Australian news, and some related international items

South Australia’s dysfunctional National Electricity Market (NEM)

Dennis Matthews, 1 August 16 Once again, South Australia’s electricity supply is in trouble. The transition to solar and wind electricity has not been well managed, but this has as much to do with the National Electricity Market (NEM) and privatisation as it has to do with the technology.

The basic issue is one of supply and demand. Previously there was a surge in demand during heat waves, recently we had a plunge in supply. The summer surge in demand was met by gas-fired peaking power stations. A privatised electricity industry operating in an electricity market meant that these suppliers were in a monopoly position; they could and did command exorbitant wholesale prices, typically 100 times the average. Because of the NEM rules, these prices then automatically flowed on to all suppliers in the NEM.

The recent winter plunge in supply was met, under political pressure, by gas-fired power stations. Once again, the suppliers were in a monopoly position and commanded exorbitant wholesale prices.

South Australia is being held to ransom by socially irresponsible companies operating in a dysfunctional market.


August 1, 2016 Posted by | business, South Australia | Leave a comment

Nick Xenophon – only a referendum is adequate to resolve South Australia’s nuclear waste decision

Xenophon, NickSouth Australian Premier Jay Weatherill says a final decision on a nuclear waste dump is still years away. SBS World News,  AAP 29 JUL 2016 

 A “no turning back” decision to build a high-level nuclear waste dump in South Australia is still years away, Premier Jay Weatherill says.

The state government on Friday launched a three-month community consultation program on the recommendations rising from a Royal Commission into the Nuclear Fuel Cycle…….Mr Weatherill says whatever the outcome of that process, a final decision on the dump is still some way off, and will be proceeded by a series of “gated decisions” to move ahead cautiously…….

But South Australian independent Senator Nick Xenophon said only a referendum of all South Australian voters would be adequate for such a momentous decision.


“Because once we have a nuclear dump, that’s it. We will be known as the nuclear dump capital of the world,” he said.

South Australian Greens MP Mark Parnell also criticised the consultation process which he said had ignored the history of failures, cost overruns and risks associated with waste storage.

“The government says it wants South Australians to have the facts, but it has chosen just some of the facts to present,” he said.

July 30, 2016 Posted by | politics, South Australia, wastes | Leave a comment

Three jeers to Today Tonight Adelaide reporter, Hendrik Gout

100% Renewables for SA Three jeers to Today Tonight Adelaide reporter, Hendrik Gout, turning the people he interviewed – fans of solar power in to seeming solar dislikers. Never let the truth get in the way of good fear-mongering story?

Could Mr Gout’s former job have something to do with it?

  Today Tonight’s misleading report on renewables in South Australia, REneweconomy
Over the last few weeks we’ve been giving the Murdoch press a bit of a hard time over its regular publication of erroneous claims that South Australia’s electricity price rises and spikes are being caused by the state’s high penetration of renewable energy. But we should clarify; they are not the only offenders.

On Monday, the Adelaide branch of the Seven Network’s daily current affairs program, Today Tonight, ran with a similar anti-renewables slant, as it has done before. And, like much of the Murdoch media’s reporting, its chock full of errors.

The program opened by recalling South Australia’s November 2015 black-outs – a predictable starting point for a renewables witch hunt, considering that was the reaction of the mainstream media back when the outages occurred.

According to Today Tonight Adelaide reporter, Hendrik Gout, “the November night the lights went out” happened because of the “state’s reliance on ‘unreliant’ energy”.

Never mind that this is simply not true. As we reported at the time, “there was only one technology that abandoned its post on Sunday evening, and that was the massive transmission line linking Victoria and South Australia.”

And, as the Australian Energy Market Operator later concluded in a report, the black-out caused by a switch failure lasted much longer than needed because a gas-fired generator failed to follow instructions, causing the system to trip again. The blackout had nothing to do with renewables at all.

That claim should not be a surprise coming from Gout, who was a former senior staffer for South Australia Liberal David Ridgway, the party’s leader in the upper house.

The Coalition in South Australia is notoriously anti-wind, feeding rubbish data to The Australian last week that had to be retracted. Ridgway is also the instigator of an ongoing upper house inquiry into wind energy.

Gout’s program went on to interview two different South Australian business operators: one a farmer/irrigator in the Riverland region who complained – not without reason – that the state’s high power prices had made his business less competitive; and one a micro-brewer on the Murray, who similarly seemed to suggest that power supply difficulties had restricted the growth of the business.

But something didn’t quite gel with these interviews, so we decided to talk to the people ourselves……….

When we asked Beavis why the 30kW PV system wasn’t mentioned in the Today Tonight report, he told us in an emailed statement: “Our solar project was one of the main points I was aiming to get across. But from viewing the piece, it seemed to get lost in the edit.”

Beavis also told us that the solar system offsets 100 per cent of the brewery and houseboats’ power consumption……..

July 30, 2016 Posted by | media, South Australia | Leave a comment

Electricity industry in a panic about renewable energy’s success

Disruptive power, The Age, Richard Denniss , 29 July 16  The Productivity Commission is Trans-Pacific-Partnershipcriticising the Trans Pacific Partnership, the head of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission is criticising privatisation, and the electricity industry is worried that competition from renewables might deliver lower prices to consumers. What on earth is happening to the Neo-liberal “agenda”?

We are witnessing a watershed moment in Australia’s economic and political debate. The grand narrative of “market good-government bad” is dead. Killed by the rent seekers and vested interests that couldn’t resist overselling the benefits to the same consumers and taxpayers they were busy gouging.

The mining industry can’t help asking for taxpayers to subsidise their rail lines…….

It’s hard to maintain the argument that government spending is bad for the economy when even the Institute of Public Affairs supports taxpayer funding for dams and coal railway lines in far northern Australia…….

The PC, which now refers to so-called “free trade agreements” as “preferential trade agreements”, recently said that the TPP includes provisions of “questionable benefit” to Australia. It was once heresy to suggest that a document called a ”free trade agreement” could do anything other than facilitate trade, but now the Lefties at the PC are encourage us to scrutinise the detail. Rules matter…….

the banks, the mining companies and the media moguls that shouted the loudest about “free markets” have always spent up big on lobbyists to ensure they got the rules they wanted. But now the cat is out of the bag. …….

As more and more batteries are installed in homes and businesses the peak load on the transmission network will be reduced, meaning that we will be able to save billions of dollars on line upgrades within and between towns and cities. Should that windfall accrue to those with an obligation to maintain the network, to the people who install the batteries, or be shared in some way? Rules matter……..

South Australia has cheaper electricity today than it had in 2007. There were no black outs during the so-called “crisis” and the vast majority of residential and industrial customers who are on long-term contracts didn’t even notice the five-minute surges in the wholesale spot price. When the interconnector upgrade is complete, and if a new interconnector with NSW is built, not only will SA be able to rely on more power from other states when the wind is calm, but SA will be able to export a lot more cheap energy when the wind does what it usually does in SA which is blow hard.

The fear that SA may soon be an even bigger exporter of cheap wind power is what is behind the recent “debate”. Their best chance to protect their profits is to ensure that the “market regulations” restrict the growth prospects for their main competitors. Rules matter. After years of getting the rules they wanted by arguing that they simply wanted “free markets” Australian rent seekers are now forced to win public debates about why we should give them the rules they want. It’s not going well for them.

Richard Denniss is the chief economist for The Australia Institute.


July 30, 2016 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, energy, politics, South Australia | 2 Comments

Nuclear Weathervane Weatherill wavers on his anti – referendum stance

Weatherill WeathervaneSA nuclear waste dump referendum vote still possible, Premier Jay Weatherill says  By political reporter Nick Harmsen The South Australian Government may not be in a position to make a final decision on whether to pursue an international high-level nuclear waste dump this year, Premier Jay Weatherill has said.

The Premier has previously said the Government’s plans to make a decision clear to parliament in November.

But Mr Weatherill today told a budget estimates committee any decision this year was likely to be just the first step. “I’d like to be in a position to make a decision about whether we’re able to pass the first threshold,” he said.

“And there is an important go/no-go threshold that needs to be considered by the parliament.”

The Government has assembled a series of citizens’ juries to help inform its decision.

Mr Weatherill told the committee he would not rule out holding a referendum on the nuclear issue.

But he said a referendum would not provide the level of nuance required. “In particular, some green groups are calling for a referendum,” he said.

“Of course they’re the same green groups that don’t want a referendum on gay marriage. But leaving aside that little internal inconsistency for the moment, I think I [a referendum] tends to close down debate rather than allow it to be developed.”

July 29, 2016 Posted by | politics, South Australia, wastes | Leave a comment

Philip White reports onNuclear Royal Commission’s presentation to TAFE students

scrutiny-Royal-CommissionPhilip White, 28 July 16 A video consultation session for TAFE staff and students was held on July 28  from 12-1pm. Below is a brief report.

The session started with a 15 minutes Scarce presentation video. I think it was from the press conference for the release of the RC report, but am not sure. One thing that struck me was how Scarce used words like ‘trace’ to imply that the amount of radionuclides after 1,000 years would be negligible.

John Phelan of the Nuclear Fuel Cycle Royal Commission Consultation and Response Agency (CARA) followed up with comments about process.

I was one of only two knowledgeable participants, the other being a nuclear proponent who wanted the dump to go ahead quickly and thought the costs were exaggerated. He thought in a few years we would need nuclear reactors.

A couple of regional TAFE lecturers complained about the lack of notice (meaning they hadn’t read the email sent to all staff and students) and lack of information (meaning they hadn’t been picked up in the RC’s regional propaganda tours). One lecturer confused this with the Commonwealth dump, thinking it would be located near her property in Quorn. John Phelan clarified that this consultation was just about an international dump.

2. Process
I made the following points about process:
(1) These consultations (and also the educational materials they apparently plan to provide to schools) should include presentations both for and against the proposal. Without that the public does not have a basis for thinking critically.
(2) The first Citizens’ Jury was flawed because it was inappropriate for it to be tasked with summarising the RC report.
(3) Referring to the forthcoming second “Citizens Jury”, a 350 person group should not be called a Citizens Jury.

Re (2), Phelan had said in his initial presentation that summarising the RC report was a (the) role of the first Citizens Jury, encouraging people to read this wonderful synopsis.
Members on this email list may recall that I have previously pointed out this flaw of the first citizens jury. I went to the trouble of ringing Iain Walker of NewDemocracy about this. He said the jurors were told to “prioritise” not to “summarise”. I then pointed out that the first sentence of their report says “summarise”. Walker said it was not the organisers’ role to change what the jury wrote, implying that the jury members had misinterpreted their role. But in today’s video conference Phelan was completely clear that they were asked to “summarise”. In my view, asking a Citizens Jury to summarise (or even prioritise) an official document is an abuse of the Citizens Jury method. Citizens Juries are a method of gaining incite into the judgements of informed citizens. They should not be used to help the government (or the Royal Commission) communicate its message.

Re (1), Phelan showed no interest in taking on board my suggestion that all consultations should include presentations from both pro and con perspectives. He responded that they were trying to present facts not opinions, claiming that the RC report was factual. I pointed out that the RC report was not a factual document. It is a selection of facts and perspectives, that there were lots of facts and perspectives that were left out, and that the report reflected the biases in the makeup of the RC.

I suspect that there is some confusion in the government about what it is trying to do with this public consultation process—whether it is trying to stimulate an informed debate, or whether it is just trying to persuade the public to let it build the international nuclear waste dump that it already knows it wants.
It is counter-intuitive for governments and bureaucracies to promote critical thinking among the public, but I suggest we challenge them to give equal time to critics and proponents. When they refuse, then we can call them out. We will have proof that their process was a sham. In the unlikely event that they agree to this demand, we should accept it in the confidence that we can win this argument. Of course, it would be difficult for critics to resource such a project, but we can cross that bridge when we come to it.

3. Waste dump
I pointed out that cost estimates for nuclear projects are generally gross underestimates and that SA would be left with a huge financial and nuclear burden if the costs end up exceeding the revenues. There would be no way of sending the waste back to the countries of origin.

July 29, 2016 Posted by | Nuclear Royal Commission, South Australia, spinbuster | Leave a comment

Renewables not to blame for South Australia’s electricity papers – says Energy Minister Josh Frydenberg

Parkinson-Report-Frydenberg says renewables not to blame for South Australia energy “crisis”, REneweconomy By  on 28 July 2016 Josh Frydenberg, the minister newly elevated to the combined energy and environment portfolio, says that renewable energy was not to blame for the recent energy “crisis” in South Australia, although he did deliver some mixed messages about how the government proposes to move forward.

Frydenberg delivered a series of interviews on Wednesday, the first since he was appointed to the new position in a reshuffle by the re-elected Turnbull government, and this included a “chat” with ABC personality Annabel Crabb at a dinner function at the Clean Energy Summit.

Asked about the recent electricity spikes in South Australia, Frydenberg said it was a “complex picture” that included a reduced capacity on the inter-connector, a cold snap that spiked demand, a big shift in gas prices, and the “intermittency issue about wind and solar.”

But he also noted that in 2008, as RenewEconomy has reported, the price of wholesale electricity in South Australia peaked above $5,000/MWh more than 50 times. That was before wind and solar were in that state, he said, and noted there had only been three such peaks so far this year.

People have to understand that this volatility is not a new thing. It was back there in 2008 …. so to say that (this price spike) is the fault of renewables is not an accurate assessment,” Frydenberg said, to the applause of the audience of around 400 people.

This, however, was not how The Australian interpreted events, who attributed Frydenberg’s comments about the crises in South Australia and Tasmania as a “wake-up” call about the problems created by wind and solar.

Tasmania, it should be remembered, suffered the highest wholesale prices in Australia last financial year because its electricity supply was restricted by the loss of the Basslink cable and much of its hydro capacity due to drought. Most analysts say it was its lack of investment in wind and solar that forced it to rely heavily on expensive back-up gas and diesel…….

Frydenberg appeared well briefed, non-confrontational, and recognised the growing role of technologies such as wind, solar and battery storage whose costs had fallen quickly and would continue to do so. He also appeared to be listening, people said.

The role of coal, Frydenberg accepted, is declining, and the transition to clean energy is inevitable. But he was reluctant to put any time frames on the inevitable move to zero emissions technology, apart from saying that a shift to 100 per cent renewable energy was not going to happen overnight.

But while his comments were soothing for an industry just regaining its confidence after being battered and bruised by the first term of the Abbott-Turnbull government and the key policy decisions of Frydenberg’s good friend, the previous environment minister Greg Hunt, his next moves will be scrutinised intensely.

There is great concern about a push by the incumbent energy industry, such as the Energy Supply Council to force state governments to abandon their individual state targets, a move that will be strongly resisted by South Australia, Victoria, Queensland and the ACT……..

July 29, 2016 Posted by | energy, South Australia | Leave a comment

Wind and solar are NOT responsible for the doubling of wholesale energy prices in South Australia

South Australia’s ‘absurd’ electricity prices: renewables are not to blame, Guardian 
Tristan Edis, 28 July 16 
Wind and solar are not responsible for the doubling of wholesale energy prices in SA – that’s just part of the spin that says renewables are expensive. 
Reading many of the newspapers over the past few weeks you’d think South Australia had become a horrible case study in the dangers of too much renewable energy……

Politicians are now responding, with Liberal Senator Chris Back calling for a ban on new wind farms until after a review by the Productivity Commission. Meanwhile Senator Nick Xenophon’s party are backing a Senate inquiry.

Yet everyone has missed the main cause of a doubling in SA power price rises – a doubling in gas prices.

What makes it all especially worrying is the blame attributed to renewable energy appears to have originated from a public relations campaign initiated by the lobby group for the big power generators………

wholesale market data suggests renewable energy has actually been depressing power prices, not increasing them. In the months before and after the Northern Coal Power Station was taken off-line, South Australia’s wind farms, without exception, bid their entire available output into the market for a price less than a single dollar. Meanwhile rooftop solar doesn’t even bid into the market, with its output just reducing the demand for generators that do bid into the wholesale market.

This is not to suggest renewable energy imposes no costs. It is certainly true that wind and solar require a subsidy, but its cost is distributed equally across all electricity consumption around the nation via the federal RenewableEnergy Target scheme. It isn’t allocated to states depending on how many wind farms or solar panels they have installed.

The idea that renewables are to blame for the doubling in South Australian wholesale prices is an idea the Australian Energy Council, which represents big power companies, have been pushing since late last year. This campaign has sought to paint South Australia as an “accidental experiment” in the dangers of too much renewable energy.

If you scratch the surface they actually acknowledge renewable energy is depressing wholesale power prices. But they claim it pushes prices so low that, rather strangely, it is apparently increasing prices……..

It was only with the addition of wind and solar to the existing mix of coal plus the interconnector that gas could be driven down to less than a third of the electricity market. This acted to substantially shield SA from power price rises, not induce them.

So it is LNG plants, not wind and solar, that are responsible for South Australia’s “absurd” electricity prices.

July 29, 2016 Posted by | energy, South Australia | Leave a comment

What chance for truth at the South Australian Nuclear Parliamentary Inquiry?

text politicsWell, not a whole lot, because out of the six members of this Inquiry, only one, Mark Parnell, has an antinuclear position.  the other five all belong to political parties that, to put it mildly, are friendly to the nuclear industry:

Hon Tom Kenyon MP Labor’s “ true believer in SA’s nuclear potential

Mrs Annabel Digance MP – Labor party. well, we all know how Labor MPs toe the party line, no matter what the evidence.

Hon Dennis Hood MLC,  of Family First a party that is more interested in matters of personal sexuality, than in wider causes. However, Mr Hood has made his own views clear, in saying  ” The stars are aligning for our nuclear future
Mr Dan van Holst Pellekaan MP  Liberal Local Member for Stuart Dan van Holst.  Pellekaan said “all options for the future of the town must be explored and if it can be proven to be done safely, then there would be significant benefits for the community“. 
Hon Rob Lucas MLC Liberal party . The indications are that Mr Lucas has  an open mind, at least where it comes to money matters. He has queried the Nuclear royal Commission’s  “pot of gold argument….That is an issue that I am intensely interested in…….The question I have already put to the government representatives and to the government is: what is the true independence of this particular agency?”
Despite some extremely well referenced submissions critiquing the Royal Commission’s pro nuclear findings, we can expect most members of this committee to be more influenced by the glossy submissions that they will have received from nuclear companies.
The Greens’ Mark Parnell will be putting a strong case for opposing the nuclear waste import plan.
The two Liberals will no doubt feel inclined to make some mischief for South Australia’s governing Labor party, even though the Liberals, both State and Federal are enthusiasts for the nuclear industry.
Rob Lucas might pay attention to the growing evidence on the dubious economics of the waste plan.
I don’t know whether or not this Inquiry is supposed has to come up with a unanimous view. Thanks to Mark Parnell, that can’t happen.  It would be wishful thinking to expect the others to honestly examine the whole picture.  With Rob Lucas worrying about the dodgy finances –  they just might be a bit sceptical of the Royal Commission’s plan.



July 28, 2016 Posted by | politics, South Australia | Leave a comment

South Australian Nuclear Royal Commission Did Not Give The Citizens’ Jury The Full Picture

submission goodSubmission to JOINT COMMITTEE ON FINDINGS OF THE NUCLEAR FUEL CYCLE ROYAL COMMISSION Makes the case that Australians are being denied the bigger picture, and the NFCRC was deliberately or negligently selective in their assessment of evidence received

 Submission prepared by Dan Monceaux.
[Below are short excerpts from this detailed and thoroughly referenced submission]

“………I believe that the South Australian people have a right to know about the implications of all relevant nuclear materials handling processes and their consequences for human health and the environment in advance of making or influencing any government decision to accept or reject spent nuclear fuel.

 The brevity of the Final Report’s discussion of these topics presently betrays the public interest. In
 fact, matters of the environmental and occupational hazards presented by reprocessing activities
 (using existing or future processes) were not explored in the Royal Commission’s Final Report at

I am concerned that the Citizens’ Jury currently tasked with simplifying the Nuclear Fuel Cycle Royal Commission may not comprehend the full extent of the Commission’s recommendations- that is, that they are seeking to enable currently prohibited industrial activities across the whole nuclear fuel cycle.[1] Nuclear Fuel Cycle Royal Commission, Government of South Australia, ‘Nuclear Fuel Cycle Royal Commission Report’, 2016: pg. XV. . Accessed 2016-07-01……..

3. the question arises: how selective or otherwise was the process of assembling its Final Report and recommendations? Why was certain information received not included in the Commission’s final report?

 If jurors are denied access to relevant information related to nuclear hazards (by their omission from
 the Nuclear Fuel Cycle Royal Commission’s Final Report) this could be considered a dereliction of
 duty by the Commission. The report, since passing into the hands of the Department of the Premier
 & Cabinet in May 2016 has become the South Australian government’s central reference as it prepares
 a lengthy series of outreach activities around the state. Aside from brief oral presentations
 provided by called witnesses, this as I understand it, will be the only document considered in any
 detail by the Jurors………

4. the first Citizens’ Jury did not hear from a presenter who was appropriately knowledgeable on matters of radio-biology and the pathways and effects of exposure to nuclear materials in environmental or occupational contexts (with respect to uranium and nuclear fuel). The only medical professional to address the jurors for any significant length of time was Associate Professor Michael Penniment.

 Penniment’s ten-minute presentation to jurors offered almost no information on nuclear hazards,
 biological effects, uranium or nuclear fuel. He spoke instead of the need to manage medical wastes
 better,[14] and neglected to inform people of the actual risks posed by exposure to ionizing radiation……

It is my opinion that by not providing fundamental information about the connection between radiationexposure and the development of cancers and leukaemia, the Department of the Premier andCabinet is preventing the jurors from being able to adequately consider risks, which being bombarded by the opportunity of waste storage, and the numerous mechanical processes which would need to occur to enable it………

CHERNOBYL In his presentation to the jurors, Penniment went on to describe the consequences of Chernobyl incorrectly, stating that only 28 people died as a result of the incident, and that those were the first responder clean-up workers. This misinformation conflicts with all recent accounts of the disaster, including those published in the Nuclear Fuel Cycle Royal Commission’s own Final Report. No-one present in the room was able to correct him……

I supplied evidence to the Commission for its consideration demonstrating the different approaches taken to measuring and estimating the human health consequences of Chernobyl in my submission to the Tentative Findings. I had hoped that the Commission would compare these with its own references to UNSCEAR and the WHO. No such comparisons were reflected in the Final Report…….

FUKUSHIMA In the case of the 2011 Fukushima disaster, the Commission’s final report fails to reflect the gravity, extent of harm and technical complexities related to the incident and the response thus far……

6. [On the health effects on nuclear workers]

The Commissioner’s response to my question and correction demonstrate that the Commissioner was at that time unaware of the problematic nature of the elevated risk of cancers and leukemias experiencedby nuclear industry workers, despite my submissions. This also confirmed that the evidence I provided to the Commission was ignored, either wilfully or negligently. I reach this conclusion with confidence, given Chad Jacobi’s recent admission that all submissions were read by the Commission, and by him personally.[11]

I have received further confirmation from the Royal Commission’s Chief of Staff, Greg Ward that Chad Jacobi was the chief author of the final report. If Jacobi read all of my submissions, what cause did he have to ignore the evidence that I provided?

 How many other people or organisations provided information from reputable sources which was
 similarly omitted from the final report? Is this outcome acceptable? To what extent was the Commission
 working for or against the public interest in the conduct of their inquiry?

NUCLEAR FACILITY EFFLUENT & EMISSIONS In my submissions to the Commission, I drew attention to several studies which identified or analyses  clusters of leukemias in close proximity to nuclear facilities…….. The Commission chose not to include this controversial subject in its final report, despite a preliminary search revealing a substantial number of peer-reviewed medical research papers exploring this topic……..

NUCLEAR FUEL LEASING The Final Report refers to the prospect of establishing a nuclear fuel leasing scheme in South Australia, contingent on the establishment of a permanent storage facility for spent nuclear fuel. The report then goes on to say that such a program could provide a competitive advantage capable of improving prospects for the development of additional uranium processing activities in South Australia……..This process of gradual expansion into enrichment and fuel processing is summarised….

By my assessment, these statements reveal the broader intent of the Commission’s recommendations, yet this information is buried deep inside the body of the Final Report. The Commission suggests that South Australia work with established nuclear industrial players to add value to the currently exported product: uranium oxide concentrate.

 Regrettably, the first Citizens’ Jury’s report doesn’t reflect the apparent ‘big picture’ plan, which
 leaves me concerned that South Australians more broadly will continue to debate the merits or otherwise of high-level nuclear waste transportation, receipt, storage and disposal, without understanding further reaching implications of expanding into further processing activities…….


 In conclusion, I wish to recommend that…
 1. The deficiencies of the Nuclear Fuel Cycle Royal Commission’s Final Report be acknowledged and corrected
 2. Previously omitted, reliably-sourced evidence provided to the RC via submissions be revisited and synthesised into a 2nd edition of the Final Report (or addendum)
3. All prospective industry partners and beneficiaries of nuclear industrial development (public and private sector) be disclosed in the public interest
4. The commencement of the second Citizens’ Jury be postponed until the 2nd edition of the Nuclear Fuel Cycle Royal Commission’s Final Report has been published


July 27, 2016 Posted by | Nuclear Royal Commission, politics, South Australia | Leave a comment

South Australian govt spruiking nuclear waste dump to TAFE students

SA govt’s Nuclear  Consultation and Response Agency (CARA)

greed-1TAFE SA will host a Video Conference (VC) for students on Thursday 28thJuly between12-1pm. Mr John Phelan, CARA’s Director of Engagement, will provide information during this session.
TAFE SA Video Conference (VC) Campus Locations – Thursday 28th July 12pm – 1pm


Barossa.E1 video conference room
Berri.E video conference room
Elizabeth.E video conference room
Mt.Barker.E video conference room
Murray.Bridge.E video conference room
Victor.Harbor.E video conference room
Mt.Gambier.E1 video conference room
Adelaide.E Video Conference room
TAFESA Adelaide Bridge
Pt.Lincoln.E video conference room
Regency.M video conference room
Whyalla.E video conference room
Pt Augusta M video conference room
Pt.Pirie.E1 video conference room
Noarlunga.E video conference room
Kadina.E video conference room

July 27, 2016 Posted by | politics, South Australia | Leave a comment

South Australian Greens prevented law that would give full rein to taxpayer funded nuclear promotion

South Aust Greens posterNuclear waste dump ‘spruiking’ with taxpayers’ money stopped by Greens‘spruiking’-with-taxpayers’-money-stopped/7325076   14 Apr 2016 An attempt to change the law in South Australia to allow public money to be spent on promoting a nuclear waste dump has been stopped with the Greens claiming a victory.

A law passed in 2000 to stop public funds from being used in any activity associated with a nuclear waste facility.

The State Government had tried to amend the law to allow consultation with the community on the results of the Nuclear Fuel Cycle Royal Commission. Greens MLC Mark Parnell said the proposed change was too wide ranging and the Upper House had stepped in to protect taxpayers.

“The Greens do accept that we do need to have a public debate,” he said.”We’re confident we know what the result will be but nevertheless the Government says they only want to consult, they don’t want to spruik and they don’t want to plan for a nuclear waste dump.”

He said the Government had attempted to “overreach”.”The law now says that the Government can use public money to consult the community but they’re not to use public money for promoting or designing or even buying land for a nuclear waste dump.”

July 27, 2016 Posted by | politics, South Australia, wastes | Leave a comment

Global nuclear industry promoters influencing SA nuclear waste plan

logo MCM consulting27 July 2016 The Australian Conservation Foundation will today table to a South Australian Parliamentary committee information showing a key adviser to the state’s recent nuclear Royal Commission is a nuclear ‘true believer’ who was behind a failed attempt to open a global radioactive waste dump in Australia in the 1990s.

Charles McCombie, who was technical manager of Pangea Resources – a consortium that tried to advance a waste dump in Australia during the 1990s – is a foundation partner of MCM, a Swiss based firm contracted by the Royal Commission to model economic and technical information and analyse potential customer demand and economics.

MCM’s report strongly influenced the Commission’s enthusiastic pro-dump recommendations.  Mr McCombie is also President of ARIUS, the Association for Regional & International Underground Storage.  MCM and ARIUS both aim to advance global radioactive waste disposal, raising questions about the independence and objectivity of the advice provided.

MCM has stated that a positive state government response to the Royal Commission report would ‘change the worldwide paradigm of radioactive waste management’.

“In the late 1990s public outrage forced Pangea to abandon its dumping plan”, said ACF campaigner Dave Sweeney.  “Today a pro-nuclear Royal Commission is using public funds so Pangea’s inheritors can re-write the proposal. South Australians deserve better.

“Understandably there is concern about commercial interests pushing a plan to ship, store and bury the largest amount of the world’s worst nuclear waste in South Australia.

“The permanent risk of nuclear waste demands the highest level of scrutiny and transparency, not limited disclosure and insiders promoting a pre-determined agenda.

“Radioactive waste management is complex, contaminating and costly – and it lasts far longer than any politician or headline.  It needs real analysis, not industry assumptions.

“ACF urges Premier Jay Weatherill to seek an independent review of the Royal Commission’s research and recommendations and not to further advance this high risk plan based on a report that is compromised, deeply deficient and unfit for purpose.”

July 27, 2016 Posted by | Nuclear Royal Commission | Leave a comment

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 | 4 Comments

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


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