Antinuclear

Australian news, and some related international items

Napandee nuclear waste plan futile and unnecessary, as it lacks adequate knowledge of radionuclides involved

From the AINS Group (a multi-discipline engineering consultancy specialised in nuclear waste management services, Finland)

“… it is quite unlikely that Napandee could ever be commissioned by the regulatory body

Nonetheless the selection of a site would need a thorough safety assessment that includes climatic and groundwater conditions, rock stability, host rock composition, and the amounts and nature of the hazards of the waste (i.e. the radionuclide inventory). AS said before the AECOM report is not enough to demonstrate or ensure the safety of the site and the post closure monitoring for 300 years may also be an issue.

Final remarks. Knowledge of the inventory and mobility of the radionuclides in the wastes must be the first step in determining how and where the wastes should be stored and disposed of permanently.

Without this, it is not possible to even consider or decide the conditions or attributes of the waste management location and the manner of storage and disposal, and this will, or should be, the prime consideration in the licensing process.

This does not seem to have been done with the Kimba location and the nature of its facility and hence its selection and subsequent plans may prove to be futile and unnecessary….”

References. ARPANSA 2010 Safety guide. Classification of radioactive waste – Radiation protection series No.20. Eurajoki T 2006 Lovisa Low and Intermediate Level Waste Repositary Safety case LOKIT – 2543 Fortum Nuclear Services Ltd, Espaa Finland. IAEA 2006 Geological disposal of radioactive waste, IAEA Safety Standard Series No. WSR4

July 4, 2020 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Federal nuclear waste dump | Leave a comment

ANSTO has been completely disingenuous in communicating to Kimba community about radioactive waste levels

RADIONUCLIDES
Three internationally renowned nuclear science academic and research institutions from overseas have tried to find out the inventory of the radionuclides of the re-processed nuclear waste at Lucas Heights which is to be placed in aboveground storage at Napandee near Kimba

The reason is that this would help – but not definitively – to determine the true level of that waste which ANSTO claims is intermediate level but France as the re-processing country classifies it as high-level waste.

All attempts to get this information have proved unsuccessful and the three institutions quite independently of each other believe that the information was deliberately withheld from them as it was probably realised that it could be used in some form to reclassify the intermediate level waste held at Lucas Heights.

However the radionuclides for the low level waste are readily available on ANSTO’s website.

Is this believable?

Should this be correct then it means that ANSTO has been completely
deceptive and disingenuous in its public disclosures particularly with regard to the Kimba community and all further attempts or actions to establish the national facility at Napandee should cease immediately

EXTRACT FROM WIKIPEDIA:
A radionuclide (radioactive nuclide, radioisotope or radioactive
isotope) is an atom that has excess nuclear energy, making it unstable.
This excess energy can be used in one of three ways: emitted from the
nucleus as gamma radiation; transferred to one of its electrons to
release it as a conversion electron; or used to create and emit a new
particle (alpha particle or beta particle) from the nucleus. During those
processes, the radionuclide is said to undergo radioactive decay.

July 4, 2020 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Federal nuclear waste dump | Leave a comment

Australia must plan for permanent disposal of Lucas Heights nuclear waste, not hurriedly transfer it to Kimba “temporarily”


Senator Sarah Hanson-Young, No Nuclear Waste Dump Anywhere in South Australia, 1 July 20, 

There has NEVER been an assessment or inquiry into the disposal pathway for intermediate-level nuclear waste for Australia.

ARPANSA has out on the record that there is NO urgency or safety concerns with the current storage at Lucas Heigts — then my questions is —- why move this intermediate-level waste before establishing long term plan for the disposal? Wouldn’t it make more sense? Otherwise we will be just double handling and risking the ILW to become potentially stranded at Kimba. https://www.facebook.com/groups/1314655315214929/

July 4, 2020 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Federal nuclear waste dump | Leave a comment

Queensland splinter political party   North Queensland First pushing for uranium mining in Queensland

Jason Costigan wants Queensland to export uranium again, Canberra Times, Derek Barry  3 July 20

  North Queensland First leader and Whitsunday MP Jason Costigan wants Queensland to lift the ban on uranium mining…….
Uranium mining is legal in South Australia and NT but was banned in Queensland in 1989 by the Labor government, then repealed by the LNP Newman government in 2012, and then banned again in 2015 by the Palaszczuk government. …..
Bob Katter also supported a nuclear power push earlier this year.
The most famous site in the region is Mary Kathleen which was commissioned in the 1950s and one of the largest producers of uranium as yellowcake and sales supplied material primarily intended for USA and UK weapons programs and some electricity production until its contracts ran out……
Today the largest prospective Queensland mine is Paladin’s Valhalla, 40 km north of Mount Isa, with an estimated 8Mlbpa idled capacity. https://www.canberratimes.com.au/story/6817318/mp-wants-queensland-to-export-uranium-again/?cs=14231#gsc.tab=0

July 3, 2020 Posted by | Queensland, uranium | Leave a comment

Small modular nuclear reactors distract from real climate solutions

Small modular nuclear reactors distract from real climate solutions, Regina Leader Post, Darrin Qualman, Glenn Wright   Jul 03, 2020  •Last fall, the premiers of Saskatchewan, Ontario and New Brunswick pledged their support for small modular reactors (SMRs). Last week, Saskatchewan’s government announced a Nuclear Secretariat to oversee development of those reactors. Many in Saskatchewan took these announcements at face value and began questioning the cost, feasibility and safety of these units. To do so, however, is to misunderstand what’s really happening. The reality is that three premiers lacking adequate emission-reduction plans pledged themselves to speculative technologies that will take a decade or two to get up and running, if ever. SMRs are another distraction to shift the focus away from provincial records of increasing emissions. The SMR announcement follows a pattern of past policy declarations that serve to distract the public and delay effective policies…..

As the lustre was fading from biofuels, Saskatchewan’s government trotted out a new fix: Carbon capture and storage (CCS). ……..  As a political tactic, CCS did what it was supposed to do: Delay action on emissions reduction and paper over a huge policy gap. Rather than admitting it had no climate plan, the Saskatchewan government spent years pretending CCS would be an emissions fix.
SMRs are the third chapter in the government’s use of distracting technologies to kick the climate change can down the road. Thoughtful, informed people can disagree over nuclear energy, but even those who support nuclear power should be angered by what the government is doing: Not supporting nuclear, but rather using it cynically as a fig leaf to cover up the government’s ideologically driven foot-dragging on climate solutions
The government’s stalling tactics are irresponsible. There are numerous proven technologies, policies, and strategies to address climate change and reduce emissions being implemented worldwide. Our government is delaying because it chooses to, not because it has to. In the best case, SMRs are 2030s or 2040s technologies. But solar and wind power can provide low-emission electricity today. In fact, our province has among the best solar and wind resources in the world and those power supplies can be deployed at less cost, lower risk and much more quickly. It’s strange that the sunniest province in Canada has not developed this world class renewable resource. Real leadership would focus on wind and solar. Instead, the government dealt a body blow to solar installers when it rolled back the net metering program.
Real leadership would focus on wind and solar. Instead, the government dealt a body blow to solar installers when it rolled back the net metering program.
Canada has committed to cut emissions by 30 per cent (below 2005 levels) by 2030 and to make the country carbon neutral by 2050. We have lots of work to do. And the sooner we start, the smoother the transition will be. We must begin ramping up employment to support this transition: Residential solar installation, utility-scale wind turbine construction, battery and power-storage installation, new net zero buildings, energy-conserving building retrofits and adding capacity to the electrical grid for automobile charging and building heating and interprovincial electricity transfers.

Solutions are within reach. Jobs await. SMRs are a distraction. Let’s not be fooled again. Let’s demand rapid, effective emissions reduction now as part of a revitalized Saskatchewan economy.

Darrin Qualman is director of climate crisis policy and action with the National Farmers Union. Glenn Wright is an NFU member, farmer, engineer, student at law, former uranium-sector worker and electric vehicle advocate.   https://leaderpost.com/opinion/columnists/opinion-small-modular-nuclear-reactors-distract-from-real-climate-solutions

July 3, 2020 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

Germany is first major economy to phase out coal and nuclear

Germany is first major economy to phase out coal and nuclear, Economic Times, 3 July 20

The plan is part of Germany’s ‘energy transition’ – an effort to wean Europe’s biggest economy off planet-warming fossil fuels and generate all of the country’s considerable energy needs from renewable sources…….

Bills approved by both houses of parliament Friday envision shutting down the last coal-fired power plant by 2038 and spending some 40 billion euros ($45 billion) to help affected regions cope with the transition.

The plan is part of Germany’s ‘energy transition’ – an effort to wean Europe’s biggest economy off planet-warming fossil fuels and generate all of the country’s considerable energy needs from renewable sources…….

Bills approved by both houses of parliament Friday envision shutting down the last coal-fired power plant by 2038 and spending some 40 billion euros ($45 billion) to help affected regions cope with the transition.

The plan is part of Germany’s ‘energy transition’ – an effort to wean Europe’s biggest economy off planet-warming fossil fuels and generate all of the country’s considerable energy needs from renewable sources.

“The days of coal are numbered in Germany,” Environment Minister Svenja Schulze said. “Germany is the first industrialized country that leaves behind both nuclear energy and coal.”……
Schulze, the environment minister, said there would be regular government reviews to examine whether the end date for coal can be brought forward. She noted that by the end of 2022, eight of the country’s most polluting coal-fired plants will have already been closed………
This week, utility companies in Spain shut down seven of the country’s 15 coal-fired power plants, saying they couldn’t be operated at profit without government subsidies.

