Antinuclear

Australian news, and some related international items

Nuclear and (some) climate news to 17 September

This newsletter is intended to be about matters nuclear. It IS, BUT, again this week, climate change is the overwhelmingly big issue. I cannot do justice to it at all. Thank goodness, we have Covering Climate Now, and other great media, taking up the cause.

A bit of good news – What Was Once One of the Most Polluted Landscapes on Earth Now Has Some of the Cleanest Air in the Region.

AUSTRALIA 

CLIMATE.

Australians concerned about climate change: few support nuclear power. Climate change deniers favour nuclear power!

NUCLEAR.

Submissions to Federal Inquiry into the prerequisites for nuclear energy in Australia were  received up until 16 September. Summaries of 58 so far published submissions are available.  Up until 7 September, submissions to Federal Nuclear Inquiry were 50/50 pro and con.

Some examples:   Arnaud Coquillard’s submission to Federal Nuclear Inquiry rejects nuclear power, calls for care for the planet.  Eric Gribble’s submission to the Federal Nuclear Inquiry in favour of nuclear power.  Barrie Hill explains how Australia’s tax-payers must fund nuclear power development. John Quiggin sets out a very unlikely course for nuclear power in Australia.

Kimba or the Flinders Ranges – nuclear sacrifice zone?  Potential impact of radioactive wastes on water activities in the Spencer Gulf.

RENEWABLE ENERGY.  Fact Check: Malcolm Turnbull says renewables plus storage are cheaper than coal and nuclear for new power generation. Is he correct?   Network giant says renewables transition will deliver lower prices and cut emissions. Wind overtaking brown coal is only a matter of time. New investment fund targets small solar and wind farms in Australia. AEMO slashes output of five big solar farms by half due to voltage issues.

INTERNATIONAL

The poles in climate crisis, and that includes “third pole” the Mingyong glacier. Forest fires destroying vital buffer against climate change. UN warns that climate crisis is the greatest ever threat to human rights.

Frightening new simulation of a US-Russia war triggered by one ‘tactical’ nuclear weapon.

The danger of government secrecy and cover-ups: Kate Brown’s “Manual for Survival: A Chernobyl Guide to the Future” illuminates the truth about radioactive legacy of nuclear industry.

How to warn distant future generations about nuclear waste?

UN Move the Nuclear Weapons Money campaign calls for divestment.

The ‘advanced’ nuclear power sector is fuelling climate change, and Weapons of Mass Destruction. Much touted “advanced” nuclear reactors nonexistent and just not practical. The costs and the risks are too great. Small nuclear reactors safe? Not so.

September 16, 2019 Posted by | Christina reviews | Leave a comment

Medical isotopes without a nuclear reactor: it’s time Australia modernised nuclear medicine.

Dr Margaret Beavis, The Age, 16 Sept 19. So the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO) has failed yet again in supplying nuclear medicine (Cancer drug drought after nuclear fail, (The Age14/9).

Centralised nuclear medicine production means that one failure can bring down the national supply, as has happened on multiple occasions.

Those failures will continue unless we join with Canada,the U.S. the UK and others in investing in non reactor production.

The Canadian TRIUMF consortium last year demonstrated commercial manufacture of technetium in cyclotrons (which are about the size of a four-wheel-drive car and already make many other types of nuclear medicine).  medical approval trials and funding agreements are underway.

A city like Melbourne would need two or three. If one breaks down, another will fill the gap. Another plus – cyclotrons massively reduce the nuclear waste radioactive for more than 10,000 years.

Secure supply and cleaner production – it’s high time that ANSTO looked beyond its own reactor.

September 16, 2019 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, health | Leave a comment

Is Australia to be guinea pig for NuScale’s non existent, untested, super-expensive not-so-small nuclear reactors?

Is building small nuclear reactors as ‘loopy’ as it sounds?  news.com.au Charis Chang@CharisChang2  14 Sept 19 Experts have warned of “catastrophic failure” if Australia adopts nuclear power, so why is the Government considering it?

A huge metal structure seven stories high and less than 100 metres wide could contain the key to Australia’s future energy supply.

NuScale’s small nuclear reactors are being spruiked as an exciting new option to supply Australia with reliable and secure electricity as the country shifts away from coal-fired power.

But the jury is still out on this untested technology, which has been called “loopy” and a “fantasy”.

The possibility of Australia lifting its ban on nuclear power is again being debated with politicians like Nationals MP Barnaby Joyce suggesting people living close to reactors could be given free power to help build support for the controversial idea.

Amid growing calls from Coalition backbenchers for the option to be seriously examined, Energy Minister Angus Taylor has called a parliamentary inquiry into whether nuclear is a feasible solution for Australia’s future energy needs. Not everyone is supportive.

In a tweet, former prime minister Malcolm Turnbull suggested nuclear was a “loopy” option.

“The bottom line is renewables + storage are cheaper than new coal let alone the loopy current fad of nuclear power which is the current weapon of mass distraction for the backbench,” he wrote.

Labor has also slammed nuclear as too expensive and wants the Coalition to put the “fantasy” to bed, saying it’s three times as costly as other options and would not be operational for decades.

“It is a distraction that will do nothing to solve the energy crisis that is confronting Australian households and businesses now,” Opposition energy spokesman Mark Butler told reporters recently…….

NuScale has developed a small modular reactor (SMR) that can be made up of 12 separate nuclear modules, manufactured in factories and then shipped to site. Each module could generate 60MW of electricity each. …..

NuScale told news.com.au the modules consisted of reactors inside a metal containment vessel that stood about seven storeys high and 4.5 metres wide.

A plant with 12 modules would likely need to be located on a site of about 14 hectares, which is equivalent in size to about 14 rugby fields……..

IT COULD TAKE YEARS

One of the biggest downsides to nuclear is that it takes ages to build and when it comes to small modular reactors, they have yet to be proven.

NuScale is working towards building its first plant at the Idaho National Lab and is set to begin construction in 2021. It will take five years before the first module is expected to come online in 2026, with the full 12-module plant to be operational by 2027.

There is no guarantee this can be achieved within the expected timeline, and even if it was, the reactors may not be available commercially until 2030. Export sales to countries like Australia could take even longer.

Dr Switkowski, who led a Howard government review into nuclear power, said overseas experience showed timeframes were more likely to be longer than expected, and there were also considerable commercial and political risks because the project would be built over five or more political cycles.

“Can you draft a long-term commitment to nuclear energy on to a currently unconfirmed national energy policy? The answer to that is no, in my opinion,” he said…….

Analysis from the CSIRO and the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) released in 2018 found the capital costs for a small modular reactor would be $16,000 per kilowatt hour, one-and-a-half times more than previous estimates for large-scale nuclear.

It’s almost twice as expensive as solar thermal and storage, which is $7000 per kilowatt hour and is also expected to halve by 2050. Nuclear is not expected to get any cheaper. 

AEMO chief system design and engineering officer Dr Alex Wonhas told the inquiry that building wind or solar firmed by pumped hydro was roughly about the same price as building a new gas or coal-fired power plant.

“Our expectation is that renewables will further decrease in their cost, and therefore firmed renewables will well and truly become the lowest cost of generation for the National Energy Market,” he said.

It’s likely taxpayers will also have to foot the bill for at least some part of the cost of a nuclear option.

Dr Switkowski said he couldn’t think of any countries that had funded investments in nuclear without government assistance, including through military programs.

“There was no known example that I could see where a country introduced nuclear power on the back of investments from people who were familiar with the infrastructure and were seeking to make an economic return,” he said.

The power produced by a small modular reactor will also be more expensive than one produced by a large reactor or by wind and solar backed up by storage.

Dr Switkowski acknowledged the rise of renewables made the case against nuclear power stronger.

Australia will also have to consider the security issues around who they buy the reactors from, as the leading manufacturers are now China, South Korea, Russia and probably France.

“Would Australia order a nuclear reactor from China?” Dr Switkowski asked.

However, Dr Switkowski supported the lifting of the moratorium on nuclear power to encourage businesses and experts to consider the potential of the technology.

“No one’s put money on the table to fund it because they’re not allowed to fund nuclear power in Australia,” he said.

WE NEED FLEXIBILITY

While discussion about nuclear often focuses on the need for reliable, dispatchable “baseload” power, Dr Wonhas said Australia didn’t need many more plants with a “very stable output profile”.

The AEMO chief system design officer said there were now periods during the day when electricity effectively costs “zero dollars” and the focus was now on new plants that could start up quickly to provide extra energy during peak periods instead.

“I think what we are really looking for is a plant that can increase and decrease capacity relatively quickly and respond to the needs of the market,” he said.

This includes gas, which is a “very effective firming option” because it can respond quite quickly.

“Frankly, there’s a whole range of other technologies out there that can provide similar services. There is, for example, solar thermal with molten salt storage. That’s another technology that is quite dispatchable,” Dr Wonhas said.

While molten salt storage is at a less mature stage than some of the other technologies, Dr Wonhas believes there are many different technology options.

“For nuclear investment to be the optimal choice for Australia it will have to demonstrate, among many other things, that it is more cost-effective compared to alternative technologies and that it is sufficiently flexible so it can be integrated in what we expect to be a highly dynamic future energy market,” he said.

NOT IN MY BACKYARD

One of the major barriers to getting nuclear off the ground is that no one in Australia wants to live next to it or next to a nuclear waste dump.

Labor has tapped into this, highlighting nearly 140 places around Australia that have been mooted as potential locations for nuclear reactors and radioactive waste dumps over the past half century.

The vast majority are around the country’s coastlines, and almost all are near residential communities.

Some sites, like Townsville, Toowoomba and Wagga Wagga, have been proposed multiple times, a map collated by the Parliamentary Library shows.

“Instead of indulging the policy fantasies of his restive backbench, (Prime Minister Scott) Morrison should reject the nuclear option or be upfront with Australians about exactly where he wants to build nuclear reactors,” Labor energy spokesman Mark Butler last week.

Storing nuclear waste is even more of an issue, with Australia struggling to gain support for even a small, low-level waste facility in Central Australia.

RISK OF ‘CATASTROPHIC FAILURE’

If there’s one overarching concern then it has to be the risk of something going wrong.

“After Three Mile Island in 1979, Chernobyl in 1986 and Fukushima in 2011, the possibility of catastrophic failing within a nuclear system is non-negligible,” Dr Switkowski said.

No matter how safe a system is designed to be from a technical point of view, there will always be a risk of human error……https://www.news.com.au/technology/innovation/is-building-small-nuclear-reactors-as-loopy-as-it-sounds/news-story/9e35d409fdc142907190c1a5b89337d3?fbclid=IwAR2m_pty2W9BBf8oBMF3P3zaEO3V93VmQCenhwFJvEXPkbYjzCcRZMKV6e0#.0f155|5hb17

September 16, 2019 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, politics | Leave a comment

Push for nuclear power is a dangerous distraction from real action on climate change

Environmental groups warn against push for nuclear power in Australia  https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2019/sep/16/environmental-groups-warn-against-push-for-nuclear-power-in-australia  

Joint submission calls nuclear ‘a dangerous distraction’ from real action on climate as Zali Steggall backs 2050 zero-emissions target , Paul Karp @Paul_Karp  16 Sep 2019 Environmental and civil society groups have warned the government nuclear power has “no role” in Australia as crossbench independents urge it to recognise climate change as a health issue.

On Monday submissions to the inquiry on nuclear power will close. A diverse group of stakeholders has called on the government to rule-out changing the law to allow nuclear energy in Australia.

Signatories to the statement include union peak bodies, the Public Health Association of Australia, Uniting and Catholic church organisations, the Smart Energy Council, the Aboriginal-led Australian Nuclear Free Alliance, climate action groups, Greenpeace Australia Pacific and the Australian Conservation Foundation.

The anti-nuclear group warned it is “a dangerous distraction from real movement on the pressing energy decisions and climate actions we need”.

“If Australia’s energy future was solely a choice between coal and nuclear then a nuclear debate would be needed. But it is not,” they said in a statement.

“Our nation has extensive renewable energy options and resources and Australians have shown clear support for increased use of renewable and genuinely clean energy sources.”

Ziggy Switkowski, who headed a 2006 review of nuclear power for the Howard government, has told the inquiry that the technology had no chance of being introduced unless Australia had a coherent energy policy but nevertheless agreed the prohibition should be lifted.

September 16, 2019 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, politics | Leave a comment

Minerals Council of Australia again pushing pro nuclear propaganda

Mining industry renews push for nuclear option,  https://www.theage.com.au/business/the-economy/mining-industry-renews-push-for-nuclear-option-20190913-p52r2r.html, By Nick Toscano

September 16, 2019 Australia’s mining sector has launched a fresh push to lift the prohibition on nuclear energy arguing new-look compact nuclear reactors could provide the “cheapest, zero-emissions” baseload power to replace retiring coal-fired power stations.

As the resources industry prepares for a transition away from fossil fuels in coming decades, the Minerals Council of Australia has told a federal government inquiry that nuclear power must be explored as part of the future energy mix to address the worsening problem of rising power prices and deteriorating energy grid reliability.

“Only a commitment to restore energy affordability and reliability will reverse this drift, and nuclear power – especially innovative small modular reactors – will go a long way to providing clean, reliable and lower-cost power for Australian homes and businesses,” said Tania Constable, chief executive of the lobby group which represents mining giants including BHP and Rio Tinto.

Touted by some as the next generation of nuclear power, small modular reactors (SMRs) can be built in factories and assembled on location.

Their deployment is under consideration in a number of countries including the United States and Canada although their cost is not yet known as none are yet commercially available.

Apart from existing run-of-water-hydro, the Minerals Council said, nuclear was the only energy source capable of providing affordable, continuous and zero-emissions power at industrial scale.

“It is a mature, proven and safe power generation … yet Australia’s ban on nuclear power means that our communities and businesses are denied its many benefits,” Ms Constable said.

Australia has a third of the world’s economically recoverable uranium, which is mined and exported for use around the world, but domestic nuclear energy is banned under federal legislation.

The mining group’s calls for nuclear are contained in a submission to a federal parliamentary inquiry launched by Energy and Emissions Reduction Minister Angus Taylor to investigate the potential for nuclear as a future power source for Australia.

At the inquiry’s first public hearing, prominent business leader and nuclear physicist Ziggy Switkowski, who headed a 2006 review of nuclear power for the Howard government, said while the window for large, gigawatt-scale nuclear power plants had closed,  SMRs could provide opportunities in regional towns and mining sites for generation of “clean, safe baseload power”.

But, he added, it would likely be more than a decade until it was known whether small modular reactors were suitable for Australia and about 15 years to bring such a plant online.

Dr Switkowski said nuclear power was comparable to renewable energy in its low level of greenhouse gas emissions but was not weather-dependent in the same way as wind and solar generation.

The challenges to supporting a nuclear energy strategy, he said, included that the lack of political and public support and the fact that the risk of a catastrophic nuclear failure such as Chernobyl in Ukraine or Fukushima in Japan was not “negligible”.

Former prime minister Malcolm Turnbull last week voiced the opinion of many critics, saying it was obvious that nuclear power was more expensive than renewables and battery storage and describing the push for nuclear power as “loopy” and a “distraction” for politicians.

September 16, 2019 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, politics | Leave a comment

An Australian’s memories of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster

Chernobyl’s dark history: Australian returns home 33 years after the world’s worst nuclear disaster, News 7  Steve Pennells  15 September 2019

Chernobyl – just the word is enough to evoke visions of a nuclear holocaust.

But for thousands of Australians, the nightmare was all too real. They are the children of Chernobyl – scarred by their experiences – and now, more than 30 years on, determined to confront the past.

Inna Mitelman grew up in Belarus, in the shadow of Chernobyl. 33 years later, she’s happily settled in Melbourne with two children of her own. Her parents, Irina and Ilia, live close by.

“I remember it as a very beautiful place to grow up,” Inna tells Sunday Night’s Steve Pennells. “The people were lovely. I had a very beautiful childhood, I can tell you that much.”

For Inna, it was an idyllic existence, with her best friend Natasha living in the apartment right next door.

“We were pretty much inseparable,” Inna explains. “Our parents were very close friends, they were like family. We used to come into each other’s houses without knocking. My house was her house, her house was my house.”

Chernobyl was 100 kilometres away – but on the 26th of April 1986, that was much too close.

The explosion in Reactor Number 4 at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant would be the worst nuclear accident in history. A safety test gone wrong ruptured the reactor core and caused a fire that released vast clouds of radioactive contamination. But the Soviet authorities supressed the true scale of the disaster – and only after 36 hours was the order given to evacuate the nearby city of Pripyat, home to the power plant workers and their families.

Inna Mitelman was only 11 years old when the refugees from Pripyat arrived on her doorstep, but the memory is still vivid.

“The first thing I remember is seeing new kids in our yard in the morning when we walked out to go to school,” Inna recalls. “There were wrapped up in blankets.”

As the fire continued to rage in the reactor, badly injured power plant workers and fireman were brought to the Pripyat hospital.

Today, the hospital at Pripyat stands abandoned, like the rest of this once-thriving city. But 33 years ago, the reactor was spewing out 400 times more radioactive material than the Hiroshima and Nagasaki atomic bombs combined.

Sergii Mirnyi soon learnt the truth. He was the commander of a radiation reconnaissance unit. It was his job to seek out the worst of the hot zones……..

“I’ve got thyroid nodules which were discovered when I was pregnant with my second child,” Inna reveals. “The surgeon said I’ve got [a] 50 per cent chance of developing thyroid cancer, so let’s just get it out now.”

Now, Inna wants to return to her homeland, to understand a tragic event from her past that still haunts her.

“I’m terrified,” Inna admits. “There’s a reason why we haven’t been back. But you need to do this to confront it and deal with it and move on. Because the worst thing that ever happened to me [was] probably my best friend dying when I was 11, and I think having to deal with that freaks me out as well.”

“We first found out that something was wrong with her when she became cross-eyed. They found a brain tumour, they operated, but she died the next morning.”

“This was my best friend. This was the person that I grew up with. Her death, it destroyed me.”

Natasha’s family moved out after the death of their daughter. But Inna is determined to find them.

Inside the exclusion zone

2,500 square kilometres of contaminated territory – including Pripyat – are now abandoned after the Chernobyl nuclear disaster.

Pripyat was a brand new city, right next to the nuclear power plant. It was a jewel in the Soviet crown, with a thriving population of 50,000 people. It was emptied in the course of a single day, with residents forced to leave with only what they could carry…….

For many new mothers here in Belarus, there’s a profound fear that the effects of Chernobyl might be passed on to a second generation.

At the local Children’s Hospital, chief doctor Irina Kalmanovich has been treating Chernobyl survivors for more than 30 years. She has no doubt she is still seeing children suffering from the disaster – and unlike other doctors in this repressive regime, she’s willing to risk saying it.

“It’s my opinion. It can be [a] result of Chernobyl because we have many patients even in our hospital, children with tumour, different parts of body, we have tumour of brain, leukaemia, so we have many patients.”……. https://7news.com.au/sunday-night/chernobyls-dark-history-australian-returns-home-33-years-after-the-worlds-worst-nuclear-disaster-c-454567

September 16, 2019 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

Climate crisis confronts Morrison

Climate crisis confronts Morrison https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2019/sep/16/environmental-groups-warn-against-push-for-nuclear-power-in-australia  Paul Karp @Paul_Karp16 Sep 2019

When parliament resumes on Monday Scott Morrison will play host to Fijian prime minister Frank Bainimarama.

Defence, labour mobility, trade, investment, illegal fishing and climate change are all on the agenda for the bilateral meeting. Bainimarama was heavily critical of Morrison at the Pacific Islands forum, saying the Australian PM had insulted and alienated Pacific leaders over his failure to back stronger emissions targets.

The climate crisis will also be forced back onto the agenda by the member for Warringah, Zali Steggall, who will bring a motion, seconded by independent MP Helen Haines, calling on the government to decarbonise the economy by 2050 to reduce the health impact and linking it to extreme weather events.

Earlier in September the Australian Medical Association formally declared climate change a health emergency; Steggall’s call will be backed by peak health bodies pointing to heat related illnesses, respiratory diseases and hypoallergenic conditions caused by global heating.

Australia is in the grip of early-spring fires in New South Wales and Queensland and a drought that could see parts of NSW run out of water as early as November.

Steggall said the “unprecedented fires” and the “shocking drought” are “events causing terrible health impacts which are going to get more severe as the world continues to warm”.   https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2019/sep/16/environmental-groups-warn-against-push-for-nuclear-power-in-australia

September 16, 2019 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, climate change - global warming, politics | Leave a comment

Just as important as the poles, Minyong Glacier is melting

The world has a third pole – and it’s melting quickly  An IPCC report says two-thirds of glaciers on the largest ice sheet after the Arctic and Antarctic are set to disappear in 80 years  Guardian,   Gaia Vince  Sun 15 Sep 2019  “……..  . Over the past two decades, the Mingyong glacier at the foot of the mountain [ Khawa Karpo, Tibet]   has dramatically receded. …….

Mingyong is one of the world’s fastest shrinking glaciers, but locals cannot believe it will die because their own existence is intertwined with it. Yet its disappearance is almost inevitable.
Khawa Karpo lies at the world’s “third pole”. This is how glaciologists refer to the Tibetan plateau, home to the vast Hindu Kush-Himalaya ice sheet, because it contains the largest amount of snow and ice after the Arctic and Antarctic – about 15% of the global total. However, quarter of its ice has been lost since 1970.
This month, in a long-awaited special report on the cryosphere by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), scientists will warn that up to two-thirds of the region’s remaining glaciers are on track to disappear by the end of the century. It is expected a third of the ice will be lost in that time even if the internationally agreed target of limiting global warming by 1.5C above pre-industrial levels is adhered to.
Whether we are Buddhists or not, our lives affect, and are affected by, these tropical glaciers that span eight countries. This frozen “water tower of Asia” is the source of 10 of the world’s largest rivers, including the Ganges, Brahmaputra, Yellow, Mekong and Indus, whose flows support at least 1.6 billion people directly – in drinking water, agriculture, hydropower and livelihoods – and many more indirectly, in buying a T-shirt made from cotton grown in China, for example, or rice from India.

Joseph Shea, a glaciologist at the University of Northern British Columbia, calls the loss “depressing and fear-inducing. It changes the nature of the mountains in a very visible and profound way.”

Yet the fast-changing conditions at the third pole have not received the same attention as those at the north and south poles. The IPCC’s fourth assessment report in 2007 contained the erroneous prediction that all Himalayan glaciers would be gone by 2035. This statement turned out to have been based on anecdote rather than scientific evidence and, perhaps out of embarrassment, the third pole has been given less attention in subsequent IPCC reports.
There is also a dearth of research compared to the other poles, and what hydrological data exists has been jealously guarded by the Indian government and other interested parties. The Tibetan plateau is a vast and impractical place for glaciologists to work in and confounding factors make measurements hard to obtain. Scientists are forbidden by locals, for instance, to step out on to the Mingyong glacier, meaning they have had to use repeat photography to measure the ice retreat.
In the face of these problems, satellites have proved invaluable, allowing scientists to watch glacial shrinkage in real time. …….
One reason for the rapid ice loss is that the Tibetan plateau, like the other two poles, is warming at a rate up to three times as fast as the global average, by 0.3C per decade. In the case of the third pole, this is because of its elevation, which means it absorbs energy from rising, warm, moisture-laden air. Even if average global temperatures stay below 1.5C, the region will experience more than 2C of warming; if emissions are not reduced, the rise will be 5C, according to report released earlier this year by more than 200 scientists for the Kathmandu-based International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD). …….
As the third pole’s vast frozen reserves of fresh water make their way down to the oceans, they are contributing to sea-level rise that is already making life difficult in the heavily populated low-lying deltas and bays of Asia, from Bangladesh to Vietnam. What is more, they are releasing dangerous pollutants. …..  https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/sep/15/tibetan-plateau-glacier-melt-ipcc-report-third-pole

September 16, 2019 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

Australia/s government , servant of the coal industry, has no plan for UN Climate Summit

Australia to attend climate summit empty-handed despite UN pleas to ‘come with a plan’ The Conversation, Frank Jotzo, Director, Centre for Climate and Energy Policy, Crawford School of Public Policy, Australian National University
September 16, 2019 
This story is part of Covering Climate Now, a global collaboration of more than 250 news outlets to strengthen coverage of the climate story.
Climate action will be on the world stage again at a meeting of world leaders in New York on September 23. The United Nations has convened the event and urged countries to “come with a plan” for ambitious emissions reduction.

UN Secretary-General António Guterres called the meeting because he says global efforts to tackle climate change are running off-track. He wants leaders to present concrete, realistic pathways to strengthen their existing national emissions pledges and move towards net zero emissions by 2050.

Australia is not expected to propose any significant new actions or goals. Prime Minister Scott Morrison – in the US at the time to visit President Donald Trump – will not attend the summit. Foreign Minister Marise Payne will attend, and is likely to have to fend off heavy criticism over Australia’s slow progress on climate action.

Australia has gained an international reputation as a climate action laggard – plagued by political acrimony over climate change, offering few policies to reduce emissions and embroiled in diplomatic rifts with our Pacific neighbours over, among other things, support for coal.

For many afar, it is difficult to understand the policy vacuum in a country so vulnerable to climate change……..

Come with a plan, and make it good

The landmark Paris agreement includes a global goal to hold average temperature increase to well below 2°C and pursue efforts to keep warming below 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels.

Countries set so-called “nationally determined contributions” (NDCs) outlining an emissions reduction target and how they will get there.

…… Australia’s emissions are rising

Australia’s annual greenhouse gas emissions are about 12% lower than in 2005, the base year for the Paris target. But since 2013 they have steadily risen, and are continuing to rise…….

We could do so much better

With meaningful policy effort, Australia could meet the Paris target without resorting to Kyoto credits, and possibly meet a much more ambitious target………

2050: defining a strategy

Limiting the risk of catastrophic climate change demands that global emissions fall rapidly in coming decades. Keeping temperature rise to 2°C or less means reducing emissions to net-zero.

Australia will be expected to table strategies to get to net-zero by 2050 next year, at the UN’s climate COP, or “conference of the parties”.. That process should be a chance for Australian governments, industry and civil society to put heads together about how this could work.

The year 2050 is beyond the horizon of most corporate interests vested in existing assets, and it allows greater emphasis on long term opportunities than on short term adjustments. This should encourage a more open discussion than the often acrimonious debates about 2030 emissions targets and short-term policies.

Australia should show the world it can imagine a zero-emissions future, and hatch the beginnings of a plan for it. It would help position the nation’s resources industries for the future and help with our international reputation. https://theconversation.com/australia-to-attend-climate-summit-empty-handed-despite-un-pleas-to-come-with-a-plan-123187

September 16, 2019 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, climate change - global warming, politics | 1 Comment

Plan to Release Radioactive Fukushima Wastewater Into Pacific Ocean Panned by Critics — Fukushima 311 Watchdogs

“Another reason to not build nuclear power plants.” Greenpeace ship Rainbow Warrior sailing past the destroyed Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, five years after the plant’s accident. September 10, 2019 The far-reaching dangers of nuclear power were on full display Tuesday as Japan’s environmental minister recommended releasing more than one million tons of radioactive […]

via Plan to Release Radioactive Fukushima Wastewater Into Pacific Ocean Panned by Critics — Fukushima 311 Watchdogs

September 16, 2019 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The Extreme Deregulation of The Nuclear Industry By Trump Is Setting Up A Nuclear Accident Soon — limitless life

Exclusive to OpEdNews: OpEdNews Op Eds 9/14/2019 at 15:15:52 The Extreme Deregulation of The Nuclear Industry By Trump Is Setting Up A Nuclear Accident Soon By Nick Hashimoto (Page 1 of 3 pages) (# of views) 1 comment Become a Fan The old Decaying Fermi Reactors on Lake Michigan Photo Courtesy NRC Decrepit Old Fermi Nnuclear Plant On Lake Michigan […]

via The Extreme Deregulation of The Nuclear Industry By Trump Is Setting Up A Nuclear Accident Soon — limitless life

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Murky politics pollute the Pacific — Beyond Nuclear International

Will Japan dump its radioactive water into the ocean?

via Murky politics pollute the Pacific — Beyond Nuclear International

September 16, 2019 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Hanford’s Dirty Secret — Beyond Nuclear International

Cancers abound in “the most toxic place in America”

via Hanford’s Dirty Secret — Beyond Nuclear International

September 16, 2019 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

September 15 Energy News — geoharvey

Opinion: ¶ “We Can Still Save The Earth From Climate Change. Here’s How” • A years-long research project simulating a global pathway towards 100% renewables across all energy sectors, bears a clear message: A global energy transition, with real climate action, is not only technically feasible but also cheaper than our current energy system. [CleanTechnica] […]

via September 15 Energy News — geoharvey

September 16, 2019 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment