Australian news, and some related international items

Energy efficiency, not nuclear, is the real climate action for Australia – theme for July 19

Australia is actually way behind on energy efficiency – ranking worst in the developed world, even behind India, Indonesia and China.

Just last month the  Energy Efficiency Council (EEC) found that Australia could easily meet its emissions targets and genuinely fight climate change, by adopting global standards on energy efficiency, and learning from Germany’s well-designed energy conservation measures.This would create many jobs, save on household bills, and these energy efficiency measures would be well received by both Coalition and Labor voters.


Some of the areas Australia could improve its ‘energy efficiency’ include:

– Strengthening energy efficient standards for household appliances, homes and cars

– Providing home buyers with energy efficiency ratings once households are sold

– Making sure the markets works in favour of energy customers

– Helping businesses find ways to reduce their electricity and gas bills

“Energy efficiency is the single, most powerful tool we have to cut energy bills, improve energy security and address climate change,” said Luke Menzel, CEO, Energy Efficiency Council.

“If Australia replicated best practice from places like the United States, Germany, Japan and China it would be a gamechanger for energy affordability and the economy.” – Energy Efficiency Council: Australia could cut power bills by $7.7 billion every year. 

Time that the State and Federal governments turned their back on subsidising coal, and on the fantasy of new nuclear power, and took action on our best opportunity to help the climate –   energy conservation.


June 29, 2019 Posted by | Christina themes | 1 Comment

Australian PM fawns over Trump and Bin Salman – how low can we sink?

I dunno about the rest of yers-  but as a dinkum Aussie, I personally felt quite sick, at the sight of our Prime Minister Scott Morrison at the G20 summit,  cosying up to Mohmmed Bin Salman, leader of the murderous Saudi Arabian regime.

And further, I felt vomitus, at the sight of Morrison fawning over that nasty piece of work, Donald Trump.

You know how low this once proudly humanitarian nation, Australia, has sunk, when our PM gets high praise from the likes of Trump.

June 29, 2019 Posted by | Christina reviews | Leave a comment

Scott Morrison backs Donald Trump in getting tough on Iran

June 29, 2019 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, politics international | Leave a comment

Australia grilled on emissions at Bonn – fires back with single slide, dodgy accounting — RenewEconomy

Australia has told a UN meeting it won’t lift its emissions reduction targets, nor introduce new climate policies, while hiding its growing emissions. The post Australia grilled on emissions at Bonn – fires back with single slide, dodgy accounting appeared first on RenewEconomy.

via Australia grilled on emissions at Bonn – fires back with single slide, dodgy accounting — RenewEconomy

June 29, 2019 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Nuclear Power’s Economic Crisis

Nuclear Power’s Economic Crisis, Friends of the Earth, Australia, 29 June 19

  1. Letter to Australian Politicians (FoE has sent this to all federal MPs and Senators)
  2. Nuclear Power’s Economic Crisis

‒ An Escalating Crisis

‒ Recent Experience in North America and Western Europe: New Reactors Cost A$14‒24 Billion Each

‒ Small Modular Reactors and ‘Generation IV’ Nuclear Power Concepts


Here are some fun quotes from the paper:

  • “I don’t think we’re building any more nuclear plants in the United States. I don’t think it’s ever going to happen. They are too expensive to construct.” ‒ William Von Hoene, Senior Vice-President of Exelon, 2018.
  • Nuclear power “just isn’t economic, and it’s not economic within a foreseeable time frame.” ‒ John Rowe, recently-retired CEO of Exelon, 2012.
  • “It’s just hard to justify nuclear, really hard.” ‒ Jeffrey Immelt, General Electric’s CEO, 2012.
  • “I don’t think anybody’s pretending you can take forward a new nuclear power station without some form of government underwriting or support.” ‒ Sir John Armitt, chair of the UK National Infrastructure Commission, 2018.
  • France’s nuclear industry is in its “worst situation ever”, a former EDF director said in November 2016 ‒ and the situation has worsened since then.
  • Nuclear power is “ridiculously expensive” and “uncompetitive” with solar. ‒ Nobuo Tanaka, former executive director of the International Energy Agency, and former executive board member of the Japan Atomic Industrial Forum, 2018.
  • Compounding problems facing nuclear developers “add up to something of a crisis for the UK’s nuclear new-build programme.” ‒ Tim Yeo, former Conservative parliamentarian and now a nuclear industry lobbyist, 2017.
  • “It sometimes seems like U.S. and European nuclear companies are in competition to see which can heap greater embarrassment on their industry.” ‒Financial Times, 2017, ‘Red faces become the norm at nuclear power groups’.
  • “I don’t think a CEO of a utility could in good conscience propose a nuclear-power reactor to his or her board of directors.” ‒ Alan Schriesheim, director emeritus of Argonne National Laboratory, 2014.
  • “New-build nuclear in the West is dead” due to “enormous costs, political and popular opposition, and regulatory uncertainty” ‒ Morningstar market analysts Mark Barnett and Travis Miller, 2013
  • “Nuclear construction on-time and on-budget? It’s essentially never happened.” ‒ Andrew J. Wittmann, financial analyst with Robert W. Baird & Co., 2017.
  • “The mooted nuclear renaissance has clearly stalled.” ‒ Steve Kidd, former World Nuclear Association executive, 2014.
  • “Nuclear power and solar photovoltaics both had their first recorded prices in 1956. Since then, the cost of nuclear power has gone up by a factor of three, and the cost of PV has dropped by a factor of 2,500.” ‒ J. Doyne Farmer, Oxford University economics professor, 2016.  more

June 29, 2019 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

An example of how climate change mucks up nuclear power: France’s hot nukes lower output

EDF to curb Bugey nuclear reactor output as Rhone river flow slows  Reporting by Bate Felix; Editing by Geert De Clercq, PARIS (Reuters)  29 June 19 – French utility EDF said on Friday that power generation at its 3,600 megawatt (MW) Bugey nuclear power plant in eastern France could be curbed from Tuesday July 2 due to a lower flow rate of the Rhone river.The plant near the Swiss border has four 900 MW reactors and uses water from the river for cooling.

EDF’s use of water from rivers as coolant is regulated by law to protect plant and animal life. It is obliged to reduce output during hot weather when water temperatures rise, or when river levels and the flow rate are low.

France saw new all-time record temperatures about 45 degrees Celsius in the south of the country on Friday afternoon as a sweltering heatwave engulfed much of southern and central Europe.


June 29, 2019 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

European heatwaves could be the new normal in this climate-changed world

‘Worst is still to come’: Sizzling Europe battles wildfires, health risks, New records are being set as Europe swelters, sparking forest fires – and debates over public nudity.  SBS News, 28 June 19 Wildfires raged across Catalonia and French authorities stepped up restrictions on water use and driving in cities as swathes of western Europe remained in the grip of an intense heatwave.

Temperatures climbed towards 44 degrees Celsius (111 degrees Fahrenheit) in parts of northern Spain and southern France, driving many people to seek relief in the sea, rivers, lakes, fountains and swimming pools.

Grid operator RTE said French electricity demand on Thursday was close to a summer record seen two years ago, as people turned on fans and coolers to full blast for relief from the scorching temperatures……….

The stifling heat has elsewhere prompted traffic restrictions in France and fanned debate in Germany over public nudity as sweltering residents stripped off. …….

Exceptional for arriving so early in summer, the heatwave will on Thursday and Friday likely send thermometers above 40 degrees in France, Spain and Greece.

In Spain, hundreds of firefighters and soldiers, backed by water-dropping aircraft, battled on Wednesday to put out a wind-fuelled forest fire that erupted in Torre del Espanol in the northeastern region of Catalonia…….

Scientists warn that global warming linked to human fossil fuel use could make such scorchers more frequent.

“Global temperatures are increasing due to climate change,” said Len Shaffrey, professor of climate science at the University of Reading.

“The global rise in temperatures means the probability that an extreme heatwave will occur is also increasing.”………    European heatwave could be the norm in a climate change affected world……..


June 29, 2019 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

Belarus nuclear physicist warns on the unsafety of new nuclear plant

 Nuclear physicist about Chernobyl / ENG subs

Professor Heorhi F. Lepin, a physicist, co-chairman of the public association ‘Scientists For A Nuclear-Free Belarus’, who took part in the rectification of the consequences of the Chernobyl disaster, warns the Belarusians against launching the nuclear power plant in Astravets.

According to him, the site chosen is no good and even dangerous – once an earthquake happened on the spot; there is an intersection of crust fractures. However, President Alyaksandr Lukashenka called the scientists who are critical of nuclear-power engineering and particularly the Astravets NPP ‘undercover bandits’ and ‘enemies of the people’, Lepin stressed. The Belarusian NPP with two VVER-1200 reactors with a total capacity of 2,400 MW is being built according to the Russian project near Astravets in the Hrodna region. The first power unit is scheduled to be commissioned in 2019, the second one — in 2020. Subscribe to our channels:

June 29, 2019 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

Lithuania’s buying iodine tablets: anxiety over’Belarus nuclear reactor starting up

Lithuania to purchase 4 mln iodine tablets to use in case of BelNPP accident, Belsat, 28 June 19  The Lithuanian Ministry of Health will spend about one million euros on 4 million iodine tablets to be used in case of an accident at the Belarusian NPP. This year they should be distributed to residents of the Belarusian-Lithuanian borderland and Vilnius, reports.

Minister of Internal Affairs of Lithuania Eimutis Misiūnas assures that the state institutions are ready for a possible accident at the nuclear power plant in Astravets. But he is not hiding the fact that the agency lacks coordination….

According to him, in case of “the worst scenario”, when the wind blows from east to west, Lithuania will have to evacuate about 20 thousand people in the 30 km zone of the nuclear power plant. Misiūnas believes that this is unlikely, as such weather conditions happen on average 16 days per year.

The first power unit of BelNPP will start operating in autumn.

June 29, 2019 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

Remembering another great movie that demonstrated the nuclear industry danger

The China Syndrome (1979) ORIGINAL TRAILER [HD 1080p]

How THE CHINA SYNDROME Brought Down The Nuclear Power Industry, The film that predicted Three Mile Island and affected the response to Chernobyl. Birth, Movies, Death. By  When we think about nuclear power, we tend to think about disasters. Real life has given us plenty of reason to do so: between Three Mile Island, Chernobyl, and Fukushima, three major global powers have each seen their nuclear industries fall subject to catastrophe. People died; economies crashed; whole sections of Earth were rendered uninhabitable. Hell, Chernobyl arguably ended the entire Soviet Union.

Entertainment, too, has played a significant role in creating this image of nuclear power. Dozens of movies, TV miniseries, and documentaries over the years have played off and magnified real-life fears, often drawing a direct connection between the “peaceful atom” and its destructive wartime counterpart. One of the first, and most influential, was James Bridges’ 1979 atomic energy thriller The China Syndrome.

“The China Syndrome” is a colloquial term for a very real threat in the event of a nuclear accident. It refers to a reactor accident wherein reactivity becomes so supercritical that operators cannot control it. The fuel gets so hot, it melts its mounting channels, control rods, and even exterior housing, burning through concrete and steel to seep unstoppably downwards – in fanciful terms, all the way to China (hence the name). This actually happened, to a degree, at Chernobyl: the reactor transformed into hundreds of tons of corium lava, eating through multiple basement levels and nearly breaching the building’s foundations before it cooled sufficiently to stop melting concrete. The danger, as with any China Syndrome situation, was that the fuel would reach groundwater, poisoning the land or creating a steam explosion that would blast radioactive material across an enormous area.

Curiously, there is no China Syndrome in The China Syndrome. Based primarily on a 1970 accident at the Dresden Nuclear Power Station in Illinois, the film follows reporter Kimberly Wells (Jane Fonda) and cameraman Richard Adams (Michael Douglas) after they witness an accident while reporting at a California nuclear power plant.  ………….

Predictably, the nuclear industry had a fiery reaction. Westinghouse executive John Taylor described the film as “an overall character assassination of an entire industry.” Nuclear experts generally agreed that the film’s specific events were highly improbable (if not entirely impossible), but also that an inherent clash exists between earning corporate profits and spending the money required to keep reactors safe. The industry may have been correct to debate the film’s finer technical points or melodramatic ending, but it’s hard to argue that unchecked capitalism doesn’t encourage corner-cutting.

On that note, it’s worth noting, that The China Syndrome’s institutional failure is near-identical to that which contributed to the Chernobyl disaster. Both saw powerful organisations covering up disastrous mistakes made in the name of cost-efficiency, but they come from opposite ends of the ideological spectrum. One comes from American capitalism, where making money and gaining power comes first and safety regulations are a costly hassle. The other comes from Soviet communism, where saving money and maintaining power came first and safety regulations were a costly hassle. Personal and institutional selfishness knows no political boundaries, and both all-powerful states and all-powerful corporations are prone to malfeasance.

All the industry’s rebuttal ultimately proved ill-advised, of course, as less than two weeks after the film’s release, a reactor underwent a partial meltdown at the Three Mile Island Nuclear Generating Station. Still the most serious nuclear accident in US history, the accident caused no immediate deaths, but the radiation leakage may have contributed to cancers, and the fourteen years of cleanup cost a billion dollars. More importantly, it caused opinion to solidify around the The China Syndrome’s thesis: that the nuclear energy industry could not be trusted with nuclear energy………

June 29, 2019 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

Four Corners let that dill Sussan Ley off lightly on environmental issues

Extinction Nation: Four Corners program raises environmental questions, Independent Australia, By Sue Arnold | 28 June 2019 A recent Four Corners interview with Environment Minister Sussan Ley failed to ask some of the more critical questions, writes Sue Arnold.

FOUR CORNERS: Extinction Nation portrayed a vivid picture of outrageous environmental damage in Victoria and Tasmania — a timely program which barely touched the critical issues.

Of particular concern was the failure of reporter Stephanie March to ask the new Minister for the Environment, Sussan Ley, the most relevant questions in relation to Australia’s ongoing appalling loss of biodiversity and wildlife. Why she allowed Ley to get away with blaming the states is more than curious.

Independent Australia poses 16 questions to Minister Ley, questions which demonstrate a concerning lack of research or censorship by the ABC in its Extinction Nation program. These questions are critical in terms of the future survival of Australia’s unique wildlife………,12847

June 29, 2019 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, media | Leave a comment

PM Scott Morrison looks favourably on Trump’s belligerent attitude to Iran ?

Scott Morrison on Iran: we’ll ‘seriously’ consider any US request to join military action, Australian PM speaks after meeting Donald Trump before G20 summit in Japan,   Guardian Luke Henriques-Gomes and Katharine Murphy, 28 Jun 2019 

  Scott Morrison says Australia has not yet been asked to take part in any military action in Iran but says any request from the Trump administration will be considered “seriously and on its merits”.

The US secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, has asked Australia to toughen its stance on Tehran and play a key role in a new “global coalition” against the regime.

Tensions between the US and Iran are at their worst point since the White House pulled out of what the president said was an “unfair” nuclear deal known as the joint comprehensive plan of action in May last year.

Before the G20 summit in Osaka, Pompeo called on Australia to join what he described as a “global coalition” against Iran, which last week shot down a US surveillance drone. Iran has said the drone was in its airspace.

But as the Trump administration escalates its sanctions and rhetoric, Pompeo said the US would welcome a move from Australia to impose additional economic sanctions on Iran.

“I think Australia is an important player here,” he told the Australian………

June 29, 2019 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, politics international | Leave a comment

Scotland’s renewable energy success

The National 28th June 2019 , SCOTLAND produced a record amount of renewable energy in the first three
months of 2019, with enough power generated to supply almost nine out of 10
homes. A total of 8877 Gigawatt hours (GWh) of green electricity were
generated in the first quarter of this year – 17% more than in the same
period of 2018. The bulk of this power – 5792 GWh – came from onshore wind
farms, the figures from the UK Department for Business, Energy and
Industrial Strategy (BEIS) show.

Overall, the amount of renewable energy
generated was enough to power around 88% of Scottish households for a year,
the Scottish Government said. Energy minister Paul Wheelhouse said the
sector is going from “strength to strength”. The BEIS data also shows
renewable energy capacity in Scotland rose from 10.4 Gigawatts (GW) in
March 2018 to 11.3 GW in March this year. Electricity exports from Scotland
were at their highest since the last three months of 2017, rising to 4543
GWh – the equivalent of enough energy to power more than 1.1 million homes
for a year.

June 29, 2019 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

Survey: Americans Have Remarkably Ignorant Attitude Toward Nukes And North Korea – Caitlin Johnstone — MCViewPoint

“Most Americans have been taught that using atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August 1945 was justified because the bombings ended the war in the Pacific, thereby averting a costly U.S. invasion of Japan,” reads an excellent 2016 LA Times article on this subject by Oliver Stone and Peter Kuznik. “This erroneous contention finds its […]

via Survey: Americans Have Remarkably Ignorant Attitude Toward Nukes And North Korea – Caitlin Johnstone — MCViewPoint

June 29, 2019 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

June 28 Energy News — geoharvey

Opinion: ¶ “Will Russia Survive The Coming Energy Transition?” • A new global energy reality is emerging. Hydrocarbons have propelled mankind through the second stage of the industrial revolution, beyond coal and into outer space, but the age of hydrocarbons is drawing to a close. The stone age did not end because we ran out […]

via June 28 Energy News — geoharvey

June 29, 2019 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment