Antinuclear

Australian news, and some related international items

To 26 August – Nuclear and Climate News

The thing about climate change is –  it’s all happening faster than we expected!  Only a few days ago, MEDIA MATTERS was highlighting the way that mainstream media was practically ignoring the Amazon forest fires. That is changing. World leaders are now alert to this international tragedy.The Amazon fires bring to the fore the awful dilemma facing climate scientists in telling the public the truth about the world’s climate crisis.

The recent Russian nuclear accident cast a bit of gloom over Russia’s launching of its floating nuclear reactor for the Arctic region. Questions are still flying around about the radioactive illnesses and deaths involved in that accident. Also – a general recognition of the Russian government’s record of secrecy about nuclear accidents.

I suspect that the USA and UK nuclear industries are getting pretty desperate about their commercial future, and the necessity to export new nuclear technology.   There’s a hasty push going on in Australia to buy Small Modular Nuclear Reactors. In a rater undignified rush, there are no less than 4 separate Parliamentary Nuclear Inquiries going on, with abnormally short times permitted for Submissions.

AUSTRALIA

NUCLEAR    Queensland Labor and Liberal Coalition say NO to nuclear power.

Nuclear weapons – the underlying aim in the new push for nuclear power?

Brief notes/summaries on pro nuclear submissions to Federal govt.  Early submissions to Australian govt Inquiry slightly favour nuclear power.Economist John Quiggin on Submissions to Parliamentary Nuclear Inquiries. One gem from the pro nuclear Submissions to FEDERAL. Inquiry into the prerequisites for nuclear energy in Australia.  EcoEnviro’s great submission to ‘Inquiry into the prerequisites for nuclear energy in Australia’. 17 submissions now published to Federal Nuclear Inquiry. Nuclear submissions: people are “doubling up”? Sending the same submissions to 2 different Inquiries. About the CURRENT NUCLEAR SUBMISSIONS.

Reaction against Robert Parker’s nuclear reactor plan for Ipswich, Queensland.

Council announces dates for Kimba radioactive waste ballot. Flinders Ranges Council delays nuclear waste dump ballotSecrecy in Sinister Matt Canavan’s meeting with nuclear waste dump organisations in Hawker, South Australia.   Resources Minister Matt Canavan in Kimba : pressing for a ‘Yes” vote in nuclear waste dump ballot?  South Australian lawNo public money towards nuclear waste dumping facility.

Lynas’ radioactive waste – still a toxic issue in Malaysia.

Wiki cables show Australia thinks Iran is not the aggressor.

CLIMATE

RENEWABLE ENERGY  Solar sends Queensland wholesale day-time prices to zero six days in a row.  5B plans solar “speed record” for 10GW plant in north Australia. Prices hit zero again across the grid as renewables output tops 10GWCoalition MP Keith Pitt wants Queensland to leave main grid!  Schwarzenegger-backed start-up helps Australia wind farms duck negative prices.  Landmark deal to power Coles underpins three NSW solar farms.  Global industrial giant Molycop turns to wind and solar for half its electricity needs.

INTERNATIONAL

Distinguished scientist Martin Rees – world must fight climate change, don’t waste tax-payers’ money on space travel.

Massive wildfires are burning across the world- July was hottest month ever.  New fires – hundreds – in Amazon rainforests. Life on Earth threatened by climate change – loss of Amazon Forests.

Sea level rise only half the story – climate change is altering ocean waves.

Chinese Academy of Sciences warns on the safety hazards of new nuclear .

 

August 26, 2019 Posted by | Christina reviews | Leave a comment

Nuclear weapons – the underlying aim in the new push for nuclear power?

August 26, 2019 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, politics, weapons and war | 1 Comment

Queensland Labor and Liberal Coalition say NO to nuclear power

Nuclear energy policy emerges as Queensland election issue, SMH, By Tony Moore, August 25, 2019  Nuclear energy has emerged as a 2020 Queensland election issue after Labor confirmed its anti-nuclear stand amid a new investigation into nuclear power led by three Queensland federal LNP MPs.Labor’s 2019 state conference on Sunday cemented the party’s opposition to the energy source after three high-profile federal Liberal National Party MPs recently triggered the first federal government inquiry into nuclear power in a decade.

Queensland Labor immediately questioned the LNP’s nuclear power policy before Opposition Leader Deb Frecklington on Sunday afternoon issued a single line statement rejecting nuclear power.

“The state LNP does not support nuclear power in Queensland,” Ms Frecklington said.

Three high-profile Queensland federal MPs – Senator James McGrath, Bundaberg-based MP Keith Pitt and Sunshine Coast MP Ted O’Brien – quietly re-opened a federal government inquiry into nuclear power, which began quietly on August 7.

Mr O’Brien is chairing the House of Representatives Standing Committee investigation into nuclear power, which will receive submissions until September 16.

He said nuclear power had evolved over the past 20 years and it was time to look again.

“The committee will look at the necessary circumstances and requirements for any future government’s consideration of nuclear energy generation, including using small modular reactor technologies,” Mr O’Brien said.

“It will consider a range of matters including waste management, health and safety, environmental impacts, energy affordability and reliability, economic feasibility and workforce capability, security implications, community engagement and national consensus.”

The Labor conference several times highlighted clear policy differences between Labor and the LNP in the 12-month run down to the 2020 Queensland election.

On Sunday ALP delegate Ali King, from the United Voice union, received unanimous support for the party to reconfirm its opposition to nuclear power in Queensland.

Since the (May) federal election we have seen an emboldened LNP federal government flirting with every policy fantasy of the hard right,” Ms King told the conference.

“The most disturbing of these is their insistent push towards imposing nuclear power on a reluctant Australia.”

Ms King claimed nuclear power was “now a central plank of the LNP’s hard-right policy platform”, but questioned why it was being explored……

Cost evaluations showed energy produced from nuclear fusion would be more expensive than renewable energy and the long timeframe – “possibly a generation” – made it impractical, Ms King argued. ……

Nuclear power development is currently banned in Australia under the Federal Government’s Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999.

“It is this restriction that the LNP are ultimately trying to dismantle,” Ms King said. https://www.smh.com.au/politics/queensland/nuclear-energy-policy-emerges-as-queensland-election-issue-20190825-p52kl3.html

August 26, 2019 Posted by | politics, Queensland | Leave a comment

Early submissions to Australian govt Inquiry slightly favour nuclear power

First views to federal inquiry give tick to nuclear power, The pro-nuclear power camp is slightly ahead in the first batch of views presented to the federal inquiry.  Nuclear backers lead charge in new probe   Chris Russell, The Advertiser, August 23, 2019 

Nuclear power can operate safely and Australia should pursue the technology, a slight majority of initial submissions to the Federal Government’s inquiry into the issue recommend.

However, nearly as many submissions urge against nuclear power, saying it is dangerous and uneconomic.

“There is no business case for nuclear in Australia,” University of Adelaide Professor Derek Abbott argues.

“From an engineering viewpoint, the modern grid in fact needs energy sources that can rapidly respond to changing demand.

“(It) … would be a poor investment in a technology that will be largely redundant in the modern grid.”

Fellow South Australian Denys Smith, a retired analytical chemist, says that having plentiful power would support desalinating water, a hydrogen industry, mineral processing and manufacturing.

“Involve the public in the nuclear power debate as SA did during the royal commission in 2016,” he suggests.

“Information and facts change attitudes.”

The two SA submissions are among the first 17 to be published by the Standing Committee on the Environment and Energy, which is holding an inquiry into The Prerequisites for Nuclear Energy in Australia.

Nine submissions were in favour and seven against, with one recommending a focus on thorium rather than uranium-fuelled reactors.

The inquiry, which was established this month on instruction from federal Energy Minister Angus Taylor is open for submissions until September 16.

It will then hold hearings and request further evidence.

In his submission, Notre Dame University Professor Keith Thompson tells the inquiry nuclear power could assist Australia to fulfil an “altruistic obligation to the world to develop its agricultural potential”.

In contrast, Richard Finlay-Jones, from EcoEnviro consultants, says nuclear will not solve price and reliability issues and that “Australia has such rich renewable energy resources that it has the potential to generate power for all of southeast Asia”.

The first submissions are from individuals, with organisations likely to lodge comprehensive documents nearer to the closing date.

The inquiry must take regard of SA’s 2016 Royal Commission into the Nuclear Fuel Cycle – which found generation was not commercially viable for SA alone but should be considered nationally – and the 2006 Switkowski review.

Mr Taylor has asked the committee to report by the end of the year.

August 26, 2019 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, politics | Leave a comment

Massive wildfires are burning across the world- July was hottest month ever

August 26, 2019 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

Ground-level nuclear disasters leave much more radioactive fallout than Tokyo is willing to admit

The danger of sourcing food and material from the Fukushima region   Ground-level nuclear disasters leave much more radioactive fallout than Tokyo is willing to admit   Hankyoreh  By Seok Kwang-hoon, energy policy consultant of Green Korea   Aug.25,2019 International concerns are growing over the Japanese government’s plans to provide meals from the Fukushima area to squads participating in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. The starting point for the Olympic torch relay, and even the baseball stadium, were placed near the site of the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant. It seems to be following the model of the Tokyo Olympics in 1964, where Japan’s rise from the ashes of the atomic bombs was underscored by having a young man born the day of the Hiroshima bombing act serve as the relay’s last runner. Here we can see the Shinzo Abe administration’s fixation on staging a strained Olympic reenactment of the stirring Hiroshima comeback – only this time from Fukushima.

But in terms of radiation damages, there is a world of difference between Hiroshima and Fukushima. Beyond the initial mass casualties and the aftereffects suffered by the survivors, the atomic bombing of Hiroshima resulted in little additional radiation exposure. Nuclear technology being as crude as it was back then, only around one kilogram of the Hiroshima bomb’s 64kg of highly enriched uranium actually underwent any reaction, resulting in a relatively small generation of nuclear fission material. Whereas ground-based nuclear testing results in large quantities of radioactive fallout through combining with surface-level soil, the Hiroshima bomb exploded at an altitude of 580m, and the superheated nuclear fission material rose up toward the stratosphere to spread out around the planet, so that the amount of fallout over Japan was minimal. Even there, most of the nuclides had a short half-life (the amount of time it takes for half the total atoms in radioactive material to decay); manganese-56, which has a half-life of three hours, was the main cause of the additional radiation damages, which were concentrated during the day or so just after the bomb was dropped. The experience of Nagasaki was similar. As a result, both Hiroshima and Nagasaki were able to fully resume as functioning cities by the mid-1950s without additional decontamination efforts.
Ground-level nuclear disasters leave much more radioactive fallout than Tokyo is willing to admit
nternational concerns are growing over the Japanese government’s plans to provide meals from the Fukushima area to squads participating in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. The starting point for the Olympic torch relay, and even the baseball stadium, were placed near the site of the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant. It seems to be following the model of the Tokyo Olympics in 1964, where Japan’s rise from the ashes of the atomic bombs was underscored by having a young man born the day of the Hiroshima bombing act serve as the relay’s last runner. Here we can see the Shinzo Abe administration’s fixation on staging a strained Olympic reenactment of the stirring Hiroshima comeback – only this time from Fukushima.But in terms of radiation damages, there is a world of difference between Hiroshima and Fukushima. Beyond the initial mass casualties and the aftereffects suffered by the survivors, the atomic bombing of Hiroshima resulted in little additional radiation exposure. Nuclear technology being as crude as it was back then, only around one kilogram of the Hiroshima bomb’s 64kg of highly enriched uranium actually underwent any reaction, resulting in a relatively small generation of nuclear fission material. Whereas ground-based nuclear testing results in large quantities of radioactive fallout through combining with surface-level soil, the Hiroshima bomb exploded at an altitude of 580m, and the superheated nuclear fission material rose up toward the stratosphere to spread out around the planet, so that the amount of fallout over Japan was minimal. Even there, most of the nuclides had a short half-life (the amount of time it takes for half the total atoms in radioactive material to decay); manganese-56, which has a half-life of three hours, was the main cause of the additional radiation damages, which were concentrated during the day or so just after the bomb was dropped. The experience of Nagasaki was similar. As a result, both Hiroshima and Nagasaki were able to fully resume as functioning cities by the mid-1950s without additional decontamination efforts…… http://www.hani.co.kr/arti/english_edition/e_editorial/907055.html

August 26, 2019 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

Labor urges Morrison govt to pressure Brazil to protect Amazon forests

Labor urges more action to protect the Amazon, SBS,  Labor is urging the Morrison government to do all it can to encourage Brazil to protect the Amazon as international leaders discuss the issue at the G7 summit. In a joint statement, Labor’s foreign affairs spokeswoman Penny Wong and climate change spokesman Mark Butler said the rainforest fires are increasingly occurring at an alarming rate.

“The Amazon has often been described as the world’s lungs. Its protection matters to the whole international community,” they said.

“We call on the Morrison government to do everything they can to encourage Brazil to respond to this rapidly worsening global disaster.”

They said failure to defend against or prevent these fires stands to derail any international efforts against climate change…….https://www.sbs.com.au/news/labor-urges-more-action-to-protect-the-amazon

August 26, 2019 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, climate change - global warming, politics | Leave a comment