Antinuclear

Australian news, and some related international items

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November 9, 2021 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Investor backlash predicted, if European Union were to include Nuclear and Gas as ”Green” in its EU Taxonomy.


Net-Zero Alliance Plans to Reject Gas, Nuclear as Green Assets,  
https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2021-11-08/net-zero-alliance-plans-to-reject-gas-nuclear-as-green-assetsBy John Ainger and Alastair Marsh9 November 2021

  • UN-convened asset owners weigh in on taxonomy debate
  •  The group favors separate legislation for energy transition

The European Union will likely face investor backlash if it includes natural gas and nuclear energy in its green rulebook, known as the EU taxonomy.

The United Nations-convened Net-Zero Asset Owner Alliance, which is part of the wider finance industry’s $130 trillion climate agreement announced last week, wrote in a document that hasn’t been finalized that it would oppose such a decision. Instead, fossil fuels should go into an extension or separate piece of legislation for transition technologies, the group said.

“The Alliance supports a taxonomy that is credible, usable, as well as science- and evidence-based,” according to the document seen by Bloomberg News. The inclusion of gas “would be inconsistent with the high ambition level of the EU taxonomy framework overall.” For nuclear, “it will be of utmost importance to apply strict criteria when assessing” the principle of do-no-significant-harm, “with respect to the other environmental objectives to identify a potential taxonomy alignment,” it said.

The development marks a blow to those EU members who’d hoped the bloc would take a softer stance on gas and nuclear. It also sets the tone for other investors keen to put their net-zero pledges to work, less than a week after international financial institutions representing 40% of total global assets pledged to work toward carbon neutrality by the middle of the century. 

The European Commission is under pressure from member states such as France, which want to include nuclear and gas as key planks of their green transition strategies. The debate has intensified in recent months as energy prices soar amid a lack of supply. A decision on the so-called complementary delegated act is expected in the coming weeks.

Environmental groups have criticized the potential inclusion of gas, arguing it would undermine the EU’s ambition of setting the “gold standard” for green investing. It also would result in the bloc failing to meet its goal of cutting emissions by 55% by 2030 from 1990 levels and becoming carbon neutral by mid-century, they said. For nuclear, meanwhile, there are concerns over the environmental impacts of radioactive waste.

The Net-Zero alliance, whose members include Allianz SE and the California Public Employees’ Retirement System, urged the EU Commission, member states and their expert bodies to make sure any decision arrived at is “science and evidence-based,” according to the document.

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France and other pro nuclear countries push for nuclear to be included as ”sustainable” in EU taxonomy.

Mairead McGuinness urged to reclassify nuclear power as possible ‘green’ solution for EU https://www.independent.ie/news/environment/mairead-mcguinness-urged-to-reclassify-nuclear-power-as-possible-green-solution-for-eu-41028296.html

Irish Commissioner under pressure amid global warming and energy crisis, John Downing .

November 08 2021  Ireland’s EU Commissioner Mairead McGuinness is under pressure to reclassify nuclear power as “green energy”, giving it a central role in the battle against global warming and easing Europe’s energy crisis.

Commissioner McGuinness hopes to decide in the coming weeks on a controversial move which could also give natural gas a transition role in scaling down carbon emissions burning the planet.

Decision time comes amid a major EU energy crisis, with spiralling prices in every member state, and an increasing demand for real action on the pledged 55pc reduction in carbon emissions by 2030 with zero carbon by 2050.

If Ms McGuinness gets the move through the policy-guiding Commission, the issue will then pass to member governments and the European Parliament where battle-lines are already drawn.

On one side, pro-nuclear countries like France will promote the change as a “pragmatic solution” – but others will speak of “greenwashing” and creating more problems to solve immediate issues.

Ms McGuinness told the Irish Independent that member states must ultimately decide their own energy mix whatever the outcome.

There is an important debate ongoing about the role of nuclear energy and natural gas in the transformation of the EU energy sector and their potential inclusion in the EU taxonomy – a classification system for sustainable investments,” Ms McGuinness said yesterday.

“To be part of the EU sustainable investment taxonomy, an energy source must make a significant contribution to the fight against climate change. Nuclear energy is low carbon,” she added.

But she also warned that other aspects of nuclear power were still being studied, looking at “the requirement to do no significant harm” to the environment.

“Right now our work is focusing on scientific reports on this aspect of nuclear power,” Ms McGuinness said.

EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen gave a strong hint on the direction of travel when speaking to reporters after a leaders’ summit in Brussels on October 22.

“The energy mix of the future needs more renewable and clean energy. Alongside this, we also need a stable source, nuclear energy, and during the transition, also natural gas.

“That is why – as called for by many leaders – the Commission is going to come forward with a taxonomy proposal in the near future,” said Ms von der Leyen.

A pivotal issue in all of this will be the attitude taken by the new German government which is expected to be in place by December 6, the feast of St Nicholas and an important national day.

Back in June 2011, the now outgoing German chancellor, Angela Merkel, committed to ending all nuclear power in the state by December 2022.

She will be replaced by Social Democrat leader Olaf Scholz, heading a three-party coalition of the Green Party and the Liberal FBD.

The Green Party is, by definition, committed to ending nuclear power generation in Germany but the current energy crisis, aggravated by undue dependence on Russian natural gas, complicates this matter as coalition negotiations continue.

France gets 70pc of its electricity from nuclear power stations.

Ireland is committed to creating a ‘Celtic Interconnector’, taking power from France via an undersea powerline due for completion by 2026.

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Scientists pour cold water on Bill Gates’ nuclear plans

”The recent attention on nuclear energy is fully driven by the declining industry’s desperation for capital and its related lobby depicting it as a solution for climate change,” 

The Natrium reactor is what we call a fast breeder reactor type. These reactors are proliferation nightmares,” 

“They are delivered together with the reprocessing technology that also is necessary to isolate material for nuclear bombs. For that reason alone, I think the ideas of Gates in this respect are outright dangerous,”

Scientists pour cold water on Bill Gates’ nuclear plans  https://www.dw.com/en/scientists-pour-cold-water-on-bill-gates-nuclear-plans/a-59751405

Companies owned by billionaires Bill Gates and Warren Buffett are planning to launch the first so-called Natrium nuclear reactor project. Many experts see the project as a misguided attempt to hit CO2 reduction targets.

Bill Gates’ nuclear energy firm TerraPower and power company PacifiCorp — owned by Warren Buffett’s holding company Berkshire Hathaway — teamed up in September 2020 to launch the Natrium project. It’s about a small modular reactor they say will be commercially viable by 2030…….

Gates said the site of the reactor to be built by GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy will be in Wyoming, the United States’ top coal-producing state. “We think Natrium will be a game-changer for the energy industry,” he said……….

“They aren’t that small, this is 350 MW,” Antony Froggatt, a research fellow at Chatham House, told DW.

“While much smaller than existing reactors (1,000 MW), they are still large and may not be as modular as intended and this undermines the argument that they can be built in factories and then shipped out, which is how they are supposed to be cheaper,” he warned. ……..

“Bill Gates has continually downplayed the role of proven, safe renewable energy technology in decarbonizing our economy, playing up instead more dangerous and risky technology like geoengineering and nuclear,” Michael E. Mann, professor of atmospheric science at Penn State University, told DW.

Mann, a signatory to a recent declaration calling for decarbonization through 100% renewable energy, says he finds it troubling that Gates is trying to profit now from what he calls  “misdirection.” 

It’s misguided and dangerous, because it leads us down the wrong path. The obstacles to meaningful climate action aren’t technological at this point. They’re political,” Man argued.

Others agree. “Nuclear energy is a diversion from urgent climate action,” Jan Haverkamp of Greenpeace told DW. 

The recent attention on nuclear energy is fully driven by the declining industry’s desperation for capital and its related lobby depicting it as a solution for climate change,” he added.

“New nuclear power, be it large reactors evolved from the existing fleet, or new small designs, can deliver only a marginal part of greenhouse gas emission reduction,” Haverkamp said, adding that a doubling of current capacity would yield less than 4% reduction compared with business as usual.

“It also does so too late and at a far too high cost. To make a dent in greenhouse gas emissions, we would need hundreds of new reactors, spreading the risk of proliferation,” he said.

“The Natrium reactor is what we call a fast breeder reactor type. These reactors are proliferation nightmares,” said Haverkamp. “They are delivered together with the reprocessing technology that also is necessary to isolate material for nuclear bombs. For that reason alone, I think the ideas of Gates in this respect are outright dangerous,” he went on.

“These are what we call PowerPoint reactors: They are in the design phase and before they are ready and tested and approved to go commercial, we will be well beyond 2030, for most of them rather around 2050. That means they have no role to play in urgent climate action,” he added.

Critics say production of these reactors would be a very capital-intensive enterprise. “So my short answer is: No, these reactors will most probably not play any significant role in climate action, if any,” Haverkamp said.

“Today, wind and solar energy are far cheaper, far faster to deploy, and far safer than traditional nuclear plants,” Robert Howarth, professor at Cornell University, told DW. 

“Might the plants envisioned by Gates and Buffet be better than traditional nuclear plants? Perhaps, but this is still just an experiment. And I doubt the claims being made. In any case, they are a distraction, and we are best off giving up on nuclear power and moving to 100% renewables as quickly as we can,” Howarth concluded.

November 9, 2021 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

COP26 – Why Nuclear is NOT a Solution

Don’t Nuke the Climate press conference in Glasgow: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LjSMd1pmsqQ
Sasha Gabizon, Executive Director – Women Engage for a Common Future hosts this COP26 panel on why nuclear energy is NOT a climate solution.


The panel members:

— Makoma Lekalakala, Earthlife Africa https://earthlife.org.za/ SEGMENT: https://youtu.be/LjSMd1pmsqQ?t=281
— Ayumi Fukakusa, Friends of the Earth Japan https://www.foejapan.org/en/ SEGMENT: https://youtu.be/LjSMd1pmsqQ?t=868
— Angelika Claussen, International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW) https://www.ippnw.org SEGMENT: https://youtu.be/LjSMd1pmsqQ?t=1168

— Günter Hermeyer, Don’t Nuke the Climate https://dont-nuke-the-climate.org/ SEGMENT: https://youtu.be/LjSMd1pmsqQ?t=111
— Gavan McFadzean, Australian Conservation Foundation https://www.acf.org.au/ SEGMENT: https://youtu.be/LjSMd1pmsqQ?t=1538
——————————————————
Don’t Nuke the Climate statement now signed by 461 organisations around the world (including 50+ in Australia):
https://dont-nuke-the-climate.org/cop-26-statement

November 9, 2021 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Over time radiation causes damage to the structure of nuclear reactors

Fission reactions also produce intense radiation that causes a deterioration in the nuclear reactor‘s structural materials.

At the atomic level, when energetic radiation infiltrates these materials, it can either knock off atoms from their locations, causing point defects, or force atoms to take vacant spots, forming interstitial defects. Both these imperfections disrupt the regular arrangement of atoms within the metal crystal structure.

And then, what starts as tiny imperfections grow to form voids and dislocation loops, compromising the material’s mechanical properties over time.

How prolonged radiation exposure damages nuclear reactors, Phys org, 7 Nov 21, by Vandana Suresh, Texas A&M University.   New research from Texas A&M University scientists …By using a combination of physics-based modeling and advanced simulations, they found the key underlying factors that cause radiation damage to nuclear reactors,…..

“Reactors need to run at either higher power or use fuels longer to increase their performance. But then, at these settings, the risk of wear and tear also increases,” said Dr. Karim Ahmed, assistant professor in the Department of Nuclear Engineering. “So, there is a pressing need to come up with better reactor designs, and a way to achieve this goal is by optimizing the materials used to build the nuclear reactors.”

…………… fission reactions also produce intense radiation that causes a deterioration in the nuclear reactor‘s structural materials. At the atomic level, when energetic radiation infiltrates these materials, it can either knock off atoms from their locations, causing point defects, or force atoms to take vacant spots, forming interstitial defects. Both these imperfections disrupt the regular arrangement of atoms within the metal crystal structure. And then, what starts as tiny imperfections grow to form voids and dislocation loops, compromising the material’s mechanical properties over time.

While there is some understanding of the type of defects that occur in these materials upon radiation exposure, Ahmed said it has been arduous to model how radiation, along with other factors, such as the temperature of the reactor and the microstructure of the material, together contribute to the formation defects and their growth.

“The challenge is the computational cost,” he said. “In the past, simulations have been limited to specific materials and for regions spanning a few microns across, but if the domain size is increased to even 10s of microns, the computational load drastically jumps.”

In particular, the researchers said to accommodate larger domain sizes, previous studies have compromised on the number of parameters within the simulation’s differential equations. However, an undesirable consequence of ignoring some parameters over others is an inaccurate description of the radiation damage……..  https://phys.org/news/2021-11-prolonged-exposure-nuclear-reactors.html

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The Children Who Suffered When a U.S. Nuclear Test Went Wrong

The Children Who SufferedWhen a U.S. Nuclear Test Went Wrong  https://www.thedailybeast.com/the-children-who-suffered-when-a-us-nuclear-test-went-wrong

YEARS OF SUFFERING

In 1954 the U.S. executed its largest nuclear detonation. The people of the Marshall Islands would endure the effects of fallout for years.Walter Pincus Nov. 07, 2021. During the 1954 Castle Bravo test over Bikini Atoll in the Marshall Islands, America executed its largest nuclear detonation, a thousand times more powerful than the bomb dropped on Hiroshima. Nuclear fallout rained down on inhabitants of atolls more than 100 miles away, including Rongelap.

What follows is an excerpt of Blown to Hell: America’s Deadly Betrayal of the Marshall Islanders, where Dr. Robert A. Conard, a former Navy doctor who was among those who first examined the Marshall Island natives after Bravo, discovers a new impact of the radioactive fallout on children. Beginning in 1956, as an employee of the Atomic Energy Commission’s Brookhaven National Laboratory, Conard led annual medical examinations of the Rongelapese.

Over the years, Dr. Robert A. Conard and pediatricians he brought with him to Rongelap carefully watched the slow development of several children who had been exposed to the 1954 fallout. In the survey done in March 1963, the doctors’ attention was initially focused on two boys who had been one-year-olds at the time of the fallout.

Both showed early signs of cretinism, a condition of stunted physical and mental growth owing to a deficiency of a thyroid hormone often related to iodine deficiency.

Also of particular interest was the development of a palpable nodule in the thyroid gland of 13-year-old Disi Tima, a fisherman’s daughter, who had been exposed to the Bravo fallout when she was four years old.

November 9, 2021 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Glasgow Brief: Australia climate plan a “brochure”, Obama targets Russia, China and Republicans — RenewEconomy

EU targets Australia again on “brochure” and lack of action, Obama admits to feelings of dystopia, fossil fuel lobby out in force in Glasgow. The post Glasgow Brief: Australia climate plan a “brochure”, Obama targets Russia, China and Republicans appeared first on RenewEconomy.

Glasgow Brief: Australia climate plan a “brochure”, Obama targets Russia, China and Republicans — RenewEconomy

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“Transformational:” Australia passes 3 million-mark for rooftop solar systems — RenewEconomy

More than 3 million rooftop solar systems have been installed by Australian households. Can the rest of the electricity grid – and the federal government – keep up? The post “Transformational:” Australia passes 3 million-mark for rooftop solar systems appeared first on RenewEconomy.

“Transformational:” Australia passes 3 million-mark for rooftop solar systems — RenewEconomy

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November 8 Energy News — geoharvey

Opinion:  ¶ “Did You Turn Off The Gas?” • Carbon Tracker’s key findings should have investors in gas taking note. They found that 22% of European and around 31% of US gas-fired power generation capacity included in their model is unprofitable. And countries dependent on gas have found the volatile prices of 2021 damage their […]

November 8 Energy News — geoharvey

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Why putting rooftop solar on low-income rooftops is an “economic no-brainer” — RenewEconomy

Should rooftop PV subsidies be redirected to low-income households only? New study shows why supporting hardship customers with solar could be a better deal. The post Why putting rooftop solar on low-income rooftops is an “economic no-brainer” appeared first on RenewEconomy.

Why putting rooftop solar on low-income rooftops is an “economic no-brainer” — RenewEconomy

November 9, 2021 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Wind and solar can supply most of world’s energy needs, most of the time, says study — RenewEconomy

US-China study finds wind and solar power can meet more than 80% of demand in many countries around the world without “crazy amounts” of storage or excess capacity. The post Wind and solar can supply most of world’s energy needs, most of the time, says study appeared first on RenewEconomy.

Wind and solar can supply most of world’s energy needs, most of the time, says study — RenewEconomy

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Taylor leaves Glasgow claiming success, but Australia faces “ratchet” over 2030 failure — RenewEconomy

Countries may apply new pressure on climate laggards to strengthen 2030 emissions targets, putting Australia back in the spotlight at future talks. The post Taylor leaves Glasgow claiming success, but Australia faces “ratchet” over 2030 failure appeared first on RenewEconomy.

Taylor leaves Glasgow claiming success, but Australia faces “ratchet” over 2030 failure — RenewEconomy

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