Australian news, and some related international items

To 6 November – Climate and Nuclear News – Australia

Some good news this week. A case of positive international co-operation!  – the healing of the ozone layer. The rest of the climate news – not so good. Climate scientists have underestimated the rapid warming of the oceans.  Climate change disruption of the jet stream is causing more extreme weather.     A warning not to forget the message of UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)  –  Climate Change: The Real World War.

International nuclear politics muddles along, – closer to the brink? North Korea warns it might return to developing nuclear weapons, if USA does not end sanctions.  Donald Trump ready to reimpose all nuclear sanctions on Iran.  A world on nuclear hair-trigger, if USA withdraws from the  Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty with Russia?

Looking for expert information on nuclear matters? Go to the Nuclear Consulting Group.


NUCLEAR.  Australia’s Liberal Coalition government is frightened that nuclear waste dump would become an election issue.   Labor must keep to its strong nuclear-free policy.   A warning about the privatisation of the Federal government’s planned nuclear waste dump for South Australia. Despite South Australia’s renewable energy success, are the Liberals targetting S.A. again for an international nuclear trash dump?   City of Sydney calls on Australian govt to sign up to the UN Nuclear Weapons Ban Treaty.

CLIMATE.   Kerryn Phelps confirmed as new independent MP: makes climate change action her first priority.  Australian Conservation Foundation encourages all voters to recognise the coming CLIMATE ELECTION.    Is this the Coalition swansong? Just one more coal plant for the road.   The Adani coal mine doesn’t stack up environmentally, economically, or politically. The world does not need Australia’s ‘toxic’ coal –Christiana Figueres.  Severe fire danger as heat hits New South Wales East coast.

RENEWABLE ENERGY.  Nuclear and Coal Lobbyists be warned – Fair Dinkum Power is here!    Clean Energy Finance Corporation marks year of record investment, as industry embraces clean energy.  New South Wales government is preparing for a surge in renewable energy. NSW launches $20m battery round, to shift hospitals and schools to solar and storageQueensland solar is booming and pushing down daytime electricity prices.   Crookwell 2 wind farm opens, in win for local farmers and ACT power prices .

Aboriginal National Congress Criticises Indigenous Affairs Minister,  Seeks Answers For Redirecting Funds.

November 6, 2018 Posted by | Christina reviews | Leave a comment

A warning about the privatisation of the Federal government’s planned nuclear waste dump for South Australia

Kazzi Jai Fight To Stop Nuclear Waste In The Flinders Ranges November 4

What ALSO really worries me is the fine print in the proposal ….the one which says that management of the dump is to be done by possibly ANSTO, or a government department , or a PRIVATE ENTITY! Read it – it is in the Fact Sheets!

Now that is a real worry – equally when Adi Paterson made comments about upgrading ANSTO in Sydney in the last week or so, again talking about Federal funding for it, or from a PRIVATE SOURCE……

So beware! Once this can of worms is unleashed, we in South Australia and Australia in fact may be getting more than we bargain for! And just like PRIVATIZATION we have seen in other sectors of our community, the management goes straight overseas into overseas hands!

Also remember private company TEPCO running the Fukushima nuclear power plant. Given many warnings about the possibility of a large tsunami possibility several years earlier and given ample time to build a levy wall to deal with it, Their answer “we are looking into it”. They never did it. And there are other safety problems with the reactor with respect to protocol and safety equipment which just wasn’t there, even though by regulation it should have been! The disastrous consequences of this coverup the Japanese people now wear as a result!

Ask anyone in the Kimba or Hawker communities who are pro for the dump and you will find that they haven’t read this at all, and mistakenly think that it is ALL under ANSTO and ANSTO is the managing entity!

Reread the name of the dump – NATIONAL nuclear waste facility – NATIONAL does not say ANSTO!! Even ANSTO itself may not be ANSTO if things are going the way it seems to be heading!

Kazzi Jai The only way to counter this, is for each state to deal with its own waste, and the Lucas Heights waste to remain on site, where we are continually told it is perfectly safe!

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

Global nuclear lobby should drop its climate change propaganda – pro nuclear expert advises

Steve Kidd, writing in a pro nuclear essay in Compelo Energy, 5 Nov 18, urges the global nuclear industry to improve its propaganda.  He especially advises them to drop their argument about climate change!

“The climate change argument is where the industry is majoring its efforts. Industry bodies point out that some of the countries with the best records on carbon emissions use a combination of nuclear and renewables, while claiming that nuclear plants have avoided carbon dioxide emissions.

This is, at best, disingenuous. None of the nuclear reactors around the world were built to abate carbon. They were built for other reasons, such as energy security and economics. Admittedly, it was believed that their environmental impact would mainly be benign, but investments are made for what a technology does, rather than what it does not do. ” 

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

Global nuclear industry white ants its way into “Clean” Energy Ministerial

USA – Canada – Japan – the ministerial nuclear suckers came out of the woodwork –  Dan Brouillette, Kim Rudd, Masaki Ogushi, Rick Perry … and also Dr. Matar Al Neyadi, and  Denis Janin, immediate past President of the International Youth Nuclear Congress, and who else – in this secretive nuclear white anting of the global movement?

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

New South Wales government is preparing for a surge in renewable energy

We want to do everything we can’: NSW readies for renewables surge, Brisbane Times, By Peter Hannam, 5 November 2018 New solar and wind farms being planned for NSW have twice the capacity of the state’s coal-fired power stations, prompting the state government to set aside $55 million to help smooth their introduction.As of October 29, NSW had 20,000 megawatts of generation capacity either approved or seeking planning approval, worth more than $27 billion in investment, according to government data.

Proposed solar plants accounted for 11,200MW, dwarfing wind farms with 5100MW, and the Snowy 2.0 pumped hydro of about 2000MW. Just 100MW involved coal, with the planned upgrade of AGL’s Bayswater power station.

Along with the new plants, some eight large-scale battery projects – all with solar farms – with more than 400MW-hours of capacity are also in the planning pipeline as the industry gears up for the bulge in variable energy sources.

The market, though, is going to need some near-term help to smooth the exit of most of the state’s existing power plants – particularly the 10,160MW of coal-fired power stations, said Amy Kean, director of the Energy Infrastructure and Emerging Technologies unit at the Department of Planning

To that end, the government last week revealed the first details of its $55 million Emerging Energy Program aimed at supporting a portfolio of nascent technologies that will be needed as 70 per cent of the state’s generation fleet retires by 2035.

“We’re trying to drive these technologies down the cost curve so they can then complement variable wind and solar technologies,” Ms Kean said.

The surge in renewable energy comes as the federal government has largely vacated the energy policy space after the demise of the Turnbull government’s National Energy Guarantee. The states are largely being left to press on with carbon reduction and other power sector goals.

“There is no doubt that our energy future lies in alternative technologies,” Don Harwin, the NSW Energy Minister, said.

“We want to do everything we can to unlock the expertise of the private sector to accelerate projects that deliver clean, reliable and affordable energy.”

Renewable energy could emerge as a key policy issue at next March’s state election. Adam Searle, Labor’s energy spokesman said his party planned to “have quite a lot more to say about it”, and that the ALP “will do more on new energy than Coalition parties”.

Solar catches up with windThe rapid advance and competitive nature of solar photovoltaic panels, meanwhile, has caught many by surprise. …….

November 6, 2018 Posted by | New South Wales, solar | 1 Comment

The Adani coal mine doesn’t stack up environmentally, economically, or politically

November 6, 2018 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, climate change - global warming | 1 Comment

Climate change is now making things too hot for nuclear reactors to cope

The Climate’s Already Too Hot for Nuclear Power Quarterly 2018 By John LaForge, Nukewatch

With the summer’s record high temp’s all over the world, Andy Rowell asked this pointed question in Oil Change International: “For the last decade the nuclear industry has been telling us it is the solution to climate change. But if their reactors can’t work in our rapidly warming world, are we just building a whole new generation of expensive white elephants?”

Indeed, Reuters reported Aug. 4 that Electricity de France (EDF) in Paris shut down four nuclear reactors at three sites due to the heat summer wave. EDF, the mostly government-owned utility, ordered the shut downs because the scorching summer heat that slammed Europe drastically raised temperatures in the Rhone and Rhine Rivers. Temperatures reached 98.6°F in the Rhone valley, home to 14 reactors. Highs in Spain and Portugal in early August hovered around 104°F and reached 116.6°F.

The warming of seawater caused by Europe’s heat wave forced Finland’s two Loviisa reactors, about 65 miles outside Helsinki, to reduce power in July, just as it did before, in 2010 and 2011, Reuters reported.

The July 2006 heat wave also forced European reactor operators to reduce or halt production due to dramatic increases in the temperature of river waters. The Guardian reported back then that Spain shut down its reactor on the River Ebro. Reactor operators in Germany also cut output then, and several German and French units were allowed to temporarily violate temperature limits on the hot water the reactors return to rivers.

Nuclear reactors exacerbate global warming In 2003, temperatures in French rivers reached record highs that also forced the temporary powering down of four reactors. France’s nuclear oversight authority then gave some reactor operators permission to return the river water at temperatures not normally allowed, a move that critics said would endanger fish and add to global warming.

Meanwhile, rising sea levels threaten to shutter one-out-of-four of the world’s 460 power reactors currently built on coastlines. John Vidal reports in the Aug. 21 edition of Hakai magazinethat experts have warned that even newly built seawalls may not provide sufficient protection. Vidal interviewed Pete Roche, a former adviser to the UK government and Greenpeace, who pointed out that the seawall at the $25-billion “Hinkley Point C” nuclear station being built in southwest England “does not adequately take into account sea-level rise due to climate change.”

“In fact,” Vidal reports, research by Ensia — a nonprofit environmental magazine published at the University of Minnesota — suggests that “at least 100 US, European, and Asian nuclear power stations built just a few meters above sea level could be threatened by serious flooding caused by accelerating sea-level rise and more frequent storm surges.”

The two St. Lucie reactors in Florida are among the US coastal nuclear sites considered most vulnerable to storm surges. While no US reactors have been “in imminent danger of a meltdown because of a storm surge,” Vidal notes, there have been many close calls. “Three US reactors were temporarily shut down because of Hurricane Sandy in 2012 and a fourth, Oyster Creek in New Jersey, was put on alert when water levels rose dramatically, according to the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission.”

But the NRC is not concerned about storm surges. In August 2017, as Hurricane Harvey pummeled east Texas, environmental groups called for the immediate shutdown of the two South Texas Project reactors near Bay City. Instead, the twin, 42-year-old behemoths were kept running at full capacity throughout the disaster, the wettest tropical cyclone on record in the United States.


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

Sweden’s concerns over speed of corrosion of copper nuclear waste canisters

GDF Watch 4th Nov 2018 , The company responsible for delivering Sweden’s deep geological repository, SKB, is planning to subject their research into copper
corrosion to international peer review in the new year. SKB believe this is
the most transparent and open way in which to address concerns about the
contentious issue, which has held up final decision-making on the Swedish
national repository for higher activity radioactive waste.
Earlier this year the Swedish Environmental Court largely approved SKB’s plans for a
geological disposal facility in Osthammar. However, the Court had concerns
about the speed at which copper canisters corrode and the potential
consequential environmental impact. Conflicting scientific evidence was
presented to the Court. The Court decided that this was something the
Swedish Government needed to consider further before any approval was given
to the planned radioactive waste disposal facility. The Swedish Government
asked SKB to provide additional information by 31 March 2019.

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

Rapid warming of the oceans

Oceans Are Warming Up Much Faster Than Previously Thought The world’s oceans have soaked up much more excess heat in recent decades than scientists previously thought — as much as 60 percent more, according to a new study published in the journal Nature. The new research suggests the global could warm even faster in the coming decades than researchers originally predicted, The Washington Post reported.The researchers, led by geoscientist Laure Resplandy of Princeton University, found that oceans absorbed 13 zettajoules — a joule, the standard unit of energy, followed by 21 zeroes — of heat energy each year between 1991 and 2016. Based on these findings, they argue, nations must reduce their greenhouse gas emissions 25 percent more than previously estimated if they hope to keep global warming below 2 degrees Celsius.“Imagine if the ocean was only 30 feet deep,” Resplandy said in a statement. “Our data show that it would have warmed by 6.5 degrees C [11.7 degrees Fahrenheit] every decade since 1991. In comparison, the estimate of the last IPCC assessment report would correspond to a warming of only 4 degrees C [7.2 degrees F] every decade.”

Scientists have long struggled to quantify ocean warming before 2007 — the year that a network of robotic sensors known as Argo were deployed into the world’s oceans to track things like temperature and salinity. For pre-2007 data, the new research examined the volume of oxygen and carbon dioxide released from the oceans as they heated up, providing scientists an indicator for ocean temperature change.

“We thought that we got away with not a lot of warming in both the ocean and the atmosphere for the amount of CO2 that we emitted,” Resplandy told The Washington Post. “But we were wrong. The planet warmed more than we thought. It was hidden from us just because we didn’t sample it right. But it was there. It was in the ocean already.”

November 6, 2018 Posted by | General News | 3 Comments

Some good news – the healing of the ozone layer

Ozone layer finally healing after damage caused by aerosols, UN says Fiona  HarveyEnvironment correspondent

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

Night Sky  13 October – 25 November A Blue Mountains City Art Gallery exhibition

Night Sky  13 October – 25 November here:  Night Sky documents the 2018 NAIDOC celebrations at the Blue Mountains Cultural Centre which saw multi-media planetarium screenings and stargazing from the viewing platform with Penrith Observatory. The NAIDOC public programs included Indigenous Astronomy talks by local artist John South (Barkindji),
Astronomer & Science Communicator Kirsten Banks (Wiradjuri) and Aboriginal Cosmology expert Duane Hamacher.

The exhibition features photographs by young Aboriginal artists Rebecca Chatfield, Darcee Golian, Gemma Matheson, Nicholas Moyle, Alaura Neville and Mea-Mei Stanbury who participated in a night sky astrophotography course with Gary P. Hayes. Photographic documentation of the NAIDOC events by Ben Pearse and the documentary Star Stories of the Dreaming (2016) featuring Senior Euahlayi Law Man and elder Ghillar Michael Anderson will also be on view.

A Blue Mountains City Art Gallery exhibition

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

Surge in renewables delivering cheaper power, says TAI report — RenewEconomy

As ScoMo sets off on the campaign trail, report says surge in wind and solar has seen NEM wholesale power prices peak, and go into a decline. Fair dinkum. The post Surge in renewables delivering cheaper power, says TAI report appeared first on RenewEconomy.

via Surge in renewables delivering cheaper power, says TAI report — RenewEconomy

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

Crookwell 2 wind farm opens, in win for local farmers and ACT power prices — RenewEconomy

Crookwell wind farm opens in the heart of Angus Taylor’s electorate – but the energy minister, a long time anti-wind campaigner, did not attend the opening. The post Crookwell 2 wind farm opens, in win for local farmers and ACT power prices appeared first on RenewEconomy.

via Crookwell 2 wind farm opens, in win for local farmers and ACT power prices — RenewEconomy

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

Know your NEM: Coal comfort for electricity prices? — RenewEconomy

Of all this week’s stats, the fall in the coal price really stood out. So what’s behind it, and what does it mean for Australia? The post Know your NEM: Coal comfort for electricity prices? appeared first on RenewEconomy.

via Know your NEM: Coal comfort for electricity prices? — RenewEconomy

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

FRV’s Goonumbla solar farm lands deal with Snowy Hydro — RenewEconomy

Spanish renewable energy developer FRV says Goonumbla solar project in NSW was one of the eight winning bids in the tender held by Snowy Hydro. The post FRV’s Goonumbla solar farm lands deal with Snowy Hydro appeared first on RenewEconomy.

via FRV’s Goonumbla solar farm lands deal with Snowy Hydro — RenewEconomy

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