Antinuclear

Australian news, and some related international items

Nuclear news this week – Australia and more

Nuclear issues seem to be on the back burner, in Australia, and pretty much everywhere else. South East Asia is the exception, with countries worrying about Japan’s plan to release the Fukushima nuclear waste water into the Pacific Ocean.    Still, I’ve found far too much nuclear news this week, for what is supposed to be a short newsletter.  Perhaps that’s an indication that anxieties about the nuclear industry are simmering away,below the surface, and behind the media trivia.

At least the pandemic is getting the media attention that is so desperately required.    The world is in the midst of its worst coronavirus crisis so far.
The one great lesson of the pandemic is surely that global issues should trump national greediness, and call for global cooperation..   Tackling climate change too requires global policies.

A bit of good news –  Countries step up to supply oxygen and medicine to India. Pakistanis express solidarity with India over its COVID crisis, pledges supplies and medical aid. 

AUSTRALIA

Australian government plan for a nuclear waste dump tears apart the small rural community of Kimba. ‘‘Low Level” radioactive trash to be removed to USA from posh Sydney suburb, while govt plans to send Higher Level nuclear waste to Kimba, rural South Australia. 

ICAN addresses Mount Isa City Council after nuclear appeal pledge .

UK in secret talks with Australia and others, about mining rare earths.  

INTERNATIONAL

We must continue to expose and refute the lies of nuclear industry.

Paul Beckwith on the failure of universities to address real world problems https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m-orLuh7lj0

The huge carbon footprint and massive energy use of online activities and of Bitcoin.

For climate action, renewables clearly beat nuclear power.

Chernobyl disaster and the U.N. response – a global matter.

Nuclear fallout from the Cold War might be killing our bees.

Growing aggressive behaviour by nuclear proponents – is nuclear facing obsolescence?

May 3, 2021 Posted by | Christina reviews | Leave a comment

French nuclear giant EDF unveils first wind and battery project in Australia — RenewEconomy

French nuclear giant EDF buys 280MW wind project in central Queensland, the first of a major pipeline of wind, solar and storage projects in Australia. The post French nuclear giant EDF unveils first wind and battery project in Australia appeared first on RenewEconomy.

French nuclear giant EDF unveils first wind and battery project in Australia — RenewEconomy

May 3, 2021 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Elon Musk’s expensive and dangerous space delusion

The Musk delusion  daryan energy blog 2 May 21, I’ve critiqued a number of Musk’s projects before, but I think we need to be a bit more direct. Quite simply is Musk entirely the full shilling? Is he the real life Tony Stark the fan boys seem to think, or a modern day Howard Hughes? Because if its the latter his bizarre behaviour will only get worse and worse until things come to a head. Which could have rather serious consequences………….

his proposed use of Starship, as a point to point transport mechanism amounts to saying that the rich should be allowed to burn vast amounts of fuel, just so they can save a few hours in transit. Well, if Starship was a vaguely sane suggestion that is. In truth, it would take almost as long to get its passengers point to point as a conventional airliner (once you factor in the time taken to get passengers out to the launch pad, suit them up, put on their astronaut diapers (yes, how do you think astronauts meet the calls of nature in a space suit), strap everyone in, fuel the rocket, etc.). And that’s assuming you’d be given permission to fly, given the many likely health and safety, environmental and noise related concerns.

In fact let’s talk about starship. It is a terrible design. I’m not going to waste time going over the many issues, in part because I’ve done so already, but also there are others who have done a far better job. But in summary, even if it worked, its a one trick pony….and that trick is the potential for down cargo (which its far from proving it can do) not going to Mars.

Even so, Musk has managed to blow up a dozen or so test prototypes with not a lot to show for it. He’s now in a dispute with the FAA and environmental groups over the mess he’s making, adding to the thousand or so active legal cases he’s currently fighting, largely because of his inability to keep his big mouth shut and not say dumb things online.

Which raises the question, what is the point of starship? …….


 NASA just awarded SpaceX the contract to build the Lunar lander?
 Ya and if one was cynical it would be that the Biden administration, whose never really committed to space flight, knows they don’t have the funds or the political capital to blow hundreds of billions repeating Apollo. But they equally don’t want to be identified as the assassins who killed off manned lunar/Mars missions. They need a fall guy…which is where Musk comes in!

SpaceX happens to have facilities in key states that will matter in 2024 (most notably Texas, which might be a swing state by then). So, given that Congress sees NASA as a jobs programme, they sling a few billion his way. If he succeeds, well then great. If he crashes and burns, well aw shucks we tried our best, I mean we even got Elon Musk to design the hardware, how can we be to blame.

And this is what worries me about Musk and his fans. Sooner or later his luck is going to run out. Environments such as space, or public transport do not suffer fools. Likely we’ll end up with some tragic accident, or a massive overspend on a government project and he gets to spend the rest of his life going form congressional committee to committee and court house to court house…….  https://wordpress.com/read/feeds/543414/posts/3318253784

May 3, 2021 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The huge carbon footprint and massive energy use of online activities and of bitcoin

Graphic courtesy of Alice Eaves on Rehabilitating Earth website

This is a most timely article.    Why is  the world not noticing this?   Elon Musk and other billionaire Bitcoin fans are also fans of space travel –   another energy-gobbling thing.   They are fans of nuclear energy.  The thing that nuclear energy fans have in common with space travel fans and Bitcoin fans is their religious fervour for endless growth and endless energy use.

Unfortunately our entire culture, the Western consumer culture, has swept the world  with a mindless belief in ever more stuff, ever more digital use, with no awareness of the  energy used.   So we tink that our billions of trivial tweets are up ”in the cloud”, – not even realising that they are in dirty great steel data buildings that use massive amounts of energy just to keep cool, This ever- expanding energy and resource gobbling is going to kill us, – and Bitcoin is just one glaring, sorry example of this.

Truth or fiction: Is mining bitcoin a ticking time bomb for the climate?  Rehabilitating Earth   By Jennifer Sizeland 2 May 21

While many of us may consider the carbon footprint of buying a physical item like a jumper or a toaster, it is truly mind boggling to think about the environmental impact of time spent online. This may be why the huge carbon footprints of cryptocurrencies like bitcoin are going largely under the radar for many of us, including investors and climate activists.

Yet the real-world cost of bitcoin cannot be underestimated. A University of Cambridge study found that the network burns through 121 terawatt-hours per year, putting it into a category of a top-30 country in terms of electricity usage. In fact, the carbon cost was largely ignored altogether until 2017 when prices surged and the general population started to take more notice. Aside from the significant carbon footprint of bitcoin, it’s important to understand what bitcoin is and why it’s so popular.

Decoding Cryptocurrencies

Bitcoin is created by mining a 64-digit hexadecimal number (known as a ‘hash’) that is less than or equal to the target hash that the miner is looking for. The miner gets paid in crypto tokens for all the currency they make. The act of solving these computational equations on the bitcoin network makes the payment network trustworthy. It proves the worth of the bitcoin and verifies it at the same time so that it can’t be spent twice. Essentially, an online log makes records of the transactions made and once approved, they’re added to a block on the chain, hence the phrase ‘blockchain’.

What makes it all the more confusing is that not only is cryptocurrency fairly new to the general population, but the way it is created is shrouded in secrecy due to its niche status. This makes it much harder for miners to be held accountable for their intensive carbon usage, in a time when every company needs to consider their impact on the planet.

The secrecy is also what excites investors about bitcoin since it isn’t tied to a certain location or institution and it’s completely decentralised – unlike a bank. Investors trust bitcoin as inflation is controlled algorithmically by cutting the reward rate periodically, rendering the rate of new bitcoin supplies as unalterable by design. The issue remains that there is no government or organisation to hold them to account for their carbon footprint. A footprint which is intrinsically tied to its value as the demand for it increases, using more and more energy. With every market jump, the cost to the planet is greater.

The price of one bitcoin is $57,383 at the time of writing, which takes the market cap value above that of Facebook and Tesla. The wider cryptocurrency market that includes dogecoin, ethereum and litecoin has reached an estimated $1.4 trillion and counting.


From a financial perspective, miners want cheap servers to increase their profit margins which is why much of the bitcoin activity is done in China. As the industry is unregulated there is no reason why activity wouldn’t surge in the place where it costs the least to do it. Currently, China does not have a cost-effective renewable energy supply so two thirds of the grid is fuelled by dirty coal power stations.

Another problematic caveat to the bitcoin story is the amount of so-called green companies and investors that are buying into it. Some of them are not disclosing this element of their portfolio due to the immense carbon footprint but those that are publicly traded have no choice. Perhaps one of the most high-profile companies to reap the rewards from bitcoin is Elon Musk’s Tesla, who have made $1 billion in 10 weeks from their investment. It remains to be seen whether these businesses are doing their due diligence regarding the origins of their bitcoin and if it is mined from a sustainable source. While this may give Tesla more money to invest in green infrastructure, it’s hard to say whether this is the more ethical way to do so……….

One important lesson we can take from this is that it demonstrates how the digital world has a very real impact on planet Earth. Whether we’re buying cryptocurrency or simply scrolling the internet, we are impacting the planet in one way or anotherhttps://rehabilitatingearth.com/2021/05/02/truth-or-fiction-is-mining-bitcoin-a-ticking-time-bomb-for-the-climate/

Graphic courtesy of Alice Eaves

May 3, 2021 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Running the numbers on Victoria’s climate plan – the leader in state climate action — RenewEconomy

Victoria has raised its climate ambition – but has it raised it far enough? There seems to be plenty of low hanging fruit left strangely unpicked. The post Running the numbers on Victoria’s climate plan – the leader in state climate action appeared first on RenewEconomy.

Running the numbers on Victoria’s climate plan – the leader in state climate action — RenewEconomy

May 3, 2021 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Inside and Outside the Military Industrial Complex with Ann Wright — Rise Up Times

Ann Wright talks about discrimination against Asians and the new Cold War against Russia.

Inside and Outside the Military Industrial Complex with Ann Wright — Rise Up Times

May 3, 2021 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Malaysia needs to speak out on releasing nuclear waste into the sea 

Malaysia needs to speak out on releasing nuclear waste into the sea   https://www.theedgemarkets.com/article/malaysia-needs-speak-out-releasing-nuclear-waste-seaBernama/Bernama
May 02, 2021   KUALA LUMPUR : Malaysia needs to play its role as a member of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) by speaking out on the long-term effect of releasing treated water from nuclear power plants into the ocean.

Co-founder of Project Ocean Hope, Mogesh Sababathy said actions need to be taken to ensure environmental sustainability, especially for marine life, is not threatened.

“Even though the nuclear waste will be diluted in water, its radioactive concentration should also be considered. And even when diluted, toxic is still toxic and it can still affect everyone.

“Hence, Malaysia needs to play its role and speak out on this issue at an international level, as this involves people’s security and health, as well as marine life in the region,” he told Bernama.

The Japanese government has recently approved a plan to release more than one million tonnes of treated water from the ruined Fukushima nuclear plant into the sea.

The plan also has the support of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), which says the release is comparable to the disposal of waste water from other nuclear plants globally.

Mogesh argued that this method will affect the world’s food chain security.  “Nuclear radioactive is capable of affecting marine life and killing organisms, thus threatening the economic source of those who rely on it.

“It’s undeniable that Malaysia is far removed from Fukushima but we still share the same ocean. It is not impossible for the waste to drift to our country,” he said.

He hopes the relevant international bodies will study and develop safer alternative to dispose radioactive nuclear waste without harming the environment.

May 3, 2021 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

New Zealand nuclear veterans want apology and compensation from the government

New Zealand’s nuclear horror still not acknowledged say vets  Stuff, Janine Rankin May 02 2021 Photos on a wall, names on a board and an academic study will ensure the radiation damage to 551 men who witnessed Britain’s nuclear bomb explosions in the Pacific is never forgotten.

But what the New Zealand survivors of those blasts really want is an apology and compensation from the Government.

The stories of the nuclear veterans and the subsequent heartache and illness affecting them and the off-spring of those who had families have been retold in Palmerston North this weekend.

It was the third opening of Denise Baynham’s exhibition of the photographs and stories of navy veterans “Operation Grapple, We were There” at Te Manawa art gallery……………

……..   The men exposed to those bomb blasts, many times more powerful than the bombs that ended World War II in Japan, suffered radiation damage, and still do.

A carefully controlled sample of 50 veterans showed three times the frequency of genetic damage, technically called total chromosome translocations, than the control group.

Rowland is now the association’s patron, and he and Sefton’s close friend and successor Tere Tahu are determined to have the Government acknowledge the harm done.

They have a meeting with Veterans’ Affairs Minister Meka Whaitiri on May 10, with the goal of gaining an audience with Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern.

Veteran John Purcell said until now, they had only received “a wall of silence” from successive ministers.

“It is my belief that the Crown abrogated its duty of care by dispatching HMNZS Pukaki and Rotoiti to take part in the British nuclear testing, being fully aware that we were being sent into harm’s way.”

What he wants is a public apology, a public acceptance of the research findings, urgent research regarding the children and grandchildren of veterans, and compensation.,   https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/125002784/new-zealands-nuclear-horror-still-not-acknowledged-say-vets

May 3, 2021 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Poor prospects for small nuclear reactors (SMRs) as a cure for climate change

The nuclear industry and the U. S. Department of Energy are promoting the development of SMRs, supposedly to head off the most severe impacts of climate change. But are SMRs a practical and realistic technology for this purpose?

To answer, two factors are paramount to consider – time and cost. These factors can be used to divide SMRs into two broad categories:
Light water reactors based on the same general technical and design principles as present-day power reactors in the U.S., which in theory could be certified and licensed with less complexity and difficulty.

Designs that use a range of different fuel designs, such as solid balls moving through the reactor core like sand, or molten materials flowing through the core; moderators such as graphite; and coolants such as helium, liquid sodium or molten salts.

On both counts, the prospects for SMRs are poor.

EWG 25th March 2021

https://www.ewg.org/news-insights/news/why-small-modular-nuclear-reactors-wont-help-counter-climate-crisis

May 3, 2021 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment