Antinuclear

Australian news, and some related international items

Old nuclear spruikers never give up – Bob Hawke, Ron Walker, Hugh Morgan

 

nuclear-elixir-17Way back, Ron Walker, a former federal Liberal Party treasurer, set up  a company called Australian Nuclear Energy, with a plan  for a nuclear power plant near Portland in western Victoria. Now he’s advocating nuclear energy for South Australia.

Along with former Western Mining boss Hugh Morgan, and dear old has-been Bob Hawke, they plan to lobby Australian  federal and state governments, arguing, (of all cases!) that nuclear power would bring cheaper electricity.   Source- The Australian 17 Jan 17

January 20, 2017 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, politics | Leave a comment

Chinese President Xi Jinping calls for a world without nuclear weapons

xi-jinpingChina’s Xi calls for a world without nuclear weapons, SCMP, 19 Jan 17Chinese President Xi Jinping called for a world without nuclear weapons at the UN on Wednesday and urged a multilateral system based on equality among nations large and small.

His speech at the United Nations in Geneva came at the end of a diplomatic tour that included a landmark address at the World Economic Forum in Davos, just days before Donald Trump is sworn in as the 45th president of the United States.

Some experts have seen Xi’s Swiss tour as a bid to capture the mantle of global leadership at a time when Washington is clouded by uncertainty with an unpredictable political novice about to take charge.

“Nuclear weapons should be completely prohibited and destroyed over time to make the world free of nuclear weapons,” Xi said, according to an official translation.

China has been a nuclear power since 1964.

In an address that stretched beyond 45 minutes, Xi also sought to make the case for a global governance system that strives for a level playing field among countries where interventionist tendencies are resisted……..

While he made no mention of the incoming Republican administration, Xi’s message on nuclear weapons stood apart from Trump’s at times contradictory remarks on American nuclear power……http://www.scmp.com/news/china/diplomacy-defence/article/2063383/chinas-xi-calls-world-without-nuclear-weapons

January 20, 2017 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Parts of USA will reach e dangerous 2°C warming threshold faster than rest of the planet,

climate SOSFlag-USAParts of United States are heating faster than globe as a whole A new study shows the Northeast USA will reach the dangerous 2°C warming threshold faster than most of the rest of the planet, Guardian, , 17 Jan 17, A new study shows the Northeast USA will reach the dangerous 2°C warming threshold faster than most of the rest of the planet,

Global warming obviously refers to temperature increases across the entire globe. We know the Earth is warming, we know it is human-caused, we have a pretty good idea about how much the warming will be in the future and what some of the consequences are. In fact, when it comes to the Earth’s average climate, scientists have a pretty good understanding.

On the other hand, no one lives in the average climate. We live spread out north, west, east, and south. On islands, large continents, inland or in coastal regions. Many of us want to know what’s going to happen to the climate where we live. How will my life be affected in the future?

This type of question is answered in a very recent study published by scientists from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. The team, which includes Dr. Raymond Bradley and researcher Dr. Ambarish Karmalkar looked specifically at the Northeastern United States. They found that this area will warm much more rapidly than the globe as a whole. In fact, it will warm faster than any other United States region. The authors expect the Northeast US will warm 50% faster than the planet as a whole. They also find that the United States will reach a 2 degree Celsius warming 10–20 years before the globe as a whole.

So why does this matter? Well first, it matters because some of the effects people will experience are directly tied to the temperature increase in their region. For instance, we know that warmer air leads to more intense precipitation. In fact, we are already observing increases in very heavy rainfall across the United States (especially in the Northeast). Based on this new research, that trend will only get worse. It means that winters in this region will get warmer and wetter – more winter precipitation will likely occur as rain rather than snow. This affects the availability of water into the spring months. It also means that summers will have more intense heat waves which will lead to more severe droughts.

However, there is another impact to this study……..https://www.theguardian.com/environment/climate-consensus-97-per-cent/2017/jan/17/parts-of-united-states-are-heating-faster-than-globe-as-a-whole

January 20, 2017 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Pauline Hanson’s One Nation picks climate sceptic for Western Australian election

Climate sceptic a top Hanson pick, The West Australian, Gary Adshead and Daniel Mercer Thursday, January 19, 2017 Geologist and climate change sceptic David Archibald will be named as One Nation’s highest-profile candidate when Pauline Hanson launches the party’s WA election campaign in Perth today.

Mr Archibald, who has written many books and papers trying to debunk global warming science, will attempt to win the Nationals-held electorate of Kalgoorlie.

Mr Archibald and the names of more than 40 other Upper and Lower House candidates will be revealed by Senator Hanson at a campaign launch on the steps of Parliament House.

Claiming that the heating effect of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is minuscule forms part of his argument against scientists who say the planet is warming. Three years ago he wrote a paper arguing the world was actually cooling…….https://thewest.com.au/politics/state-politics/climate-sceptic-a-top-hanson-pick-ng-b88358823z

January 20, 2017 Posted by | politics, Western Australia | Leave a comment

Smarter, cheaper solar plants are halving Australian solar farm capital intensity

solar-panels-and-moneyAustralian solar farm capital intensity halves, due to smarter, cheaper plants, REneweconomy By  on 19 January 2017

The capital intensity per watt of the utility scale solar plants in the current development pipeline in Australia is about half that of those that are already operational.

The stark and rapid improvement in the economics of big solar in the country is due to global declines in component costs, but also importantly declining EPC (construction) costs and the deployment of yield-boosting technology like tracking.

With the pipeline of utility scale PV projects growing seemingly on a daily basis, Sustainable Energy Research Analytics (SERA) believes that solar’s increasing competitiveness is due to a large part to a more competitive and efficiency EPC landscape…….http://reneweconomy.com.au/australian-solar-farm-capital-intensity-halves-due-smarter-cheaper-plants-43781/

January 20, 2017 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, solar | Leave a comment

Local Winds Brought Radioactive Materials From Fukushima To Tokyo

Fukushima 311 Watchdogs

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Nocturnal local winds carried radioactive material from Fukushima to Tokyo following the 2011 Fukushimia Daiichi nuclear accident.

AsianScientist (Jan. 17, 2017) – Nocturnal local winds were responsible for transporting radioactive material over 200km from the Fukushimia Daiichi nuclear accident to the Tokyo metropolitan area.

These findings by researchers from the University of Tokyo have been published in Scientific Reports. A research group led by Project Researcher Takao Yoshikane and Associate Professor Kei Yoshimura analyzed observational data and ran computer simulations to determine whether the radioactive plumes were carried by chance haphazard activity in the air or by a regular mechanism in the atmosphere. They found that the radioactive plume moves along two local wind systems that appear during the night on calm days when the impact of northwesterly seasonal winds and low-pressure systems are low. These nighttime local winds were formed by a difference in temperature between the North and…

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January 19, 2017 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Nuclear: Game Over

Fukushima 311 Watchdogs

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Nexit – Nuclear Exit

It took the world 48 years to gradually ramp up to a peak of 438 commercial nuclear power plants in 2002. Today, in 2016, we have dropped to 402 reactors with further closures foreshadowed.

There is about 200 years of uranium, if we consume it at the current rate. Scale up to 3000 reactors and we have only about 25 years of power left.

Humans globally consume roughly 15,000 gigawatts (GW) of power, in oil, coal, gas, nuclear, and renewables all added together.1 To put it another way, it means that, on average, we use 15,000 gigajoules (GJ) of energy every second of every day. That is an enormous number, equivalent to switching on 15 billion electric kettles.

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On the other hand, 15,000 GW is a relatively small number as it is 5000 times less than the average solar power hitting the planet’s surface. And remarkably…

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January 19, 2017 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

How Nuclear Power Causes Global Warming

Fukushima 311 Watchdogs

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Supporters of nuclear power like to argue that nukes are the key to combatting climate change. Here’s why they are dead wrong.

Every nuclear generating station spews about two-thirds of the energy it burns inside its reactor core into the environment. Only one-third is converted into electricity. Another tenth of that is lost in transmission. According to the Union of Concerned Scientists:

Nuclear fission is the most water intensive method of the principal thermoelectric generation options in terms of the amount of water withdrawn from sources. In 2008, nuclear power plants withdrew eight times as much freshwater as natural gas plants per unit of energy produced, and up to 11 percent more than the average coal plant.

Every day, large reactors like the two at Diablo Canyon, California, individually dump about 1.25 billion gallons of water into the ocean at temperatures up to 20 degrees Fahrenheit warmer than…

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January 19, 2017 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Ocean Acidification could have significant influence on marine animals. #auspol 

jpratt27

Ocean Acidification and the extent to which marine species are able to deal with low pH levels in the Earth’s seas, could have a significant influence on shifting the distribution of marine animals in response to climate warming.

This is one the findings of a landmark new study that has taken a first-ever global scale integrative approach to the topic, bringing together population genetics, growth, shell mineralogy and metabolic data for marine snails found in the North Atlantic.
Published in this month’s Nature Communications, the report, Regional adaptation defines sensitivity to future ocean acidification, reveals that populations at the northern and southern range edges are the most sensitive to ocean acidification, and the least likely to be able deal with significant implications for biogeography and diversity.
Scientists at the University of Quebec in Rimouski (UQAR), Canada, the University of Plymouth, the Plymouth Marine Laboratory, and the University of Birmingham, launched…

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January 19, 2017 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Solar energy is racing ahead in Australia – large scale projects

text-relevantSolar closing cost gap with wind, conventional power, AFR,  Angela Australia-solar-plugMacdonald-Smith, 16 Jan 17  The latest batch of large-scale solar projects have revealed a “new cost paradigm” for the technology in Australia, although costs remain more than double the lowest-cost projects overseas, experts say.  Construction contracts awarded to Downer EDI for the Clare solar project and to RCR Tomlinson for the Sun Metals Solar project, both in Queensland, demonstrate a further decline in costs per unit of power produced that makes the projects markedly cheaper than the first utility-scale solar projects built here, said Gero Farruggio at Sustainable Energy Research Analytics (SERA).

“The costs are half of what the the capital intensity was of the ones that are on stream and were built over 2015 and 2016,” Mr Farruggio said. “It’s a huge step forward for the industry and for the future of solar in Australia.”

The progress on costs has been more rapid than expected, and large-scale solar projects are now becoming competitive with wind power and getting “very close” to wholesale electricity prices excluding large-scale generation certificates (LGCs), said SERA director Ben Willacy.

 “It really won’t be long before solar projects can compete in Australia without a subsidy and without necessarily relying on LGC revenue,” Mr Willacy said.

Mr Farruggio said that while the cost of solar panels was falling worldwide, increased competition among contractors was also helping improve the economics of local solar projects, with about 15 EPC [engineering, procurement and construction] contractors now fighting it out for work as opposed to just one a few years ago. Work has also slowed in other areas such as mining and energy, helping soften construction costs, while expertise in the area has grown.

Solar developer Fotowatio Renewable Ventures late last month awarded a $190 million construction and operations contract for the 100 megawatt Clare project near Ayr to Downer, after striking a deal last May to sell power from the plant to Origin Energy.

RCR Tomlinson said late December it won a contract worth more than $155 million from Korea Zinc’s Sun Metals subsidiary to build a 98.5MW solar project at a zinc operation in Townsville. RCR previously worked on AGL Energy’s Broken Hill solar farm.

A wave of further announcements on construction contracts is expected by the end of the month as the projects that were selected for funding under the Australian Renewable Energy Agency’s large-scale solar funding round move towards financial close. Those 12 projects, spread across Queensland, NSW and Western Australia, are expected to unlock almost $1 billion of commercial investment……..

The solar power projects will contribute to rising investment in clean energy in Australia thanks to the 2020 Renewable Energy Target. Investment in the sector surged 49 per cent last year to $US3.44 billion, bouncing back after two weak years thanks to renewed confidence in the large-scale RET, Bloomberg New Energy Finance said in a report on Friday.

 Last year’s increase in investment bucked the global trend, which showed a global slowing in the sector, and was driven by a rise in large-scale project financing which rose to $US1.98 billion, BNEF said. Still, investment in large-scale renewables projects will need to double if the 2020 target is to be met, the firm found. http://www.afr.com/business/energy/solar-energy/solar-closing-cost-gap-with-wind-conventional-power-20170113-gtqw91#ixzz4VsruyM8D

January 16, 2017 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, solar | 2 Comments

Tony Abbott calls for ditching Renewable Energy Target: PM Turnbull disagrees

text-relevantTony Abbott slapped down as Malcolm Turnbull opts for ‘minimalist’ Abbott-destroys-renewablesreshuffle, The Age Michael Gordon, 16 Jan 17  The Turnbull government has slapped down Tony Abbott’s call for it to ditch its renewable energy target for 2020, declaring there are “no plans” to change the policy that was settled when Mr Abbott was prime minister.

Environment and Energy Minister, Josh Frydenberg, told Fairfax Media the government’s intention was to stick with its policy and contrast it with Labor’s commitment to a more ambitious target.

In a direct repudiation of Mr Abbott’s assertion that the existing policy would increase prices, reduce reliability and threaten heavy industries, Mr Frydenberg said: “The government has no plans to change the 2020 RET which was settled just 18 months ago providing investor certainty.”

Mr Abbott delivered a scathing critique of the government on Saturday,……… He said the government’s first move this year should be to introduce legislation to protect existing renewable generation “but to remove all further mandatory use requirements”.

Mr Abbott said the existing policy would almost double renewable energy supplies in the next four years, increasing power costs and reducing reliability…….http://www.theage.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/abbott-slapped-down-as-turnbull-opts-for-minimalist-reshuffle-20170115-gtrtgh.html

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

Flinders Ranges Community survey – 79% do NOT want the Federal nuclear waste dump.

text-NoRobyn Wood   Fight To Stop Nuclear Waste In The Flinders Ranges, 16 Jan 17    So the government claim their survey says that 59% of locals want the national waste dump to be in the Flinders Ranges (The Advertiser 16/1/17). However, they consulted less than 50% of locals – and did not ask the rest of the Flinders Ranges community (especially the tourism industry) and did not ask the whole of SA whose reputation will be damaged by the stigma of being the Nuclear Dump state.

Members of the local community did their own survey of residents within 50km and found 79% do not want the dump.

The government has set up a consultative committee and one of its tasks is to further evaluate whether local people actually do want the dump – I will watch with interest to see if they come up with a better plan to find the true story

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

Australian government’s pro nuclear propaganda to South Australia’s Barndioota residents

buyer-beware-1Federal Government woos residents near proposed South Australian radioactive waste dump with trips to nuclear reactor in Sydney   http://www.adelaidenow.com.au/news/south-australia/federal-government-woos-residents-near-proposed-south-australian-radioactive-waste-dump-with-trips-to-nuclear-reactor-in-sydney/news-story/c7541a8f23e918f4e2a9e37834282a3e PETER JEAN, POLITICAL REPORTER, The Advertiser, 16 Jan 17 

Cabinet is due to make a final decision by the end of the year on whether to build the national low-level radioactive waste management facility at Barndioota, 35km northwest of Hawker.

No other communities have come forward with rival proposals to host the centre since Barndioota was chosen at the preferred location last year.

As part of a community consultation process, a dozen people from the Barndioota area have visited the Lucas Heights Nuclear reactor in Sydney and another nine are due to visit by the end of January.

The Sydney trips were designed to teach community representatives about how the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation’s OPAL reactor creates medicine and industrial products.

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Participants were also provided with information about the storage of radioactive waste at Lucas Heights and how the waste would be packaged for transport to Barndioota.

If regulatory approvals were granted, trucks would begin delivering low and intermediate-level radioactive waste to the new waste dump in 2020.

canavan-matt-puppetFederal Resources Minister Matt Canavan said the Government wanted to give the community as much information as possible about the production and use of nuclear material and the storage of radioactive waste.

“The waste comes mainly from medical procedures,’’ Senator Canavan said. [ed. Antinuclear  That’s a lie

“Visiting the ANSTO facility takes away the air of mystery about the production of nuclear materials and the size and storage of the waste.”

Senator Canavan said the Barndioota community was approaching the issue in good faith.

“I visited the region late last year and met with local landholders, business operators and traditional owners to talk with them about the next steps and to further explain the importance of the facility,’’ he said.

“The next steps will be to complete a heritage survey of the site, working with traditional owners. That will begin in the coming…weeks.”

 A survey found 59 per cent of local residents had no serious concerns about the radioactive waste dump proposal. But there was still strong opposition from some locals, including traditional landowners.

Indigenous leader Regina McKenzie said she was pleased the Government had agreed to undertake an Aboriginal cultural heritage assessment but remained extremely sceptical about the waste dump proposal.

“We’re very concerned about protecting ecosystems,” she said

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

South Australian Liberal leader stresses that the Royal Commission nuclear waste plan economically risky

 

scrutiny-on-wastes-sa-bankrupt“ there was nothing in the analysis that we did post the royal commission report being tabled down that gave us any form of comfort that there wasn’t huge economic risk associated with this proposal.”

  Marshall: Nothing’s off the table – except nuclear, INDaily, Adelaide Monday January 16, 2017

Liberal leader Steven Marshall says he has an open mind on policy solutions, today declaring South Australia “can’t afford to take one single solitary thing off the table” – only minutes after launching a strident defence of his unilateral move to take nuclear waste storage off the table.

In an interview on ABC Adelaide, Marshall was asked about the Liberals’ policy agenda, with little more text politicsthan a year before he leads the party to another state election……

 

The Liberals were put in the spotlight last week when former senator Sean Edwards mused about a push by business supporters to see him installed into state parliament, and possibly to replace Marshall as leader. Edwards refused to rule out either scenario, repeating earlier disenchantment over his party’s decision to withdraw support for a broad discussion over a proposed nuclear waste dump…….

 

Marshall said of the party room’s decision to withdraw support for further nuclear debate: “A lot of people are out there saying it’s a political decision by Steven Marshall and the Liberal Party; nothing could be further from the truth.”

“We welcomed the royal commission in the first place, in fact we were the only party that was talking about the nuclear opportunity for South Australia before the last election,” he said.

“But there was nothing in the analysis that we did post the royal commission report being tabled down that gave us any form of comfort that there wasn’t huge economic risk associated with this proposal.”…… http://indaily.com.au/news/politics/2017/01/16/marshall-nothings-off-the-table-except-nuclear/

January 16, 2017 Posted by | NUCLEAR ROYAL COMMISSION 2016, politics, South Australia | Leave a comment

Deep borehole test project may go ahead in New Mexico

a-cat-CANIt is a good idea to at least test the feasibility of deep boreholes. As one resident said “Something must be done with the wastes”. There is no obligation on that community to agree to actually accept high level nuclear waste – only to host the testing of the deep bore concept.

The whole project would really make sense if it were combined with a definite plan to STOP MAKING TOXIC RADIOACTIVE WASTES, by closing down all nuclear reactors. This could be done, with genuine good will, and planning for compensation and transition to other employment for workers in the nuclear industry.

New Mexico town steps up for nuclear borehole project  LMT Online, , January 15, 2017 “……. The U.S. Energy Department, Quay County and two energy development companies say the nation’s latest nuclear waste experiment could inject as much as $40 million into the county’s economy. Nara Visa residents just have to agree to let the companies drill a three-mile-deep borehole — seven times deeper than the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant in Carlsbad — into the crystalline, granite crust of the earth a few miles outside of town, on land currently occupied by fat, black cattle.

Right now, the project is pegged as a scientific experiment. The Energy Department says no nuclear waste will be placed in the test borehole.

The ultimate goal is to find a permanent place to dispose of the ever-growing and deadly stockpile of spent nuclear fuel rods and high-level radioactive waste collected at nuclear reactors and nuclear weapons laboratories nationwide.

Until this year, no town in the U.S. had agreed to the proposal. But when the Quay County Commission approved the plan in October, it put Nara Visa on track to become the first.

About seven miles outside Nara Visa, there is a small, gravel roadside park where semi-truck drivers pull off U.S. 54 to sleep. Below the earth, the granite is devoid of oil but just right for deep drilling.

These 10 acres belong to Louis and Elaine James, who’ve agreed to lease it to the government………

As far as the nuclear waste component is concerned, Louis James, 69, said, “I have more of a problem with it sitting over at Pantex 100 miles away than I do with it being under the ground, because you know it will get you if they ever attack those spots.” He was referring to the Pantex Plant, a nuclear weapons assembly facility outside Amarillo, Texas……

The test hole planned for the James’ property is meant to be just 8 1/2 inches wide but would go deep below ground, first through the water table and a mile through sediment before hitting the top of a crystalline rock layer. From there, the hole would be drilled another two miles into the Earth. This is the layer where nuclear waste would be stored, then sealed off with a steel casing and concrete to protect the environment and water in the mile span separating the waste from the land’s surface.

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Utah-based DOSECC Exploration Services LLC and Enercon Federal Services, Inc., based in Atlanta, are developing the Nara Visa proposal and are one of four groups that have been granted the go-ahead from the Energy Department for Phase 1 of the project. This is referred to as “community buy-in,” gaining not only public approval but also support for the project, and securing the land for the borehole site.

If DOSECC and Enercon win this bid, they will get $35 million over a five-year period to drill the first hole. The Energy Department will grant an additional $50 million to drill a second, wider borehole if the first is successful……

State Rep. Dennis Roch said that after meeting with the companies, he felt confident there was “no connection between this viability test and the ultimate decision of where to dispose of nuclear waste way down the road.”…….

The Nara Visa site would only be permitted for drilling, he added. Nuclear waste storage would require an entirely different permitting and regulatory process…….

WIPP, after being closed for nearly three years following the radiation leak, began depositing waste below ground for the first time in December. But the stagnation of waste disposal at these facilities left the Energy Department scrambling for alternatives, and in 2012, deep boreholes resurfaced as a potential alternative, an idea that was first floated in the 1950s.

To store all of the waste sitting at 77 U.S. facilities, the Energy Department needs to drill 950 boreholes at an estimated $20 million per hole, or $71 billion for the entire project, including transportation, environmental reclamation, monitoring and site characterization, according to the 2010 Sandia study. In contrast, Yucca Mountain was estimated to cost $96 billion.

Each hole is expected to contain 400 vertically stacked fuel pods that, unlike the costly steel drums used to pack waste headed to WIPP, would not require specialized containers but instead would be stored in their spent fuel form or glass. Multiple boreholes could be drilled just over 200 meters apart to avoid thermal reactions.

Though the Sandia study said boreholes could be used for nuclear reactor waste, Mast from Enercon said he believes the Energy Department is only looking at boreholes for waste from nuclear weapons development.

To actually begin placing nuclear waste in the boreholes will require an amendment to the Nuclear Waste Policy Act.

Before the proposal reaches that stage, Greg Mello, director of the watchdog Los Alamos Study Group, says the government should be more transparent about exactly what type of high-level nuclear waste would go in the holes: spent fuel rods, nuclear weapons waste or down-blended plutonium. …..http://www.lmtonline.com/news/article/New-Mexico-town-steps-up-for-nuclear-borehole-10858853.php

January 16, 2017 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment