Antinuclear

Australian news, and some related international items

Contrary to Scott Morrison’s deceptive boast – Australia is on track to miss Paris climate targets

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September 14, 2018 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, climate change - global warming, politics | Leave a comment

Earth headed for’tipping point’ where global warming will become irreversible

Earth could enter permanent ‘hothouse‘ state, scientists warn  https://zeelandpress.com/earth-could-enter-permanent-hothouse-state-scientists-warn/ 

The planet urgently needs to transition to a green economy because fossil fuel pollution risks pushing the Earth into a lasting and dangerous “hothouse” state, researchers warned on Monday.

If polar ice continues to melt, forests are slashed and greenhouse gases rise to new highs — as they currently do each year — the Earth will pass a tipping point.

Crossing that threshold “guarantees a climate 4-5 Celsius (7-9 Fahrenheit) higher than pre-industrial times, and sea levels that are 10 to 60 meters (30-200 feet) higher than today,” cautioned scientists in .

And that “could be only decades ahead,” they said.

What is ‘Hothouse Earth‘?  Continue reading

September 14, 2018 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

Nuclear power plant threatened as Hurricane Florence nears USA coast

A NUCLEAR PLANT BRACES FOR IMPACT WITH HURRICANE FLORENCE, Wired,    MEGAN MOLTENI13 Sept 18    I N MARCH 11, 2011, a one-two, earthquake-tsunami punch knocked out the safety systems at the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant, triggering an explosion of hydrogen gas and meltdowns in three of its six reactors—the world’s worst nuclear disaster since Chernobyl. Fukushima’s facility was built with 1960s technology, designed at a time when engineers underestimated plant vulnerabilities during natural disasters. In the US, 20 plants with similar designs are currently operating.

One of them is slated for a head-on collision with Hurricane Florence. Duke Energy Corp’s dual-reactor, 1,870-megawatt Brunswick plant sits four miles inland from Cape Fear, a pointy headland jutting out into the Atlantic Ocean just south of the city of Wilmington, North Carolina. Brunswick has survived decades of run-ins with hurricanes, but Florence could be its biggest test yet. The plant perches near the banks of the Cape Fear River, which drains 9,000 square miles of the state’s most densely populated regions. Like Hurricane Harvey in 2017, Florence is predicted to stall out for days, pounding the Carolinas with unrelenting amounts of water, leading to life-threatening storm surges and catastrophic flooding. NOAA’s National Hurricane Center is projecting 110 mile-per-hour winds, waves as high as 13 feet, and in some places, up to 40 inches of rain.

Duke Energy Corp’s dual-reactor, 1,870-megawatt Brunswick plant sits four miles inland from Cape Fear, a pointy headland jutting out into the Atlantic Ocean just south of the city of Wilmington, North Carolina. Brunswick has survived decades of run-ins with hurricanes, but Florence could be its biggest test yet. The plant perches near the banks of the Cape Fear River, which drains 9,000 square miles of the state’s most densely populated regions. Like Hurricane Harvey in 2017, Florence is predicted to stall out for days, pounding the Carolinas with unrelenting amounts of water, leading to life-threatening storm surges and catastrophic flooding. NOAA’s National Hurricane Center is projecting 110 mile-per-hour winds, waves as high as 13 feet, and in some places, up to 40 inches of rain.

They’re part of a sweep of changes nuclear plants around the US have adopted post-Fukushima……….

Duke predicted a maximum storm surge of 7 feet at the plant’s safety-related buildings. But the plant was originally designed to cope with only 3.6 feet of expected surge, according to the NRC’s 2017 summary assessment of Duke’s hazard reevaluation report, which has not been made public.

In a letter earlier this year, the NRC reminded Duke that the plant’s current design falls short of the reevaluated flood risks. According to Burnell, Duke has since submitted an assessment of how it will cope—including the use of those steel door reinforcements—which the NRC is still evaluating. “The review is not complete but there’s nothing in there to this point that causes us any concern,” says Burnell………….

Storms can be unpredictable, however. Dave Lochbaum, who directs a nuclear safety watchdog group at the Union of Concerned Scientists, has spent a lifetime studying nuclear failures. Brunswick troubles him because in 2012, Duke found hundreds of missing or damaged flood protections at the plant, such as cracked seals and corroded pipes. According to the group, none of the NRC’s subsequent reports have mentioned repairs. “Hopefully they’ve been fixed,” says Lochbaum. “But we’ve not been able to confirm that with the available documentation.”………

In its 2012 post-Fukushima review, Florida Power & Light told the NRC that flood protections at its St. Lucie plant on South Hutchinson Island were adequate, despite failing to discover six electrical conduits with missing seals in one of the emergency core cooling systems. Two years later, a freak storm inundated Florida’s central coast with record rainfall, flooding one of the plant’s reactors with 50,000 gallons of stormwater. The deluge submerged core cooling pumps, rendering them useless. Had the reactor faltered during the storm, the plant would not have been able to maintain a safe and stable status beyond 24 hours, according to an NRC notice of violation issued to FPL after the incident………https://www.wired.com/story/a-nuclear-plant-braces-for-impact-with-hurricane-florence/

September 14, 2018 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

The UK’s bulk interception powers, exposed by the whistleblower Edward Snowden, have been found to be illegal

Edward Snowden surveillance powers ruled unlawful https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-45510662

The UK’s bulk interception powers, exposed by the whistleblower Edward Snowden, have been found to be illegal by the European Court of Human Rights.

In a landmark judgement, the court ruled agencies had violated rights as there were no proper safeguards.

The court crucially said bulk interception was legitimate and it had seen no evidence it had been abused.

Parliament reformed surveillance powers in 2016 and introduced a new watchdog. Critics say the system is still flawed.

What were the powers being challenged in court? Continue reading

September 14, 2018 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

Adani groundwater bores investigated  amid claims they were sunk without approval

Investigation into claims Adani bores put ‘sensitive one-million-year-old springs’ at risk   by Mark WillacyABC Investigations www.abc.net.au/news/mark-willacy/166888, -14 Sept 18 

‘The Queensland environment department launches an investigation
into a series of groundwater bores drilled by Adani,
which conservationists say were sunk without approval,
contrary to the miner’s claim it had permission for the works.’

‘Key points:

‘Adani told the ABC it was abiding by the conditions of the Carmichael project’s approvals
‘Conservationists have repeatedly warned that the company’s dewatering plans would see groundwater levels plummet
‘The Queensland Environmental Department said the bores were not in place in time for a recent site inspection’

‘The environmental group Coast and Country has obtained high resolution satellite
and drone imagery which it says shows the “illegal” works at the site
of Adani’s controversial Carmichael coal mine project in north Queensland.

‘”Adani have sunk six dewatering bores,” said the group’s Derec Davies.

“They’ve needed approval, a groundwater approval, for these bores. They don’t have that.

“They’ve drilled into Great Artesian Basin aquifers, they’ve put at risk
our groundwater particularly at a time when half the country’s in drought.” … ‘

www.abc.net.au/news/2018-09-12/adani-groundwater-bores-investigated-by-queensland-department/10231752


September 14, 2018 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

Darebin Council, Victoria leads the way on climate change action

It’s not too late to act on climate change, The Age, Paul Gilding 11 Sept 18,   People engaged in the climate debate are often bewildered by society’s lack of response. How can we ignore such overwhelming evidence of an existential threat to social and economic stability?

………. What is relatively new is that scientists and experts are increasingly acknowledging that nothing less than a massive global mobilisation on a WWII scale is required to address the catastrophic risks posed.
Professor Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, head of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, and a senior advisor to Pope Francis, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and the European Union recently argued that “Climate change is now reaching the end-game, where very soon humanity must choose between taking unprecedented action, or accepting that it has been left too late and bear the consequences.”
All around us examples of what these consequences might be are increasingly tangible. Whether it be wild fires in northern Sweden, refugee crises, extreme ice melt in the Arctic, submerged airports in Japan or severe droughts, people are feeling climate change live……………

Darebin in Melbourne. This local council looked rationally at what the science told them – that we face a crisis and the only logical response is to declare a climate emergency. And so they did. In consultation with their community, they then developed the Darebin Climate Emergency Plan.

Why is this significant? Because this is how systems change. Ideas take hold and spread. Darebin has since been followed in the US with a small but growing list of elected bodies in regions and cities also declaring a climate emergency. First came Montgomery County, Maryland , since joined by Richmond, Berkeley and Los Angeles in California, and Hoboken, New Jersey. This is not emerging spontaneously, but through active organising by groups dedicated to the task like The Climate Mobilisation.

Yes, it’s frustrating that these things take time. Therefore, knowing we can still “win” is key. Towards this end I co-wrote nearly 10 years ago a journal paper, The One Degree War Plan, with Professor Jorgen Randers, showing how achieving 1 degree of warming was surprisingly realistic with a WWII style mobilisation. Recently along the same lines, The Climate Mobilisation developed a “Victory Plan” to show what a WWII style economic mobilisation across the USA could look like.

So on the surface, Darebin Council inviting a group of experts like myself to suburban Melbourne to discuss what a climate emergency means might not seem much. But it is a crucial part of a process whereby we first normalise the idea that we face an existential crisis. Next we will come to accept that the only rational response is a WWII-like economic mobilisation to eliminate global net carbon dioxide emissions within a decade or so.

Find this hard to imagine? It is. But as we learnt from Churchill in 1940, when we shift our thinking to “what is necessary”, what we can achieve is quite extraordinary. Or as Nelson Mandela said: “It always seems impossible, until it’s done.”

Paul Gilding is a Fellow at the University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership. https://www.theage.com.au/national/victoria/it-s-not-too-late-to-act-on-climate-change-20180911-p50318.html?crpt=index

September 14, 2018 Posted by | climate change - global warming, Victoria | Leave a comment

Australian Communities Foundation Divests $90 Million From Fossil Fuels

A leading Australian foundation is entirely divesting its $90 million corpus investment portfolio from fossil fuels to focus on environmentally sustainable investments. Pro Bono News,   12th September 2018, Luke Michael, Journalist, Australian Communities Foundation has transitioned its portfolio to an ethical investment approach over the past three years, and on Wednesday pledged to fully divest from fossil fuel investments.ACF CEO Maree Sidey told Pro Bono News the change was driven by their donors.

“We made that move because our donors have very strong values around social justice and taking a sustainable approach to the environment,” Sidey said.

“And we were asked by our donors to really start thinking about our investments and how we were aligning our investments with the social outcomes that we wanted to see through our distributions.”

ACF’s commitment means no new investments in the top 200 oil, gas, or coal companies, and selling any of these existing investments within five years.

The organisation will turn its investment focus to climate solutions such as renewable energy, sustainable agriculture and water efficiency…………

The commitment is part of a global DivestInvest announcement at the Global Climate Action Summit in San Francisco.

The global DivestInvest movement has commitments from almost 900 organisations – with combined assets of $6.2 trillion – to stop investing in fossil-fuel companies.

Clara Vondrich, global director of DivestInvest Philanthropy, welcomed ACF’s commitment, noting that “any mission-based philanthropy that pours grant dollars into programming while remaining invested in fossil fuels is treating symptoms while ignoring the cause”. https://probonoaustralia.com.au/news/2018/09/australian-communities-foundation-divests-90-million-fossil-fuels/

September 14, 2018 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, climate change - global warming | Leave a comment

Brunswick Nuclear Power Station’s “Cliff Edge” Barriers Appear To Fall Almost 8 Feet Short Of Required Storm Surge Protection Level — Mining Awareness +

The US Nuclear Regulatory Commission NTTF [Near Term Task Force] observed that, “some [nuclear] plants have an overreliance on operator actions and temporary flood mitigation measures such as using sandbags, temporary flood walls and barriers, and portable equipment to perform safety functions.” The NTTF report also states that, “the Task Force has concluded that flooding […]

via Brunswick Nuclear Power Station’s “Cliff Edge” Barriers Appear To Fall Almost 8 Feet Short Of Required Storm Surge Protection Level — Mining Awareness +

September 14, 2018 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

September 13 Energy News — geoharvey

Science and Technology: ¶ “Clean energy can provide 100% of electricity” • A report by the Centre for Alternative Technology says clean energy could meet all our electricity needs, using only existing technology, at all times of the day, and all year round. It draws on “scenarios” designed to meet the targets of the Paris […]

via September 13 Energy News — geoharvey

September 14, 2018 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Tesla on track to offer “cheaper” Model 3 to Australian drivers — RenewEconomy

Tesla reportedly ready to start producing “low cost” version of Model 3 soon, which would be good timing for Australian customers. The post Tesla on track to offer “cheaper” Model 3 to Australian drivers appeared first on RenewEconomy.

via Tesla on track to offer “cheaper” Model 3 to Australian drivers — RenewEconomy

September 14, 2018 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Transport emissions are soaring – it’s time to shift to electric vehicles — RenewEconomy

http://www.thedriven.io A new study from the Climate Council has highlighted the surge in transport emissions in Australia, which is taking the country further away from its weak emissions targets and underlying the case for a switch to electric vehicles, and more renewable energy to charge them. It also underlines the case for a smarter approach……

via Transport emissions are soaring – it’s time to shift to electric vehicles — RenewEconomy

September 14, 2018 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Brunswick Nuclear Power Station Apparently Still Hasn’t Addressed Flooding Worst Case Scenario (Reevaluation); Targeted By Hurricane Florence — Mining Awareness +

As of April 2018, the US NRC hadn’t received information about how Brunswick Nuclear Power Station was going to address the reevaluation of flooding hazard. As it is unclear how they would do it without building a flood wall and/or perhaps major water-proofing, they probably still haven’t addressed it. https://miningawareness.wordpress.com/2018/09/13/brunswick-nuclear-power-stations-cliff-edge-barriers-appear-to-fall-almost-8-feet-short-of-required-storm-surge-protection-level/ On April 16, 2018, the […]

via Brunswick Nuclear Power Station Apparently Still Hasn’t Addressed Flooding Worst Case Scenario (Reevaluation); Targeted By Hurricane Florence — Mining Awareness +

September 14, 2018 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The guide to buying an electric vehicle in Australia — RenewEconomy

Given the many exciting changes that have been happening, and are about to happen in the Australian market, it seems an ideal time to update our list of what’s available in EVs in Australia. The post The guide to buying an electric vehicle in Australia appeared first on RenewEconomy.

via The guide to buying an electric vehicle in Australia — RenewEconomy

September 14, 2018 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment