Antinuclear

Australian news, and some related international items

Disarray in New South Wales Right-wing parties, over One Nation’s Bill to overturn ban on uranium mining

Environmental groups have been critical of the government’s consideration of Mr Latham’s bill, with the Nature Conservation Council warning uranium mining would threaten water supply.

Berejiklian government to pursue its own uranium push, By Alexandra Smith, August 24, 2020

https://www.smh.com.au/politics/nsw/berejiklian-government-to-pursue-its-own-uranium-push-20200824-p55ova.html

The Berejiklian government will pursue its own push to allow uranium mining in NSW, after cabinet ministers backed away from supporting One Nation’s nuclear power bill in the upper house.

The bill, introduced by Mark Latham, would lift the 33-year ban on uranium mining and nuclear power, but on Monday night cabinet agreed that it would consider its own bill.

In March, Deputy Premier John Barilaro stunned colleagues when he said his party would support Mr Latham’s bill, despite not taking the issue to the Nationals’ party room.

Mr Barilaro, a long-time supporter of nuclear power, said the government should “lift the ban on nuclear energy” and confirmed his party would support it.

But the move angered several senior ministers, with one saying: “I did not get into Parliament to support a One Nation bill”, while another said: “Crossbenchers don’t set the government’s agenda”.

A shift in policy around uranium mining in NSW has still not been considered by the Coalition joint party rooms, which will not meet this week because only the upper house is sitting.

Mr Barilaro has now been tasked with commissioning more research around uranium mining and will report back to cabinet before any policy decisions are made.

A senior minister said Transport Minister Andrew Constance told cabinet that he could not support the One Nation bill because it could significantly impact electorates, including Bega.

Another minister told cabinet that there needed to be strategic and economic merit and community consultation around uranium mining.

Asked about the bill before it was presented to cabinet on Monday, NSW Energy Minister Matt Kean said uranium was not a viable resource.

“Right now the uranium price is about $30 per pound, that is well below the price needed to extract this from the ground. I think this is more about headlines than actually going to see anything result from digging it out of the ground,” Mr Kean said.

A senior minister, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the issue was before cabinet, said “uranium mining will never happen so it’s just about letting Barra [Barilaro] have a win.”

“Sometimes the fights with Barra are just not worth it,” the minister said.

Mr Latham could bring the bill on for a vote this week, after the Legislative Council was recalled for another week of sitting days. The bill has been sitting on the business paper for more than a year.

The upper house is also expected to focus this week on troubled public insurer icare.

Environmental groups have been critical of the government’s consideration of Mr Latham’s bill, with the Nature Conservation Council warning uranium mining would threaten water supply.

The council’s chief executive Chris Gambian said the “sweetheart deal with One Nation yet again places multinationals ahead of the people of regional and rural NSW”.

A parliamentary inquiry report recommended the government support the nuclear power bill.

August 25, 2020 Posted by | New South Wales, politics | Leave a comment

Nearly 90% of young Australians want real action on climate change

August 25, 2020 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, climate change - global warming, politics | Leave a comment

Nuclear power – a big financial risk, must get tax-payer subsidy

August 25, 2020 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

Ice melting at a surprisingly fast rate underneath Shirase Glacier Tongue in East Antarctica

East Antarctic melting hotspot identified
  https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/08/200824092000.htm
        August 24, 2020
Source:
Hokkaido University
Summary:
Ice is melting at a surprisingly fast rate underneath Shirase Glacier Tongue in East Antarctica due to the continuing influx of warm seawater into the Lützow-Holm Bay.

Hokkaido University scientists have identified an atypical hotspot of sub-glacier melting in East Antarctica. Their findings, published in the journal Nature Communications, could further understandings and predictions of sea level rise caused by mass loss of ice sheets from the southernmost continent.

The 58th Japanese Antarctic Research Expedition had a very rare opportunity to conduct ship-based observations near the tip of East Antarctic Shirase Glacier when large areas of heavy sea ice broke up, giving them access to the frozen Lützow-Holm Bay into which the glacier protrudes.

“Our data suggests that the ice directly beneath the Shirase Glacier Tongue is melting at a rate of 7-16 meters per year,” says Assistant Professor Daisuke Hirano of Hokkaido University’s Institute of Low Temperature Science. “This is equal to or perhaps even surpasses the melting rate underneath the Totten Ice Shelf, which was thought to be experiencing the highest melting rate in East Antarctica, at a rate of 10-11 meters per year.”

The Antarctic ice sheet, most of which is in East Antarctica, is Earth’s largest freshwater reservoir. If it all melts, it could lead to a 60-meter rise in global sea levels. Current predictions estimate global sea levels will rise one meter by 2100 and more than 15 meters by 2500. Thus, it is very important for scientists to have a clear understanding of how Antarctic continental ice is melting, and to more accurately predict sea level fluctuations.

Most studies of ocean-ice interaction have been conducted on the ice shelves in West Antarctica. Ice shelves in East Antarctica have received much less attention, because it has been thought that the water cavities underneath most of them are cold, protecting them from melting.

During the research expedition, Daisuke Hirano and collaborators collected data on water temperature, salinity and oxygen levels from 31 points in the area between January and February 2017. They combined this information with data on the area’s currents and wind, ice radar measurements, and computer modelling to understand ocean circulation underneath the Shirase Glacier Tongue at the glacier’s inland base.

The scientists’ data suggests the melting is occurring as a result of deep, warm water flowing inwards towards the base of the Shirase Glacier Tongue. The warm water moves along a deep underwater ocean trough and then flows upwards along the tongue’s base, warming and melting the ice. The warm waters carrying the melted ice then flow outwards, mixing with the glacial meltwater.

The team found this melting occurs year-round, but is affected by easterly, alongshore winds that vary seasonally. When the winds diminish in the summer, the influx of the deep warm water increases, speeding up the melting rate.

“We plan to incorporate this and future data into our computer models, which will help us develop more accurate predictions of sea level fluctuations and climate change,” says Daisuke Hirano.

August 25, 2020 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

Traditional Owners block road to Adani coal mine in central Queensland

‘We want them out’: Traditional Owners block road to Adani coal mine in central Queensland,  SBS, 24 Aug 20, An Adani spokesperson said construction on the mine was continuing despite the blockade.

Protesters, including Traditional Owners of Wangan and Jagalingou country, have blocked the main road to the controversial Adani Carmichael coal mine in central Queensland.

More than 20 people had established a camp across the road from the site and negotiators from Mackay and the Whitsundays were at the scene, a Queensland Police spokesperson said on Monday afternoon. No arrests had been made.

The blockade follows a decade-long campaign against the construction of the mine, located more than 400 kilometres inland from Mackay, which is set to be one of Australia’s largest coal mines when completed.

Wangan and Jagalingou man Adrian Burragubba said the blockade aimed to re-establish control of the land and force the mining giant to abandon the project.

“We’re taking back control of our land, that’s what we’re doing here. We’re doing it because we’ve been ignored, as the original Wangan and Jagalingou people, we’ve been ignored through this whole process,” he said.

“We demand an end to the destruction of our unceded territory. We demand Adani Australia abandon their Carmichael mine project immediately. We want them out, we want them to pack up and leave our tribal lands.”

Mr Burragubba was bankrupted in 2018 after repeated failed court actions to stop the Galilee Basin project………

Adani downsized the project in 2018 from a 60 million-tonne-a-year mine, costing $16.5 billion, to a 10-to-15 million tonnes a year mine, costing about $2 billion.

Construction of the site commenced in 2019 following final approvals from the federal and state governments. HTTPS://WWW.SBS.COM.AU/NEWS/WE-WANT-THEM-OUT-TRADITIONAL-OWNERS-BLOCK-ROAD-TO-ADANI-COAL-MINE-IN-CENTRAL-QUEENSLAND

August 25, 2020 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Gas is not transition energy we were promised, new research suggests

Gas is not transition energy we were promised, new research suggests, SMH, By Nick O’Malley, August 24, 2020 — The good news about natural gas is that when it is burnt it creates between 40 and 50 per cent less carbon dioxide than coal would to create the same amount of energy.This is why it has been embraced by some climate activists and governments as a useful energy source to replace coal and oil while renewable energy technologies catch up with global energy demand.

But the good news ends there, and there is a lot more to the story.

Before it is burnt natural gas is mostly made up of methane, and methane is estimated to be about 28 times more potent a greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide over a 100-year period.

Over a 20-year period – about the time scientists believe we have to try to prevent the worst impacts of global warming – it is up to 80 times more potent at warming the planet than carbon dioxide.

The United States’ Environmental Protection Agency estimates that for every cubic metre of methane extracted by the US oil and gas industry, 1.4 per cent escapes into the atmosphere as so-called fugitive emissions.

But more recent research suggests this estimate is drastically low, and that, in fact, the industry in the US is leaking 13 million metric tonnes of methane a year, or 2.3 per cent.

It is not yet clear how much fugitive methane is released by the Australian gas industry, but new technologies now allow scientists to accurately measure it and the data is expected to be published in the coming months.

The US Environmental Defence Fund estimated that, in America, if just 3 per cent of methane escapes, gas is no cleaner an energy source than coal……. https://www.smh.com.au/environment/climate-change/gas-is-not-transition-energy-we-were-promised-new-research-suggests-20200824-p55ovg.html

August 25, 2020 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, climate change - global warming | Leave a comment

Frank Barnaby, nuclear weapons scientist and global hero

he gave evidence in Japan against the used of mixed uranium and plutonium oxide fuel, known as MOX, in a reactor at Fukushima. “Frank’s testimony was so impressive and read by the governor of the region that it stopped the loading of MOX fuel for more than 10 years,” said Shaun Burnie of Greenpeace International. In 2011, the reactor was overwhelmed by a devastating tsunami, but because of this intervention Japan was spared the release of many hundreds of tons of fission products – “in other words the evacuation of 50 million plus and the end of central Japan as a functioning society.

August 25, 2020 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

Coal generation kills 800 a year in Australia, says new report — RenewEconomy

New report finds pollution from Australia’s 22 remaining coal power plants is causing hundreds of premature deaths a year, thousands of chronic respiratory illnesses. The post Coal generation kills 800 a year in Australia, says new report appeared first on RenewEconomy.

Coal generation kills 800 a year in Australia, says new report — RenewEconomy

August 25, 2020 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

WBW News & Action: Nine Nuclear Nations — limitless life

WBW News & Action: Nine Nuclear Nations Online version with language translation. We’re joining organizations from around the world to send an urgent appeal to the presidents, prime ministers, and legislatures of nine nuclear nations: China, France, India, Israel, North Korea, Pakistan, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States, to each commit […]

WBW News & Action: Nine Nuclear Nations — limitless life

August 25, 2020 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

August 24 Energy News — geoharvey

Opinion: ¶ “Japan Is Closing Its Old, Dirty Power Plants – And That’s Bad News For Australia’s Coal Exports” • Last month, the Japanese government announced a plan to retire its fleet of old, inefficient coal-fired generation by 2030. That matters a lot to Australia. Last year, Australia shipped about 12% of its total thermal […]

August 24 Energy News — geoharvey

August 25, 2020 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Crossbench pushes Coalition to support ISP and community renewables projects — RenewEconomy

Federal crossbenchers call for the creation of a dedicated community energy agency, to support local investment in wind and solar. The post Crossbench pushes Coalition to support ISP and community renewables projects appeared first on RenewEconomy.

Crossbench pushes Coalition to support ISP and community renewables projects — RenewEconomy

August 25, 2020 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Victoria must do something about gas – but there are smarter options than digging for more — RenewEconomy

Victoria has a winter gas problem, but many smart solutions. Somehow, though, we end up bogged down in debates about gas exploration and LNG gas terminals. It’s bizarre. The post Victoria must do something about gas – but there are smarter options than digging for more appeared first on RenewEconomy.

Victoria must do something about gas – but there are smarter options than digging for more — RenewEconomy

August 25, 2020 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Nuclear power in the Green New Deal? — Beyond Nuclear International

Nuclear is incompatible with justice requirements of GND

Nuclear power in the Green New Deal? — Beyond Nuclear International

August 25, 2020 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment