Antinuclear

Australian news, and some related international items

Australian children targetted for propaganda by the weapons industry

Reputation Laundering: weapons companies infiltrating schools to promote education https://www.michaelwest.com.au/reputation-laundering-weapons-companies-now-infiltrating-schools-to-promote-education/, by Michelle Fahy | Nov 27, 2020  A Lockheed missile blows up a bus full of Yemeni children; in Australia Lockheed Martin gains kudos by sponsoring the National Youth Science Forum. BAE Systems sponsors underprivileged kids in Australia while being complicit in the killing of thousands of needy children in Yemen. All you see in industry marketing pitches is euphemism, with nary a mention of the word “weapons”. Michelle Fahy reports.

The UK’s largest weapons-maker, BAE, is working inside Saudi Arabia supporting Saudi-United Arab Emirates military operations in Yemen, a war that has killed or injured tens of thousands of civilians, including thousands of children.

Meanwhile in Australia, BAE sponsors The Smith Family’s STEM education program for under-privileged children.

Flagrant hypocrisy? Welcome to the weapons business.

Then there’s Lockheed Martin, the world’s largest weapons-maker, also raking in billions from the Yemen war. A Lockheed missile blew up a bus full of Yemeni school children in 2018, killing at least 29 kids and injuring dozens more. Back in Australia, Lockheed was cultivating kudos with kids as major sponsor of the National Youth Science Forum, a registered charity.

US missile-making giant Raytheon also continues to supply the Saudi-UAE coalition, despite evidence of numerous attacks with Raytheon missiles that targeted and killed civilians, including children. No mention of that in Australia. Instead, Aussie school kids had fun hanging out with the young Australian snowboarding paralympian Raytheon hired to front the launch of its Maths Alive! STEM program.

The French company supplying Australia’s new submarines, Naval Group, is at the centre of multiple corruption scandals globally, some of which involved murder. That hasn’t stopped Naval promoting itself as a model future employer, with the help of Port Adelaide footy heroes, to 90,174 kids in 329 South Australian schools since 2017.

And let’s not forget the list of sponsors of the Australian War Memorial, Legacy, Invictus Games and Soldier On, which include numerous weapons-making corporations.

There’s a name for this cynical behaviour: reputation laundering. And nearly every weapons company is doing it.

Promoted as innovators

The world’s weapons producers have taken with gusto to promoting themselves as innovators in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM). Military industry has adopted the STEM mantra to target children and young people as future employees, usually with the willing partnership of respected educational institutions. Many, if not most, Australian universities now have joint agreements, strategic partnerships or some other form of collaboration with the weapons industry.

The sales pitch is, join us for an exciting and challenging high-tech career in science. This enthusiastic support of STEM serves two purposes: reputation laundering is one, the other is as a recruitment drive. STEM provides a socially acceptable way to promote the weapons industry to children, and parents, as a potential employer.

There’s nothing wrong with promoting STEM education, or seeking new employees. The issue is the way these companies are now targeting children as young as primary school age, with the full support of government. (eg. The MD of weapons-maker Saab Technologies is on the South Australian education board.) The problem is the spin and glamour applied to increased militarism, with pertinent information omitted from the marketing. Warfare isn’t mentioned, for starters.

There’s nothing about how the kids will use their STEM education to enhance the ‘lethality’ of their employer’s products. Or about a future where employees have eliminated the need for human involvement in the ‘kill chain’ by creating autonomous robotic devices to make those decisions. (This is not science fiction, these research and development programs are already under way.) Working on nuclear weapons isn’t discussed, either.

You won’t find the underlying arms manufacturing realities in the STEM marketing by weapons giants. In fact, you’ll be hard pressed to find the word “weapons” at all.

A world of euphemism

Instead, you’ll enter a world of euphemism: “high end technology company”, “leading systems integrator”, “security and aerospace company”, “defence technology and innovation company”. It’s also a fair bet you’re reading weapons company marketing if you see the phrase “solving complex problems”. Especially if there’s mention of working to make the world safer and more secure.

The following are a few examples of many in which multinational weapons corporations are co-opting organisations of good purpose in Australia.

BAE and The Smith Family

BAE operates inside Saudi Arabia, training Saudi pilots, maintaining Saudi’s BAE-supplied fighter jets, and supervising Saudi soldiers as they load bombs onto the planes. Indiscriminate bombing, a well-known feature of the Yemen war, has killed or injured tens of thousands of civilians, including children.

BAE has earned £15 billion from sales to the Saudis since 2015 when the Yemen war started. A BAE maintenance employee was quoted last year saying, “If we weren’t there, in 7 to 14 days there wouldn’t be a jet in the sky.”

BAE’s role in helping the Saudis prolong the world’s worst humanitarian crisis in Yemen has been pointed out more than once to The Smith Family since news broke of its sponsorship by BAE. Understandably, The Smith Family has responded defensively along the lines that critics are trying to steal an education from needy Australian children.

But what about the tens of thousands of needy children starved, maimed, and killed on the other side of the world? BAE Systems has given The Smith Family a mere $100,000 –  about 0.3% of The Smith Family’s $36.3 million in non-government fundraising income.

Cheap reputational PR for a company that has gained tens of billions of dollars in defence contracts in Australia, while facilitating war crimes elsewhere.

Raytheon and Maths Alive!

Raytheon has marketed this program to children across America, the Middle East and Australia. Raytheon’s intention? To reach children at an early age and create a “healthy pipeline” from primary education, through secondary, to tertiary studies, to secure its future workforce.

The then Assistant Minister for Defence David Fawcett lent his support to the 2018 Australian launch of Maths Alive!, telling media: “I welcome the ongoing commitment by Raytheon to engage young Australians by helping them visualise what a career in science or engineering might look like.”

Lockheed Martin and National Youth Science Forum


The National Youth Science Forum
 was created by Rotary, which remains involved. The forum, now run by a board chaired by former senator Kate Lundy, has several programs, the flagship program being for Year 12 students interested in science.

Each year about 600 students complete the program, which exposes students to various career pathways in science. Since Lockheed started as major sponsor in 2015, students visit Lockheed Martin laboratories and speak with Lockheed staff as part of the program. (Watch a short video here from Lockheed’s website with some students.)

The National Youth Science Forum’s website does not mention Lockheed’s dominant influence as the world’s No. 1 weapons manufacturer or its significant role in producing nuclear weapons. Lockheed’s role in civil sectors is covered, however this work constitutes a minor aspect of its business. The most recent information from Stockholm International Peace Research says 88% of Lockheed’s revenue comes from arms sales.

Lockheed Martin and the Gallipoli Sponsorship Fund

This year Lockheed Martin became the first corporate partner of the Gallipoli Scholarship Fund. This partnership includes the new $120,000 Lockheed Martin Australia Bursary for the educational benefit of descendants of Australian veterans.

One of the aims of the Gallipoli Scholarship Fund is to contribute “to the future security of our nation and our national values of democracy, freedom, and the rule of law”.

Nuclear weapons will become illegal under international law in January 2021 when the new UN treaty prohibiting them comes into force. The world’s nine nuclear-armed countries haven’t signed it – nor their hangers-on, including Australia – so it won’t apply to them. But two-thirds of the world’s countries (including New Zealand) did vote to bring the treaty into being, banning the world’s worst weapons of mass destruction, and setting a new global norm.

Professor Ramesh Thakur, Director of the Centre for Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament at the Australian National University, has said, “The ban treaty embodies the collective moral revulsion of the international community.”

The awkward truth is that the Gallipoli Scholarship Fund’s new corporate partner, Lockheed Martin, is one of the largest nuclear-weapons-producing companies on the planet. Lockheed is all set to provide its 12 bursaries from now through to the end of 2023.

Such are the ethical dilemmas these weapons corporations create for organisations doing good work that are in need of funding.

Morally indefensible positions

Such sponsorships might appear less self-serving if weapons companies behaved consistently, and stopped supplying weapons to war criminals. Claiming they are just doing the bidding of the US or UK governments in supplying the Saudis, as these companies have, is not a morally defensible position, particularly in the face of evidence of ongoing war crimes in Yemen.

Similarly, claims that they are committed to serving the national interest might be more believable if they ceased bribing and scamming their way into the next arms deal, or concocting endless ways to extend and inflate government contracts and invoices for their own corporate financial benefit, blatantly siphoning funds from the public purse.

November 27, 2020 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Education, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Victorian Government Inquiry confirms that there is no future in nuclear power

Inquiry confirms there is no future in nuclear, Mirage News 27 Nov 20, The Victorian Greens have said Parliament’s recently tabled report into nuclear power has confirmed what they’ve known all along: that there is no future in nuclear.The Greens say they expect this to be the last time Victorian Parliament has to consider nuclear, and say nuclear power must remain buried in the last century where it belongs.

Leader of the Victorian Greens, Samantha Ratnam, said she had serious concerns about Parliament wasting valuable time and resources on an inquiry into nuclear power, and that those concerns were confirmed today despite the nuclear industry trying to convince the committee otherwise.

She added that nuclear power was expensive and water hungry, and had failed at every attempt to become a viable industry in Australia.

All around the world, nuclear power plant proposals are falling over before they even begin.

It’s clear that nuclear power is the past, and renewable energy is the future. Solar and wind power with storage can meet all our energy needs without the need to dig up and manipulate dangerous nuclear material…… https://www.miragenews.com/inquiry-confirms-there-is-no-future-in-nuclear/

November 27, 2020 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, politics | Leave a comment

Australian government’s Bill to weaken Environmental Law will be rejected in the Senate

Key crossbench senators say they won’t support bid to change Australia’s environment laws

The Coalition plan to hand development approval powers to the states hits a further roadblock after Senate inquiry, Guardian,   Graham Readfearn, @readfearn   27 Nov 20, 

A Morrison government plan to change Australia’s environment laws to allow development approval powers to be handed to the states has hit a further roadblock, with three key crossbench senators saying in a report they will not support them.

The crossbenchers’ opposition means that, together with Labor and the Greens, the Morrison government’s laws would be voted down in the Senate.

But one crossbench senator told Guardian Australia he could change his mind once he had seen details in documents that the government has so far withheld.

A rushed Senate inquiry into the controversial changes delivered four reports late Friday, with Labor, the Greens and a crossbench group all confirming their opposition.

The government had gagged debate to push the legislation through the lower house – a move that outraged the Greens and Labor.

A final report from a major review of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation (EPBC) Act, carried out by Prof Graeme Samuel, was handed to the environment minister, Sussan Ley, in early November.

That report supported a move to devolve powers to the states, even though Guardian Australia has revealed the government was making moves to devolve powers months before the Samuel review.

Samuel’s interim report, released in July, found the environment was in unsustainable decline and the EPBC Act was not fit-for-purpose.

In their dissenting report to the inquiry, the crossbench senators Rex Patrick, Jacqui Lambie and Stirling Griff said they could not support the bill while key information was withheld……… https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2020/nov/27/key-crossbench-senators-say-they-wont-support-bid-to-change-australias-environment-laws

November 27, 2020 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, environment, politics | Leave a comment

Victorian Inquiry finds nuclear power costly and risky

Inquiry confirms nuclear energy’s [‘proven risks’]  https://www.miragenews.com/inquiry-confirms-nuclear-energy-s-proven-risks/ A Victorian parliamentary inquiry has found nuclear power is ‘significantly more expensive than other forms of power generation’ and remains economically unviable without subsidies.

The inquiry has confirmed nuclear energy’s ‘identified and proven risks’.

The Australian Conservation Foundation (ACF) welcomed comments made at the tabling of the inquiry that the Victorian government has an ‘unequivocal commitment’ to retain the state’s long-standing nuclear ban.

The upper house inquiry into the prospects for nuclear power and uranium mining in Victoria has found:

  • Nuclear energy is ‘significantly more expensive than other forms of power generation’ (finding 3) and without subsidies, a nuclear power industry is economically unviable in Australia (finding 5).
  • Supposed advantages to nuclear energy put forward by nuclear proponents are speculative and do not outweigh the identified and proven risks (finding 9).
“In 1983 the Cain state Labor government introduced the Nuclear Activities (Prohibitions) Act which prohibits uranium mining, nuclear power and waste facilities in the state,” said ACF campaigner Dave Sweeney.

“This long-standing protection has served Victoria well and its retention is prudent and positive.

“ACF welcomes comments by inquiry member Nina Taylor that the Andrews Government has an ‘unequivocal commitment’ to retain the nuclear ban.

“Nuclear power is high cost and high risk and a distraction from the real energy choices and challenges we face. Our energy future is renewable, not radioactive.”

A broad coalition of faith, union, environmental, Aboriginal and public health groups, representing millions of Australians, last year declared nuclear power has no role in Australia’s energy future and is a dangerous distraction from the pressing climate challenges. Their united statement demonstrates widespread community opposition to nuclear power.

November 27, 2020 Posted by | politics, Victoria | Leave a comment

Astronomic costs to taxpayers of Britain’s nuclear sites

UK’s nuclear sites costing taxpayers ‘astronomical sums’, say MPs
Public accounts committee says ignorance, incompetence and weak oversight to blame, 
Guardian,  Damian Carrington Environment editor, @dpcarrington, Fri 27 Nov 2020 The Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) has a perpetual lack of knowledge about the state and location of waste on the 17 sites it is responsible for making safe, a powerful committee of MPs has found.

This results from decades of poor record keeping and weak government oversight, the MPs said. Combined with a “sorry saga” of incompetence and failure, this has left taxpayers footing the bill for “astronomical sums”, they said.

The NDA acknowledges that it still does not have full understanding of the condition of its sites, including 10 closed Magnox stations from Dungeness in Kent to Hunterston in Ayrshire, the MPs report said.

The NDA’s most recent estimate is that it will cost current and future generations of UK taxpayers £132bn to decommission the civil nuclear sites, with the work not being completed for another 120 years.

Since 2017, the NDA’s upper estimate of the cost of the 12-15-year programme just to get the sites to the ”‘care and maintenance” stage of the decommissioning process has increased by £3.1bn to £8.7bn. “Our past experience suggests these costs may increase further,” said the MPs’ report.

The lack of knowledge of the sites was a significant factor in the failure of a 2014 contract the NDA signed with a private sector company to decommission the Magnox sites. The government was forced to take back the contract in 2018 and the botched tender has now cost taxpayers £140m, the MPs found.

Sir Geoffrey Clifton-Brown, deputy chair of the public accounts committee (PAC), said: “Although progress has been made since our [2018] report, incredibly, the NDA still doesn’t know even where we’re currently at, in terms of the state and safety of the UK’s disused nuclear sites. Without that, and after the Magnox contracting disaster, it is hard to have confidence in future plans or estimates.” ……….

The UK has eight operating nuclear power plants, with all but one due to retire in the next decade. Only one new plant is being built, at Hinkley Point in Somerset, and it is years behind schedule and billions over budget.

Despite recent speculation over another new plant being given the go-ahead at Sizewell in Suffolk, Boris Johnson failed to announce this in his green industrial revolution plan last week. The government’s new national infrastructure strategy, published on Wednesday, said: “The government is pursuing large-scale nuclear projects, subject to clear value for money for both consumers and taxpayers.”

In 2015, the government stripped another private consortium of a £9bn contract to clean up the nuclear waste site at Sellafield. The company had been heavily criticised for its executives’ expense claims which included a £714 bill for a “cat in a taxi”.  https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2020/nov/27/uks-nuclear-sites-costing-taxpayers-astronomical-sums-say-mps#_=_

November 27, 2020 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

Safety dangers of small modular nuclear reactors (SMRs)

Nuclear power isn’t the answer to Nunavut’s energy problems, expert says. Nicole Bogart  CTVNews.ca Writer, @nlynnbogart, November 27, 2020 TORONTO — Despite growing interest from the federal government and nuclear proponents, the Canadian Environmental Law Association warns that the safety implications of small modular reactors (SMRs) may outweigh the environmental pay off.

Theresa McClenaghan, executive director of the Canadian Environmental Law Association, says despite proponents’ claims that Canada’s North is a promising market for the small, transportable reactors, the technology isn’t suited for remote locations.

“They’re very inappropriate for remote locations. They’re very inappropriate for anywhere,” McClenaghan told CTV’s Your Morning Friday.

“You’d be talking about creating new kinds of waste that we don’t already have in Canada… [and] having to worry about very long distance transportation.” ……

The federal government has invested in research into the technology and is set to release an SMR action plan with a focus on Canada’s North by the end of this year.

Alberta, New Brunswick, Saskatchewan and Ontario have all signed a memorandum of understanding regarding development of small modular reactors…….

McClenaghan says the government is missing key concerns, including the security of the reactors.

“A very serious concern that no one is talking about is non-proliferation risks – and the risk of a diversion of the materials to weapons,” she said.

“That’s a serious risk for any nuclear technology. But especially when you start to distribute the materials like this and have less control, [and] the industry is hoping they can just leave the units without operators.”

McClenaghan adds that despite the industry’s claims that nuclear power doesn’t produce greenhouse gases, the production of SMRs would.

“Nuclear does produce greenhouse gases because you have to mine, transport, and refine. In fact, the full life cycle is two times as much as solar and six times as much as onshore wind,” she explained.

There are also growing concerns about the implications for Indigenous communities in Canada.

The Northwest Territories Energy Strategy is calling for communities to decide. There’s a whole history of decisions being made and imposed in communities. That’s how a lot of the diesel ended up there in the first place,” McClenaghan said, noting that affordable energy remains the biggest rallying cry for these communities.

“I have seen quite a bit of interest in hybrid systems where they can start to reduce the reliance on diesel, but take advantage for the times of year when solar isn’t available.” https://www.ctvnews.ca/climate-and-environment/nuclear-power-isn-t-the-answer-to-nunavut-s-energy-problems-expert-says-1.5207328

November 27, 2020 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

The global energy revolution

RethinkX 25th Nov 2020, We are on the cusp of the fastest, deepest, most profound disruption of the energy sector in over a century. Like most disruptions, this one is being driven by the convergence of several key technologies whose costs and capabilities have been improving on consistent and predictable trajectories – namely, solar photovoltaic power, wind power, and lithium-ion battery energy storage.

Our analysis shows that 100% clean electricity from the combination of solar, wind, and batteries (SWB) is both physically possible and economically affordable across the entire continental United States as well as the overwhelming majority of other populated regions of the world by 2030.

Adoption of SWB is growing exponentially worldwide and disruption is now inevitable because by 2030 they will offer the cheapest electricity option for most regions. Coal, gas, and nuclear power assets will become stranded during the 2020s, and no new investment in these technologies is rational from this point forward.

https://www.rethinkx.com/energy

November 27, 2020 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

November 27 Energy News — geoharvey

Science and Technology: ¶ “The Solar Discs That Could Beam Power From Space” • Now scientists are working on a concept of giant solar power stations in space that beam energy to Earth. The European Space Agency has realized the potential of these efforts and is looking to fund them. It is predicting that the […]

November 27 Energy News — geoharvey

November 27, 2020 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Tasmania declares itself 100 per cent powered by renewable electricity — RenewEconomy

Tasmania declares it now produces enough renewable electricity to meet 100 per cent of its needs, with wind turbines at Granville Harbour coming online. The post Tasmania declares itself 100 per cent powered by renewable electricity appeared first on RenewEconomy.

Tasmania declares itself 100 per cent powered by renewable electricity — RenewEconomy

November 27, 2020 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

New AEMC chair – a head of innovation – to embrace rapid market transformation — RenewEconomy

The appointment of Anna Collyer as chair of the AEMC has been broadly welcomed, with the energy law expert to embrace a rapidly changing energy market. The post New AEMC chair – a head of innovation – to embrace rapid market transformation appeared first on RenewEconomy.

New AEMC chair – a head of innovation – to embrace rapid market transformation — RenewEconomy

November 27, 2020 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Vestas lands turbine contracts for two major new wind projects in Victoria — RenewEconomy

Global Power Generation names Danish wind giant as turbine supplier, installer and OEM for two major wind power projects it is developing in Victoria. The post Vestas lands turbine contracts for two major new wind projects in Victoria appeared first on RenewEconomy.

Vestas lands turbine contracts for two major new wind projects in Victoria — RenewEconomy

November 27, 2020 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

EV tax will smash electric vehicle sales and lift emissions, UQ study finds — RenewEconomy

University of Queensland research into effect of taxing electric vehicles finds without introducing buying incentives will slash sales by 25% and increase emissions by 40%. The post EV tax will smash electric vehicle sales and lift emissions, UQ study finds appeared first on RenewEconomy.

EV tax will smash electric vehicle sales and lift emissions, UQ study finds — RenewEconomy

November 27, 2020 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Inquiry confirms nuclear energy’s ‘proven risks’

Inquiry confirms nuclear energy’s ‘proven risks’

A Victorian parliamentary inquiry has found nuclear power is ‘significantly more expensive than other forms of power generation’ and remains economically unviable without subsidies.

The inquiry has confirmed nuclear energy’s ‘identified and proven risks’.

The Australian Conservation Foundation (ACF) welcomed comments made at the tabling of the inquiry that the Victorian government has an ‘unequivocal commitment’ to retain the state’s long-standing nuclear ban.

The upper house inquiry into the prospects for nuclear power and uranium mining in Victoria has found:

  • Nuclear energy is ‘significantly more expensive than other forms of power generation’ (finding 3) and without subsidies, a nuclear power industry is economically unviable in Australia (finding 5).
  • Supposed advantages to nuclear energy put forward by nuclear proponents are speculative and do not outweigh the identified and proven risks (finding 9).

“In 1983 the Cain state Labor government introduced the Nuclear Activities (Prohibitions) Act which prohibits uranium mining, nuclear power and waste facilities in the state,” said ACF campaigner Dave Sweeney.

“This long-standing protection has served Victoria well and its retention is prudent and positive.

“ACF welcomes comments by inquiry member Nina Taylor that the Andrews Government has an ‘unequivocal commitment’ to retain the nuclear ban.

“Nuclear power is high cost and high risk and a distraction from the real energy choices and challenges we face. Our energy future is renewable, not radioactive.”

A broad coalition of faith, union, environmental, Aboriginal and public health groups, representing millions of Australians, last year declared nuclear power has no role in Australia’s energy future and is a dangerous distraction from the pressing climate challenges. Their united statement demonstrates widespread community opposition to nuclear power.

November 26, 2020 Posted by | politics, Victoria | Leave a comment

Victorian Parliament: Legislative Council Committee finds that nuclear ban should stay

Parliament of Victoria
Inquiry into nuclear prohibition
Legislative Council Environment and Planning Committee
November 2020

Findings
FINDING 1: Regardless of technology development, priority should be given to the security, stability and accessibility of energy supply and the need to lower carbon emissions due to climate change and to ensure affordable energy.

FINDING 2: Current estimates of the cost of nuclear energy in Australia are unreliable and accurately costing the full cost is not possible without a detailed business case being undertaken.

FINDING 3: Notwithstanding the ambiguities of the costings, the Committee received substantial evidence that nuclear power is significantly more expensive than other forms of power generation and it is recognised that, currently, nuclear is at the high end of the cost range across all technologies.

FINDING 4: A business case is unlikely to be undertaken, given its costs and resources required, while a prohibition of nuclear energy activities remains and there is not likelihood of a plant being able to be built.

FINDING 5: Without subsidisation a nuclear power industry will remain economically unviable in Australia for now.

FINDING 6: Discussion about Victorian participation in the nuclear fuel cycle is entirely theoretical while the Commonwealth prohibitions remain in place.

FINDING 7: Until there is a change in the Commonwealth position, detailed discussions about emerging technologies in Victoria related to the nuclear fuel cycle and power generation are unlikely to advance.

FINDING 8: The success of any radioactive waste strategy relies on a level of acceptance and confidence across government, industry and the broader community of its legitimacy, effectiveness and integrity in its ability to deal with all facets of waste management, storage and disposal, including the long-term health and safety of workers, affected communities, particularly First Nations Peoples, and the environment.

FINDING 9: Those who propose a policy shift have not presented any argument, data or proof in support of their position that cannot be nullified by those arguing against. Any advantages are speculative in nature, and do not outweigh the identified and proven risks.

FINDING 10: The nuclear medicine industry is not hindered significantly by the current prohibitions against uranium or thorium exploration and mining. Current legislative prohibitions only prohibit mining and the construction or operation of certain nuclear facilities, such as nuclear reactors. This does exclude Victoria from hosting a nuclear research reactor or other nuclear facilities which could be used to increase supply of radioisotopes for medical or industrial purposes. The Committee notes that if Victoria did seek to establish a research reactor, Victorian and Commonwealth prohibitions would need to be repealed to allow this to happen. Therefore, a repeal of just Victorian legislation would not be sufficient to expand
our involvement in nuclear medicine beyond what is currently permissible.

FINDING 11: The current market for this material is receiving enough supply from international import and the OPAL reactor at Lucas Heights. The Committee does not believe that fully repealing the Nuclear Activities (Prohibitions) Act 1983 would have a material influence on the nuclear medicine sector, as it is unlikely Victoria’s involvement would increase beyond its current capacity.

FINDING 12: The Committee is not convinced that thorium exploration and mining is economically or technologically viable.

Contents……..  https://www.parliament.vic.gov.au/epc-lc/article/4350

November 26, 2020 Posted by | politics, Victoria | Leave a comment

Canada’s environmental groups join to oppose Small Nuclear Reactors (SMRs)

Canadian environmental groups oppose experimental small modular nuclear reactors, https://blackburnnews.com/midwestern-ontario/midwestern-ontario-news/2020/11/24/canadian-environmental-groups-oppose-experimental-small-modular-nuclear-reactors/   By Janice MacKay   November 24, 2020 A number of groups have joined together to ask the federal government to halt its plans to fund experimental new small modular nuclear reactors (SMRs).

The Federal Government is preparing to launch the federal government’s SMR ” Action Plan” within weeks.

The SMR Action Plan is expected to include a strategy to fund and support the development of experimental nuclear reactors by private sector companies, the majority based in the US and UK.

In a media release, dozens of organizations from coast to coast have called the proposed new nuclear reactors a dirty, dangerous distraction from tackling climate change. They include Greenpeace Canada, Friends of the Earth Canada, Ralliement contre la pollution radioactive, Équiterre, the Coalition for Responsible Energy Development in New Brunswick, the Canadian Coalition for Nuclear Responsibility and Northwatch..

The Bloc Québécois, the NDP and the Green Party all oppose the government’s “small” modular nuclear reactor plan.

On November 13, Monique Pauze from the Bloc Québécois stated: “The Bloc Québécois denounces the intention of Ottawa to invest in nuclear energy to the benefit, once again, of the Ontario industrial sector, instead of financing the transition towards clean electricity. The Bloc calls for the abandonment of the anticipated deployment of small modular nuclear reactors. The Federal government is leading Canada towards a wall by betting on nuclear energy that is absolutely not clean.”

NDP natural resources critic Richard Cannings said in a statement: “Many Canadians have concerns about impacts of nuclear energy. When it comes to energy generation there are better ways forward. We have options that are cheaper and safer and will be available quicker. I think we should be supporting the development of energy storage solutions to help roll out renewables like solar and wind on a larger scale instead.”

On November 10, all three Green Party of Canada caucus members issued a statement and signed a letter to Minister O’Regan and Minister Navdeep Bains saying that: “Small nuclear reactors (SMRs) have no place in any plan to mitigate climate change when cleaner and cheaper alternatives already exist. The federal government must stop funding the nuclear industry and instead redirect investments towards smarter solutions. Nuclear fails on many grounds, including on the economics.”

Prof. Susan O’Donnell from the Coalition for Responsible Energy Development in New Brunswick said: “Building new nuclear reactors does not belong in a climate action plan. Leading researchers have shown that investing in renewable energy is the best path to net zero and that adding nuclear energy to the mix actually hinders rather than helps.”

Shawn-Patrick Stensil, Director of Programs at Greenpeace Canada, said: “The Liberal government is throwing good money after bad. Hypothetical new nuclear power technologies have been promising to be the next big thing for the last forty years, but in spite of massive public subsidies, that prospect has never panned out.”

The release pointed out the proposed reactors are still on the drawing board and will take a decade or more to develop. If built, their power will cost ten times more than wind or solar energy. The most advanced SMR project to date in the US has already doubled its estimated cost – from $3B to over $6B.

The federal government announced its first SMR grant of $20 million to Terrestrial Energy on October 15.

The environmental groups said they are shocked that the government is funding new nuclear energy development with no parliamentary review, while trying to avoid public scrutiny and debate. They called the consultation process leading to date on the SMR Action Plan a sham. Individuals and groups could only comment on the plan if they first signed on to a statement of principles supporting SMR technologies. They say nuclear power and uranium mining will always be dirty and dangerous. Radioactive waste will have to be kept out of the environment for tens of thousands of years, and there is no known means of achieving that.

November 26, 2020 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment