Australian news, and some related international items

Minerals Council renews push for nuclear energy, but rather coy about its costs

“The construction of nuclear power plants has proven to be an economic disaster for the corporations involved and a massive waste of public monies, given the plants are all entirely reliant on government financial subsidies,” IEEFA said.

Nuclear inquiry sparks industry campaign to lift moratorium, By Mike Foley, December 1, 2019 — The Minerals Council is ramping up its long-run campaign to remove Australia’s ban on nuclear power, claiming new market research shows majority community support for the technology.

Federal Parliament banned nuclear power in 1998, and the moratorium has remained in place with bipartisan support ever since.

The Morrison government has asked the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Environment and Energy to investigate the prerequisites for nuclear energy in Australia.

According to the Minerals Council of Australia, one prerequisite for nuclear power, community support, could be achieved if the public are properly informed about the technology.

The Minerals Council commissioned JWS Research to sample Australians’ support for nuclear power. The survey of 1500 people found 40 per cent support nuclear power and 33 per cent oppose it.

The support for nuclear energy rose to 47 per cent when respondents were presented a range of positive and negative facts about the technology.

“The more people learn about it, the greater the support for nuclear energy,” said Minerals Council chief executive Tania Constable.

She said the survey showed politicians that Australians wanted nuclear to be considered in their future energy mix.

“This should give them the courage to act. Any government serious about addressing climate change must be looking at nuclear, the zero-emissions foundation of electricity systems across the globe.”

Focus groups identified the top four positive and negative factors that influenced people’s opinions on nuclear power. These factors were then put to the survey respondents.

The factors for nuclear energy were delivery of emissions-free power around the clock, Australia’s vast landmass could safely house reactors in remote locations, increased uranium mining, and nuclear power plants could bring jobs growth, and Australia already permits uranium exports – which could be utilised at home.

The factors against nuclear energy were the potential for human error to cause accidents at a reactor or waste facility, previous catastrophic failures such as Three Mile Island and Fukushima, concerns of health impacts for people living near reactors or waste facilities, and the risk that uranium exports could be used for weapons.

Energy analyst Lazard’s estimates the current cost of energy production for nuclear is more expensive than renewables.

The levelised cost of solar power around the world for solar power is about $60 per megawatt hour, $42/Mwh for wind, $145/Mwh for coal, and $220/Mwh for nuclear.

Nuclear power production costs could come with new technology. Small to medium sized reactors are proposed as potential cost savers, but there are no commercial examples in operation.

Government contributions would likely be required to underwrite private investment in a nuclear power plant in Australia. The cost of building Britain’s first nuclear plant in a generation, Hinkley Point, has blown out to more than $42 billion. It is contracted to supply the government with power at $176/Mwh.

The Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis submission to the inquiry believes nuclear is one of the most expensive power sources.

“The construction of nuclear power plants has proven to be an economic disaster for the corporations involved and a massive waste of public monies, given the plants are all entirely reliant on government financial subsidies,” IEEFA said.

The Minerals Council submission said nuclear’s zero emissions power generation had to be incorporated into Australia’s future energy mix.

December 2, 2019 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, marketing for nuclear, spinbuster | Leave a comment

Nuclear Marketing – Australia’s role- theme for July 17

What is Australia’s role in the continuing, desperate, global marketing by the nuclear industry?

The global nuclear marketing campaign suffered a serious blow when South Australia definitively rejected the plan to import radioactive trash.  That plan had been essential to setting up nuclear power in South East Asian countries, as it promised to solve their nuclear waste problem.

Today, as the Western world’s nuclear industry collapses, there is new urgency to market nukes internationally. China and Russia (with their State-owned industries) now lead the charge – the campaign to sell the “old” big reactors, and the new (as yet non-existent) big and small ones.

New “start up” companies in America now join with other nations to market the new futuristic nuclear gimmicks. It becomes a global co-operation with Russia and China in the lead.

Australia’s nuclear zealots join in.  Enthusiastic propagandists like Ben Heard join in Moscow’s AtomPro advertising extravaganza.

More seriously the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO)  renews its tax-payer funded promotions. Defence hawks and various nuclear industry shills back the new push for Small Nuclear Reactors (SMRs) .  The Australian government is about to rubber-stamp ANSTO’s plan for Australia to take part in developing Generation IV nuclear reactors, (ANSTO boss Dr Adi Paterson having pre-empted Parliament by already signing Australia up to GenIV International Forum)

Australia is unwilling to even attend UN international meetings to discuss a nuclear weapons ban treaty . Australia pays lip service only to the international Paris climate change accord.

Yet Australia is happy to follow Russia in a new global nuclear marketing push?

Almost certainly so – because Australia has quite a recent history in promoting nuclear power in co-operation with Russia. In 2007 the then Howard Liberal government invited Sergei Kiriyenko to Australia. On 7 September 2007, head of Rosatom Sergey Kiriyenko and Australian Minister of Foreign Affairs Alexander Downer, in the presence of Prime Minister John Howard and President Putin, signed the Agreement between the Government of Australia and the Government of the Russian Federation on Cooperation in the Use of Nuclear Energy for Peaceful Purposes

Currently, the Australian nuclear lobby works quietly with Russia, sending nuclear propagandist Ben Heard to Russia to join in Their AtomExpo  global promotion of the industry.



June 22, 2017 Posted by | Christina themes, marketing for nuclear | 1 Comment

Finland companies keen to market their nuclear waste technology to South Australia

nuclear-marketing-crapFinland’s Onkalo nuclear waste disposal facility want to export the technology to South Australia, The Advertiser Daniel Wills, Helsinki, Finland, The Advertiser September 21, 2016 OPERATORS of the world’s most advanced nuclear disposal facility want to export the technology to South Australia and form an alliance to help the state develop its own commercial facility to take waste from around the world.

At a briefing with Premier Jay Weatherill at Finland’s Onkalo nuclear waste disposal facility, Posiva Solutions Oy managing director Mika Pohjonen said his company would be willing to licence intellectual property and engineering solutions to SA if it were to proceed with expanding the local nuclear industry.

Posiva is a joint venture owned by two of Finland’s biggest energy companies — Teollisuuden Voima Oyj and Fortum Power and Heat. It is set to become the first organisation in the world to bury a canister of spent nuclear fuel when they begin inserting them into the bedrock from 2020. Mr Pohjonen said SA could hope to move from site selection to burying canisters within about 15 years, less than half the time taken by Finland, because the Scandinavians had already undertaken the slow work of proving the technology………

The Onkalo disposal site is about 10 times smaller than that conceived by SA’s Nuclear Fuel Cycle Royal Commission.……

Mr Weatherill will by the end of the year declare a formal State Government position to Parliament on expansion of the industry………

“The next major step is a threshold question about whether we maintain our prohibition against a facility for spent fuel or whether we take a step to explore it further.”-  Mr Weatherill said ….

Weatherill nuclear dream


September 21, 2016 Posted by | marketing for nuclear, politics, South Australia | Leave a comment

The country that fuelled Fukushima to sell uranium to the country that gave us Chernobyl

Flag_Australiaflag-UkraineAustralian Conservation Foundation, Dave Sweeney, 30 Mar 16 The Foreign Minister’s plan to sell Australian uranium to Ukraine is a dangerous retreat from responsibility, the Australian Conservation Foundation said today.

Foreign Minister Julie Bishop has announced she will sign an agreement this week with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko to supply Australian uranium to Ukraine.

“Australia, the country that directly fuelled Fukushima plans to sell uranium to Ukraine, the country that gave the world Chernobyl – this is hardly a match made in heaven,” said ACF nuclear free campaigner Dave Sweeney. “Thirty years since the Chernobyl nuclear disaster five million people still live in contaminated areas in Belarus, Ukraine and Russia.

“There remain serious containment and waste management issues at Chernobyl and there are very real security concerns about Ukrainian nuclear facilities being targeted in the current conflict with Russia.

“Australia has properly suspended uranium sales to Russia – it makes no sense to start selling uranium to Ukraine now.

“There can be no nuclear business-as-usual in the shadow of Fukushima – a disaster that was fuelled by Australian uranium.

“Following Fukushima the UN Secretary-General called for Australia to have a dedicated risk analysis of the impacts of the uranium sector – this has not happened and needs to.

“This deal and the recent deal with India – which was signed despite a recommendation by the Joint Standing Committee on Treaties (JSCOT) that Australia not supply uranium to India at this time or on these terms – are a dangerous retreat from responsibility.”


March 30, 2016 Posted by | marketing for nuclear, politics international | Leave a comment

France, (and everybody else) touting sales of nuclear submarines to Australia

France pitches nuclear submarine option Sky News, , Thursday, 24 March 2016 “………As part of its sales pitch, DCNS is touting a nuclear growth path.


‘If, in 2050, Australia wants a nuclear submarine, they can design a nuclear submarine,’ DCNS chief executive Herve Guillou told AAP this week in Cherbourg. The DCNS bid offers Australia the eventual capability to come up with our own submarine whether nuclear or conventionally powered. Deputy chief executive Marie-Pierre De Bailliencourt says the Shortfin Barracuda was conceived from a vessel designed to nuclear standards, especially safety. That’s all way down the track.

In the meantime DCNS has to convince the Australian competitive evaluation process panel its proposal is better than those of Germany or Japan. German firm TKMS is proposing its 4000-tonne Type 216, a new design based on its widely exported Type 214. The Japanese government is offering its 4200-tonne Soryu-class boat, manufactured by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries and Kawasaki Shipbuilding Corporation.

Of the three designs, only the Soryu actually exists and is in service with Japanese navy. However, it would still need substantial modifications to meet Australian requirements for range and endurance……….

This will be Australia’s biggest-ever defence procurement by a large distance, costing as much as $50 billion for acquisition and perhaps $150 billion through their life. Continue reading

March 25, 2016 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, marketing for nuclear, politics international | Leave a comment

Small Nuclear Reactors lobby turns to Australia, as safety rules too strong in USA

SMRs AustraliaWhy Australia is important to the Small Nuclear lobby. Independent Australia

 16 October 2015, Elsewhere in the world, proponents of small nuclear reactors are pitted against the large reactors, but here in Australia, as Noel Wauchope reports, proponents of small reactors see them as enabling conventional nuclear and uranium mining to flourish.   QUIETLY, AND pretty much under the media radar, a dispute is going on in the global nuclear industry between the advocates of “Generation III” — big nuclear reactors, and “Generation IV” — small nuclear reactors…….

 the nuclear lobby’s spiel to Australia is something different, and very original. No dispute — because the argument is that small reactors would further the large reactor industry.

First articulated by Oscar Archer on ABC RN, March 2015, the idea is that Australia, in setting up small nuclear reactors, would enable the conventional nuclear industry and uranium mining to flourish:….. As Archer says, Australia would indeed be the pioneer for the new technology.

And that’s what the USA “new nuclear” lobby desperately needs.  They need this, because they’re finding it impossible to go ahead in America. Why? Well it’s those pesky safety regulations imposed by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

What the “Small Nuclear” lobby needs is a “nuclear friendly” country – one with less stringent safety
scrutiny-Royal-Commissionregulations – to set up their nuclear reactors on a test site. Hence the enthusiasm of those lobbyists for the South Australia Nuclear Fuel Chain Royal Commission, as shown, for example, in a recent Royal Commission hearing speech by Thomas Marcille of Holtec International nuclear company.

……… the Nuclear Regulatory Commission(NRC) has proved to be real nuisance since it tightened regulations for the licensing process after the Fukushima nuclear disaster. The new nuclear marketers have had to go overseas, first to China, then perhaps to Australia?….,8263

October 16, 2015 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, marketing for nuclear, NUCLEAR ROYAL COMMISSION 2016 | 2 Comments

Unable to sell them at home, Westinghouse trying to flog uneconomic nuclear reactors to Australia

buyer-beware-1Westinghouse eyes Australian nuclear potential, links with local suppliers, SMH October 8,  15, Angela Macdonald-Smith and Jenny Wiggins Nuclear technology giant Westinghouse sees the retirement of old coal-fired power plants in Australia as an opportunity for nuclear power and is positioning itself early to inform the political and public debate.

In Sydney to announce a tie-up with three local suppliers, Westinghouse chief executive Danny Roderick said the Japanese-owned company “wants to make sure that the facts are out there” on the safety of new-generation nuclear reactors.

He said that convincing the 8 per cent of the Australian public that is undecided about nuclear power would create “an overwhelming majority of people in Australia that would support a nuclear new-build”.

The company, part of Toshiba Corporation, already has strong links with uranium suppliers in Australia, and sees the latest step as “a very logical fit” to build on those and explore local manufacturing capacity for a new reactor……….

Public perception still an issue

Nuclear power made “a lot of sense” for Australia, Mr Chilcote added. “Look at what brown coal and the associated emissions are doing on the environment. There’s a lot less waste out of nuclear, the hardest part is overcoming the public perception.”

The option of nuclear power for Australia is being examined within a South Australian royal commission, with findings due next year. Meanwhile, the federal government’s greenhouse gas reduction targets, of 26 to 28 per cent cuts from 2005 levels by 2030, and the anticipated retirement of ageing coal-fired generators have also set the scene for discussion.

“In the next decade you have several very large coal plants that are going to need to be retired, and you’re going to have to choose to build something to replace those,” Mr Roderick said.

“If you’re going to talk about carbon reduction and greenhouse gas reductions you’re going to have to bring nuclear into the mix.”

Mr Roderick’s discussions this week included federal Environment Minister Greg Hunt, Port Adelaide member Mark Butler and senior officials from the offices of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, and Resources Minister Josh Frydenberg.

He has been pointing out that Westinghouse’s AP1000 nuclear plant uses “passive” technology that doesn’t require electricity to be able to safely shut itself down, averting a Fukushima-like situation. This type of plant is under construction in the US and is set to be used in the UK, China and India………..

October 9, 2015 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, marketing for nuclear | Leave a comment

Nuclear spin doctor the keynote speaker at Energy Conference in Melbourne: WHY?

Why is this pro nuke spinner the keynote speaker at  All Energy Australia International, the conference for the Asia Pacific,   tomorrow in Melbourne?

Energy alternatives ABC Radio 10 Oct 12,  Ticky is joined by Professor Chris Llewellyn Smith, Oxford
University’s Director of Energy and former head of CERN.
“…….TICKY FULLERTON  we  know you’re a big fan of nuclear playing a big part in our energy future. Has the global industry moved on from Fukushima or is it still in damage control in your view?

CHRIS LLEWELLYN SMITH: I think it’s in damage control as far as public relations are concerned, but we have to put Fukushima in perspective, as one of a British journalist wrote. You take a crappy old 1960s power station, you hit it with the biggest tsunami and earthquake you can think of – actually bigger than anyone thought of, that’s one of
the problems – make every possible mistake and nobody was killed.

( Christina Macpherson’s note : Just by the way – about that mention of the crappy old 1960s power station, well – in the USA, 23 reactors operate with same flawed GE design  that failed in the triple meltdown at the Fukushima plant and released over four times the amount of cesium-137 than was released in the 1986 Chernobyl disaster. )

So we shouldn’t forget that. Nobody’s been killed and probably … maybe there will be one or two radiation deaths. …. we have to treat it with great respect, but all forms of power production are dangerous and nuclear has a very, very good safety record compared to the others.

TICKY FULLERTON: It’s got a big bill behind it though. I see a report just on Europe reactors is a $30 billion repair job?

CHRIS LLEWELLYN SMITH: Yes, I think the weak spot of nuclear at the moment may be that the new generation of nuclear power stations – which were cracked up to be as cheap as coal – they’re coming out way over budget. We don’t know if that’s just because the first ones or the costs will come down….”

October 10, 2012 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, marketing for nuclear | Leave a comment

BHP funds a study to lead to nuclear power and nuclear submarines for Australia

Sub study to look at nuclear options BY: VERITY EDWARDS  The Australian June 20, 2012  UNIVERSITY College London will study whether the Australian navy could use nuclear propulsion in its next generation of submarines, despite the federal government ruling out its use in the immediate future.

UCL’s Adelaide-based International Energy Policy Institute, headed by Tim Stone, the senior adviser to the British Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, began its academic program this year with $10 million in funding from BHP Billiton and other energy companies……

The Gillard government has committed to building 12 submarines in Adelaide, but has ruled out nuclear propulsion. ….
The university will look at a third generation of submarine capabilities, which would also involve research into how long it would take to enable a civil nuclear market to be up and running in Australia.

The IEPI will this week advertise internationally for a uranium and nuclear power researcher, whose work will tie in with the submarine project. The researcher will evaluate the nation’s role in the nuclear fuel cycle, uranium enrichment and opportunities for the Australian market, and the lifecycle and environmental footprint of nuclear power.

June 20, 2012 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, marketing for nuclear, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Don’t worry: radiation’s OK: nuclear is cleaner than wind or solar energy – says uranium industry’s Michael Angwin

Facts ‘needed to end radiation fear’,  Herald Sun April 19, 2012 AUSTRALIANS would fear radiation less if they better understood the science behind it, a uranium advocacy group says.

A misinformed fear of radiation, from disasters like Chernobyl and Fukushima, drives public perception about uranium, the Australian Uranium Association (AUA) says…

.. AUA CEO Michael Angwin says radiation is a safe natural phenomena that need not be feared…… “You do see people who will become physically ill due to just the fear of the unknown.” He said he saw people sick with worry in Japan last year following the major earthquake and feared radioactive disaster at the Fukushima
nuclear plant….
Mr Angwin said while Fukushima had been a set-back for the image of uranium it remained a clean-energy option for the future. “Emissions from nuclear energy are very low, about the same as wind and in many cases less than a number of the solar technologies,” “For the same amount of electricity produced, the emissions from the nuclear industry are very low.”….

April 19, 2012 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, marketing for nuclear | 3 Comments

Uranium SA address to shareholders – all the right weasel words

Russel Bluck Chairman Uranium SA Limited gave a brave  Address to Shareholders
on 6 October.  
It was designed to jolly them up, and Mr Bluck is to be admired, for he has learned all the right terms.  I was reminded of schooldays, when I was taught certain religious beliefs and words by rote.  Obviously Australia’s uranium mining executives have followed the same sort of teaching.

First comes the admission – ” The rate of corporate and generational change has been slowed [ a better word than plummeted?] by external circumstance”

But this is followed quickly by the new nuclear dogmas:   about  “robust returns on invested capital”,…..”The failure of the Fukushima nuclear plants was an industrial [ not a nuclear?] catastrophe within the context of a major natural disaster.”…

…as the fog of disinformation [does he mean the facts on radiation?] clears , it is again clear nuclear power generation is safe and made even safer by the lessons of Fukushima,…

Nuclear power is the only proven technology which is able to deliver energy at the levels required to sustain and grow industry and urban populations – it has a secure future. [Oh Yeah?]
 the uranium market will continue to have a sound future structure [Oh Yeah?]
As a corporate entity, everything we do is done professionally and with integrity [ except telling the truth]

October 7, 2011 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, marketing for nuclear, uranium | Leave a comment

Pro uranium spin revs up, in Australia and USA

Toro Energy to commence regional public information days for Wiluna uranium project Proactive investors, August 10, 2011 Toro Energ  will begin the public information days on the Wiluna uranium project in regional Western Australia on August 15.

Uranium Safe to Eat With a Spoon!, OpEd by David Swanson, 11 Aug 11, Carefully ignoring Fukushima, Los Alamos, Vermont, and Nebraska, a comforting new announcement informs us that “nuclear energy is safe.” A series of soothing television ads and videostells us that mining uranium in Virginia would produce jobs and protect us from scary foreigners.

Virginia newspapers carried an article from theAssociated Press this week that did not pretend to be anything but one-sided, reporting on the agenda of corporations that would profit from mining uranium while including no other views or any verified facts. The Washington Post did the very same thing. These articles are essentially press releases that have been tweaked. The online versions even include the videos.

We can expect even less actual news reporting than that (yes, less than nothing) to come through our televisions. But these ads hyping uranium mining as a job solution will be aired. And the television networks will consequently view the mining corporations as customers not to be needlessly offended or inconvenienced……

Thousands of years of danger, to provide what the uranium mining companies claim might be 65 years of uranium use. That seems like the kind of deal only a U.S. president could consider a bargain. Let’s hope Virginia still has more life left in it than Washington.

August 11, 2011 Posted by | marketing for nuclear, uranium, Western Australia | Leave a comment

Alexander Downer’s plan for a radioactive South Australia

You’ve got to hand it to  former Liberal MP Alexander Downer.  In a week when everyone else is respectfully remembering the Japanese victims of Hiroshima and Fukushima,   – or at least tactfully shutting up about Australia’s involvement in the nuclear industry there – Downer comes out with blatant marketing of the nuclear industry. – C.M. 

Downer: Nuclear power makes cents – Alexander Downer, The Advertiser, August 01, 2011…..we could build a nuclear power station. Just imagine replacing the Northern power station at Port Augusta with a nuclear power station which would be pollution free. The uranium would come from just up the road at Olympic Dam, it could be enriched at a new enrichment plant at, say, Whyalla, the waste could be stored at the world’s safest location for long-term storage, near Woomera…..

To me, it all makes perfect sense.

If we were really ambitious, we would use these facilities to make the world a safer place….”

August 6, 2011 Posted by | marketing for nuclear, South Australia | | Leave a comment

Fukushima ‘incident’ makes nuclear industry safer, says Paladin chief

He said the Fukushima incident in Japan had been nothing more than a smokescreen obscuring the positive underlying fundamentals of the industry.A positive side to the Fukushima incident, where there were no deaths despite alarmist reports, was that it will make the industry even safer

Paladin Energy CEO delivers broadside against Greens Party, A leading Australian uranium industry figure fired a broadside at the country’s Greens Party which has pushed a case that Australia could be run totally on renewable energy by 2040. Ross Louthean, Mineweb 21 Jul 2011 PERTH – – 

Speaking in the last session of the Australian Uranium Conference in Fremantle this evening, Paladin Energy Ltd’s chief executive John Borshoff described the case made by the country’s Greens Party that Australia could be run totally on renewable enrergy by 2040 as stupid. Continue reading

July 21, 2011 Posted by | marketing for nuclear, Western Australia | Leave a comment

Australia’s Commonwealth Bank joins in the Murdoch press’s pro-nuclear marketing hype

Long-term contract prices are forecast to move steadily higher, following upward-trending spot prices and consistent with production increasing and shifting up the industry cost curve, the bank said….

Fukushima Accident Delays, Doesn’t Stop, Nuclear Renaissance -CBA, Fox News, By Ray Brindal,  July 20, 2011,CANBERRA – The accident at Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear complex, which reignited concerns about the safety of nuclear power worldwide, hasn’t stopped the industry’s growth plans in many countries, though it has delayed the process, Commonwealth Bank of Australia reported Wednesday. Continue reading

July 20, 2011 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, marketing for nuclear | Leave a comment