Antinuclear

Australian news, and some related international items

South Australian Supreme Court rules that information on the Kimba nuclear waste dump can be made public.

Senator Rex Patrick · SA GOVERNMENT TRANSPARENCY FAILURE, 18bMay 21,

Yesterday a South Australian Supreme Court Justice overturned a decision by SA Energy and Mining Minister Dan van Holst Pellekann to keep information on the National Radioactive Waste Management Facility (NRWMF) from the public.In August last year I made a Freedom of Information request to the Minister asking for access to correspondance between the SA and Federal Government relating to the establishment of a NRWMF facility at Kimba. In November he released four documents to me, with significant redaction on one of them.

When I challenged the redaction the Minister threatened me with legal costs. Yesterday Justice Hughes rejected the Minister’s arguments and found that the document he wished to keep secret was not exempt under FOI.People have a right to know what their Government is saying and doing so that they can properly participate in democracy. This is especially the case when there is a major issue being played out. Minister van Holst Pellekaan needs to rethink who he really owes a duty to. Ministers should serve the people, not their own narrow political interests. https://www.facebook.com/senator.rex.patrick/posts/924739811419769

May 18, 2021 Posted by | Federal nuclear waste dump, legal, South Australia | Leave a comment

Federal Government’s budget details indicate increased nuclear waste storage at ANSTO, Lucas Heights, rather than a rush for a nuclear waste dump at Kimba South Australia.

The recent Budget sent mixed messages on this significant issue, both funding the current deeply flawed approach while also holding the possibility of a more considered pathway.

The budget allocations for radwaste were interesting: $100 million to advance Kimba (not good) but also $60 mill for increased interim ILW storage capacity at ANSTO 

Like radioactive waste, the Coalition’s waste dump plan will not die  https://independentaustralia.net/politics/politics-display/like-radioactive-waste-the-coalitions-waste-dump-plan-will-not-die,15096 By Dave Sweeney | 18 May 2021, 

Like the waste itself, a dubious Coalition plan to temporarily dump nuclear waste for a future government to re-locate, 100 years later, at another undecided location is long-lived and toxic, writes Dave Sweeney.

IN THE RECENT Federal Budget, as with much in life, the devil is in the detail.

One public policy area that received a bucket of cash but not a lot of comment is the Government’s approach to Australia’s radioactive waste. Like the waste itself, the political positioning around this issue has been both long-lived and toxic.

Since the mid-1990s, with varying degrees of enthusiasm, successive federal governments have sought to advance one management approach: regional or remote co-location. This involves centralising the bulk of Australia’s radioactive waste in two adjacent facilities at the one location.

One site is for the internment and disposal of low-level waste. This material, which needs to be isolated from people and the wider environment for up to 300 years, would forever remain at the site.

The neighbouring site would hold intermediate-level waste, which needs to be isolated for up to 10,000 years, in extended above ground storage in a purpose-built shed.

The plan is that a future federal government, sometime in the next 100 years, would re-locate this material for deep burial at another currently undecided location via an undisclosed and unfunded process.

Critics of this Federal waste plan see this as a short-term political fix rather than a credible approach to managing inter-generational industrial waste. They are calling for a policy recalibration away from the push to find a compliant or vulnerable postcode and towards a rigorous, transparent, and evidence-based process to identify the least bad management option.

Nothing about the nuclear industry, especially nuclear waste, is clean or uncomplicated.

The recent Budget sent mixed messages on this significant issue, both funding the current deeply flawed approach while also holding the possibility of a more considered pathway.

The Morrison Government remains intent (Budget Papers p138) on advancing a contested plan to locate the twinned national radioactive waste facility near Kimba, a small rural town at the top of South Australia’s Eyre Peninsula.

The issue is deeply divisive with strong local supporters who see the facility as an economic lifeline and fierce critics who see the plan as a threat to the region’s primary economic driver — high-quality cereal cropping.

The local Native Title holders, the Barngarla people, have been actively excluded from participation in Federal mechanisms to measure community sentiment and are also vigorously opposed, as are growing stakeholder voices across the region and the nation.

The Barngarla have previously taken legal action against the Kimba site selection and, in a move to shut the door on any further legal contest, Resources Minister Keith Pitt has been spruiking an amendment to the Federal radioactive waste laws to remove key stakeholders right to judicial review.

Fortunately, this heavy-handed piece of legal corner-cutting remains blocked in the Senate. To their considerable credit, the Greens, Labor and most crossbenchers are not supportive of denying Australians a day in court to challenge a controversial project with inter-generational impacts.

Despite this stalemate, the 2021 Budget saw around $100 million dollars allocated to maintain momentum on a waste plan that lacks support, evidence or meaningful public health or radiological protection rationale.

Interestingly, though, the Budget also contained an allocation that may provide a much-needed circuit breaker.

A separate allocation of $60 million was made ‘to support the interim storage of intermediate level solid radioactive waste’ at the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation’s nuclear facility at Lucas Heights in southern Sydney.

The majority of Australia’s radioactive waste – and around 95% of the most problematic intermediate-level waste – was both produced and is currently stored at the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO).

Critics of the Kimba plan maintain that ANSTO is currently the best place to store Australia’s worst waste and that extended interim storage of Australia’s intermediate-level waste at Lucas Heights, coupled with a transparent review of future management options is the most prudent and credible approach.

Not only is the waste already there but ANSTO has certainty of tenure, a secure perimeter, is monitored 24/7 by Australian Federal Police and the waste will be actively managed as ANSTO’s operations are licensed for a further three decades.

Importantly, this approach keeps waste management on the radar of the agency with the highest level of nuclear expertise and radiation monitoring and emergency response capacity in Australia, and helps reduce the negative impacts of a highly politicised decision-making process like we are seeing with Kimba.

After community opposition and Federal Court action ended an earlier proposed waste site at Muckaty Station in the Northern Territory, ANSTO constructed and commissioned a new purpose-built store dedicated to housing reprocessed, spent nuclear fuel waste, which returned from France in late 2015.

This interim waste store has a conservative design life of 40 years, its license is not time-limited and it has (if required) regulatory approval to store these reprocessed wastes until the availability of a final disposal option.

Storage at ANSTO has been previously identified as a credible and feasible option by ANSTO and nuclear industry lobby group, the Australian Nuclear Association.

Most importantly, the CEO of the Federal nuclear regulator, the Australian Radiation and Nuclear Safety Agency (ARPANSA), confirmed to a Senate Inquiry in June 2020 that intermediate-level ‘waste can be safely stored at Lucas Heights for decades to come’.

Builders have a maxim: measure twice, cut once. This sensible approach should also inform Australia’s approach to radioactive waste management, especially in relation to the unnecessary double handling of intermediate-level wastes.

Nothing about the nuclear industry, especially nuclear waste, is clean or uncomplicated.

However, extended interim Federal storage – coupled with a comprehensive public review of the full range of longer-term management options – is the approach that is most likely to advance and realise lasting and responsible radioactive waste management in Australia.

Such an approach would help turn this political football into a worthy goal.

May 18, 2021 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Federal nuclear waste dump | Leave a comment

It’s not acceptable to ignore Aboriginal land owners, in order to impose high level nuclear waste on their land.


Kim Mavromatis,No nuclear waste dump anywhere in South Australia, 18 May 21, In 2020 it’s not acceptable to completely ignore the traditional owners of country and not acceptable to deliberately remove Independent Scrutiny or Rights of Appeal from the Legislation process. But these bullies don’t care what South Australia thinks.


The world classifies Spent Nuclear Fuel (10,000 times more radioactive than uranium ore) and Nuclear Waste from reprocessed SNF (still contains 95% of the radioactivity of SNF) as High Level Nuclear Waste but Aust and ANSTO classify it as Intermediate level – and that’s what the Fed Govt want to dump on SA farmland. https://www.facebook.com/groups/1314655315214929

May 18, 2021 Posted by | aboriginal issues, AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Federal nuclear waste dump | Leave a comment

Rolls Royce plans fleets of small nuclear reactors. At approx £2billion per reactor (that’s approx $2.8billion) how much will each fleet cost?

Rolls-Royce expects the first five reactors to cost £2.2bn each, falling to £1.8bn for subsequent units.

SMRs could not achieve economies of scale unless developers secured a large number of orders. “How are you going to get orders for 16 of an unproven reactor type and if you don’t have orders for 16 how are you going to build a factory?” 

Rolls-Royce courts investors for mini nuclear plants, Consortium led by engine group seeks £300m in funding as it prepares application for small modular reactors, Nathalie Thomas in Edinburgh and Sylvia Pfeifer in London Ft.com, 17 May 21,

A consortium led by Rolls-Royce that is hoping to build a fleet of mini nuclear power stations across Britain is talking to investors to secure £300m in funding as it prepares to submit its design to regulators later this year. The consortium, which also includes Jacobs and Laing O’Rourke, hopes to be the first “small modular reactor” developer to put its design through the UK’s rigorous nuclear regulatory assessment. The process is expected to take up to four years but would keep the companies on track to complete their first 470MW plant by the early 2030s, which would be capable of generating enough low-carbon electricity for about 1m homes.


 UK prime minister Boris Johnson backed SMRs as part of his 10-point plan for a “green industrial revolution” last year. The technology is viewed within the government as a good way to create manufacturing jobs as well as delivering on Johnson’s “levelling up” agenda. Rolls-Royce believes at least 16 SMRs could be installed at existing and former nuclear sites in Britain and more could potentially be built at locations such as former coal mines. It estimates the programme could create as many as 40,000 jobs in the UK regions by 2050.

Environmental groups say the technology is unproved and point out that nuclear energy leaves behind a legacy of waste, the most toxic of which takes at least 100,000 years to decay The prime minister has promised £215m in public funds, which the consortium hopes will help it secure the £300m in private match funding needed for the project to progress.  

Rolls-Royce, which has been working on SMRs since 2015, expects the first five reactors to cost £2.2bn each, falling to £1.8bn for subsequent units.

It has argued that its design, which uses pressurised water reactors similar to existing nuclear power stations and boasts an increased generation capacity from 440MW previously, is more commercially viable and lower-risk than rival plans. The company has also claimed it could compete with renewable technologies such as offshore wind.  Tom Samson, chief executive of the Rolls-Royce-led consortium, said “the way we manufacture and assemble our power station brings down its cost to be comparable with offshore wind at around £50/MWh”.

But Tom Burke, chair of climate change think-tank E3G, argued that SMRs could not achieve economies of scale unless developers secured a large number of orders. “How are you going to get orders for 16 of an unproven reactor type and if you don’t have orders for 16 how are you going to build a factory?”  If sufficient private funding is secured, the consortium intends to set up a special purpose vehicle this summer in which Rolls-Royce is expected to retain a significant interest. The programme could give Rolls-Royce an important new revenue stream as it looks to reduce its exposure to the commercial aerospace sector, which has been severely dented by the coronavirus pandemic.https://www.ft.com/content/11ba5955-2f75-4eb5-b3e9-73f74684eb10

May 18, 2021 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The budget should have been a road to Australia’s low-emissions future. Instead, it’s a flight of fancy — RenewEconomy

The Morrison government is betting heavily on failed climate alternatives and blatantly ignoring internationally proven technology, like electric vehicles. The post The budget should have been a road to Australia’s low-emissions future. Instead, it’s a flight of fancy appeared first on RenewEconomy.

The budget should have been a road to Australia’s low-emissions future. Instead, it’s a flight of fancy — RenewEconomy

May 18, 2021 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Vestas unveils new technology to recycle wind blades and stop dumping — RenewEconomy

New “game-changing” technology could be the final technological step towards a fully recyclable wind turbine. The post Vestas unveils new technology to recycle wind blades and stop dumping appeared first on RenewEconomy.

Vestas unveils new technology to recycle wind blades and stop dumping — RenewEconomy

May 18, 2021 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Australia’s wind and solar farms seek to dodge negative prices and grid costs — RenewEconomy

The days of a ‘set and forget’ bidding strategy are long gone in Australia in a rapidly changing market with more wind and solar. The post Australia’s wind and solar farms seek to dodge negative prices and grid costs appeared first on RenewEconomy.

Australia’s wind and solar farms seek to dodge negative prices and grid costs — RenewEconomy

May 18, 2021 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Australia’s best performing wind farms in 2020 on spot prices — RenewEconomy

Which wind farms performed the best on spot prices, and revenue per megawatt of capacity in Australia’s main grid. The post Australia’s best performing wind farms in 2020 on spot prices appeared first on RenewEconomy.

Australia’s best performing wind farms in 2020 on spot prices — RenewEconomy

May 18, 2021 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

White House environmental justice advisers express opposition to nuclear


White House environmental justice advisers express opposition to nuclear, carbon capture projects,
The Hill 
BY RACHEL FRAZIN – 05/17/21 
The White House Environmental Justice Advisory Council expressed opposition to nuclear and carbon capture projects as well as projects that expand capacity for fossil fuel production in a report issued Friday.

The volunteer advisory council listed such projects as among “examples of the types of projects that will not benefit a community,” in a set of recommendations issued to the White House. 

The recommendations issued by the council, which is made up of leaders in the environmental justice movement, are meant to advise the Biden administration, but don’t necessarily reflect administration policy. 

In fact, the opposition appears to be somewhat at odds with policies the administration has backed, like President Biden’s promotion of a carbon capture tax credit in his infrastructure plan. 

The report did not specify why the advisory panel considers such projects not to be beneficial, but opponents have raised concerns about nuclear waste. ……..   https://thehill.com/policy/energy-environment/553927-white-house-environmental-justice-advisors-expresses-opposition-to

May 18, 2021 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Should Bill Gates be viewed as a man of character and a trusted adviser to world leaders?

Gates’ reputation and practices are now open to further questions and scrutiny.

Billionaire Bill Gates’ Alleged Relationships With Women While Married Raise Questions About His Character, Forbes, Jack Kelly, Senior Contributor  17 May 21,  Bill Gates, the multibillionaire cofounder of Microsoft, was viewed and mostly respected by the public as a nerdy, brainy and awkward guy. In the tech community, it was different. Gates was feared. Rivals saw him as brutal and ruthless.

The U.S. Justice Department’s antitrust division accused Microsoft of running a monopoly and filed suit—United States v. MicrosoftCompetitors were knocked out of business. His childhood best friend and cofounder, Paul Allen, claimed Gates “conspired with Microsoft’s first chief executive, Steve Ballmer, to reduce his co-founder’s stake,” while he was “recovering from treatment for lymphoma.” 

Continue reading

May 18, 2021 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Tesla’s Bitcoin about-face is a warning for cryptocurrencies that ignore climate change

Don’t be lulled into thinking that Elon Musk is some sort of expeert on environmrent. He plans to continue with Bitcoin, as well as with a multitude of rockets and space satellites – all mpowered by – guess what” plutonium and other forms of nuclear energy

Tesla’s Bitcoin about-face is a warning for cryptocurrencies that ignore climate change, The Conversation, John Hawkins, Senior Lecturer, Canberra School of Politics, Economics and Society and NATSEM, University of Canberra  17 May 21

 Over the weekend, Tesla chief executive Elon Musk suggested his company could sell off its Bitcoin holdings, sending the cryptocurrency plummeting.

It followed Musk’s announcement earlier this month that his company would no longer accept Bitcoin in payment for its electric cars, due to the fossil fuels needed to create the digital currency.

Bitcoin is created via high-powered computers solving complex mathematical equations. These computers use a lot of electricity, which is often generated by fossil fuels. Tesla’s about-face is a blow to Bitcoin, the value of which jumped when Tesla got on board.

Tesla’s stance is a big winner for both the climate, and the company’s “green” reputation. The development has also shone the spotlight further onto the carbon footprint of cryptocurrency – an issue that will not go away soon.

how, exactly, is Bitcoin – and many other cryptocurrencies – bad for the environment?

It all comes down to the energy used to create it. Before a Bitcoin transaction takes place, the person spending the coin must be verified as the valid owner. And once the transaction is complete it must be digitally recorded in a database known as a “blockchain” ledger.

Unlike a traditional bank where transactions are centrally verified and recorded, Bitcoin’s ledger comprises a distributed database of users. They verify transactions by running complex mathematical problems through high-powered computers. The first user to solve the calculation and add it to the blockchain is rewarded with Bitcoin. The process is termed “mining”.

Over time, the Bitcoin system increases the complexity of the problems as more computing power is applied to them. In the early days mining could be done by geeks in their bedrooms using home computers. Now it mostly done using vast rooms full of very expensive specialised equipment, which only companies can afford.

The process uses a lot of energy. The University of Cambridge recently estimated Bitcoin used more electricity each year than the entire economies of Argentina or Sweden.

Some of this electricity comes from renewables. But analyses suggest most Bitcoin mining occurs in China, and the main power source is coal. A recent study in Nature concluded Bitcoin operations in China are on track to produce 130 million tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions in 2024 – more than the entire economy of the Czech Republic……….   https://theconversation.com/teslas-bitcoin-about-face-is-a-warning-for-cryptocurrencies-that-ignore-climate-change-160928

May 18, 2021 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Alabama hospital installs radiation-free spine imaging tool 

Alabama hospital installs radiation-free spine imaging tool    https://www.beckersspine.com/orthopedic-a-spine-device-a-implant-news/item/51800-alabama-hospital-installs-radiation-free-spine-imaging-tool.htmlAlan Condon –  Birmingham, Ala.-based Princeton Baptist Medical Center reportedly is the first hospital in the state to implement the Flash navigation system for spine and cranial procedures, CBS affiliate WIAT reported May 14.

Designed by 7D Surgical, Flash uses visible light to create a 3D image for spine surgical navigation, eliminating patient and staff exposure to intraoperative radiation, according to the company.

The technology was approved for neurologic surgery in 2016 but since has expanded to spine surgery.

The Flash system costs $500,000, compared to other navigation systems on the market that run up to $1.2 million, according to 7D Surgical.

7D Surgical is expected to be acquired by SeaSpine this quarter.

May 18, 2021 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Chernobyl is showing signs of a possible new nuclear accident

Chernobyl is showing signs of a possible new nuclear accident, scientists say.  Nuclear reactions are smoldering again   https://thehill.com/changing-america/sustainability/energy/553844-chernobyl-is-showing-signs-of-a-possible-new-nuclear  .Christian Spencer | May 17, 2021

Radioactive waste is smoldering in a part of Chernobyl that is unreachable.

Two chemical experts heed caution of another explosion.

The fatal 1986 explosion left the place a ghost town.

Scientists are warning that another explosion could occur in Chernobyl due to the spike in neutron numbers in an underground room called 305/2.

The numbers may indicate that new fission reactions are taking place, and there’s a possibility the smoldering nuclear reaction — in a room that’s currently unreachable — could lead to an explosion, Business Insider reported.

“[It is] like the embers in a barbecue pit,” Neil Hyatt, a professor of nuclear materials science and engineering at the University of Sheffield Lecturer, told Science magazine.

Fellow scientist, Maxim Saveliev, a senior researcher with the Institute for Safety Problems of Nuclear Power Plants (ISPNPP) in Kyiv, Ukraine, agrees with Hyatt, saying “there are many uncertainties, but we can’t rule out the possibility of [an] accident.”

The Chernobyl disaster was a nuclear accident near the No. 4 reactor in the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant, close to the city of Pripyat in the north of the Ukrainian SSR. The April 26, 1986 disaster is considered the worst nuclear disaster in history for the amount of money it cost and the number of lives lost. The Chernobyl disaster is one of two energy-related accidents that were rated a level 7, the maximum.

About 50 people were killed, and the explosion resulted in thousands of radiation-related deaths.

As of now, the New Safe Confinement (NCS), a $1.8-billion protective confinement shelter, was built in 2019 to stop the contamination of radioactive.

The NSC was also created to lower the neutron counts, with Saveliev saying the issue of a possible explosion might resolve itself.

After 35 years, the evacuated city still resembles a ghost town.

May 18, 2021 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Nuclear emergency guidelines on thyroid radiation exposure under review in Japan

Nuclear emergency guidelines on thyroid radiation exposure under review in Japan,  Japan News, The Yomiuri Shimbun, 17 May, 21

The Nuclear Regulation Authority (NRA) plans to establish a system for measuring thyroid gland radiation levels of nearby residents in the immediate aftermath of a nuclear power plant accident, during a review of the government’s nuclear emergency response guidelines being undertaken this fiscal year.

Revisions will likely include a requirement to measure radiation levels of children under the age of 18 and pregnant women, who are most vulnerable to radiation exposure………

Officials are particularly concerned about areas where radiation levels reach 500 microsieverts per hour, which requires immediate evacuation, and those where levels continuously exceed 20 microsieverts per hour, which requires temporary relocation.

The NRA is considering mainly targeting children under the age of 18, pregnant women and nursing mothers in such areas.

Radioactive iodine-131 released in a nuclear accident halves in about eight days, highlighting the importance of taking measurements immediately after an accident to determine radiation exposure levels.

However, the measurement target until now was unclear and the response system and equipment were insufficient………. only about 1,000 of the 370,000 children under the age of 18 in Fukushima Prefecture have had their thyroid gland radiation levels measured.  https://the-japan-news.com/news/article/0007405020

May 18, 2021 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

US Nuclear is significantly overvalued

US Nuclear Stock Gives Every Indication Of Being Significantly Overvalued, Yahoo Finance GuruFocus.com, Sat, May 15, 2021, 

The stock of US Nuclear (OTCPK:UCLE30-year Financials) is believed to be significantly overvalued, according to GuruFocus Value calculation. GuruFocus Value is GuruFocus’ estimate of the fair value at which the stock should be traded. It is calculated based on the historical multiples that the stock has traded at, the past business growth and analyst estimates of future business performance. If the price of a stock is significantly above the GF Value Line, it is overvalued and its future return is likely to be poor. On the other hand, if it is significantly below the GF Value Line, its future return will likely be higher. At its current price of $0.57 per share and the market cap of $13.3 million, US Nuclear stock is believed to be significantly overvalued. GF Value for US Nuclear is shown in the chart below. [on original]


Because US Nuclear is significantly overvalued, the long-term return of its stock is likely to be much lower than its future business growth, which averaged 7.8% over the past five years.

Since investing in companies with low financial strength could result in permanent capital loss, investors must carefully review a company’s financial strength before deciding whether to buy shares. Looking at the cash-to-debt ratio and interest coverage can give a good initial perspective on the company’s financial strength. US Nuclear has a cash-to-debt ratio of 0.43, which ranks worse than 79% of the companies in Hardware industry. Based on this, GuruFocus ranks US Nuclear’s financial strength as 3 out of 10, suggesting poor balance sheet. This is the debt and cash of US Nuclear over the past years:

…………In short, The stock of US Nuclear (OTCPK:UCLE, 30-year Financials) gives every indication of being significantly overvalued. The company’s financial condition is poor and its profitability is poor. Its growth ranks worse than 81% of the companies in Hardware industry.  https://finance.yahoo.com/news/us-nuclear-stock-gives-every-111207593.html

May 18, 2021 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment