Australian news, and some related international items

Brief notes/summaries on pro nuclear submissions to Federal govt

Not one of these published submissions pays attention to renewable energy methods, although a few make slight negative references to solar and wind power.
The major thrusts of these submissions are:
Recommending Small Modular Nuclear Reactors (SMRs)
Recommending Thorium powered nuclear reactors
Minimise the importance of Chernobyl and Fukushima disasters.  Minimise health effects of radiation
Other points 
Get rid of Australia’s legislation against nuclear facilities
Want a voluntary postal plebiscite on nuclear power for Australia
Australian govt to award $100 million award to find nuclear waste solution
Nuclear waste repository could be a new export industry for Australia
more on these submissions  page SUBMISSIONS to 2019 INQUIRIES

August 24, 2019 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

EcoEnviro’s great submission to ‘Inquiry into the prerequisites for nuclear energy in Australia’


Dr Richard Finlay-Jones    Director. EcoEnviro Pty Ltd     

EcoEnviro Pty Ltd has been consulting to the renewable energy industry sector in Australia since 2003. Its clients include major utilities, developers and engineering companies. EcoEnviro specialises in project development from greenfield development through to construction, operation and management of wind and solar projects. EcoEnviro is also developing its own wind and solar projects in Northern NSW and is contracting to Pilbara Solar in North West Western Australia.

Addressing the terms of reference: 
a. Waste management, transport and storage Nuclear waste is a long term radioactive contaminant for soils, air and water. Nuclear waste is dangerous to many forms of life, including humans. Radiation from nuclear waste has a long half-life, which has the possibility to impact future generations. Nuclear power relies on this energy to function, hence nuclear power should not be considered a sustainable energy option in Australia’s energy mix.
  b. health and safety Whilst many nuclear power plants around the world have a strong safety record, there are a string of recorded incidents of failure of plants around the world, most notably Three-Mile Island, Chernobyl and most recently Fukushima. These plants were all considered to be “safe” in their day, and each of them continues to be a radiation and health hazard to the environment. We can no longer afford to risk the safety of our community based on even low probability, especially when cheaper, safer options of energy generation are available. One of the largest nuclear generators in the world (Germany) is now closing and dismantling its power plants in favour of distributed renewable energy and local smart-grids.
  c. environmental impacts As in b. above the impacts to the environment from the mining, transport and utilisation of uranium for nuclear generation are avoidable. Cheaper, cleaner options of generation are now available to us on utility-scale wind and solar projects .
d. energy affordability and reliability Nuclear energy will not solve the energy affordability and reliability issues, that we are facing. Nuclear energy has a higher levelised cost of energy (LCOE) than renewables (Bloomberg New Energy Finance 2018), and has a long lead time to development, construction and operation of plant. Better options for affordability include the deployment of more wind and solar generation, in combination with battery storage. Battery storage has already demonstrated its effectiveness in South Australia and Victoria, with home battery storage becoming a fast-developing market due to improving cost effectiveness. Installation of high voltage direct current (HVDC) transmission lines between the Eastern States, and also between the NEM and Western Australia could also prove to be effective in opening up new renewable energy opportunities and increasing the reliability of wind and solar.
The Pilbara has the best solar resource in the world, and the capacity to power all of Australia if there was some connectivity between the National Electricity Market (NEM), the North West Interconnected System (NWIS) and the South West Interconnected System (SWIS). This would be a far better use of funds, providing employment and training opportunities for Northern Australia and releasing opportunities for cheap clean energy generation Australia and possibly SE Asia.
  e. economic feasibility Based on a cost per megawatt of installed capacity, nuclear power is more expensive than renewables, which have less impact and less waste (BNEF 2018). The cost of developing nuclear in Australia would be more expensive, would require more land, and extensive community consultation and engagement. The location of any plant would need to be remote and would require significant investment in new high voltage transmission lines to deliver the power to the loads. Investment in such transmission lines would be better served in opening-up new regions with renewable energy opportunities.
f. community engagement Community engagement and participation in new generation projects is always challenging. Obtaining community approval to develop, construct and operate a nuclear facility in any region in Australia will probably be the most challenging project ever seen in Australia. The project will experience community objection from every corner of the country based on cost, risk, safety and health, visual amenity and environmental impact. And rightly so. There will be no social licence for such a plant to operate, without significant and probably excessive compensation to impacted parties and parties at risk from indirect impacts.
g. workforce capability The capability to develop, construct and operate a nuclear power plant in Australia exists, however the costs attached to each of these processes will be significantly higher than the cost to deploy cheaper, cleaner generation sources. There are more employment and training opportunities in renewables than there are for nuclear power.
h. security implications One of the issues of the centralised generation model, that we are now moving away from is the risk of energy security. Recently we have witnessed the impact of failing coal fired power plants which has caused significant market volatility and the need for load shedding. The impact of failure at a nuclear power plant can be multiplied and then multiplied again with respect to: • power pricing • health and safety risk • terrorist threat • grid stability and reliability
i. national consensus There is a school of thought that exists that nuclear could solve our present energy problems. The irony is that this “problem” was forecast over 20 years ago and nothing was done about it. The call for a nuclear solution is a “band aid” fast-fix idea that is fraught with cost and risk issues.
j. other matters The idea that Australia needs a nuclear power industry is laughable. Australia has such rich renewable energy resources that it has the potential to generate power for all of SE Asia. The record deployment of renewable energy in Australia over the past 5 years has reached most parts of regional Australia with grid capacity. This deployment has also caused a reduction in the wholesale price of energy, which has rarely been passed down to the consumer. Consequently, we have witnessed the fastest uptake of rooftop solar in the world, most commonly to the lower income suburbs of Australia. We are now observing the uptake of rooftop solar into the commercial and industrial sectors, in combination with battery storage. Commercial power purchase agreements between renewable energy projects, direct to the customer are now commonplace, and the world is heading toward 100% renewable energy.

Perhaps a better idea would be to lead the world in renewable energy and new battery storage technologies, rather than heading back down a path that the rest of the world has decided to leave behind. I trust that this information is of benefit. Submission6  

August 24, 2019 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Submissions now published to Federal Nuclear Inquiry

SUBMISSIONS SO FAR PUBLISHED (I’ll be analysing these as they come in, and also publishing this on the page more

 1. FEDERAL. Inquiry into the prerequisites for nuclear energy in Australia (Submissions close 16 September 2019 

Don’t let’s forget – some submissions are “confidential” – (quite likely a few from nuclear companies )

Pro nuclear
Submission  1 Gavin Brown
Submission 8 Ian Fischer
Submission 10 Paul Myers
Submission 11  Keith Thompson
Submission 12   Barry Murphy
Submission 14  Terry Ryan
Submission 15    Denys J Smith
Submission 17  Terje Petersen   (same as his submission to NSW Inquiry)
Submission 18   Allen Tripp
Anti nuclear 
Submission 2   Jonathan Peter
Submission 3 Glenda Maxwell
Submission 4 Paul Savi
Submission 6 EcoEnviro Pty Ltd – Richard Finlay-Jones
Submission 7 Derek Abbott
Submission 9  David Gates

Submission 13   Peter L Briggs

August 24, 2019 Posted by | Submissions Federal 19 | Leave a comment

Remembering Hiroshima – the movement to end nuclear weapons – theme for August 19

The UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons has now been signed by 70 nations, and ratified by 25. With this Treaty, the world recognises that nuclear weapons now have the same status as chemical and biological weapons – an inhumane and immoral method of dealing with conflict.

The world’s macho men, the hawks of both genders, the sociopathic leaders in business and politics can scoff, but with this Treaty comes a rational movement essential for the survival of humanity.

The  immoral squandering of public funds on nuclear weapons continues apace. benefiting only a few greedy corporate big-wigs, and their government lackeys.  Nuclear weapons are useless – there are no winners in nuclear wars, the only result – the unimaginable horror and pain of the people.  Hiroshima and Nagasaki showed what this is like.

The folly of the nuclear arms race continues – in the tensions in India, Pakistan, the Middle East, and all now led by the leaders of the most powerful nations.  Led by an irresponsible and unhinged US President Donald Trump,  they are scrapping the agreements on nuclear weapons control,   and feeding the greed of the weapons makers..

August 24, 2019 Posted by | Christina themes | Leave a comment

John Quiggin on Submissions to Parliamentary Nuclear Inquiries

August 24, 2019 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, politics | Leave a comment

FlindersRanges Council delays nuclear waste dump ballot

Kimba council set a date while Hawker faces further delays, Transcontinental Amy Green  23 Aug19,

August 24, 2019 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Federal nuclear waste dump | Leave a comment

Resources Minister Matt Canavan in Kimba : pressing for a ‘Yes” vote in nuclear waste dump ballot?

The man on the right liberal politician member for Grey tendered his own property for a nuclear waste dump in his own town with out consulting any one not even his neighbor.

August 24, 2019 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Federal nuclear waste dump | Leave a comment

The recent Russian nuclear accident – a medical scandal

Russian nuclear accident: Medics fear ‘radioactive patients’,  Russian medics who treated radiation victims after a military explosion in the Arctic had no protection and now fear they were irradiated themselves.

Two of the medics in Arkhangelsk spoke to BBC Russian about the victims’ evacuation, on condition of anonymity.

Five nuclear engineers died on 8 August when an “isotope-fuel” engine blew up at the Nyonoksa test range, officials said. Two military personnel also died.

President Vladimir Putin said the test involved a new weapon system.

Six people were injured in the accident, but officials gave few details about it.

On 14 August Russia’s weather service Rosgidromet revealed that radiation levels had spiked 16 times above normal, in Severodvinsk, a city 47km (29 miles) east of Nyonoksa.

According to the official data, the radiation that reached Severodvinsk was not heavy enough to cause radiation sickness.

Experts in Russia and the West say the test was most likely linked to the new 9M730 Burevestnik nuclear-powered cruise missile, called “Skyfall” by Nato. Last year Mr Putin said the technology would give the missile “unlimited” range.

The Arkhangelsk medics, who spoke to the BBC’s Pavel Aksenov, said at least 90 people came into contact with the casualties, but the military did not warn them of any nuclear contamination risk.

Contamination fears

The medics were at the civilian Arkhangelsk regional hospital, which treated three of the injured, while three other casualties were taken to an Arkhangelsk hospital called Semashko, which is equipped for radiation emergencies.

The medics said they were speaking out now because they feared for their own health and did not want any similar “[safety] violations” to recur.

“We don’t want them to bring us next time not three, but ten people, God forbid, and hide the information from us again,” said one.

The degree of secrecy surrounding the explosion has drawn comparisons with the 1986 Chernobyl disaster, when Soviet officials were slow to admit the truth.

The Arkhangelsk medics said it was clear that the three brought to their regional hospital were very sick. Doctors examined them in the emergency room, then sent them to an operating theatre.

But the emergency room continued to admit other patients for about an hour, the medics said, until the doctors realised that the three “had received a very high radiation dose”. The hospital handles pregnancy complications and other difficult medical conditions.

“The radiation picture was developing by the hour. Blood tests were being done, and every hour you could see that this or that cell count was plunging. That signified a very high radiation dose,” they said.

The hospital staff kept treating the victims despite knowing about the radiation dose. The staff had to improvise some self-protection – for example, they took face masks from the helicopter crews’ emergency kit.

The next day the three victims were transferred to a hospital in Moscow which has radiation specialists. Their condition now is unknown.

Nuclear decontamination

A military team later carried out decontamination work in the Arkhangelsk hospital.

The medics said the casualties’ clothing was removed, along with stretchers and a “highly radioactive bath”.

“Our cleaners should have been advised, they’re just simple country folk, they were just picking up sacks and bundles and carrying them out,” said one.

The other medic said hospital staff were now mentally stressed, knowing that radiation safety information had been withheld from them during the emergency.

Two weeks after the explosion the Russian health ministry said none of the medics at the Arkhangelsk hospitals had received a hazardous radiation dose. Its conclusion was based on medical examination of 91 staff.

Incomplete data

On Monday an international nuclear agency reported that the two Russian radiation monitoring stations nearest to Nyonoksa had gone offline soon after the explosion. The revelation fuelled suspicions that the radiation could have been heavier than officially reported.

The Comprehensive Nuclear Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO) said the technical failure at those sites was then followed by a failure at two more. It tweeted an animation showing the potential radiation plume from the explosion.

Russia said the weapons test was none of the CTBTO’s business, and added that handing over radiation data was voluntary. Two of the monitoring stations have since started working again.


August 24, 2019 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

Iran is not a threat to Australia’s security

Trumped Up: Wiki cables show Australia thinks Iran is not the aggressor, Michael West, by Prof. Clinton Fernandes — 23 August 2019  Wikileaks cables reveal Iran presents no threat to Australia and little threat to the US. Instead, clear intelligence from the US, Australia and Iran confirms Iran, although portrayed as aggressive, has pursued a defensive military strategy. Clinton Fernandez reports.

August 24, 2019 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, politics international | Leave a comment

Scott Morrison’s failure in diplomacy: the Pacific Forum and climate change

August 24, 2019 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, climate change - global warming, politics international | Leave a comment

Shock Jock Alan Jones takes time off insulting women, to praise thorium nuclear power

Thorium ‘more environmentally friendly and safer’ than nuclear  August 20th 2019  
Sky News host Alan Jones explains the element thorium, which is “seen by many as more environmentally friendly” than nuclear as an energy source. Mr Jones said thorium-based reactors are safer too because the reaction can easily be stopped and produce less waste that is radioactive. “It’s three times as abundant as uranium, we’re told, and there’s enough thorium in the United States alone to power America at its current energy level for a thousand years,” he said. The broadcaster noted that rolling blackouts for smelters and manufacturers has created a “crisis” for the energy market and suggested thorium as a possible answer.


August 24, 2019 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, media, politics | Leave a comment

South Korea concerned over food safety at Olympics with events slated for Fukushima

South Korea concerned over food safety at Olympics with events slated for Fukushima

Talks to take place over food provision at Tokyo Games
Fukushima to host baseball and softball games next year,
Guardian   Justin McCurry in Tokyo, Thu 22 Aug 2019 South Korea is considering making its own arrangements to feed its athletes at next year’s Tokyo Olympics, citing concerns over the safety of food from Fukushima, media reports said.

In addition, South Korean sports authorities have requested that international groups be permitted to monitor radiation levels during the 2020 Games.

Food safety concerns in South Korea have grown since Fukushima city was chosen to host six softball games and one baseball game next summer. Fukushima prefecture will also be the location for the start of the domestic leg of the Olympic torch relay, beginning next March.

Tokyo Olympics organisers said South Korea’s National Olympic Committee had sent a letter expressing concern at the possibility of produce grown in Fukushima prefecture being served to athletes in the Olympic village. ……

Bloomberg reported that the Korea Sport and Olympic Committee is to request international organisations such as Greenpeace be allowed to monitor radiation levels at Olympic venues.

August 24, 2019 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

Australia’s Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack is an international embarrassment

Deputy PM apologises for telling Pacific it will survive climate change as workers ‘pick our fruit’ ABC , By political reporter Matthew Doran  23 Aug 19, Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack has apologised for comments about Pacific islanders being able to survive the ravages of climate change by taking fruit-picking jobs in Australia.

Key points:

  • Pacific countries want Australia to do more about climate change as they face rising sea levels
  • Nationals leader Michael McCormack said last week they would survive because they “pick our fruit”
  • He has has offered an apology for the comment “if any insult was taken”

Mr McCormack made the comments last Friday as he sought to dismiss criticism levelled at Prime Minister Scott Morrison following the Pacific Islands Forum (PIF), at which leaders claimed Australia was ignoring the threat climate change posed to the survival of vulnerable low-lying island nations.

[I] get a little bit annoyed when we have people in those sorts of countries pointing the finger at Australia and say we should be shutting down all our resources sector so that they will continue to survive,” he said.

“They will continue to survive, there’s no question they will continue to survive, and they will continue to survive with large aid assistance from Australia.

“They will continue to survive because many of their workers come here and pick our fruit.”

On Thursday he apologised…….

‘Appropriate from a drunk in a bar, not from a leader’

The PIF meeting in Tuvalu saw Mr Morrison pressure fellow leaders to water down the PIF’s final declaration, removing references to cutting carbon emissions by phasing out coal.

Former president of Kiribati Anote Tong said he could not understand how Mr McCormack thought it was a smart comment to make.

“If you’re drunk, and in a bar, it would be an appropriate place and time to make the comment. But if you’re speaking as a leader, really it is not appropriate,” he said.

Tuvalu Prime Minister Enele Sopoaga, who hosted the Pacific Islands Forum, said the comments made Pacific Islanders sound like “paupers” who were begging for Australian support.

August 24, 2019 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, climate change - global warming, politics | Leave a comment

Bass Coast Shire Council declares Climate Emergency

Climate change is an emergency, Mirage News, 23 Aug 19

Bass Coast Shire Councillors have resolved that climate change poses a serious threat and should be treated as an emergency.

A motion was carried at last Wednesday’s Ordinary Council Meeting and will see Council develop a Bass Coast Climate Change Action Plan 2020-30, to set out how Bass Coast Shire can more effectively contribute to climate change mitigation and be more resilient and well adapted to the effects of a changing climate.

It will also include a target of zero net emissions by 2030 across Council operations as well as the wider community.

Bass Coast Mayor, Cr Brett Tessari, said while Council’s Natural Environment Strategy, adopted in 2016, recognises climate change, this declaration goes one step further…..

August 24, 2019 Posted by | climate change - global warming, Victoria | Leave a comment

August 23 Energy News — geoharvey

Opinion: ¶ “Bill Gates Is Throwing Away Money On Ill-Advised Non-Solutions To Global Warming” • Bill Gates is not attending to the reality of the success of renewable energy, the unknowns of solar geoengineering, and the global failure of nuclear energy as a solution to global warming. His solutions funding would be vastly better spent […]

via August 23 Energy News — geoharvey

August 24, 2019 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment