Australian news, and some related international items

Labor candidate for Monaro Bryce Wilson refutes MP Barilaro’s simplistic push for Small Modular Nuclear reactors

Barilaro sees nuclear future, Labor criticises lack of detail, Canberra Times, Elliot Williams – – 21 Apr 18, NSW Deputy Premier John Barilaro has not ruled out one day having nuclear reactors in his home electorate of Monaro, near the ACT.

Mr Barilaro has garnered attention this week after advocating for nuclear energy to be considered in NSW in a speech to an energy policy forum in Sydney on Wednesday.

But when questioned whether he would ever consider bringing nuclear reactors to Monaro Mr Barilaro refused to rule anything in or out.

……..Mr Barilaro said he envisaged a future where small modular reactors were set up in a series and could be air, gas or sand cooled rather than the familiar technology of large reactors situated on the coastline for easy access to water.

He said recycling of radioactive material had improved and waste products would remain radioactive for around 300 years rather than hundreds of thousands of years.

However Mr Barilaro has been criticised by Labor candidate for Monaro Bryce Wilson and the Nature Conservation Council for his reluctance to provide details about his plan to bring nuclear power to the state.

“John can’t stand there and say he wants to provide relief to household energy bills without giving us any figures,” Mr Wilson said.

“This isn’t primary school debating, this is a conversation for grown ups.

“How can we have a conversation about nuclear power without knowing where reactors would go, how much it would cost and what would happen to the waste?

Mr Wilson added he would not endorse bringing nuclear reactors to any part of the region………The federal government has a ban on nuclear power in Australia and federal member for Eden-Monaro Mike Kelly said he would not support nuclear power in the region.

“It is not necessary to build nuclear power stations in Australia, as we have an abundance of natural renewable resources that can be utilised to create energy,” Dr Kelly said.

“For our region, there is a real opportunity in becoming a hub for research and development in renewable energy and the scope for manufacturing renewable energy components.”

Mr Barilaro said he wanted to see more investment in renewable energy, particularly in Monaro, but said it would not be possible to do so without ensuring a greater baseload of energy, which nuclear power could provide.

He said nuclear was a cleaner option than coal or gas to achieve the necessary baseload…….ACT minister for climate change and sustainability Shane Rattenbury ruled out nuclear power as an option for the territory.

“Both Greens and Labor national platforms specifically preclude the construction of nuclear power plants in Australia,” Mr Rattenbury said.

“The ACT is committed to 100 per cent renewable electricity, and nuclear power does not form part of this commitment.”


April 22, 2018 Posted by | New South Wales, politics | Leave a comment

New South Wales Acting Premier is gung ho for nuclear power

Barilaro slams “ignorant 1970’s thinking” on nuclear,  – 19 Apr 18 MICHAEL MCLAREN  

Acting NSW Premier John Barilaro has been speaking on energy, declaring nuclear power “inevitable” and slamming the “ignorant 1970’s thinking” that has inhibited the development of our nation’s uranium reserves.

Michael McLaren is also pointing out the hypocrisy of Australia’s engagement with nuclear energy, noting that despite being the world’s third largest exporter of uranium, Australia has a banning moratorium on the resource.

“In 2016, Australia exported uranium worth more than $900 million to other places around the world. But we didn’t use one iota of it at home,” says Michael.

“If you ask me, that’s completely stupid.”  “It has been forgotten for no other then ideological reasons.”…..  Download this podcast here

April 20, 2018 Posted by | New South Wales, politics | Leave a comment

New South Wales firefighter warns on the importance of climate change bringing extreme weather

Menai bushfire reveals problem we must confront –By Jim Casey, 

I’m a professional firefighter employed by Fire Rescue NSW and working out of Balmain fire station.

When I arrived at work on Sunday, the crew who were just finishing their shift looked dead on their feet. There was a pile of dirty hose in the backyard, and the fire engine stank of smoke.

April 20, 2018 Posted by | climate change - global warming, New South Wales | Leave a comment

Climate change – unseasonably hot weather made bushfires near Lucas Heights nuclear reactor become “apocalyptic” blazes

Apocalyptic blaze surrounding nuclear reactor sets off emergency

AUSTRALIA is struggling to contain a growing bushfire that is racing towards a nuclear reactor, amid fears that the blaze could expand beyond their control. By OLI SMITH Apr 16, 2018 

More than 500 Australia firefighters are struggling to tackle a massive bushfire, with several residents urged to seek shelters as evacuation is now “too late”.

Scenes of the blaze, which started yesterday, have been described as “apocalyptic” after the fire ripped through nearly 2,500 hectares of land close to the suburbs of Sydney.

Firefighters failed to stop the out-of-control blaze from burning through a major military base – and a nuclear reactor is the next at-risk location.

The New South Wales Rural Fire Service (RFS) said it was concerned that flying embers could spark even more blazes……

The unseasonably hot Autumn in south-eastern Australia has been blamed for worsening the bushfire after record temperatures for April.

Shane Fitzsimmons, of the RFS, warned that strong 60km per hour winds are expected to push towards residential homes.

He said that the country’s largest army barracks at Holsworthy, where stockpiles of fuel, ammunition and explosive materials are kept, had been hit by the fire.

April 18, 2018 Posted by | climate change - global warming, New South Wales, safety | Leave a comment

Bushfires near Lucas Heights nuclear reactor are still hazardous


Firefighters Warn NSW Is “Not Out Of The Woods” On Third Day Of Bushfires, Pedestrian. 16 Apr 18   More than 250 firefighters continue to battle bushfires in NSW’s southwest, which has spread more than 2,400 hectares since Saturday afternoon.

The blaze, which is believed to have originated in the vicinity of Casula, was fanned further by strong winds on Sunday.

More than 500 firefighters from the Rural Fire ServiceFire & Rescue NSW and the Australian Defence Force attempted to contain the blaze over the weekend with help from volunteers and 11 water-bombing helicopters.

The fire tore trough Holsworthy military range, and while approaching suburban areas, has been staved off. Several residents report fighting off embers with hoses and water buckets.

The fire was downgraded from “emergency level” to “watch and act” on 5.30pm Sunday, then again downgraded to “advice” around 2am Monday.

While lower wind conditions are expected to help with containing the fire, RFS Deputy Commissioner Rob Rogers warned that the high temperatures remain an issue.

Still quite a difficult day ahead (on Monday),” Rogers told the Nine Network“I think we’ve got a long way to go before we’re out of the woods.”

There’s also a risk that winds could also pick up to 35km/h later today.

The RFS is currently advising residents in Pleasure PointSandy PointAlfords PointBarden Ridge  [ie; Lucas Heights] Voyager PointIllawongMenai & Bangor to “remain vigilant throughout the day and keep themselves up to date by checking the NSW RFS website……..

April 18, 2018 Posted by | New South Wales, safety | Leave a comment

New South Wales National Party leader- nuclear power ïnevitable”for Australia

Comment by Steve Dale There is something really rotten about the Nationals lately. Four Corners (4corners, fourcorners) can you please follow the stink/money trail and find out who is pulling the strings on these politicians? We have had a Royal Conmission into nuclear, I think what we really need is a Royal Commission into Nuclear lobbying and its corrupting influence on our political system.

John Barilaro to push the nuclear power button The Australian, April 17, 2018  Acting NSW Premier John Bari­laro will declare nuclear power “inevitable” in a speech that slams “ignorant, 1970s” thinking for preventing development of the nation’s uranium reserves and condemning residents to blackouts.

The speech by the state Nationals party leader, seen by The Australian and to be deliv­ered on Wednesday night at an energy policy forum in Sydney, calls for small modular reactors, likely imported from the US, to reduce dependence on high-emission coal and gas-fired power over the next five to 10 years……  

“There has never been a better moment to include nuclear energy in Australia’s energy future,” it adds, just days before the Council of Australian Governments’ Energy Council is to meet in Melbourne to bed down details of the federal government’s National Energy Guarantee….. 

Mr Barilaro, who recently returned from an Advanced Reactor Summit in Atlanta, Georgia, spoke out in favour of nuclear power a year ago, prompting Premier Gladys Berejiklian, currently in India on a trade mission, to declare she was open-minded on the issue. “I’m in the camp of the jury’s still out,” she told the ABC then.

…….The Minerals Council of Australia, a proponent of nuclear power, said the federal nuclear ban could be reversed “with a single amendment to the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act. “The removal of four words — ‘a nuclear power plant’ — would allow nuclear industries to be considered for development in Australia,” it said.

April 18, 2018 Posted by | New South Wales, politics | Leave a comment

If a nuclear bomb were to be dropped on Sydney

New study reveals catastrophic death toll from a nuclear attack
WHAT would happen if a nuclear bomb went off in your backyard? A chilling new study estimates the death toll from an attack on Australia.Tom Livingstone,, APRIL 15, 2018

“……Scientists from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University have created simulations of a potential outcome if an attack did occur, and found the best course of action for people was to take shelter first and then take steps to escape afterwards.

Those who tried to seek out family members and “aid and assist” others were more likely to die.

In the study, it showed some people would look out for family, while others wold panic and run blindly away.

When humans carried out “shelter-seeking, evacuation, healthcare-seeking, and worry combined,” they were more likely to survive.

The simulation, which was first revealed by Science Magazine, shows that venturing away from a safe place leaves civilians subjected to a higher dose of radiation, which would likely prove fatal.

With President Trump’s consistent tweets threatening action against Russia and North Korea in a game of who has the bigger artillery, a dystopian future seems more and more possible.

Last month researchers created an interactive map that revealed the terrifying scope of a nuclear blast for any given area.

The map shows the extent of the fireball, radiation, shockwave, and heat spawned by different weapons, from the 15 KT ‘Little Boy’ dropped on Hiroshima to the largest weapon in the USSR’s arsenal, the 50,000 KT Tsar Bomba.

For example, if North Korea dropped the Hwasong-14, a 150 KT yield nuclear weapon on Sydney’s CBD, there would be more than 77,000 fatalities and 156,000 injured. The radiation from the blast would exceed 12 square kilometres and go further depending on wind patterns.

If Vladimir Putin dropped a 50,000 KT Tsar Bomba (Reportedly the biggest in his arsenal) on Sydney, there would be 1,513,303 fatalities, 1,111,725 injuries and radiation exceeding 80 square kilometres.

If the Aussies pissed off the US and Trump attacked us, it would most likely be with the 300KT W-87, which would kill an estimated 114,374 Sydneysiders, injure more than 227,000 and cause radiation exceeding 15 square kilometres on initial impact.

While scary to think about, it’s an important thing to get your head around in Trump’s 2018. Without coming off as alarmist we should understand the exact magnitude of a nuclear blast and how damaging it can potentially be.

April 16, 2018 Posted by | New South Wales, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Could Lucas Heights nuclear complex be threatened by current bushfires?

Unusually for a suburb, Lucas Heights does not contain a residential area. The residential area previously part of Lucas Heights was renamed Barden Ridge in 1996 to increase the real estate value of the area, as it would no longer be instantly associated with the HIFAR nuclear reactor.  [and now the Opal nuclear reactor]

Residents warned not to leave, Sydney fire worsens  SMH, By Jacob Saulwick, 

Fire authorities have issued an emergency warning for some suburbs in south-west Sydney, telling residents to seek shelter.

At about midday on Sunday, residents in Voyager Point, Pleasure Point and Sandy Point were advised not to leave their properties and to protect themselves from the heat of an out-of-control fire.

Residents in Alfords Point, Menai and West Barden Ridge were advised to shelter in place as the bush fire approached.

“It is too late to leave,” the Rural Fire Service said in a statement.

“Firefighters are in these areas and are in place to undertake property protection as required,” the RFS said……

Electricity company Ausgrid, meanwhile, said there might be short interruptions to power supply.

Heat from the bushfires was affecting Transgrid’s high-voltage power lines, Ausgrid said, causing voltage dips. Rail services across Sydney were disrupted on Sunday morning……

Electricity company Ausgrid, meanwhile, said there might be short interruptions to power supply.

Heat from the bushfires was affecting Transgrid’s high-voltage power lines, Ausgrid said, causing voltage dips. Rail services across Sydney were disrupted on Sunday morning……..

April 15, 2018 Posted by | New South Wales, safety | Leave a comment

New South Wales National Party rules out nuclear power plan (touted by “Big Name in Nuclear” John Barilaro

Nationals rule out nuclear power ‘madness’ Echo Daily April 6, 2018 | by The Echo
The NSW Nationals have ruled out plans for building a nuclear power station on the north coast in the face of mounting pressure to do so ‘once and for all’.

Labor candidate for the seat of Ballina, Asren Pugh, made the call in the wake of the recent attendance at a US nuclear industry conference by NSW Nationals leader and Deputy Premier, John Barilaro.

But Mr Barilaro’s spokesman told Echonetdaily there were ‘absolutely’ no plans for such plants on the north coast nor nuclear energy ‘anywhere in NSW’.

However, the spokesman said Mr Barilaro’s views ‘are not representative of the party’s position or the NSW governments’.

‘Nuclear energy is banned under federal law,’ the spokesman said.

On Tuesday during a radio interview, Mr Barilaro said that premier Berejiklian was “open minded” to nuclear power in NSW.

But the deputy premier’s spokesman said the Nationals did not support the idea of nuclear power in NSW, and that Mr Barilaro was ‘expressing his personal views, in the interests of sparking a conversation about the prospects and environmental benefits of nuclear energy’.

Mr Pugh said Mr Barilaro not only participated in the US conference but was a key speaker, billed as one of the ‘Biggest Names in Nuclear’.

He said that since returning to Australia from the International SMR and Advanced Reactor Summi, in Atlanta, Mr Barilaro ‘has been spruiking nuclear power right across NSW, claiming that it could be a reality within 10 years’.

‘When the Nationals leader started this madness, most people thought it was just an April Fools joke, but this is now getting serious,’ Mr Pugh said.  ‘There are no circumstances in which our community on the North Coast want nuclear power here. ‘Nuclear power is unsafe, dangerous and leaves a legacy of toxic waste to our children and our children’s children.

‘Our community doesn’t want a discussion about nuclear power on the North Coast, or anywhere in NSW. I am calling on the Nationals MPs from across the North Coast to stand up for our community and say no.

‘I am asking for a clear commitment to a nuclear free North Coast,’ Mr Pugh said.

Mr Barilaro’s spokesman said the deputy premier’s position on nuclear energy ‘is his own. It is not the position of the Nationals or the NSW Government’……….

April 6, 2018 Posted by | New South Wales, politics | Leave a comment

Local MP Mike Kelly slams nuclear lobby’s plan for nuclear stations on New South Wales coast

South Coast nuclear option ‘makes no sense’: Mike Kelly Alasdair McDonald  5 Apr 18, 

April 5, 2018 Posted by | New South Wales, politics | Leave a comment

Labor MP Yasmin Catley calls for Premier Gladys Berejiklian to rule out nuclear power in New South Wales   

Three local sites identified as possible nuclear power stations  Melinda McMillan   3 April 18 Eraring has been identified as a possible future site for nuclear power by the Australian Nuclear Association.

April 4, 2018 Posted by | New South Wales, politics | Leave a comment

According to New South Wales Deputy Premier John Barilaro, Premier Gladys Berejiklian is “openminded” to nuclear power

Premier Berejiklian ‘openminded’ to nuclear energy, deputy premier says 2GB, BEN FORDHAM, 3 April 18   Premier Gladys Berejiklian is “openminded” to nuclear power in Australia according to Deputy Premier John Barilaro.

Mr Barilaro has touched back down in Australia this week after visiting the US to push new nuclear technology in our state.

After meeting with American companies who are building the world’s first small modular reactors, he says this is the way of the future.

April 4, 2018 Posted by | New South Wales, politics | Leave a comment

New South Wales National Party Leader John Barilaro in USA, touting Small Modular Nuclear Reactors for Australia

Steve Dale Nuclear Fuel Cycle Watch South Australia, 2 April 18  Larry Anthony is the president of the National Party, but is also the founding director of the SASGROUP, a lobbying firm. SASGROUP clients include Delta Electricity and St Baker Energy Innovation Fund. Both involve Trevor St Baker who is director of SMR Nuclear Technology company. Even Tony Abbott has concerns about the unhealthy mixture of lobbying and politics.

‘We need to have a discussion’ about nuclear energy: MP, Northern Star, by JASMINE BURKE, 31st Mar 2018   ………NSW Labor Opposition has called on the Premier to intervene and put an end to the investigation by her Deputy, National Party Leader John Barilaro, into the potential establishment of a nuclear power industry in NSW.

April 2, 2018 Posted by | New South Wales, politics | 1 Comment

Strong support for Sydney’s Aboriginal rally against Brewarrina nuclear dump plan

No Nuclear Dump at Brewarrina – Rally John Janson-Moore 

Photographs from a rally in Sydney, protesting against Federal Government plans to establish a nuclear waste dump at Brewarrina in North Western NSW, on Ngemba land. Traditional custodians of the land, the Ngemba, are opposed to the dump.

Speakers at the rally included organiser Natalie Wasley, Ngemba and Brewarrina representatives, Trish Frail and Natalie Eastwood, Nathan Moran from the Metropolitan Local Aboriginal Land Council, Dave Sweeney from the Australian Conservation FoundationJim Green from Friends of the Earthand NSW Greens parliamentarians Jamie Parker and David Shoebridge, as well as others. The Wakagetti dance troupe provided dance performances and a smoking.

About 100 people from all around Australia then marched from Bligh Street outside the Commonwealth offices, through Sydney’s CBD to NSW Parliament House, chanting, “No bundabunda (poison) on Ngemba land”.

Three other sites, in South Australia, are also under consideration for the nuclear waste dump.  All are on Aboriginal land

March 25, 2018 Posted by | aboriginal issues, Federal nuclear waste dump, New South Wales, opposition to nuclear | Leave a comment

Solar energy poised to take off in a big way in New South Wales

NSW, the sleeping giant of rooftop solar, is about to awake   By Giles Parkinson on 22 March 2018 

March 22, 2018 Posted by | New South Wales, solar | Leave a comment