Antinuclear

Australian news, and some related international items

Australia’s nuclear-free collective efforts and achievements in 2021.

Dave Sweeney, 31 Dec 21,

  • Nuclear weapons made illegal: Climate change and nuclear weapons are the two existential threats facing our planet – one reduces our chances every day while the other could end our chances in a day. ICAN – the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons – was recognised with the 2017 Nobel Peace Prize and the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons entered into force and became part on international humanitarian law in January 2021. Our planets worst weapons are now illegal.
  • International support is growing for the Treaty and the first meeting of state parties is planned to be held in Vienna in March – https://icanw.org.au/
  • Superannuation and pension funds are among those divesting from companies involved in nuclear weapons – https://quitnukes.org/
  • Pushing for the Treaty is an important counterpoint to the AUKUS driven lurch to ever greater militarisation
  • Resistance, rehab and repair: our efforts to stop further, and clean up former, uranium mines saw important results. 
  • All mining and mineral processing at the Ranger mine in Kakadu ceased in January 2021. Nuclear free advocates are now working closely with the Mirarr Traditional Owners to ensure that primary mine owner Rio Tinto does a credible and comprehensive rehabilitation and in supporting an Aboriginal centred post mining regional economy in Kakadu.
  • A federal commitment to ‘full’ funding of a new clean up of the former Rum Jungle site in the NT was confirmed in the 2021 budget
  • Despite extensive efforts there was a disappointing outcome in WA with the recent further approval of the Mulga Rock project east of Kalgoorlie. It is a long journey from a signed paper to a commercial mine and the project faces strong contest – https://www.ccwa.org.au/nuclearfreewa
  • International collaboration continued with efforts to track the impacts of Australian uranium miners in Africa, Spain and Greenland. Opposition to the planned Kvanefjeld uranium project, driven by Perth based Greenland Minerals, was a dominant issue in the 2021 Greenland election which was won by nuclear-free politicians who have since introduced a national ban on uranium mining.
  • Responsible radioactive waste management: the federal government push for a national radioactive waste facility in regional South Australia is not responsible or necessary.

2021 saw deeper co-operation with Barngarla Traditional Owners and Kimba region farmers along with media and political advocacy to highlight and delay the heavy handed federal legislation. Movement advocates welcomed the federal budget allocating $60 million to advance extended interim waste storage at the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation’s Lucas Heights nuclear site. This means Australia’s worst waste can effectively stay in place until a longer term approach is developed and that Kimba is a political choice, not a nuclear necessity.

Unsurprisingly, the federal government has to date ignored the potential this move offers for a constructive circuit breaker in this debate.

2022 will see elevated attention to radioactive waste issues with a Barngarla legal challenge – kick in if you can at –https://www.gofundme.com/f/nbp8f8-barngarla-help-us-have-a-say-on-radioactive-waste  – the SA state election in March and growing community awareness and engagement – https://nodumpalliance.org.au/ 

  • Renewable, not radioactive: in the year that saw the 10th anniversary of Fukushima lots of work went into keeping the door closed to domestic nuclear power and contesting nuclear industry promotion of SMR’s – so called small modular reactors – and other distractions to effective climate action. Efforts have focussed attention on the urgent need for proven and renewable energy solutions – renewable, not radioactive. Australian advocates played a key role in a new dedicated website and co-ordinated the development of a global civil society non-nuclear statement released at CoP 26 in Glasgow that was endorsed by 480 organisations across multiple nations
  • – https://dont-nuke-the-climate.org/    There was increased collaboration with regional partners in Japan, the Pacific, the Philippines and Taiwan – including around next steps in the Fukushima waste water story and the recent positive referendum that has ended plans for a new reactor in Taiwan. 2022 is sure to see more chatter and challenge on the domestic nuclear front ahead of the federal election.

December 31, 2021 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, politics | Leave a comment

Nuclear waste returning from UK to Australia

Dealing safely with nuclear waste, THE AUSTRALIAN, DECEMBER 30, 2021,Australia’s lack of a long-term storage plan for nuclear waste is a serious gap the Morrison government needs to address. The issue has been highlighted by the return from Britain in coming months of a two-tonne shipment of nuclear waste generated in Australia. The nation is committed to receiving the waste after 114 spent fuel rods from the Australian Nuclear Science and Tech­nology Organisation were sent to Scotland to be reprocessed in 1996. It will be the second shipment of intermediate-level nuclear waste returned to the country in recent years under tight security. In the absence of a permanent secure storage facility, the waste will be stored temporarily at ANSTO facilities at Lucas Heights in Sydney’s south.

Preparations for the shipment have been in train for years, with all safeguards to be implemented. The waste is being ­returned in a more condensed form than what was originally sent to Scotland. It has been vitrified in four glass containers, then encased in an outer container made of specialised steel. Details of its movement, and the timing, will be kept secret. ANSTO previously received intermediate-level nuclear waste in 2015 when 25 tonnes of similar-level nuclear waste were returned from France. Australia can expect to have to receive further shipments of returned waste every six or seven years……..

As an alternative to Lucas Heights, a temporary storage facility for intermediate waste is being considered for a site near the town of Kimba in South Australia. But the proposal is being contested, with a judicial review requested by the traditional landowners.  https://www.theaustralian.com.au/commentary/editorials/dealing-safely-with-nuclear-waste/news-story/5bbe6898c49206c64fe987e9949d88b4

December 31, 2021 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, wastes | Leave a comment

Why a U.S.-Russia War Would Inevitably Be a Globe-Annihilating Nuclear War

https://moderndiplomacy.eu/2021/12/31/why-a-u-s-russia-war-would-inevitably-be-a-globe-annihilating-nuclear-war/ December 31, 2021, By Eric Zuesse     Even Russia acknowledges that any conventional war between the U.S. and Russia would destroy Russia but not destroy the U.S. Consequently, for Russia, any such war will not be waged. Only idiots would choose to engage in a war that they are certain to lose, and which would utterly destroy themselves. This means that if the U.S. strikes Russia by a conventional (i.e., non-nuclear) invasion, then Russia has only two options: (1) to respond with conventional weapons and assuredly be destroyed while achieving nothing; or, else (2) promptly release at least enough of its 6,255 nuclear warheads so as to maximally weaken the U.S.A.-and-allied retaliatory capability so as to be able then to go into a “Round Two” nuclear attack against the U.S.-and-allied side by having a much stronger military position than all of its many enemies (America and its allies) do.

That second option would leave BOTH SIDES, and (because of the then-inevitable nuclear winter) actually the entire planet, either doomed or else being close to being so. However, the U.S. and its many allies would be in far worse condition than Russia would be (because they’d have been greatly weakened by Russia’s nuclear first-strike); and then, MAYBE, Russians could survive that war by having lives that might be worth living.

The second option, for Russia, would be enormously less horrible than the first option; and here is why:

First of all: Russia would still retain its sovereign independence, not become a slave-nation (which the survivors in any U.S.-and-allied nation would then be: slaves, then, to Russia).

Secondly: Russia wouldn’t need to worry any longer whether the U.S.-and-allied side would be the first to go nuclear. Instead, the war would be over.

This is the reason why, ever since at least 2006, the U.S. has been planning and building its war against Russia for the U.S. side to be the first to go nuclear. (That plan is called “Nuclear Primacy,” and it replaces the previous system, which still continued on in Russia, and which was called “M.A.D” for “Mutually Assured Destruction.”)

Consequently: any idea that Russia would likely respond to a non-nuclear invasion of Russia without promptly going nuclear against the invading powers is stupid. Russia now knows how voracious America’s rulers (America’s billionaires) are. Ever since 24 February 1990, the U.S. had been secretly informing its allies that though the Soviet Union would soon end, and Soviet communism would soon end, and the Soviets’ Warsaw-Pact that they had built up in response to America’s NATO military alliance would also soon end, the U.S. side of the Cold War was to be secretly continued against Russia, until Russia itself becomes conquered and swallowed-up by the U.S. side, and the U.S. thereby becomes the unchallengeable dictator over the entire world.

Russia’s recent demand that all U.S.-and-allied weaponry that is less than a ten-minute flying-distance from Moscow be removed, and that NATO expansion be permanently halted, is a desperate attempt by Russia to avoid becoming yet-another slave-country to the U.S. regime. Russia doesn’t have good options. But, given the insatiably voracious appetite for expanding yet further America’s power that America’s rulers have, neither does any other country. And even Russia’s enormous nuclear force can’t protect Russians against so evil an enemy. But, perhaps, Russia’s nuclear force will be able to prevent Russians from becoming slaves to the U.S. regime. And that would be something worthy of achieving.

This entire matter was brought to a head because Barack Obama perpetrated in 2014 a coup-takeover of Ukraine, which has the longest European border with Russia. He had planned to seize Russia’s largest naval base, which was (and remained) on Crimea, but Russia was able to block that part of Obama’s plan. (Obama’s team had started by no later than 23 June 2011 to plan that coup.)Attachments areaPreview YouTube video Ukraine Crisis – What You’re Not Being ToldUkraine Crisis – What You’re Not Being Told

December 31, 2021 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Germany shuts down half of its remaining nuclear plants

Germany shuts down half of its remaining nuclear plants Aljazeera, 31 Dec 21,

Decision to close three facilities comes a year before decades-long use of atomic power winds down for good………

One of the plants – Brokdorf, located about 40 kilometres (25 miles) northwest of Hamburg on the Elbe River – became a particular focus of anti-nuclear protests that were driven by the 1986 Chernobyl catastrophe in the Soviet Union.

The other two plants are Grohnde, about 40km (25 miles) south of Hannover, and Grundremmingen, 80km (50 miles) west of Munich.

……………… the German government said this week that decommissioning all nuclear plants next year and then phasing out the use of coal by 2030 will not affect the country’s energy security or its goal of making Europe’s biggest economy “climate neutral” by 2045.

“By massively increasing renewable energy and accelerating the expansion of the electricity grid we can show that this is possible in Germany,” Economy and Climate Minister Robert Habeck said.

Several of Germany’s neighbours have already ended nuclear power or announced plans to do so, but others are sticking with the technology. This has prompted concerns of a nuclear rift in Europe, with France planning to build new reactors and Germany opting for natural gas as a compromise until enough renewable power is available, and both sides arguing their preferred source of energy be classed as sustainable.

Germany’s remaining three nuclear plants — Emsland, Isar and Neckarwestheim — will be closed by the end of 2022.

While some jobs will be lost, utility company RWE said more than two-thirds of the 600 workers at its Gundremmingen nuclear power station will continue to be involved in post-shutdown operations through to the 2030s. Germany’s nuclear power companies will receive almost $3bn for the early shutdown of their plants.

Environment Minister Steffi Lemke has dismissed suggestions that a new generation of nuclear power plants might prompt Germany to change course yet again.

“Nuclear power plants remain high-risk facilities that produce highly radioactive atomic waste,” she told the Funke media group this week.

A final decision has yet to be taken about where to store tens of thousands of tonnes of nuclear waste produced in German power plants. Experts say some material will remain dangerously radioactive for 35,000 generations. https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2021/12/31/germany-shuts-down-half-of-its-remaining-nuclear-plants

December 31, 2021 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Why nuclear power is a bad way to balance renewable energy 

Why nuclear power is a bad way to balance renewable energy  https://100percentrenewableuk.org/why-nuclear-power-is-a-bad-way-to-balance-renewable-energy

David Toke, Ian Fairlie and Herbert Eppel from 100percentrenewableuk discuss how nuclear power effectively switches off wind and solar power and how a 100percent renewable energy system is much better for the UK than one involving nuclear power.

The Government, backed by a lot of public policy reports paid for by pro-nuclear interests, constantly pushes out the view that nuclear power is ‘essential’ to balancing wind and solar power. But what they never mention is the massive waste of renewables that occurs in such a scenario. Under the scenarios planned by the Government nuclear power is paid very high prices to generate power even when there is excess electricity, which pushes renewables to close down. The Government also refuses to undertake serious investigations of how a system that uses excess renewables to create short and long term storage is a much better way of organising our energy needs rather than wasting more money on building nuclear power stations.

Look at our video which, drawing upon research on the role of nuclear and renewables, discusses these issues.

If you agree the aims of 100percentrenewableuk please join the discussion via our email group.

December 31, 2021 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

South Korea presidential contender vows to seek nuclear-powered submarines, months after Australia’s Aukus deal.

South Korea presidential contender vows to seek nuclear-powered submarines, months after Australia’s Aukus deal, Guardian, 31 Dec 21,

Lee Jae-myung aims to counter North Korea threats and pledges to restart stalled talks between Pyongyang and Washington

South Korea’s ruling party presidential candidate said he will seek US support to build nuclear-powered submarines to better counter threats from North Korea and proactively seek to reopen stalled denuclearisation talks between Pyongyang and Washington.

In an interview with Reuters and two other media outlets, Lee Jae-myung also pledged to put aside “strategic ambiguity” in the face of intensifying Sino-US rivalry, vowing pragmatic diplomacy would avoid South Korea being forced to choose between the two countries………………

Lee said he will persuade the US to win diplomatic and technology aid to launch nuclear-powered submarines, which can operate more quietly for longer periods, amid renewed calls for building one in the military and parliament after North Korea test-fired a new missile from a submarine in October.

Lee cited the deal Australia struck under a trilateral security partnership with the US and Britain in September to build its own nuclear-powered submarines…………………………… https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/dec/30/south-korea-presidential-contender-vows-to-seek-nuclear-powered-submarines-months-after-australias-aukus-deal

December 31, 2021 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

UK’s fossil fuel use at an all-time low , as renewables generate 67% of Britain’s electricity

Fossil fuel use on the UK’s power grid dropped to an all-time low this week, in a sign analysts say is further evidence of the “renewables revolution” under way on the British electricity generation.

Just before midnight on Wednesday evening coal and gas were providing just six per cent
of electricity, according to Drax Electric Insights. “Renewables generated 24.19 GW – 65 per cent of the country’s entire electricity needs – while fossil fuels were at a new record low,” the analysts said
in statement on Thursday.

 iNews 30th Dec 2021

https://inews.co.uk/news/fossil-fuels-power-wind-renewable-1375827

December 31, 2021 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

December 31 Energy News — geoharvey

Opinion:  ¶ “Our Completely Impartial, Unbiased Review Of ‘Don’t Look Up’” • “Don’t Look Up” is a satirical movie that skewers climate deniers. The movie is simplistic in the extreme. Some will love it, and some will hate it. But one NASA scientist said it is “the most accurate film about society’s terrifying non-response to […]

December 31 Energy News — geoharvey

December 31, 2021 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment