Antinuclear

Australian news, and some related international items

The week in nuclear news

No – there’s not really much happening in the nuclear sphere.  What is happening is the increasing pro nuke propaganda. It is so noticeable in my country, Australia. Not that it’s widespread (yet), but the pro-nuke spiel from the Murdochracy is so patently, silly, and ill-informed that it deserves mention for its absurdity. I hope to write more about this next time.

CLIMATE  Serious as the pandemic is, –  I’m thinking that in the total picture,  it does not compare with the weather extremes, the suffering, the forced refugees, that the world faces from global heating.

 When it happens in America, the media does sit up and take notice. It’s happening in California, with raging temperatures and raging wildfires. I know that this is terrible, and not funny, but still, I wonder if some climate change denialists might be having second thoughts , as they’re finding it hard to get oysters and other luxury shellfish –   seeing that these coastal marine organisms are being cooked now, before they can be harvested.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DTZD5K6JBGk

CORONAVIRUS.  World Health Organisation sounds alarm as global deaths top 4 million, delta variant spreads to 100 countries.

AUSTRALIA.

South Australian law demands an Inquiry into the Federal government’s nuclear waste storage plan. Barngarla Determination Aboriginal Corporation (BDAC) will take legal action against nuclear dump plan if Resources Minister Keith Pitt names Napandee as the site. 

 Australian Members of Parliament from right and left parties call on US President Biden to drop charges against Julian Assange,

INTERNATIONAL

Reaching net zero without nuclear.   Nuclear Energy Will Not Be the Solution to Climate Change – not enough time, even if it were effective.

If They Chose, Biden and Putin Could Make the World Radically Safer,   Nuclear arms control hasn’t worked. We need a new approach.

Key witness in Julian Assange case admits to lies in indictment.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HlLbAVSHeA8    U.S. government offers meaningless assurances on Julian Assange’s well-being, as it gets right to appeal on UK court ruling against his extradition. U.S. proposals about extradition of Julian Assange are designed to keep him in prison for life.

Rapid growth of global renewable energy: it’s the major energy source in Europe.


Mobile phones/cellphones
 – the health danger from electromagnetic radiation.

July 12, 2021 Posted by | Christina reviews | Leave a comment

Reaching net zero without nuclear

Our latest Talking Points makes the case

Not only is it possible, it’s essential   https://beyondnuclearinternational.org/2021/07/11/reaching-net-zero-without-nuclear/

The fourth in our series of Talking Points draws on the new report by Jonathon Porritt, New Zero Without Nuclear: The Case Against Nuclear Power. Given the far-off illusory promise of new reactor designs; the enormous costs; the limited capacity for carbon reductions compared to renewables; the unsolved waste problem; and the inflexibility and outdatedness of the “always on” baseload model, nuclear power is in the way of — rather than a contributor to — climate mitigation. You can download the Net Zero Without Nuclear Talking Points here. This is the fourth in our series. You can find all four here.

By Jonathon Porritt 10 July 21

 I first took an interest in Greenpeace back in 1973, before I joined Friends of the Earth, CND and the Green Party (then the Ecology Party) a year later. I’d followed the campaigns against the testing of nuclear weapons in Amchitka (one of the Aleutian islands in Alaska), and then in the French nuclear testing area of Moruroa in the Pacific. I was 23 at the time, with zero in-depth knowledge, but it just seemed wrong, on so many different fronts.

That early history of Greenpeace seems much less relevant now, given all its achievements over the last 50 years in so many other areas of critical environmental concern. But it still matters. Greenpeace has been an ‘anti-nuclear organisation’ through all that time, sometimes fiercely engaged in front-line battles, sometimes maintaining more of a watching brief, and nuclear power plays no part in Greenpeace’s modelling of a rapid transition to a Net Zero carbon world. It’s been very supportive of my new report, ‘Net Zero Without Nuclear’.

I wrote this report partly because the nuclear industry itself is in full-on propaganda mode, and partly because that small caucus of pro-nuclear greens (that’s existed for as long as I can remember) seems to be winning new supporters.

And I can see why. The Net Zero journey we’re now starting out on for real (at long last!) is by far the most daunting challenge that humankind has ever faced. Writing in the Los Angeles Review of Books in June 2019, author and Army veteran Roy Scranton put it like this:

‘Climate change is bigger than the New Deal, bigger than the Marshall Plan, bigger than World War II, bigger than racism, sexism, inequality, slavery, the Holocaust, the end of nature, the Sixth Extinction, famine, war, and plague all put together, because the chaos it’s bringing is going to supercharge every other problem. Successfully meeting this crisis would require an abrupt, traumatic revolution in global human society; failing to meet it will be even worse.’

Not many people see it like that – as yet. But more and more will, as signals of that kind of chaos start to multiply. And we already know that the kind of radical decarbonisation on which our future depends is going to be incredibly hard. So why should we reject a potentially powerful contribution to that decarbonisation challenge?

I became Director of Friends of the Earth in 1984. The same year that my first book, ‘Seeing Green’, was published. Looking back on what I said then, I was indeed fiercely critical of nuclear power, but have to admit that my advocacy of renewables (as the principal alternative) was somewhat muted. Apart from a few visionaries in the early 1980s (including Friends of the Earth’s Amory Lovins and Walt Patterson), no-one really thought that renewables would be capable of substituting for the use of all fossil fuels and all nuclear at any point in the near future. And anyone expressing such a view in official circles was rapidly put back in their box.

Given the scale of the challenge we face, we need to have very strong grounds for keeping nuclear out of today’s low/zero-carbon portfolio. Not least as nuclear power, historically, has already made a huge contribution to low-carbon generation. Since the early 1960s, nuclear power has provided the equivalent of 18,000 reactor years of electricity generation. We’d be in a much worse place today if all that electricity had been generated from burning coal or gas.

Happily, there is no longer any doubt about the viability of that alternative. In 2020, Stanford University issued a collection of 56 peer-reviewed journal articles, from 18 independent research groups, supporting the idea that all the energy required for electricity, transport, heating and cooling, and all industrial purposes, can be supplied reliably with 100% (or near 100%) renewable energy. The solutions involve transitioning ASAP to 100% renewable wind – water – solar (WWS), efficiency and storage.

The transition is already happening. To date, 11 countries have reached or exceeded 100% renewable electricity. And a further 12 countries are intent on reaching that threshold by 2030. In the UK, the Association for Renewable Energy and Clean Technology says we can reach 100% renewable electricity by 2032. Last year, we crossed the 40% threshold.

There is of course a world of difference between electricity and total energy consumption. But at the end of April, Carbon Tracker brought out its latest analysis of the potential for renewables, convincingly explaining why solar and wind alone could meet total world energy demand 100 times over by 2050, and that fears about the huge amount of land this would require are unfounded. The land required for solar panels to provide all global energy would be 450,000 km2, just 0.3% of global land area – significantly less than the current land footprint of fossil fuel infrastructures. As the Report says:

The technical and economic barriers have been crossed and the only impediment to change is political. Sector by sector and country by country the fossil fuel incumbency is being swamped by the rapidly rising tide of new energy technologies. Even countries where the technical potential is below 10 times energy demand. . . have devised innovative approaches to energy generation.

The fossil fuel industry cannot compete with the technology learning curves of renewables, so demand will inevitably fall as wind and solar continue to grow. At the current 15-20% growth rates of solar and wind, fossil fuels will be pushed out of the electricity sector by the mid-2030s and out of total energy supply by 2050.‘

The unlocking of energy reserves 100 times our current demand creates new possibilities for cheaper energy and more local jobs in a more equitable world with far less environmental stress.‘

Poor countries are the greatest beneficiaries. They have the largest ratio of solar and wind potential to energy demand and stand to unlock huge domestic benefits.’

Nuclear plays no part in any of these projections, whether we’re talking big reactors or small reactors, fission or fusion. The simple truth is this: we should see nuclear as another 20th century technology, with an ever-diminishing role through into the 21st century, incapable of overcoming its inherent problems of cost, construction delay, nuclear waste, decommissioning, security (both physical and cyber), let alone the small but still highly material risk of catastrophic accidents like Chernobyl and Fukushima. My ‘Net Zero Without Nuclear’ report goes into all these inherent problems in some detail.

So why are the UK’s politicians (in all three major parties) still in thrall to this superannuated technology? It’s here we have to go back to Amchitka! Some environmentalists may still be taken aback to discover that the Government’s principal case for nuclear power in the UK today is driven by the need to maintain the UK’s nuclear weapons capability – to ensure a ‘talent pool’ of nuclear engineers and to support a supply chain of engineering companies capable of providing component parts for the nuclear industry, both civilian and military. The indefatigable work of Andy Stirling and Phil Johnston at Sussex University’s Science Policy Research Unit has established the depth and intensity of these interdependencies, demonstrating how the UK’s military industrial base would become unaffordable in the absence of a nuclear energy programme.

What that means is that today’s pro-nuclear greens are throwing in their lot not just with a bottomless pit of hype and fantasy, but with a world still dangerously at risk from that continuing dependence on nuclear weapons. That’s a weird place to be, 50 years on from the emergence of Greenpeace as a force for good in that world.

July 12, 2021 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Fukushima’s ”nuclear recovery Olympics” has gone even more wrong, as spectators banned.

Fukushima to ban Olympic spectators as Covid cases rise, 
U-turn deals blow to Japan’s hopes of using Games to showcase recovery from 2011 tsunami, Guardian, 10 Jul 21, 
The Fukushima prefecture of Japan will bar spectators from the Olympic events it hosts this summer owing to rising Covid-19 infections, its governor said on Saturday, reversing a position announced two days earlier by organisers.

The decision deals another blow to Japan’s hopes of using the Olympics to showcase its recovery from a devastating earthquake and tsunami that hit the northern coast in 2011, destroying a nuclear power station in Fukushima in the worst nuclear accident since Chernobyl.

Organisers had said on Thursday there would be no spectators in the host city, Tokyo, as a resurgent coronavirus forced the prime minister, Yoshihide Suga, to declare a state of emergency in the capital that will run throughout the Games, which were already postponed by a year due to the pandemic……..

Fukushima’s move comes a day after the Australian Olympic Committee president, John Coates, expressed optimism about audiences in Fukushima. Japan take on Australia in a softball game that will be the first competition of the Olympics on 21 July, two days before the opening ceremony.

………. Organisers said there was no change to plans for limited crowds in Miyagi, Shizuoka and Ibaraki prefectures.  https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2021/jul/10/fukushima-to-ban-olympic-spectators-as-covid-cases-rise

July 12, 2021 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Mobile phones/cellphones – the health danger from electromagnetic radiation

Ed. note. We know that ionising radiation from nuclear activities causes cancer and other health ill-effects. But we should also be aware of non-ionising radiation,and its effects on health – electromagnetic radiation as emitted by mobile pnones.

Since then, he said, research has shown significant adverse biologic and health effects — including brain cancer — associated with the use of cellphones and other wireless devices. And now, he said, with the fifth generation of cellular technology, known as 5G, there is an even bigger reason for concern.

Moskowitz: Cellphone radiation is harmful, but few want to believe it. Berkely News,  Anne Brice, Berkeley News| JULY 1, 2021 For more than a decade, Joel Moskowitz, a researcher in the School of Public Health at UC Berkeley and director of Berkeley’s Center for Family and Community Health, has been on a quest to prove that radiation from cellphones is unsafe. But, he said, most people don’t want to hear it.

“People are addicted to their smartphones,” said Moskowitz. “We use them for everything now, and, in many ways, we need them to function in our daily lives. I think the idea that they’re potentially harming our health is too much for some people.”

Since cellphones first came onto the market in 1983, they have gone from clunky devices with bad reception to today’s sleek, multifunction smartphones. And although cellphones are now used by nearly all American adults, considerable research suggests that long-term use poses health risks from the radiation they emit, said Moskowitz.

“Cellphones, cell towers and other wireless devices are regulated by most governments,” said Moskowitz. “Our government, however, stopped funding research on the health effects of radiofrequency radiation in the 1990s.”

Since then, he said, research has shown significant adverse biologic and health effects — including brain cancer — associated with the use of cellphones and other wireless devices. And now, he said, with the fifth generation of cellular technology, known as 5G, there is an even bigger reason for concern.

Berkeley News spoke with Moskowitz about the health risks of cellphone radiation, why the topic is so controversial and what we can expect with the rollout of 5G.

Berkeley News: I think we should address upfront is how controversial this research is. Some scientists have said that these findings are without basis and that there isn’t enough evidence that cellphone radiation is harmful to our health. How do you respond to that?

Joel Moskowitz: Well, first of all, few scientists in this country can speak knowledgeably about the health effects of wireless technology. So, I’m not surprised that people are skeptical, but that doesn’t mean the findings aren’t valid.

A big reason there isn’t more research about the health risks of radiofrequency radiation exposure is because the U.S. government stopped funding this research in the 1990s, with the exception of a $30 million rodent study published in 2018 by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences’ National Toxicology Program, which found “clear evidence” of carcinogenicity from cellphone radiation.

In 1996, the Federal Communications Commission, or FCC, adopted exposure guidelines that limited the intensity of exposure to radiofrequency radiation. These guidelines were designed to prevent significant heating of tissue from short-term exposure to radiofrequency radiation, not to protect us from the effects of long-term exposure to low levels of modulated, or pulsed, radiofrequency radiation, which is produced by cellphones, cordless phones and other wireless devices, including Wi-Fi. Yet, the preponderance of research published since 1990 finds adverse biologic and health effects from long-term exposure to radiofrequency radiation, including DNA damage.

More than 250 scientists, who have published over 2,000 papers and letters in professional journals on the biologic and health effects of non-ionizing electromagnetic fields produced by wireless devices, including cellphones, have signed the International EMF Scientist Appeal, which calls for health warnings and stronger exposure limits. So, there are many scientists who agree that this radiation is harmful to our health.

Our 2009 review, published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, found that heavy cellphone use was associated with increased brain cancer incidence, especially in studies that used higher quality methods and studies that had no telecommunications industry funding.

Last year, we updated our review, published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, based on a meta-analysis of 46 case-control studies — twice as many studies as we used for our 2009 review — and obtained similar findings Our main takeaway from the current review is that approximately 1,000 hours of lifetime cellphone use, or about 17 minutes per day over a 10-year period, is associated with a statistically significant 60% increase in brain cancer.

Why did the government stop funding this kind of research?

The telecommunications industry has almost complete control of the FCC, according to Captured Agency, a monograph written by journalist Norm Alster during his 2014-15 fellowship at Harvard University’s Center for Ethics. There’s a revolving door between the membership of the FCC and high-level people within the telecom industry that’s been going on for a couple of decades now.

The industry spends about $100 million a year lobbying Congress. The CTIA, which is the major telecom lobbying group, spends $12.5 million per year on 70 lobbyists. According to one of their spokespersons, lobbyists meet roughly 500 times a year with the FCC to lobby on various issues. The industry as a whole spends $132 million a year on lobbying and provides $18 million in political contributions to members of Congress and others at the federal level.

……… there are strong parallels between what the telecom industry has done and what the tobacco industry has done, in terms of marketing and controlling messaging to the public. ………  For safety tips on how to reduce exposure to wireless radiation from the California Department of Public Health and other organizations, Moskowitz recommends readers visit his website, saferemr.comPhysicians for Safe Technology and the Environmental Health Trust.  https://news.berkeley.edu/2021/07/01/health-risks-of-cell-phone-radiation/#:~:text=Moskowitz%3A%20Cellphone%20radiation%20is%20harmful%2C%20but%20few%20want%20to%20believe%20it,-By%20Anne%20Brice&text=For%20more%20than%20a%20decade,radiation%20from%20cellphones%20is%20unsafe.

July 12, 2021 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

“Embarrassing:” Ley to appeal court ruling she has duty of care to young people on emissions — RenewEconomy

Federal environment minister flags appeal of Federal Court order that she has a duty of care to protect young people from the impacts of greenhouse gas emissions. The post “Embarrassing:” Ley to appeal court ruling she has duty of care to young people on emissions appeared first on RenewEconomy.

“Embarrassing:” Ley to appeal court ruling she has duty of care to young people on emissions — RenewEconomy

July 12, 2021 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Energy Insiders Podcast: Batteries accelerating shift to renewables — RenewEconomy

Alinta’s Gary Bryant on how battery storage is accelerating the shift to renewables. The post Energy Insiders Podcast: Batteries accelerating shift to renewables appeared first on RenewEconomy.

Energy Insiders Podcast: Batteries accelerating shift to renewables — RenewEconomy

July 12, 2021 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

First big battery on WA’s main grid gains development approval — RenewEconomy

Synergy says its 100MW/200MWh big battery has been given the green light for development at a decommissioned fossil fuel power station. The post First big battery on WA’s main grid gains development approval appeared first on RenewEconomy.

First big battery on WA’s main grid gains development approval — RenewEconomy

July 12, 2021 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment