Australian news, and some related international items

No clear meaning of “broad community support” – the fatal flaw in Australian government’s push to impose a nuclear waste dump

Brian Cant Elected member District Council of Kimba, Submission RE: SITE SELECTION PROCESS FOR A NATIONAL RADIOCTIVE WASTE MANAGEMENT FACILITY IN SOUTH AUSTRALIA (Submission no. 49) 
(b) How the need for ‘broad community support” has played and will continue to play a part
in the process

The definition of “broad community Support” has consistently been one of the most significant points of contention since the NRWMF project was announced, not just in Kimba, but from every corner of Australia.

One constant throughout the process has been criticism from both sides about a lack of clarity from the Department about how ”broad community support” would be defined, and subsequently measured, during the consultation process.

As a result, this uncertainty has exacerbated community angst on what was already an
emotive subject. It is possible that the community stress could have been either minimised or
avoided altogether had the Department identified defining “broad community support” as a
project priority from the outset.

May 30, 2018 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Federal nuclear waste dump | Leave a comment

Adnyamathanha Traditional Land  Association again confronts Resources Minister Matt Canavan on nuclear waste dumping

AdnyamathanhaTraditional Land  Association (ATLA) RNTBC Email    ICN 3734 ABN 14 146 238 567 PO Box 4014 Port Augusta 5700 Ph 0429900222   29/5/2018

To. Minister Canavan  PO Box 6100  Senate  Parliament House Canberra ACT 2600

per email Minister Canavan []

Dear Minister

I again write to you with regards to your departments treatment of ATLA.

I have already stated on numerous occasions, ATLA is the prescribed body corporate in terms ofour Native Title and we are an Aboriginal Regional Authority with the State Government and recognised as the peak organisation with regards to any heritage issues in our area. We are the representative body for Adnyamathanha people.

However, your department continues to use divide and conquer tactics with regards to the nuclear waste dump in our land.

We raised very grave concerns in relation to the Heritage Assessment and we had no choice but to pull out of this very early in the process. We have no faith in the process or the assessment and we will not accept any findings from this flawed non-inclusive process.

You visited our land recently and didn’t even contact ATLA.

It is not true that Bruce Wilson tried to contact me, I have had no communication with him in relation to your visit. The first I knew about you being here was when I was told you were meeting with individual Adnyamathanha people at Mamma Lou’s café in Port Augusta, that is only about 500 metres from my office in Port Augusta! You then added to the insult by entering our land with no contact with us.

I call on you as Minister to tell the truth and remove these lies from your website.

ATLA is a vital part of this whole process we are the Traditional Owners and we say NO!

Now you are going to hold some sort of vote for the people who live very close to Wallerberdina, however, this is Adnyamathanha land and ALL Adnyamathanha people must get the chance to vote.

I demand you include all Adnyamathanha people who are on the electoral roll in this vote!

This process has been flawed from the start, you continue to ignore our concerns and opposition to this dump and the very least you can do is include us in the vote. I believe there are at least 1500 Adnyamathanha people eligible to vote.

This is our land, ATLA is the peak body, show us respect as the Traditional Owners.

Please take action on this matter with some urgency and include Adnyamathanha people in the vote.

Yours sincerely

Vince Coulthard, CEO

May 30, 2018 Posted by | aboriginal issues, AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Federal nuclear waste dump, politics | Leave a comment

Australians trust Labor more than Liberals, on energy policy

Labor trusted more on energy: Newspoll–spt.html

More voters trust Labor to deliver lower power prices and secure supply than the coalition, despite the Turnbull government’s National Energy Guarantee policy, a Newspoll shows.

The poll shows 39 per cent trust Labor, 37 per cent back the coalition, while 24 per cent remain uncommitted to keep prices down and secure supply, the Newspoll conducted for The Australian showed.

It comes as the federal government has pushed its NEG while facing mutiny in the partyroom over coal-fired power stations, such as Liddell.

The poll was conducted between May 24-27 and covered 1591 voters across regional areas and the major cities.

May 30, 2018 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, energy, politics | Leave a comment

New analysis finds that costs of new nuclear reactors even higher than expected

Construction delays make new nuclear power plants costlier than ever Hayley Dunning

The cost of building new nuclear power plants is nearly 20 per cent higher than expected due to delays, a new analysis has found.

A new analysis of the history of nuclear power plant projects shows since 2010 delays have contributed 18 per cent the costs.

These delays – which can run into years or even decades – increase the cost compared with older projects and are often overlooked when new projects are planned. The authors say that these extra costs need to be properly assessed when considering new nuclear projects.

They say nuclear projects are more like ‘mega-projects’, such as large dams, which require more rigorous financial assessments due to their high uncertainty and risk.

In the study, published today in the journal Energy Policy, the authors also suggest that because these delay costs make nuclear projects high risk, decision-makers might instead focus on more low-risk low-carbon technologies such as wind or solar power.

When assessing the cost of new nuclear projects, decision makers often use ‘overnight construction costs’, which assume the project is built on time, usually within five years. However, the ‘lead-time’ – the time between initiation of the project and completion – can cause significant extra costs.

The research team, from Imperial College London, the Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro and the University of Minho, looked at total costs of nuclear projects between 1955-2016, including delay costs.

Usually, as technologies mature and experience is gained in construction, costs come down. However, the team found that for nuclear, there has been a blip in the learning curve, with costs currently increasing, especially for projects since 2010.

Lead author Dr Joana Portugal Pereira, from the Centre for Environmental Policy at Imperial, said: “Nuclear projects are actually becoming more complex to carry out, inducing delays and higher costs. Safety and regulatory considerations play heavily into this, particularly in the wake of the 2011 Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear accident in Japan.”

The analysis is one of the first to assess full financial costs of building nuclear projects throughout time, and not just the ‘overnight’ costs. It also looked at projects around the world, including newer nuclear builders like China, India, and the UAE, rather than just the traditional builders in Europe, the USA and Japan.

They say that while nuclear projects can help bridge the gap between fossil fuels and renewable energy, they could hinder progress if projects stall.

Dr Portugal Pereira said: “If we want to decarbonise our energy system, nuclear may not be the best choice for a primary strategy. Nuclear power is better late than never, but to really address climate change, it would be best if they were not late at all, as technologies like wind and solar rarely are.”

Better late than never, but never late is better: Risk assessment of nuclear power construction projects’ by J. Portugal-Pereira, P. Ferreira, J. Cunha, A. Szklo, R. Schaeffer and M Araujo is published in Energy Policy.

May 30, 2018 Posted by | General News | 1 Comment

American State fights back – resentful of being treated as the nation’s nuclear waste dumping ground

Federal Nuclear Dumping in Nevada Stirs Statewide Resentment, 

For decades, the federal government has treated Nevada as a radioactive waste dumping ground, now the state is fighting back U.S. News by Michael Green May 29, 2018

NEVADANS CAN BE FORGIVEN FOR THINKING THEY ARE IN AN ENDLESS LOOP OF “THE WALKING DEAD” TV SERIES. Their least-favorite zombie federal project refuses to die.

In 2010, Congress had abandoned plans to turn Yucca Mountain, about 100 miles northwest of Las Vegas, into the nation’s only federal dump for nuclear waste so radioactive it requires permanent isolation. And the House recently voted by a wide margin to resume these efforts.

Nevada’s U.S. Sens. Dean Heller, a Republican, and Catherine Cortez Masto, a Democrat, have made their determination to block the latest Yucca proposal clear since the Trump administration first proposed resurrecting the project in early 2017.

While teaching and writing about the state’s history for more than 30 years, I have followed the Yucca Mountain fight from the beginning — as well as how Nevadans’ views have evolved on all things nuclear. The project could well go forward, but I believe that it probably won’t as long as there are political benefits to stopping it.

The roots of statewide resentment

TWO-THIRDS OF NEVADANS OPPOSE THIS PLAN, according to a 2017 poll. The state’s experience with federal actions, including nuclear weapons and waste, may help explain the proposed repository’s long-standing unpopularity……

May 30, 2018 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

USA city council opposes transport of radioactive trash past the city

Council opposed to shipping radioactive waste through city Albuquerque Journal By Steve Knight / Journal Staff Writer  May 28th, 2018   Albuquerque city councilors voted 4-3 – with one abstention – to approve a memorial opposing transportation of high-level radioactive waste by railway through the city for temporary consolidated storage in southeastern New Mexico……..

The memorial is in reaction to a Holtec International application to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission for a license to store up to 100,000 tons of spent nuclear reactor fuel in a temporary in-ground storage facility in Lea County, halfway between Carlsbad and Hobbs.

But the highlight – if there is such a thing when discussing the issue of nuclear waste – came when Sam Pruitt, a sixth-grade student-to-be at Monte Vista Elementary School, had his say about the matter.

“Kids like us need to be protected by our government, not put in danger,” Pruitt said. “If the national government won’t protect us, it’s up to the City Council to do what they can to protect growing children who live in Albuquerque from being exposed to this dangerous nuclear waste.”……..

May 30, 2018 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

Hiroshima hibakusha attends Massachusetts memorial ceremony for U.S. POWs killed in A-bombing KYODO An atomic bomb survivor attended a memorial ceremony Monday to honor the 12 American servicemen who died in the U.S. nuclear attack in the closing days of World War II.

Hibakusha Shigeaki Mori, an 81-year-old historian, spent years researching and identifying the 12 American soldiers who were killed during the bombing of Hiroshima. He was reunited at the ceremony with a relative of one of the fallen POWs, Normand Brissette of Lowell, Massachusetts.

In a speech, Mori said Brissette was a true patriot who risked his life to fight for his country. Brissette was a naval officer who was taken prisoner and died from radiation poisoning in the days following the bombing.

Susan Archinski, a niece of Brissette, said her reunion with Mori is “emotional because he is a wonderful, wonderful man and his wife is a wonderful woman. Mori-san is (the) best. Very pleased.” The two had met once before, in Hiroshima in 2015.

Mori was 8 years old at the time of the world’s first atomic bombing. He was blown off a bridge near his school at 8:15 a.m. on Aug. 6, 1945, 1½ miles (about 2.5 km) from ground zero in Hiroshima.

After 42 years of research, Mori found each soldier’s name and tracked down their next of kin to obtain permission to memorialize the 12 POWs on the cenotaph for A-bomb victims in Hiroshima among the more than 300,000 Japanese, Korean and Chinese victims.

Mori is visiting the United States for the first time. He attended screenings of the film “Paper Lanterns,” a documentary about his research into the U.S. POWs, in California and will attend more screenings of the film in Boston and at the United Nations in New York.

The 2016 documentary, which the filmmakers hope to release digitally this summer, caught the attention of former U.S. President Barack Obama shortly after its limited release.

Obama, who in May 2016 became the first sitting U.S. president to visit Hiroshima, mentioned Mori in his speech at the Peace Memorial Park as “the man who sought out families of Americans killed here because he believed their loss was equal to his own.”   Afterward, Obama and Mori shared an embrace that garnered international attention.

May 30, 2018 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

Even a Japan State-owned bank balks at funding Hitachi’s UK nuclear boondoggle

State-affiliated bank resists call to fund Hitachi nuclear project, THE ASAHI SHIMBUN, May 29, 2018 A government-affiliated financial institution balked at an agency’s request to pump 75 billion yen ($688 million) into Hitachi Ltd.’s nuclear power project in Britain, while the entire plan came under fire from citizen groups. Continue reading

May 30, 2018 Posted by | General News | 1 Comment

We’re on the frontline defending our lands against Adani

We the leaders of the Wangan and Jagalingou Traditional Owners.
We are the Traditional Owners of the land where  mining giant Adani want to build the Carmichael coal mine.

Our people have said no four times to a miserly land deal  offered by Adani in exchange for the destruction of our homelands.  We have been opposing Adani and holding them off since 2012.

‘Our resistance has nothing to do with dollars.  No amount of money or promises from a deceitful corporation  can stop us standing strong in defence of Wangan and Jagalingou  lands and waters and sacred sites.

But Adani are ruthless. They have used the dirtiest tactics to undermine  our right to say no, and manufacture a phony “Indigenous Land Use Agreement”.

Right now we’re fighting against Adani’s shoddy tactics and their sham “agreement” in court.
The judge could hand down a decision any day now.  But it won’t end there

Can you sign our petition to stand with us against Adani?

‘We are willing to fight Adani all the way to the High Court  to protect our environment and sacred sites.
We are working for a positive future for our people on our country.  We won’t stand by and watch its destruction for coal.

Adani are relentlessly pressuring the Queensland government  to clear our Native Title rights out of the way  — and as the clock ticks and Adani gets more desperate,  it will only intensify.
‘So we need to show Adani and our Governments that  they can’t fake or force our consent.

We have never given our consent to Adani to destroy our country,  and we never will.
Our land is our living law;  we are connected to it through our ancestors and our culture.  Without it we will cease to exist as a people.

‘Our people have been leading a courageous fight against a cashed-up mining giant with politicians in its pockets, and top end of town lawyers to argue away its collusion, bad faith and dishonesty.

We’re calling time on this. It’s time for Adani to walk away.

Sign our petition to tell Adani No means No. ‘Adani can’t keep bullying us, or pretending they have our consent.  Consent is written in our hearts and minds,  and the truth is we have said no. Time and again.. ‘And we shouldn’t have to keep saying it.
Adani haven’t been able to put money on the table for this project or even say when they’ll start digging.  They’ve given nothing to our people, or to the people of Queensland and Australia,  except a bunch of false promises. The smart money and honest commentators  know Adani’s Carmichael mine is going nowhere.

But still our rights are at extreme risk. The Queensland Government could yield to this corrupt polluting corporation and “legally” rip up our Native Title, just so they can say they have their final “approval”.

‘We continue to hold the line and have many tens of thousands of supporters in Australia
and around the world, but we need more. We need to build a more powerful movement,
standing in solidarity with us, to take on Adani’s wealth, political influence and dirty tricks

Sign our petition to support our fight against Adani.

We are in the fight of our lives. Adani have shown a relentless determination to  use unjust legal maneouvres to trample our rights. But this fight is bigger than Adani.  It’s about the rights that all Aboriginal people have to say no to dirty extractive industries  that profit from our traditional homelands. It’s about our right under international law  to be free from discrimination, and to choose our own economic future.

‘We have a vision for our people that’s sustainable.  We want economic independence, and to make a future on our country  that is respectful of the land and uplifting for our people.
We want to invest in solar energy and other new clean enterprises.  We don’t want scraps from a corrupt corporation looking to  profit from the permanent destruction of our culture, or meagre handouts  and low paid dirty jobs that require us to give up our human rights.

When we say No to Adani, we mean No. We hope you’ll stand with us.
‘Support our fight:

‘Adrian Burragubba, cultural leader and senior spokesperson with Murrawah Johnson, Youth spokesperson and Linda Bobongie, W&J Council Chairperson
for the Wangan and Jagalingou Traditional Owners Council’

May 30, 2018 Posted by | aboriginal issues, Queensland | Leave a comment

USA rejected Julian Assange’s offer to talk about Wikileaks and ‘Russiagate’

US has no interest in hearing what Julian Assange can freely say about Russiagate – Max Blumenthal 

May 30, 2018 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, secrets and lies | Leave a comment

The stranded nuclear-waste time bomb will keep ticking.

interim stores in places such as Fort St. Vrain could be in business not just for decades but for centuries. The nuclear-waste time bomb will keep ticking.

The 60-Year Downfall of Nuclear Power in the U.S. Has Left a Huge Mess   The demand for atomic energy is in decline. But before the country can abandon its plants, there’s six decades of waste to deal with.  The Atlantic , FRED PEARCE  

Hanford nuclear site

May 9, 2017


There was other stuff down there too. Nobody quite knew what. Record keeping was poor, but the contents of the tunnels certainly included carcasses from animal radiation experiments, including a reported 18 alligators. The emergency lasted only a few hours. The integrity of the waste was restored. But it was a chilling reminder of the site’s perilous radioactive legacy.

Sprawling across 600 square miles of sagebrush semidesert, Hanford is a $100 billion cleanup burden, full of accidents waiting to happen. It is the biggest headache, but very far from being the only one, emerging in what increasingly look like the final years of America’s nuclear age.

It is 60 years since America’s first commercial nuclear power station was opened by President Dwight D. Eisenhower at Shippingport, near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, on May 26, 1958. But the hopes of a nuclear future with power “too cheap to meter” are now all but over. All that is left is the trillion-dollar cleanup.

Public fear and suspicion about all things nuclear grew sharply after March 1979, when the cooling system at Three Mile Island Nuclear Generating Station failed and triggered a meltdown. In the end, actual releases of radiation were minimal, but the incident left behind a reputational mess in addition to the radiological one. On the day of the accident, the United States had 140 operating nuclear reactors, with 92 under construction and 28 more awaiting official approval. In the next five years, more than 50 orders for new nuclear reactors in America were canceled. New contracts entirely dried up.

Hanford has not produced plutonium for three decades. Nobody is making new material for bombs anymore. President Trump’s plans for more weapons can be met by recycling existing plutonium stocks. And even the civil nuclear industry, which still generates a fifth of America’s electricity, is in what looks like terminal decline. With cheap natural gas and renewable solar and wind energy increasingly available, the numbers no longer add up. Nuclear power plants across the nation are being closed with years of licensed operation unused.

No new nuclear power stations have come on line in the past two decades. The only new build underway, two additional reactors at Georgia Power’s Alvin W. Vogtle plant near Waynesboro, is five years behind schedule and has seen its costs double. Its planned completion in 2022 remains uncertain.

America’s 99 remaining operational nuclear power reactors, which still deliver power to the grid, are too important to be closed overnight. But nearly half are over 40 years old. The only question is how long the regulators and accountants will allow them to keep going.

Oyster Creek in New Jersey disconnects from the grid in October with 11 years left on its license. Indian Point in New York State is to shut by 2021 due to falling revenues and rising costs. In California, Diablo Canyon is being closed by state regulators in 2025. The reactor at Three Mile Island in Pennsylvania that survived the 1979 accident will finally shut in 2019.

Shutdown is only the beginning of the end. Final closure and clearance of the sites can take decades, and the waste crisis created by decommissioning cannot be dodged. Lethal radioactive material is accumulating at dozens of power plants, military facilities, and interim stores across the country.

Some, like the train cars buried at Hanford, is evidently in a precarious situation. Much more needs urgent attention. Cleaning up and safely disposing of the residues of the nuclear adventure—much of it waste with a half-life measured in tens of thousands of years—is turning into a trillion-dollar nightmare for the nation. ………..

How did the United States reach this impasse? Back in 1982, the Nuclear Waste Policy Act established that it was the government’s job to deal with this ultimate back-end problem. The act obliged Washington to begin removing used fuel from stores and other facilities by 1998 for eventual disposal at a federal facility. In 1987, Yucca Mountain, near the former Nevada bomb-testing grounds, was chosen to be the sole such facility.

In the 1990s, a five-mile tunnel was dug into the remote mountain. Then work stopped, in part because of vehement state opposition and in part because of concerns raised by geologists that a future volcanic eruption could propel buried waste back to the surface. One of President Obama’s first acts on taking office in 2009 was to formally abandon the $100 billion project. Things headed for the courts, which began awarding damages to power companies unable to make use of the nonexistent federal facility. The payouts amount to around half a billion dollars a year, and by 2022 will likely reach $29 billion.

Now President Trump wants to revive Yucca. His 2019 budget request included $120 million for the task. But the state opposition remains as strong as ever, and only $50 million was included in the final budget for Yucca-related items. Maybe Yucca Mountain will make a comeback. If not, then with no alternatives on the horizon, utilities will carry on being paid to keep spent fuel in pools next to abandoned nuclear power plants, and the interim stores in places such as Fort St. Vrain could be in business not just for decades but for centuries. The nuclear-waste time bomb will keep ticking. This piece is adapted from Pearce’s new book, Fallout: Disasters, Lies, and the Legacy of the Nuclear Age


May 30, 2018 Posted by | General News | 1 Comment

USA nuclear lobby’s latest promotional tactic – “Nuclear is N.I.C.E.”

America Joins With Canada And Japan To Promote Nuclear Power,  Forbes, , 29 May 18, “…… at a summit in Copenhagen, Denmark last week, it was clear the US is now trying a different tact.

A ‘Clean Energy Summit’ was organized bringing together energy ministers from across the world. At the event, the US launched new partnerships to promote nuclear power and coal with carbon capture and storage technology as alternatives to traditional fossil fuels……

The new nuclear partnership with Japan and Canada, was launched on Thursday. At the summit, the US was able to convince two new partners who are member states of the European Union – Poland and Romania – to join the alliance.

The partnership is called Nuclear Innovation: Clean Energy Future (NICE Future).

“Countries will need to use nuclear energy alongside other forms of clean energy to deliver a sustainable energy mix that is affordable to all and that supports economic development,” Agneta Rising, director general of the World Nuclear Association, said at the launch.

The aim of the initiative is to promote nuclear as a solution to climate change….

Separately, the US also promoted a new platform on Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) called the Carbon Capture, Utilization and Storage Initiative that will focus on obtaining more financing for CCS demonstration projects. Such financing has been hard to come by in Europe, because investors are still sceptical about whether the technology, which stores the carbon underground rather than releasing it into the air, is viable.

The efforts may represent a new phase in America’s climate diplomacy……

Environmental campaigners, however, are having none of it. Hundreds of activists disrupted an event organized by the US government in November to promote nuclear and clean coal. They say the recent US moves are greenwashing a pro-coal agenda that is not actually interested in stopping climate change.

Whether these new US initiatives attract more members remains to be seen.


May 30, 2018 Posted by | General News | 1 Comment

Tesla plans 18 new EV supercharger stations for Australia, in major global roll-out — RenewEconomy

Tesla reveals plans to build thousands of new electric vehicle supercharger stations globally in 2018/19, including another 18 for Australia.

via Tesla plans 18 new EV supercharger stations for Australia, in major global roll-out — RenewEconomy

May 30, 2018 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Gladstone approves 350MW solar farm – another for Queensland coal centre — RenewEconomy

Eco Energy World wins council approval for 350MW solar farm in Raglan – another major PV project for Queensland’s Gladstone Region.

via Gladstone approves 350MW solar farm – another for Queensland coal centre — RenewEconomy

May 30, 2018 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

AEMO, ARENA want to expand demand response trials — RenewEconomy

AEMO and ARENA want to expand trials to encourage use of demand response in wholesale markets and by networks.

via AEMO, ARENA want to expand demand response trials — RenewEconomy

May 30, 2018 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment