Australian news, and some related international items

Super Typhoon Mangkhut To Strike Two China Nuke Plants — flying cuttlefish picayune

Two nuclear power plants are in the track of deadly Super Typhoon Mangkhut, which is projected hit mainland China as early as Sunday.

via Super Typhoon Mangkhut To Strike Two China Nuke Plants — flying cuttlefish picayune

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

Hurricane hit Wilmington, NC also home to nuke fuel processing plant as well as nuke power plants — flying cuttlefish picayune

located in Wilmington, NC – Global Nuclear Fuel Americas is powered by three giants: GE Energy, Toshiba, and Hitachi. As part of the Global Nuclear Fuel joint venture formed in 2001, it combines the design, manufacturing, and marketing operations of its parent companies to manufacture light-water nuclear reactor fuel. It serves customers in Europe, Mexico, Taiwan, and the US. Global Nuclear Fuel Americas operates a plant in Wilmington, North Carolina. The company works with affiliate Global Nuclear Fuel – Japan, and they both work with GE-Hitachi Nuclear Energy, which designs nuclear reactors.

via Hurricane hit Wilmington, NC also home to nuke fuel processing plant as well as nuke power plants — flying cuttlefish picayune

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

What are nuclear power plants doing to address climate threats? — Beyond Nuclear International

Sea level rise could inundate coastal reactors, with catastrophic consequences

via What are nuclear power plants doing to address climate threats? — Beyond Nuclear International

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

Changing acceptance of nuclear to DEMAND for nuclear- Australian propagandist Ben Heard to join new global spin?

Australian pro nuclear propagandist Ben Heard has moved from chief of the fake environmental group Bright New World, to engineering consultancy firm Frazer-Nash.  We wondered why?  Well, here are some clues.
  World Nuclear News 14th Sept 2018 Consultants Frazer-Nash, in collaboration with Rolls-Royce, the National Nuclear Laboratory (NNL), EDF Energy, Jacobsen Analytics, Lancaster University, University of Bristol and University of York are set to deliver a nuclear safety and security research contract. Frazer-Nash said yesterday that, working on behalf of the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), the GBP3.6 million (USD4.7 million), two-year project, aims to deliver a “step change in the UK’s capability as the country moves toward an era of new nuclear build and new technologies.”
Nuclear lobby aims to change public view from acceptance of nuclear power to demand for nuclear power Mikhail Chudakov , deputy director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) told delegates at the World Nuclear Association Symposium 2018 held in London last week,  said the industry needs to change public acceptance of nuclear power to public demand .  WNN 14 Sept 18
“…… Radioactive waste management practice must provide public reassurance that the industry has managed programmes for the whole lifecycle, he said.

Demand for nuclear

Public acceptance remains a key factor for the future of nuclear power, he said, and largely depends on public perception of the benefits and risks associated with this form of power generation, but also of the benefits and risks of non-nuclear alternatives.

All stakeholders ought to reinforce the social and economic benefits of nuclear power.

“We need to explain and to start education at all levels, from kindergarten, school and university, to parliament and ministers. We should not be ashamed to talk about nuclear energy; we are always defending ourselves, but it’s time to start attacking – to actively explain and promote nuclear power,” he said………We will greatly improve our chances for success if our efforts can shift the paradigm from gaining public acceptance of nuclear power to generating well-informed public demand for nuclear power. We must reinforce the benefits of nuclear power. This is a big, but a vitally important task and it will require enhanced international cooperation.………..,-says-IAEAs-Ch?feed=feed

September 16, 2018 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, spinbuster | Leave a comment

Australia’s ignorant new Energy Minister Angus Taylor attacks renewable energy

Taylor launches extraordinary and ill-informed attack against wind and solar, REneweconomy, Giles Parkinson
 New energy minister Angus Taylor has launched a new and extraordinary attack against wind and solar, saying they cause “de-industrialisation” and claiming that Labor’s 45 per cent emissions reduction target would send a “wrecking ball” through the Australian economy.

The comments came in an interview on Sky News on Sunday night, and little more than a week after Taylor told radio stock jock Alan Jones that there was already “too much” wind and solar in the grid.

On Sunday, he went even further: Asked by Sky’s Chris Kenny what he thought of Labor leader Bill Shorten’s comment that Labor was still thinking about adopting some aspects of the National Energy Guarantee, now dumped by the Coalition government, Taylor trotted out all the usual diatribe about wind and solar. …..

The fact that the ring wingers Jones and Kenny hold such extreme and ill-informed views about climate and energy is well known, and not of great consequence.

But the fact that the country’s energy minister goes on to their programs and agrees with them, despite all the evidence to the contrary, is deeply troubling – for investors and consumers ……..

The notion of “de-instrialisation” will be news to the likes of UK billionaire Sanjeev Gupta, and the new state Liberal government. Gupta has rescued and is planning to expand the steelworks at Whyalla, based around a huge investment in solar and storage – a plan he intends to repeat with his steel operations in Victoria and NSW.

Half a dozen other major energy users have also signed up with Gupta’s Simec Zen Energy for cheaper electricity delivered largely by renewables and storage, and more are set to follow. Zinc refiner Sun Metals, brewer CUB, confectionary maker Mars, and vegetable grower Nectar Farms are all turning to wind and solar, as are many other companies.

The South Australia Liberal government has also embraced the state’s high renewables share, and islifting its commitment to battery storage, both large and small. A plan for $100 million in household grants has already had an industrial pay-off, with German battery giant Sonnen to build a manufacturing plant in the old GM Holden factory in Elizabeth.

And why not? As we pointed out last week, South Australia stands to benefits in multiple ways from its commitment to renewables – in emissions, prices and investment. AEMO seems comfortable with the fact that the state is heading towards 73 per cent renewables by 2021 and equivalent to 100 per cent by 2025.

Taylor’s antipathy to “intermittent” generation is well known, and long standing, and in the interview with Kenny he didn’t stop there, trotting out a series of claims that are in direct contradiction to the findings of institutions such as the Energy Security Board, the ACCC, the Australian Energy Market Commission and The Australian Energy Market Operator.

He said of the various state targets – well, Victoria and Queensland in particular – that the “result will be very clear – it will push out baseload power, intermittent generation that is being stuffed into the sector will have to be backed up, and that is extremely expensive ….. networks will have to be rebuilt to absorb all of this new intermittent capacity coming in, and we all going to pay for it.”

That’s not true at all. AEMO’s Integrated System Plan contemplates that existing targets of the state governments, and Labor’s nation-wide target, and finds no issues. Yes, some extra investment in networks will be needed, along with other measures such as the need to orchestrate distributed energy sources, but it sees no threats such as the lights going out.

In fact, the AEMO report highlights the fact that the biggest shift from what Taylor likes to call “fair dinkum” baseload power towards wind and solar and storage will be in NSW – the one state without a renewable energy target. That’s because its coal generators are old, expensive and dirty, and nearly all will need replacing in coming decades.

Nor does AEMO’s or the ESB’s 10 year outlook see any prospect of the reliability obligation – which is still in the works –  being triggered.

Even if the definition of reliability is changed, to address the concern raised from exceptional and extended heat-waves, and the fear that country’s existing coal and gas generators will be unable to cope, the answer to that issue is not more “baseload”, but more dispatchable generation.

Taylor describes himself as the minister for getting prices down, but as the Energy Security Board, and any number of analysts, including most recently the Australia Institute, have pointed out, price falls in the next couple of years will be delivered by the influx of renewables from the renewable energy target.

Kenny made the baseless claim that renewables had been the primary cause of Australia’s electricity price rises. Taylor readily agreed.  Even the ACCC report notes that by far the biggest contributor was the increase in network prices, following closely by wholesale prices driven mostly by the lack of competition and a jump in gas prices…….

Many of Taylor’s other claims are full of hot air.

Taylor says the government will ensure that new “dispatchable” generation is built, but a new report from S&P says that the lack of any coherent policy under this government will be the biggest factor against building new capacity.

It was interesting to note that Taylor said it may be months before an outline of the government plans to underwrite “new 24-hour baseload” would be unveiled. That’s an indication of the difficulties ahead. To achieve his desired outcome, would go against engineering and economic sense, and it won’t be in place before the next poll.

Taylor also threatens to stop any company from closing coal fired generators by forcing divestment. But he admits he doesn’t actually have the power to do that. “We will create powers of divestment,” he promises. But how?…….

September 16, 2018 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, energy | Leave a comment

Adani’s Carmichael coal project massively downsized, but still a climate threat

Adani’s rail line cut shows project is on life support but still a threat to climate, Guardian 

The short answer is this is the latest in a string of changes that have massively downsized both the Carmichael project and the bigger plans to develop the Galilee Basin. The longer answer is that, despite optimistic talk about a long-term future for coal, the writing is on the wall. The only way to make money out of coal is to do so quickly, before the present gradual decline turns into a collapse.

The original Adani proposal, put forward in 2010, was for a mine producing 60m tonnes of coal a year. The coal would be transported along a completely new 388km standard gauge rail line to a newly built terminal at Adani’s Abbot Point coal terminal. The coal would then be shipped to Adani’s rapidly expanding fleet of coal-fired power stations in India, most notably the 4,620MW plant at Mundra. The oft-repeated claims of 10,000 jobs and billions in revenue (much inflated by spurious economic analysis) refer to this initial proposal.

As prospects for coal declined, and finance dried up, however, the project was cut back in 2017 to a first stage, with planned exports of 25m tonnes a year. Initially, the rail and port components of the project were left unchanged, with the idea that they would be used in subsequent stages. In early August, however, Adani dropped the idea of building a second port terminal, opting instead to ship Carmichael coal through its existing terminal, which is badly underutilised.

The other shoe dropped on Thursday with the announcement that the massive new rail line would be replaced with a connection to Aurizon’s existing line. Meanwhile, staff numbers at Adani’s Townsville headquarters have been slashed.

The combined effect of the cuts is to keep the Adani project alive for the moment, while closing off any realistic prospect of a massive expansion in the Galilee Basin as a whole. That’s a decidedly mixed prospect. On the one hand, 25m additional tonnes of carbon a year would be bad for the global environment. On the other hand, the catastrophic prospect of 300m tonnes a year appears to have been averted. ………

the future for coal looks bleaker than ever. The “pipeline” of future coal plants in China and India has shrunk massively, with cancellations far outweighing new announcements……..

September 16, 2018 Posted by | climate change - global warming, Queensland | Leave a comment

Adani mine site to remain under native title until finance confirmed, Minister says

ABC News, By Josh Robertson 15 Sept 18 Traditional owners of Adani’s proposed mine site will keep their native title rights unless the Indian corporation can prove it has finance in place for the multi-billion-dollar project, the Queensland Government says.

Key points:

  • Mines Minister Anthony Lynham said Adani must prove financing before native title is extinguished
  • The ALP voted to acknowledge the dispute with traditional owners at a recent state conference
  • The Government has been urged to rule out title extinguishment while court appeals are underway

It follows pressure within the Labor Party for the State Government to hold off sealing Adani’s takeover of the Carmichael mine site, which would permanently wipe out a native title claim by the Wangan and Jagalingou (W&J) people……….

Last month, the Federal Court upheld Adani’s ILUA, but mine opponents in the W&J — who unsuccessfully argued it was a “sham agreement” — filed an appeal on Wednesday

W&J spokesman Adrian Burragubba has previously declared they would take their fight to the High Court.

The ABC asked Mr Lynham if the Government would insist on Adani reaching financial certainty before it extinguished native title rights on the mine site.

In a statement, the Minister repeated the wording of the Labor conference resolution.

“The Government has maintained that Adani needs to prove they can reach financial close [certainty] before we finalise processes for this project,” he said……

September 16, 2018 Posted by | aboriginal issues, Queensland | Leave a comment

Traditional Owners announce Adani court appeal

Call on Qld Government to never extinguish their native title

Wangan and Jagalingou Traditional Owners opposing Adani’s Carmichael Mine have this week served notice of a Federal Court full bench appeal. (See ABC today: “Adani mine site to remain under native title until finance confirmed, Minister says”). The Traditional Owners strongly reject last month’s decision of a single Judge of the Federal Court and will seek to have the decision reversed and the Adani Indigenous Land Use Agreement (ILUA) thrown out.

Mr Adrian Burragubba, a Traditional Owner of W&J country, and W&J Council spokesperson says: “We will not abide a ruling that says it’s legal to have our ancient laws and culture, and our enduring rights in our lands and waters, merely voted away by a group of people who do not have the traditional authority to surrender our native title”.

In a new development, the Queensland Government has confirmed that it will only act to take W&J native title for the Adani project when it has the financial capacity to complete it. This follows a resolution of the Queensland ALP state conference in early September 2018.

Mr Adrian Burragubba says, “We are not conceding our rights under our laws and customs to this court decision. We are resolute in putting a stop to the pretense that the ‘Adani ILUA’ amounts to the consent of the Traditional Owners of Wangan and Jagalingou country to the extinguishment of our native title.

“Whilever we have this court case running in the higher courts, whether it takes many months or years, Adani has not achieved ‘conclusive registration’ of its ILUA. The Government should refuse to act on it, and banks should refuse to finance the project.

“Adani engineered this pretence, the Government chose not to side with us, and their lawyers and the Native Title services bureaucrats provided the paperwork for an act of betrayal. Nothing changes those facts for us. They refused to accept our original decisions and interfered in our business”, he said.

Ms Linda Bobongie, Chairperson of the W&J Council says: “The State ALP has gone some way in passing a resolution calling for financial close before they take our native title for Adani, but the Queensland Government must unequivocally rule out extinguishing our native title – now or ever.”

“Extinguishing our native title is a deeply troubling issue for us. The Government knows it does not have to extinguish our rights in the land for Adani, even if the Adani ILUA remains on the Tribunal register.

“The ILUA itself makes that clear. The Queensland Government has ‘unfettered discretion’ and is not obliged to extinguish native title. Its signing of the ILUA ‘does not constitute approval or endorsement of the project’.

“The problem with the ILUA is Adani and the State government failed to obtain our genuine consent and signed a sham agreement.

“We suffer under bad laws and processes. It is imperative that the Native Title Act be reformed in line with Australia’s obligations under the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, including the right to free, prior and informed consent. “It’s time for Governments to stand up for our rights”, she concluded.

September 16, 2018 Posted by | aboriginal issues, Queensland | Leave a comment

Scott Morrison’s lump of coal not enough: he needs a fairy tale on climate change

Scott Morrison needs a plan to cut emissions but all he has is a fairytale

Finkel did conduct that review at the behest of Malcolm Turnbull and the states when the objective was to fix the problems that have cascaded through the energy market since Tony Abbott opposed Labor’s carbon price to win an election.

The chief scientist proposed a clean energy target as the fix. Abbott and the deep feelings brigade inside the Coalition didn’t like it. It wouldn’t fly, so Turnbull and the energy minister, Josh Frydenberg, retreated and regrouped. They then got officials to produce the national energy guarantee, hoping that would work, given the Neg mechanism dealt with both reliability and emissions reduction, and that might subdue some of the conservative opposition…………

It really is dire.

Because of the civil war inside the Coalition that has delivered three party leaders in two terms, the Morrison government has parked the medium-term approach to solving the problems, which a sector such as energy, with generation assets with 30-year operating lives, requires.

Morrison and the new energy minister, Angus Taylor, are currently fixated on conjuring up a short-term fix they can offer voters before the election – a noticeable reduction in power prices – never mind the obvious point that having a medium term roadmap would help deliver your short-term objective.

Then there’s the climate imperative. The government can’t talk about emissions reduction except to offer a talking point that Australia will meet its Paris climate commitments “in a canter”.

This is nonsense, because there are no policies to deliver the commitment. As the conservative MP Craig Kelly asked in a meeting of the backbench energy committee this week – what am I supposed to say when people ask me how we’ll meet the Paris target? Good question Craig. Very acute.

The government is being hit with precisely that question, because it’s the obvious question to ask, and the answer appears to be “technology” (not clear what technology or why anyone would invest in it, given the cluster cuss); “the emissions reduction fund” (which is a creaking vestige of Abbott-era pretend climate action policies that the government chose not to top up in last year’s budget, and Josh Frydenberg, the new treasurer, is giving no commitment to funding in the future); and the vibe.

Right at the moment, the Morrison government has nothing to say to voters on emissions reduction. Unless this changes, this will be the first time in my reporting lifetime where a party of government goes to an election minus a concrete emissions reduction policy. Even Abbott, who campaigned on revoking Labor’s policy, coughed up a fig leaf called Direct Action.

Perhaps the new environment minister, Melissa Price, will have the wit to conjure up an emissions reduction policy that doesn’t actually reduce emissions, to give Morrison something to say when he has to face the voters, but I’m not hopeful, because the Neg was a policy that in practice would have reduced emissions in the electricity sector by 2% between 2012 and 2030, and the feelings brigade couldn’t even stomach that……..

The country is in the grip of a crippling drought. When the country was last in the grip of a crippling drought, and the Coalition was in a weak political position, on the brink of losing an election, John Howard (that would be the same prime minister who refused to ratify the Kyoto protocol) supported an emissions trading scheme because it became politically impossible to do anything else.

The data tells us emissions are rising, and basic logic tells you they will go on rising as long as there’s no plan to curb them. Some long-term survey research released this week also suggests two things: Australians are more worried about climate change than they were 12 months ago, and regional voters – the ones the Morrison government is currently most worried about leaking to populist political disrupters or community-minded independents – are less inclined than they once were to consider climate science a hoax.

Call me crazy, but I think the government might need a plan.

September 16, 2018 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, climate change - global warming, politics | Leave a comment

Traditional Owners disturbed by allegations of illegal works by Adani

Call on Qld Government to prosecute any unlawful activity by Adani’s coal operation

Revelations yesterday that Adani Mining may have breached environmental laws while operating on Wangan and Jagalingou country has deeply disturbed Traditional Owners.

The Wangan and Jagalingou (W&J) Traditional Owners Council are calling on the Queensland Government to investigate and prosecute any illegal activity on their homelands.

Mr Adrian Burragubba, a traditional owner of W&J country and spokesperson for the Council says: “The Queensland Government has licensed this unscrupulous corporation and now they must take responsibility for any destruction that is occuring on our country. They must investigate and prosecute Adani for any unlawful activity.

“We are very concerned about the impacts on our cultural heritage and ancient story places from Adani’s land clearing and other industrial disturbance. It is a grave matter for us that their works could do permanent damage to our sacred Doongmabulla springs.

“We have been concerned about activity by Adani contractors on our country over some months now. We will be making our own investigations into what Adani have been doing there and will hold both the company and the Government to account.

“Adani have been camped on our country hoping to one day build their mine. Starting work illegally only adds insult to the injury that they are there without our consent. We will continue to pursue them through the courts, and with our demands on the Government.

“We have seen the report from the lawyers at the Environmental Defenders Office, and it appears that coal seam dewatering bores and other extensive groundwork is being done in breach of Adani’s environmental license, and that Adani may have lied to the Queensland Government about it.

“We have known all along that Adani can’t be trusted with our country, to respect our rights, or be custodians of the environment. The Government can restore some faith by interrogating Adani’s conduct and taking whatever action needed to safeguard our country and culture”, he concluded.

Source of entire document

September 16, 2018 Posted by | aboriginal issues, Queensland | Leave a comment

Sticking with nuclear power will make climate change worse — Beyond Nuclear International

Nuclear is too slow and gets in the way of real solutions

via Sticking with nuclear power will make climate change worse — Beyond Nuclear International

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

September 16 Energy News — geoharvey

Opinion: ¶ “Optimism trumps despair at San Francisco climate summit” • Mayors, governors, entrepreneurs, chief executives, investors, and celebrities delivered a double-edged message at the close of the Global Climate Action Summit in San Francisco: Global warming is making the planet unlivable – but we know how to fix it. [The Japan Times] Hurricane Florence: […]

via September 16 Energy News — geoharvey

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

Will this Aussie hatchback EV trigger a Kodak moment for cars? — RenewEconomy

Remember how film cameras gave way to digital cameras over a couple of years? The promise of cheap EVs like a $20,000 Aussie hatchback, could see the same thing happen with EVs. The post Will this Aussie hatchback EV trigger a Kodak moment for cars? appeared first on RenewEconomy.

via Will this Aussie hatchback EV trigger a Kodak moment for cars? — RenewEconomy

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