Australian news, and some related international items

BHP’s legal privileges overOlympic Dam copper-uranium mine have had devastating consequences for traditional Aboriginal owners

David Noonan  Nuclear Fuel Cycle Watch, 20 Oct 21

 · “A Way Forward” Juukan Caves Inquiry Final Report…/Nort…/CavesatJuukanGorge/Report Inquiry Report conveys a striking critique of BHP legal privileges over Olympic Dam copper-uranium mine, see Legislative exemptions from cultural heritage protections p.147-148:

“Acts such as these have had devastating consequences for traditional owners as rights to protect cultural heritage are intentionally disrupted and prevented … these Acts remain in force and even when they are repealed their associated histories of injustices will remain … States and territories as well as companies involved in such acts should seek to fast-track transitions and recompense traditional owners for injustices that have occurred.”

October 21, 2021 Posted by | aboriginal issues, legal, South Australia, uranium | Leave a comment

IAEA chief: Aukus could set precedent for pursuit of nuclear submarines

Guardian, Julian Borger 20 Oct 21, Special taskforce convened by IAEA to look into Aukus deal as Iran hints at fresh pursuit of its 2018 naval nuclear propulsion program

The head of the UN’s nuclear watchdog has said other states could follow Australia’s example and seek to build nuclear-powered submarines, raising serious proliferation and legal concerns.

Rafael Grossi, the director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said during a visit to Washington that he had set up a special team to look into the nuclear safeguards and legal implications of the Aukus partnership announced last month, in which the US and UK will help Australia build a fleet of nuclear-powered submarines.

If the plan is carried through, it would be the first time a non-nuclear weapons state has acquired nuclear-powered submarines. It reflects a grey area in the 1968 Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, which allows fissile material to be removed from IAEA safeguards for such purposes.

The procedures by which the agency would ensure that the fuel, removed from agency oversight, is not diverted to making nuclear weapons have yet to be worked out………..

Grossi said it “cannot be excluded” that other countries would use the Aukus precedent to pursue their own nuclear submarine plans.

Canada and South Korea have both contemplated building nuclear-powered submarines, which can stay underwater longer and are quieter than their conventional counterparts. Brazil too has an ongoing nuclear submarine project………..

October 21, 2021 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, politics international, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Nuclear power? It’s of zero use to Australia’s emissions plan

I have no problems with nuclear power. But the only way it would be viable is with an extremely high carbon price. I say bring that on!

Except a high carbon price makes renewables an even better investment, and thus nuclear less needed.

And even a high carbon price won’t get enough nuclear plants built soon enough to prevent temperatures rising above 2C.

Nuclear power is too costly, too slow, so it’s zero use to Australia’s emissions plan, EXCELLENT GRAPHS Guardian, Greg Jericho  18 Oct 21, With a 20-year development timeline, nuclear plants won’t be built soon enough to stop temperatures rising above 2C. So why are we wasting precious time debating them?

The catch-22 of nuclear power in Australia is that you would only consider it if you wanted to reduce emissions because of climate change, but if you agree climate change is real and we need to reduce emissions, you would not consider nuclear power.

Currently Australia burns a lot of coal – more than other comparable economies with nuclear power.

Even worse, Victoria relies greatly on the dirtiest and least-efficient brown coal.

But if you think climate change is a load of bunk then, as current head of charging with ChargeFox, Evan Beaver, puts it in his excellent blog post on the issue, “we might as well burn all the coal we have. And we have a lot.”

But if you do agree climate change is real then what we need to do is reduce emissions as fast as possible. As I noted last month, at a certain point there will be so much CO2 in the atmosphere that we won’t be able to limit temperatures rising above either 1.5C or 2C above pre-industrial levels, no matter when we get to net zero afterwards.

Projected cumulative emissions between 2021 and 2050

6,161Gt is the carbon budget to stay below 2C; 3,521Gt is the carbon budget for 1.5C

We must cut emissions fast – at least 50% below 2005 levels by 2030, and probably by about 75% if we want to limit temperature rises to less than 1.5C.

Nuclear power is of zero use on that score.

We know this because nuclear power has already been examined a lot.

One excellent study was in 2006 under the Howard government, by Ziggy Switkowski. It noted that “the earliest that nuclear electricity could be delivered to the grid would be 10 years, with 15 years more probable”.

Alright then. Firstly, not even the National party is insane enough to make nuclear power an election promise.

So let’s assume if the Coalition wins next year’s election, but announces a move to legalise nuclear power, that even with the best intentions, given the task of getting the votes, it’d be lucky for that to happen until the end of 2022.

Now all that has to happen is choose the type of reactor, and oh, pick a spot (have fun).

Ignore the coming election in 2025 and assume everything gets in place by 2024 (not a hope, but hey, let’s play pretend). That means at best we’re looking at 2035 but more likely 2040 before the first nuclear plant comes on line.

That is already too late to help prevent temperatures reaching 2C, and by then an overwhelming amount of our electricity will already be generated by renewables.

That means the need for such a plant is gone. Markets know this, which is why no one will ever invest in such a plant here.

The CSIRO’s latest “GenCost” report suggests the capital costs of small modular reactor (SMR) nuclear power plants by 2030 and even out to 2050 will be greater than renewables, including solar thermal plants.

But perhaps rather surprising is that nuclear becomes even less viable when the CSIRO projects the world getting to net zero by 2050.

The reason is that, under such a scenario, the push for renewables accelerates so greatly that the development of nuclear power effectively stalls, meaning Australia would have to be a leading investor in new plants – thus paying the first mover costs.

As the CSIRO notes, “a major source of discomfort” for nuclear stakeholders is that the high cost estimate of nuclear power “is of theoretical value only” because “a nuclear SMR plant is not planned to be built in Australia anytime soon”………………….

I have no problems with nuclear power. But the only way it would be viable is with an extremely high carbon price. I say bring that on!

Except a high carbon price makes renewables an even better investment, and thus nuclear less needed.

And even a high carbon price won’t get enough nuclear plants built soon enough to prevent temperatures rising above 2C.

Nuclear power: too costly, and too slow.

October 19, 2021 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, climate change - global warming | Leave a comment

On economics, nuclear power just doesn’t stack up – Labor’s Shadow Minister for Climate Change

‘The economics don’t stack up of nuclear for Australia’: Bowen, Shadow Climate Change Minister Chris Bowen says the economics “don’t stack up of nuclear for Australia”. 19 Oct 21,

“Open and shut,” Mr Bowen told Sky News Australia.

“It’s the most expensive form of energy.”

Mr Bowen also said the National Party “likes to blame renewables for the energy crisis in Europe”.  “When you actually look at the detail a lot of it is also relating to the unreliability both of gas and nuclear, in the British context.

“But no, the economics don’t stack up of nuclear for Australia.”

October 19, 2021 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, politics | Leave a comment

David Littleproud, Minister for Agriculture – a National Party enthusiast for the nuclear industry

‘Nuclear is OK’: Agriculture Minister backs controversial clean energy source

The Agriculture Minister is throwing his support behind nuclear energy as the government debates net-zero.

The government is set to make a decision on committing to a global target of net-zero emissions.

Agriculture Minister David Littleproud told Ben Fordham polling shows hesitancy amongst the community for nuclear energy.

“I’m not afraid of it … Nats are big believers in nuclear.

“I think we should create that environment to try and educate our population that it’s OK, nuclear is OK.”

October 19, 2021 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, politics | Leave a comment

Concern in Association of Southeast Asian Nations about Australia’s nuclear submarines

Indonesia, Malaysia concerned about Australia’s nuclear subs.   By NINIEK KARMINI , 18 Oct 21,  

JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) — The foreign ministers of Malaysia and Indonesia expressed concern Monday that Australia’s plan to obtain nuclear-powered submarines may increase the rivalry of major powers in Southeast Asia.

The U.S., Britain and Australia announced last month that they have formed a security alliance that will help equip Australia with nuclear-powered submarines. The alliance will reshape relations in the Indo-Pacific region and beyond……..

“This situation will certainly not benefit anyone,” Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi said after meeting with her Malaysian counterpart, Saifuddin Abdullah, in Jakarta. “We both agreed that efforts to maintain a peaceful and stable region must continue and don’t want the current dynamics to cause tension in the arms race and also in power projection.”

The two ministers said at a joint news conference that they agreed to strengthen the unity and centrality of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations and urged all members of the bloc to contribute to the stability, security, peace and prosperity of the region and respect international law.

Saifuddin said having a near-neighbor build new nuclear-powered submarines could encourage other countries to come more frequently into Southeast Asian territory………………………..

ASEAN’s members are Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. Brunei is chair of the bloc this year.

ASEAN has formal partnerships with several countries including Australia, China, Canada, New Zealand, South Korea and Pakistan as well as the European Union.

Malaysia and Indonesia share many similarities in religion, language and culture.

October 19, 2021 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, politics international, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Australian Labor Party has no intention of developing nuclear power.

Labor doesn’t have ‘any desire’ to pursue nuclear: Tony Sheldon 19Oct 21,

Labor Senator Tony Sheldon says he doesn’t believe the party has “any desire” to go down a nuclear energy route to de-carbonise the economy.

“There is still substantially cheaper alternatives to that,” Mr Sheldon told Sky News host Chris Kenny.“We’re talking about making sure we develop those industries and develop that work – such as a hydrogen industry, which is going to be very critical into our future.”

October 19, 2021 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, politics | Leave a comment

Australia set to disappoint key allies on 2030 emissions target.

Australia set to disappoint key allies on 2030 emissions target, SMH,  By Mike Foley October 18, 2021 Australia’s decision not to boost its 2030 emissions reduction target will disappoint key allies that have called on Prime Minister Scott Morrison to do more ahead of next month’s United Nations climate summit in Glasgow.Mr Morrison told Parliament on Monday he would stick with the target that he took to the 2019 election, which was set by former prime minister Tony Abbott in 2015, to reduce emissions by at least 26 per cent from 2005 levels. His decision comes after Nationals leader Barnaby Joyce on Sunday all but ruled out support for a higher 2030 commitment.

British cabinet minister Alok Sharma, who will head the COP26 climate change conference, has called on Australia to set a 2030 emissions reduction target of up to 50 per cent. The United Kingdom has committed to cut emissions 68 per cent by 2030 while the United States has set a goal to reduce emissions by 50 per cent and urged Australia to increase its near-term target. Japan is targeting 46 per cent.  South Korea 40 per cent and the European Union 55 per cent.

Climate scientists say deep emissions cuts by 2030 are needed to achieve the goal of the Paris Agreement to limit global warming to less than 2 degrees, and as close to 1.5 degrees as possible to avoid the worst damage from climate change. Waiting longer to 

 reduce greenhouse gases will allow too much carbon to build up in the atmosphere and cause heating long after 2050, even if net zero is achieved by then.

The government’s “technology not taxes” policy is focused on investment in low-emissions technologies to replace current carbon-intensive systems…………….

A report released on Monday by the Asian Investor Group on Climate Change, Ceres and the Investor Group on Climate Change, which represent investors with a cumulative $62 trillion in assets, called for G20 leaders including Australia to set ambitious 2030 targets. It said Australia was among the least attractive countries for green investment, alongside Argentina, India, Indonesia, Mexico, Russia and Saudi Arabia.

Investor Group on Climate Change policy director Erwin Jackson said global investors, which Australia relies on for foreign investment, would flow away from countries without ambitious 2030 targets………

October 19, 2021 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, climate change - global warming | Leave a comment

Bizarre twists in USA’s war on Julian Assange and Wikileaks

Britain’s Guantanamo: is Julian Assange a terrorist? By Gary Lord|October 18, 2021  

As Julian Assange prepares to face a British court for possibly the last time, threatened with up to 175 years detention in a US supermax prison, journalist Gary Lord, explores the latest bizarre twists in the US effort to extradite the Wikileaks founder and the silence of global media.

Julian Assange likes to say that censorship is “always an opportunity” that should be welcomed because it indicates that “there is something worth looking at”. He also says that it is a sign of weakness because it “reveals a fear of reform”. 

So it’s interesting that recent bombshell stories about Assange himself are being censored by global media giants. As the WikiLeaks founder prepares to face a British court for possibly the last time on October 27, threatened with up to 175 years detention in a US supermax prison, perhaps this media censorship is something worth looking at?

wo major stories have emerged since a UK judge ruled against Assange’s extradition to the United States (on health grounds only) at the start of this year.

Firstly, Icelandic media revealed in June that the US prosecution’s prize witness, a convicted pedophile and fraudster who has since been jailed, had withdrawn his testimony against Assange. 

Sigurdur Thordarson, who worked for Wikileaks in 2010 but embezzled over $50,000 from the organization, admitted to fabricat­ing key accusati­ons in the US indict­ment. This important story was almost totally ignored by global media.

Secondly, some 30 anonymous US officials recently confirmed that CIA boss Mike Pompeo, US President Donald Trump, and other staff “at the highest levels” of the Trump administration actively discussed assassinating Julian Assange, and even enlisted UK government support to shoot out airplane tyres if required. 

The US government officially designated WikiLeaks a “non-state hostile intelligence service” in order to provide legal cover for any violent action, with “sketches” including possible shootouts with Russian agents on the streets of inner London.

The USA’s FAIR media watch group investigated the extraordinary lack of media coverage this astonishing revelation received, noting that “BBC News, one of the most-read news outlets in the world, appears to have covered the story just once — in the Somali-language section of the BBC website”.

The New York Times, the Washington Post, and many other major media outlets totally ignored it. The Guardian published just two articles about it; by comparison, they devoted 16 articles to alleged Russian government attempts to murder Alexei Navalny.

Sadly, this media censorship of Assange is not new, even if it does appear to be reaching new heights of absurdity. Another widely ignored story is the relentless and invasive spying on Assange and his visitors – including lawyers, family and journalists – while he was in the Ecuadorian embassy. 

A Spanish court is currently investigating allegations that UC Global, the company that supposedly provided “security” at the behest of the Ecuadorian government, was secretly working for the CIA as a client of former Las Vegas casino mogul Sheldon Adelson, a major supporter of Donald Trump. 

Max Blumenthal first reported back in May 2020 that these spies also discussed plots to kidnap or poison Assange.

A “fix” or media apathy?

How to explain the widespread lack of mainstream media interest in such shocking news stories which could easily be given front page importance? 

Are we to assume that “the fix is in”? Is this part of a deliberate effort to suppress public support for Assange, ahead of his inevitable extradition? If so, who is behind it, and what does it say about the politicisation of the British court system, never mind global media organisations? If not, how else can we understand it?

It’s well known that Assange fell out with many of his old media partners following the 2010 Cablegate publications, but most of those journalists still argue that the Australian should not be extradited for the “crime” of journalism. 

Editorials in the Guardian, New York Times, the Sydney Morning Herald and other newspapers have called for the US extradition case to be dropped. But the media fraternity’s “support” for Assange has never extended to a full-blown campaign, such as we saw when (for example) Peter Greste was jailed.

In fact, there has been a remarkable lack of Western media interest in Assange’s court case – coupled with smearslies and poor reporting – for over a decade.

Italian journalist Sefania Maurizi, who has worked closely with WikiLeaks for many years, appears to be the only journalist who bothered to lodge Freedom of Information requests about the Assange case with the British and Swedish governments. 

A “non-state hostile intelligence service”

She discovered that the Crown Prosecuting Service, which was then controlled by Sir Keir Starmer (now UK Labour Party leader), advised Swedish prosecutors not to come and question Assange in London, and not to “get cold feet” and close the case. “Please do not think this case is being dealt with as just another extradition,” they wrote – then they deleted all their emails!

In Australia, lawyer Kellie Tranter has been putting Aussie journos to shame by lodging her own FOI applications and sharing the results. Maurizi also has FOI applications lodged with the Australian and US governments, but they have been stalled for years with no explanation.

Assange and WikiLeaks still enjoy huge public support around the world. So why don’t big media organisations want more online clicks from readers digging into these amazing stories?

A clue may come from the CIA’s determination to get WikiLeaks officially designated a “non-state hostile intelligence service”. This legal designation would surely make media reporting on WikiLeaks the subject of increased government attention and maybe even censorship.

All the AUKUS countries have now adopted extreme new “anti-terror” laws that include Orwellian restrictions on the media. Maybe it’s time for AUKUS journalists to ask whether WikiLeaks is also officially designated a “non-state hostile intelligence service” in Canberra and London?

Is it possible that Julian Assange – who has been held in “Britain’s Guantanamo Bay” since 11 April 2019 – has been secretly defined as some new form of “information terrorist“? And if so, would our media today even be allowed to report it? Gary Lord is the author of Julian Assange biography “Wikileaks: a True History

October 18, 2021 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, civil liberties, politics international | Leave a comment

Australia’s nuclear submarines are looking more and more like a mirage.

NUCLEAR SUBMARINES LOOK MORE AND MORE LIKE A MIRAGE, AU Manufacturing, Analysis by Peter Roberts, 18 October 21,

Admiral Mead first implied (by wanting to take a question on notice) that he had no idea of schedule, then that the boats were to be in the water by the end of next decade.

Mead then implied he had no idea of whether advice on cost was given to the government, then that advice had been ‘provided by the department to government over many months’, and then that ‘our projected cost forward is that it will be significant and it will be more than Attack’.

The upshot is that Australia entered into a process that will lead to the expenditure of more than $90 billion with only the vaguest idea of how much they would cost or when they could be delivered.

The more time passes since the Prime Minister’s sudden cancelling of our order for French submarines in favour of US or British nuclear ones, the more obvious it is that Australia will never actually acquire them.

Not only that, the more time passes the more obvious it is that even if we did buy nuclear boats, they are unlikely to be built in Adelaide. Or if Adelaide, somehow, had some involvement there would be bugger all genuine Australian industrial content in the things.

This became clearer on Friday in the Senate economic references committee when South Australian Senator Rex Patrick – himself a former submariner – closely questioned the Royal Australian Navy Commander Admiral Jonathan Mead about the N-submarine decision.

As Patrick put it later: ‘Our Collins class subs will still be needed in 2050.

“By that time the last Collins boat, HMAS Rankin, will be unmaintainable and a steel coffin in combat.”

The lack of clarity from the Navy is mirrored by other evidence given – our nuclear science agency and regulator gave very few details on what their role will be in monitoring and regulating any new nuclear propelled submarines, according to Senator Kim Carr.

But it is the likely lack of science and industry involvement in this massive expenditure which is really worrying.

Defence media has been full of speculative stories about whether any submarines would be built in Adelaide, whether Australia might lease submarines from the US, and whether these might be second-hand submarines.

Who would crew and maintain these vessels, who would provide for basic safety given that N-reactors are supposedly going to be fitted to submarines in Adelaide, and whether they would be under Australia’s sovereign control remains a mystery since we will know nothing about the nuclear propulsion systems on board.

Australia acquiring N-submarines under these circumstances is about as useful as giving Borneo head-hunters a F-35 fighter jet……………….

October 18, 2021 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, spinbuster, weapons and war | Leave a comment

‘It makes us sick’: remote NT community wants answers about uranium in its water supply

‘It makes us sick’: remote NT community wants answers about uranium in its water supply,  
Laramba’s Indigenous residents fear they are at risk of long-term illness and say they need to know who is responsible for fixing the problem, Guardian, by Royce Kurmelovs and Isabella Moore, Mon 18 Oct 2021,

Jack Cool is looking to hitch a lift out of town.

The 71-year-old former stockman has lived in Laramba, a remote Indigenous community in the Northern Territory, for most of his life

Since his partner, Jennifer, 57, and his youngest daughter, Petrina, 35, started kidney dialysis at the end of last year, he has been trying to make the two-and-a-half hour trip south into Alice Springs whenever he can.

Cool, who also takes medication for kidney issues, says he doesn’t know why this has happened to his family but he thinks it has something to do with the water.

“When we drink the water it makes us sick,” he says.

Problems with Laramba’s water supply have been known since at least 2008 but the scale of the issue was not revealed until 2018, when testing by the government-owned utility company Power and Water Corporation (PWC) found drinking water in the community of 350 people was contaminated with concentrations of uranium at 0.046mg/L.

That is nearly three times the limit of 0.017mg/L recommended in the Australian drinking water guidelines published by the National Health and Medical Research Council.

Follow-up testing in 2020 found the problem was getting worse as uranium concentrations – which occur naturally in the area – had risen to 0.052mg/L, and the water also contained contaminants such as nitrate and silica.

A stream of conflicting advice

Prof Paul Lawton, a kidney specialist with the Menzies School of Health Research who has been working in the Territory since 1999, says there is no good evidence to say for sure whether the water at Laramba is safe to drink…….

Assoc Prof Tilman Ruff from the Nossal Institute for Global Health at the University of Melbourne says uranium contamination also delivers “relatively low but relatively frequent doses” of radiation

“The overall consequences from a radioactive point of view is that this will widely dispose in the body and organs, and will contribute to a long-term risk of cancer,” Ruff says.

Because children are particularly vulnerable, with girls 40% more likely than boys to be affected over their lifetime, Ruff says there is “no good amount of radiation”.

Though there are still many unknowns, authorities elsewhere have addressed similar situations by acting with caution. In Eton, Queensland, a bore supplying the community was turned off when concerning concentrations of uranium were found in the water supply……….

A permanent holding pattern’

Laramba is just one of many among the 72 remote Indigenous communities in the Territory whose water is contaminated with bacteria or heavy metals.

This year the NT government promised $28m over four years to find “tailored” solutions for 10 towns, including Laramba, after a campaign by four land councils for laws to guarantee safe drinking water across the territory.

Asked what was being done to fix the problem, a spokesperson for PWC directed Guardian Australia to sections of the company’s latest drinking water quality report that discuss pilot programs for “new and emerging” technologies to “potentially” clean water of uranium and other heavy metals……….

What little information that is available has filtered through in the media or highly technical language that many people, for whom English is a second language, can’t understand.

In the meantime both men say several people, including some in their own families, have been diagnosed with kidney problems or cancer.

“We have to drink, so we are drinking it,” Hagan says. “We don’t know anything about $28m. We’re still here drinking the same water. Nothing’s changed.”

The co-director of the Environment Centre NT, Kirsty Howey, says communities such as Laramba have been left in a “permanent holding pattern” and the lack of engagement is a “feature of a flawed system”.

Boiling point

Andy Attack, a non-Indigenous man who runs the Laramba general store, says in the three years he has lived there he has noticed a change in the community.

“People here are just so respectful and polite and calm,” he says. “The water is something that makes them really angry, and they don’t like being angry. It’s not nice seeing them like that.”

Attack says the first thing he was told when he moved to Laramba was not to drink the water. He installed reverse osmosis filters normally used in hospitals, which cost $130 a year to maintain, on the taps in his house.

Those who can’t afford such sums must either rely on rainwater or buy expensive 10L casks. ……….

October 18, 2021 Posted by | aboriginal issues, environment, health, Northern Territory, uranium | Leave a comment

Rowan Ramsey, Federal Member for nuclear waste dumping, ignores HUGE PORT AUGUSTA RENEWABLE ENERGY PARK (PAREP)

Kazzi Jai  No nuclear waste dump anywhere in South Australia, 17 Oct 21, You CANNOT MISS the HUGE PORT AUGUSTA RENEWABLE ENERGY PARK (PAREP) just outside Port Augusta on the approach from Adelaide on Highway 1!
Why is Rowan Ramsey so quiet over this?

It is ALL HAPPENING in his Federal Seat of Grey – and NOT ONE PEEP OUT OF HIM!!!!

Maybe he really is ONLY the Federal Member for Council Area of Kimba with EYES ONLY for a NATIONAL NUCLEAR DUMP for Kimba after all!!
Heads up Rowan! – Kimba is NOT AN ISLAND!

You drag Kimba into being a National Nuclear Dump you drag the REST of South Australia along with it!!
And in case you don’t read the article – BHP Olympic Dam/Roxby Downs is and always has been a copper mine first and foremost. The uranium contaminates the copper and they can’t sell the copper contaminated! Gold, Silver and Uranium are really just sidelines. And copper is needed more than ever for renewable energy technology.
Committing to using Renewable Energy from the PORT AUGUSTA RENEWABLE ENERGY PARK (PAREP) by BHP actually fits like a hand in glove.

October 18, 2021 Posted by | politics, South Australia | Leave a comment

Pro nuclear argument has ‘more holes than Swiss cheese’ Ian Lowe

Nuclear argument has ‘more holes than Swiss cheese’ CLARE PEDDIE, The Advertiser p.21 Sat 16 October
Scientist and author Professor Ian Lowe 

The costs of solar and wind are still coming down, while it requires optimism bordering on delusion to see any realistic prospect of nuclear electricity becoming competitive,” 

AUSTRALIA makes more money selling cheese than uranium, according to the author of a new book on the nuclear industry who says those pushing to expand it need a reality check.

 Professor Ian Lowe, an adjunct professor at Flinders University, says he wants to inject cold hard facts into the hot nuclear power debate. Professor Lowe said nuclear power was too costly for Australia, because it was four times more expensive than renewable energy and came with the problem of long term radioactive waste storage. “The costs of solar and wind are still coming down, while it requires optimism bordering on delusion to see any realistic prospect of nuclear electricity becoming competitive,” 

Professor Lowe said. Launching his new book Long Half-life, The Nuclear Industry in Australia, he also referred to the chapter on the SA Nuclear Fuel Cycle Royal Commission, for which Professor Lowe was a member of the expert advisory committee and gave evidence to the citizens’ jury. “While the process followed by the royal commission was clearly best practice and its report was an exceptionally thorough document, its most contentious recommendation (on SA becoming a repository for the world’s nuclear waste) failed to achieve the level of social consent needed,” he said. 

To put Australia’s nuclear industry in perspective, he said uranium accounted for 1 per cent of mineral exports, ranking with such metals as tin and tantalum. Export figures for 2019-20 were 7195 tonnes valued at $688m for uranium compared to almost 158,000 tonnes of cheese, worth about $995m. “(Nuclear) safeguards arrangements have more holes than Swiss cheese and Scientist and author Professor Ian Lowe radioactive waste is more unsavoury than an old gorgonzola, (so) I’d rather we supported cheese,” he said

October 16, 2021 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, spinbuster, uranium | Leave a comment

Uncertain delivery date for nuclear submarines. Australia’s existing fleet still in use in 2050?

Nuclear submarines’ uncertain delivery date means ageing Collins class could be in use until , could be more than 50 years old by the time the Aukus deal delivers Australia’s nuclear fleet. Guardian, Daniel Hurst and Tory Shepherd
Fri 15 Oct 2021 

Australia’s navy chief has left the door open to keeping some of the existing Collins-class submarines in the water until 2050, amid uncertainty about the exact schedule for acquiring new nuclear-propelled submarines.

The government is already planning to extend the life of the six Collins class submarines by 10 years, with the extensive refitting work set to cost between $3.5bn and $6bn.

But the navy chief, V-Adm Michael Noonan, indicated on Friday that a “potential” option was to refit them a second time to further extend their life.

Given the first Collins-class submarines were commissioned in the late 1990s, that option could see them used until they are about 50 years old…….

The South Australian senator Rex Patrick accused the government of being “extremely reckless” with national security amid the latest revelations…….

At a shipbuilding committee hearing on Friday – the first since the $90bn French deal was dumped – senators explored concerns about Australia facing a “capability gap” while it waited for the new submarines to be ready……….

Labor – which has backed the Aukus plan – said the evidence raised many questions for the government, including whether the Collins class submarines would be able to withstand multiple upgrades of this type.

Labor’s defence spokesperson, Brendan O’Connor, asked: “If enhanced submarine capability is critical to our national security, why would we still have 50-year-old Collins Class vessels in 2050?”……..

The Australian government has set up a taskforce, with 89 members and growing, whose job over the next year and a half is to work with the US and the UK on “identifying the optimal pathway to deliver at least eight nuclear-powered submarines for Australia”……..

It remains unclear precisely how much the Australian government will have to pay to settle contracts with France’s Naval Group and another defence contractor, Lockheed Martin…………..

October 16, 2021 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Collapse of the nuclear industry’s ”golden hope”

Nuclear industry isn’t offering the ‘golden hope’ it promised, October 12, 2021  

Former NSW premier Bob Carr says cost blowouts and huge delays around the world are showing the nuclear industry is not offering the “golden hope” it promised. “In the whole of the United States there is only one nuclear power plant under construction and it is being subjected to the most extreme delays and cost blowouts,” he told Sky News host Paul Murray. “And meanwhile there are six currently being taken out of commission.

“In France there hasn’t been a new power plant added to their grid since 1999 and they’re taking at least three, perhaps six out of it. “The only new plant to be built in western Europe has been in Finland it was supposed to be operating in 2009 and there’ve been huge cost blowouts there.

“That’s why I say the industry is not offering us the silver bullet, the golden hope that we were led to believe and which persuaded me 15 years ago.” Mr Carr argued renewables backed up by batteries are Australia’s “safest bet” for pulling off a transition to net zero emissions.

October 14, 2021 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, spinbuster | Leave a comment