Antinuclear

Australian news, and some related international items

No more money for investigating nuclear waste importing – South Australian Parliamentary Committee report

No more cash for nuclear vision as parties conspire against waste dump. In Daily, Tom Richardson , 18 Oct 17  A parliamentary inquiry into Jay Weatherill’s doomed nuclear waste repository has told the State Government not to spend another cent of public money on the plan, with MPs from both major parties conspiring to drive the last nail into the project’s political coffin.The final report of a committee established to review the findings of former Governor Kevin Scarce’s Nuclear Royal Commission, tabled in parliament yesterday, makes only one recommendation: “That the South Australian Government should not commit any further public funds to pursuing the proposal to establish a repository for the storage of nuclear waste in SA.”

The recommendation was endorsed by Liberal, Greens and Labor members of the committee – surprisingly, including even outspoken nuclear advocate and Labor whip Tom Kenyon………

Earlier this year, InDaily revealed Weatherill’s declaration that the project would not be revisited by his Government.

But the work of the committee has continued, with the inquiry hearing “concerns from witnesses that if market conditions changed, for example through competition or changes in technology, the state may be left with a facility which, from an economic and financial perspective, is a break-even proposition at best”.

“Further, while no direct losses would be incurred, there could be significant costs attached to losing other, potentially higher value, investment opportunities,” the report stated.

“Further still, the minimum pre-commitment, or baseline viability, does not mitigate risk of writing-off pre-commitment expenditure estimated at roundly $600 million if the facility did not proceed.”

The committee noted “the possibility of a customer country unilaterally deciding not to send waste to SA despite contractual agreements to do so which, depending on the timing of the risk impact, could leave the facility significantly under-funded”.

Greens committee member Mark Parnell, a consistent opponent of the repository plan, said today “the project was ill-conceived from the outset”.

“The whole exercise has been a colossal waste of millions of dollars of taxpayers’ money, but it’s now good the process has finished and we can move on to talking about more realistic projects that will create employment and opportunity for South Australians,” he said.

Calling the inquiry’s recommendation the “second-last nail in the coffin”, Parnell insisted the Government must now reinstate Section 13 of the Nuclear Waste Storage Facility (Prohibition) Act of 2000, which was repealed last year.

The law prevented the Government from consulting on the merits of a nuclear waste storage facility, holding that “no public money may be appropriated, expended or advanced to any person for the purpose of encouraging or financing any activity associated with the construction or operation of a nuclear waste storage facility” in SA.

Parnell has his own legislation before parliament to re-establish the original act, saying “we need to fix the legislation to make sure no future government comes back with a project like this, without coming to parliament first”……..https://indaily.com.au/news/politics/2017/10/18/no-cash-nuclear-vision-parties-conspire-waste-dump/

Link to the Parliamentary Committtee Report   https://mail.google.com/mail/u/0/#trash/15f2e2b294f9cdf1?projector=1

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October 18, 2017 Posted by | NUCLEAR ROYAL COMMISSION 2016, reference, South Australia, wastes | Leave a comment

South Australian Labor commends Weatherill govt on acknowledging Citizens Jury outcome – no nuclear waste importing

In addition to the parliamentary committee report released today …

Motion / resolution passed unanimously by the Australian Labor Party SA Branch, State Convention 2017 
13 October 2017
Motion 22. MUA
Federal Nuclear Waste Dump
Andrew AllisonNuclear Fuel Cycle Watch South Australia-18 Oct 17  -South Australian  Labor congratulates the Weatherill government for acknowledging the Citizens Jury outcome to reject the establishment of the nuclear dump, which reflected a majority of the state’s residents, some two thirds of Jury participants. The Weatherill Government is to be commended for acknowledging the community, social and environmental concerns.

Recommendation
SA Labor calls on the State Government to oppose any future proposal for a South Australian nuclear dump and storage site. lt is recognised that the Federal Government is indicating they will advocate for a nuclear waste dump in our state. The SA Labor Government and Party will publicly oppose any proposal of this nature, and take this position based on the findings, evidence and community concerns presented during the Citizens Jury.
Recommendation
SA Labor continues to acknowledge, respects and endorse the ALP National Platform on Nuclear Waste.

October 18, 2017 Posted by | politics, South Australia, wastes | Leave a comment

“The Advertiser’s” nuclear advertising article drew strong responses

Jim Green, 18 Oct 17 Dean Jaensch makes two comments about nuclear power ‒ both of them false (‘Nuclear power could be the solution for Australia’s energry crisis‘, The Advertiser, yesterday). He claims that 19 of the G20 utilise nuclear energy in their power production. But in fact, Indonesia Turkey, and Saudi Arabia have no reactors.

And in most of the G20 countries that operate reactors, nuclear power is either negligible or in a world of trouble. In Japan, for example, less than one-tenth of the pre-Fukushima reactor fleet is operating. Estimated clean-up and compensation costs for the 2011 Fukushima disaster have doubled and doubled again and now stand at $245 billion.

Could the state economy cope with a $245 billion hit if Fukushima happened in SA? Of course not.
Jaensch’s claim that nuclear power “emits absolutely no carbon” is also false as a cursory review of the relevant literature demonstrates.

Robyn Wood, 19 Oct 17  Regarding nuclear power, Dean Jaensch is very mistaken when he claims that nuclear power emits no carbon (Advertiser 17/10/17).  He forgets to include the fossil fuel burned during uranium mining, transport of uranium by truck, train or sea, plus the construction of a waste facility along with associated transport of waste.

He also forgets that last year’s nuclear Royal Commission found that nuclear power is currently uneconomic compared to other sources of power.  Costs for the construction of new nuclear power plants around the world are skyrocketing while the costs of renewables are rapidly falling.  If our government is wise enough to also invest in constructing pumped hydro dams which act as energy storage, then renewable energy can be stabilised to provide continuous electricity for the benefit of all Australians.

 

October 18, 2017 Posted by | South Australia, spinbuster | Leave a comment

Chinese slowdown may end nuclear’s last hope for growth

 Energy Post,  by Jim Green This year has been catastrophicfor nuclear power, and just when it seemed the situation couldn’t get any worse for the industry, it did, writes Jim Green, editor of Nuclear Monitor: there are clear signs of a nuclear slow-down in China, the only country with a large nuclear new-build program. According to Green, if this program stalls, nuclear power looks headed for an irreversible decline. Courtesy Nuclear Monitor.

China’s nuclear slow-down is addressed in the latest World Nuclear Industry Status Report and also in an August 2017 article in trade publication Nuclear Engineering International by former World Nuclear Association executive Steve Kidd.

China’s nuclear program “has continued to slow sharply”, Kidd writes, with the most striking feature being the paucity of approvals for new reactors over the past 18 months. China Nuclear Engineering Corp., the country’s leading nuclear construction firm, noted earlier this year that the “Chinese nuclear industry has stepped into a declining cycle” because the “State Council approved very few new-build projects in the past years”.

Kidd continues: “Other signs of trouble are the uncertainties about the type of reactor to be utilised in the future, the position of the power market in China, the structure of the industry with its large state owned enterprises (SOEs), the degree of support from top state planners and public opposition to nuclear plans.”

Over-supply has worsened in some regions and there are questions about how many reactors are needed to satisfy power demand. Kidd writes: “[T]he slowing Chinese economy, the switch to less energy-intensive activities, and over-investment in power generation means that generation capacity outweighs grid capacity in some provinces and companies are fighting to export power from their plants.”

Kidd estimates that China’s nuclear capacity will be around 100 gigawatts (GW) by 2030, well below previous expectations. Forecasts of 200 GW by 2030 were “not unusual only a few years ago,” he writes, but now seem “very wide of the mark.” And even the 100 GW estimate is stretching credulity ‒ nuclear capacity will be around 50 GW in 2020 and a doubling of that capacity by 2030 won’t happen if the current slow-down sets in.

Kidd states that nuclear power in China may become “a last resort, rather as it is throughout most of the world.” The growth of wind and solar “dwarfs” new nuclear, he writes, and the hydro power program “is still enormous.”

Chinese government agencies note that in the first half of 2017, renewables accounted for 70% of new capacity added (a sharp increase from the figure of 52% in calendar 2016), thermal sources (mainly coal) 28% and nuclear just 2%. Earlier this month, Beijing announced plans to stop or delay work on 95 GW of planned and under-construction coal-fired power plants, so the 70% renewables figure is set for a healthy boost……http://energypost.eu/chinese-slowdown-may-end-nuclears-last-hope-for-growth/

October 18, 2017 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

Why Turnbull’s energy plan could be disaster for renewables, climate, prices

October 18, 2017 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, climate change - global warming, energy | Leave a comment

Another Historic Storm: Surreal Ophelia Strikes Ireland with Hurricane Force — robertscribbler

“Ophelia is breaking new ground for a major hurricane. Typically those waters [are] much too cool for anything this strong. I really can’t believe I’m seeing a major just south of the Azores.” — National Hurricane Center scientist Eric Blake on Twitter. ***** Warmer than normal ocean temperatures due to human-forced climate change are now enabling major […]

via Another Historic Storm: Surreal Ophelia Strikes Ireland with Hurricane Force — robertscribbler

October 17, 2017 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Leaving a Life in the Coal Mines Behind – Part Three

The Quaker Activist

We continue the series from The New York Times on the retraining of former coalminers from Wyoming for jobs in alternative-energy.

By DIANE CALDWELL, Oct. 1, 2017 for The New York Times

A View Most Never See

SHAWMUT, Mont.— “You get a view that most people will never see,” as Lukas Nelson, 27, a site manager in Ohio, put it in one of the company’s promotional videos. Only a few towers have elevators, and at Goldwind’s power plant here, the access is by a series of 90-degree aluminum ladders and steel mesh platforms, straight to the top.

It was Saturday morning after the three seminars, and Goldwind safety managers had delivered a brief lecture in a trailer that served as the farm office, warning of perils like rattlesnakes in the tall grasses outside and electrocution from throwing switches in the towers.

The organizers separated the crowd of about 20 into two…

View original post 747 more words

October 17, 2017 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Coal Plants Are Closing – But Why?

attorneycarlosagamino

950 Jobs Lost to Closing Coal Plants in Texas - Carlos GaminoBy Carlos Gamino

Coal plants all over the country are closing – most notably in Texas – despite President Trump’s campaign promises to increase coal jobs and bring the industry roaring back to life.

Director of the Environmental Protection Agency Scott Pruitt claimed that there was a “war on coal,” but that doesn’t seem to be the case in light of the data from the EPA itself.

Coal jobs have been dwindling over the past several decades, not due to economic concerns or other factors, but because worldwide demand for coal is shrinking. Renewable energy has largely replaced fossil fuels, and it’s steadily becoming more affordable.

A Department of Energy report, issued on August 23, says, “The biggest contributor to coal and nuclear plant retirements has been the advantaged economics of natural gas-fired generation.”

Considering the retirement of several processing facilities, according to the report, the future of…

View original post 239 more words

October 17, 2017 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Australian govt changing electoral boundaries, in effort to get support for radioactive waste dump in South Australia?

Fight To Stop Nuclear Waste Dump In Flinders Ranges SA https://www.facebook.com/groups/344452605899556/  
 Gayle Macey No! This has to be a State Referendum with no exclusion. This business of governments chanting boundaries etc, to hopefully give themselves a better chance of getting their own way, has to stop. Good luck with all of this.
 Sandra Hill Disgusting. Why don’t they find somewhere near Canbera. S.A is not their dumping ground!!

October 16, 2017 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Federal nuclear waste dump, politics, South Australia | Leave a comment

Grim future for the nuclear industry in China, in USA, and globally

More disastrous news for the nuclear power industry. In 2017 alone:
– clear signs of a major nuclear slow-down in China – the last remaining hope for the industry.
– the US nuclear power industry is in the middle of a full-blown crisis
– a seriously anti-nuclear government has been elected in South Korea
– Taiwan has reaffirmed a nuclear phase-out by 2025
– the South African nuclear power program was ruled illegal by the High Court and probably won’t be revived
– Switzerland voted in a referendum to phase out nuclear power (while all of Germany’s reactors will be closed by the end of 2022 and all of Belgium’s will be closed by the end of 2025).
– huge problems in the UK and France
– India’s nuclear power program is going nowhere and the government has implicitly acknowledged that plans for French EPR reactors and US AP1000 reactors will likely be shelved
– Japan’s nuclear power program remains in a miserable state
– Russia’s Rosatom has acknowledged that the pipeline for new reactors is fast drying up
Meanwhile, the growth of renewables has been spectacular and will grow even faster over the coming years. Renewables will be producing 3 times as much electricity as nuclear power by 2022.

—————————————————————————————————————————
Nuclear power’s deepening crisis, Jim Green, 16 Oct 2017, www.onlineopinion.com.au/view.asp?article=19354&page=0

This year has been catastrophic for nuclear power and just when it seemed the situation couldn’t get any worse for the industry, it did. There are clear signs of a nuclear slow-down in China, the only country with a large nuclear new-build program.

China’s nuclear slow-down is addressed in the latest World Nuclear Industry Status Report and also in an August 2017 article by former World Nuclear Association executive Steve Kidd. China’s nuclear program “has continued to slow sharply”, Kidd writes, with the most striking feature being the paucity of approvals for new reactors over the past 18 months. China Nuclear Engineering Corp., the country’s leading nuclear construction firm, noted earlier this year that the “Chinese nuclear industry has stepped into a declining cycle” because the “State Council approved very few new-build projects in the past years”.

Kidd continues: “Other signs of trouble are the uncertainties about the type of reactor to be utilised in the future, the position of the power market in China, the structure of the industry with its large state owned enterprises (SOEs), the degree of support from top state planners and public opposition to nuclear plans.”

Over-supply has worsened in some regions and there are questions about how many reactors are needed to satisfy power demand. Kidd writes: “[T]he slowing Chinese economy, the switch to less energy-intensive activities, and over-investment in power generation means that generation capacity outweighs grid capacity in some provinces and companies are fighting to export power from their plants.”

Kidd estimates that China’s nuclear capacity will be around 100 gigawatts (GW) by 2030, well below previous expectations. Forecasts of 200 GW by 2030, “not unusual only a few years ago, now seem very wide of the mark.” And even the 100 GW estimate is stretching credulity ‒nuclear capacity will be around 50 GW in 2020 and a doubling of that capacity by 2030 won’t happen if the current slow-down sets in.

Kidd states that nuclear power in China may become “a last resort, rather as it is throughout most of the world.” The growth of wind and solar “dwarfs” new nuclear, he writes, and the hydro power program “is still enormous.”

Chinese government agencies note that in the first half of 2017, renewables accounted for 70% of new capacity added (a sharp increase from the figure of 52% in calendar 2016), thermal sources (mainly coal) 28% and nuclear just 2%. Earlier this month, Beijing announced plans to stop or delay work on 95 GW of planned and under-construction coal-fired power plants, so the 70% renewables figure is set for a healthy boost.

Crisis in the US Continue reading

October 16, 2017 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

New South Wales Senate debated the idea of a nuclear power station for Jervis Bay

NSW senate debates Jervis Bay nuclear plant, South Coast Register, Rebecca Fist@fistjourno

NSW deputy premier John Barilaro called for a debate in the senate, and the contentious issue was discussed on Thursday.

“The technology they use today is a lot safer than what they used in Chernobyl, but Jervis Bay is not the place,” Christian Democratic Party member Paul Green said. “Not in Jervis Bay’s clean, green, pristine environment.“Over my dead body Jervis Bay will end up with one there.”

Meanwhile, his colleague Fred Nile, was open to the idea….. http://www.southcoastregister.com.au/story/4984329/nsw-senate-debates-jervis-bay-nuclear-plant/

October 16, 2017 Posted by | New South Wales, politics | Leave a comment

Britain’s giant Hinkley Point nuclear station beset with structural problems

Times 15th Oct 2017, Part of the giant Hinkley Point nuclear plant will have to be demolished
and rebuilt after inspectors found problems with its concrete foundations,
in the latest setback for the £20bn project.

EDF, the owner, is understood to have found weaknesses in a small area of the foundations that have been laid on the Somerset coast. The French energy giant insisted the problem is
isolated to 150 cubic metres where pipes and cables are due to be laid, and
said it will not delay construction. Yet the discovery will raise concerns
about the plant, which will house Britain’s first new nuclear reactors in
a generation.

EDF admitted in July that costs at Hinkley, which is being
bankrolled by the French and Chinese governments, would rise by £1.5bn to
£20.3bn and that it may be completed 15 months later than its December
2025 deadline.

Hinkley’s two sister plants, Flamanville in France and
Olkiluoto in Finland, have suffered hefty cost hikes and long delays. The
problems were found in a patch of “substitution” concrete that forms
the foundations of the first of the site’s 5 miles of “galleries” —
a series of deep trenches that will house the plant’s pipes and electric
cables. The inspection found problems including “weak concrete”,
“poor-quality cleanliness” and an area of concrete that was not wide
enough.

Fixing the problem will mean demolishing another layer of
“slab” concrete that had been poured on top of the foundations. ….
https://www.thetimes.co.uk/edition/business/hinkley-nuclear-planthit-by-concrete-flaws-found-by-owner-edf-gq5j3lbqg

October 16, 2017 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

A futuristic family car at the World Solar Challenge

Guardian 15th Oct 2017, A futuristic family car that not only uses the sun as power but supplies
energy back to the grid has been hailed as “the future” as the annual
World Solar Challenge wrapped up in Australia. The innovative bi-annual
contest, first run in 1987, began in Darwin a week ago with 41 vehicles
setting off on a 3,000km (1,860-mile) trip through the heart of Australia
to Adelaide. A Dutch car, Nuna 9, won the race for the third-straight time,
crossing the finish line on Thursday after travelling at an average speed
of 81.2kmh (55.5 mph).
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/oct/15/this-is-the-future-solar-powered-family-car-hailed-by-experts

October 16, 2017 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, solar | Leave a comment

Adani needs $2bn of loans for Abbot Point coal terminal: Westpac Bank may not refinance Adani

Abbot Point coal terminal: Westpac may not refinance Adani loan, Guardian, Michael Slezak, 12 Oct 17   Report reveals Adani needs to refinance $2bn of loans for Abbot Point coal terminal, which is more than it paid for it in 2011. Adani’s financing for its proposed Carmichael coalmine could face a further hurdle, with Westpac appearing to indicate it will not refinance its existing loan to Adani’s coal terminal at Abbot Point.

recent report by the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (Ieefa) revealed Adani needed to refinance more than $2bn worth of loans for its Abbot Point coal terminal in the coming year – an amount that is more than it paid for the port in 2011. That means the company has negative equity on the facility – owing banks more than it is worth.

The refinancing of its port comes as the company must find $5bn of loans for its Carmichael coalmine, which every Australian bank – and many international banks – have said they will not support.

Moreover, the two projects are entirely linked, meaning any bank that decides to support one project is supporting the other and taking a bet on its success: the Port’s financial viability depends on coal coming from the mine, and the mine will not be able to be built without the port operating.

The news that one of Adani’s major existing lenders is likely to withdraw support for Abbott Point therefore adds to ongoing doubts about the ability of the company to find financing for the controversial coalmine, and could jeopardise any potential loan it might get from the government’s $5bn Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility.

 Westpac’s revelation came under questioning by Greens climate and energy spokesman Adam Bandt at a House of Representatives standing committee on economics.

In April Westpac released its new climate policy, in which it revealed it would only lend money to projects supporting existing coal basins – not ones that opened up new coal basins. It also said it would only lend to projects that supported mining of coal that had energy content “in at least the top 15% globally”.

Both rules would rule out Westpac lending to the Carmichael mine. But Westpac already lent hundreds of millions of dollars to Adani for its Abbot point terminal, and questions remained whether it would refinance that loan at the end of its term…….

Julien Vincent from financial activist group Market Forces said all eyes will now be on the refinancing arrangements with Commonwealth Bank, with whom Adani has borrowed more money for Abbot Point.

The Commonwealth Bank, has not said it will not continue to invest in Abbot Point, but in August it did explicitly say that it would not be lending to the Carmichael coalmine….https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/oct/12/abbot-point-coal-terminal-westpac-may-not-refinance-adani-loan

October 16, 2017 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, climate change - global warming | Leave a comment

Tony Abbott warns Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull against supporting renewable energy

Tony Abbott launches warning shot on climate policy, SMH, Mark Kenny, 16 Oct 17 Tony Abbott has fired a telling shot across Malcolm Turnbull’s bow, warning that any energy package agreed to in cabinet must also pass a party room wary of anything approaching a clean energy target or other subsidy scheme for renewables.

It came as the Turnbull government received more bad news in the fortnightly Newspoll series, prompting Mr Abbott to declare a future return to the leadership was possible but would occur only if he was drafted by colleagues, which he described as “almost impossible to imagine”.

Signalling that Coalition MPs will be no rubber stamp on energy, the dumped former prime minister said the backbench deserved “plenty of chance to digest” the formula.

Mr Abbott’s blunt message sets the stage for another showdown over a policy area that has divided moderates and conservatives within the Coalition for a decade, and become a constant cipher for simmering leadership rivalries…….http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/tony-abbott-launches-warning-shot-on-climate-policy-20171016-gz1m6z.html

October 16, 2017 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, politics | Leave a comment