Antinuclear

Australian news, and some related international items

Submission: Conservation Council of South Australia supports ANSTO’s proposal for a new Intermediate Level Solid Waste Storage Facility at Lucas Heights

ANSTO has highlighted the low technical risk, low comparative cost, achievable schedule, and low
organisational impact of adopting this option
.

the Conservation Council SA recommends that the Committee support the ANSTO proposal for a new and modern facility within the waste precinct of ANSTO’s 70-hectare Lucas Heights site whilst the Federal Government undertakes a comprehensive examination of more appropriate long-term management options that generate genuine broad community consent

Craig Wilkins, Conservation Council of South Australia  Dear Standing Committee
RE: Submission – ANSTO Intermediate Level Solid Waste Storage Facility Lucas Heights, NSW Inquiry
30 July 21,
Thank you for the opportunity to provide a submission to the Committee’s consideration of an
extension to the intermediate level solid waste (ILSW) storage facility at the Australian Nuclear Science
and Technology Organisation (ANSTO) Lucas Heights site.


The Conservation Council SA is an independent, non-profit and strictly non-party political organisation
representing around 60 of South Australia’s environment and conservation organisations and their
90,000 members.

The Conservation Council SA recognises that a durable solution to the storage of Australia’s expanding
ILSW is necessary to allow programs such as Australia’s nuclear medicine production to continue.
Australia has a clear responsibility to safely and securely manage radioactive waste.

As indicated in their submission to the inquiry, ANSTO possesses expertise and experience in storing
ISLW, as “ANSTO currently stores over 496 cubic metres of ILW from legacy activities, and generates
an additional five cubic metres per annum… [which] will increase to approximately fourteen cubic
metres per annum upon the commencement of operations of the new ‘Synroc’ waste treatment
facility.”


Federal Government attempts at securing community consent for a larger, more permanent ILSW site
in South Australia near either Hawker and Kimba have led to widespread community concern across
South Australia, and clear public opposition from Barngarla Traditional Owners. It has created deeply
divided and polarised communities in Kimba where consideration of an ISLW site has progressed much
further than at Hawker.

The Federal Government has promised not to impose a facility on an unwilling community.

Whilst a Government may be entitled to change their mind, imposing a ILSW facility upon a divided
community is a recipe for ongoing problems and community grievance. The well-documented longterm
environmental risks of the Kimba or Hawker proposals, including the double-handling required
for transport of the ILSW to such sites, are also of particular concern to the Conservation Council SA
and its membership.

It is for these reasons that the Conservation Council SA strongly supports ANSTO’s preferred option of
a new and modern facility within the waste precinct of ANSTO’s 70-hectare Lucas Heights site. ANSTO
has highlighted the low technical risk, low comparative cost, achievable schedule, and low
organisational impact of adopting this option.

Aside from extending Australia’s ILSW storage solution “by at least 10 years to 2037”1, adopting this
option will create a critically useful circuit breaker to the current tensions created during the Federal
Government’s recent pursuit of the ‘Kimba solution’ – a ‘solution’ that would need to be imposed by
the Government upon a divided and insufficiently supportive rural South Australian community, as
well as the broader, and widely unsupportive South Australian community.

In conclusion, the Conservation Council SA recommends that the Committee support the ANSTO
proposal for a new and modern facility within the waste precinct of ANSTO’s 70-hectare Lucas Heights
site whilst the Federal Government undertakes a comprehensive examination of more appropriate
long-term management options that generate genuine broad community consent  .

August 3, 2021 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Federal nuclear waste dump | Leave a comment

Tokyo Olympics part of propaganda strategy to downplay Fukushima nuclear disaster, as Olympics have been previously used to downplay Hiroshima bombing.

Billions watching the games are imbibing the idea that, protests notwithstanding, Covid, Fukushima, the atomic bombings, and rising nuclear dangers today pose no impediment to normalcy

Olympics row: Tokyo dubbed ‘nuclear games’ as Fukushima disaster overshadows sport  https://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/1471101/olympics-tokyo-fukushima-nuclear-disaster-tsunami-2011-yoshihide-suga-shinzo-abe

JAPAN has been accused of recklessly using the Tokyo Olympics as part of a propaganda strategy aimed at downplaying the seriousness of 2011’s Fukushima nuclear disaster.

By CIARAN MCGRATH , Aug 2, 2021  And Alyn Ware has questioned the wisdom of holding some events in the city, given the fact that the clean-up operation at the plant continues more than a decade later. Mr Ware, the co-founder of the Global Campaign for Peace Education, will outline his concerns at a webinar this afternoon to mark the release of a new online documentary, Nuclear Games, which suggests nuclear issues are consistently downplayed by governments including Japan’s.

Prior to this, he penned a piece for The Nation in which he claimed the Olympics had become inextricably intertwined with what he termed the country’s “nuclear politics”.

Mr Ware cited the ongoing controversy surrounding the decision to stage the games in the city in the first place, given the spread of Covid cases in the Olympics Village, suggesting misgivings had been largely ignored.

He said: “But the tone-deafness of these Olympics goes back further – to the Fukushima nuclear disaster.

“In 2019, then-Prime Minister Shinzo Abe dubbed the Tokyo Olympics the ‘Recovery Games’, meant ‘to showcase the affected regions of the tsunami’ and the nuclear meltdown of 2011, which continues to pose threats today.

That’s why some Olympic events are being held in Fukushima’s Azuma Stadium, and why Olympic torch runners have been routed through Fukushima prefecture, hitting what the official Olympic website calls ‘places of interest’ near the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant.

It started at J-Village, a former logistics hub for crews working to remediate the stricken reactors, now a sports complex, where Greenpeace detected a radiation hot spot in late 2019.

“It passed through Okuma and Futaba, where the plant is located, and other nearby towns long abandoned after the disaster.”

Mr Ware added: “This is intended to project an image of recovery and normalcy to the world.

“But it’s government propaganda, deaf to citizens’ concerns, and blind to ongoing threats. Fukushima Daiichi continues to leak radioactivity. New radiation hot spots and other impacts are being discovered all the time.”

Such an approach had been used before, in the 1964 Tokyo Olympics, Mr Ware pointed out

He explained: “Yoshinori Sakai, born in Hiroshima on the day the atomic bomb was dropped, lit the Olympic flame.

“A scant year and a half after the Cuban missile crisis, this gesture soft-pedalled the dangers of nuclear technology, nuclear weapons, and the burgeoning arms race.”

Mr Ware argued: “Billions watching the games are imbibing the idea that, protests notwithstanding, Covid, Fukushima, the atomic bombings, and rising nuclear dangers today pose no impediment to normalcy.

“This should be countered with factual context and truth-telling.”

Nuclear Games uses manga and interactive content to offer viewers a crash course in issues including the Cuban Missile Crisis, the Chernobyl disaster and North Korea’s nuclear program.

Mr Ware stressed: “We urgently need remedial education on nuclear issues.

“Most millennials believe nuclear war will occur within the next decade, yet they also rank nuclear weapons as the least important of 12 global issues.

“They’re both justifiably anxious and badly misinformed.”

Achieving what he called “basic nuclear literacy” was more crucial now than ever, Mr Ware argued.

He said: “Nuclear dangers are more acute than in 1964, the risk of nuclear war is growing, and the arms control regime is failing.

“This year, the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists moved its Doomsday Clock ahead to 100 seconds before midnight – closer to the zero hour than during the Cuban missile crisis.

“Nuclear weapons states are turning away from arms control and embarking on a second Cold War–style arms race.”

Referring to recent alarming revelations, he said: “As China builds missile silos and Russia builds new types of nuclear weapons, the United Kingdom and Pakistan are expanding their nuclear arsenals, the United States is spending billions to ‘modernise’ its arsenal, and other nuclear powers are following suit.”

Mr Ware concluded: “US Senators Ed Markey and Jeff Merkley and their colleagues on the Nuclear Arms Control Working group recently called on Biden to guide the Nuclear Posture Review towards a pledge of no first use and the elimination of new types of nuclear weapons.

“But such things can hardly compete with a two-week Olympic media blitz that normalises nuclear disasters and shrugs at rising nuclear dangers, which illustrates why we need a new drive for mass nuclear literacy.

“With arms control in retreat, an informed citizenry could be our last, best line of defence.”

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

The impact of climate change on nuclear reactors should be a key part of COP26 Climate Summit

the UK’s coastal nuclear power stations are vulnerable to sea-level rise, storm surges and flooding of reactor and spent fuel stores – and soon

In other words, action to address the impact of climate change on nuclear energy should be a key part of the United Nation’s Cop26 climate summit.

Climate change: Why nuclear power isn’t part of the solution to this global crisis – Dr Paul Dorfman aT TOP https://www.scotsman.com/news/opinion/columnists/climate-change-why-nuclear-power-isnt-part-of-the-solution-to-this-global-crisis-dr-paul-dorfman-3328894

Over the past few weeks, the intensity and scale of the floods from slow-moving storms have broken records, and climate models are running hot.By Paul Dorfman

Monday, 2nd August 2021 This has prompted some to champion nuclear power as a source of lower-carbon electricity. But this newfound USP needs to be considered within the bigger picture because UK coastal nuclear power stations will be one of the first, and most significant, casualties to ramping climate impact. Put simply, nuclear is quite literally on the front-line of climate change – and not in a good way.

This has prompted some to champion nuclear power as a source of lower-carbon electricity. But this newfound USP needs to be considered within the bigger picture because UK coastal nuclear power stations will be one of the first, and most significant, casualties to ramping climate impact. Put simply, nuclear is quite literally on the front-line of climate change – and not in a good way.

All recent scientific data points to ramping sea-levels, faster, harder, more destructive storms and storm surges – inevitably bringing into question the operational safety, security and viability of UK coastal nuclear infrastructure.

Not normally given to exaggeration, the Institute of Mechanical Engineers says we may have to ‘up sticks’, relocate or abandon nuclear sites. This will cost. Trying to defend coastal nuclear means significantly increased expense for nuclear operation, waste management, and the 100-year-plus programme to decontaminate the UK’s 17 old nuclear reactors.

For nuclear to be practical, reactors have to be built economically, efficiently and on time. But practical experience says otherwise. EDF’s flagship EPR reactor is vastly over-cost and over-time at the two sites where it’s being built, at Olkiluoto in Finland and Flamanville in France.

Problems include poor concrete, bad welding and a faulty reactor pressure vessel – the main safety component. Things were supposed to have gone better in China, until last month’s nuclear fuel debacle demonstrated their inadequate safety oversight.

As for nuclear fusion, for the last 60 years proponents have said the technology will be ready in 20 years’ time – so perhaps this is an experiment to prove that time doesn’t exist in modern nuclear physics.

The reality is nuclear is a high-risk option. And this plays out in real time. Worldwide, nuclear is in stark decline and renewables are rising. The obvious explanation is the ramping costs of the former and the plummeting costs of the latter. So, not all lower carbon options are equal, benign or effective – and there are choices to be made.

Happily, big finance is at a tipping point as key global debt and equity investors pour record capital into renewables. With wind and solar power capacity growing at a record rate, the International Energy Agency predicts that renewables will supply 90 per cent of global electric power by 2050.

In Europe, renewables overtook fossil fuels to become the EU’s main source of electricity for the first time in 2020. Perhaps because it’s 50 per cent cheaper to generate electricity from renewables compared with fossil fuel-powered plants, the EU will increase renewables share in the total energy mix to 40 per cent by 2030.

OK, running an integrated renewable energy system will mean not just more wind and solar, but also a power network that ensures a balance of supply and demand at all times.

So it’s reassuring that power supply in nuclear-free Germany, the strongest economy in Europe, is one of the most reliable in the world, with government and grid operators confident that it will stay this way. In its last session before the summer recess, the German parliament brought forward the deadline for achieving climate neutrality by five years to 2045.

Here in Scotland, BP plans to invest £10 billion to make Aberdeen a global hub for offshore wind. Meanwhile Shell and Scottish Power are developing the world’s first large-scale floating offshore windfarms in the north-east of Scotland. And a very recent report by Imperial University says a massive expansion of offshore wind to 108 gigawatt will drive new power in the UK.

There are no resounding new revelations about the vulnerability of nuclear power to natural disasters, human or engineering faults, accidental or deliberate harm. Accidents are, by nature, accidental, and we’ve learned the cost of ignoring this common-sense axiom.

The fact is, the UK’s coastal nuclear power stations are vulnerable to sea-level rise, storm surges and flooding of reactor and spent fuel stores – and soon. This means that nuclear flood risk based on ‘all case scenarios’ must be published and regularly updated as climate science evolves, including costings and a range of contingency plans for the swift onset of climate-driven severe weather.

In other words, action to address the impact of climate change on nuclear energy should be a key part of the United Nation’s Cop26 climate summit.

It’s time to think constructively. We need to secure clean, safe, affordable, sustainable, low-carbon energy to power industry, transport, homes and businesses.

Our energy transition will involve the expansion of renewable energy in all sectors, rapid growth and modernisation of the electricity grid, energy conservation and efficiency, rapidly evolving storage technology, market innovations from supply to service provision, and transport restructure.

Nuclear sucks funds and vital political attention from this imperative zero-carbon investment. It displaces renewables on the grid and diverts essential research. The ramping costs of new nuclear compromises better, flexible, safe, productive, cost-effective and affordable technologies – and comes at a time when the development of renewable, sustainable and affordable low-carbon energy is a growing economic sector with a huge potential for jobs.

In bidding a long goodbye to fossil fuels, we’re also saying farewell to nuclear, that quintessentially mid-20th century technology – and not before time. Nuclear just can’t compete with the technological, economic, safety and security advantages of the renewable evolution.

Nuclear is an out-dated technology – a tired non-starter in the 21st century. We can do better.

Dr Paul Dorfman, of the UCL Energy Institute, University College London, is founder and chair of the Nuclear Consulting Group 

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

Blow hards: Australia’s best performing wind farms in record month — RenewEconomy

More than a dozen wind farms posted capacity factors above 50 per cent in a record month for wind output in July. The post Blow hards: Australia’s best performing wind farms in record month appeared first on RenewEconomy.

Blow hards: Australia’s best performing wind farms in record month — RenewEconomy

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

Australia’s biggest renewables owner plans huge wind and storage projects — RenewEconomy

PowAR takes control of Tilt and immediately sets sights on the two biggest wind projects in NSW, and various forms of storage. The post Australia’s biggest renewables owner plans huge wind and storage projects appeared first on RenewEconomy.

Australia’s biggest renewables owner plans huge wind and storage projects — RenewEconomy

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

UK investment firm unveils $95m entry into Australian solar and battery market — RenewEconomy

London-listed investment fund buys two Australian solar farms and plans one and two hour battery storage facilities at multiple sites. The post UK investment firm unveils $95m entry into Australian solar and battery market appeared first on RenewEconomy.

UK investment firm unveils $95m entry into Australian solar and battery market — RenewEconomy

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

Bitcoin’s electricity use is boundless. No wonder that Elon Musk etc now want nuclear power to fuel it.

Here’s what a modern massive Bitcoin mining operation in upstate New York looks like:

Greenidge Generation’s bitcoin mining operation at their power plant in New York State.

How Bitcoin is Heating This Lake and Warming the Planet more https://earthjustice.org/blog/2021-june/bitcoin-dirty-power?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=social&utm_term=page&fbclid=IwAR30Z3V5q_FlRtyr1NnIZCQ6tU34tMs1AQUp8rgFRVGNTYaNoXl7I6Au8dg

Bitcoin is bringing dirty power plants out of retirement. Earthjustice is fighting this new trend in order to put an end to fossil fuels once and for all.By Ben Arnoldy | June 1, 2021 Seneca Lake in upstate New York is drawing attention to Bitcoin’s impact on the environment. A nearby Bitcoin mining plant is heating the lake waters — and the climate.

Bitcoin, the first and most famous cryptocurrency, is now burning through as much energy and pumping out as much greenhouse gas as entire nations.

Current estimates put the currency’s electricity usage on par with countries like the Netherlands. This is, shall we say, not helpful at a time when humanity is racing to switch to clean energy before we cook the planet.

In fact, Bitcoin’s energy demands are so high that the people who get rich from producing it want to pull dirty power plants out of retirement to power their operations. Earthjustice is urging regulators not to let that happen.

Bitcoins aren’t physical coins, so you might be asking why does a virtual currency require much energy?

The appeal of Bitcoin for some people is it allows them to trust no person, bank, or government. Bitcoin is entirely decentralized. But there needs to be some system to prevent fraudsters from making copies of the coins and trying to spend them twice.

To solve this, the system incentivizes many people rather than one trusted entity to devote computing power to validating transactions. The system is competitive, awarding new Bitcoins only to one “miner” who completes the validating and other tasks first, leading to an arms race of ever faster and more powerful computer rigs. While other cryptocurrencies use much less energy, Bitcoin’s particular solution to security without trust, it turns out, is extremely energy-intensive.

That monster requires a lot of energy to run the machines and to keep them from overheating. The cooling system for this rig uses cold water from Seneca Lake and discharges it back at temperatures reportedly as high as 98 degrees — with a permit to go even higher — harming trout and promoting algal blooms. For years, Bitcoin miners have sleuthed for places to set up shop where power is cheap and the climate cool, such as China’s Inner Mongolia or the hydro-abundant Pacific Northwest.

But the mining operation pictured above went next level. They own their own damn power plant:

Investors bought this plant in 2014. It was a fixer-upper. Mothballed power plants lying around for sale tend to be dirty fossil fuel plants.

The Greenidge Generation station in New York had been built in the 1930s as a coal-fired power plant. By 2011, there was not enough demand for its costly, dirty power and it was shut down. After not operating for several years, the new owners switched its fuel to dirty gas and re-started its operations, using the plant’s old pollution permits.

The plant struggled to find demand for its electricity, and the operators turned their attention instead to mining Bitcoin. Pollution started to skyrocket. In just one year, emissions of greenhouse gases increased ten-fold. The plant currently uses 19 MW of power, enough to power 14,500 homes if it weren’t mining Bitcoin. And it has plans to go to 55 MW and the capacity to go to 106 MW. At full capacity, the plant would blow past its current pollution permit — but that permit is up for renewal.

Earthjustice and the Sierra Club have sent a letter to regulators urging them not to allow the company, Greenidge Generation LLC, to expand the air permit and to take notice of the emerging trend of cryptocurrency miners taking over power plants and operating them 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. At least one other plant in the region is planning to get in on the game, and there are nearly 30 plants in upstate New York alone with the potential to convert to full-time Bitcoin mining. A coal plant in Montana is also ramping back up for cryptocurrency mining.

“The aim of the letter to the New York Department of Conservation is to say this is not some random or isolated thing. Cryptocurrency is real and increasingly important, and dirty power plants are coming back from the dead,” says Earthjustice attorney Mandy DeRoche. “Greenidge just gave other retired, retiring, or peaking plants a roadmap of how to do it, how to recruit investors, how to go public on NASDAQ.”

Earthjustice has spent years fighting in public utility commissions around the country to ensure old, dirty power plants get pushed into retirement — and if replacement power is needed, steer clear of dirty gas in favor of clean energy. Our goal is to hasten the day when everything is powered with 100% clean energy.

New York state has a new climate law, and DeRoche says the commitments made in that law won’t be met if dirty power plants get resurrected and operate 24/7. That should spur legislators and regulators to clarify the regulatory gray zone that miners have exploited here with power generation that’s not sent to the grid.

There are many ways to tackle this issue, and we are exploring them,” says DeRoche. “One solution may be to require renewable generation for cryptocurrency mining, with an excess renewable generation requirement on top, so that the mining is not preventing renewables from going directly into the grid. We need that clean power on the grid as fast as possible to mitigate the unequal and most harmful impacts of climate change.”

The climate crisis is accelerating, and we have less than a decade to dramatically cut our carbon emissions if we hope to preserve a livable planet. Tell your members of Congress it’s time to build a sustainable and just future with the American Jobs Plan.

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

Britain joins the craze for war in space – reviving ”Skynet”

British military launches its own Space Command with official opening   Space War by Ed Adamczyk
Washington DC (UPI) Jul 30, 2021
Britain established its Space Command on Friday in a ceremonial opening, with responsibilities split between three specific groups to form a joint space command, Britain’s Ministry of Defense announced on Friday.

The British military budget includes $1.95 billion, over 10 years, for space capabilities, part of a defense budget increase of $33.34 billion in the next four years.

Officially called the “U.K. Space Command,” the new agency will immediately take command and control of the country’s Space Operations Center, its SKYNET military communications center and the ballistic early warning radar station at RAF Flyingdales in northeastern England………

”As our adversaries advance their space capabilities, it is vital we invest in space to ensure we maintain a battle-winning advantage across this fast-evolving operational domain,” Defense Minister for Procurement Jeremy Quin said in the ministry’s statement…..

The United States launched its Space Force as a separate military branch in 2019, charging it with a broad mission to organize, train and equip space forces to protect U.S. and allied interests in space.

On July 13, of this year, Germany opened its own space command center at the Center for Air Operations in Uedem, near the Dutch border. https://www.spacewar.com/reports/British_military_launches_its_own_Space_Command_with_official_opening_999.html

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

Labor softens stance on Taylor’s changes to ARENA regulations — RenewEconomy

Labor to support parts of Angus Taylor’s re-issued ARENA regulations, including funds for sustainable transport, metals and microgrids. The post Labor softens stance on Taylor’s changes to ARENA regulations appeared first on RenewEconomy.

Labor softens stance on Taylor’s changes to ARENA regulations — RenewEconomy

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

August 2 Energy News — geoharvey

Opinion: ¶ “Finding Answers To The World’s Drinking Water Crisis” • We are facing a water crisis. Climate change, overpopulation, and global conflict are just some of the factors devastating the water supply in many areas around the world. It means that two billion people – one-quarter of the human population – are without access […]

August 2 Energy News — geoharvey

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