Antinuclear

Australian news, and some related international items

Australia should join regional nations in signing and ratifying the Treaty for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW)

Push to join nuclear weapons banm   https://www.afr.com/politics/federal/letters-push-to-join-nuclear-weapons-ban-20200719-p55dhy Daryl Le Cornu, Member of the board of ICAN Australia 22 July 20, It was good to read William Stoltz’s ‘‘How Australia can help the world avoid nuclear war’’ (July 17) about the diplomatic initiative to push for a treaty of no-first-use based on the Chinese model.

His argument that Australia may be the only country that could lobby the US to agree to the principle of no-first-use has merit.
Furthermore, Stoltz argues that it is only through the ‘‘strength of principled examples and ambitious diplomacy that responsible nations can hope to make the legacy of Trinity and the nuclear threat to civilisation a thing of the past’’.

However, there is another potentially more effective ‘‘ambitious diplomacy’’ that Australia could pursue. This would be to join with the majority of the nations in the world and a majority of the people in the world in signing and ratifying the Treaty for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) that was created at the United Nations on July 7, 2017.

New Zealand has already done so, as have most of our regional neighbours. The Labor Party at its December 2018 national conference committed a future Labor government to such a diplomatic initiative. Furthermore, the organisation whose 10-year global campaign led to the creation of the TPNW – the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) – was born in Australia in 2007 and launched by former Liberal prime minister Malcolm Fraser, who became ICAN’s first patron. With only 10 more ratifications for the TPNW to come intoforce in international law, it is surprising that Stoltz did not devote some time in his article reflecting on the 75th anniversary of the Trinity test to this citizen-initiated global campaign.

 

July 23, 2020 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Hasty new nuclear dump agency will have some overseas staff, – and law for waste dump is not yet passed!

Nuclear dump to be managed from SA,  https://www.cessnockadvertiser.com.au/story/6842627/nuclear-dump-to-be-managed-from-sa/?cs=7, Tim Dornin, 22 July 20

Staff from around Australia and possibly overseas will be recruited for a new government agency to manage a nuclear waste dump in South Australia.

The Australian Radioactive Waste Agency will have about 35 staff in Adelaide, with a satellite office at Kimba, near where the waste repository will be built on a farming property.
The agency will also be involved in the design and construction of the new facility, which will store low-level nuclear material, mostly used in nuclear medicine.

Legislation to establish the dump has already passed federal parliament’s lower house and is before a Senate committee after the location was selected earlier this year.

The Napandee property on Eyre Peninsula was chosen after an exhaustive process lasting four years with community concerns eventually ruling out alternative locations in SA.

Resources Minister Keith Pitt said the establishment of the new agency was another step forward in what had been a very long-running process to develop a vitally important facility.

“Two in every three Australians will use nuclear medicine and that means two of every three Australians will produce some low-level radioactive waste that needs to be stored and managed,” he said.

“This is a national piece of infrastructure that is critical for all of those individuals.”

Mr Pitt said ARWA would operate as an independent agency with staff to be drawn from around Australia and possibly around the world to secure those with the right skill set.

But the Australian Conservation Foundation said the government had jumped the gun, establishing the new agency when legislation for the dump was still before the parliament.

“It is absurd to establish a new federal agency for a proposal that is still under active Senate review and has no current legislative basis,” campaigner Dave Sweeney said.

“This initiative has all the hallmarks of a tailor-made political fix for a federal plan that has no broad social licence.”

When the Napandee site was chosen, owner Jeff Baldock welcomed the plan and urged the government to move forward.

He said it was a “once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to secure Kimba’s future” and the waste facility would potentially provide jobs and much-needed revenue for the region.

“It’s very rare that a small country community gets the chance to guarantee that it’s still going to be here in 300 years’ time,” he said.

July 23, 2020 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Federal nuclear waste dump | Leave a comment

Plutonium poisoning a bigger danger than previously estimated,in Fukushima

Plutonium Particles Scattered 200km From Fukushima Nuclear Disaster Site, Scientists Say   https://theswaddle.com/plutonium-particles-scattered-200km-from-fukushima-nuclear-disaster-site-scientists-say/, By Aditi Murti, Jul 22, 2020  Plutonium fragments may have spread more than 200km via caesium microparticle compounds released during the 2011 Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant disaster in Japan. These findings are according to research done on the region’s soil samples, published in Science of The Total Environment, by an international group of scientists.
The Fukushima Nuclear disaster occurred when a massive tsunami crashed over the plant’s walls, causing three operating nuclear reactors to overheat and melt down. Simultaneously, reactions within the plant generated hydrogen gas that exploded as soon as it escaped from containment. During the disaster, caesium — a volatile fission product created in nuclear fuel — combined with other reactor materials to create caesium-rich microparticles (CsMPs) that were ejected from the plant.
CsMPs are incredibly radioactive, and scientists study them in an attempt to both measure their environmental impact and to gain insight into the nature and extent of the Fukushima disaster. In one such research process, scientists discovered tiny uranium and plutonium fragments within these micro-particles. The range of plutonium particle spread was previously estimated at 50km, and this research changes that number to 230km. This discovery is vital as it provides a reason to extend testing for plutonium poisoning in human-inhabited regions further than before, and helps scientists understand how to decommission the nuclear reactors in the plant.   Decommissioning nuclear plants is extremely important after they cease to function, in order to reduce residual radioactivity in the region to safe levels.
With respect to immediate implications for health, scientists note that radioactivity levels of the plutonium are similar to global counts from nuclear weapons tests. While this means that radioactivity levels may not pose an urgent, critical danger, scientists also note that plutonium poisoning in food items remains a threat. If plutonium were ingested — a possibility in this region — it could create isotopes that significantly increase radioactivity doses, and poison the body
Due to high radioactivity levels, humans are still unable to enter the Fukushima plant nine years after the disaster. Yet, scientists continue to work towards safely decommissioning the reactors within the plant from the outskirts.

July 23, 2020 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

Nuclear corruption, the latest example is in Ohio

Ohio corruption case throws focus on US nuclear plant troubles Ft.com,  Gregory Meyer in New York, 23 July 20
Top lawmaker charged over payments relating to bailouts in case that points up economic woes, 
  Gregory Meyer in New York 3 HOURS AGO 5 Print this page The troubled economics of nuclear energy in the US have come into glaring focus after a top Ohio lawmaker was charged in connection with $60m in alleged payments to orchestrate a $1bn bailout of two struggling power plants on the Lake Erie shore.
Ohio last year became the fifth US state — following Connecticut, Illinois, New Jersey, and New York — to approve aid to nuclear power plants facing low-cost competition from natural gas, solar and wind energy. Its governor, Mike DeWine, signed a bill providing up to $150m a year, funded by a surcharge on electricity customers.
 Intense lobbying preceded the bill’s passage. A campaign to overturn it through a referendum failed last autumn. Yet the machinations that led to the bailout ran far deeper than the public knew, federal prosecutors said on Tuesday.
According to the US justice department, for three years ending in March, $60m was poured into an advocacy organisation called Generation Now, controlled by the Republican state house speaker, Larry Householder. Prosecutors said the funds financed a “racketeering conspiracy” led by Mr Householder, who was charged along with his campaign strategist, three lobbyists and Generation Now.
  The companies that supplied the money were not named in the indictment, but the details matched Ohio utility FirstEnergy and one of its subsidiaries. The alleged co-conspirators called the company “the bank”, given its seemingly unlimited war chest, according to an affidavit filed with the criminal complaint.
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The alleged conspiracy used the money to help more than 20 state candidates who supported the bailout propping up the two power plants, including Mr Householder, in the 2018 election. More than $1m was spent on advertisements attacking opponents of the measure, according to the US attorney for the southern district of Ohio.

 Some funds were used to improperly pay for Mr Householder’s campaign staff, while he used more than $400,000 on personal expenses — including a home in Florida — prosecutors alleged. Mr Householder could not be reached for comment.
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After legislators passed the bailout last July, the funds were used to derail a public ballot initiative meant to repeal the law by bribing people who were collecting signatures endorsing the effort, the complaint said. Besides the nuclear subsidies, the law also eliminated energy efficiency requirements, pared back mandates for wind and solar power and authorised a fee on customers to support ailing coal-fired power plants.

 “When the corruption is alleged to reach some of the highest levels of our state government, the citizens of Ohio should be shocked and appalled,” said Chris Hoffman, special agent in charge at the FBI’s Cincinnati office.   ………….
the Electric Power Supply Association, which represents independent power producers, urged its repeal, calling it the outcome of a “corrupt legislative process”.
“Rather than let the market provide the best outcomes for energy customers — and against the warnings and complaints from almost all corners — money and political influence won the day,” said Todd Snitchler, EPSA chief executive and former chairman of the Ohio Public Utilities Commission.
With the referendum having failed, the Ohio law is likely to stand, according to ClearView Energy Partners, a research group: “Only the state legislature can terminate the programme at this point, and we do not think the arrests could be enough to galvanise lawmakers to reverse course .  https://www.ft.com/content/451324c6-9f9d-48a1-b2d9-76d731e99db6

July 23, 2020 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

CEC says renewable jobs at stake in upcoming Queensland election — RenewEconomy

Clean Energy Council calls on parties to back renewables and end coal funding, ahead of a looming Queensland state election. The post CEC says renewable jobs at stake in upcoming Queensland election appeared first on RenewEconomy.

CEC says renewable jobs at stake in upcoming Queensland election — RenewEconomy

July 23, 2020 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Angus Taylor works to undo Finkel, as key institutions struggle with change — RenewEconomy

A government with Keith Pitt as resources minister, Angus Taylor in charge of energy, and a rump of hardline Queensland MPs, will give short shrift to the experts. The post Angus Taylor works to undo Finkel, as key institutions struggle with change appeared first on RenewEconomy.

Angus Taylor works to undo Finkel, as key institutions struggle with change — RenewEconomy

July 23, 2020 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

July 22 Energy News — geoharvey

Opinion: ¶ “Nakhchivan: The World’s Most Sustainable Nation?” • As a result of regional conflicts, residents of Nakhchivan, an enclave of Azerbaijan, developed an unwavering sense of self-sufficiency born from scarcity and necessity. They began producing their own goods and planting their own food, based strictly on a pesticide-free, all-organic food policy. [BBC] ¶ “How […]

July 22 Energy News — geoharvey

July 23, 2020 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

New contender for Tasmania’s first solar farm, with 5MW Bell Bay proposal — RenewEconomy

An application for a new, 5MW solar farm proposed for George Town in Tasmania’s north, has been submitted to the local council. The post New contender for Tasmania’s first solar farm, with 5MW Bell Bay proposal appeared first on RenewEconomy.

New contender for Tasmania’s first solar farm, with 5MW Bell Bay proposal — RenewEconomy

July 23, 2020 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Super fund says Australia’s climate policy void sending investment dollars overseas — RenewEconomy

Health industry super fund calls for federal net-zero emissions target, or risk losing trillions in investment dollars to more stable, less risky international markets. The post Super fund says Australia’s climate policy void sending investment dollars overseas appeared first on RenewEconomy.

Super fund says Australia’s climate policy void sending investment dollars overseas — RenewEconomy

July 23, 2020 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Regulator rules it is misleading to claim gas is ‘cleaner and greener’ — RenewEconomy

Gas billboard pulled after advertising regulator rules claims that gas is ‘cleaner and greener’ are misleading. The post Regulator rules it is misleading to claim gas is ‘cleaner and greener’ appeared first on RenewEconomy.

Regulator rules it is misleading to claim gas is ‘cleaner and greener’ — RenewEconomy

July 23, 2020 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Monash study to seek solutions to Victorian grid woes, including “rhombus of regret” — RenewEconomy

ARENA funded study to identify technical solutions to Victorian system strength issues that have hit wind and solar projects, causing delays and curtailments. The post Monash study to seek solutions to Victorian grid woes, including “rhombus of regret” appeared first on RenewEconomy.

Monash study to seek solutions to Victorian grid woes, including “rhombus of regret” — RenewEconomy

July 23, 2020 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment