Antinuclear

Australian news, and some related international items

Napandee radioactive waste dump plan – a nuclear waste of money.

“A Nuclear waste of money – Greenies”The Advertiser 14Sept 2021 p.9  MICHELLE ETHERIDGE 

RADIOACTIVE waste should be stored at an expanded nuclear medicine production site in Sydney, rather than shipped to Kimba, opponents of the Eyre Peninsula project say. 

The federal government has set aside $59.8m over four years for an expansion of “temporary” nuclear waste storage at Lucas Heights, NSW. During a parliamentary committee hearing on Monday, conservation groups argued the project rendered unnecessary a plan to move intermediate-level waste to a new facility near Kimba, where it is to be stored for several decades. 

The federal government says space for some types of nuclear waste at Lucas Heights will be exhausted by 2027 and the expansion will provide at least a further 10 years’ capacity until the new national radioactive waste site planned for Napandee, near Kimba, is operational about or after 2030. Conservation SA chief executive Craig Wilkins, said his organisation supported keeping the waste at Lucas Heights until a longterm deep geological (underground) repository was found. 

“I and others are genuinely scratching our heads as to why this waste from ANSTO (Australian Nuclear Science and Technology) is being transferred from one temporary place that’s safe and secure to another place on an interim basis. This is … a phenomenal waste of money,” he said. 

The Australian Conservation Foundation’s Dave Sweeney said waste could become stranded at Kimba in the absence of a long-term plan. ANSTO staff said the new Lucas Heights facility would have a life of about 50 years

September 14, 2021 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Federal nuclear waste dump, politics | Leave a comment

Too late to pull out of Australia’s botched super-expensive submarines purchase?

‘Lost the plot’: How an obsession with local jobs blew out Australia’s $90 billion submarine program, By Anthony GallowaySEPTEMBER 14, 2021   Nick Minchin isn’t surprised Australia’s future submarines are arriving later than expected and $40 billion more expensive. He has seen it all before……..

I was staggered by that, no wonder we ran into financial difficulties with Defence’s estimates of maintaining and operating these things,” Minchin tells The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age…………

Now, history is repeating itself.

Australia’s 12 new attack-class submarines – Australia’s largest military acquisition in its history – were originally slated to cost between $40 billion and $50 billion. According to the latest projections they will now cost about $90 billion to build and $145 billion to maintain over their life cycle. Despite the fact former prime minister Tony Abbott promised the first of the submarines would be in the water by the mid-2020s, it is now not scheduled to become operational until the mid-2030s.

In the current debate on Australia’s submarine debacle, French-bashing has been all the rage. And with French builder Naval Group’s cost blowouts, schedule slippages and dubious commitments on meeting local content requirements – it’s been an easy sport. But it’s worth asking: would we have arrived at this point regardless of which bidder we chose? After all, Defence’s acquisition debacles are not confined to French-designed submarines…………….

And it’s not just submarines where there are inherent problems………..

……………….  the Abbott government opted for a deeply flawed Competitive Evaluation Process which led to the current mess.”.

……….. On April 26, 2016, Turnbull announced France had won the hard-fought global race for the $50 billion contract and all the submarines would be built in Adelaide. According to Turnbull, the recommendation from Defence was “unequivocal” that the French proposal for a conventionally powered version of the latest French nuclear submarine design – the Shortfin Barracuda – was the best of the three options.

Is it too late to pull out?

Once Scott Morrison took over the prime ministership, the project was already going off course. By late 2019, Defence officials conceded that the cost of building and maintaining the submarines would total $225 billion over the life of the program, while concerns were mounting about Naval Group’s schedule slippages and its ability to meet its local content commitments, which were never written into the agreement.

…………. Morrison tasked Vice-Admiral Jonathan Mead and Commodore Tim Brown to look at alternative options for the submarine fleet, including long-range conventionally powered submarines that Swedish company Saab Kockums had offered the Dutch navy. The government also rejected Naval Group’s proposal outlining the next two-year phase of the program, telling the company it needed more information on how its cost and schedule projections would be met.

After taking over the defence portfolio, Peter Dutton told The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age he was having some “frank discussions” with his department. A month later, Dutton revealed he had ordered life-of-type extensions for all six Collins-class submarines, which involves completely rebuilding them so they can continue to operate beyond their planned retirement date of the mid-2020s. Dutton also tasked Defence to embrace more asymmetric warfare capabilities by acquiring long-range missiles and drones, which can be “produced in bulk, more quickly and cheaply, and where their loss would be more tolerable, without significantly impacting our force posture”.

After taking over the defence portfolio, Peter Dutton told The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age he was having some “frank discussions” with his department. A month later, Dutton revealed he had ordered life-of-type extensions for all six Collins-class submarines, which involves completely rebuilding them so they can continue to operate beyond their planned retirement date of the mid-2020s. Dutton also tasked Defence to embrace more asymmetric warfare capabilities by acquiring long-range missiles and drones, which can be “produced in bulk, more quickly and cheaply, and where their loss would be more tolerable, without significantly impacting our force posture”.

Within the next week, the government is expected to announce it has reached a deal with Naval Group on the next two-and-half years of the submarine program.

By then, it almost certainly will be too late to pull out.  https://www.theage.com.au/politics/federal/lost-the-plot-how-an-obsession-with-local-jobs-blew-out-australia-s-90-billion-submarine-program-20210913-p58r34.html



September 14, 2021 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, politics, weapons and war | Leave a comment

27 September Australian premiere of film ”The Atom: A Love Affair” 

In November the UN Climate Change Conference takes place in Glasgow and time is running out for our federal government to decide on a new climate plan.

Positive pressure is coming from state governments and the private sector who are moving away from coal and gas and investing in clean energy solutions. People power is blocking public money going to climate pollution. However, I fear that a pivot away from fossil fuels might encourage a handful of politicians and lobbyists to once again take up the toxic torch and spruik nukes in Australia.

Nuclear power is high cost and high risk. It would be a threat to our communities and natural world and, like coal and gas, has no place in our future. 

We know this because we have had decades of watching its deadly and avoidable consequences hit all parts of the world. The Atom: A Love Affair documents this story and humanity’s turbulent love-hate relationship with nuclear power from post-war to present day – watch an exclusive Australian-first screening of it.


What:
 Australian premiere screening of The Atom: A Love Affair and Q&A with Director Vicki Lesley, former Greens nuclear spokesperson and writer Scott Ludlam and former ACF President Professor Ian Lowe AO
When: Monday 27 September 7.30pm AEST (Q&A starts at 9pm AEST)
Where: Online via livestream – buy your tickets now.
Cost: $10

Panellists:

Vicki Lesley has been working in documentaries for over 20 years. She has developed and made top-rated & award-winning TV shows for broadcasters including the BBC, Channel 4, Channel 5, Discovery & National Geographic and directed independent short films which have screened at festivals around the world and online. THE ATOM: A LOVE AFFAIR is her first feature documentary.

Professor Ian Lowe AO is a leading Australian public academic and intellectual with a keen interest and direct experience in the nuclear and climate sectors and discourse. As well as being a physicist, former CEO of the Commission for the Future, President of the Australian Conservation Foundation and a referee with the International Panel on Climate Change his career has included extensive engagement with universities, research councils and advisory groups. Ian is the author of numerous books and articles, including Living in the Hothouse, A Big Fix, A Voice of Reason, Bigger or Better?, The Lucky Country? and the newly published Long Half Life – exploring the nuclear industry in Australia. He is also the author of a 2006 Quarterly Essay on the prospects for nuclear power in Australia, and a ‘flip book’ with Professor Barry Brook, giving the two sides of the nuclear argument.

Scott Ludlam was a Senator from 2008 to 2017 and served as nuclear spokesperson and deputy leader of the Australian Greens. He has also worked as a filmmaker, artist and graphic designer. Full Circle, recently published by Black Inc., is Scott’s first book and reflects a life of activism, study and travel.

Moderator:

Dave Sweeney has been active in mining, resource and nuclear issues for three decades through his work with the media, trade unions and environment groups. He has been active in some of Australia’s major community campaigns including against uranium mining in Kakadu and radioactive waste dumping in the arid zone. Dave is a co-founder of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons which was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2017. Dave leads the Australian Conservation Foundation’s nuclear free campaign and holds a vision of an Australia that is thoughtful about its future and honest about its past.

September 14, 2021 Posted by | ACTION | Leave a comment

Baseload coal is rapidly losing value, and poses biggest risk to Australian utilities — RenewEconomy

Coal will struggle to remain economically viable beyond 2030. Companies with a heavy exposure, like AGL, need to act quickly to survive. The post Baseload coal is rapidly losing value, and poses biggest risk to Australian utilities appeared first on RenewEconomy.

Baseload coal is rapidly losing value, and poses biggest risk to Australian utilities — RenewEconomy

September 14, 2021 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Australia’s hidden carbon market: New options allow companies to out-bid government — RenewEconomy

Surging prices in voluntary market means that carbon abatement projects are now likely to be funded by companies rather than the government. The post Australia’s hidden carbon market: New options allow companies to out-bid government appeared first on RenewEconomy.

Australia’s hidden carbon market: New options allow companies to out-bid government — RenewEconomy

September 14, 2021 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

September 13 Energy News — geoharvey

Opinion:  ¶ “Australia Is Shaping Up To Be The Villain Of COP26 Climate Talks” • If Australia’s allies were worried that the country might cause them problems at upcoming climate talks in Glasgow, the events of the past week should leave little doubt in their minds. Australia made clear that it plans to pursue a […]

September 13 Energy News — geoharvey

September 14, 2021 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

“No new coal:” Majority of coal projects abandoned since Paris but China is key — RenewEconomy

World edges closer to point of “no new coal” after widespread collapse of new coal proposals and growth of government commitments to end coal. The post “No new coal:” Majority of coal projects abandoned since Paris but China is key appeared first on RenewEconomy.

“No new coal:” Majority of coal projects abandoned since Paris but China is key — RenewEconomy

September 14, 2021 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

UK invites mammoth offshore wind proposals in “biggest ever” renewables auction — RenewEconomy

Conservative UK government releases details of “biggest ever,” all technologies renewable energy support package, including a massive £200m targeting offshore wind. The post UK invites mammoth offshore wind proposals in “biggest ever” renewables auction appeared first on RenewEconomy.

UK invites mammoth offshore wind proposals in “biggest ever” renewables auction — RenewEconomy

September 14, 2021 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Biden’s proposed tenfold increase in solar power would remake US electricity system — RenewEconomy

New US Department of Energy report finds solar power could generate up to 45% of America’s electricity supply by 2050. But what it would take to meet this target? The post Biden’s proposed tenfold increase in solar power would remake US electricity system appeared first on RenewEconomy.

Biden’s proposed tenfold increase in solar power would remake US electricity system — RenewEconomy

September 14, 2021 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment