Australian news, and some related international items

Pro nuclear enthusiasm in Ben Heard’s submission to the Senate

Yes, Ben Heard is on the job, with this slick submission, in which he:

  • enthuses over the Kimba region nuclear waste dump plan, while touting his own supposed environmental credentials  as executive director of Bright New World, his membership of as a member of the Independent Assessment Panel  – but all the same he stresses that he’s  “an everyday Australian”. (not a mention that he works as a consultant  for nuclear company Terrestrial Energy, and trips around the globe promoting nuclear power.)
  • contends that nuclear waste is nothing special, really no different in safety needs from other kinds of industrial wastes.
  • dismisses the idea that a nuclear waste dump in this agricultural reason would have any negative effects on the agricultural economics or reputation of the region.
  • puts a long and unwieldy case for confining broad community support to just the immediate local community.
  • reminds firmly  that no stakeholder group has power of veto and  goes on to waffle worthy statements about Aboriginal heritage etc.
  • says that The District Council of Kimba is an appropriate definition of community in relation to these site nominations, and that citizens in wider areas do not need to be informed.
  • State and National citizens do not need to take part in these decisions, which are best left to Parliament.
  • minimises the importance of radioactive trash dumping- not much more important than household garbage collection.
  • Glosses over the more toxic radioactive waste that will be included. Ignores the fact that with  the planned “temporary” dump there is no prospect of a permanent dump being in place. Ignores the effect on the communities through which the radioactive trash will be transported

Extracts from Heard’s submission  Continue reading

March 21, 2018 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Federal nuclear waste dump | 1 Comment

Leave Lucas Heights nuclear waste AT Lucas Heights – Mark Parnell

 Fight To Stop Nuclear Waste Dump In Flinders Ranges SA 20 Mar 18,  “The real game here is Lucas Height’s nuclear waste. …. It’s been at Lucas Heights for decades, it can stay there. We don’t need to move it to South Australia” At least one of our politicians “gets it”. Marc Parnell on ABC radio yesterday. I know many people here don’t like the Greens. For those people, listen to the video below (last 2 minutes), write down his words and then send them to your favourite Labor/Liberal politician until they “get it”  too.

 Steve Dale Here ya go, I transcribed what he said –

“Rather than looking for a site, we need to go back to first principles and say “what waste are we talking about?”, “where is it currently stored?”, “and is there a pressing reason to move it somewhere else?”. Now people talk about medical waste and hospital waste most of that ends up in landfill because it is very short lived radioactive isotopes.

The real game here is Lucas Height’s nuclear waste – and the Green’s position here is that it’s been at Lucas Heights for decades, it can stay there. We don’t need to move it to South Australia”  ABC Adelaide was live.

March 21, 2018 Posted by | Federal nuclear waste dump, politics, South Australia | Leave a comment

Minerals Council of Australia wants nuclear technology to be government funded as “clean and green”

Miners want govt funds for nuclear, coal,, 20 Mar 18, -Australia’s mining sector wants the commonwealth’s green bank to help pay for nuclear and new-technology coal power along with other low-emissions power sources.

The Minerals Council of Australia says the Turnbull government’s new energy policy will only achieve its objectives of delivering reliable, affordable power with low emissions and without subsidies or taxes if it takes a truly technology-neutral approach.

Its submission on the national energy guarantee says current wholesale electricity prices are unsustainable for the mining sectors.

 “Further increases would force mining companies to look elsewhere to invest and create jobs, and hurt families already struggling to pay their bills,” the council’s interim chief executive David Byers warned when making the submission public on Tuesday.

The council wants the Clean Energy Finance Corporation to be allowed to address gaps in financing for all new low emissions generation.

But Labor senator Doug Cameron, who worked as a maintenance fitter at Liddell Power Station for seven years, said there was no such thing as clean coal. “It’s a nonsense being put forward by the apologists who don’t support renewable energy,” Senator Cameron told reporters in Canberra.

“Renewable energy is how this country will grow in the future and create more jobs.”

At the moment the CEFC is explicitly banned from investing in nuclear or carbon capture and storage technology, although the government is trying to persuade parliament to lift the latter restriction.

Crossbench senator David Leyonhjelm said anyone who believed carbon emissions were too high had to take nuclear power seriously.

But he was no fan of using the CEFC to do so.

The MCA’s submission also raises its concerns about how the proposed reliability and emissions guarantees in the new energy policy will work in practice.

“Of particular concern is whether this contractually-based system will lead to a greater concentration of market power within the power sector, putting at risk the expected outcomes of the guarantee,” it says.

March 21, 2018 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, politics | Leave a comment

A powerful statement of warning against a nuclear waste dump for Kimba, south Australia

Heather Pepper ABC North and West 21 Mar 18  Don’t listen to them ! Nuclear waste stored in farm land areas or underground water areas will not be safe. The radiation will leak and enter the food chain.

They intend to store this waste in metal barrels above ground until scientists can come up with a feasible way to store it underground.

Remember South Australia had a huge conference and committee over this very issue and at the end it was a resounding No!

This information is all available on the government website unless the liberals have removed it. It was very interesting and extremely frightening reading. Just remember also that this waste will be shipped across Australia from all the other states who point blank refuse to have it stored in their states either by rail, trucks and ships!

Our roads are already a disgrace and a death trap with many of these routes that they will take going through little farming towns , can you imagine the fallout if there was an accident? The aim of the federal government has always been for South Australia to take not only Australia’s waste but also the worlds waste but couldn’t push this through under a labor government but now no matter what we the people say about this matter it’s going to happen and Turnbull and co are laughing all the way to retirement!

This mess will be with South Australians for thousands of years as that’s how long it will take o naturalise the waste to a harmless waste. Boy if you thought SA was the joke of the country before wait till this becomes a reality.

March 21, 2018 Posted by | Federal nuclear waste dump, South Australia | Leave a comment

Busting the pro nuclear spin to regional South Australia, by the visitors from Lucas Heights

Roni Skipworth ABC North and West  21 Mar 18The very first meeting re Waste Dump in farmland of Kimba thru Rowan Ramsay’s idea to put on his land or in Buckleboo area a small railway siding, the old RAH came into the conversation. They told the audience the Hospital will be demolished since there are high Nuclear Wastage within from Nuclear Medicine eg masks aprons gloves clothing. The bricks n other building materials will be crushed n loaded in drums.

Since that idea collapsed as it would’ve been Conflict of Interest on Rowan’s side. Then these 2 new sites have come up on the table, my suspicion is these people who own the properties are friends of Rowan Ramsay. I live 79kms away from Kimba, 30kms from one property who has put their land up to be destroyed as it is closer to the Wudinna Shire boundary than Kimba itself.

These visitors from Lucas Heights are bullshitting us South Aussies as their lease is drawing to a close and need to move because of surrounding land being turned into residential and it’s been outgrown.

Now that Liberals are everywhere the fight to not have it in the sites earmarked is going to be harder with Rowan rubbing his hands together n pushing either sites in Kimba because in the end people only see the $$$$ signs instead of the destruction of Mother Earth, some of the best farmland in the Kimba Shire and the people who live and travel through Kimba.

I wonder what will happen when there is a leakage n contaminated areas as Kimba is situated in the middle of Aust between Sydney and Perth. What happens the area gets contaminated?  Vehicles travelling on Eyre Hwy (a few years ago I did a Tourism Course and found out over 24 hour timeframe 1400 vehicles travel on Eyre Hwy)   won’t be able to travel thru this area.

I would like to know where r the other sites around Australia where they have put there hands up to have a Waste Dump Site. Also it isn’t just up to the Community of Kimba or Hawker it is up to the residents of South Australia.

Typical Gov of State Federal and Local Council trying to isolate the decision.  It is up to all of US

March 21, 2018 Posted by | Federal nuclear waste dump, South Australia | Leave a comment

Nuclear propaganda tour across regional South Australia – AUSTRALIAN RADIATION PROTECTION AND NUCLEAR SAFETY AGENCY


Do you believe regional SA should be home to a nuclear waste management facility?

Federal Government agency ARPANSA visited Kimba last night, and will visit Hawker in the Flinders Ranges later in the week.

The Kimba community is divided on the issue, with local Audrey Lienert saying she’s concerned about what the facility will do to farming land.

But ARPANSA’s Chief of Radiation Services, Gillian Hirth says locals have nothing to fear, and the organisations primary aim is to protect the community and environment from the harmful effects of radiation.

March 21, 2018 Posted by | South Australia | Leave a comment

South Australian Premier Stephen Marshall carrying out the Liberal agenda – Cuts Access To Solar Batteries For Low Income Households.

SA’s New Premier Cuts Access To Solar Batteries For Low Income Households. Gizmodo, Hayley Williams Mar 19, 2018 

Incoming South Australian Premier Steven Marshall has today revealed that the Liberal government will not continue with Jay Weatherill’s plan to install batteries in thousands of low-income households. The new government’s plan will instead focus on means-tested subsidies for battery systems, and on the grid scale a focus on interconnectivity with NSW.

In a radio interview with ABC RN Breakfast this morning, Marshall talked briefly about his focus for South Australia in the upcoming years, including the direction he was planning to take with Jay Weatherill’s many renewable initiatives. Marshall confirmed that the party would be continuing with a $100 million home battery subsidy outlined mid campaign, rather than following through on the Labor campaign that would have installed Tesla batteries in South Australia’s Housing Trust homes at no cost to their occupants.

While on the surface Marshall’s plan sounds similar, promising batteries in 40,000 homes where Labor had aimed for batteries and rooftop solar on 50,000 houses, the Liberal plan cuts low income earners out of the equation. “[Jay Weatherill] was doing it for Housing Trust homes in South Australia. That’s not part of our agenda,” Marshall clarified. “Our agenda is the 40,000 homes and we’re going to do 10,000 a year.”

While the grants – around $2,500 per home – will be means tested, they are intended for houses with existing rooftop solar, and still require an upfront payment that low income earners will not be able to afford. The cheapest battery available in Australia is the Ampetus Super Lithium at $2,300 for 2.7kWh of usable storage, but this doesn’t include the cost of installation, a separate inverter and the solar panels to go with it.

Disappointingly, Marshall has said he will not be upholding Weatherill’s promise of a 75 per cent renewable target for South Australia. “We don’t believe in state-based renewable energy targets,” he explained. “We do support a national approach.” Yet experts have said that the federal government’s National Energy Guarantee sets too soft a target for the electricity industry to pull its weight on meeting Australia’s emission targets under the Paris Agreement, making it all the more disappointing that South Australia will now be doing even less to help……..

March 21, 2018 Posted by | politics, solar, South Australia | Leave a comment

The unholy alliance that explains why renewables are trouncing nuclear

In effect, we are now seeing an egalitarian-individualist alliance against the conservative hierarchists.

even hierarchists cannot ignore economic reality entirely. The South Carolina project has beenabandoned and the Georgia project only survives through a very large federal loan bailout.

Contrast this with casino complexes in Nevada like MGM Resorts not only installing their own solar photovoltaic arrays but paying many millions of dollars to opt out from the local monopoly electricity supplier. They have campaigned successfully to win a state referendum supporting electricity liberalisation.

The unholy alliance that explains why renewables are trouncing nuclear By Dave Toke on 20 March 2018   The Conversation  

If recent trends continue for another two years, the global share of electricity from renewables excluding hydropower will overtake nuclear for the first time.

Even 20 years ago, this nuclear decline would have greatly surprised many people – particularly now that reducing carbon emissions is at the top of the political agenda.

On one level this is a story about changes in relative costs. The costs of solar and wind have plunged while nuclear has become almost astoundingly expensive.

Culture wars

The seminal text in this field, Risk and Culture (1982), by the British anthropologist Mary Douglas and American political scientist Aaron Wildavsky, argues the behaviour of individuals and institutions can be explained by four different biases:

  1. Individualists: people biased towards outcomes that result from competitive arrangements;
  2. Hierarchists: those who prefer ordered decisions being made by leaders and followed by others;
  3. Egalitarians: people who favour equality and grassroots decision-making and pursue a common cause;
  4. Fatalists: those who see decision-making as capricious and feel unable to influence outcomes.

The first three categories help explain different actors in the electricity industry. For governments and centralised monopolies often owned by the state, read hierarchists. For green campaigning organisations, read egalitarians, while free-market-minded private companies fit the individualist bias.

The priorities of these groups have not greatly changed in recent years. Hierarchists tend to favour nuclear power, since big power stations make for more straightforward grid planning, and nuclear power complements nuclear weapons capabilities considered important for national security.

Egalitarians like Greenpeace and Friends of the Earth usually oppose new nuclear power plant and favour renewables. Traditionally they have worried about radioactive environmental damage and nuclear proliferation. Individualists, meanwhile, favour whichever technologies reduce costs.

These cultural realities lie behind the problems experienced by nuclear power. To compound green opposition, many of nuclear power’s strongest supporters are conservative hierarchists who are either sceptical about the need to reduce carbon emissions or treat it as a low priority.

Hence they are often unable or unwilling to mobilise climate change arguments to support nuclear, which has made it harder to persuade egalitarians to get on board.

This has had several consequences. Continue reading

March 21, 2018 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

India’s solar parks – a good system for Australia, too

Farming the sun’s rays: Should Australia follow India’s lead and create solar parks? NSW Country Hour By Michael Condon, 21 Mar 18, [Excellent graphics] 

March 21, 2018 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, solar | Leave a comment

Katharine Hayhoe on how to talk about climate change

Katharine Hayhoe Reveals Surprising Ways to Talk About Climate Change  These climate-skeptic-whispering tactics have nothing to do with science  Sierra BY KATIE O’REILLY | MAR 20 2018 

Katharine Hayhoe on how to talk about climate change (highlights video)

Katharine Hayhoe isn’t your typical atmospheric scientist. Throughout her career, the evangelical Christian and daughter of missionaries has had to convince many (including her pastor husband) that science and religion need not be at odds when it comes to climate change. Hayhoe, who directs Texas Tech’s University’s Climate Science Center, is CEO of ATMOS Research, a scientific consulting company, and produces the PBS Kids’ web series “Global Weirding,” rose to national prominence in early 2012 after then-presidential candidate Newt Gingrich dropped her chapter from a book he was editing about the environment. The reason? Hayhoe’s arguments affirmed that climate change was no liberal hoax. The Toronto native attracted the fury of Rush Limbaugh, who encouraged his listeners to harass her.

After the ensuing deluge of hate mail, Hayhoe made a habit of reaching out to climate foes. Along with her husband Andrew Farley, she wrote A Climate for Change: Global Warming Facts for Faith-Based Decisions. She also authored 2014’s third National Climate Change Assessment for the National Academy of Sciences. Last year, Fortune magazine named Hayhoe one of the world’s 50 greatest leaders. While she frequently gives talks on climate science and faith, she often makes a point of keeping science out of her talks………..

Sierra: From a global perspective, the United States stands out for our considerable contingent of vocal climate change deniers. Why do you think this attitude is so uniquely American?

Katharine Hayhoe: There’s some of that sentiment in Australia as well, and in Alberta, the province known as the “Texas of Canada.” Interestingly, if you look across all countries’ fossil fuel resources and political positions on climate, you’ll find that economics doesn’t account for all of it. Fossil fuel influences certainly have an influence, but look at Norway—oil made them rich! One recent study concluded that the U.S. Republican Party is an anomaly. Social scientists study the characteristics of different cultures—some, for instance, are very hierarchical, some are very communal, and some are very independent. I can do it myself. If you correlate the predominance of rejection of climate science with the independence of the culture, I’d bet you anything you’d find a significant correlation. The U.S. is the most culturally independent country in the world, followed by Australia, and then Alberta is much more independent-minded than other Canadian provinces.

Where does this independence stem from?

It comes from the ruggedness of the terrain and the challenges that people had to overcome and endure—and the recency of those struggles.

…….  Of course, fighting climate change requires people to work together for the benefit of the entire community—to not just go it alone. When you try to talk climate action to resilient pioneer types, they’re often hearing that the government is gonna be their nanny and pick their car, set their thermostat, limit their water, and tell them what they can and can’t do. And rugged individualists do not need a nanny. They believe the government wants to take away their freedom, and what’s more American than freedom?…….

So how can you make tough, self-reliant, freedom-loving types care about climate change?

That’s the real problem because no one thinks it really matters. Even the people who think it’s really important don’t tend to think it affects them. Particularly if you’re not already a dyed-in-the-wool environmentalist, climate action has be be framed as something that’s a natural expression of something you already are—something that makes you feel like a better version of yourself. ……. So when we have these conversations, we need to start from a place of genuine appreciation of values we share with that person or that group……


March 21, 2018 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

Neighbours not happy as a man builds his nuclear war bunker in Victoria

Neighbours’ fury as man builds bunker for nuclear war,, By Luke Mortimer • A Current Affair Producer Mar 20, 2018  He’s a former Yugoslavian who spent years guarding plutonium stockpiles and he refuses to be a sitting duck the day they may go off, preparing for all out nuclear war.

Jakov Loncarevic migrated to Australia in 1979 but in 1996 he fled Melbourne for Minyip, a tiny town 337 kilometres west. He purchased a block of land that he’s spent the past two decades making “nuclear proof” with a four-metre deep bunker in which he plans to wait out a nuclear winter.

Mr Loncarevic took A Current Affair reporter Martin King down into the bunker in which he claims he built by digging out 40,000 buckets of soil and constructing with 2500 bags of concrete, 40 tonnes of recycled steel and 20 tonnes of wood.

“(It’s my) emergency survival place,” he told King.“In case of unforeseen events … I will survive.“When the conditions become unbearable at floor level … I’m down here.

Mr Loncarevic says he has the supplies to wait out two years once a nuclear winter sets in, with a staggering 900 kilograms of sugar stored in industrial fridges, 200 kilograms of rice and dried beans, 6000 litres of water, 40 kilograms of washing detergent, 200 pairs of socks, 200 pairs of under wear, 100 t-shirts, and 120 kilograms of honey.

But despite being prepared for nuclear war, Mr Loncarevic is losing the war with his neighbours after council issued him with an order to stop building.

Neigbours fed up with living next door to the military-compound-style structure have told King of their embarrassment living next to it.

Mother Bec, a nurse who works in the nearby regional centre of Horsham, said her property’s value is in decline as no-one would want to buy in next to Mr Loncarevic’s house.

“It’s embarrassing. It’s frustrating. It’s wrong,” Bec said.

Her parents-in-law, Joe and Rae, lifelong Minyip residents who live another two doors up, told A Current Affair of how the house had transformed from a “lovely, little” weatherboard home owned by an elderly lady into a Soviet-style military compound.  And Mr Loncarevic is losing popularity with his neighbours by the day.………..

March 21, 2018 Posted by | Victoria, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Warning on radioactive waste transport, and the danger to aquifers

 Don’t let Idaho become the transportation hub for radioactive material  Donna Pence 20 Mar 18  What is it that Governors Andrus and Batt knew that current state officials seem to not understand concerning highly radioactive material entering Idaho? Could it be these gentlemen were more concerned about the people of Idaho than the money entering the state through the Department of Energy? I was disturbed, but not surprised, when I read that the DOE now wants our state to become the transportation hub for highly radioactive nuclear waste from all around the country. This will include nearly 50 million gallons from the Hanford site in the state of Washington. This hazardous material will need to be transported by rail or truck through southern Idaho to its destination at the Idaho Nuclear Laboratory (INL) in eastern Idaho. I still remember when Governor Andrus placed a blockade at the Idaho border to stop such shipments because of the risk to the public should an accident occur.

The existence of the Magic Valley depends on the viability of its water resources both from the Snake River and the Eastern Snake Plain Aquifer (ESPA). An “accidental” spill from waste entering or being stored for processing at the INL could place our way of life at extreme risk. Many people don’t understand the interaction between the river and the aquifer. If one water source is contaminated so is the other. The INL is situated directly above the ESPA, our most valuable resource. Without it, life could not exist in a large part of our region. Once contamination hits the many springs flowing into the Snake River from above and below American Falls Reservoir, much of the irrigation on the north and south sides of the Snake would be unusable, not to mention those waters downstream from Magic Valley. Remember the adage “Trust me, I’m from the government and I’m here to help.”

March 21, 2018 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

Darwin headed for climate doomsday, scientists warn 

Darwin is going to get hotter and people will die as a result, a group of Australia’s leading climate scientists have warned… [subscribers only]

March 21, 2018 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

Even business lobbyists say Australia can run on 50% renewables — RenewEconomy

Can Australia reach 50% renewables without compromising grid stability? The experts – and even the major energy stakeholders of business and industry – all say yes. We’re just waiting on the right policy.

via Even business lobbyists say Australia can run on 50% renewables — RenewEconomy

March 21, 2018 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Nectar Farms and Sundrop Farms are blazing a trail — RenewEconomy

Sundrop Farms and Nectar Farms have turned to wind, solar and battery storage to underpin their push for controlled “vertical farms”.

via Nectar Farms and Sundrop Farms are blazing a trail — RenewEconomy

March 21, 2018 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment