Antinuclear

Australian news, and some related international items

ANSTO calls High Level Nuclear Waste – “Intermediate Level” – fooling the public

Steve Dale Nuclear Fuel Cycle Watch South Australia https://www.facebook.com/groups/1021186047913052/  21 Oct 17 Lest we forget. The ore we dig up from Roxby has a radioactivity of about 80 Becquerels per gram. The vitrified waste we received back from France has a radioactivity over one Billion Becquerels per gram (one GigaBq/gr). France considers this High Level Waste – but our political system has allowed this to be defined as “Intermediate” – incompetence? corrupt? I will let you decide. (image from http://inventaire.andra.fr/…/2006_summar…/files/docs/all.pdf)

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October 20, 2017 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Federal nuclear waste dump, reference, spinbuster | Leave a comment

Business South Australia – a strident pro nuclear lobbyist -ruled to not be a ‘charity’

Business SA loses legal fight to prove it is a charity for tax purposes http://www.adelaidenow.com.au/business/business-sa-loses-legal-fight-to-prove-it-is-a-charity-for-tax-purposes/news-story/0ca7426794b7a85ad13ae7fd4bb006ac, Andrew Hough, The Advertiser, August 31, 2017 THE role of the state’s peak business lobby group has been called into question after a judge ruled its “dominant purpose” was not to advance trade and commerce in South Australia.

October 20, 2017 Posted by | legal, South Australia | Leave a comment

Business South Australia – still a strident voice for the nuclear lobby

Nuclear fight isn’t over, vows Business SA, Business SA has vowed to continue the nuclear waste dump fight after the next election, with boss Nigel McBride slamming the state’s politicians for killing off the debate because of populist politics,In Daily, Tom Richardson, 19 October 17 . 

The recommendation received majority support, with Labor, Liberal and Greens MPs backing it and the Australian Conservatives MLC dissenting.

Greens MLC Mark Parnell went further, pushing to reinstate laws that would prevent any Government consulting publicly on the merits of a nuclear waste storage.

But McBride today hit out at the political consensus, warning it set a dangerous precedent of shutting down mature debate on complex issues…….

He said the state had already spent at least $14 million of taxpayers’ money on the Royal Commission – let alone subsequent community consultations………

he reserved particular scorn for Weatherill’s bid to hasten the decision process through a series of citizens’ juries…….

McBride was among those who spoke at the jury sessions, and described the jurors as “intelligent, thoughtful, questioning, decent members of the public”……..

Despite being a long-time advocate for exploring nuclear waste storage in SA, McBride was among the first proponents to declare the plan “dead” after the state Liberals last year withdrew bipartisan support……..https://indaily.com.au/news/local/2017/10/19/nuclear-fight-isnt-vows-business-sa/

October 20, 2017 Posted by | politics, South Australia, wastes | Leave a comment

Coal not likely to benefit from Turnbull’s new energy plan

But here’s the real kicker: all currently available information suggests that the “reliability obligation” will all but explicitly rule out coal.

The Energy Security Board’s letter to the government says the reliability obligation will require retailers to buy a minimum amount of “flexible dispatchable capacity”. But most coal power plants are very inflexible – unable to turn on or off quickly

Why Turnbull’s new energy plan may not be so good for coal –  explainerGuardian, Michael Slezak, 21 Oct 17

There is very little reason to think that coal will benefit from the reliability guarantee in the government’s national policy, 
The prime minister, Malcolm Turnbull, has no doubt been selling his new national energy guarantee to many of his colleagues by arguing it will be good for coal power.

Green groups are protesting the policy on the same basis, calling it a “dirty energy target”.

Even Origin Energy has told its shareholders that the Neg means it might need to keep the largest coal-fired power station in Australia open for longer.

The basic idea is that alongside the “emissions guarantee” there will a “reliability guarantee”. Retailers will be forced to buy power that has a relatively low emissions profile, but also buy enough “reliable power” so that they can keep the lights on.

And almost everyone is assuming that reliability guarantee will subsidise coal (as well as gas and and other dispatchable generators).

But looking at the information available – with the very big caveat that there is not much information available – there is very little reason to think that coal will benefit from the reliability guarantee.

There are two big reasons to be sceptical.

First, coal is just not particularly reliable. In fact, the security of the entire grid is designed around the possibility of a large coal generator dropping out unexpectedly – which they regularly do.

Second, all indications are that the reliability guarantee will just be regulation of the existing capacity market, where retailers pay dispatchable generators to be on standby in case they need them. And coal very rarely is able to sell those contracts.

Coal is just not that reliable

Continue reading

October 20, 2017 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, energy | Leave a comment

Collusion between politicians and scientists on dangers of nuclear radiation

The 1985 Royal Commission report into British Nuclear Tests in Australia discussed many of these issues, but never in relation to the proximity and timing of the 1956 Olympic Games. Sixty years later, are we seeing the same denial of known hazards six years after the reactor explosion at Fukushima?

Australia’s nuclear testing before the 1956 Olympics in Melbourne should be a red flag for Fukushima in 2020,  https://theconversation.com/australias-nuclear-testing-before-the-1956-olympics-in-melbourne-should-be-a-red-flag-for-fukushima-in-2020-85787, The Conversation, Susanne Rabbitt Roff. Part time tutor in Medical Education, University of Dundee, 20 Oct 17,  The scheduling of Tokyo 2020 Olympic events at Fukushima is being seen as a public relations exercise to dampen fears over continuing radioactivity from the reactor explosion that followed the massive earthquake six years ago.

It brings to mind the British atomic bomb tests in Australia that continued until a month before the opening of the 1956 Olympic Games in Melbourne – despite the known dangers of fallout travelling from the testing site at Maralinga to cities in the east. And it reminds us of the collusion between scientists and politicians – British and Australian – to cover up the flawed decision-making that led to continued testing until the eve of the Games.

Australia’s prime minister Robert Menzies agreed to atomic testing in December 1949. Ten months earlier, Melbourne had secured the 1956 Olympics even though the equestrian events would have to be held in Stockholm because of Australia’s strict horse quarantine regimes.

The equestrians were well out of it. Large areas of grazing land – and therefore the food supplies of major cities such as Melbourne – were covered with a light layer of radiation fallout from the six atomic bombs detonated by Britain during the six months prior to the November 1956 opening of the Games. Four of these were conducted in the eight weeks running up to the big event, 1,000 miles due west of Melbourne at Maralinga.

Bombs and games

In the 25 years I have been researching the British atomic tests in Australia, I have found only two mentions of the proximity of the Games to the atomic tests. Not even the Royal Commission into the tests in 1985 addressed the known hazards of radioactive fallout for the athletes and spectators or those who lived in the wide corridor of the radioactive plumes travelling east. Continue reading

October 20, 2017 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, history, politics, reference | Leave a comment

Turnbull lies – calling coal a “dispatchable”power source

The new policy redefines coal as dispatchable, despite it having the opposite technological characteristics.

This is not an entirely new approach. Before the government decided to abandon the proposed Clean Energy Target it put a lot of effort into redefining coal as “clean”.

The government’s energy policy hinges on some tricky wordplay about coal’s role https://theconversation.com/the-governments-energy-policy-hinges-on-some-tricky-wordplay-about-coals-role-85843?utm_source=twitter&utm_medium=twitterbutton, The Conversation, The most important thing to understand about the federal government’s new National Energy Guarantee is that it is designed not to produce a sustainable and reliable electricity supply system for the future, but to meet purely political objectives for the current term of parliament.

Those political objectives are: to provide a point of policy difference with the Labor Party; to meet the demands of the government’s backbench to provide support for coal-fired electricity; and to be seen to be acting to hold power prices down.

Meeting these objectives solves Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s immediate political problems. But it comes at the cost of producing a policy that can only produce further confusion and delay.

The government’s central problem is that, as well as being polluting, coal-fired power is not well suited to the problem of increasingly high peaks in power demand, combined with slow growth in total demand.

Coal-fired power plants are expensive to start up and shut down, and are therefore best suited to meeting “baseload demand” – that is, the base level of electricity demand that never goes away. Until recently, this characteristic of coal was pushed by the government as the main reason we needed to maintain coal-fired power.

The opposite of baseload power is “dispatchable” power, which can be turned on and off as needed.

Classic sources of dispatchable power include hydroelectricity and gas, while recent technological advances mean that large-scale battery storageis now also a feasible option. Continue reading

October 20, 2017 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, climate change - global warming, energy, politics, secrets and lies | Leave a comment

Queensland government to take over agricultural land for Adani coal mine rail line

Government resume land for Adani
A FARM group – partly backed by the Tim Flannery-led Climate Council – has hit out over the State Government resumption of agricultural land for the Adani rail line.
http://www.couriermail.com.au/news/queensland/palaszczuk-government-resume-emerald-farmland-for-adani-rail-link/n

October 20, 2017 Posted by | climate change - global warming, politics, Queensland | Leave a comment

Townsville and Rockhampton councils could pay at least $31 million for Adani coalmine airstrip

Queensland councils to pay at least $31m for Adani coalmine airstrip
Townsville and Rockhampton councils may pay millions more if company’s bid to sew up deal with traditional owners fails, Guardian, 
Joshua Robertson, 20 Oct 17, Two local councils are paying $31m to build an airstrip for Adani’s Queenslandcoalmine – and could fork out millions more if the energy giant’s bid to sew up a deal with traditional owners hits a stumbling block.

Townsville and Rockhampton councils last week announced they would spend $15.5m each on the airport – hundreds of kilometres away – in a deal to secure Adani’s guarantee of 2,200 construction jobs for their residents.

And Townsville has agreed to pay up to $18.5m if the airport is shifted to a second location outside Wangan and Jagalingou land, where Adani’s right to build Australia’s largest coalmine is tied up in a drawn-out legal battle with a traditional owners group.

Rockhampton, which originally put up $20m for the airport in a bid to gain Adani’s guarantee, may also invest up to $18.5m but this has not been made clear.

Despite the Carmichael mine having broad support in both communities, there is some backlash to ratepayers providing infrastructure for a transnational corporation.

 An online petition by a Townsville ratepayers group member, Peter Newey, calling for council to scrap its decision, has garnered about 3,700 signatures in a few days. Cathy O’Toole, the federal MP for Herbert in Townsville, has also flagged local concerns about “giving ratepayers’ money to a multinational”.

Councillors from both cities voted in favour of paying for the airport for Adani’s workforce in closed discussions of confidential reports, recorded in minutes that did not mention the company……….

Rockhampton councillors met on 26 September for a confidential discussion about “economic development opportunities” and an update from council’s general manager of “regional development and aviation”.

The minutes make no mention of Adani but note a confidential report contained information “for which a public discussion would be likely to prejudice the interests of the local government or someone else, or enable a person to gain a financial advantage”.

Councillors unanimously voted for their chief executive to “execute the terms sheets as discussed at the meeting” but did not put a figure on the cost to ratepayers.

Neither the Townsville mayor, Jenny Hill, nor the Rockhampton mayor, Margaret Strelow, responded to a request for comment. https://www.theguardian.com/business/2017/oct/20/adani-coalmine-queensland-councils-to-pay-at-least-31m-for-airstrip

October 20, 2017 Posted by | climate change - global warming, politics, Queensland | Leave a comment

Turnbull’s National Energy Guarantee works against battery energy storage

Battery storage proponents despondent about future under National Energy Guarantee, http://www.abc.net.au/news/rural/2017-10-19/concern-energy-policy-will-stymie-growth-in-battery-storage/9061948, ABC Rural, By Babs McHugh, Some in the fledgling tech-metals mining and processing industry are dismayed that the Federal Government’s new energy policy does not appear to support renewable energy storage such as batteries.

Australian Vanadium chief executive Vincent Algar said the National Energy Guarantee (NEG) unfairly pitted the batteries and renewable energy storage sector against fossil fuel electricity producers such as oil and gas.

“With coal and gas considered a dispatchable energy source under the NEG, what incentive will there be to source dispatchable energy from a battery?” he said.

Dispatchable power can be turned on and off and used immediately as needed.

The NEG will mandate that energy retailers need to buy a certain amount of energy from dispatchable sources, which include coal, gas, and pumped hydroelectricity storage.

Lower cost makes coal and gas more attractive

Mr Algar, whose company will mine and process vanadium, as well as promote vanadium battery technology, believes pure economics dictates that energy retailers will go to the much cheaper coal and gas producers.

“If a company is building a renewable energy project, what incentive will there be for them to put that dispatchable energy in the form of a battery?” he said.

“On top of that is the removal of subsidies for renewable energy, and no clean energy target, so it further reduces any incentives.

Mr Algar is also concerned the NEG will bring to a halt the research and development of advanced renewable energy and battery technologies.

“Australia has the runs on the board. It has invented things like the flow battery [which uses vanadium], and they’re doing brilliant work in eastern states that will improve the efficiency of solar panels, for example,” he said.

“These are developments that will generate jobs and make us a net exporter of renewable technology, but this policy could really put a dampener on that.”

October 19, 2017 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, energy, politics | Leave a comment

Does Western Australia need its own renewables target?

National Energy Plan: Does WA need its own renewables target?, ABC, By Nicolas Perpitch, 19 Oct 17 The Federal Government’s flagship new energy plan was signed off by the Coalition partyroom this week with great fanfare — but there’s growing uncertainty about what it means for WA.

The McGowan Government has not yet received a briefing on the national energy guarantee (NEG) policy, which is designed to operate through the National Energy Market.

WA is not a part of this market.

The new policy will see the Clean Energy Target and subsidies for renewables cut in 2020, and Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull says there will be an opportunity to import the principles of the new system into the WA market.

While the general consensus — including from Energy Minister Ben Wyatt — is that there will be no immediate impact on WA, some in the state’s energy sector are concerned.

Solar ‘may still need boost’

Solar panel distributor and managing director of BayWA Renewable Energy Durmus Yildiz said the Government had not considered whether the fledgling solar industry was able to compete with other providers………

Energy Minister Ben Wyatt  has already flagged the possibility of WA following other states and setting its own renewable energy target (RET) once the Clean Energy Target is cut.

Sustainability Energy Now WA chairman Ian Porter said such a move would provide certainty to the market.

“It provides an indication to investors that their policies are favourable to ‘x’ amount of generation being put into the system via renewables,” Mr Porter said. “It provides certainty. Investors want certainty. People know then the target is set and they can bid for it.”

Murdoch University Engineering and Information Technology School lecturer Tania Urmee said it would replace lost federal incentives.

“The cost of renewable energy technology is going down, so if the states have their own policy and their own trigger for renewable energy, that will be really good,” Dr Urmee said.

“And I think that keeps (investment) going.”…….http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-10-19/energy-reform-explainer-how-will-it-affect-wa/9065974

October 19, 2017 Posted by | energy, Western Australia | Leave a comment

Why the High Court shut down Tassie’s anti-protest laws in Bob Brown case

Michael Bradley
The High Court has given judgment in Bob Brown’s case against Tasmanian anti-protest laws, and found the laws invalid on the basis they infringe the implied constitutional freedom of political communication….. (subscribers only )
https://www.crikey.com.au/2017/10/19/high-court-shuts-down-tassies-anti-protest-laws-in-bob-brown-case/

October 19, 2017 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, legal | Leave a comment

20 October Reneweconomy News

 RenewEconomy
  • China set to add 50GW new solar PV in 2017
    China has installed 42GW of new solar PV in 2017 so far, putting it on track to reach a record 50GW for the year. Meanwhile, in battery storage…
    The NEG: A carbon price by any other name
    Assuming it is implemented, the Turnbull government’s National Energy Guarantee will in effect establish a de facto price on carbon emissions from the power sector.
    Replacing the Clean Energy Target with a dirty one?
    The decision to walk away from a Clean Energy Target makes no sense. But small communities will forge ahead with the transition to renewable energy.

October 19, 2017 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, energy | Leave a comment

No more money for investigating nuclear waste importing – South Australian Parliamentary Committee report

No more cash for nuclear vision as parties conspire against waste dump. In Daily, Tom Richardson , 18 Oct 17  A parliamentary inquiry into Jay Weatherill’s doomed nuclear waste repository has told the State Government not to spend another cent of public money on the plan, with MPs from both major parties conspiring to drive the last nail into the project’s political coffin.The final report of a committee established to review the findings of former Governor Kevin Scarce’s Nuclear Royal Commission, tabled in parliament yesterday, makes only one recommendation: “That the South Australian Government should not commit any further public funds to pursuing the proposal to establish a repository for the storage of nuclear waste in SA.”

The recommendation was endorsed by Liberal, Greens and Labor members of the committee – surprisingly, including even outspoken nuclear advocate and Labor whip Tom Kenyon………

Earlier this year, InDaily revealed Weatherill’s declaration that the project would not be revisited by his Government.

But the work of the committee has continued, with the inquiry hearing “concerns from witnesses that if market conditions changed, for example through competition or changes in technology, the state may be left with a facility which, from an economic and financial perspective, is a break-even proposition at best”.

“Further, while no direct losses would be incurred, there could be significant costs attached to losing other, potentially higher value, investment opportunities,” the report stated.

“Further still, the minimum pre-commitment, or baseline viability, does not mitigate risk of writing-off pre-commitment expenditure estimated at roundly $600 million if the facility did not proceed.”

The committee noted “the possibility of a customer country unilaterally deciding not to send waste to SA despite contractual agreements to do so which, depending on the timing of the risk impact, could leave the facility significantly under-funded”.

Greens committee member Mark Parnell, a consistent opponent of the repository plan, said today “the project was ill-conceived from the outset”.

“The whole exercise has been a colossal waste of millions of dollars of taxpayers’ money, but it’s now good the process has finished and we can move on to talking about more realistic projects that will create employment and opportunity for South Australians,” he said.

Calling the inquiry’s recommendation the “second-last nail in the coffin”, Parnell insisted the Government must now reinstate Section 13 of the Nuclear Waste Storage Facility (Prohibition) Act of 2000, which was repealed last year.

The law prevented the Government from consulting on the merits of a nuclear waste storage facility, holding that “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 SA.

Parnell has his own legislation before parliament to re-establish the original act, saying “we need to fix the legislation to make sure no future government comes back with a project like this, without coming to parliament first”……..https://indaily.com.au/news/politics/2017/10/18/no-cash-nuclear-vision-parties-conspire-waste-dump/

 

October 18, 2017 Posted by | NUCLEAR ROYAL COMMISSION 2016, reference, South Australia, wastes | Leave a comment

South Australian Labor commends Weatherill govt on acknowledging Citizens Jury outcome – no nuclear waste importing

In addition to the parliamentary committee report released today …

Motion / resolution passed unanimously by the Australian Labor Party SA Branch, State Convention 2017 
13 October 2017
Motion 22. MUA
Federal Nuclear Waste Dump
Andrew AllisonNuclear Fuel Cycle Watch South Australia-18 Oct 17  -South Australian  Labor congratulates the Weatherill government for acknowledging the Citizens Jury outcome to reject the establishment of the nuclear dump, which reflected a majority of the state’s residents, some two thirds of Jury participants. The Weatherill Government is to be commended for acknowledging the community, social and environmental concerns.

Recommendation
SA Labor calls on the State Government to oppose any future proposal for a South Australian nuclear dump and storage site. lt is recognised that the Federal Government is indicating they will advocate for a nuclear waste dump in our state. The SA Labor Government and Party will publicly oppose any proposal of this nature, and take this position based on the findings, evidence and community concerns presented during the Citizens Jury.
Recommendation
SA Labor continues to acknowledge, respects and endorse the ALP National Platform on Nuclear Waste.

October 18, 2017 Posted by | politics, South Australia, wastes | Leave a comment

“The Advertiser’s” nuclear advertising article drew strong responses

Jim Green, 18 Oct 17 Dean Jaensch makes two comments about nuclear power ‒ both of them false (‘Nuclear power could be the solution for Australia’s energry crisis‘, The Advertiser, yesterday). He claims that 19 of the G20 utilise nuclear energy in their power production. But in fact, Indonesia Turkey, and Saudi Arabia have no reactors.

And in most of the G20 countries that operate reactors, nuclear power is either negligible or in a world of trouble. In Japan, for example, less than one-tenth of the pre-Fukushima reactor fleet is operating. Estimated clean-up and compensation costs for the 2011 Fukushima disaster have doubled and doubled again and now stand at $245 billion.

Could the state economy cope with a $245 billion hit if Fukushima happened in SA? Of course not.
Jaensch’s claim that nuclear power “emits absolutely no carbon” is also false as a cursory review of the relevant literature demonstrates.

Robyn Wood, 19 Oct 17  Regarding nuclear power, Dean Jaensch is very mistaken when he claims that nuclear power emits no carbon (Advertiser 17/10/17).  He forgets to include the fossil fuel burned during uranium mining, transport of uranium by truck, train or sea, plus the construction of a waste facility along with associated transport of waste.

He also forgets that last year’s nuclear Royal Commission found that nuclear power is currently uneconomic compared to other sources of power.  Costs for the construction of new nuclear power plants around the world are skyrocketing while the costs of renewables are rapidly falling.  If our government is wise enough to also invest in constructing pumped hydro dams which act as energy storage, then renewable energy can be stabilised to provide continuous electricity for the benefit of all Australians.

 

October 18, 2017 Posted by | South Australia, spinbuster | Leave a comment