Antinuclear

Australian news, and some related international items

Un-paid people who care -speak out against nuclear waste dump plan for South Australia

I am always struck by the fact that opponents of the nuclear industry are very many unpaid people. Just people who care. Some are highly educated academically. Many are not – but then they take the trouble to find out, and speak with the authority of both their local knowledge and wider information.

As for nuclear proponents they’re a small number of paid individuals, with another small number of hangers on who expect financial benefits from the nuclear industry.

Barb Walker shared a post. on  Flinders Local Action Group– more  – https://www.facebook.com/search/top/?q=flinders%20local%20action%20group
ABC Radio Adelaide Evenings with Peter Goer. Talkback 4 Oct 18. This show was inundated with hundreds of South Australians phoning in and texting about the proposed nuclear waste dump. ALL SAID NO!  Are you listening DIIS and ANSTO !!!??….  IT’S A BIG NO FROM SOUTH AUSTRALIA!!! http://www.abc.net.au/…/adelaide/programs/evenings/evenings…
– (This part is the last half hour of a 3 hour program. To hear it you need to slide the button along to last sixth of the program)

Transcript:Noel Wauchope . Not a perfect transcript, but a good account of what each caller said 
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October 6, 2018 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Federal nuclear waste dump | Leave a comment

Port Augusta – proudly the ‘renewables capital of Australia’

‘Renewables capital of Australia’? Port Augusta shows off its green energy credentials, ABC 

Thirteen renewable energy projects are underway or under consideration — from wind farms and pumped hydro-electric power to solar with storage that can shift electricity made when the sun’s shining to meet peak demand in the evening.

“The one great resource we have here in Port Augusta and the upper Spencer Gulf is this wonderful natural resource called the sun,” Mr Johnson said.

“It’s no different to having a massive uranium deposit, a massive gold deposit, a massive copper deposit.”

In a country drenched in sun, this natural resource is particularly abundant in the arid landscape around Port Augusta, and there are also plenty of flat expanses on which to build the facilities needed to exploit it.

Framed by the Flinders Ranges, stage one of the Bungala solar farm stretches over 300 hectares of land owned by the Bungala Aboriginal Corporation about 10 kilometres north-east of town.

Bungala uses a solar photovoltaic technology, with panels mounted on a tilting axis that can follow the sun’s path from east to west, maximising output and efficiency.

“It’s not only the largest solar project in Australia,” Mr Johnson said. “It’s also the largest in the southern hemisphere. And it’s only half complete.”

When stage two is complete, the entire project will cover more than 800 hectares — an expanse nearly as big as the Melbourne CBD — and generate up to 570 gigawatt hours of electricity a year, enough to power about 82,000 households, according to its owners, Italian multinational Enel Green Power and the Dutch Infrastructure Fund.

“Note that the Northern Power Station, when it was operating, was only producing between 500 and 540 megawatts,” Mr Johnson said.

“Obviously, it was operating 24-7, while the solar plant will only operate when the sun is shining, but when you start to incorporate battery storage and solar thermal, you then build in the energy security.”

Solar that releases energy even when the sun doesn’t shine

The Aurora project about 30 kilometres north-west of Port Augusta addresses the criticism often levelled at renewable energy — that when the sun doesn’t shine, and the wind doesn’t blow, the power doesn’t flow.

Construction is due to start soon on the concentrated solar thermal power station. It will able to store a massive 1,100 megawatt-hours of electricity, according to the project proponent, SolarReserve.

When it is built, an impressive sight will greet observers: a tower full of molten salt standing about 250 metres high, surrounded by more than 10,000 heliostats — movable mirrors, the size of billboards, algorithmically programmed to track the sun.

Those thousands of mirrors will reflect and concentrate sunlight, beaming it onto a receiver straddling the top of the tower.

During the day, molten salt will flow through the receiver and be heated to temperatures as high as 566 degrees Celsius, then stored in tanks overnight.

The energy will be dispatchable as electricity when needed — after dark in the evening peaks, or in the morning, hours after it was generated. It will be enough energy to power 90,000 homes, according to SolarReserve, which wants to build six of these plants in South Australia.

Crescent Dunes in the Nevada desert uses an identical technology.

There is one key difference: the price of the power.

“Pricing has come down dramatically, as it has throughout the renewable energy industry,” Kevin Smith, the chief executive of SolarReserve, said.

Crescent Dunes, the first plant of its kind, began operating in 2014.

Construction was aided by a concessional loan of $US737 million ($1,040 million) from the US Department of Energy. Despite that subsidy, it was contracted to supply electricity to Nevada at $190 a megawatt hour. Not cheap.

The Aurora project is receiving a much smaller concessional loan from the Australian Government — about $110 million — but will supply energy at a fraction of the price.

SolarReserve is cagey about the precise figure (the contractual conditions are complex) but Mr Smith agreed with reports that put the cost at about $78 a megawatt hour.

At current exchange rates, that is well under half the price of electricity from its inaugural plant in the US — and far cheaper than new coal-fired power.

“In terms of cents per kilowatt hour, we can supply electricity 30 to 40 per cent cheaper than new-build coal,” Mr Smith maintained.

A town blanketed in ash

Coal used to be Port Augusta’s lifeblood………

“We have incredible geography. We have everything we need to become the renewables capital of the world.”

An exaggeration? Maybe, but it’s not far off the mark.

The arid-zone landscape of the upper Spencer Gulf has solar resources ideally suited for concentrating solar thermal power, wind in abundance at speeds well suited for turbines, and a coastal location that opens the possibility of pumped hydro energy using seawater.

What you won’t find are fields of fruit and vegetables — but where there’s a will, there’s a way.

That white beacon of light on the edge of town? It’s a solar thermal power plant that runs a massive greenhouse that grows truss tomatoes.

Sundrop Farm is using the solar thermal electricity to desalinate water, create electricity to power the operation, and pump heat through 60 kilometres of pipe around the vines.

It’s a testament to human ingenuity, like much of what’s happening in the renewal of Port Augusta. http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-10-05/port-augusta-becomes-australian-renewable-energy-hub/10338812

October 6, 2018 Posted by | energy, South Australia | Leave a comment

High level nuclear wastes returned from France to Australia are not actually wastes of Australian origin

Orano explains about foreign nuclear waste https://actu.fr/economie/orano-sexplique-sur-dechets-nucleaires-etrangers_18903890.html

The 2017 report on the treatment of spent fuels from abroad gave rise to a debate on Thursday October 4 before the local information committee of Orano la Hague.Posted on 4 Oct 18   Without waiting for October 16 and the decision of the Judge of the Court of Cherbourg , which will rule in the dispute between Greenpeace and Orano , the issue of spent fuels Australian was on the agenda of the meeting of the local commission of information from Orano la Hague, this Thursday, October 4th.

“All the waste goes back to their country”Orano first presented its 2017 report on the treatment of spent fuels from abroad. These fuels, not yet treated, they represent only 0.4% of the 9 970 tonnes present at the end of last year in the pools of the establishment of La Hague.

Most of the fuel is actually owned by EDF. Less than 40 tonnes belong to Belgian, Italian and Dutch electricians.

And René Charbonnier, the deputy director of Orano, the hammer:

The principle is that all the ultimate waste goes back to their country.

Paid storageA principle that Greenpeace readily accepts. But the leader of the nuclear campaign Yannick Rousselet believes however that some of this foreign waste remain on the site well beyond the industrial process.

He cites the example of Germany, for which the date of return of compacted waste, fixed by contract, is exceeded. Or Spain, where the deadline was December 21, 2011. Since then, Spanish electricians pay compensation.

If he does not mention any amount, the deputy director of Orano confirms:

The principle, I repeat, is the return of waste to their country. We obviously discuss with our customers. But when it lasts too much, we charge for storage.

The difficulty, says Greenpeace on the eve of a public debate on the national plan for radioactive materials and waste management , is that these countries have no or little solution for storing final waste.

No Mox for Australia

This is not the case of Australia . A first contract, signed in 1999 between Orano and the Australian agency Ansto, gave rise in 2015 to a first return of this waste. A new contract was awarded in 2016 .

It is in this context that 2 tonnes of spent fuel – 236 elements from the Opal research reactor – were landed on September 14 in Cherbourg .

Australia does not have a reactor that can run on Mox fuel from reprocessing. Under the terms of this contract, to which Greenpeace seeks legal access, uranium and plutonium, which account for 92% of the material weight, are purchased by Orano and reused to manufacture Mox.

As for the ultimate waste, they are vitrified with others. Yannick Rousselet observes:

It is not actually the initial material that is returned, but the equivalent in weight and radioactivity. Orano has it on the shelf, and could have sent it back immediately.Orano agrees: “Yes,” replied René Charbonnier. 

October 6, 2018 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Federal nuclear waste dump | Leave a comment

Climate change: IPCC’s special report comes at a crucial point.

Why the next three months are crucial for the future of the planet

Two forthcoming major climate talks offer governments an opportunity to respond to this year’s extreme weather with decisive action  https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/oct/05/why-the-next-four-months-are-crucial-for-future-of-planet-climate-change   Fiona Harvey  Environment correspondent  5 Oct 2018 This week, scientists are gathering in South Korea to draw together the last five years of advances in climate science to answer key questions for policymakers. The UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) celebrates its 30th birthday this year with what is likely to be a landmark report to be released on Monday 8 October. What is expected to emerge will be the strongest warning yet that these unusual occurrences will add up to a pattern that can only be overcome with drastic action.

Thousands of the world’s leading climate experts collaborate on the periodic reports, released roughly every half-decade. They have grown clearer over the years in the certainty of their evidence that climate change is occurring as a result of human actions, and firmer in their warnings of the disruptive consequences.

This time, the scientists will attempt to answer whether and how the world can meet the “aspiration” set in the Paris agreement of 2015 to hold warming to no more than 1.5C, beyond which many low-lying states and islands are likely to face dangerous sea level rises.

When the scientists deliver their verdict, the onus will pass to politicians to translate their advice into concrete action. Already in recent weeks, global initiatives have begun aimed at doing so: the Global Climate Action Summit in San Francisco last month spurred protests, and dozens of local governments and multinational companies to make pledges; the second One Planet Summit saw advances in climate finance; while at the UN General Assembly, secretary general António Guterres urged world leaders to step up, calling climate change “the defining issue of our time”.

The warning signals of climate change that have hit people around the world in the last few months must be heeded by national governments at key meetings later this year, political leaders and policy experts are urging, as the disruption from record-breaking weather continues in many regions.

Extreme weather events have struck around the world – from the drought and record temperatures in northern Europe, to forest fires in the US, to heatwaves and drought in China, to an unusually strong monsoon that has devastated large areas of southern India.

As the northern hemisphere summer closes, polar observations have just established that the Arctic sea ice narrowly missed a record low this year. The sea ice extent was tied for the sixth lowest on record with 2008 and 2010. Sea currents and wind conditions can have large effects on sea ice extent from year to year, but the trend is starkly evident.

“Put simply, in the last 10 years the Arctic is melting faster than it ever has previously since records began,” said Julienne Stroeve, professor at University College London. “We have lost over half of the summer sea ice coverage since the late 1970’s and it is realistic to expect an ice-free Arctic sea in summer in the next few decades.”

Of particular concern is the decline in thick ice which forms over several years. “The older ice has been replaced by more and more first-year ice, which is easier to melt out each summer,” she explained.

Not all of the effects of this year’s extraordinary weather, which has also seen the UK’s joint hottest summer on record, can be traced directly to climate change. However, scientists are clear that the background of a warming planet has made extremes of temperature, and accompanying droughts and floods, more likely.

This week, scientists are gathering in South Korea to draw together the last five years of advances in climate science to answer key questions for policymakers. The UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) celebrates its 30th birthday this year with what is likely to be a landmark report to be released on Monday 8 October. What is expected to emerge will be the strongest warning yet that these unusual occurrences will add up to a pattern that can only be overcome with drastic action.

Thousands of the world’s leading climate experts collaborate on the periodic reports, released roughly every half-decade. They have grown clearer over the years in the certainty of their evidence that climate change is occurring as a result of human actions, and firmer in their warnings of the disruptive consequences.

This time, the scientists will attempt to answer whether and how the world can meet the “aspiration” set in the Paris agreement of 2015 to hold warming to no more than 1.5C, beyond which many low-lying states and islands are likely to face dangerous sea level rises.

When the scientists deliver their verdict, the onus will pass to politicians to translate their advice into concrete action. Already in recent weeks, global initiatives have begun aimed at doing so: the Global Climate Action Summit in San Francisco last month spurred protests, and dozens of local governments and multinational companies to make pledges; the second One Planet Summit saw advances in climate finance; while at the UN General Assembly, secretary general António Guterres urged world leaders to step up, calling climate change “the defining issue of our time”.

Nicholas Stern, co-chair of the Global Commission on the Economy and Climate, which produced the study, said: “Current economic models fail to capture both the powerful dynamics and very attractive qualities of new technologies and structures [that reduce carbon]. Thus we know that we are grossly underestimating the benefits of this new growth story. Further, it becomes ever clearer that the risks of the damage from climate change are immense, and tipping points and irreversibilities getting ever closer.”

The existence of tipping points – thresholds of temperature beyond which certain natural processes become irreversible, such as the melting of permafrost, which may release the greenhouse gas methane and create runaway warming effects – is a key concern of many climate scientists. The faster emissions rise, the sooner we may unwittingly pass some of these key points.

For all these reasons, the IPCC’s special report comes at a crucial point. Scientists and economists have warned that if the world cannot shift course within the next few years, the consequences will be dire, as new infrastructure built now – in energy generation, transport and the built environment – will be made either to low-emissions standards or in the high-emissions habits of the past. As the IPCC’s next comprehensive assessment of climate science will not be available until 2021, this year’s report will be vital in shaping policy.

Ted Chaiban, director of programmes at Unicef, urged governments to seize the opportunities for action offered by this year’s series of political meetings offers for action. “Over the past few months, we have seen a stark vision of the world we are creating for future generations,” he said. “As more extreme weather events increase the number of emergencies and humanitarian crises, it is children who will pay the highest price,” he said.

“It is vital that governments and the international community take concrete steps. The worst impacts of climate change are not inevitable, but the time for action is now.”

After the IPCC publication, the world will face a key test of faith in the 2015 Paris agreement, the only global pact stipulating action on temperature rises. This December in Poland, the UN’s climate change arm will hold a two-week meeting aimed at turning the political resolve reached in Paris three years ago into a set of rules for countries to follow on reducing emissions.

The political situation is more fraught than it was in the runup to Paris. The US is pulling out of the landmark climate agreement and is likely to play little part in the talks. Australia’s government is also in turmoil over climate actions. Now the challenger for Brazil’s presidency, Jair Bolsonaro, is threatening to withdraw its participation – a potential blow to the Paris consensus, as Brazil was a linchpin among rapidly developing nations.

All eyes will be on China, which has shown remarkable progress on renewable energy and emissions reduction, and India, where climate champions have found common cause with opponents of increasingly damaging air pollution. Patricia Espinsoa, the UN’s top climate official, warned that only “uneven progress” had been made so far on the 300-page rulebook for implementing the Paris targets, leaving the rest of the work for December.

While the dangerous weather of the first half of 2018 has raised concerns worldwide that we are seeing climate change in action, many leading experts told the Guardian they were optimistic that political and business leaders this year would help set the world on a different course to avoid the worse predictions of untrammelled warming.

Achim Steiner, administrator of the UN Development Programme, said the past few years had seen “extraordinary progress” in areas such as renewable energy and the take-up of low-carbon technology: “This is real, not in the future but happening now. We are showing that we can do this, we can bring down emissions, it doesn’t need to be a disaster.”

Adopting low-carbon aims now would set developing countries on a course to a brighter future, added Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, former economic minister of Nigeria and a member of the Global Commission on the Economy and Climate. “Now is the time to do this, before we lock in high-carbon infrastructure,” she said. “Now is the opportunity for real sustainable growth.”

Political leaders will find that global investors back them up in opting for low-carbon policies, predicted Frank Rijsberman of the Global Green Growth Institute. “I see this from investors, from businesses,” he said. “They are ready, and they see low-carbon as the future.”

Felipe Calderón, former president of Mexico, called on political leaders to take note: “We can turn better [economic] growth and a better climate into reality. It is time we decisively legislate, innovate, govern and invest our way to a fairer, safer, more sustainable world.”

Evidence showing that tackling climate change can be an economic boost rather than a brake has been growing. The recently published New Climate Economy report says more than 65m new low-carbon jobs could be created in just over a decade, and that 700,000 premature deaths from air pollution could be avoided every year by government action on climate change. A further $2.8tn could be added to government revenues by 2030 by reforming perverse incentives to burn fossil fuels.

Nicholas Stern, co-chair of the Global Commission on the Economy and Climate, which produced the study, said: “Current economic models fail to capture both the powerful dynamics and very attractive qualities of new technologies and structures [that reduce carbon]. Thus we know that we are grossly underestimating the benefits of this new growth story. Further, it becomes ever clearer that the risks of the damage from climate change are immense, and tipping points and irreversibilities getting ever closer.”

The existence of tipping points – thresholds of temperature beyond which certain natural processes become irreversible, such as the melting of permafrost, which may release the greenhouse gas methane and create runaway warming effects – is a key concern of many climate scientists. The faster emissions rise, the sooner we may unwittingly pass some of these key points.

For all these reasons, the IPCC’s special report comes at a crucial point.

October 6, 2018 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

Tesla big battery claims its first major fossil fuel victim — RenewEconomy

Elon Musk’s crusade to rid the world of fossil fuels and lead the transition to clean energy took a small but significant step forward this week, with a decision by Australian’s Energy Market Operator. The post Tesla big battery claims its first major fossil fuel victim appeared first on RenewEconomy.

via Tesla big battery claims its first major fossil fuel victim — RenewEconomy

October 6, 2018 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Exposing the false claims about Generation IV nuclear reactors

Generation IV reactors that consume waste instead of producing waste and couldn’t be used for weapons production … sounds pretty good but the claims are fanciful. A recent article in the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists ‒ co-authored by a former chair of the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission ‒ states that “molten salt reactors and sodium-cooled fast reactors – due to the unusual chemical compositions of their fuels – will actually exacerbate spent fuel storage and disposal issues.” It also raises proliferation concerns about ‘integral fast reactor’ and MSR technology: “Pyroprocessing and fluoride volatility-reductive extraction systems optimized for spent fuel treatment can – through minor changes to the chemical conditions – also extract plutonium (or uranium 233 bred from thorium).”

Here’s a summary:

Generation IV nuclear waste claims debunked Continue reading

October 6, 2018 Posted by | General News | 1 Comment

David Attenborough ridiculed Donald Trump’s withdrawal from the Paris climate change accords

The iNews 4th Oct 2018 David Attenborough ridiculed Donald Trump’s withdrawal from the Paris climate change accords saying the US’s ‘outdated’ position would be ‘overcome’ eventually as there is a groundswell of support for action across the world. Talking to BBC’s Newsnight the biologist and TV presenter said the Paris agreement showed nations had ‘come to their senses’ and Donald Trump’s attempts to roll back on the fight on climate change would be unsuccessful. He said: “I suppose actually up to five years ago I was really very, very pessimistic. The Paris agreement, as you say, seemed at the time to be, at last, nations coming to their senses.”
https://inews.co.uk/news/environment/david-attenborough-paris-agreement-climate-change-bbc-newsnight-interview-video/

October 6, 2018 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

Report: Global offshore wind industry to ‘be worth £30bn per year by 2030’

Edie 2nd Oct 2018 British companies are among the most likely to reap the rewards from the growth of the global offshore wind sector, which is set to be worth more than £30bn annually by 2030. That is the key conclusion of a new report from the Offshore Wind Industry Council (OWIC) and trade body RenewableUK, which claims that wind products and services provided by UK-based firms are expected to be worth £4.9bn a year by 2030.

Published on Monday (1October), the Offshore Wind Industry Prospectus reveals that if the UK Government was to publish a Sector Deal requiring at least a third of the nation’s electricity to be generated from offshore wind by 2030, the industry would employ 27,000 workers. The 21-page document also hails UK companies as world leaders in key services such as designing, building and operating offshore wind farms, as well as manufacturing blades and cables.
It claims that the likes of China, Germany, India and the US are likely to seek British expertise on offshore wind in the near future.
https://www.edie.net/news/10/-Report–Global-offshore-wind-industry-to–be-worth–30bn-per-year-by-2030-report/

October 6, 2018 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

Batteries hold key to grid’s thorniest problems, but regulations block the way — RenewEconomy

Outdated rules, and the slow pace of regulatory change, are hampering the roll out of large-scale battery storage solutions on Australia’s grid. The post Batteries hold key to grid’s thorniest problems, but regulations block the way appeared first on RenewEconomy.

via Batteries hold key to grid’s thorniest problems, but regulations block the way — RenewEconomy

October 6, 2018 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

October 5 Energy News — geoharvey

Opinion: ¶ “Clean Energy is Coming. What’s Exxon Waiting For?” • Unlike their European rivals, ExxonMobil and Chevron have not yet made large-scale investments in solar, wind, electric cars, or energy storage. Their more cautious approach raises their risk of being left behind if the energy revolution arrives faster than they anticipate. [CNN] Science and […]

via October 5 Energy News — geoharvey

October 6, 2018 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment