Australian news, and some related international items

New South Wales National MPs embrace nuclear industry, other MPs are shocked

Is it time to go nuclear?, 13 Mar 20 The announcement by National Party leader John Barilaro last week that his party would support the development of nuclear power in NSW came as a surprise to many considering the long lead times for nuclear power development and the abundance of solar and wind power that is ready to be quickly developed.

One Nation’s Mark Latham brought the Uranium Mining and Nuclear Facilities (Prohibitions) Repeal Bill 2019 to parliamentary debate on June 6, 2019 and it’s now working its way towards a vote.

However, local Lismore MP Janelle Saffin has urged North Coast residents to help her kill off the Nationals’ plans to build nuclear power plants in places like Tweed Heads and Coffs Harbour with the same determination shown to defeat Coal Seam Gas (CSG) mining.

Ballina Greens MP Tamara Smith points out that ‘While Europe is rapidly phasing out nuclear energy the dinosaurs in the National Party in NSW want to lift the ban and distract us all in an anti-nuclear debate’.

‘The coal barons and their favourite political party are counting on us to repeat the same mistake we made with climate change. We battled to convince the dinosaurs of climate science that was well and truly settled and we lost the war on vested interests in fossil fuel for over a decade.’

Ms Saffin said Mr Barilaro had announced his nuclear policy support on the run on Sky News, blindsiding Premier Berejeklian, who during Question Time on Wednesday (March 4) could not state her government’s true position on nuclear power.

Ms Saffin accused Deputy Premier and Nationals leader John Barilaro of dangerous behaviour in supporting One Nation Leader Mark Latham’s bill in the Upper House lifting the ban on uranium mining and nuclear energy in New South Wales.

‘By joining forces with Mark Latham, and his former visit overseas to gather information and support for his nuclear cause, John Barilaro has well and truly opened the door to nuclear power plants in coastal communities on the North Coast.

‘The Nats are embracing nuclear power – they keep marching us backwards and have no plans for water protection, no plans for cheap energy that they bang on about, and no plans for country New South Wales,’ she said.

Local National MP responds

Member for Tweed Geoff Provest has responded to questions from Echonetdaily stating that, ‘I have previously stated I am against nuclear power in the Tweed and I have heard nothing during this most recent discussion to change my mind.’ [Ed. note – does he mean that nuclear power is OK everywhere else in Australia?]

Member for Page, Kevin Hogan (Nationals) and National Party MLC, Ben Franklin have not responded to questions regarding their support for nuclear power development.

Federal investigation

Last year the Federal government House of Reps held an inquiry into the pre-requisites for nuclear power in Australia.

‘The release of the report has clearly been done in such a way as to attract the absolute minimum of attention. Its media profile up to now has been zero. That is likely because were it better known, it would have been panned by NGOs Australia-wide,’ said long time anti-nuclear campaigner John Hallam.

‘It’s clear from the recent Federal inquiry, that there is no case whatsoever for a pronuclear about-face in favour of reactors or uranium mining in NSW,’ he said.

‘Ten years ago, the argument would have been that nuclear power was/is uneconomic and potentially dangerous, and that it is uneconomic precisely because it is potentially dangerous. The argument now would be exactly the same, with the added one that in order to be of any relevance to combatting the climate emergency, a source of power must be cheap, problem-free and quickly and easily deployable and nuclear power is the opposite of all those things.

‘Nuclear power, far from solving the climate emergency, diverts needed resources from the real solutions – the deployment of cheap and quickly deployable renewables.

‘Small modular reactors look wonderful on paper but no one has actually succeeded in building even one that works satisfactorily and can be mass-produced, let alone the hundreds that would be needed.’

Local Greens MP Tamara Smith told Echonetdaily that her party requested to be included on the committee looking into nuclear but were ignored. Committee members include two Liberal party MPs, two Labor MPs, a One Nation MP, a Shooters Fishers and Farmers MP and a Nationals MP.

March 14, 2020 Posted by | New South Wales, politics | Leave a comment

Christiana Figueres’ message of climate hope

one of the world’s most influential climate advocates, Christiana Figueres, the architect of the Paris Agreement (as head of the UN climate change convention), is defined by her optimism. It is her superpower.

“So, for me, optimism is not simply the result of having attained something. It is rather a strategy, the input, the approach with which we must face climate change because it is the only way to enhance the probability of success.”

It’s an arresting thought – the only way to succeed, or merely survive, is to hope. Not a passive hope, but a hungry and angry hope, one that will force us to act.

Christiana Figueres’s superpower could save the planet,  Julia Baird, Journalist, broadcaster, historian and author, March 14, 2020 Optimism seems like sheer folly in many ways, especially today. The optimism of political leaders too often is deceptive and self-serving, more rooted in denial and ignorance than hope as they choke on smoke: “Climate change? Nothing to see here! Just the same old cataclysmic events as ever!” How can we be optimistic about a future in a world of flaming coastlines, disappearing species, smoke-dense CBDs, shelves emptied of basics like toilet paper and looming global recession?
Now we are all trying to wrap our heads around the potentially enormous impacts of the coronavirus pandemic; every day we sit an inch higher, meerkats scanning the news, on high alert, high adrenalin, ready to dive into our burrows at a moment’s notice.The bushfires snapped fingers in the faces of millions around the world, alerting those of us who weren’t aware to the real, catastrophic impacts of climate change – both today and in the future – and stirred many to argue for immediate action.

Then, too quickly, came the challenge and fear of a global pandemic. Calm is crucial, shutdowns widespread, recessions lie ahead. But beyond this threat, we cannot forget the need to secure the future of the planet.

No wonder people are overwhelmed about the future of the planet, feel helpless, overcome with grief and worried nothing is being done, that nothing can be done, that it’s all too late. Our children are having nightmares, wracked with a sense of loss before they full possessed anything. The term “eco-anxiety” was defined by the American Psychological Society as “”a chronic fear of environmental doom” in a 2017 report which cited evidence of people “deeply affected by feelings of loss, helplessness, and frustration due to their inability to feel like they are making a difference in stopping climate change”.

If you search for eco-anxiety online, the first question to pop up is: “How do I stop eco-anxiety?” Then comes “how to ease anxiety about  climate change” and “how to feel better about climate change”. Continue reading

March 14, 2020 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

Greta Thunberg calls for Friday climate rallies to be held online

Greta Thunberg calls for Friday climate rallies to be held online,    Climate activist Greta Thunberg has called on fellow climate activists to move their weekly rallies online to prevent the spread COVID-19.

March 14, 2020 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

Nuclear lobbyists have got into the ears of NSW’ National Party

Editorial – Nuclear afterglow Nuclear waste. Hans Lovejoy, editor, 13 Mar 2020

While there will surely be an afterglow of good will towards local National Party MLC Ben Franklin for securing the Shire $25m in road and infrastructure funding, it should be pointed out where his government is taking us when it comes to the energy sector.

Mr Franklin’s leader, John Barilaro, is a complete bozo.

For many informed voters, that’s not news.

Barilaro’s been a long-time supporter of nuclear power, and last week he reportedly supported One Nation’s attempts to create that industry and lift the uranium mining ban, all without consulting his own party. Seriously.

The Echo is still waiting on a reply from Mr Franklin on his attitude to the ‘nuclear option’, and whether Barilaro did not consult his party, as reported by SMH.

When asked if he supported repealing the uranium mining ban and creating a nuclear industry, Nationals Tweed MP Geoff Provest told The Echo, ‘I have previously stated I am against nuclear power in the Tweed, and I have heard nothing during this most recent discussion to change my mind.’

Notice how Provest only said he opposes nuclear in the Tweed? The rest of the state is presumably okay.

One Nation’s Mark Latham brought the Uranium Mining and Nuclear Facilities (Prohibitions) Repeal Bill 2019 to parliamentary debate on June 6, 2019 and it’s now working its way towards a vote.

Local Greens MP Tamara Smith told The Echo that her party asked to be on the committee that is looking into this – they were denied. Instead it’s stacked with MPs sympathetic to the industry.

Latham’s parliamentary speech, in support of nuclear, admits it takes a decade to establish, but points to Finland’s nuclear industry as why it should occur here.

It’s a speech that you would expect from One Nation – there’s no economic modelling presented to support the viability of nuclear, for example.

Instead, Latham uses his time trying to paint those opposed to nuclear power in Australia as fearmongers, while disparaging renewable energy.

There’s plenty of info available as to the insanity of nuclear – says it simply: ‘Australia is one of the sunniest and windiest countries in the world, with enough renewable energy resources to power our country 500 times over. When compared with low risk, clean, reliable and affordable renewable energy and storage technology in Australia, nuclear power makes no sense.

‘Nuclear cannot compete on a cost basis with wind and solar, which are the cheapest forms of new generation’.

Clearly nuclear lobbyists are in the ear of Barilaro the Bozo.

Have they also got into the ear of the local Nationals MLC Ben Franklin? It may not matter – Franklin is obliged to vote for whatever idiotic laws his party supports.

March 14, 2020 Posted by | New South Wales, politics | Leave a comment

Increasing speed of melting in polar ice caps

Polar ice caps melting six times faster than in 1990s

Losses of ice from Greenland and Antarctica are tracking the worst-case climate scenario, scientists warn  Damian Carrington Environment editor

Thu 12 Mar 2020   The polar ice caps are melting six times faster than in the 1990s, according to the most complete analysis to date.

The ice loss from Greenland and Antarctica is tracking the worst-case climate warming scenario set out by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), scientists say. Without rapid cuts to carbon emissions the analysis indicates there could be a rise in sea levels that would leave 400 million people exposed to coastal flooding each year by the end of the century.

Rising sea levels are the one of the most damaging long-term impacts of the climate crisis, and the contribution of Greenland and Antarctica is accelerating. The new analysis updates and combines recent studies of the ice masses and predicts that 2019 will prove to have been a record-breaking year when the most recent data is processed.

The previous peak year for Greenland and Antarctic ice melting was 2010, after a natural climate cycle led to a run of very hot summers. But the Arctic heatwave of 2019 means it is nearly certain that more ice was lost last year.

The average annual loss of ice from Greenland and Antarctica in the 2010s was 475bn tonnes – six times greater than the 81bn tonnes a year lost in the 1990s. In total the two ice caps lost 6.4tn tonnes of ice from 1992 to 2017, with melting in Greenland responsible for 60% of that figure.

The IPCC’s most recent mid-range prediction for global sea level rise in 2100 is 53cm. But the new analysis suggests that if current trends continue the oceans will rise by an additional 17cm.

“Every centimetre of sea level rise leads to coastal flooding and coastal erosion, disrupting people’s lives around the planet,” said Prof Andrew Shepherd, of the University of Leeds. He said the extra 17cm would mean the number of exposed to coastal flooding each year rising from 360 million to 400 million. “These are not unlikely events with small impacts,” he said. “They are already under way and will be devastating for coastal communities.”

Erik Ivins, of Nasa’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, in California, who led the assessment with Shepherd, said the lost ice was a clear sign of global heating. “The satellite measurements provide prima facie, rather irrefutable, evidence,” he said.

Almost all the ice loss from Antarctica and half of that from Greenland arose from warming oceans melting the glaciers that flow from the ice caps. This causes glacial flow to speed up, dumping more icebergs into the ocean. The remainder of Greenland’s ice losses are caused by hotter air temperatures that melt the surface of the ice sheet.

The combined analysis was carried out by a team of 89 scientists from 50 international organisations, who combined the findings of 26 ice surveys. It included data from 11 satellite missions that tracked the ice sheets’ changing volume, speed of flow and mass.

About a third of the total sea level rise now comes from Greenland and Antarctic ice loss. Just under half comes from the thermal expansion of warming ocean water and a fifth from other smaller glaciers. But the latter sources are not accelerating, unlike in Greenland and Antarctica.

Shepherd said the ice caps had been slow to respond to human-caused global heating. Greenland and especially Antarctica were quite stable at the start of the 1990s despite decades of a warming climate.

Shepherd said it took about 30 years for the ice caps to react. Now that they had a further 30 years of melting was inevitable, even if emissions were halted today. Nonetheless, he said, urgent carbon emissions cuts were vital. “We can offset some of that [sea level rise] if we stop heating the planet.”

The IPCC is in the process of producing a new global climate report and its lead author, Prof Guðfinna Aðalgeirsdóttir, of the University of Iceland, said: “The reconciled estimate of Greenland and Antarctic ice loss is timely.”

She said she also saw increased losses from Iceland’s ice caps last year. “Summer 2019 was very warm in this region.”

March 14, 2020 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

Court dismisses Aboriginal group’s appeal to stop the Kimba nuclear waste dump

Court rules against bid to stop nuke dump,, Tim Dornin , MARCH 13 2020 -Native title holders on South Australia’s Eyre Peninsula have lost a court bid in their continuing fight to stop the federal government establishing a nuclear waste dump near Kimba.

The government recently named a site on a farming property as the location for the dump which will take Australia’s low to medium-level nuclear waste material.

The government’s decision was informed in part by a ballot of local residents which supported the proposal.

But the Barngarla Determination Aboriginal Corporation, the native title holders of the region, argued that their 200-strong community had been unfairly excluded from the ballot on their basis of the Aborginality.

They appealed to the Full Court of the Federal Court against a single judge’s decision to uphold the District Council of Kimba’s earlier move.

But the full court dismissed their appeal on Friday.

“It is not correct to say that BDAC’s members were excluded from the ballot,” the court ruled.

“Membership of BDAC was not a characteristic that disqualified any person from the franchise. Rather, the effect of the resolutions was that possession of native title rights and interests was not included among the various qualifying criteria.”

The court found the original decision by a single judge was correct in that it concluded that anyone who fulfilled one of 14 criteria could take part in the vote, irrespective of a person’s race.

“Similarly, the classes of persons who were excluded from the franchise included persons who were Aboriginal and persons who were not,” the appeal judges said.

In his argument, counsel for the Barngarla, Daniel O’Gorman SC, had told the court that their request to take part in the ballot should have been granted.

“This was a ballot of the community, the Kimba community. They are the native title holders of the land surrounding the sites in question,” he said.

“Therefore, we submit, they clearly had an interest in the ballot, they clearly had an interest in the dump and whether it goes ahead or not.

“Their mere standing as native title holders, warranted them being included as part of the community.”

The ballot ultimately returned about 62 per cent support for the dump, which then Resources Minister Matt Canavan accepted as broad community backing.

Those still opposed to the dump going ahead include some locals, environmental groups as well as indigenous communities.

Legislation to allow construction of the waste facility is before the federal parliament.

The underpinning laws allow for acquisition of land for the facility as well as a $20 million payment for the community to help establish and maintain the site, which is expected to operate for at least 100 years. AT TOP

March 14, 2020 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Federal nuclear waste dump, legal | Leave a comment

The danger and the cost – Small Nuclear Reactors for the Military

Pentagon hands out contracts for PORTABLE nuclear reactors… yet another gold vein for cash-savvy military? 13 Mar, 2020 There’s no shortage of hefty defense deals awarded by the US Department of Defense, but the $40 million contract for micro-reactors definitely stands out, as it hides safety risks and raises doubts over its economic efficiency.

The nuclear device that the DoD strategists want must have the capability to be safely and rapidly transported by road, rail, sea or air (sic!) as well as swiftly set up and shut down. The project split between three companies — BWX Technologies, Westinghouse Government Services and X-energy — calls for a “safe, mobile and advanced nuclear micro-reactor.” 

The safety part sounds particularly soothing, but how would it look on the ground? What if those miniature reactors, when moved by land, become targets of high-profile terrorist attacks? And will it prove to be a real alternative (which means cheaper price, of course) to conventional energy sources?

‘The more reactors — the greater the danger’

“Any nuclear reactor attracts terrorists,” Andrey Ozharovsky, nuclear scientist, program expert at the Russian Social Ecological Union, told RT. “It doesn’t matter if it’s located at a nuclear power plant [or inside a portable device]… if you remember, the terrorists planned directing one of the planes at a nuclear plant during 9/11.”

The logic here is simple, he pointed out: “the more reactors are out there — the greater the danger.” If the US builds hundreds, or even dozens of such devices, it’ll be really hard for them to properly defend them all.

Another vital safety issue is the reliability of the nuclear micro-reactors. Interestingly enough, the US military had already experimented with them back in the 1950s and 1960s — and it ended in a tragedy.

Several portable reactors were built and setup in Greenland and Panama, but one of them blew up in 1961, killing three operators. The Army Nuclear Power Program was shut down shortly after that.

“There were eight US micro-reactors and one of them exploded. That’s how safe they are,” Ozharovsky said, adding that the Pentagon’s idea of bringing them back will “likely create more risks instead of solving any problems.”

‘Micro-reactors yet to prove their economic efficiency’

But even if the portable reactors will be shielded from the perils of the battlefield and operate without failure, what’s the Pentagon’s rationale behind bringing the radioactive fuel to their military bases? For decades, the army had been successfully running on gasoline, diesel and fuel oil; when going off-grid, it would switch to generators and high-power accumulators.

“The main problem has nothing related to safety,” Anton Khlopkov, director of Energy and Security Center and member of Russian Security Council’s Scientific Council argued.

Micro-reactors must prove their viability from the economic point of view, since such plants always have alternatives.

It is yet to be proven that micro-reactors won’t be “many times more” expensive than other conventional sources of energy. Electricity produced by such devices should be at least comparable in cost to the one produced by diesel generators, he said.

‘Some kind of a soap bubble’

If micro-reactors are such a questionable solution, why is the Pentagon pushing for their development? The answer isn’t lying on the surface, but it isn’t buried too deep.

“They work against the trends,” Ozharovsky suggested. And those trends are that the world is giving up on the use of civilian nuclear energy due to being too expensive.

Washington may be trying to “support the US the nuclear industry that’s dying out with the use of the military budget; sponsor their research and development — which is an expensive thing.”

Ozharovsky didn’t rule out the possibility that the whole thing “is some kind of a soap bubble.” The research will be made, some prototypes may even be put together, but no actual mini-reactors will be ordered by the Pentagon, he said.

The DoD’s was never shy to spend the US taxpayer dollars: its F-35 program was worth a whopping $1.4 trillion in procurement and operating costs over its lifetime, while Pentagon also acquired such items of prime necessity as… $640 toilet seats and $7,600 coffee makers. The micro-reactors may well become another entry in this wasteful list.

March 14, 2020 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

This week’s uranium report- prices fall again, Australia’s “nuclear future” going nowhere

Uranium Week: The Nuclear Debate Mar 11 2020

Moves are afoot once again in Australia to lift bans on both uranium mining and nuclear power. The uranium spot price has slipped once more.

-U3O8 spot prices fall again
-Nuclear debate reopens in Australia
-History suggests it will be no easy road

By Greg Peel   This week’s uranium report could simply be left as “nothing happened”. At least nothing of major uranium industry implication. The same issues remain in place, so rather than rake over old ground yet again, as to why uranium prices are in the doldrums, this week we’ll zoom in Australia’s nuclear dilemma.

For the record, industry consultant TradeTech reported ten transactions completed in the uranium spot market last week totalling 1mlbs U3O8 equivalent. As buyers were again largely MIA, prices fell gradually during the week. TradeTech’s weekly spot price indicator has fallen -US50c to US$24.40/lb.

Term price indicators remain at US$28.25/lb (mid) and US$33.00 (long).

How to React?

The nuclear power debate has heated up in Australia once more. Driving fresh debate is the pending shutdown of ageing coal-fired power stations that provide Australia’s base load electricity. The federal government wants to build new coal-fired power stations. This policy already had its critics but as a result of this season’s bushfire disaster, an electoral groundswell is calling for the government to recognise climate change and act accordingly before it’s too late.

Australians are now generally opposed to both coal-fired power and new thermal coal mines. But not all Australians. The country is the world’s largest exporter of coal. The coal mining industry employs thousands, and thousands more are supported indirectly by that industry. The surprise victory for the coal-friendly Coalition at last year’s federal election was in part due to support from Queensland-based electorates, Queensland being Australia’s premier coal producing state.

Nuclear power has long been proposed as an alternative source to meet Australia’s electricity needs, if for no other reason Australia boasts the world’s largest known reserves of uranium. But from Three Mile Island to Chernobyl and Fukushima, successive governments have considered nuclear power to be electoral suicide. The debate is now back on again nevertheless, to lift bans on uranium mining and build nuclear reactors.

Australia is a federation of six sovereign states and two federal territories. Of those six states, four have bans on uranium mining. Tasmania has no known commercial uranium deposits, leaving South Australia as the only state with operating uranium mines. Of those four operating mines, two are currently under care & maintenance pending improved uranium prices, leaving only BHP Group’s ((BHP)) Olympic Dam and the foreign-owned Beverley in operation. A fifth mine – Ranger in the Northern Territory — is currently producing uranium but only from stockpiled ore.

Over a decade ago, the then Queensland premier decided to lift the state’s ban on uranium mining. So swift and brutal was the backlash from the coal lobby, the premier very quickly changed his mind. In the interim, one Western Australia state government lifted the ban on uranium mining, only to have the next government ban it again. Two mines under construction on the basis of the prior policy were exempted.

The Australian federal government previously limited the number of allowable uranium mines, but that policy has since been abandoned. The federal government is currently content to restrict the number of countries Australia can export uranium to.

Last week the New South Wales deputy premier supported a bill in state parliament to overturn a nuclear power ban, after a parliamentary inquiry recommended that the law prohibiting uranium mining and nuclear facilities should be repealed. The bill has the support of the Minerals Council of Australia, and the Australian Workers Union, which supports uranium mining and nuclear power for the jobs both will create. But the AWU’s stance puts it at odds with the Australian Council of Trade Unions, which has long been anti-uranium for what we might call Fukushima reasons.

And support for uranium mining and nuclear power is not split down party lines at either federal or state level. The debate is splitting parties.

A lifting of state uranium mining bans would likely not achieve much in the near term. The marginal cost of new production well exceeds current uranium trading prices. To not build nuclear reactors, on the other hand, when the issue of Australia’s future base load power and electricity prices is paramount, and Australia has abundant uranium resources, is seen by supporters as pure folly.

The debate will rage on, but in the short term at least, likely go nowhere.

March 14, 2020 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, politics | Leave a comment

Labor MP Yasmin Catley stands up for New South Wales nuclear ban laws

Nuclear power debate resurrected,  MARCH 13, 2020

Member for Swansea, Yasmin Catley, has vowed to fight moves to repeal legislation banning uranium mining in NSW, which she says is the first step towards nuclear power plants in the State, with three Central Coast sites likely contenders.

An Upper House inquiry into the Uranium Mining and Nuclear Facilities (Prohibitions) Repeal Bill 2019 has recommended repealing the original bill in its entirety.

Although this would make it legal to mine for uranium within NSW boundaries for the first time since 1987, the prohibition on nuclear facilities would remain in place as a result of prohibitions enacted in federal legislation.

But Catley said that Deputy Premier, John Barilaro, had made it clear that he supports the building of new nuclear power stations.

“While there is also federal legislation in this space, it is clear that the Deputy Premier sees the removal of the current ban on uranium mining and nuclear power in NSW as the first step towards that objective,” she said.

“Potential nuclear power station sites were identified at Eraring, Vales Point and Munmorah in 2018, but nuclear is not the answer to the problem of climate change.

“Nuclear is too expensive and too dangerous.

“The future lies in large scale renewable energy projects that bring together wind, solar and other renewable technologies to meet our needs.

“Wind power made reliable with storage, and peaking gas support, costs as low as $52MWh while nuclear energy in nations with established industries costs between $169MWh and $270MWh.

“New nuclear facilities will cost between $195 and $344 per MWh.
“This would see NSW households pay potentially six times as much for electricity.

“Already on the Central Coast we have Vales Point rolling out clean technology like solar.

“The government should be supporting the expansion of this sector and the jobs that come with it, rather than turning regional and coastal communities into nuclear power plant wastelands.”

But MLC Taylor Martin, who chaired the inquiry into repealing the prohibition bill, said bans on uranium mining and nuclear energy reflected the “outdated fears of the 1980s”.

“The safety of nuclear technology has advanced in leaps and bounds since the state prohibition commenced,” Martin said.

On the balance of evidence gathered for this inquiry, nuclear power in its emerging small scale applications, is a compelling technology where energy policy settings seek to decarbonise emissions while delivering secure, reliable and affordable energy to the NSW grid.

“Despite the share of wind and solar in the NSW electricity generation mix tripling in the past five years, just over seven per cent of the state’s electricity currently comes from these sources.

“It is clear that wind and solar firmed with gas, batteries and pumped hydro would not be an adequate solution to meet the state’s future needs for affordable and reliable electricity following the decommissioning of our ageing coal fired generation assets.

“There is an imperative for legislators and governments to be genuinely technology neutral and not lock out appropriate, low emission alternatives to replace these ageing assets.”

Martin said there were “no compelling justifications” from an environmental or human safety point of view which would warrant the blanket exclusion of nuclear energy from serious policy consideration in NSW.

“The outdated arguments for prohibiting nuclear on the basis of safety are increasingly difficult to defend,” he said.

March 14, 2020 Posted by | New South Wales, politics | Leave a comment

Melinda Pavey National Party MP wants Small Nuclear Reactors for the Riverina

Melinda Pavey says public perception of nuclear energy is changing  Ute Schulenberg  13 Mar 20,

Melinda Pavey says she would “love to see regional communities engaged in the discussion of all the opportunities zero emission [?] nuclear energy can offer”.

The Member for Oxley’s comments are in the context of the Upper House Parliamentary Inquiry into the mining of uranium in NSW and nuclear energy, led by Liberal MP Taylor Martin, which has recommended the law prohibiting uranium mining and nuclear facilities should be repealed.

The inquiry was established as a result of a bill put forward by One Nation MP Mark Latham.

While it is only the start of a fresh conversation about nuclear energy, Mrs Pavey said the public perception of zero emission nuclear energy was changing.

“Small modular reactors (SMRs)* are new technology and should be discussed as be part of an energy source and climate change,” Mrs Pavey said.

“SMRs will create new industries, more jobs and a reliable source of baseload power.”

Nationals leader and Deputy Premier John Barilaro has long-supported nuclear energy and said the Nationals would support a bill, as will the Shooters and Fishers.

The parliamentary inquiry will deliver its findings in September.

The process for nuclear energy is both a State and Federal process and both levels of government would have to overturn the various legislative bans currently in place prior to any changes being made.

* Small modular reactors (SMRs) are a type of nuclear fission reactor which are smaller than conventional reactors, and manufactured at a plant and brought to a site to be assembled. They require less on-site construction and supposedly increased containment efficiency. They do not require a coast locations as is the case with traditional nuclear energy sites.

March 14, 2020 Posted by | New South Wales, politics | Leave a comment

Starting the Olympic torch relay in Fukushima should remind us of the dangers of nuclear power

Starting the Olympic torch relay in Fukushima should remind us of the dangers of nuclear power

BY CASSANDRA JEFFERY AND M. V. RAMANA   If the Tokyo Olympics are held on schedule, thousands of athletes will soon come to Japan. Considering the multiple reactors that melted down there nine years ago, in March 2011, the government’s decision to start the ceremonial torch relay in Fukushima Prefecture seems a bit odd, to say the least.

While radiation levels may have declined since 2011, there are still hot spots in the prefecture, including near the sports complex where the torch relay will begin and along the relay route. The persistence of this contamination, and the economic fallout of the reactor accidents, should remind us of the hazardous nature of nuclear power.

Simultaneously, changes in the economics of alternative sources of energy in the last decade invite us to reconsider how countries, including Japan, should generate electricity in the future. Continue reading

March 14, 2020 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

NSW unveils first stage of Net Zero climate strategy, two new Renewable Energy Zones — RenewEconomy

NSW government targets $11.6 billion in investment, in stage one of its net zero strategy, along with a commitment to two additional Renewable Energy Zones. The post NSW unveils first stage of Net Zero climate strategy, two new Renewable Energy Zones appeared first on RenewEconomy.

via NSW unveils first stage of Net Zero climate strategy, two new Renewable Energy Zones — RenewEconomy

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Governments warned: $1 trillion in coal power investments at risk — RenewEconomy

Carbon Tracker warns that more than $1 trillion in planned coal investments is at risk of becoming stranded, as the costs of wind and solar continue to fall. The post Governments warned: $1 trillion in coal power investments at risk appeared first on RenewEconomy.

via Governments warned: $1 trillion in coal power investments at risk — RenewEconomy

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In Tokyo, a growing sense of angst over possible virus-hit Olympics — Fukushima 311 Watchdogs

A man walks in front of the Tokyo Metropolitan Government building on Feb. 25. Mar 11, 2020 For weeks, Olympic organizers have relentlessly pushed a consistent message: The Summer Games in Tokyo will not be canceled or postponed. On Wednesday, Olympic Minister Seiko Hashimoto called postponement “inconceivable,” pushing back on a Wall Street Journal report […]

via In Tokyo, a growing sense of angst over possible virus-hit Olympics — Fukushima 311 Watchdogs

March 14, 2020 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Japan’s Nuclear Cover-up Continues, Nine Years after the Fukushima Disaster — Fukushima 311 Watchdogs

March 10, 2020 Written by Arnie Gundersen The six atomic power reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear site were severely damaged 9-years ago when a Richter 9 earthquake in the Pacific Ocean occurred at 2 p.m. on March 11, 2011 ravaging the nuclear reactors, flooding safety systems, and causing three atomic power meltdowns. Fairewinds is […]

via Japan’s Nuclear Cover-up Continues, Nine Years after the Fukushima Disaster — Fukushima 311 Watchdogs

March 14, 2020 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment