Antinuclear

Australian news, and some related international items

Kimba nuclear waste dump: The government failed to show overwhelming support and the proposal to site the facility in Kimba can’t proceed.

22 November 2019
Mr Dean Johnson
Mayor
District Council of Kimba

Dear Mayor Johnson
I refer to the recent ballot at Kimba to determine the level of support
for the siting of the radioactive waste facility.

The results of the Kimba ballot were:
Voting papers issued 824
Formal votes accepted 735
Yes vote 452
Did not vote ~ 283
The government are saying that the result is the percentage of yes votes of the formal votes accepted and they say this is 61.50/0.

This not a vote between two political opponents who are both free to campaign and present alternatives political views for consideration.

This is a simple yes / no vote on a proposal to establish a radioactive waste facility in a wheat field.
It is the government who are the proponent. It is they who have to get people to vote yes. They have to get 413 vote to get a simple majority.

For an overwhelming show of support they need at least a 2/3 yes vote.

You have to remember that this poll was not a genuine contest of ideas. There was only one view put and paid for by the government. There was not a no vote argument presented to voters. This places an unfair bias in any result obtained.

As if this were not bad enough the government offered a $31 million cash handout to the voters and 45 permanent jobs, manned a permanent office in the town of Kimba advocating a yes vote.

The way in which this ballot has to be interpreted is this: How many people voted yes as against how many people did not vote yes.
As a famous South Australian Mick Young the former Special Minister of State in the Hawke Government correctly put it  if they don’t say yes they mean no.”

The government has been dishonest in that their figure of 61.49% as it neglects the people who didn’t vote.
The correct methodology is the ratio of people who wanted the facility (voted yes) as against those who didn’t vote yes. This is the ratio of yes votes to the people who didn’t vote yes.

The actual number supporting the facility is then 54.850/0. To achieve an overwhelming result the Yes vote would have to be 536 votes.

The government failed to show overwhelming support and the proposal to site the facility in Kimba can’t proceed.
This view is based on my experience as a federal government minister and also in local government where I am currently the Mayor of the City of Melville in Western Australia.

Yours sincerely

George Gear

September 26, 2020 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Federal nuclear waste dump, politics | Leave a comment

Kimba nuclear waste dump – not just a local issue, but only locals were consulted

Kimba waste site consultation debate returns, Stock Journal,  Elizabeth Anderson @eliz_andersonsj 25 Sep 2020  AS THE process moves a step closer to the establishment of a radioactive waste facility near Kimba, criticisms have re-emerged about the consultation process.

Last week, a Senate Inquiry report was released advising federal parliament to pass legislation on the establishment of the site, including the location at Napandee, 30 kilometres from Kimba.

There were three dissenters from the Senate Economics Committee – The Greens’ Sarah Hanson-Young, independent SA senator Rex Patrick and NSW Labor’s Jenny McAllister.

In the same week, SA Labor MPs Eddie Hughes – in whose Giles electorate the site sits – and Opposition spokesperson for the environment Susan Close issued a joint call for the federal government to halt the process, saying not enough was done to include the views of the Barngarla people.

Late last year, the results of a ballot of Kimba District Council was released, showing 61.58 per cent of residents were in support of the site.

There were three dissenters from the Senate Economics Committee – The Greens’ Sarah Hanson-Young, independent SA senator Rex Patrick and NSW Labor’s Jenny McAllister.

In the same week, SA Labor MPs Eddie Hughes – in whose Giles electorate the site sits – and Opposition spokesperson for the environment Susan Close issued a joint call for the federal government to halt the process, saying not enough was done to include the views of the Barngarla people.

Late last year, the results of a ballot of Kimba District Council was released, showing 61.58 per cent of residents were in support of the site.

“Instead of rushing this quick fix by dumping in SA, the federal government should do the work on a long-term plan for the management of nuclear waste in Australia,” Mr Hughes said.

“We clearly have an obligation to manage our domestic nuclear waste in a responsible way for the long-term. This proposal falls far short of meeting that obligation.”

The same week, a survey from the Australia Institute showed 60pc of its respondents believed consultation should include all of SA and not just Kimba residents, while 50pc opposed the transport of nuclear waste on SA roads and ports.

Australia Institute SA director Noah Schultz-Byard said the survey was initiated to gauge the public’s feelings about a site in SA. He said the 510 respondents were made up of a proportional representation of urban and regional residents.

Kimba District Council mayor Dean Johnson says consultation on the proposal had been ongoing for the past five years.

“It’s been completely open and well-publicised and anyone in SA could have come along,” he said………

He said the notion of statewide consultation proposed by some was not a solution.

“Kimba residents are really well-informed on this topic,” he said. “The idea that everyone is the state should get a vote is ridiculous. Does Kimba get a vote on the smelter at Port Pirie or a mine at Leigh Creek?

“This is locals making a decision on the town and the community’s future.”

No Radioactive Waste Facility for Kimba District group secretary Toni Scott said the group had long held the position the entire state should vote on this issue.

She said the release of the Senate Inquiry had again raised the opportunity for the public to share their thoughts about the site and its future.

Ms Scott said there were many parts to the legislation that needed to be approved, not just the location, and she was hopeful dissenters in parliament would continue to push for amendments.

“It’s important to get this right,” she said. “This decision is a permanent one for our state and community.”

September 26, 2020 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Federal nuclear waste dump | Leave a comment

Australia’s media disgrace – the deliberate neglect of the Julian Assange extradition hearing

”Fair” castigates the international media for ignoring the Assange case – the “Media Trial of the Century”.   But hey !   What about the  Australian media?   Julian Assange is an  Australian.  When our citizens overseas commit murders and drug trafficking, it is all over our media, about their plight in the overseas justice system  – pages and pages, TV and radio broadcasts. Then the benevolent  Australian government bends over backwards to save their bacon.  But when it comes to Julian Assange – only  courageous mentions  by the soon to be demolished ABC .

Our whole media – News Corpse and the ABC ran a big campaign on “Press Freedom” –   Assange didn’t get a mention.  Why should I expect them to?  Decades ago they pillories Wilfred Burchett for reporting on Hiroshima bombing victims.  Kowtowing to USA is the system here.

September 26, 2020 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Christina reviews, media | Leave a comment

The media ignores Julian Assange and the Media ‘Trial of Century’ 

The United Nations has condemned his persecution, with Amnesty International describing the case as a “full-scale assault on the right to freedom of expression.” Virtually every story of national significance includes secret or leaked material; they could all be in jeopardy under this new prosecutorial theory.

President Donald Trump has continually fanned the flames, demonizing the media as the “enemy of the people.” Already 26% of the country (including 43% of Republicans) believe the president should have the power to shut down outlets engaging in “bad behavior.” A successful Assange prosecution could be the legal spark for future anti-journalistic actions.

Yet the case has been met with indifference from the corporate press. Even as their house is burning down, media are insisting it is just the Northern Lights.

Julian Assange: Press Shows Little Interest in Media ‘Trial of Century’  https://fair.org/home/julian-assange-press-shows-little-interest-in-media-trial-of-century/, ALAN MACLEOD   25 Sept 20,

Labeled the media “trial of the century,” WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange’s extradition hearing is currently taking place in London—although you might not have heard if you’re relying solely on corporate media for news. If extradited, Assange faces 175 years in a Colorado supermax prison, often described as a “black site” on US soil.

The United States government is asking Britain to send the Australian publisher to the US to face charges under the 1917 Espionage Act.  He is accused of aiding and encouraging Chelsea Manning to hack a US government computer in order to publish hundreds of thousands of documents detailing American war crimes, particularly in Afghanistan and Iraq. The extradition, widely viewed as politically motivated, has profound consequences for journalists worldwide, as the ruling could effectively criminalize the possession of leaked documents, which are an indispensable part of investigative reporting.

WikiLeaks has entered into partnership with five high-profile outlets around the world: the New York TimesGuardian (UK), Le Monde (France), Der Spiegel (Germany) and El País (Spain). Yet those publications have provided relatively little coverage of the hearing.

Since the hearing began on September 7, the Times, for instance, has published only two bland news articles (9/7/209/16/20)—one of them purely about the technical difficulties in the courtroom—along with a short rehosted AP video (9/7/20). There have been no editorials and no commentary on what the case means for journalism. The Times also appears to be distancing itself from Assange, with neither article noting that it was one of WikiLeaks’ five major partners in leaking information that became known as the CableGate scandal.

The Guardian, whose headquarters are less than two miles from the Old Bailey courthouse where Assange’s hearing is being held, fared slightly better in terms of quantity, publishing eight articles since September 7. Continue reading

September 26, 2020 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, media | Leave a comment

Forget the lobbying. It’s the spin that wins on climate, report finds

When it comes to impacting Australia’s climate wars, little can stand up to the fossil fuel industry’s public spin. GEORGIA WILKINS, SEP 24, 2020  

Australia’s fossil fuel industry is relying more on public spin campaigns than traditional lobbying tactics to deliberately undermine climate change policy, a UK environmental think tank argues.

These tactics focus on influencing public opinion and the broader political agenda rather than direct engagement with policymakers.

InfluenceMap, which is funded by environmental and investor groups, says the Minerals Council of Australia had the biggest negative influence on Australian climate-related….(subscribers only) https://www.crikey.com.au/2020/09/24/forget-the-lobbying-its-the-spin-that-wins-on-climate-report-finds/

September 26, 2020 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, climate change - global warming | Leave a comment

Farmers have called out the federal government’s climate change low emissions policy as selling out an industry for profit

Farmers have called out the federal government’s climate change low emissions policy as selling out an industry for profit.Farmers for Climate Action slam Australian Government’s technology investment roadmap, Examiner, Caitlin Jarvis, 25 Sept 20

Federal Energy Minister Angus Taylor unveiled the draft technology investment roadmap this week, with steps towards low emissions.

However, Farmers for Climate Action had slammed the roadmap, saying it needed to include a zero-emissions target for 2050.

Tasmanian farmer Brett Hall, who runs a beef property at Bronte Park, near Miena, said climate change was evident every day on his farm.

He said low emissions targets were an excellent first step, but it was a matter of too little, too late, and time was running out.

“Climate change is evident to us working on the land, but we need to see stronger initiatives because the evidence is there to suggest that we have not done enough so far and we’re past that point,” he said……… https://www.examiner.com.au/story/6938510/why-farmers-are-angry-about-low-emissions-roadmap/?cs=95

September 26, 2020 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, climate change - global warming | Leave a comment

Essential points from the 2020 World Nuclear Industry Status Report

Three takeaways from the 2020 World Nuclear Industry Status Report, https://thebulletin.org/2020/09/three-takeaways-from-the-2020-world-nuclear-industry-status-report/

John Krzyzaniak   The size of the global nuclear fleet has been stagnant for 30 years, and last year was no different. According to the 2020 World Nuclear Industry Status Report, released Thursday, there were 408 nuclear reactors online across the world as of July 1, 2020—a decline of nine units since the middle of last year and roughly on par with the number of reactors in operation in 1988.

The bulky 361-page industry report was compiled by an international team of independent experts led by Mycle Schneider, a consultant based in Paris. Over the last 15 years, it has become well-known for offering accurate but often sobering assessments of the state of nuclear energy across the globe. Last year, Schneider pointedly asserted that “the world is experiencing an undeclared ‘organic’ nuclear phaseout.”

Although the 2020 report is overflowing with data, several key trends stand out.

First, although the raw number of worldwide reactors is well below its all-time high of 438, their actual combined electricity generation came close to setting a record. As a whole, they generated 2,657 terawatt-hours of electricity in 2019, only three terawatt-hours below the historic peak in 2006. The United States, Russia, and China all hit individual country records for total electricity production from nuclear energy. Nevertheless, nuclear energy’s share of the energy market is in long-term decline, as other forms of energy witness rapid expansion.

Second, China continues to be the main driver of new nuclear energy, but over the long term its intentions are uncertain. The number of new projects there appears to be slowing. Whereas two years ago there were 20 units under construction, today there are only 15. Moreover, China missed its nuclear energy goals for 2020 by a sizeable margin: It planned to have 58 gigawatts of installed nuclear capacity and 30 more gigawatts under construction, but it currently has about 45 gigawatts capacity online and only 14 more under construction.

Third, reactor construction delays and cost overruns continue to plague the nuclear industry and, notably, early indications suggest that small modular reactors may be no exception.

For 63 reactors that came online worldwide between 2010 and 2019, the mean construction time was 10 years. Tennessee’s Watts Bar Unit 2, which took more than 43 years from construction start to grid connection, was the only reactor completed in the United States during that time period. But even in China, where average construction times were among the lowest, delays were widespread, and in many cases the real construction times were double the initial expectations.

While small modular reactors exist mostly on paper, there are many companies hoping to change that, promising units that are safer, cheaper, and faster to build. Last month, the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission approved a small modular reactor design submitted by a company called NuScale Power. Though several hurdles remain, NuScale plans to build its first reactor at the site of the Idaho National Laboratory and supply power to Utah Associated Municipal Power Systems as early as 2029.

But other countries’ recent experiences, detailed in the report, point to the difficulties ahead. Russia brought two small reactors online in 2019, but these took over 12 years to build, and at a cost about six times as much as the original estimates. These are the famed floating reactors of the Akademik-Lomonosov—they’re literally installed on a large ship, and that complication almost certainly contributed to the delays and high costs.

But there are more comparable examples for NuScale. The CAREM-25, a 25-megawatt prototype small modular reactor in Argentina, was supposed to receive its first fuel load in 2017 but is at least three years behind schedule. Similarly, China’s High Temperature Reactor project is running four years behind schedule and, while China originally planned to build 18 more of these smaller reactors, the report suggests its appetite may be sated after just one.

That means if countries want to wean themselves off of fossil fuels and stave off the worst effects of climate change, they may need to look elsewhere. And, the report suggests, they already are. The world added 184 gigawatts of non-hydro renewable capacity in 2019, a stark contrast to the 8-gigawatt decline in nuclear capacity.

September 26, 2020 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

Radiation exposure on the moon is nearly three times that on the International Space Station

Radiation exposure on the moon is nearly three times that on the ISS, 25 September 2020

By Layal Liverpool Astronauts on the moon would face nearly three times more radiation exposure than those aboard the International Space Station, which could make long-term missions riskier than thought.

“Once you’ve survived being on the moon and come back to Earth, radiation damage is what stays with you for the rest of your life and that’s why this is a critical measurement,” says Robert Wimmer-Schweingruber at the University of Kiel in Germany.

Wimmer-Schweingruber and his team analysed several weeks of data acquired by China’s Chang’e … (subscribers only) https://www.newscientist.com/article/2255545-radiation-exposure-on-the-moon-is-nearly-three-times-that-on-the-iss/#ixzz6Z61souv7

September 26, 2020 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

Resistance in USA for nuclear waste transport through cities, communities

Transporting the waste to the New Mexico and West Texas facilities by rail car and through major cities, including those in the Dallas-Fort Worth region, could be a Pandora’s Box of problems for North Texans

September 26, 2020 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

September 25 Energy News — geoharvey

Opinion: ¶ “The Growing Danger From Gas Pipelines” • The Merrimack Valley disaster in 2018 is remarkable, not just for its scale, but its timing. It came near the end of a decade in which officials set out to make natural gas pipelines safer. But incidents like the one in Merrimack Valley have actually grown […]

September 25 Energy News — geoharvey

September 26, 2020 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Solar and battery ads blocked by Twitter and Facebook move against “political content” — RenewEconomy

Efforts to stamp out ‘fake news’ on social media inadvertently see ads for rooftop solar and clean energy events rejected for being too ‘political’. The post Solar and battery ads blocked by Twitter and Facebook move against “political content”  appeared first on RenewEconomy.

Solar and battery ads blocked by Twitter and Facebook move against “political content”  — RenewEconomy

September 26, 2020 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

9 1/2 years after meltdowns, no end in sight for Fukushima nuke plant decommissioning — Fukushima 311 Watchdogs

The No. 1 reactor building is seen at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station in Okuma, Fukushima Prefecture, on Sept. 1, 2020. September 22, 2020 It has been some 9 1/2 years since the triple-meltdown disaster at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station in northeast Japan, and in early September I visited the plant to […]

9 1/2 years after meltdowns, no end in sight for Fukushima nuke plant decommissioning — Fukushima 311 Watchdogs

September 26, 2020 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Cesium in seawater rises 4.3 times due to typhoon, investigated by Fukushima University — Fukushima 311 Watchdogs

20 September 2020The fact that the concentration of cesium, a radioactive substance dissolved in seawater along the coast of Fukushima Prefecture, temporarily increased by 4.3 times due to Typhoon No. 19 last fall was a specially appointed associate professor at the Fukushima University Institute for Environmental Radioactivity (Ocean). It was found in the investigation by […]

Cesium in seawater rises 4.3 times due to typhoon, investigated by Fukushima University — Fukushima 311 Watchdogs

September 26, 2020 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment