Australian news, and some related international items

South Australia is targeted for five nuclear dumps and high level waste processing

Noonan, DavidSA is targeted for five nuclear dumps and high level waste processing

Brief by David Noonan, Independent Environment Campaigner

The Nuclear Royal Commission recommended SA pursue nuclear waste storage and disposal “as soon as possible” – requiring five waste dumps and a high level nuclear waste encapsulation processing facility.

 The Final Report Ch.5 “nuclear waste” and the Findings Report (p.16-20) are reliant on a consultancy “Radioactive waste storage and disposal facilities in SA” by Jacobs MCM, summarised in Appendix J.

SA is targeted for above ground high level nuclear waste storage, without a capacity to dispose of wastes, exposing our society to the risk of profound adverse impacts, potential terrorism and ongoing liabilities.

 The State government is in denial on the importance of nuclear waste dump siting by claiming social consent could be granted before we know what’s involved in siting up to five nuclear dumps across SA.

 Affected regions and waste transport routes are fundamental pre-requisites to transparency and to an informed public debate on potential consent to take any further steps in this nuclear waste agenda.

South Australia blanket

 First: a dedicated new deep sea Nuclear port is to receive waste ships every 24 to 30 days for decades, to store high level waste on site following each shipment, and to operate for up to 70 years.

The coastal region south of Whyalla and north of Tumby Bay is the likely location for this Nuclear port.

 South Australia is targeted for a globally unprecedented scale of high level nuclear waste shipments. Some 400 waste shipments totalling 90 000 tonnes of high level waste and requiring 9 000 transport casks are to be brought into SA in the first 30 year period of proposed Nuclear port operations.

This is in excess of the global total of 80 000 tonnes of high level nuclear waste shipped around the world in the 45 year period from 1971 to 2015, according to the World Nuclear Association report “Transport of Radioactive Materials(Sept 2015) and the Jacobs MCM consultancy (Feb 2016, p.152).

 Second: an above ground nuclear waste Storage facility is to take on approx. 50 000 tonnes high level waste before a Disposal facility could first start to operate in Project Year 28 (Jacobs p.5 Fig.3).

 SA is proposed to import high level waste at 3 000 tonnes a year, twice the claimed rate of waste disposal (Jacobs p.114), with storage to increase to 70 000 tonnes. The Store is to operate for up to 100 years.

 The Nuclear Commission budgeted to locate the waste Storage facility 5 to 10 km from the Nuclear port.

 The Nuclear port and above ground waste Storage facility are to be approved in Project Year 5, ahead of pre-commitment contracts for 15 500 tonnes high level waste in Year 6 and waste imports in Year 11.

South Australia needs to know the proposed region for siting the Nuclear port AND whether the nuclear waste Store is to be adjacent to the port (likely on Eyre Peninsula) or sited in the north of SA.

 Third: a Low Level Waste Repository for burial of radioactive wastes derived from all operations including final decommissioning of all nuclear facilities is proposed to be located in north SA. This Repository has a nominal waste burial capacity of 80 000 m3 of radioactive wastes (Jacobs p.144). This is some eight times the total scale of the proposed National Radioactive Waste Repository.

July 25, 2016 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Nuclear Royal Commission, South Australia, wastes | Leave a comment

Questions about Senator Sean Edwards’ nuclear waste proposal

Buy-S-Korea-nukesNuclear Fuel Cycle Watch,  Andrew Allison  July 21  Rumour has it that once of the anonymous countries that Sean Edwards will not name is South Korea. One might speculate about where the money for Sean Edwards’ very glossy submission to the NFCRC came from? ….Edwards,-Sean-trash

I have many reservations about Sean Edwards’ proposal, but two obvious questions come to mind:

1/ If the deep-underground storage of nuclear waste is a “solved” problem and South Australia can supposedly acquire and implement the technology at low cost (leading to high profits…) then why can’t South Korea do that?

2/ If the generation IV reactors are going to solve the waste storage problem then why can’t an advanced technological country like South Korea do that?

July 25, 2016 Posted by | Nuclear Royal Commission, politics, South Australia, wastes | Leave a comment

Nick XenophonTeam backs 40pc renewables

Xenophon party backs renewables but wants Senate electricity inquiry  The Australian July 25, 2016

NXT federal MP Rebekha Sharkie, who won the Adelaide Hills seat of Mayo from Liberal Jamie Briggs, said the party was committed to the renewables target, but NXT wanted a Senate inquiry into electricity prices “so we can get the arguments on the table and look to a solution”.

Ms Sharkie believed a second interconnector between South Australia and the eastern states could help the situation, though it had been discussed for 15 years without action…….

July 25, 2016 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, energy, politics, South Australia | Leave a comment

Will Australia’s new Resources Minister Matt Canavan really listen to Aboriginal people?

Canavan, MattMatt Canavan has now the opportunity to correct these mistakes and engage in a truly inclusive and transparent process which actually listens to the concerns of the community and other stakeholders. Although a nuclear proponent, he should ensure that this process is not dealt with light-heartedly and pays attention to all aspects involved.

This would best be achieved through an independent inquiry into Australia’s nuclear waste and options for managing it.

Aboriginal communities all across Australia have sustainably managed the land for thousands of years, longer than any other group of people can claim. Their knowledge and concerns are valuable. Let’s hope they will be listened to. 

3rd Minister in two years to handle Australia’s nuclear waste dump   Anica Niepraschk – , 22 July 2016 The recent federal election has once more seen a bit of a reshuffle in PM Turnbull’s cabinet and thereby thrown the portfolio for Australia’s national radioactive waste dump in the hands of another Minister for the third time in less than two years.

After 20 years of failed siting processes for the proposed dump, then Industry and Science Minister Ian MacFarlane only announced a new attempt in November 2014. The first half of last year saw a voluntary nomination process happen where landowners across Australia could propose their property to host Australia’s low and intermediate level nuclear waste. Out of the 28 sites nominated, six were shortlisted for further consultation and investigation last November. All six site nominations were highly contested by the local communities.

Although the government, with its new ‘voluntary’ approach promised to not impose a nuclear waste dump on any community and therefore rely on voluntary nominations and community consultation, one of these six sites, Wallerbidina/ Barndioota in the Flinders Ranges, SA, made it to the next stage of the process, despite the strong opposition of the local Adnyamathanha community at Yappala station, just kilometres away from the site.

Not only chose the government to once again, after pursuing Coober Pedy from 1998 to 2004 and Muckaty in the NT from 2005 to 2014, to target an Aboginial community but it also chose a culturally highly significant site. The proposed property, nominated by former Liberal Senator Grant Chapman, is part of a songline and hosts many cultural sites, including the beautiful Hookina springs, a sacred women’s site for the Adnyamathanha. The local community remains actively connected to the maintenance and preservation of the land and is documenting and preserving their culture and history through recording traditional heritage sites and artefacts and mapping storylines in the area. Continue reading

July 23, 2016 Posted by | aboriginal issues, AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, South Australia, wastes | Leave a comment

South Australia: Resuscitating a Nuclear Waste Nightmare

The project to bury the world’s nuclear poison in the heart of the Australian desert has not sprung out of a void. It is an idea that has been insidiously festering for two decades in a variety of incarnations.

The first stirrings of the hellish project to turn Australia into the world’s nuclear dumping ground emerged in the late 1990s when Pangea Resources, a U.K. based company promoted the construction of a commercially-operated international waste repository in Western Australia. The project was supported by a $40 million budget, 80% of which came from British Nuclear Fuels Limited (wholly owned by the U.K. government), with the remaining 20% from two nuclear waste management companies.

Australia’s Overflowing Nuclear Waste Dumps

One of the more disturbing elements of the Royal Commission report is its explicit endorsement of the progressive nuclearisation of the planet over the course of the next century. But given the make-up of the Royal Commission, this comes as no surprise.

Poison In The Heart: The Nuclear Wasting Of South Australia  Counter Currents by  — July 22, 2016  “……..It is a curious thing to observe the confidence with which the recent Nuclear Fuel Cycle Royal Commission has embraced the promotion of South Australia as the ideal destination for over one third of the world’s accumulated stores of spent nuclear fuel. This spent fuel, together with the 400,000 cubic metres of intermediate-level nuclear waste that the Royal Commission recommends be transported to South Australia, represents a problem that nations with decades-long histories of nuclear energy production have failed to resolve. The entrancement induced by a whiff of billions of dollars of new revenue presently has a closed circle of nuclear advocates and politicians straining to persuade the people of South Australia to obligingly make their way as latter-day lemmings towards a dangerous and uncharted nuclear abyss.

In the short term, the Commission calls for the transportation of vast tonnages of highly radioactive materials from around the planet for decades-long storage in above-ground facilities. In the longer term, it proposes the construction of a deep underground repository for the “permanent” burial of the most dangerous wastes produced by a destructive and senescent civilisation. Continue reading

July 23, 2016 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Nuclear Royal Commission, South Australia, wastes | Leave a comment

How much is the South Australian government spending on its pro nuclear extravaganza?

South Australia blanket



text-cat-questionWhat I’m worried about is the amount of tax-payers’ money that is going into this State-wide nuclear brainwash.  Is Premier Jay Weatherill squandering so much of the State’s coffers on this fool’s enterprise that he and the rest of the politicians will feel that they MUST go on and complete the damn thing  – commit to an international nuclear waste dump? Current estimate is $13 million. But will it be more?

From July 29 to October 20 they will be sending teams of nuclear spruikers all over the State of South Australia.

Teams from Nuclear Fuel Cycle Royal Commission Consultation and Response Agency will be there to spread the jolly word of the biased Nuclear Fuel Chain Royal Commission. Who’s on this Agency anyway? Can we expect to hear, yet again, from Greg Ward and Chad Jacobi giving their polished pro nuclear spiel?  Will there be deceptive and trivialised presentations on the healthiness of ionising radiation – as there were at the recent Citizens’ Jury hearings?

July 20, 2016 Posted by | South Australia | Leave a comment

Adelaide: the next steps in South Australia’s nuclear brainwash


The next step in the international nuclear waste dump campaign from the government is “community consultation” and they are visiting 100 sites around SA.  People’s opinions will be used to gauge whether there is community consent or not.

Adelaide locations
29/7-31/7 Rundle Mall
14/9-17/9 Colonnades
1/8 State Library Static Display
5/8-7/8 Adelaide Showgrounds Science Alive
10/8-13/8 Marion (Westfield)
22/8 State Library
24/8 West Beach Harbor Town
1/9 Edwardstown Castle Plaza
2/9 Norwood Town Hall
5/9-9/9 Royal Adelaide Show
21/9-24/9 Smithfield Munno Para Shopping Centre
28/9 Port Adelaide Shopping Centre
30/9 Mawson Lakes Shopping Centre
6/10 Modbury Tea Tree Plaza
10/10 Central Districts Football Club
11/10 State Library

July 20, 2016 Posted by | Nuclear Royal Commission, South Australia | Leave a comment

South Australia to get world’s biggest solar + storage project

Parkinson-Report-World’s biggest solar + storage projects planned for Australia  By  on 19 July 2016    Australian infrastructure investor Lyon Group says it plans to build the world’s biggest solar plus storage project in South Australia in the next two years, and sees a huge future for combined solar and battery storage plants..

Lyon Group’s David Green – which worked on developing a soon-to-be built 30MW solar plant and 1.4MW/5.3MWh lithium battery storage facility near Cooktown, in far north Queensland, before selling it to German-based company Conergy – plans a series of other projects and claims a pipeline of more than 300MW of solar and up to 60MW of battery storage.

The first new project is planned for South Australia, with a 100MW solar PV plant to be combined with a battery storage array of up to 40MW, Green says the plant could be in operation near Roxby Downs by early 2018, and there are plans for other similar projects around the country.

solar + batteries Lyon

The first stage of what is known as the Kingfisher project – 20MW of solar PV plus a minimum 2MW battery storage  – is expected to be running late next year.

The project is one of the finalists in the Australian Renewable Energy Agency funding round for large scale solar, which is expected to allocate monies to 10 or more projects when decisions are announced next month.

Green says the company – which has previously invested in coal, gas and wind projects, but is now specialising in solar and storage – is looking to be a global industry leader in solar plus storage.

“The genie is out of the bottle. There will be a burst of activity now in large scale solar + battery projects. This is the real battery storage story coming out of Australia – batteries used to convert large scale solar to effectively baseload, or peaking plant.”

The combination of solar and storage means the facilities can compete on two levels – providing clean energy and dispatchable power, either to household or large energy users, and also re-enforcing the edge the grid, in some cases avoiding the costs of grid upgrades. Continue reading

July 20, 2016 Posted by | solar, South Australia, storage | Leave a comment

Nick Xenophon wants inquiry in South Australia’s renewable energy issues

Nick Xenophon blames SA energy woes on ‘bad’ renewables rules, AFR,   by Angela Macdonald-Smith, 20 July 16   South Australian Senator Nick Xenophon says the state’s energy problems are due to “bad decisions” in the design of the renewable energy target legislation that failed to take into account the impact of more intermittent generation on wholesale prices……..

Mr Xenophon said he would raise the suggestion of a Senate inquiry into renewable energy to consider issues as to whether some types of energy should attract a higher weighting in renewable energy certificates if they produced more reliable power, and to consider potential incentives for battery storage.

SA Treasurer Tom Koutsantonis says those blaming the state’s energy woes on its push into renewables have “completely misunderstood” the situation and insists the fault lies in the lack of a real national electricity market.

 Inadequate interconnections between the South Australian electricity market and its neighbouring states meant the state was being penalised for its success in attracting renewable energy investment, Mr Koutsantonis said. But it was the state’s success in wind power that was contributing to the federal government’s renewable energy target……..

July 20, 2016 Posted by | politics, South Australia | Leave a comment

South Australia’s coming renewable energy revolution- Craig Wilkins at Parliamentary Inquiry

“……….p.63 In terms of my role in terms of the Conservation Council of South Australia, I am focused particularly on what the choices are that we, as South Australia, have to make in terms of our power.
 For me, particularly around the trend in terms of cost for renewables versus nuclear, it means that nuclear will never be an option for our state because the cost curve is actually increasing. With every build, it seems to just get more and more expensive at a time when renewables has been transforming in the last couple of years to the point where there is a rapid decline in costs. It is approaching the point where new-build renewables directly compete with our current fossil fuels, never mind any other alternative.
poster renewables not nuclear
 We are actually at the cusp of a very exciting shift in terms of our grid, if we get it right. That is the sort of stuff that I think, in my role in the Conservation Council, we need to focused on: making sure that we can shift towards that high percentage of renewables as quickly as possible, do it well, support our industries and make sure that the benefits are shared. That is the stuff I am a lot more interested in than talking about the potential for nuclear power, which I don’t think will ever be part of our mix. file:///C:/Users/User/Downloads/TRANSCRIPT%20OF%20EVIDENCE%20HEARD.pdf

July 18, 2016 Posted by | politics, South Australia | Leave a comment

83-Percent Of south Australia’s Electricity From Wind last weekend

Wind turbines in Azerbaijan. South Australia Just Produced 83-Percent Of Its Electricity From Wind Energy HTTP://WWW.HEXAPOLIS.COM/2016/07/16/ BYSUKANYA MUKHERJEE JULY 16, 2016

Thanks to a particularly windy weekend, South Australia recently saw nearly 83-percent of its total electricity coming solely from eco-friendly wind energy. Although the harsh weather conditions led to power outages in some of the places, its advantages far outweigh the temporary inconvenience. According to officials, wind turbines installed in the area captured much of the ambient energy, which was used to meet more than two-thirds of the region’s total electricity demands last Monday.

When it comes to renewable power, South Australia is one of the front runners, boasting both solar and wind energy. Investments of up $6 billion have resulted in the installation of as many as 638 wind turbines in the area. According to Alicia Webb of Australia-based Clean Energy Council, an organization dedicated to improving renewables and conversion efficiency, the industry has also generated “hundreds” of jobs. Given the current trend, the region will soon see wind and solar power overtaking conventional fossil fuels. Webb said:

Southern Australia…is in the midst of a remarkable transformation, with more than 40 percent of its power needs coming from renewable energy last year. It is clear that modern economies can run on increasingly higher levels of renewable energy, and it is clear from South Australia’s example that other mainland states can go much further with no loss of reliability.

With oil and volatile gas prices skyrocketing in recent years, wind turbines in South Australia actually help produce electricity at lower costs, especially during windy weather. As pointed out by Webb, the area’s total “installed solar capacity” will likely reach five gigawatts in the coming months. These steps are part of the government’s efforts to meet the targets declared in the Paris agreement. In addition to renewables, researchers in South Australia are coming up with new, innovative technologies that could in turn help reduce environmental pollution. Via: CleanTechnica

July 18, 2016 Posted by | South Australia, wind | Leave a comment

South Australian Liberals keen to obstruct wind energy projects?

Liberal-policy-1Libs pushing for wind farm changes
ALL new wind farm projects would have to undergo an assessment to see how they would affect the electricity market before being approved, if changes proposed by the Opposition were adopted…. (subscribers only )

July 18, 2016 Posted by | politics, South Australia, wind | Leave a comment

South Australia’s Premier Jay Weatherill and his Citizens’ Jury Nuclear Deception

Citizens' Jury scrutinyWeatherill trumps up Citizens’ Jury Report in push for SA nuke waste dump, Independent Australia 15 July 2016, Noel Wauchope, who has been covering the Nuclear Fuel Cycle Royal Commission for IA, calls SA Premier Jay Weatherill out over a sleight of hand following the Nuclear Citizen’s Report this week.

SA Premier Jay Weatherill received the Nuclear Citizen’s Jury Report on 10 July. He said that it was a “commonsense” report and that:

“they [the jury] are asking us to also change the legislation to undertake that work”

(i.e: the work of investigating overseas markets for sending nuclear wastes to South Australia)

Here’s where the sleight of hand comes in. That call to change legislation did not come from the Citizens’ Jury. It came from the pro-nuclear Nuclear Fuel Cycle Royal Commission (NFCRC), and the jury was merely doing its appointed task — which was to paraphrase the NFCRC’s recommendations. Throughout the jury process, the jury members were reminded that they had no brief to make any decisions or recommendations and they conscientiously stuck to that rule.

Now I think we know why Weatherill was so adamant that this group be called a “jury”. A later group of 350 members, will also be called a “jury”. There is some possibility that this number 350 could be taken as an adequate sample of the South Australian population of 1.712 million. So again, by regurgitating the NFCRC’s recommendations, this might conceivably be portrayed as the “verdictof the people. That’s a lot safer than a referendum. …….

NFCRC is over, and finished, but hey — not so!  The next move is a massive public advertising process and this kicked off with the recent Citizens’ Jury, which, while being organised by the South Australian firm DemocracyCo, was master-minded and controlled by NFCRC personnel. The witnesses were predominantly pro-nuclear, speakers from NFCRC were prominent and NFCRC staff were present at many, if not all, sessions.

Several times, during hearings, and Q and A sessions, the jury was reminded of the necessity to change State and Federal legislation.

Weatherill nuclear dream

This process had, in fact, already begun, with legislative change that had to be made retrospective, seeing that the government had already spent $7.2 million on the Royal Commission. It is rare for legislation to be made retrospective. As the Greens’ Mark Parnell commented:

‘The retrospective clause is basically saying that if anyone did anything illegal we now legalise it.’ 

The South Australia Nuclear Waste Storage Facility (Prohibition) Act 2000 used to say:

13 — No public money to be used to encourage or finance construction or operation of nuclear waste storage facility

(1) Despite any other Act or law to the contrary, no public money may be appropriated, expended or advanced to any person for the purpose of encouraging or financing any activity associated with the construction or operation of a nuclear waste storage facility in this State

This section was amended in May 2016. The government wanted to remove Section 13, altogether. However, after several efforts on this, (Greens’ Mark Parnell objecting), Section 13 was amended, to include a new provision:

‘(2) Subsection (1) does not prohibit the appropriation, expenditure or advancement to a person of public money for the purpose of encouraging or financing community consultation or debate on the desirability or otherwise of constructing or operating a nuclear waste storage facility in this State.’

That was a small step forward for the nuclear cause.

Now for a bigger step. The government needs to drastically amend the South Australia Nuclear Waste Storage Facility (Prohibition) Act 2000. Later on, they need to get changes made to the national legislation — The Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (the EPBC Act).  They’d probably like these national powers to be removed and have these topics placed under State laws.

In building their argument for changing the law, the Weatherill Government needs to gather persuasive evidence about the proposed economic bonanza to come from importing foreign nuclear wastes. That means another round of expensive trips overseas, and a lot of advertising and promotional meetings in South Australia.

All this can now be justified, because, according to the government, the Citizens’ Jury called for more information, especially on economics, and even more importantly, called for changing the law on importing nuclear waste.

hurdles toff

The fact that this jury group diligently summarised the Royal Commission report, without themselves making any recommendations, will almost certainly get lost in the onslaught of pro-nuclear hype that is about to descend upon the South Australian population.,9237

July 16, 2016 Posted by | Nuclear Royal Commission, politics, South Australia, wastes | Leave a comment

Craig Wilkins, Conservation Council of South Australia, at parliamentary Nuclear Inquiry

It is remarkable that the royal commission only used one consultant to do this. Basically, all this conversation, all this energy and momentum, is based on the work of one consultant. Surely we deserve a second opinion.
When you look at examples like in the US, with Yucca Mountain in Nevada, they went a huge way down the path of making a decision about what to do and then they changed their minds after about $13 billion worth of investment.
There are so many assumptions built into Jacobs’ modelling which, when you add them all up, just make this an incredibly risky venture financially.

Citizens Jury Panel 1: Craig Wilkins

p.55 Mr WILKINS: Yes, I thought I would just give a brief summary mainly around the economics, the safety and the consent issues before we perhaps have a larger conversation after that. Essentially, we are keen to talk about the very specific proposal to make money by importing high-level nuclear waste into Australia and, by doing so, to turn our state into the largest nuclear waste site in the world. For us, the devil is very much in the detail.
Our impression, from the public conversation, is that most people think this is an ‘out of sight, out of mind’ idea, where we bury the waste deep in the outback and that is it. The reality is very different. Before we get there, ships containing that high-level waste enter South Australian waters through the South China Sea and other problematic areas, entering our prawn and tuna fishery areas and other aquaculture zones, going past tourism hotspots, every 24 to 30 days for 70 years. That is a huge amount of transport.
The waste will be unloaded into a purpose-built port built somewhere on our coastline—probably around Whyalla is the most likely bet. Then it is transported to a site around five kilometres or 10 kilometres from our coastline where it will sit for decades above ground, and up to 72,000 tonnes will be left there over that 80 years of the span of the proposal. So, this isn’t out of sight, out of mind. It will be a very prominent feature of our landscape, and it will require a level of security infrastructure and cultural impact around that which I think will change fundamentally parts of our state.

Continue reading

July 16, 2016 Posted by | Nuclear Royal Commission, politics, reference, South Australia | Leave a comment

No Profit in Nuclear waste

  • A minimal safety margin requires that high level waste not be imported before an agreed licensed geological disposal site…
  • High level nuclear waste disposal costs can double in a decade…..
  • Dubious claim that disposal of nuclear waste in SA costs one quarter less than in experienced countries…. 
  • SA faces a $60 billion debt in costs across 37 years of ongoing nuclear waste storage operations and nuclear facility decommissioning after the last receipt of overseas revenues for waste imports….
  • Nuclear contingency costs are unfunded…

Noonan, DavidBrief (July 2016) by David Noonan, Independent Environment scrutiny-Royal-Commission CHAINCampaigner

South Australians are being misled by inflated revenue claims, untenable assumptions and under-reported nuclear waste costs. Reality check analysis shows there is no profit in nuclear waste.

Nuclear waste costs are fast rising and unrelenting for decades after the last recite of waste imports regardless of whether or not claimed revenues and fixed prices over time prove to be realistic or illusory.

The Nuclear Royal Commission Final Report Ch.5 “Management, storage and disposal of nuclear waste” and the Nuclear Commission Tentative Findings Report (p.16-20) present a nuclear waste baseline business case that is near solely reliant on a consultancy “Radioactive waste storage and disposal facilities in SA” (Feb 2016) by Jacobs MCM, summarised in Final Report Appendix J.

There is no market based evidence for the Final Report revenue assumptions and claimed income.

Claimed revenues are a tonnage based multiplier: inflated tonnage equals misleading revenues.

Claimed revenues are doubled by an assumption SA can take twice the waste the US failed to achieve. Continue reading

July 16, 2016 Posted by | Nuclear Royal Commission, reference, South Australia, wastes | Leave a comment


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