclear button was “much bigger and more powerful” than Kim’s and, what is more, “my button works”.

Even the most hardened pessimist would have to admit that between then and now there has been something of a mood swing. Less than three weeks after the “big button” exchange, North Korea suddenly acted on overtures in Kim’s New Year address to broach talks with the South, and even participated in the Olympics. The IOC delayed its deadline for entries, permitted North Korea’s participation, and the next thing we knew was that North and South were concocting a joint ice hockey team, the North’s nonagenarian de facto head of state was on his way to Seoul, and Kim announced that his sister – his sister – would be going to the opening ceremony, too.

Far from hailing these developments as the possible start of a North-South thaw, however, the Western response seemed – to me, at least, – both fearful and curmudgeonly. Kim Jong-un was suspected of the basest of motives. Might he not be deviously stringing the South along, it was asked, just waiting to demand all sorts of impossible concessions at the last moment that would cast the Seoul government as the villain if it refused?

And was Kim not also staging a vast military parade in Pyongyang on the eve of the official Olympic opening? Well, of course, he was. No self-respecting national leader, least of all an autocrat in the mould of Kim, can be seen to be weak in front of his own people. Shows of strength have a habit of going hand in hand with diplomatic U-turns.

As the North Korean nuclear threat vanished from the headlines, however, it was only to be replaced with another menace from the North. Kim’s very presentable little sister, Kim Yo-jong, was accused of stealing the limelight, diluting the world’s attention that should have been Seoul’s, and presenting an image of the North that was scandalously at odds with the cruel and earth-scorched reality. Don’t allow yourself to be fooled, was the message.

That she was received in Seoul at the highest level and filmed handing over an invitation to President Moon Jae-in to visit Pyongyang was also somehow seen as out of order, another trick to gain diplomatic advantage. Surely it would all turn sour even before the Olympic glow over the South had faded. The North Korean threat was still there.

Far from hailing these developments as the possible start of a North-South thaw, however, the Western response seemed – to me, at least, – both fearful and curmudgeonly. Kim Jong-un was suspected of the basest of motives. Might he not be deviously stringing the South along, it was asked, just waiting to demand all sorts of impossible concessions at the last moment that would cast the Seoul government as the villain if it refused?

And was Kim not also staging a vast military parade in Pyongyang on the eve of the official Olympic opening? Well, of course, he was. No self-respecting national leader, least of all an autocrat in the mould of Kim, can be seen to be weak in front of his own people. Shows of strength have a habit of going hand in hand with diplomatic U-turns.

As the North Korean nuclear threat vanished from the headlines, however, it was only to be replaced with another menace from the North. Kim’s very presentable little sister, Kim Yo-jong, was accused of stealing the limelight, diluting the world’s attention that should have been Seoul’s, and presenting an image of the North that was scandalously at odds with the cruel and earth-scorched reality. Don’t allow yourself to be fooled, was the message.

That she was received in Seoul at the highest level and filmed handing over an invitation to President Moon Jae-in to visit Pyongyang was also somehow seen as out of order, another trick to gain diplomatic advantage. Surely it would all turn sour even before the Olympic glow over the South had faded. The North Korean threat was still there.

Nor should the use by potentates – and not just potentates – of close relatives as personal representatives and trusted go-betweens – be discounted as a ploy. Rather than being designed to detract from the South’s Olympic show, Kim Jong-yo’s trip to Seoul might rather be seen as evidence of her brother’s serious intent and esteem.

And what might have changed the equation? How about the US Secretary of State’s low-key offer of direct talks without preconditions that he made in December? Repeated in Seoul by Vice-President Mike Pence this week (once he had done cold-shouldering the North Koreans for the benefit of the US audience back home), this is what first broke the deadlock. There have been concessions on all sides.

So while the doomwatchers see the Olympic thaw as, at best, a deceptive interlude before the nuclear stand-off inevitably resumes, I would argue, for more optimism. A basis has been laid for detente; there is a real chance now to step back from the brink. The risk now is less that the North is insincere, than that suspicion and cynicism everywhere cause this chance to be missed. http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/north-korea-war-nuclear-us-uk-europe-world-peace-conflict-a8212656.html

February 16, 2018 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

Safety of nuclear waste containers in doubt,as Kobe Steel firm suspected of nuclear waste data falsification 

Kobe Steel firm suspected of nuclear waste data falsification http://www.asahi.com/ajw/articles/photo/AS20180215003253.html, By MASANOBU HIGASHIYAMA/ Staff Writer,February 15, 2018 

A subsidiary of Kobe Steel Ltd. may have falsified test data on highly radioactive waste disposal, the Nuclear Regulation Authority (NRA) announced on Feb. 14.

Kobelco Research Institute Inc. is suspected of tampering with data it gathered on behalf of the Japan Atomic Energy Agency (JAEA), which is contracted to carry out tests by the NRA.

The aim of the tests is to help form a regulatory standard for final disposal sites for nuclear waste, but a report the NRA received from the JAEA said that figures in the original data and those in reports Kobelco submitted to it did not match. Furthermore, some original data could not be located.

The NRA has instructed the JAEA to confirm details about the possible data falsification in response to the report.

A Kobelco source said, “Why data inconsistencies occurred remains unknown at the moment,” but that the research institute “will examine the case with data falsification in mind.”

The tests are designed to examine what happens to metal cladding tubes that had previously contained spent nuclear fuel when they are disposed of deep underground, including possible corrosion and by-products of gas, according to the NRA.

The nuclear watchdog outsourced the testing to the JAEA in fiscal 2012 through fiscal 2014 at a cost of about 600 million yen ($5.59 million).

Kobelco was subcontracted to undertake some of the tests for about 50 million yen.

February 16, 2018 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

South Australia a global leader in clean energy: Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA)

IEEFA: South Aust among world leaders in transition to wind, solar, ECO News, By David Twomey -February 14, 2018 

February 16, 2018 Posted by | energy, South Australia | Leave a comment

Olympics 2020: the nuclear terrorism threat for Japan

Japan, IAEA agree to cooperate on Tokyo 2020 nuclear counterterrorism, Nikkei Asian Review, 16 Feb 18, VIENNA (Kyodo) — The Japanese government and the International Atomic Energy Agency signed an agreement on Thursday to work together to keep the Tokyo 2020 Olympics and Paralympics safe from the threat of terrorism involving nuclear materials.
 According to the Japanese Foreign Ministry, the agreement includes measures to support IAEA experts’ participation in events relating to the Tokyo games, the exchange of information on nuclear security issues and the loan to Japan of equipment to detect radiation.

Foreign Minister Taro Kono and IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano observed the signing in Vienna before holding a meeting at which Kono said they agreed to flesh out cooperation in thwarting nuclear terrorism.

“We want to thoroughly cooperate with the IAEA to make sure the Olympics are safe,” Kono said at the outset of the meeting……..https://asia.nikkei.com/Politics-Economy/International-Relations/Japan-IAEA-agree-to-cooperate-on-Tokyo-2020-nuclear-counterterrorism

February 16, 2018 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

France’s nuclear giant EDF plans a whopping radioactive garbage pool

EDF plans to build a giant nuclear garbage pool in Belleville-sur-Loire instead of stopping producing unmanageable waste! http://www.sortirdunucleaire.org/EDF-projette-de-construire-une-piscine-poubellePress release of February 13, 2018

On February 13, 2018, the Reporterre site revealed the new EDF project. In view of the prolongation of the operation of nuclear reactors and to unclog the four basins of the La Hague plant where used fuel is stored, the electrical firm wants to build a giant new “pool of deactivation” near the Belleville plant -sur-Loire (Cher). We strongly condemn this imposed, dangerous and expensive project. Rather than create a new trash, EDF must turn off the tap and dry up the production of unmanageable radioactive waste!

In France, spent fuel is stored in “deactivation pools” for the time needed to cool them (between 3 and 5 years). If each nuclear power plant has its own pool adjoining the reactor building, the La Hague plant (Manche) hosts 4 pools in which are immersed more than 10,000 tons of spent fuel, representing a hundred reactor cores waiting for a improbable “reprocessing”. Supposedly temporary, storage in these pools has been going on for 40 years. Consequences: the pools are full and the space is running out. Instead of starting a decline in spent fuel stocks by stopping the production of electricity from nuclear power, EDF is stubborn and plans to build an additional pool in Belleville-sur-Loire. But the experience of La Hague shows that the use of these pools goes hand in hand with disproportionate risks.

Vulnerable pools and potentially dramatic accidents The 4 cooling pools at the La Hague plant concentrate the largest volume of radioactivity in Europe. Belleville-sur-Loire could soon compete with this facility. Oversized, the giant basin that EDF plans to build in Belleville-sur-Loire could accommodate up to 8,000 tons of spent fuel, the equivalent of 93 cores of reactors.

This project is all the more worrying because EDF is never very concerned about the protection of the reactor deactivation pools it operates. Continue reading

February 16, 2018 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

Fukushima 7th Anniversary Events List — Fukushima 311 Watchdogs

This is the list of the events organized in various countries and towns worldwide for the commemoration of the March 11 2011 beginning of the Fukushima nuclear disaster, ongoing for 7 years now. I will complete this list little by little by adding to this list any additional event about which the people will inform […]

via Fukushima 7th Anniversary Events List — Fukushima 311 Watchdogs

February 16, 2018 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Home battery storage uptake tripled in 2017 in Australia, as costs tumble — RenewEconomy

New report suggests household battery storage set to boom in Australia, with uptake predicted to have tripled in 2017, and costs of the key technology expected to halve in less than seven years.

via Home battery storage uptake tripled in 2017 in Australia, as costs tumble — RenewEconomy

February 16, 2018 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

New-build homes with solar and storage? “It’s going to be the norm” — RenewEconomy

Including battery storage and rooftop PV in new home packages is soon “just going to be the norm”, says home builder Metricon. Already, they’re putting them in around half of the new homes they build.

via New-build homes with solar and storage? “It’s going to be the norm” — RenewEconomy

February 16, 2018 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

IKEA flags selling solar panels “at cost” in Australia, industry reacts — RenewEconomy

Flat-pack solar? IKEA says it wants to retail solar panels in Australia, “at cost”, as it has done in the UK and other EU countries. Is this a good thing?

via IKEA flags selling solar panels “at cost” in Australia, industry reacts — RenewEconomy

February 16, 2018 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment