Australian news, and some related international items

Ben Heard and Barry Brook spruik for nuclear reprocessing at Port Augusta

These two nuclear spruikers have been at it for decades – promoting the nuclear industry under the cover of pretending to be environmentalists.

logo-bright-new-worldNow they’re at least ‘coming out’ about being nuclear lobbyists.   It is surprising that  the Australian National University is publishing  (in the Asia and the Pacific Policy Studies journal)  their claims about recycling nuclear waste as a multi $billion windfall for South Australia. They even claim that nuclear waste reprocessing for South Australia would have ‘significant environmental benefits’!

Ben Heard enthuses that South Australia can ‘commercialise leading technology’ Ben Heard worked on this with former Liberal Senator Sean Edwards.

They’re trying to make a mark on the international scene with their new project “Bright New [Nuclear] World”.   But this is their new project’s first foray into the Australian scene.


January 20, 2017 Posted by | South Australia, spinbuster | 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 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.


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.”……

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

Derek Abbott explodes the Royal Commission proposal for a nuclear waste dump

abbott-derekDerek Abbott No High Level International Nuclear Waste Dump in South Australia, 15 Jan 17 

Thought for the day: The Royal Commission proposal for a South Australian dump allowed for 138,000 tonnes of high level waste. But the world produces about 10,000 tonnes every year. Therefore in the time it takes to build the dump, the world has already produced twice the amount waste that the dump can take. Then on top of this there’s the existing 370,000 tonnes of global high level waste to-date with nowhere to go.

So talk of Ben-Hur proportions that a dump will stimulate expansion of the nuclear industry, allowing power for countries in poverty, meeting power needs for growing populations, and that it fills a moral obligation is invalidated by the fact the dump can’t even keep pace with such visions.

So if we peel away all this hollow rhetoric the only real justification for the dump is to make a fast buck, and the ‘noble’ talk of how the dump will save the world is trumped-up sales hype.

And as we know, the goal of making a profit is highly questionable given considerable economic risks and uncertainties involved.

January 16, 2017 Posted by | NUCLEAR ROYAL COMMISSION 2016, wastes | Leave a comment

Pro nuclear former Senator Sean Edwards to run for South Australian Parliament, considers leadership

Former Liberal Senator Sean Edwards considers run for State Parliament, refuses to rule out standing for party leadership State Political Editor Daniel Wills, The Advertiser January 11, 2017 

January 12, 2017 Posted by | politics, South Australia | Leave a comment

Prominent wealthy nuclear industry fans back former Senator Sean Edwards

greed-1Ex-Lib senator Sean Edwards backed by nuclear dump supporters The Australian, , 12 Jan 17  A high-powered group of South Australians, angry over the abandonment of bipartisan ­support to study a nuclear waste repository, are backing a push by former Liberal senator Sean Edwards to enter state ­parliament.

Mr Edwards, who lost his seat at last year’s election after being bumped down his party’s ticket, is an outspoken ­advocate of South Australia playing a greater role in the nuclear fuel cycle……

South Australians are due to go to the polls in March next year, with a redistribution putting the Liberals in the box seat.

The Australian understands Mr Edwards is set to nominate for preselection for the seat of Frome, a traditionally Liberal electorate seated in the industrial city of Port Pirie and the agriculture areas of Clare and Gilbert valleys, where the former senator owns a wine business…..

Several of those understood to be backing Mr Edwards were among a group of 21 who last month signed an open letter urging politicians to continue to explore a nuclear waste dump.

Adelaide Crows chairman Rob Chapman, Coopers brewery chief Tim Cooper, former Cricket Australia chairman Creagh O’Connor and industry chief Robert Gerard were among the signatories. Mr Gerard has don­ated more than $1 million to the Liberals. Dr Cooper donated $22,000 to the party in 2014-15……

January 12, 2017 Posted by | politics, South Australia | Leave a comment

South Australia needs a level playing field for rooftop solar

text-relevantDennis Matthews, 1 Jan 17 Australia’s Chief Scientist, Alan Finkel, has recentlymap solar south-australia drawn attention to a problem in adopting new energy technology.

When home owners consider installing rooftop photovoltaic (PV) electricity generators they are faced with up-front costs.

By comparison, electricity supplied through the grid by large scale electricity generators is provided at no up-front cost to the consumer. The consumer eventually pays the generators’ up-front costs (plus interest) through quarterly bills over a period of several years.

The solution to the problem has been known for several decades – provide a level playing field by having PV up-front costs financed by either an electricity service provider or government with the costs plus interest being recovered over time through the usual quarterly bill.

Such a simple arrangement would not only make rooftop PV competitive (including for rental properties) with grid electricity but would also make energy conservation measures, such as double glazing, more competitive.


January 1, 2017 Posted by | solar, South Australia | Leave a comment

Australian government OK about dealing with corrupt firms – whether coal or nuclear

DCNS Opens New Australia-Based Office to Support Country’s Submarine Replacement Project Scott Nicholas on: December 22, 2016 France-based naval shipbuilder DCNS has established a new headquarters for its Australian subsidiary that will design the future submarine of Australia’s navy as part of an intergovernmental agreement between the two countries.

DCNS said Wednesday its Adelaide Future Submarine Facility is scheduled to begin operations in early 2017 and will support activities such as the transfer of technology from France to Australia, development of a supply chain and design of a shipyard in Adelaide.

“This facility, and our local Adelaide workforce starting with 50 people in 2017, marks the beginning of our relationship as part of the community,” said Herve Guillou, DCNS Group chairman and global CEO.

The Australian government selected DCNS in April to provide design services for the country’s estimated $38.7 billion SEA 1000 Future Submarine Program.

Marise Payne and Jean-Yves Le Drian, respective defense ministers of Australia and France have signed an agreement that establishes a framework for the two countries on the development of the Australian navy’s fleet of submarines.

December 25, 2016 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, politics international, South Australia | Leave a comment

How the Australian Federal Government fakes community consent for radioactive waste dump

text-half-truthEllenor Ziggy Day-Lutz , Fight to Stop Nuclear Waste Dump in Flinders Ranges,  19 Dec 16,  Just shared this info in another group and thought some of you might be interested – it’s about the Australian government’s sample size that they used to make the statement that “The nomination at Barndioota in South Australia demonstrated strong overall support (65 per cent of those surveyed) for moving ahead to Phase 2” (in their Phase 1 Summary Report released earlier this year).

Any people interested in reading the full results of the government’s consultations can find the info here:…/NRWMF%20Community%20Se…

They phoned 228 people, 59 refused to be surveyed and contact couldn’t be made with a further 56. So 113 households were surveyed, and in total 146 responses were received. Yep, 146 survey responses out of the 1702 population of the Flinders Ranges Council area to come up with that statistic of 65% supposedly demonstrating strong support for the waste dump. This included 38 people from Hawker and 106 from Quorn (and 2 from other areas around Barndioota). They also surveyed Neighbours, Indigenous people and Businesses, but these were reported separately and aren’t included in the 65% statistic I’m talking about.

In their own document the government said there is a high margin of error for consultations around the Barndioota site. Even they got confused, because on page 68 they say it was +/-10% and on page 100 they said it was +/-9%.

Brenton Barnes The study was outsourced to Orima research and is nothing special. But what’s important is how the government interprets and uses this information. They cherry picked data excluding Aboriginal and neighbours. One small section of this group 35% opposed therefore 65% didn’t oppose. But to use this small sample size and cherry picked data to then go and promote this as “strong overall general community support” is just simply dishonest and misleading. A few of us did petitions around Hawker and Quorn and got about 40% of these two towns physically signing no, just done by me and a couple of others. This latest survey was hardly supporting the dump. Ramsey offering his land in Kimba was a conflict of interest, yet Chapman* is not?

*Grant Chapman Former Liberal Senator

December 19, 2016 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Federal nuclear waste dump, South Australia | Leave a comment

Sunday Mail changes the meaning of a letter, thus removing climate change statements

scrutiny-GUTTED by the SUNDAY MAIL


The Editor
Sunday Mail

I totally agree with Chris Kenny (Sunday Mail, 11/12/16) when he writes “Climate change has dumbed down the public debate. Otherwise intelligent people are reduced to incoherent slogans” and some people “are too busy with emotional outbursts and virtue signalling to consider the basics.”

Using derogatory adjectives to describe policies and outcomes does little to further intelligent debate. Some facts would be helpful, especially if they are correct.

Three events in 2016 contributed to what Kenny emotively describes as an “energy basket case”. None of these events can be attributed to ensuring that 40 percent of SA’s electricity is “clean and green” yet Kenny leaves us in no doubt that he thinks being clean and green is part of the nasty “tunnel vision” that is “leading SA into a dark place”.

Rather than “clean and green” being the culprit, the three events were directly related to the privatisation of the electricity industry in SA and Victoria and to the formation of a national electricity market.

Dennis Matthews


The Editor
Sunday Mail

SEVERAL events this year contributed to what Chris Kenny emotionally describes in his column as an “energy basket case”. None of these can be attributed, as he says, to ensuring that 40 percent of SA’s electricity is “clean and green”.

Rather than “clean and green” being the culprit, the events were directly related to the privatisation of the electricity industry in SA and Victoria and to the formation of a national electricity market.

Dennis Matthews

My attempt to reply to Kenny’s extensive accusation that climate change activists are only being emotional was totally lost in the Sunday Mail’s edited version of my letter.

December 19, 2016 Posted by | South Australia, spinbuster | Leave a comment

Comments on Preliminary Report SOUTH AUSTRALIAN SEPARATION EVENT, Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO)

scrutiny-Dennis Matthews, 18 Dec 16 , 1 DECEMBER 2016. 

The “separation event” was the disconnection of the Heywood interconnector into South Australia.

The following uses the same headings as the AEMO preliminary report.

1. Overview

A short-circuit in a Victorian 500 kV (kilovolt), alternating current (AC) transmission line connected to the Heywood Victorian-SA interconnector resulted in the SA electricity network being disconnected from the Heywood interconnector.

At the time of the “incident” the Victorian electricity network was highly vulnerable to disruption. One of the two circuits served by the Heywood interconnector had been taken out of operation for maintenance. To make matters worse, one of the circuits supplying the Alcoa aluminium smelter at Portland was also out of service. Like all aluminium smelters, the Portland smelter had a very heavy electricity demand (about 480 MW).

The vulnerability of the Victorian electricity network meant that the SA network was also vulnerable to an abrupt loss of 230 MW. Nevertheless, no measures had been put in place to immediately replace power supply from Victoria in the event of disconnection from the Haywood interconnector. As with the SA state-wide blackout two months earlier, there was more than sufficient generating capacity available in SA but it was not on standby.

A short circuit in the remaining transmission line in Victoria to the Heywood interconnector resulted in SA and the Portland smelter being disconnected and the shutdown of two wind farms in Victoria.

The “incident” in Victoria, together with inadequate contingency plans resulted in the loss of 230 MW to SA, BHP’s Olympic Dam project losing 100 of its 170 MW for 3 hours, Portland smelter being disconnected for 4½ hours and disconnection of two wind farms (Portland generating 3MW, and Macarthur generating 4MW) in Victoria.

2. Pre-event Conditions

“Immediately prior to the incident there were two planned outages.”

Use of terms such as “incident” and “event” is reminiscent of the nuclear industry’s avoidance of terms such as “failure” , “accident”, and “meltdown”.

“Planned outage” refers to deliberate disconnection of parts of the system for maintenance or repairs. Such deliberate disconnections should be permitted only if they do not expose the system to serious disruption and only if there is sufficient backup in case of a fault developing in the remaining parts of the system. For SA no backup was put on standby in the case of SA being disconnected to the Heywood interconnector.

One of the “outages” referred to was that one half of the Heywood supply to SA (a 500 kV busbar) was out of service. This left SA and Victoria vulnerable to a fault developing in the remaining half of the Heywood supply. The other “outage” was the Heywood to Portland 500 kV transmission line servicing the Alcoa aluminium smelter.

Both outages were given permission by the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO).

These two decisions left the aluminium smelter vulnerable to a fault developing in the remaining half of the Heywood transmission line in Victoria. There was no backup plan for maintaining supply to the smelter in this contingency.

At the time, SA was importing about 240 MW from Heywood in Victoria.

3. Event

“A single phase to earth fault occurred on the Morabool-Tarrone 500 kV transmission line causing the line to trip out of service.” In other words, there was a short circuit in the only remaining transmission line in Victoria to the Heywood interconnector.

“It is believed that the line tripped as a normal response to this type of fault”. The short circuit caused the transmission line to Heywood to be disconnected (trip).

The short circuit was caused by the breaking of an electrical cable. The reason for the cable breaking was not known to the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO).

The “trip” of the transmission line left the Portland smelter still connected to SA, the power flow reversed so that instead of 240 MW into SA from Victoria there was 480 MW from SA to Victoria to supply the Portland smelter. A control scheme then disconnected the smelter from SA.

5 Operation of SA when Islanded

Islanded means that SA was on its own as far as power supply was concerned, in particular, it means that it was not receiving power from Victoria. In fact, SA was still receiving about 220 MW through the high voltage, direct current (DC), Victoria-SA, Murraylink interconnector.

December 19, 2016 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, energy, South Australia, spinbuster, Victoria | 1 Comment

Comments on Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO)’ s “Black System” report

electricity-interconnectorDennis Matthews, December 2016 BLACK SYSTEM, SOUTH AUSTRALIA, 28 SEPTEMBER 2016.
3rd Preliminary Report, December 2016 Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO)


The “Black System” referred to by AEMO is what is more commonly known as the South Australian state-wide blackout. AEMO also refers to it as “the event”. The AEMO report contains considerable technical jargon and use of acronyms. Constant referral to a list of terms and abbreviations at the beginning of the report is necessary.

AEMO Executive Summary

According to the executive summary, the SA blackout was “initiated by the loss of three transmission lines involving a sequence of faults in quick succession”. These electricity transmission lines are the high voltage power lines that feed into the low voltage distribution system that services homes and many small to medium businesses.

The damaged transmission lines were in the mid-north of SA.

The sequence of faults led to many wind turbine electricity generators in the mid-north initially trying to continue to generate. Within 7 seconds, these initial attempts to “ride through” the problems caused by transmission line damage were followed by wind turbines deliberately shutting down (tripping), or decreasing their output, in order to protect them from serious damage. This caused a decrease of power generation by about 460 megawatts (MW). Prior to the transmission line damage, the total generated grid power available to SA was about 1830 MW. Domestic, off-grid, solar photovoltaic power was about 50 MW.

Although it seems reasonable that wind turbines should have an ability to shut down to protect against serious damage, according to the report “AEMO was not aware of the protective feature of these generating units”. Consequently, AEMO had not taken steps to replace the lost power in such a situation.

The loss of about 460 MW of generating capacity resulted in an attempt to import extra power through the Heywood, high voltage, alternating current (AC), connector with Victoria. Such connectors between states are essential for the operating of an electricity market. Without interconnectors there would be no National Electricity Market (NEM). Continue reading

December 16, 2016 Posted by | energy, South Australia | 1 Comment


BubbleBurst-1Documents released by Friends of the Earth today reveal that:

  • Taiwan will not pay SA to accept high-level nuclear waste if that requires investing in waste storage and disposal infrastructure.
  • Taiwan would not send nuclear waste to Australia unless and until a repository is built and operating.
  • Taiwan would not send nuclear waste to Australia in the face of widespread public opposition.

Dr Jim Green, national nuclear campaigner with Friends of the Earth Australia, said: “Taiwan’s power utility Taipower states clearly and repeatedly that Taiwan will not pay for nuclear waste storage and disposal infrastructure in SA. Yet foreign investment in that infrastructure is central to the state Labor Government’s plans. Preliminary and exploratory studies could cost up to $2.4 billion and Premier Jay Weatherill must now come clean on whether he intends to gamble billions of dollars of taxpayers’ money on this project.”

Taipower’s statements are directly at odds with statements made by Martin Hamilton-Smith. Opposition treasury spokesman Rob Lucas is quoted in this morning’s Advertiser saying that Hamilton-Smith “stands condemned for misleading everyone” about Taiwan’s views.

Dr Green continued: “Taiwan would not send nuclear waste to Australia unless and until a repository is built and operating. Yet the Final Report of the Royal Commission clearly states that unless nuclear waste is imported prior to the establishment of a repository, the project would not be profitable.” [See p.300 of the Royal Commission’s Final Report.]

“Taiwan will not send nuclear waste to Australia in the face of widespread public opposition. A clear majority of South Australians oppose the nuclear waste dump plan. A statewide consultation process found 53% opposition compared to just 31% support. A recent poll commissioned by the Sunday Mail found just 35% support. Two-thirds of the Citizen Jurors rejected the dump plan ‘under any circumstances’. The Premier himself has acknowledged the ‘overwhelming opposition of Aboriginal people’.

“It is unlikely that any country would send nuclear waste to SA in the face of widespread public opposition and overwhelming opposition from Aboriginal people. It is unlikely that any country would pay for waste storage and disposal infrastructure in SA. It is unlikely that any country would send waste to SA in the absence of a built, operating repository. The Labor Government’s plan fails on all three counts.

“South Australians opposed to the dump will be spoilt for choice at the March 2018 election with the Liberal Party, the Nick Xenophon Team and the SA Greens all opposed to the Labor Government’s plan to turn SA into the world’s high-level nuclear waste dump. The Premier should have the good sense to swallow his pride and to dump the dump before he puts the Labor Party in an unwinnable position leading up to the state election,” Dr Green concluded.

December 16, 2016 Posted by | South Australia, spinbuster | Leave a comment

Taiwan rejects claim that it would help South Australia to set up a nuclear waste dump

scrutiny-on-wastes-sa-bankruptOne of the major criticisms of the SA nuclear proposal by the SA Liberals and green groups has been the risk of spending state taxpayer money up front with no certainty of future revenue.

Opposition treasury spokesman Rob Lucas said Mr Hamilton-Smith “stands condemned for misleading everyone” about Taiwan’s views

Taiwanese energy firm rejects Martin Hamilton-Smith’s claim it would help set up SA nuclear waste dump Daniel Wills, State political editor, The Advertiser 14 Dec 2016

TAIWAN’S state-owned energy company has bluntly rejected Investment and Trade Minister Martin Hamilton-Smith’s claim the country would consider paying to help set up a nuclear waste dump in SA, saying in a letter that it “hereby declares this is a false information”.

Just days after Premier Jay Weatherill’s citizens’ jury last month overwhelmingly dumped on plans for nuclear storage in SA, amid concerns about trust, Mr Hamilton-Smith insisted he had met with Taiwanese officials who expressed a “clear message” of interest in investment.

“There’s clearly a demand and our neighbours may be in a position to put hundreds of millions, if not billions, into infrastructure and then paying to dump waste on an ongoing basis,” he said.

However, correspondence from state-owned power company Taipower and the country’s Atomic Energy Council to government party MP Su Chih-Feng rejects Mr Hamilton-Smith’s claim.

While they note there was a meeting with Mr Hamilton-Smith on November 10, Taipower says his spin of the events in Adelaide three days later was “a false information”.

The translation from Mandarin to English was done by a Taiwanese NGO and provided to The Advertiser by antinuclear activists Friends of the Earth Australia. It states Taipower was interested in using a dump which had been established, but not paying to help set one up. Continue reading

December 16, 2016 Posted by | NUCLEAR ROYAL COMMISSION 2016, politics international, South Australia | Leave a comment