But the head of Germany’s main miners’ union, Michael Vassiliadis, welcomed the decision, calling it a “historic milestone.” He urged the government to focus next on an expansion of renewable energy generation and the use of hydrogen as a clean alternativ ..

July 3, 2020 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

July 3 Energy News — geoharvey

Science and Technology: ¶ “Warming Temperatures Threaten Hundreds Of Fish Species The World Relies On, Study Finds” • As the planet’s oceans and rivers warm, increased heat could pose a grave threat to the fish populations the world depends on by the end of this century. That’s the alarming conclusion of a study published in […]

via July 3 Energy News — geoharvey

July 3, 2020 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Australia’s secretive defence operations HQ to get 1.9MW solar farm — RenewEconomy

Australia’s secretive defence operations headquarters, HQJOC, set to be solar powered with 1.9MW solar farm. The post Australia’s secretive defence operations HQ to get 1.9MW solar farm appeared first on RenewEconomy.

via Australia’s secretive defence operations HQ to get 1.9MW solar farm — RenewEconomy

July 3, 2020 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Global energy body warns against rush to cut renewables and storage research funds — RenewEconomy

IEA warns against cuts to clean tech research funding as Australia’s Coalition government ponders future of Australian Renewable Energy Agency The post Global energy body warns against rush to cut renewables and storage research funds appeared first on RenewEconomy.

via Global energy body warns against rush to cut renewables and storage research funds — RenewEconomy

July 3, 2020 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Deakin’s new Hub for world-leading energy storage and conversion — RenewEconomy

Deakin warmly welcomes the Australian Government’s announcement for the University to take stewardship of the Australian Research Council Industrial Transformation Research Hub in New Safe and Reliable Energy Storage and Conversion Technologies. The post Deakin’s new Hub for world-leading energy storage and conversion appeared first on RenewEconomy.

via Deakin’s new Hub for world-leading energy storage and conversion — RenewEconomy

July 3, 2020 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Solar households may soon be charged network fee for exports to grid — RenewEconomy

Australian Energy Regulator revives talk of plans to charge households a network fee for exporting excess rooftop solar back into the grid. The post Solar households may soon be charged network fee for exports to grid appeared first on RenewEconomy.

via Solar households may soon be charged network fee for exports to grid — RenewEconomy

July 3, 2020 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Solar mini-grids smarter, cheaper option for many global communities with no power — RenewEconomy

Solar-powered mini-grids can play a “critical role” in delivering universal electricity access across the globe, as they present smarter, cheaper options to main grid. The post Solar mini-grids smarter, cheaper option for many global communities with no power appeared first on RenewEconomy.

via Solar mini-grids smarter, cheaper option for many global communities with no power — RenewEconomy

July 3, 2020 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Impressions of Senate hearings on nuclear waste dump Bill

We saw ANSTO, ARPANSA and the Department of Industry etc being grilled by Senators Rex Patrick, Sarah Hanson-Young and ALP Jenny McAllister.
Rex and Sarah were particularly good. It showed you have to ask exactly the right wording of the question to get the answer you want. I was surprised with Jenny. She asked some good questions which shows the ALP is really questioning this. How they vote in the Senate is a different matter, and everything depends on that.
The organiser kept cutting Senator questions short saying there wasn’t time. They should have had a longer session then!!! Many of the govt waffled not answering the questions and deliberately going off track, they often had to be firmly brought back on topic.
There were quite a few questions they didn’t have the answer for so they were “taken on notice” which means they will find out and report back.

July 3, 2020 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Federal nuclear waste dump, politics | Leave a comment

In Australian Senate Inquiry uncertainty grows over whether Kimba nuclear dump site is really needed

the day saw uncertainty grow over the need for the proposed Kimba site while there was a corresponding growth in clarity that there is no urgency re this decision. The govts plan might suit ANSTO but it is not Australia’s only option – and it faces growing scrutiny.

from Jim Green, 1 July 2020 ,   Yesterday, Tuesday June 30 , the Senate Inquiry into Minister Pitt’s planned amendments to the national radioactive waste laws to cement and secure Kimba as a Facility site took evidence in Canberra.

The Committee heard from Govt agencies and contractors and key themes included both the need for the planned new laws and, importantly, for the Facility itself – esp. around the double handling of Intermediate Level Waste from ANSTO’s Lucas Heights.

ANSTO – as ever, there was too much bluff and bluster and too many Dorothy Dixers –  as invariably happens with them in Estimates – but there were some very interesting arisings:

  • Confirmed there are ‘no safety concerns’ with current waste – although ‘we cannot say that in 40 or 50 years they (ANSTO’s waste stores) will be fit for purpose’ – clear acknowledgement that they could retain waste on site and four decades is more than enough for a credible review and a more integrated approach.
  • Further, ANSTO has ‘proposals under development with government for pre-2027 construction of new storage’ for ILW waste
  • Hardly credible that they did not know the general proportions of ANSTO origin waste at the proposed Facility (around 80% of total wastes, and more importantly, 95% of ILW)
  • They see extended on-site storage as a ‘significant management challenge and significant financial cost’ and so want to both cost shift and physically waste shift. Again, this is ANSTO’s agency agenda – not a national imperative or Australia’s sole or best option.
  • Odd claim that a delay in advancing Kimba would be ‘detrimental to our sense of ourselves’ however it would not be inconsistent with any international treaty obligations. No treaty or convention obligations require Kimba to be advanced in its current form – or at all.  (also I would suggest that ignoring Traditional Owner opposition to the siting of a national radioactive waste facility poses a bigger threat to our national sense of self)
  • No credible threat to secure access to nuclear medicine supply should Kimba be delayed – although there would be ‘some scenario’s’ where supply could potentially be impacted. This is a very significant reduction in ANSTO’s threat messaging and a long way from a pressing problem. As I understand the scenario referred to is that Kimba is not advanced and ANSTO has taken no steps to develop a contingency.

In summary Kimba is not essential for nuclear medicine nor is it essential for Australia’s compliance with international frameworks. ANSTO could extend interim storage at Lucas Heights but understandably would prefer to transfer both the waste and its continuing management cost to a non ANSTO purse and place. Not a good enough rationale for a deficient national plan.

ARPANSA

  • ANSTO waste ‘can be safely stored at Lucas Heights for decades to come’ – absolutely critical point: there is no need to rush – we have time to develop a more credible approach.
  • ‘International best practice is to store radioactive waste safely – current storage at the Lucas Heights site is fully aligned with international best practice’
  • There will be distinct licensing applications required for the two waste streams – LLW and ILW (with no certainty that they will have a shared approval outcome)

Dept of Industry:

  • Repeated reference to the ‘contentious’ nature of the siting decision
  • Extremely deficient responses re the rational and process for the change in legislative decision making from Ministerial decision to legislative instrument. Some Senators not happy at Depts inability to answer basic process questions –it is very clear the rationale is to isolate against future legal challenge.
  • Statement that decision to change the legislative basis of the siting was made sometime in 2019 – then a later statement that it was made by Minister Pitt (note: Pitt was sworn in 6/2/20)
  • The Departments Sam Chard rear guard action was to state that the intent of the change was to enable Parliament ‘to test the merits of the action’  – that is long overdue – could we please do this as it simply doesn’t stack up
  • Increasingly clear that the Dept is utterly adrift re Barngarla liaison – understandably as they simply do not want the Facility on their country – the Facility plan is heading for some pretty sharp rocks if it doesn’t change course.

Dept of Defence:

  • strongly arguing against any siting on the Woomera Prohibited Area as this could reduce its functionality. Not at all keen.
  • Hard pressed by Rex Patrick though about how credible is it to say ‘not possible’ for a 100 hectare Facility inside a site twice the size of Tasmania.

AECOM:

  • Predictable defence of process, their expertise and kept referring to the restricted extent of their brief as the way to avoid any tricky questions (like Barngarla liaison)
  • No tech or site reason why the Facility couldn’t be at Kimba

There were good efforts from Sarah Hanson Young, Rex Patrick and Labor’s Jenny McAllister to highlight and tease out issues.

In a nutshell I would say the day saw uncertainty grow over the need for the proposed Kimba site while there was a corresponding growth in clarity that there is no urgency re this decision. The govts plan might suit ANSTO but it is not Australia’s only option – and it faces growing scrutiny.

We now need to keep up the issue profile and the expectation on Labor and the cross-benches to oppose this legislation when it comes to the Senate and instead support a strategy that advances both human and environmental rights and responsible radioactive waste management.

July 2, 2020 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Federal nuclear waste dump, politics | Leave a comment

Petition -stop Kimba nuclear waste dump, establish full inquiry into nuclear waste management

Amendments to the Radioactive Waste legislation currently being considered by the Senate would lock in Kimba as the National Suppository & deny procedural fairness to the majority of Australians.

Petition the Federal Government to stop the censure of the existing democratic process which currently requires considering the voices of those who may be affected.

“I call on the Federal Government to not proceed any further with the site selection process and establish a full inquiry into all radioactive waste management options which has yet to be conducted.

In addition, it is imperative that all stakeholders within transport corridors be consulted. Communities should be fully informed of the relevant costs and benefits, throughout the transport chain, and offered the opportunity to have their say on the proposal.”

https://www.sarahhansonyoung.com/no_dump

ENuFF[SA]
Office Admin
https://www.facebook.com/sanuclearfree/

July 2, 2020 Posted by | ACTION | Leave a comment