Australian news, and some related international items

The week in nuclear news

Today, Dr Helen Caldicott speaks out forcefully on the omnicidal threat of nuclear war, on male aggression, and the need for women to take control in national governments.

On matters nuclear – not much is happening – news items this week, from UK, Canada, France and USA show that  nuclear development is stalling.    Meanwhile renewable energy is charging ahead globally – cheaper and faster. I am not able to keep up with solar, wind, developments etc.

CORONAVIRUS –  What’s happening in Canada and around the world.

CLIMATE Cascading Tipping Points & Permafrost. Germany the latest victim of extreme weather.

A bit of good news. Huge Supply of Water is Saved From Evaporation When Solar Panels Are  Built Over Canals 


Greenland moves toward a stricter ban on uranium mining.


With all its wisdom, the human race is killing itself.

As the world starts to panic over climate change, nuclear evangelists offer spurious solutions.

British court ruling heightens danger of Assange extradition to the US.

How Right-Wing Extremists Pose A Nuclear Threat.

The International Atomic Energy Agency is well aware of that danger we don’t discuss – NUCLEAR TERRORISM.

Automation in nuclear weapon systems: lessons from the man who saved the world.

The Catholic Worker Movement, and its anti-nuclear heroes in prison.

3rd-gen Nagasaki A-bomb survivor continuing decades-long work for nuclear free world

July 19, 2021 Posted by | Christina reviews | Leave a comment

ANSTO aims to speed up return to Australia of highly hazardous nuclear wastes


nuclear waste container unloading at Port Kembla

It is ‘highly hazardous’ nuclear wastes... said previously to be due “before 2023”
There is a federal PWC Inquiry on now into ANSTO ILW works – input due by Fri 30 July.

ANSTO seeks to repatriate more nuclear waste from overseas

 Natalie Croxon,

Australia’s nuclear agency plans to bring back a second cask of its radioactive waste back from overseas, following a major operation that saw a container unloaded at Port Kembla in 2015.

Australia does not have the capacity to reprocess the spent fuel rods from its nuclear operations, so the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation sends these overseas where any remaining uranium is stripped and recycled.

The remainder of the waste goes through a process in which it is solidified in molten glass and placed in 500 kilogram canisters.

These canisters are then put into a transport cask with 20 centimetre-thick walls made from forged steel for shipping to Australia.

Subject to approvals, ANSTO plans to bring back its second of these casks from overseas next year, this time from the United Kingdom.

It will be taken to ANSTO’s interim waste storage facility at Lucas Heights in southern Sydney.

While ANSTO will not yet disclose the route and timing of the transport for security reasons, the 2015 operation saw the waste shipped into Port Kembla before it was taken by road to Lucas Heights.

ANSTO says between 75 and 80 per cent of the nuclear waste it produces is associated with the production of nuclear medicine.

“For decades, Australians have benefited from nuclear medicine, and environmental, industrial and minerals research undertaken at Lucas Heights,” ANSTO’s chief nuclear officer Hef Griffiths said.

“Those benefits include production of millions of doses of nuclear medicine, increased profitability of our mining industry, irradiation of silicon used in everything from fast trains to hybrid cars, and a base of knowledge that secures Australia’s position in international nuclear non-proliferation talks.

“Along with these benefits comes a responsibility for Australia to safely deal with the by-products including radioactive waste.

“Australia does not shy away from that responsibility, and ANSTO has comprehensive plans to safely manage it.”

On a scale of low to high, the waste to be repatriated from the UK is classed as intermediate-level waste: this means it requires additional shielding during handling, transport and storage, but does not have levels of radiation as high as high-level waste.

ANSTO says the cask to be used for this waste is so heavily shielded that there will be no detectable traces of radiation above background levels for someone standing right beside it.

It will be stored at ANSTO’s interim waste facility until a national nuclear waste management facility is established around the end of the decade.

July 19, 2021 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

With all its wisdom, the human race is killing itself

HELEN CALDICOTT: With all its wisdom, the human race is killing itself,  Independent Australia, By Helen Caldicott | 17 July 2021 From a historical perspective, Homo sapiens are an evolutionary aberrant.

Unlike other forms of life, armed with an opposing thumb and a highly developed and advanced neocortex, we have, over time, developed the capacity to destroy most organisms on planet Earth.

This has been accomplished either with the energy of heat, light and power that exist inside the sun or, conversely, by slowly cooking the planet as we release fossil gases — carbon dioxide and methane………..

Little did people know when they developed steam engines, motor cars and factories that were powered by these fossil fuels that within several centuries, such wonderful inventions which made life incredibly easy would, in the long run, threaten the biosphere with eventual extinction.

And ever since humans evolved, the male species has seen fit to harness the overwhelming power of testosterone to kill invading species, but more to the point, slaughter his fellow constituents for territorial gains, power plays and control dynamics. Yes, it is true that other male species will fight to the kill over mating imperatives, food or territorial control, but they have no access to reason, scientific knowledge and moral imperatives.

Congruent with this history, it is obvious that as we became more obsessed with gaining scientific knowledge, such wisdom would be put to better methods of killing.

So where does the human race stand now? Nine countries now own nuclear weapons, with the USA and Russia greatly predominating, owning 94 per cent of all the approximately 14,000 in the world……….

The U.S. now spends over one trillion dollars a year on potential murder, all dressed up in the name of “national defence” which is pure rubbish. Because let’s face it, America has no enemies, Russia has joined the capitalist sphere, China is, at the moment, a little belligerent but the U.S. more so with 800 military bases in 80 foreign countries.

For the human race to survive, it is imperative that we encourage and foster friendship with all nations on Earth, that we reign in the killing testosterone instinct, that women with their nurturing hormones rapidly take control of national governments and pursuant to the teachings of the great moral profits – Jesus, Buddha, Muhammad, and all others – that we rapidly learn to live in peace with each other. Or let’s face it, we are doomed and will take the wonders of billions of years of creation with us.,15300

July 19, 2021 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Nuclear colonialism – Australian artist’s work censored in UK

An Australian artist has accused a group of Conservative councillors of
using “bullying strategies” to silence and censor her work after an
installation she created to highlight Britain’s “identity as a colonial
nuclear state” was removed from a park in Essex. The councillors
threatened to “take action against the work” if it was not removed,
according to Metal, the arts organisation that commissioned and then
removed the installation from Gunners Park in Southend.


Guardian 17th July 2021


July 19, 2021 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Australian cities not prepared for the coming heatwaves- poor urban planning

The urban heat dome

The heat is coming and we are not prepared for it.

It is not just that large houses on small blocks leave no room for trees,….. The little space left between them provides no room for recreation and serve to increase heat, with side-passages often home to air-conditioning systems that spew heated air across dividing fences.

When he looks at new developments on the fringes of Australian cities, Pfautsch says residents have been abandoned to wholly predictable heat extremes caused by global warming but exacerbated by poor planning regulation.

We’re ending up with dark-roofed, back-to-back, nose-to-front, housing suburbs on the outskirts of Melbourne. And if you add dark, asphalt and concrete surfaces you’re going to get really hot suburbs,”

Why a killer US heatwave points to a stifling future for our cities. Brisbane Times, By Nick O’Malley and Miki Perkins, July 17, 2021 It was the hellish evening temperatures that finally caused the authorities to start busing the homeless into heat shelters where they had access to fans, air-conditioning and water.

Three hours from sundown last Saturday the temperature in Las Vegas peaked at 47.2 degrees, equalling a record set in 2017. By dawn, the temperature had bottomed out at a stifling 34 degrees and begun to rise again.

One person was treated for burns after walking on a pavement and the homeless were bussed from an outdoor shelter to indoor cooling centres in response.

West of the city at Furnace Creek in Death Valley a temperature of 54.4 degrees was recorded. Experts are still checking the reading and debating over whether this was the hottest temperature ever recorded on earth.

In the town of Lytton in British Columbia, a Canadian heat record was set at the end of last month when the temperature hit 49.6 degrees and lingered up there over three days. Authorities attributed hundreds of deaths across the region to the heat, even before wildfire arrived and burnt most of the village to the ground, killing two more.

Before the flames approached one local, Lorna Fandrich, told the New York Times that she’d noticed green leaves dropping off the trees, apparently unable to tolerate the heat. On the coast to the west, millions of mussels and oysters cooked and died in superheated shallow waters.

From his home outside Sacramento Ken Pimlott, the recently retired head of Cal Fire, the agency responsible for fighting wildfires across the state of California, watched on with dread. The height of the northern fire season, he noted, has not even arrived yet.

These temperatures, Pimlott told The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age, are no longer outliers, but spikes in a new normal in a world not prepared to manage them.

The temperatures have already extended the North American fire season, causing exhaustion among crews who can’t get enough rest from the fire lines and difficulties in keeping up with maintenance demands on equipment. Aircraft once shared with nations like Australia were under greater demand as fire seasons overlapped, he said.

Pimlott’s dread was shared in Australia.

Dr Sebastian Pfautsch, a specialist on urban heat at Western Sydney University, says though Australian attention has drifted from the terrible summer of 2019 and 2020, he fears for the future of residents of some suburbs in Sydney and Melbourne.

The heat is coming, he says, and we are not prepared for it.

Stephen Livesley is an associate professor in forest sciences at the University of Melbourne, and an expert on the benefits of urban forests. “It’s possible we’re going to end up with large neighbourhoods which people in 20 or 30 years’ time will simply avoid,” he says.

This concern is not misjudged, says Professor Christian Jakob, a Monash University atmospheric scientist.

His analysis of the heatwave that struck North America shows that it originated with an unremarkable rainshower on the other side of the Pacific Ocean, not far from Japan.

The shower caused an atmospheric disturbance that in turn created what scientists call a Rossby wave, which was guided towards North America by the jet stream, amplifying as it travelled before breaking upon the shores of the Pacific Northwest.

There the wave caused a high-pressure system. As Jakob explains, air heats under pressure. On the ground, temperatures soared. What caused the temperatures to reach such extremes, though, and what made the system linger long enough to cause such misery and destruction beneath it, cannot yet be explained by science says Jakob.

Until better computer models are created all we can know is that as the climate heats due to global warming such heatwaves will in some areas increase in intensity and duration.

Areas particularly prone to the phenomenon include northern Europe, North America and south-eastern Australia, he says

On the day that Penrith became for a time the hottest place on earth, with temperatures hitting 48.9 degrees on January 4 last year, Keith Heggart’s air conditioner conked out by midday. The manual said it sometimes did that in extreme heat and recommended hosing it down, but due to bushfires water use was banned. Heggart and his young family closed windows against the smoke and the blinds against the sun and sheltered in the living room where a fan pushed around the hot air.

Watching the news from America these past few weeks, Heggart has fretted about the summers to come. His street in Penrith is older than others and there is some shade, some gaps between the houses, but when he looks at the new developments nearby, he despairs.

“There are no trees, there is no shade,” he says. “You could reach out your window and touch the house next door.

When he looks at new developments on the fringes of Australian cities, Pfautsch says residents have been abandoned to wholly predictable heat extremes caused by global warming but exacerbated by poor planning regulation.

Council areas such as Blacktown, Penrith and Campbelltown in Sydney and suburbs like Wollert, Mernda and Mickleham in Melbourne are compelled to absorb growing populations by state governments, but are failing to impose proper planning regulations. Strapped for cash, they have allowed property developers to shape the built environment, he says.

…….. It is not just that large houses on small blocks leave no room for trees, Pfautsch says. The little space left between them provides no room for recreation and serve to increase heat, with side-passages often home to air-conditioning systems that spew heated air across dividing fences.

But Pfautsch sees other wilful mistakes. Unshaded black roads absorb heat during the day only to radiate it at night, extending the heat of day into the evening. This contributes to the urban heat island effect.

Roofs, exterior walls and even driveways created by developers in currently fashionable dark shades serve to exacerbate the impact, he says.

But, according to Pfautsch, the problems begin even before the new suburbs are laid out, when developers clear new sites of all existing trees, ponds and watercourses to maximise space and save on construction costs.

What greenspace remains is often not connected to homes by shaded foot or bike paths.

“It is inhumane to expect people to live like this in the temperatures we anticipate,” he says. “I can’t say it more strongly than that.”………….

Overall, Melbourne lost 0.3 per cent of its canopy between 2014 and 2018. Almost 2000 hectares of trees were cut from the east and south-east, mostly at residential properties……….

We’re ending up with dark-roofed, back-to-back, nose-to-front, housing suburbs on the outskirts of Melbourne. And if you add dark, asphalt and concrete surfaces you’re going to get really hot suburbs,” he says. “When you have high-temperature events intersecting with urban heat islands, you have really, really high temperatures.”

According to Pfautsch, even a concerted effort to increase tree coverage in the suburbs most prone to the heat-island effect will only have limited impact in the years to come………

All this raises thorny questions of environmental and climate justice, Livesley says, as the suburbs most affected are often the most affordable.

“We are pushing some of the most vulnerable people in our society into these low tree, low services environments, with poor public transport infrastructure.”…………

In Mildura, a town near the border in north-west Victoria, temperatures have increased in line with worldwide heating trends. Between 1998-99 and 2018-19 the number of days each year where the temperature went above 35 degrees increased by about 20 days, and the number of heatwaves rose from six to nine.

For residents living in public housing – who faced huge bureaucratic hurdles to having air conditioners installed – recent summers have been a nightmare,………..

not only should we be tackling climate change, we should be totally re-imagining how we build our suburbs.

July 19, 2021 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, climate change - global warming | Leave a comment

Nuclear-free Asia Pacific Report 

Nuclear-free  Asia Pacific Report 
By APR editor – July 19, 2021   Over the past 50 years, France has continued to deny the tragedies of nuclear testing in French Occupied Polynesia by propagating the theory of “clean nuclear tests”. Image: Youngsolwara Pacific

Asia Pacific Report newsdesk    Moana activists, campaigners, scholars, researchers and Green MPs gathered today in a show of solidarity for Tahiti’s Ma’ohi Lives Matter rally at Auckland University of Technology and vowed to work towards independence for the French-occupied Pacific territory.

A live feed from the Tahitian capital of Pape’ete was screened and simultaneous events happened across the Pacific, such as in Fiji.

Many of the Auckland participants were stalwarts from the early days of the Nuclear-Free and Independent Pacific (NFIP) movement from the 1970s and 1980s and declared their support for pro-independence Tahitian leader Oscar Temaru.

Many speakers protested that Tahitians were still awaiting compensation for the legacy of health problems and the devastation of Moruroa and Fangataufa atolls during 30 years of testing and 193 nuclear blasts, both atmospheric and underground.

The speakers said it was appalling that serious attempts for compensation and a state apology had not happened in the two decades since the tests ended in 1996.

However, reports from Paris at the weekend hinted that the French Polynesian President had indicated that France had for the first time conceded it should compensate Tahiti’s social security agency CPS for the medical costs caused by the tests.

The agency had repeatedly said that since 1995 it had paid out US$800 million to treat a total of 10,000 people suffering from cancer as the result of radiation from the tests.

French PM’s letter
Tahiti’s territorial President Édouard Fritch said he received a letter from French Prime Minister Jean Castex, in which he admitted that the demand for a re-imbursement of the outlays was legitimate…………….

Environmental journalist, author and academic Dr David Robie denounced the “decades of lies, bluster and cover-ups” by French authorities, saying recent allegations published by the book Toxique and investigative website The Moruroa Files were a “game changer” forcing action from Paris…………

The rally participants acknowledged the connection between indigenous struggles in Mā’ohi Nui, Aotearoa, Australia, Hawai’i, Kanaky New Caledonia, Micronesia, Papua New Guinea, Rapa Nui, Solomons, Vanuatu, West Papua, and the rest of Moana.,,,,,,,

July 19, 2021 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Small Nuclear Reactors are all the hype. But here’s the reality

promoting a dizzying assortment of  next-generation models that have collectively been dubbed “small modular reactors” (SMRs).……..

The real challenge “is answering all the safety questions that any good regulator would ask: ‘How will this behave if there’s an earthquake or fire? What happens if there’s a complete blackout? What happens if this component fails?’ ” Answering such questions requires an intensive research program and countless hours of laboratory work, which can take decades. There’s no guarantee the answers will be favourable.

Governments, utilities and the nuclear industry hope small modular reactors will power Canada’s future. Can they actually build one?  The Globe and Mail MATTHEW MCCLEARN, JULY 17, 2021  Ontario Power Generation plans to make a decision this year that might determine the future of Canada’s nuclear industry.The utility, by far Canada’s largest nuclear power producer, promises to select a design for a 300-megawatt reactor it proposes to build at its Darlington Nuclear Generating Station by 2028. The estimated price tag: up to $3-billion. It would be the first new reactor built on Canadian soil in well over three decades. OPG won’t make that decision alone, because it’s intended to be the first of many reactors of the same design built across the country.Canada’s nuclear industry desperately needs a next act…..  With a supply chain of more than 200 companies covering everything from uranium mining, to operating power plants, to decommissioning them, Canada is considered a Tier 1 nuclear country.

But lately, this machine has been devoted to squeezing more life out of old CANDU units, largely through Ontario’s $26-billion plan to refurbish its Darlington station, east of Toronto, and the Bruce Power complex, on Lake Huron. The industry has few, if any, exciting new products for sale……
but  renewable forms of generation – hydro, wind, solar and biomass – have become preferred tools for decarbonizing electricity grids. And utilities can buy inexpensive wind turbines and solar panels today.

Seeking to catch up, dozens of nuclear vendors sprung up just in the past few years, promoting a dizzying assortment of  next-generation models that have collectively been dubbed “small modular reactors” (SMRs)………

U.S. President Joe Biden and U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson have also indicated they will also support SMR development, as have some prominent investors, notably Bill Gates.

Here’s the reality: Most SMRs exist only as conceptual designs and are not yet licensed for construction anywhere.

The promised assembly lines that would churn them out like clockwork don’t exist

Here’s the reality: Most SMRs exist only as conceptual designs and are not yet licensed for construction anywhere. (The international law firm White & Case says the only contemporary SMR in existence is located on a vessel anchored off Russia’s Arctic coast. According to reports, construction of China’s first SMR recently commenced on the southern island of Hainan.) The promised assembly lines that would churn them out like clockwork don’t exist; many vendors are early-stage companies with hardly any revenues.
To change this, the federal government will probably have to open wide the taxpayer’s wallet. And the industry must move quickly from bold marketing claims to commercially viable products

OLD IDEAS, NEW PACKAGESMR is a marketing term, rather than a technical one, reflecting the industry’s aspirations rather than what it can deliver today.In Canada, SMR has come to describe reactors that generate 300 megawatts or less. That isn’t exactly small – it’s enough to power a small city – but for comparison’s sake, Ontario’s largest current reactors generate around 900 megawatts. Some proposed SMRs would produce just a few megawatts. The industry pitches them for remote Indigenous communities, industrial use (at mines, for instance) and tiny island nations.Small reactors aren’t new. They’ve been used in icebreakers, submarines and aircraft carriers. And many SMRs are based on concepts contemplated as long ago as the 1950s.

Oakville, Ont.-based Terrestrial Energy Inc., one of OPG’s potential partners, intends to use molten salt, rather than water, as a coolant. The company says its technology is a “game-changer”: The Integral Molten Salt Reactor (IMSR) would operate at much higher temperatures (about 700 C) than conventional reactors (about 300 C)….

As for the “modular” part, the notion is that SMRs would be mass-produced on assembly lines and shipped to where they’re needed, rather than custom-built onsite. This plug-and-play approach is intended to reduce purchase costs and accelerate deployment…………….

SMRs appeal to certain nationalist impulses as well: Canada is, after all, the world’s second-largest uranium producer.
…… The industry has made limited progress in addressing wastes from decades-old reactors; it’s unclear how novel detritus from SMRs might be handled. Perhaps most damagingly of all, reactors have earned a reputation for being overpriced relative to other forms of generation, and oftenbeleaguered by massive delays and cost overruns.


The nuclear industry’s plan to reverse its flagging fortunes begins at Darlington. OPG announced late last year it was working with three SMR developers on preliminary design and engineering work: North Carolina-based GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy, Terrestrial Energy and X-energy. It promises to select a winner by year’s end….
Naturally, of course, no SMR developer aspires to be a one-hit wonder. So next up: Persuade Saskatchewan to build a fleet of the same reactors……….. Winning Saskatchewan would be a major coup: Jurisdictions that go nuclear tend to stay nuclear for decades. ……  quandary remains: Prospective SMR buyers such as SaskPower can only look at conceptual designs. “There’s been some small demonstration units built, but nothing of the size that we would expect to see in operational terms,” Mr. Morgan said.

……... NUCLEAR GHOSTS Twenty years ago, Canada’s nuclear industry staked its future on updating the venerable CANDU design. Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd. (AECL), the
 Crown corporation that pioneered it, talked up the Enhanced CANDU 6, CANDU 9 and Advanced CANDU Reactor (ACR) as safer, faster to construct, cheaper and better than previous models. The federal government pumped untold sums into their development.None were licensed. None were ordered. None were built.

In 2011, the federal government sold AECL’s reactor business to SNC-Lavalin for a paltry $15-million. After six decades of development, and dozens of bona fide reactors built and operated in seven countries, the CANDU had become nearly worthless.

The proposed site for OPG’s first SMR, next to the existing Darlington Station, is an artifact of that era. In 2006, OPG began preparing to build up to four reactors at the same location. AECL’s Enhanced CANDU 6 and the ACR 1000 were candidates.But the project was derailed in late 2013 when the Ontario government asked OPG to stand down, essentially because the province no longer needed the power. The viability of those “next-generation” CANDUs, however, was never clear.

It’s relatively easy to sketch a reactor design on the back of a napkin, or create promotional videos and brochures with snazzy renderings. Professor M.V. Ramana, of the University of British Columbia’s Liu Institute for Global Issues, says a few graduate students can develop a conceptual design for a few hundred thousand dollars.

But it’s quite another matter to advance a design to the point of actually building it. The real challenge, Prof. Ramana said, “is answering all the safety questions that any good regulator would ask: ‘How will this behave if there’s an earthquake or fire? What happens if there’s a complete blackout? What happens if this component fails?’ ” Answering such questions requires an intensive research program and countless hours of laboratory work, which can take decades. There’s no guarantee the answers will be favourable.

……………  Even a mature design isn’t enough. Just as Ford wouldn’t build an assembly line for the Mustang Mach-E if it thought it could sell only a handful, SMR vendors need assurances they’ll receive enough orders to justify mass production. It’s unclear how many orders would be sufficient, but published estimates have ranged from as low as 30 to well into the hundreds.

……… Prof. Ramana said many of the earliest power reactors met the modern definition of SMRs. But their diminutive size was rarely a virtue: It meant they couldn’t take advantage of economies of scale, resulting in high costs per unit of electricity generated, not to mention disproportionately greater volumes of radioactive waste. Many were shut down early.

“The lesson that we learned from some of these experiences is that designs that might seem captivating on paper might not actually work so well in real life,” Prof. Ramana said. “SMRs are not going to be economical. You can see that from the outset.”

………………. FEDERAL SUPPORT – THE CRUCIAL INGREDIENT. In contrast with the CANDU, the nuclear industry promises SMRs will be funded largely by the private sector. Many observers are skeptical. “Without government programs and financial support promoting SMRs, industry alone is unlikely to invest in the high up-front costs,” opined lawyers at Stikeman Elliott in a recent commentary.
Nor are non-nuclear provinces likely to make the leap alone. Mr. Morgan confirmed Saskatchewan seeks federal support to deploy SMRs, although the form of that support has yet to be determined.

For several years, federal and provincial government officials have signalled they want Canada to be one of the earliest adopters of SMRs. They’ve partnered with industry to produce road maps for making that happen. The governments of Ontario, New Brunswick, Saskatchewan and Alberta have agreed to collaborate on advancing SMRs. Mr. O’Regan, the federal Natural Resources Minister, has fully embraced the industry’s claim that Canada’s clean-energy transition cannot succeed without them,

So far, however, such pronouncements haven’t translated into generous subsidies. The federal government has channelled just meagre amounts of funding to SMRs, such as $20-million last October toward development of Terrestrial’s IMSR, and $50.5-million to New Brunswick-based Moltex Energy in March.
The latest federal budget didn’t mention SMRs. Nevertheless, studying its fine print, lawyers at McCarthy Tétrault LLP noticed what they described as “exciting policy levers.” They pointed, for example, to an income tax break of up to 50 per cent for manufacturers of zero-emission technologies. There was also $1-billion offered for clean tech projects “where there is a perceived lack of patient capital or ability to scale up because of the size of the Canadian market.” SMR vendors could capitalize on such programs, the lawyers concluded, depending on how they’re implemented.

Meanwhile, SMR vendors seek relaxed safety requirements that could make SMRs more cost-competitive. 
……It’s unclear to what extent the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) will acquiesce………….
Obtaining a licence typically takes a few years. “Experience has shown that it will be dramatically affected by the [proponent’s] capability of submitting adequate and complete information on day one,” Mr. Carrier said. Only one SMR has so far commenced a full licensing review: Ottawa-based Global First Power Ltd. submitted documentation for its Micro Modular Reactor in March.
The Union of Concerned Scientists, a long-time opponent of nuclear power, released a study in March which concluded that SMR designs, including molten salt reactors, are no safer than previous designs. It therefore urged regulators to maintain current requirements.

“The intense scrutiny, from policy makers and the public – given the safety and security angle combined with a nascent technology – will likely cause delays and conflicts” for SMR developers, lawyers from global law firm White & Case predicted in a recent commentary.

In short, SMRs’ future depends to a large extent on vendors delivering hard proof supporting their most ambitious promises about safety, efficiency, cost and other matters……..   a late arrival by SMRs could consign them to irrelevance. And right now, many observers regard them as too speculative to factor into forecasts. The federal government’s own Canada Energy Regulator projects the amount of power generated by nuclear reactors in Canada will continue on a declining trend.

Dennis Langren is a regulatory lawyer with Stikeman Elliott. He says the earliest deployments of SMRs in Canada are at least a decade off
Paris-based Mycle Schneider Consulting has reviewed the status of global SMR development three times since 2015. In the firm’s most recent review, published in September, 2020, it found little had changed over the period.

“Overall, there are few signs that would hint at a major breakthrough for SMRs, either with regard to the technology or with regard to the commercial side,” the firm observed. “Delays, poor economics, and the increased availability of low-carbon alternatives at rapidly decreasing cost plague these technologies as well, and there is no need to wait with bated breath for SMRs to be deployed.”

Ralph Torrie is a partner at Torrie Smith Associates, an energy and environmental consultancy. He says he’s focused on power generation options that can be built this decade to address a warming climate – a criterion that, in his view, disqualifies SMRs.“They’re a long way off.”


July 19, 2021 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Greenland moves toward a stricter ban on uranium mining.

Greenland has taken the first step towards outlawing uranium mining after lawmakers there proposed a stricter version of a ban that the country’s national assembly overturned in 2013. Only July 2, the elected government began a month-long public consultation period for a proposed bill that, in addition to mining uranium, would prohibit the feasibility studies and exploration activities that must be completed before a mining project can be considered for a license to begin operation.

According to proposal, Naalakkersuisut, the elected government, is hoping that a reinstatement of what was known as the zero-tolerance policy, to achieve its goal of ensuring that “Greenland neither produces nor exports uranium.”

 Artic Today 14th July 2021

July 19, 2021 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Students from North Arizona researched and wrote about the effects of uranium mining, especially on indigenous people.

Diné student wins uranium essay contest, Beyond Nuclear, By Sandra J. Wright, 18 july 21,

Charisma Black, along with other students from northern Arizona, took on a challenge issued by the 4th World Foundation to research uranium mining effects on Black Mesa.

Each writer was also asked to propose actions to limit exposure to radiation.

Black was named the winner of the contest in April. On May 13, she accepted the $500 scholarship award along with a large hand-woven basket filled with traditional clothing and jewelry.

Tommy Rock, an alumnus of Northern Arizona University’s School of Earth Sciences and Environmental Sustainability, presented the award to Black.

Black’s extended family is from the Pinon, Arizona, area of the Navajo Reservation. But her immediate family moved to Phoenix when she was young.

She returned to northern Arizona about two years ago, and is a graduating student of Flagstaff High School. Only 18 years old, Black has spent a lot of time thinking about uranium.

“My greatest concern was for family members,” Black said. “Uranium has shortened my time with some of them. We have to take care of them. I hope things can change for everyone, not just us Navajo and Hopi people.”

Her awareness of the uranium issue began when she was 10 years old……………

Black’s essay spoke to the environmental reality of living on Black Mesa.

“Uranium is a big issue because it contaminates the water source from underground aquifer of both Navajo and Hopi,” Black wrote. “Water that is accessed is being not only depleted at a dramatic rate, water is also undrinkable in areas that only have wells and windmills for drinking.

“This impacts their health, their livestock, their fields, etc.,” she said. “It is becoming unsafe, uninhabitable and unsustainable to live on the land in Black Mesa. New disease and sickness have come to Black Mesa.”

Black concluded that people “have to participate and learn better ways to keep our land, air and water clean for our peoples, animals and other species. We need to continue the advocacy and organizing to bring attention to the issue of uranium contamination on Black Mesa for sustainability, healthy communities and future generations.”………….

Somana Tootsie, the director of the 4th World Foundation, was on hand during the dinner held in Black’s honor.

Tootsie said that the contest was designed to get tribal youth in the region talking about the larger picture of environmental awareness and responsibility.

“This was an opportunity for young people to hold a conversation with their family members about the effects of uranium on their tribes and neighbors,” Tootsie said.

“We received amazing responses and great ideas on what to do to get more attention on the need for the removal or remediation of radioactive materials left exposed throughout northern Arizona,” she said. “We wanted to get them interested in science.”………….

Exposure not just Navajo

Exposure is not limited to the Navajo, Hopi and other tribes of the region. Radiation from the nuclear testing begun during World War II has created “downwinder” victims across the country to the east.

He finds hope that more people are working the devastating effects of the uranium industry.

“We have many grass-roots organizations addressing uranium,” Rock said. “The University of New Mexico has undertaking a study on uranium exposure. Amended by these studies, we have better access to health care from exposure.

The Navajo Nation Environmental Agency has been stepping up,” he said. “We have the Dine’ Uranium Remediation Advisory Committee, which I sit on.”

The uranium industry has definitely affected drinking water across northern Arizona, and people need to be informed of that fact, Rock said.

“We all must face the reality that we need access to potable water,” Rock said. “Not just for us, but for future generations. We need to be informed.

“We live off the land, and uranium has a great impact on our environment,” he said. “We have to educate tribes, chapter houses, communities, and tell them what we are learning, what we are doing.”…………..

July 19, 2021 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Wind farm overlooking closed Hazelwood coal plant seeks public approval — RenewEconomy

Plans for a 33 turbine wind farm overlooking the site of former Hazelwood coal-fired power station in Victoria’s Latrobe Valley put on public exhibition. The post Wind farm overlooking closed Hazelwood coal plant seeks public approval appeared first on RenewEconomy.

Wind farm overlooking closed Hazelwood coal plant seeks public approval — RenewEconomy

July 19, 2021 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Seven years after carbon price was scrapped, Australia’s policies still baked in denial — RenewEconomy

This weekend marks the seventh anniversary of when Coalition MPs danced with joy at the repeal of the carbon price. Their policies are still baked in denial and stupidity. The post Seven years after carbon price was scrapped, Australia’s policies still baked in denial appeared first on RenewEconomy.

Seven years after carbon price was scrapped, Australia’s policies still baked in denial — RenewEconomy

July 19, 2021 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

July 18 Energy News — geoharvey

World: ¶ “Green Transport Can Only Succeed With A Greener Grid” • To decarbonize the UK’s roads, railways, and flight paths, more clean energy is needed. Senior energy industry sources warned that the UK’s ambitious targets to drive down carbon emissions from the transport sector will require an acceleration of green investment in the energy […]

July 18 Energy News — geoharvey

July 19, 2021 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment