Antinuclear

Australian news, and some related international items

Australia: Epidemiology on nuclear radiation? – theme for May 2020

Australia ought to have extensive knowledge on the effects of ionising radiation.   Britain exploded 12 major nuclear bombs and 29 smaller ones in Australia and some neighbouring islands, in the 1950s.   The resulting clouds of radiation would have affected especially indigenous people, Aborigines, Islanders, and also soldiers, and the white population.

Was any epidemiological research done on these populations?   No, there was not.

Australia has had 13 uranium mines, 3 still in operation. It’s not as if the old ones have been thoroughly cleaned up.  Ionising radiation from these mines would have affected miners, the mining community, and Aboriginal communities, and may still be affecting them.

Was any epidemiological research done on the health of these populations?  No, there was not.

This is  why the nuclear lobby can say, confidently –  there is no evidence of harm to health in Australia, from low level ionising radiation.

Plenty of other evidence of individual cases – but these can be brushed off as “anecdotal”.

As the the Australian government plans a radioactive waste dump on agricultural land, and the global nuclear industry successfully lobbies some Australian politicians, it is time to genuinely examine the research that has been done, in other countries.   We pay attention to epidemiology about tiny viruses, why not to epidemiology about tiny radioactive particles?

April 30, 2020 Posted by | Christina themes | Leave a comment

Beyond Uranium Canberra. Group calls for an end to Kimba waste plan, wants Inquiry into nuclear waste management

Many thousands of Australians live on transport corridors and have not been informed about the risks or given a say.

The federal regulator has stated that
the ANSTO waste is safe where it is and there is no urgent need to
move it. Further, continuing access to nuclear medicine is not
dependent on a nuclear waste dump and the absence of such a
facility has not hindered the practice of nuclear medicine.

Beyond Uranium Canberra.   re National Radioactive Waste Management Amendment (Site Specification, Community Fund and Other Measures) Bill 2020 [Provisions]. Submission No. 59

Beyond Uranium Canberra believes a full independent inquiry into the
best way to manage our most dangerous waste must be held. The
government must stop targeting remote and regional areas and give
Aboriginal people a right of veto for proposals that threaten their
country and culture.

We believe that nuclear power has no role in Australia’s energy future
and is a dangerous distraction from the climate challenges facing
Australia. Although a pro-nuclear NSW upper house inquiry has been
initiated by One Nation MLC Mark Latham who has recommended
removing the state’s long-standing legislative ban on uranium mining
and opening the door to nuclear power, Labor committee members
have reaffirmed their party’s opposition to uranium mining and
nuclear energy.

The inquiry report recommends the repeal of the Uranium Mining and
Nuclear Facilities (Prohibitions) Act , but a dissenting statement by
Labor committee members states that a ‘Labor Government will
maintain a ban on uranium exploration, extraction and export’ and a
‘Labor Government will not introduce nuclear power in NSW’.

The Australian Conservation Foundation has said Australia is blessed
with outstanding renewable resources and does not need to explore
dangerous nuclear energy options. The state ban on uranium mining
in NSW should remain. Uranium mining in NSW would risk the health
of the environment and regional communities for scant promise of
return. There is little to be gained and a lot to lose. We have no
confidence in nuclear reactor concepts that do not exist in the real
world of civilian electricity production. Small nuclear reactors exist on
paper, in corporate funding pitches and on military submarines – they
are not a credible response to the climate crisis.

Australia’s embattled uranium sector has been hard hit by the
commodity price collapse that followed the 2011 Fukushima nuclear
crisis, which was fuelled by Australian uranium. Since then uranium
operations have been routinely deferred or scrapped in jurisdictions
A broad coalition of civil society organisations, representing millions
of Australians, last year declared nuclear power has no role in
Australia’s energy future and is a dangerous distraction from real
progress on the climate challenges facing Australia.

Most of Australia’s waste is currently produced and stored at Lucas
Heights, south of Sydney, and ANSTO has acknowledged it can be
managed on-site for decades. The federal regulator has stated that
the ANSTO waste is safe where it is and there is no urgent need to
move it. Further, continuing access to nuclear medicine is not
dependent on a nuclear waste dump and the absence of such a
facility has not hindered the practice of nuclear medicine.
Most Australians are opposed, and affected communities are deeply divided.

Many thousands of Australians live on transport corridors and have not been informed about the risks or given a say. The ‘broad community consent’ the federal minister seeks does not exist.
Employment promises are deeply implausible and have been
repeatedly inflated. Agriculture and tourism are both market-sensitive
sectors and any planned facility could negatively impact these
industries.

A full independent inquiry into the best way to manage our most
dangerous waste must be held. The government must stop targeting
remote and regional areas and give Aboriginal people a right of veto
for proposals that threaten their country and culture. There are
significant cultural heritage concerns at and opposition from many
Aboriginal Traditional Owners where mining is allowed.

April 30, 2020 Posted by | Federal nuclear waste dump | Leave a comment

Russia: big rise in coronavirus cases, and the pandemic’s danger to their secret nuclear cities.

April 30, 2020 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

For General Electric, offshore wind looks like a winner, but Small Nuclear Reactors a costly folly.

GE Power Plays: Wind Might Blow Coal, Gas And Nuclear Away, Seeking Alpha,  Apr. 29, 2020 Keith Williams
Summary

GE offshore wind: massive offshore turbine Haliade-X 12MW looks like a winner.

GE-Hitachi Nuclear Energy may be a receding opportunity.

GE might sell its steam power business and rationalise its fossil fuel interests.

The power and renewables businesses are important in considering investment in GE.

………. Nuclear Small Modular Reactors : GE-Hitachi BWRX-300

There is a lot of talk in the nuclear industry and also in political circles from groups who are opposed to solar PV and wind developments, yet who acknowledge the need for low emissions technologies. The World Nuclear Association (WNA) has an excellent summary of many proposed developments in the area of Small Modular Nuclear Reactors (SMRs). The list of projects is long but many (most) seem to be struggling. A key point from the WNA report is the following : “Licensing is potentially a challenge for SMRs, as design certification, construction and operation licence costs are not necessarily less than for large reactors.” This is a huge red flag for any SMR project.

A second objection is cost of nuclear power versus solar PV/wind plus storage. There is a lot of information about these relative costs, including well into the future. I am not aware of any studies that suggest that any nuclear technology will be able to compete with renewables and storage on price.recent study (December 2019) by the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) and CSIRO concluded that SMR nuclear reactors will generate power costing ~8x that of rooftop or solar PV and wind, with solar and wind costs of power generation being similar. 

……. With Small Modular Reactors the poster child of nuclear power supporters, it is clear that there is a lot riding on this potential saviour for the nuclear industry after Fukushima and recent delays and cost blowouts in the European (especially UK, French and Finnish) nuclear industries.

With current focus on emissions reductions and the climate emergency, this is an excellent time for low emissions technologies. However, the need is now and renewables (solar PV and wind) plus storage (pumped hydro and batteries) are making a lot of progress in addressing the needs. My question is whether the cost structure and long lead times mean that nuclear technology is too expensive and late to play a part.

recent summary of the current state of the nuclear industry as a whole is depressing reading for someone who is enthusiastic about the nuclear industry’s prospects. A lot has to happen in the next decade and SMR technology isn’t ready yet. Is GE investing a lot in a technology that can’t compete with the dramatic advances in solar PV, wind and battery storage?……

GE’s adventures in nuclear developments seem like the kind of speculative play GE could happily fund when it was one of the world’s biggest and most powerful engineering companies. It doesn’t have that status anymore and my take is that it needs to cut its cloth and focus on projects that will have more immediate commercial outcomes. Of course, that is asking for a big rethink about how GE sees itself, but does it really have a choice if it wants to survive?

Offshore wind business

While there is some apprehension in the wind industry, especially in the US and China, as changes in regulations come into force next year, and 2020 has been messed up by COVID-19, there is a long-term future for wind power; offshore wind prospects look huge………

GE Renewable Energy is a major wind turbine supplier, with more than 42,000 of its turbines (mostly onshore) installed. Its role in the wind industry is extensive, from manufacture, digital optimization, operations and maintenance. Its onshore turbines range in size from 1MW to 5MW. GE installed ~50% of onshore turbines in the US last year, a 40% increase compared with the number of onshore turbines it installed in the US in 2018.

The offshore market is still emerging, with turbines substantially bigger than those used onshore. …..

The area that looks to me as if it could become a big winner is in offshore wind turbine developments, ….

A lot of investors have GE in their portfolios and a lot more are probably reflecting on whether GE might once again become a secure safe-haven investment. My biggest issue with GE is that it seems to me it is yet to understand that it is no longer the huge and dominant business that can afford to make big bets that burn a lot of cash. The current SMR nuclear programs in GE seem to be in this category. They have a very low chance of success but require major resources. I’d prefer not to have these distractions in a company I invest in….. https://seekingalpha.com/article/4340805-ge-power-plays-wind-might-blow-coal-gas-and-nuclear-away

April 30, 2020 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

AEMO lays out “action plan” to manage 75 pct wind and solar by 2025 — RenewEconomy

AEMO says there are no technical issues to prevent main grid operating at 75% renewables by 2025, but it needs market rules and regulations to catch up and be flexible. The post AEMO lays out “action plan” to manage 75 pct wind and solar by 2025 appeared first on RenewEconomy.

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April 30, 2020 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Zero contact and zero emissions: “Covid safe” electric taxis to launch in Sydney — RenewEconomy

Fleet of 120 electric taxis offering hygienic transport alternative will launch in Sydney in coming weeks, the first in planned 2,000 fleet as part of a “Clean Air Taxi” initiative by new e-taxi platform ETaxiCo. The post Zero contact and zero emissions: “Covid safe” electric taxis to launch in Sydney appeared first on RenewEconomy.

via Zero contact and zero emissions: “Covid safe” electric taxis to launch in Sydney — RenewEconomy

April 30, 2020 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Emissions fall for first time since 2015, as renewables set new records — RenewEconomy

Australia’s emissions in 2019 fell to their lowest level in four years, but we are still a long way from the cuts needed to meet the Paris Agreement targets. The post Emissions fall for first time since 2015, as renewables set new records appeared first on RenewEconomy.

via Emissions fall for first time since 2015, as renewables set new records — RenewEconomy

April 30, 2020 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Cherry Tree wind farm delivers first generation to Victorian grid — RenewEconomy

The 57MW Cherry Tree wind farm near Seymour delivers first power to the grid in Victoria, just under two months after last of the project’s turbines were installed. The post Cherry Tree wind farm delivers first generation to Victorian grid appeared first on RenewEconomy.

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April 30, 2020 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Taylor, department refuse to release findings of ‘expert panel’ into emissions reductions — RenewEconomy

Angus Taylor again refuses to details of advice to government about energy and emissions policies, refusing a RenewEconomy FOI request. The post Taylor, department refuse to release findings of ‘expert panel’ into emissions reductions appeared first on RenewEconomy.

via Taylor, department refuse to release findings of ‘expert panel’ into emissions reductions — RenewEconomy

April 30, 2020 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment