Antinuclear

Australian news, and some related international items

While ANSTO flirts with Small Modular Nuclear Reactors, the Big Story is the Adani Coal Mine

This site is dedicated to the nuclear -free movement. And at present, I am appalled that Australia is about to sign up to developing Generation IV nuclear reactors, and to once again bless the expensive and secretive activities of the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation. Remember, it is OUR money, tax-payers’ money, that is being wasted on these going nowhere nuclear schemes, at a time when clean renewable energy really IS going somewhere.

Nevertheless, as “new nuclear” is in fact, going nowhere, very slowly, the current big threat to Australia’s environment, economy, and international reputation, is the Adani coal mine project.

This appalling coal mine plan  something that all Australians who care about our country, and our children’s future, should be fighting, tooth and nail.  For the moment, the nuclear push is almost dead in the water, even though its zealots persist .

May 22, 2017 Posted by | Christina reviews | Leave a comment

Poll shows that Australian voters decisively reject Adani coal mine expansion

Just 7 per cent of voters want the government to invest in Adani mine: poll http://www.theage.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/just-7-per-cent-of-voters-want-the-government-to-invest-in-adani-mine-poll-20170521-gw9k4g.html Adam Gartrell, 22 May 17, 

Just 7 per cent of voters want money from the federal government’s northern Australia investment used to prop up Adani’s giant coalmine, while nine times that number say they would prefer taxpayer cash going towards renewable energy or education infrastructure.

A new poll ReachTEL poll has found just 6.8 per cent of people support the idea of using public money to support coal mine projects such as the Indian mining conglomerate’s controversial Carmichael proposal, which would be Australia’s biggest coalmine.

Adani is seeking a $1 billion concessional loan from the Turnbull government’s Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility to build a railway for the mine. The application will be assessed by the fund’s independent board but the government supports the plan.

But the new poll of nearly 3000 people – commissioned by the Australian Conservation Foundation – suggests the public wants NAIF investments made elsewhere. Even among Coalition voters there was only 10.5 per cent support for public money going into coalmine infrastructure.

The poll found nearly 33 per cent of people believe renewable energy projects should be NAIF’s top priority. Nearly 28 per cent believe schools and universities should be first in line for funding, with tourism and telecommunications infrastructure also attracting more support than coal.

The polling accompanies a new ACF research paper on the “opportunity cost” to northern Australia of funding the mine in Queensland’s Galilee Basin, identifying scores of other job-creating projects.

ACF economist Matt Rose says across Queensland, Western Australian and the Northern Territory there are 20 alternative proposals for jobs-rich large-scale solar plants.

There are 20 potential higher education campuses, 67 Indigenous ranger groups with no certainty of long-term funding and hundreds of locations with poor phones or internet.

“Any NAIF investment in coal will come at a huge cost to Northern Australia in terms of missed opportunities for a cleaner, smarter future,” Mr Rose said.

“Public investment in Adani coal would cheat Australians in the north out of jobs in renewable energy, better education facilities and tourism.”

Respondents to the poll also showed support for strong restrictions on any NAIF lending, with 60 per cent saying they agreed the government should “only provide funding to companies that meet minimum social and environmental standards”.

The ReachTEL poll surveyed 2984 residents across Australia in late April.

ACF is one of 130 groups involved in trying to stop the $21 billion mine, which is shaping up as one of the country’s big environmental battles.

The big four banks have all ruled out funding for the mine, angering Resources Minister Matt Canavan. But Mr Turnbull has defended the potential use of the NAIF, saying the mine would create “tens of thousands” of jobs and boost state and federal budgets.

The Queensland Labor government last week flagged it may provide Adani with a $320m “royalty holiday” to help get the mine up and running. It has also offered it free water in the form of an unlimited water licence.

At a federal level, Opposition Leader Bill Shorten has suggested the mine should only go ahead if it stacks up environmentally and commercially – and that means no federal loan. However some federal Labor MPs do not believe the mine should go ahead at all.

May 22, 2017 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, climate change - global warming, politics | Leave a comment

NATIONALS SHOULD NAME LOCATIONS FOR NUTTY NUCLEAR POWER PLANT PLAN

The Greens NSW Energy spokesperson Jeremy Buckingham today slammed the National Party and NSW Deputy Premier John Barilaro for raising the prospect of a nuclear power plant in NSW saying renewable energy is safer, cheaper, and more effective at combatting climate change.

“I challenge John Barilaro and Gladys Berejiklian to name which electorate, which suburb and which town in NSW they think a nuclear power plant should be built in,” Greens MP Jeremy Buckingham said.

“They also need to come clean with where they are planning to have a nuclear waste dump to manage the highly radioactive waste fuel that will be produced.

“Nuclear power is an enormous risk that is not worth taking. We should learn the lessons from Fukushima and Chernobyl that nuclear power can be catastrophic.

“This is just another nutty, extreme idea from the National Party who is stuck in the wrong century pushing coal and nuclear and ignoring the massive renewable energy potential of Australia.

“Launching their nuclear ambitions in Broken Hill shows the Nationals are completely out of touch with the community and the future of energy supply in Australia.

“One of the largest solar farms in the country, the Broken Hill Solar Plant, has just been built and the nearby Silverton Wind Farm will be the largest wind project in NSW once it is constructed.

“The declining cost of renewables means nuclear energy does not make financial sense, as we can see with Japanese giant Toshiba going broke because of its involvement in nuclear power plants.

“Even if the Nationals could force nuclear power through massive community opposition, it is not an answer to our energy needs or climate crisis with plants taking more than a decade to be built.

“The Greens believe the future of energy supply is renewables, not dirty coal and dangerous nuclear power,” Mr Buckingham concluded.

May 22, 2017 Posted by | New South Wales, politics | Leave a comment

Switzerland referendum result: ban nuclear weapons, shift to renewable energy

Switzerland votes to ban nuclear plants, shift to renewable energy, in referendum ABC News 22 May 17  Swiss voters have backed the Government’s plan to provide billions of dollars in subsidies for renewable energy, ban new nuclear plants and help bail out struggling utilities in a binding referendum.

Key points:

  • Provisional data shows nearly 60 per cent backed Government plan
  • Solar and wind account for less than 5 per cent of Switzerland’s energy output
  • Voters get final say on major policy issues in Switzerland

Provisional final figures showed support at 58.2 per cent under the Swiss system of direct democracy, which gives voters final say on major policy issues.

The Swiss initiative mirrors efforts elsewhere in Europe to reduce dependence on nuclear power, partly sparked by Japan’s Fukushima disaster in 2011.

Germany aims to phase out nuclear power by 2022, while Austria banned it decades ago.

“The results shows the population wants a new energy policy and does not want any new nuclear plants,” Energy Minister Doris Leuthard said, adding the law would boost domestic renewable energy, cut fossil fuel use and reduce reliance on foreign supplies……. http://www.abc.net.au/n

May 22, 2017 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Re-election of Rouhani in Iran gives hope for Tehran’s compliance with nuclear deal

Elysee: Rouhani reelection gives hope for Tehran’s compliance with nuclear deal http://theiranproject.com/blog/2017/05/21/elysee-rouhani-reelection-gives-hope-tehrans-compliance-nuclear-deal/  – The office of French President Emmanuel Macron said that the reelection of Hassan Rouhani as Iranian President gives hope for the country’s compliance with the nuclear deal.

MOSCOW (Sputnik) — The reelection of Hassan Rouhani as Iranian President gives hope for the country’s compliance with the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) aimed at settlement of the Iranian nuclear issue, the office of French President Emmanuel Macron said in a statement.

“The reelection of President Rouhani strengthens the hope that his government will abide accurately by the historic agreement of July 14, 2015, which allowed to regulate through the diplomatic means the disagreements on the nuclear issue and to engage in the new stage of the relations between Iran and the international community. France, in turn, will continue to exercise vigilance over the strict implementation of [the agreement’s] elements,” the statement distributed by Macron’s press office read.

In the document, the French president congratulated his Iranian counterpart on the reelection and expressed hope for the improvement of the economic, scientific and cultural ties between Tehran and Paris.

Apart from this, Macron called on Iran to contribute to the settlement of the crises in the Middle East.

“Adhering to the development of the political dialogue with Iran, France reiterates the necessity of the diplomatic regulation of the conflicts in the Middle East and urges Iran to participate in it,” the statement stressed.

May 22, 2017 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Energy, climate, emissions news 21 May 17

National
Summer energy crisis looms without reforms, Grattan Institute warns
Panicking politicians who make kneejerk decisions to bolster Australia’s energy security run the risk of fuelling a power crisis with more blackouts and restrictions, a Grattan Institute report says.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-05-21/grattan-institute-warns-of-looming-summer-energy-crisis/8545522

New coalmines will worsen poverty and escalate climate change, report finds
Oxfam attacks Australia’s ‘climate policy paralysis’ and urges it to promise no new coalmines and end public subsidies
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/may/22/new-coalmines-will-worsen-poverty-and-escalate-climate-change-report-finds

Cheap way to cut emissions
Graham Lloyd
Land clearing – Australia could meet a 2C warming target under the Paris agreement at no cost to business.
http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/climate/land-management-changes-the-lowcost-way-to-cut-emissions/news-story/eaa311fadd2d5963774b94c3bcf9bb95

May 22, 2017 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, climate change - global warming, energy | Leave a comment

Australia’s governing Liberal Coalition has really mucked up Native Title policy

Coalition in damage control over bungling of Native Title, Courier Mail, Anthony Chisolm, The Sunday Mail (Qld) May 21, 2017 IF SENATOR Matt Canavan and Senator George Brandis had worked harder and more diligently over recent months on their necessary changes to Native Title legislation, they would not have been caught in such a desperate political play on the last Senate sitting day.

May 22, 2017 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

Nature Conservation Council of NSW slams Deputy Premier’s nuclear power plan

Green groups shut down nuclear NSW talk, http://www.news.com.au/national/breaking-news/green-groups-shut-down-nuclear-nsw-talk/news-story/0a4b29c1a3ae25ad8e67ce3c0130b6a2 Green groups have reacted swiftly to condemn an attempt by Deputy NSW Premier John Barilaro to place nuclear energy back on the agenda.

Mr Barilaro told the NSW Nationals Annual Conference in Broken Hill on Thursday nuclear energy could mean “guaranteed power to millions, lower bills and next to no emissions” in the face of a power crisis.

He said energy costs were crushing businesses, farmers and families.

The Nature Conservation Council of NSW called on Premier Gladys Berejiklian to declare nuclear options weren’t on the table.

“Renewables are by far the cheapest, cleanest and most sustainable way to meet our energy needs,” chief executive Kate Smolski said in a statement.

She said nuclear power was “dirty, dangerous and expensive” and could leave a “toxic legacy”.

Ms Smolski challenged Mr Barilaro to explain which electorate would house a nuclear reactor, uranium processing plant and radioactive waste dumps.

The NSW Greens energy spokesperson Jeremy Buckingham said Mr Barilaro’s comments showed the party was out of touch with the community.

“This is just another nutty, extreme idea from the National Party who is stuck in the wrong century pushing coal and nuclear and ignoring the massive renewable energy potential of Australia,” he said.

May 22, 2017 Posted by | New South Wales, Opposition to nuclear | Leave a comment

“Band-aid” fix for Hanford radioactive waste tunnel

Temporary cover in place over breached Hanford radioactive waste tunnel, BY ANNETTE CARY, acary@tricityherald.com  21 May 17, Heavy plastic was pulled over the top of a Hanford waste storage tunnel on Saturday, helping keep the radioactive contents of the tunnel contained while a more permanent fix is planned.

May 22, 2017 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

China fears environmental contamination from North Korea’s underground nuclear tests

China fears NK nuke leaks, Korea Times, By Oh Young-jin, 2017-05-21 China fears environmental contamination and earthquakes that may be triggered by North Korea’s underground nuclear tests, possibly bringing Beijing to the breaking point of its patience with its blood-sealed but increasingly defiant ally, a Chinese scholar said during an interview Friday.

“Chinese people in the northeast region that borders North Korea are fearful that they will fall victim to contaminated water and seismic disruptions from its nuclear blasts,” Professor Zhu Feng of Nanjing University told The Korea Times. The interview was held before his lecture on the Korea-China-U.S. relationship, sponsored by the Korea Foundation for Advanced Studies.

Punggye-ri, North Hamgyong Province, which has served as the site for four of the five nuclear tests and will certainly accommodate a sixth, is within hundreds of kilometers of population centers in northeastern China. It is also quite close to Mt. Baekdu, a volcanic mountain that some experts fear may have another big eruption after the one in 946…….https://www.koreatimes.co.kr/www/nation/2017/05/120_229715.html

May 22, 2017 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

New South Wales Green Groups challenge Deputy Premier John Barilaro on nuclear power

Green groups shut down nuclear NSW talk http://www.sbs.com.au/news/article/2017/05/20/green-groups-shut-down-nuclear-nsw-talk

Green groups have ridiculed talk of nuclear power being placed back on the agenda by NSW Deputy Premier John Barilaro as a “nutty” idea.

Green groups have reacted swiftly to condemn an attempt by Deputy NSW Premier John Barilaro to place nuclear energy back on the agenda.

Mr Barilaro told the NSW Nationals Annual Conference in Broken Hill on Thursday nuclear energy could mean “guaranteed power to millions, lower bills and next to no emissions” in the face of a power crisis. He said energy costs were crushing businesses, farmers and families.

The Nature Conservation Council of NSW called on Premier Gladys Berejiklian to declare nuclear options weren’t on the table.

“Renewables are by far the cheapest, cleanest and most sustainable way to meet our energy needs,” chief executive Kate Smolski said in a statement.

She said nuclear power was “dirty, dangerous and expensive” and could leave a “toxic legacy”.

Ms Smolski challenged Mr Barilaro to explain which electorate would house a nuclear reactor, uranium processing plant and radioactive waste dumps.

The NSW Greens energy spokesperson Jeremy Buckingham said Mr Barilaro’s comments showed the party was out of touch with the community.

“This is just another nutty, extreme idea from the National Party who is stuck in the wrong century pushing coal and nuclear and ignoring the massive renewable energy potential of Australia,” he said.

May 20, 2017 Posted by | New South Wales, politics | Leave a comment

New South Wales govt about to go all enthusiastic about nuclear power?

Nuclear power on the agenda in NSW as Deputy Premier claims ‘we’ve been led by fear and mistruths’ ABC News By state political reporter Lucy McNally, 19 May 17, New South Wales Deputy Premier John Barilaro has put nuclear energy on the agenda, arguing it would help secure the state’s power supply in the future.

Mr Barilaro, the leader of the NSW Nationals, will address his party’s annual conference in Broken Hill today, where he will make the case for a nuclear debate.

“I’m challenging my members to look for exciting solutions and think about the generations to come,” he said.”We live in a resource-rich nation, where energy should be our competitive advantage, but we’ve had the settings wrong, we’ve been led by political correctness and unfortunately by fear and mistruths.”

Mr Barilaro said those “mistruths” had stifled debate……

“Look at France, they currently rely heavily on nuclear energy which they import from places next door like the Czech Republic and other European nations,” Mr Barilaro said.

“Yet they have made a commitment to build a plant in France. Places like the US and Korea have all decided to look at building nuclear plants.”….. [ed note – this is simply incorrect

Premier Gladys Berejiklian said she was not convinced of the merits of nuclear power.

“My view always is that science and safety have to stack up, on anything,” she said.

“So I’m in the camp of the jury’s still out.”

Ms Berejiklian said she was open to discussing the issue, including at the next Council of Australian Governments meeting in June…….

The State Opposition’s energy spokesman, Adam Searle, has dismissed the comments as a “thought bubble”. “The fact is nuclear energy is enormously expensive, consumes huge amounts of water — and of course Australia doesn’t have a lot of spare water — to say nothing of the environmental issues,” he said.

“Who’s going to build it? Who’s going to fund it? It’s just ridiculous.” http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-05-19/nuclear-power-nsw-nationals-leader-wants-to-open-debate/8540274

May 20, 2017 Posted by | New South Wales, politics | Leave a comment

Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) goes for smarter ways to deal with electricity supply and demand

The demand response proposal signals greater co-operation between AEMO and ARENA, particularly on the integration of renewables. A trial using wind energy to provide frequency control is to be held in South Australia next month.

AEMO looks at smarter ways to deal with extreme peaks and heatwaves http://reneweconomy.com.au/aemo-looks-at-smarter-ways-to-deal-with-extreme-peaks-and-heatwaves-40094/ By Giles Parkinson on 19 May 2017 The new direction of a rejuvenated Australian Energy Market Operator is starting to take shape, with the organisation announcing plans to have 100MW of demand response capacity in the Victorian and South Australian markets in time for the summer peaks and heatwaves.

The program, being run jointly with the Australian Renewable Energy Agency, signals a tangible change in focus for AEMO, and the market in general, in finding smarter ways to manage supply and demand rather than simply building more fossil fuel plants and poles and wires.

AEMO’s new CEO Audrey Zibelman is already a champion of demand response and it was one of the major levers that she pulled when running New York’s Reforming the Energy Vision program that aims for more decentralised power, and 50 per cent renewable energy by 2030.

In the PJM market, one of the biggest in the US, demand response accounts for 10 per cent of total capacity, and Zibelman sees no reason why it cannot grow to be at least 30 per cent of the Australian market.

That’s because Australia has a ready-made investment in the technologies that are needed. More than 1.6 million homes and businesses have installed rooftop solar, and many of these will install battery storage as well.

“If you have solar on your roof and you are putting in storage, it is saying that during certain hours of the day you use solar to charge up the battery, and then, rather than relying on grid, you reduce demand on the grid. For us (the grid operator) that’s the same as increasing generation.”

Zibelman says it is an obvious solution to provide a price signal to use these resources, as well as rewarding others – such as manufacturers and large businesses – for cutting back on their power usage at critical moments, rather than spending more money on new plant.

“If we can reduce the amount of demand, that has the same benefit as the grid, and is a lot less expensive than building a new power plant that is only used for a few hours a year,” she says. Continue reading

May 20, 2017 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, efficiency | Leave a comment

Australia should not throw away $1 billion on a destructive and doomed Adani coal project

The first stage currently being discussed involves a total investment of around $5 billion, of which the Australian public is supposed to contribute at least a $1 billion.

we may easily end up with the worst of all worlds: no royalties and few jobs for a project that will contribute massively to environmental destruction both locally and globally.

We shouldn’t throw it away on a doomed project that will leave us with, at best, a stranded asset and a legacy of massive environmental damage.

There are better things to spend $1 billion on than the Adani coal mine, Brisbane Times, John Quiggin, 18 May 17 

Ever since taking office, the Palaszczuk government has been walking a tightrope with respect to the Adani Group’s proposed Carmichael mine in the Galilee Basin.

On the one hand, it’s obvious that the project is both environmentally disastrous and economically dubious. The government has been keen to avoid putting public money into this mess. On the other hand, if the project falls over, as still appears quite likely, the government is keen to avoid the blame.

The supposed benefits of 10,000 jobs and billions of dollars in royalties make an appealing case to voters at any time and particularly with the mining boom on the edge of failing. For most of the past 18 months, the government has managed the tightrope act successfully, but now it appears to be on the verge of falling. Adani is pushing for a ‘holiday’ from royalties, which might last as long as nine years. The project may go ahead if the government accepts, but the promised benefits to the Queensland public will disappear into the never-never.

The holiday is supposed to be temporary, but that’s unlikely.  Continue reading

May 20, 2017 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, business, politics, Queensland | Leave a comment

Australia isn’t trying to stop global warming. We’re subsidising it.

Palaszczuk and Turnbull governments are Adani mine’s lonely fans, Canberra Times, Ebony Bennett, 20 May 17 Australia isn’t trying to stop global warming. We’re subsidising it.

While the ACT is on track to source 100 per cent of our electricity from renewable energy by 2020, Queensland’s state government is doubling down on the No. 1 contributor to climate change: coal. Despite banks, economists and Australians in general showing little interest in handing Indian coal giant Adani billions of dollars to dig up a heap of carbon, many politicians just can’t seem to wait to throw your money at it. The Queensland government’s enthusiasm is exceeded only by that of Turnbull government ministers, who have taken to fondling lumps of coal on the floor of Parliament.

Ten days before the last Queensland election, then opposition leader Annastacia Palaszczuk blasted the Newman’s government for picking winners and losers, warning: “What we’re seeing at the moment is Campbell Newman throwing a bucket of taxpayers’ cash … at one particular company [Adani].”

She further promised that “Queenslander taxpayers’ money is not going to be used to fund commercial operations”. She then went on to win the election in one of Australia’s biggest political upsets.

Coal subsidies are unpopular

Despite being elected on a “no subsidies” platform, the Palaszczuk government has since offered Adani free water (in the form of an unlimited, unchallengeable water licence), free coal (in the form of a reported $320 million “royalty holiday”) and a possible 39-year raincheck on the clean-up bill. It’s also on track for a $1 billion subsidised loan for its rail line from the federal government’s Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility.

At this rate, we’ll soon be paying Adani to dig up our coal. And voters don’t appear to be impressed. Continue reading

May 20, 2017 Posted by | climate change - global warming, politics, Queensland | Leave a comment