Antinuclear

Australian news, and some related international items

The Greens will be standing up for a nuclear-free South Australia.

Senator Sarah Hanson-Young  The Morrison Government is pushing laws through parliament this week to dump nuclear waste on South Australia, flipping the bird to our great state.South Aussies don’t want it, Traditional Owners don’t want it, the local communities don’t want it. The Greens will be standing up for SA – our state deserve so much better 👉www.sarahhansonyoung.com/no_dump

The Federal Government has no mandate to situate a radioactive waste management facility in South Australia. The community of Kimba have been significantly impacted by the ongoing mismanagement of the site selection process.

It is imperative that all stakeholders within transport corridors in South Australia, every community impacted by the potential thoroughfare of nuclear waste should be fully informed of the relevant costs and benefits, throughout the transport chain, and offered the opportunity to have their say on the proposal.

The proposed double-handling of intermediate-level radioactive waste is not consistent with international best practice. Alternatives should be canvassed, including the suspension of the site selection process until a permanent disposal site can be identified.


June 17, 2021 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Federal nuclear waste dump | Leave a comment

NSW Productivity Commission Has “Lost The Plot” On Nuclear Power,

NSW Productivity Commission Has “Lost The Plot” On Nuclear Power, Solar Quotes, June 3, 2021 by Michael Bloch  The Electrical Trades Union has weighed in on the New South Wales Productivity Commission’s recommendation to lift the ban on nuclear electricity generation for small modular reactors.

The recommendation was one of many contained in the Commission’s 371-page “Rebooting the economy” whitepaper released last week.

……….. Small modular reactors operating as terrestrial power stations are vaporware at this point; they do not exist. The Commission notes a U.S. company expects to have its first small modular reactor operating by 2026. “Expecting” gives wiggle room for that to not happen and it’s not unreasonable to assume it won’t given the challenges the SMR technology faces, including the renewables juggernaut.

ETU: Nuclear Power “Not The Answer”

With renewables and storage rapidly evolving and their cost continuing to plummet, it sounds a bit nutty to be even considering SMRs – and the Electrical Trades Union agrees.


“The Productivity Commission has lost the plot if it thinks small modular reactors, a technology that has been ‘just around the corner’ since the 1970’s but still doesn’t exist, is the answer to NSW’s productivity growth,” said ETU National and NSW Secretary, Allen Hicks. “Even if someone finally manages to build one that works, the electricity price forecast for their output is six times more expensive than renewables.”

The Commission notes low-cost renewables pose an additional risk to the economics of large reactors, but doesn’t seem to tweak to the fact they pose the same threat to SMRs…..

Mr. Hicks’ advice:

“Boosting the economy, providing more jobs, and dealing with climate change are big problems, but nuclear power is not the answer.”

But something that wins the trifecta are renewables such as wind and solar power along with supporting technologies.

The 70,000-member strong Electrical Trades Union says it has a  long history of opposing uranium mining and the nuclear power industry, and has had a ban on members working in both sectors since 1945. You can learn more about the ETU’s stance on its “No Future For Nuclear” website.  Mr. Hicks’ advice:

“Boosting the economy, providing more jobs, and dealing with climate change are big problems, but nuclear power is not the answer.”

But something that wins the trifecta are renewables such as wind and solar power along with supporting technologies. https://www.solarquotes.com.au/blog/productivity-commission-nuclear-mb2021/

June 17, 2021 Posted by | New South Wales, politics | Leave a comment

Labor consults traditional owners about the Kimba nuclear waste dump Bill, considers supporting the Bill.

Nuclear waste facility in SA may be a step closer, after Labor consults traditional owners

ABC, By political reporter Matthew Doran, 15 June 21, ”………………with the federal opposition preparing to negotiate with the government on legislation that would allow construction to begin.

Key points:

  • Labor says the government has agreed to amendments allowing legal challenges against the location
  • The federal government has proposed to build the dump at Kimba in South Australia…..

Nuclear waste facility in SA may be a step closer, after Labor consults traditional owners

ABC, By political reporter Matthew Doran, 15 June 21, ”………………with the federal opposition preparing to negotiate with the government on legislation that would allow construction to begin.

Key points:

  • Labor says the government has agreed to amendments allowing legal challenges against the location
  • The federal government has proposed to build the dump at Kimba in South Australia…..

The federal government has proposed the dump be built near Kimba, on South Australia’s Eyre Peninsula, after a shortlist of locations was whittled down and a community vote was held. 

But legislation to give the project the tick of approval stalled in the Senate, with Labor concerned the bill did not allow legal challenges against the choice of location……..

On Tuesday, Labor’s Caucus agreed to let Shadow Resources Minister Madeleine King negotiate on the bill after the Coalition suggested it would present amendments to Parliament allowing for judicial review.

“We said we would not support passage of this legislation unless the traditional owners were comfortable with it,” Ms King said………

Ms King said the opposition would wait to see the details of the amendments before making its final decision.

She was praised by Shadow Indigenous Australians Minister Linda Burney for her consultation with the community.

Representatives of the Barngarla Determination Aboriginal Corporation (BDAC) travelled to Canberra to seek extra assurances from the federal government about the amendments.

“We welcome the engagement Labor to date and the engagement from the crossbench,” a spokesperson said.

We also acknowledge the commitment from Labor to ensure that nothing occurs without our support.

“We are unable to comment further at this stage as we are too busy dealing with this.”……..


The amendments are yet to be introduced to Parliament, and the timeframe for construction is not clear.

Legal challenges have scuttled previous attempts to construct a nuclear waste dump, including at Mukaty Station in the Northern Territory

Nuclear waste facility in SA may be a step closer, after Labor consults traditional owners

     https://www.abc.net.au/news/2021-06-15/nuclear-waste-facility-in-sa-potentially-a-step-closer/100218030  

June 17, 2021 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Federal nuclear waste dump, politics | Leave a comment

Nuclear waste intended for Kimba, -used to be classified as ”high level” – now called ”intermediate”.


Zac Eagle
 No nuclear waste dump in South Australia , 16 June 21

teSponst9oreduh  · “High Level waste from the existing HIFAR reactor is due to return in 2015 from reprocessing in France”Federal Parliament – 24 January 2005.

This is the stuff they want to dump in SA.When was it reclassified as Intermediate Waste? The link https://www.aph.gov.au/…/BN/2011-2012/RadioActiveWaste

June 17, 2021 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Federal nuclear waste dump, secrets and lies | Leave a comment

ANSTO’s dodgy classification of nuclear wastes.

When the re-processed material is returned to Australia invariably the processing country refers to that material as high-level waste but ANSTO reclassifies it as intermediate level on the very weak argument of the classifications in Europe being different to Australia……  it seems ludicrous that it should assume its own manner of classification and against the treaty adopted classifications of IAEA and adhered to by other countries.

a known area of seismic volatility with several notable earthquakes recorded in the past fifty years…. the area is prone to flooding with expectations of increased magnitude of floods.
Peter Remta  – submission to Senate Committee on National Radioactive Waste Management Amendment (Site Specification, Community Fund and Other Measures) Bill 2020   [Provisions] Submission 65
Excerpt
“………MANAGEMENT OF FACILITY
The intended management by the government of the disposal and storage of the different classes of nuclear wastes at the Kimba facility is technically flawed and inappropriate based most recent scientific research and nuclear cycle experiences throughout the world.
The proposal by the government is to dispose of the low-level waste in containers above ground while the intermediate level waste would be temporarily stored for an unspecified period again in containers held above the ground.
Based on the prescriptions and requirements of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) age of the different classes of nuclear waste at the Kimba facility is technically flawed and inappropriate based on ths outlined in its Safety Code11 :
(a) the low level waste should be disposed of by shallow burial; and
(b) the intermediate level waste should even when stored on a temporary basis be geologically buried at appropriate depths.
This is essential in the case of the intermediate level waste due to its highly dangerous and harmful status and the serious health consequences of human exposure.
In addition recent experience overseas has shown that many of the containers used for the above ground disposal and storage of nuclear waste are prone to corrosion and other integrity problems which can only be readily overcome by geological burial until better and longer lasting containers can be developed.
As a result most international experts are now advocating and even demanding underground burial of nuclear waste of all levels for disposal or even temporary storage and are quite surprised at the course being followed by Australia having regard to its prowess in the resources industry.
INTERNATIONAL OBLIGATIONS
The prescriptive codes of IAEA have been fully adopted by ARPANSA12 as its standards for the classification and treatment and management of nuclear waste in Australia.
However and with seemingly little local criticism the government and its plans for the now chosen Kimba facility have ignored these prescriptions and requirements which may well lead to ARPANSA not licensing the various stages of the construction and operations of the facility at Kimba.
The government has been unable to assure the members of the Kimba community that ARPANSA will in all probability licence the various stages of the establishment and operations of the government’s facility.
Even more importantly the execution of the proposals of the government in establishing the facility and its subsequent operations are in breach of its international treaty obligations which would among other things give any aggrieved community group the right to complain to the United Nations.
CONVENTION OBLIGATIONS
It is interesting that a new subsection 3(2) of the Bill gives effect to Australia’s obligations as a party to the Joint Convention for the safe and secure management of what is defined as decontrolled material and in particular Australia’s obligations under Chapters 3 and 4 of the Joint Convention.
Despite this legislative provision the subsequent passing of the Bill cannot excuse or justify any preceding breaches by the government of its obligations in that regard.
However it suggests that the government has doubts about the validity and integrity of its proposals under international law relating to its convention obligations.
In any event the Joint Convention was in 1997 while the prescriptive safety codes of IAEA and ARPANSA referred to in notations 10 and12 requiring underground burial of nuclear waste were issued in 2009 and 2010 respectively and I suggest intentionally excluded from the explanatory memorandum and the Bill.
NATURE OF WASTE
The government has always stated that the facility at Kimba would only be used for the permanent disposal of low-level waste and indefinite storage of intermediate level waste with that storage period being up to 100 years.
As already stated in both instances the waste would be held above the ground which is against the prescriptions and requirements of the international regulatory bodies including in particular the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).
The waste generated at Lucas Heights by its reactor is of high level when it is sent overseas for re-processing but the government does not give it a classification or even describes it as waste before its departure.
When the re-processed material is returned to Australia invariably the processing country refers to that material as high-level waste but ANSTO reclassifies it as intermediate level on the very weak argument of the classifications in Europe being different to Australia.
Considering that Australia does not have a nuclear industry nor a highly regarded regime of controlling a relatively small amount of nuclear waste it seems ludicrous that it should assume its own manner of classification and against the treaty adopted classifications of IAEA and adhered to by other countries.
Nuclear waste generated at Lucas Heights and then sent by Australia to Scotland for re-processing will now under a substitution agreement between Scotland and England (to which Australia is not a direct party) be returned to Australia as high level waste which was generated in England and reprocessed at Sellafield which until recently was one of the largest multi-function nuclear industry cycle hubs in the world.
This has never been properly explained by the government to the Kimba community or in fact to the public in general even though its actions and conduct have been questioned by overseas experts within the nuclear industry.
Moreover and despite the substitution arrangements the so-called reprocessed waste being returned to Australia by England is completely contrary to the requirement of the facility at Kimba to deal only with locally generated waste.
In addition the government refuses to disclose the levels of radionuclides in the waste to be sent to Kimba which is a most important factor in the management and disposal of nuclear waste.
CENTRAL FACILITY
The government has described the facility at Kimba as being a central one for Australia with the implication that it would dispose of or store as required all the present legend or stockpiled waste in Australia and all waste generated locally in the future.
However the government has failed to explain how it or any future operator of the facility will gain or acquire the waste currently held in numerous locations (stated tobe over 100) throughout Australia since except for the waste from Lucas Heightswhich is run by ANSTO and some other federal government installations it has has no rights or control over the other waste.
At the very least it would require some constitutional changes by whatever means possible to gain legislative power over that waste which would undoubtably be a difficult exercise and to a large extent would completely defeat the notion of a central national facility.
TECHNICAL ASSESSMENT
After accepting Napandee as a nominated site the government engaged AECOM to carry out what is described as a characterisation study of the site at Napandee which concluded with a technical report dated 23 July 2018.
This study was preceded in February 2018 by a preliminary outline by AECOM of what work would be carried out at Kimba on both of the nominated sites under the characterisation study.
The Department itself had claimed what is designated as a phase 1 assessment under the nomination guidelines giving effect to the existing legislation and issued a summary report which while undated was probably made public in July or August of 2017.

That summary added little to the technical nature of both Kimba sites and dealt principally with community consultations and the results of a recent ballotWhile all three reports were colourful presentations with elaborate artwork and photographs in reality by technical standards they contained little proper information to support and satisfy the selection of Napandee as the site for the waste management facility.

The reason is that most of the concluding opinions in the reports by AECOM were inconclusive and suggested additional work to meet the required or desired status to be acceptable for the facility at Napandee.
The Department has recently issued what it calls a fact sheet on Napandee which is dated February 2020 and which again is a high standard presentation in its artwork and photography.
However the conclusion in the fact sheet under the heading of Site Characterisation
After completion of the technical assessments at Napandee, the Department ofIndustry, Science, Energy and Resources has been advised that with further assessment, any supporting infrastructure constraints and risks posed by
environmental hazards such as seismic and flooding events, can be mitigated via design solutions.

This conclusion again shows that the Napandee selection was both premature as to its choice by the government due to the lack of a full assessment and investigation of the site and completely unsuitable for the facility.

Again drawing on the experience of the mining industry the technical assessment of Napandee would be regarded as an uncommercial exercise well short of a scoping and feasibility study to determine its suitability for the waste facility.
It also gives proof to the adage that governments should not be involved in businesses as they invariably end up as commercial disasters.:
However irrespective of the government’s technical assessments and proposed engineering designing the Napandee site will remain highly unsuitable for the waste facility due to its sandy sedimentary setting from surface to a vertical depth of approximately 30 metres in a known area of seismic volatility with several notable earthquakes recorded in the past fifty years.
The area has a relatively shallow water table (being only some 10 metres down) which will undoubtedly lead to various problems of hydrology including contamination of underground water flows from the escape of any nuclear waste material to be brought to Napandee.
While no hydrology studies have been done AECOM recommended modelling to estimate the risks of floods as the area is prone to flooding with expectations of increased magnitude of floods.

June 17, 2021 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Federal nuclear waste dump, secrets and lies | Leave a comment

What actually happened at Taishan?

What actually happened at Taishan?https://www.rnanews.eu/what-actually-happened-at-taishan-nfla-call-on-nuclear-regulator-to-carefully-investigate-possible-r-140634.html?fbclid=IwAR2W5hoUwNH-6fgYOgVv6LIbM4wVWPGA1cLA4i8_XAC0PPIpz4odlGmSTcI   NFLA call on nuclear regulator to carefully investigate possible radioactive leak and its implications for Hinkley C & Sizewell C | NFLA, 16 June 21,

The UK & Ireland Nuclear Free Local Authorities (NFLA) is concerned to read many contradictory reports over what has been called a ‘radioactive leak’ by some and ‘performance issues’ by others at the Taishan nuclear plant some 100kms from Hong Kong in the Guangdong region of China. NFLA has written to the UK nuclear regulatory, the Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR), to ask it to investigate this matter with real urgency in terms of the implications for similar reactors being considered for the UK.

The Taishan plants developed in China use the same EPR (European Pressurised Reactors) technology being planned for the Hinkley Point C plant in Somerset and currently being considered in a public inquiry at Sizewell C in Suffolk.

Taishan is a prestige EPR project built after China signed a nuclear electricity generation agreement with ÉDF. Construction started in 2009, and the two units started generating electricity in 2018 and 2019, respectively. It is 70% owned by CGN, and 30% by Framatome, a subsidiary of EDF.

This incident came to light following an investigation by CNN, and it appears to have been going on for some considerable time. 

According to the CNN investigation, in late May, one of the EPR reactors started venting radioactive gases – it is not known precisely why or when. The CNN article mentions possible fuel failures, and this is a possibility. It appears the Chinese nuclear regulator and the Chinese Government reacted by proposing to increase the safety limits for residents downwind in order to keep the reactor operating, and they told Framatome of this intention. Framatome objected to such an action and said China should instead shut down the reactor to find out what had gone wrong. The response from Chinese authorities was negative to this suggestion. As a result, Framatome (unusually) submitted an operational safety assistance request to the US Government on June 3rd, formally asking for a ‘legal waiver’ that would allow them to address an urgent nuclear safety matter. This was sent to the US Department of Energy (DOE), warning their officials that the nuclear reactor was leaking fission gas.

On June 8th, EDF asked the US DOE for an expedited review of their request, according to a memo obtained by CNN. “The situation is an imminent radiological threat to the site and to the public and Framatome urgently requests permission to transfer technical data and assistance as may be necessary to return the plant to normal operation” read the memo. Framatome reached out to the US government for assistance, the document indicates, because the Chinese government agency was continuing to increase its limits on the amount of radioactive gas that could safely be released from the facility without shutting it down, according to the documents reviewed by CNN.

Since this report came out, EDF and the Chinese authorities have tried to downplay that any serious incident took place, suggesting these matters were merely “performance issues” within safely levels. It should be noted though that an extraordinary board meeting has been requested by Framatome with its Chinese partners to discuss the matter. (2)

NFLA believe some kind of safety incident could well have taken place at the Taishan reactor, and sincerely hopes that it has not been anything approaching a major nuclear incident. The reaction of the Chinese nuclear regulator is of real concern to us, as is the large level of confusion that has clearly taken place over this incident.

NFLA has written to the UK Chief Nuclear Inspector asking for the Office of Nuclear Regulation to investigate this incident as part of the nuclear regulators’ Multinational Design Evaluation Programme, which includes a working group on the EPR that focuses on reviewing lessons learnt from commissioning, construction and early phase operations. Any concern that comes from this incident needs to be learnt quickly given the development of a similar reactor at Hinkley Point and a proposed reactor at Sizewell. For NFLA, this incident only goes to confirm its concern that the EPR reactor is highly complex and difficult to build, and safety issues could well remain within it.

NFLA Steering Committee Chair Councillor David Blackburn said:

“The murky details of what has actually happened to one of the Taishan Chinese EPR reactors in this incident is indicative of the lack of transparency that remains in the global nuclear industry. It also shows the real communication problems that can occur between in this case the French and Chinese nuclear companies and regulators. I hope this has not been a serious incident, but the detail initially provided to CNN suggests something has gone wrong and needs to be carefully considered in terms of its impact on this new nuclear reactor. It confirms to NFLA that there remain so many inherent issues in new nuclear that it would be far better to pursue instead safer, cheaper, more easily realisable and radioactive waste-free renewable energy alternatives.”

Ends – for more information please contact Sean Morris, NFLA Secretary, on 07771 930196.

June 17, 2021 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Australia’s government feels no duty to care towards young people on climate — RenewEconomy

Australia’s environment minister has rejected a court finding that she has a duty of care towards young Australians on climate. It’s unsurprising. The post Australia’s government feels no duty to care towards young people on climate appeared first on RenewEconomy.

Australia’s government feels no duty to care towards young people on climate — RenewEconomy

June 17, 2021 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Solar driving “paradigm shift” in electricity grid, says new AEMO boss — RenewEconomy

AEMO’s Daniel Westerman says there is a “paradigm shift” in the WA grid thanks to rapid uptake of solar, but battery storage will help manage the change. The post Solar driving “paradigm shift” in electricity grid, says new AEMO boss appeared first on RenewEconomy.

Solar driving “paradigm shift” in electricity grid, says new AEMO boss — RenewEconomy

June 17, 2021 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

“This is renewable energy, don’t be afraid:” Chris Bowen taunts Coalition in House of Reps — RenewEconomy

Labor’s Chris Bowen brandishes a solar panel in Parliament, telling the Morrison government not to be afraid of renewable energy. The post “This is renewable energy, don’t be afraid:” Chris Bowen taunts Coalition in House of Reps appeared first on RenewEconomy.

“This is renewable energy, don’t be afraid:” Chris Bowen taunts Coalition in House of Reps — RenewEconomy

June 17, 2021 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

ACT says it receives 42 proposals for ground-breaking Canberra Big Battery — RenewEconomy

A plan to build a 250MW Canberra Big Battery attracts strong interest for the biggest aggregation of distributed batteries in the country. The post ACT says it receives 42 proposals for ground-breaking Canberra Big Battery appeared first on RenewEconomy.

ACT says it receives 42 proposals for ground-breaking Canberra Big Battery — RenewEconomy

June 17, 2021 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Solar and battery projects added to Gippsland’s bold renewables push — RenewEconomy

An 80MW solar and battery project proposed for Victoria’s Gippsland region by group looking to establish an Australian Renewables Academy in Sale. The post Solar and battery projects added to Gippsland’s bold renewables push appeared first on RenewEconomy.

Solar and battery projects added to Gippsland’s bold renewables push — RenewEconomy

June 17, 2021 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Australia’s energy R&D is a mess: Putting fossil fuels in the driver’s seat won’t help — RenewEconomy

Australia’s funding for climate research has shrunk to nearly nothing since LNP took power. Now it’s directing what little is left to fossils, and it’s a sad moment for ARENA. The post Australia’s energy R&D is a mess: Putting fossil fuels in the driver’s seat won’t help appeared first on RenewEconomy.

Australia’s energy R&D is a mess: Putting fossil fuels in the driver’s seat won’t help — RenewEconomy

June 17, 2021 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

June 16 Energy News — geoharvey

Opinion: ¶ “Marine Protected Areas Key To Our Future” • If we want our ocean to stay productive, we need to step up now. For decades, the ocean has been absorbing much of global warming’s heat, so it’s warmer and more acidic than ever. Marine life is searching for cooler waters, harmful algae are blooming, and  vital habitats […]

June 16 Energy News — geoharvey

June 17, 2021 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment