Antinuclear

Australian news, and some related international items

How did Bright New World suck people in to be part of 2018 political pro nuclear propaganda ?

Steve Dale No Nuclear Waste Dump Anywhere in South Australia, February 10

The poor people that got sucked into signing “An open letter to South Australia’s elected members and political parties 2 March 2017” – did they know their names would still be used as propaganda a year later? Their faces are still being displayed on a page of Bright Nuke World’s web site.

(https://www.brightnewworld.org/…/an-open-letter-to-south-au…) Any journalists reading this? How about going around and asking each of the people listed how they got sucked into signing it and whether they are happy for their names to be used forever more. Like most nuclear garbage, the letter has a long half life. https://www.facebook.com/groups/1314655315214929/

Advertisements

February 11, 2018 Posted by | South Australia, spinbuster | Leave a comment

Australia’s new weapons export industry – secret men’s business

Secret men’s business of the arms industry needs exposure The Age, Stephanie Dowrick, 5 Feb 18,   “…….. I woke to the news that the federal government had decided to unveil a new “defence export strategy” to propel Australia into the big league of global weapons exporters.

Then, in the wake of that news – which has left many speechless, even despairing – comes a newer announcement of a $3.8bn boost to the Export Finance and Insurance Corporation. This is a taxpayer-funded “national interest” loan facility that previously supported the exporting of wine and other relatively harmless products but is now set, with a massive boost to its funds, to finance loans to some of the world’s largest arms manufacturers. What’s more, those loans do not need to pass any test of “social risk evaluation” – a nod to caring for others – but can be approved at the discretion of Trade Minister Steve Ciobo.

Oddly enough, on the Blue Mountains drive my friend and I had discussed the weapons industries and the influence they have on the global economy. Their power to affect, even to drive governments’ policies, is immense. It is also profoundly undemocratic. Governments keep a tight grip on media revelations. The weapons world is “secret men’s business” from which the public is definitely shut out. My best sleuthing efforts came nowhere near discovering what this industry is really worth or who profits most.

 What we can know is that these industries – and the governments that applaud them – depend on actual and perceived enemies, a fairly hysterical narrative of “terror” and a disturbing acceptance of the inevitability of armed conflict and war. We can also know that the No.1 exporter of major arms is the USA, followed by Russia. It was easy, too, to discover that between 2001 and 2014, reported global military expenditure rose from US$1.14 trillion to US$1.711 trillion. In a world ruled by greed and highly vulnerable to corruption, what chance does peace have?

“This strategy is about job creation,” Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull assures us. His colleague Christopher Pyne, the Minister for Defence Industry in a cabinet lacking a minister for science, is already presiding over a submarine project set to cost us $50 billion. Pyne is promising “tens of thousands” of jobs could be involved in this weapons’ push. But the issue here is surely far less about job creation than it is about which industries the government, on our behalf, wishes to support. These opinions, these ideological choices determine where we are heading as a nation. This is where a government has huge power. It’s also where it most accurately reveals itself. ……

If “job creation” truly is our government’s motive, then let them choose honestly. The weapons industries lack accountability, transparency, moral and social value. They thrive in the presence or expectation of deadly conflict. Their cost to the world’s physical and social environments is incalculable.

There are many sectors in Australia and globally that produce jobs and social benefits. With generous investment, they could produce more. In land and agricultural regeneration alone, as well as high-tech research and manufacturing, in renewable energy, the arts, community development, health and education, defence-sized investment would undoubtedly pay employment dividends – while simultaneously boosting our social and moral wellbeing. These are choices that have profound consequences. They could make the world safer. Or not.  Reverend Dr Stephanie Dowrick is a writer and social commentator www.stephaniedowrick.com   www.facebook.com/StephanieDowrick http://www.theage.com.au/comment/secret-mens-business-of-the-arms-industry-needs-exposure-20180202-h0spx3.html

February 5, 2018 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, business, spinbuster, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Response to Electric Energy Society of Australia (EESA), on its pro nuclear seminar

from Jim Green 3 Feb 2018     To: Electric Energy Society of Australia (EESA)
Re the Feb 21 EESA webinar with nuclear lobbyist Ben Heard talking about nuclear power:

1. Will EESA be organising a separate webinar to provide a perspective from someone who isn’t a nuclear lobbyist? If not, is that lack of balance consistent with the Engineers Australia Code of Ethics and Guidelines on Professional Conduct?

2. Will you amend the bio-note on the ESAA webpage to note that Mr Heard’s so-called environment group accepts secret corporate donations? If not, why not? The bio-note on the EESA webpage claims that his group ‘represents the community’ … if such dubious claims are allowed to stand then it surely needs to be acknowledged that his group accepts corporate donations including secret corporate donations. Is such disclosure not required by the Engineers Australia Code of Ethics and Guidelines on Professional Conduct?

3. During the webinar, will it be made clear that Mr Heard’s group accepts corporate donations including secret corporate donations? Is such disclosure not required by the Engineers Australia Code of Ethics and Guidelines on Professional Conduct?

4. During the webinar, will you make it clear that Mr Heard’s asinine contribution to the SA Royal Commission was rejected by the Commission? Specifically, the final report of the Royal Commission said: “[A]dvanced fast reactors and other innovative reactor designs are unlikely to be feasible or viable in the foreseeable future. The development of such a first-of-a-kind project in South Australia would have high commercial and technical risk. Although prototype and demonstration reactors are operating, there is no licensed, commercially proven design. Development to that point would require substantial capital investment.”

5. Will you ensure that webinar participants are provided with some basic factual information that Mr Heard certainly won’t be volunteering, e.g.
— A$40 billion capital cost for two new reactors in the UK (A$20 billion each)
— A$16 billion capital cost for new reactors in France and Finland
— bankruptcy filing of Westinghouse due to catastrophic cost overruns building conventional reactors in the US (including A$13+ billion wasted on reactors in South Carolina that were cancelled last year).
— Westinghouse, Toshiba and a number of other utilities exiting the reactor construction business
— Ziggy Switkowski, head of the Howard government’s Nuclear Energy review, now says he believes “the window for gigawatt-scale nuclear has closed”. He also said that nuclear is no longer lower cost than renewables and that the levelised cost of electricity of the two is rapidly diverging.

6. Will you ensure that webinar participants are informed that Mr Heard has continued lobbying for the importation of 138,000 tonnes of high-level nuclear waste to SA despite being well aware of the overwhelming opposition of Aboriginal Traditional Owners?
https://www.anfa.org.au/traditional-owners-statements/

7. What steps will you take to ensure that participants are provided with some credible information about high-temperature gas-cooled reactors given that these seem to be Mr Heard’s latest fixation? Some information is copied below.

8. If Mr Heard claims that high-temperature gas-cooled reactors are ‘meltdown-proof’, or other such inanities, will you ensure that his falsehoods are corrected? Continue reading

February 3, 2018 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, spinbuster | Leave a comment

Dishonest scare-mongering linking nuclear medicine and radioactive waste dumps

NUCLEAR MEDICINE AND THE PROPOSED   NATIONAL RADIOACTIVE WASTE REPOSITORY , Jim Green 27 January 18, “As health organisations, we are appalled that access to nuclear medical procedures is being used to justify the proposed nuclear waste dump. Most waste from these procedures break down quickly and can be safely disposed of either on site or locally.”   − Dr Bill Williams, Medical Association for the Prevention of War

“Linking the need for a centralized radioactive waste storage facility with the production of isotopes for nuclear medicine is misleading. The production of radioactive isotopes for nuclear medicine comprises a small percentage of the output of research reactors. The majority of the waste that is produced in these facilities occurs regardless of the nuclear medicine isotope production.” 
− Nuclear Radiologist Dr Peter Karamoskos.

Proponents of a national radioactive waste facility (a repository for lower-level wastes and a co-located store for higher-level wastes) claim or imply that nuclear medicine would be jeopardised if the facility does not proceed. There is no basis to such claims – they amount to dishonest scare-mongering.

Proponents claim that most or all of the waste that the federal government wants to dispose of or store at a national repository/store arises from medicine, specifically the production and use of medical radioisotopes. However, measured by radioactivity, the true figure is just 10-20%. Measured by volume, the figure may be within that range or it may be higher than 20% − but it takes some creative accounting to justify the claim that most or even all of the waste is medical in origin.

In any case, the fact that some waste is of medical origin doesn’t mean that a national repository/store is the best way to manage the waste.

If the plan for a national repository/store does not proceed, medical waste will continue to be stored at the Lucas Heights reactor site operated by the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO) and, in much smaller volumes, at hospitals. Some waste is used in hospitals and then sent back to ANSTO (e.g. molybdenum ‘cows’ that have been ‘milked’ of the daughter radionuclide, technetium-99m − by far the most commonly used medical radioisotope). That is no problem since ANSTO and hospitals continue to produce radioactive waste and thus they have an ongoing need for on-site waste stores and waste management expertise regardless of the options for periodic off-site disposal.

Nuclear medicine is not being adversely affected by the absence of a national radioactive waste repository/store. Nuclear medicine will not benefit from the creation of a national radioactive waste repository/store.

The incessant references to nuclear medicine to ‘sell’ the proposed radioactive waste repository/store amount to emotive propaganda and scare-mongering. Ironically, that is what critics of the proposed national radioactive waste repository/store are routinely accused of!

Dishonest scare-mongering linking nuclear medicine and radioactive waste dumps is also evident in other countries. Protests by cancer patients helped end plans to build a radioactive waste dump in Ward Valley, California.  http://ens-newswire.com/ens/jun2002/2002-06-04-06.html

What should be done?
Two parallel processes should be initiated regarding radioactive waste management in Australia: a radioactive waste audit, and a National Commission or comparable public inquiry mechanism.

The federal government should immediately initiate an audit of existing waste stockpiles and storage. This could be led by the federal nuclear regulator ARPANSA in consultation with relevant state agencies with responsibility for radioactive waste. This audit would include developing a prioritised program to improve continuing waste storage and handling facilities, and identifying non-recurrent or legacy waste sites and exploring options to retire and de-commission these.

A National Commission would restore procedural and scientific rigour, and stakeholder and community confidence in radioactive waste management. It would identify and evaluate the full suite of radioactive waste management options. That would include the option of maintaining existing arrangements, keeping in mind that 95% of the waste is securely stored at two Commonwealth facilities: ANSTO’s Lucas Heights facility, and a large volume of very low level waste stored on Defence Department land at Woomera, SA.

The above issues are addressed in detail in a 2014 paper posted at: www.nuclear.foe.org.au/waste

January 27, 2018 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Federal nuclear waste dump, spinbuster | Leave a comment

Latest pro nuclear push in Australia shows the split in the nuclear industry

When they resuscitate Ziggy Switkowski to promote nuclear, and when Anti-Environment Minister Josh Frydenberg comes out of his quiet environmental closet to promote nuclear  – you know that the nuclear lobby is having a serious attempt to persuade Australians.

Trouble is – the global nuclear lobby mightn’t be so happy about this.

They do pretend to be a professional, unified, competent force in the world. But not really. Small Nukes better shut up as Big Nukes will not tolerate them being successful, might  allow them in only as a foot in the door for Big Nukes

With giant companies like Toshiba, AREVA, EDF, China National Nuclear Corporation, Rosatom determinedly pushing their “conventional”nuclear reactors -there’s no likelihood that they are going to let new “little” nukes take over.  They tolerate the media acrobatics of the Small Modular Nuclear Reactor  companies – just as long as those companies claim (pretend) to be helping them.

In reality, there’s an absolute dispute between the two.

Australian politicians seem to be easily sucked in by the propaganda antics of the Small Nukes lobby –

January 12, 2018 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Christina reviews, spinbuster | Leave a comment

Former Big Nuclear propagandist Ziggy Switkowski is back – now spruiking for Small Nukes

Australia has ‘missed the boat’ on nuclear power, SMH, Cole Latimer, 11 Jan 18, The Minerals Council of Australia has called for the country’s prohibition on nuclear power to be lifted. But both critics and supporters see little future for large-scale nuclear power in Australia’s energy mix.

The man who once famously called for 50 nuclear reactors across Australia, nuclear physicist and NBN chairman Ziggy Switkowski, says “the window for gigawatt-scale nuclear has closed”.

A lack of public support and any actual proposals for a nuclear plant had resulted in government inertia, he said on Thursday.

“Government won’t move until a real business case is presented and none has been, to my knowledge, and there aren’t votes in trying to lead the debate,” he said, adding that renewables were now a more economically viable choice. “With requirements for baseload capacity reducing, adding nuclear capacity one gigawatt at a time is hard to justify, especially as costs are now very high (in the range of $5 billion to $10 billion), development timelines are 15+ years, and solar with battery storage are winning the race.”

Warwick Grigor, the former chairman of Uranium King, mining analyst, and a director of uranium miner Peninsula Energy, agrees.

“I think nuclear energy is great, but we’ve missed the boat in Australia, no one is going down that path in the foreseeable future,” Mr Grigor told Fairfax Media.“When Fukushima [the 2011 nuclear accident in Japan] occurred, that was the closing of the door to our nuclear power possibilities.”

Mr Grigor sees battery technology, a market he has since entered, as a better alternative.

Australian Conservation Foundation nuclear free campaigner Dave Sweeney said talk of nuclear power was “a dangerous distraction” from the steps that needed to address the energy and climate challenges facing Australia.

Nuclear energy has been officially banned in Australia since 1998, with the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation’s OPAL reactor at Lucas Heights, NSW, the only nuclear reactor in the country.

But the Minerals Council’s executive director for uranium, Daniel Zavattiero, said the nation had excluded a low-emissions energy source of which Australia has an abundant supply from the current debate.

“Maybe nuclear power might be something that is not needed, but an outright prohibition on it is not needed,” he said.

Federal Energy Minister Josh Frydenberg supported the Mineral Council’s stance. “There needs to be bipartisan support for nuclear power and that does not exist right now,” Mr Frydenberg said. “You would also need state-based support and that is not clear at this stage either.”…..

Mr Switkowski said smaller, modular nuclear reactors could play a part in the future energy mix, and could support regional centres.

An ANSTO spokesman told Fairfax Media these smaller plants could technically work in Australia.“If Australia did want to expand into nuclear energy technologies, there would be a number of options to consider in the future, including small modular reactors and Generation IV reactors, which could be feasible if the policy, economic settings and technology were right and public support was in place,” he said.

However, the country currently did not have enough skilled personnel to safely operate a nuclear energy industry, he said.

“The question of whether nuclear energy is technically or economically feasible is a different question to whether Australia should or should not have a nuclear energy program, the latter of which is a matter for policy makers and the people of Australia,” the spokesman said…….. http://www.smh.com.au/business/the-economy/australia-has-missed-the-boat-on-nuclear-power-20180111-p4yyeg.html

January 12, 2018 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, politics, spinbuster | Leave a comment

Unrealistic call for rural Australians to host Small Modular Nuclear Reactors (SMRs)

Volunteers wanted – to house small modular nuclear reactors in Australia,Online Opinion,  Noel Wauchope , 11 Dec 17, 

We knew that the Australian government was looking for volunteers in outback South Australia, to take the radioactive trash from Lucas Heights and some other sites, (and not having an easy time of it). But oh dear– we had no idea that the search for hosting new (untested) nuclear reactors was on too!

Well, The Australian newspaper has just revealed this extraordinary news, in its article “Want a nuclear reactor in your backyard? Step this way” (28/11/17). Yes, it turns out that a Sydney-based company, SMR Nuclear Technology, plans to secure volunteers and a definite site within three years. If all goes well, Australia’s Small Modular Reactors will be in operation by 2030.

Only, there are obstacles. Even this enthusiastic article does acknowledge one or two of them. One is the need to get public acceptance of these so far non-existent new nuclear reactors. SMR director Robert Pritchard is quoted as saying that interest in these reactors is widespread. He gives no evidence for this.

The other is that the construction and operation of a nuclear power plant in Australia is prohibited by both commonwealth and state laws.

But there are issues, and other obstacles that are not addressed on this article. A vital question is: does SMR Nuclear Technology intend to actually build the small reactors in Australia, or more likely, merely assemble them from imported modular parts – a sort of nuclear Lego style operation?

If it is to be the latter, there will surely be a delay of probably decades. Development of SMRs is stalled, in USA due to strict safety regulations, and in UK, due to uncertainties, especially the need for public subsidy. That leaves China, where the nuclear industry is government funded, and even there, development of SMRs is still in its infancy.

As to the former, it is highly improbable that an Australian company would have the necessary expertise, resources, and funding, to design and manufacture nuclear reactors of any size. The overseas companies now planning small reactors are basing their whole enterprise on the export market. Indeed, the whole plan for “modular” nuclear reactors is about mass production and mass marketing of SMRs -to be assembled in overseas countries. That is accepted as the only way for the SMR industry to be commercially successful. Australia looks like a desirable customer for the Chinese industry, the only one that looks as if it might go ahead, at present,

If, somehow, the SMR Technologies’ plan is to go ahead, the other obstacles remain.

The critical one is of course economics. …….

Other issues of costs and safety concern the transport of radioactive fuels to the reactors, and of radioactive waste management. The nuclear industry is very fond of proclaiming that wastes from small thorium reactors would need safe disposal and guarding for “only 300 years”. Just the bare 300!

The Australian Senate is currently debating a Bill introduced by Cory Bernardi, to remove Australia’s laws prohibiting nuclear power development. The case put by SMR Technologies, as presented in The Australian newspaper is completely inadequate. The public deserves a better examination of this plan for Small Modular Reactors SMRS. And why do they leave out the operative word “Nuclear” -because it is so on the nose with the public? http://www.onlineopinion.com.au/view.asp?article=19460&page=2

December 11, 2017 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, spinbuster, technology | Leave a comment

Salesman for Small Nuclear Reactors (SMRs) says Ipswich, Queensland, should have them operating by 2030

Ipswich ‘ticks the boxes’ for nuclear revolution, https://www.qt.com.au/news/ipswich-ticks-the-boxes-for-nuclear-revolution/3281160/  by Hayden Johnson, 4 Dec 17  THE Ipswich region is well-suited to become the home of one of Australia’s first nuclear reactors according to an energy executive who wants the community to lobby for its construction.

As the nation’s energy future remains at the forefront of federal political discourse, SMR Nuclear Technology has reignited the nuclear debate. Robert Pritchard serves as chairman of the board at SMR Nuclear Technology and is executive director of the Energy Policy Institute. He is calling for communities across Australia to consider whether nuclear power could be generated in their area.

“Ipswich ticks the box. “Places like Ipswich, Mt Isa, Broken Hill, Olympic Dam in South Australia, somewhere up in the Pilbara – there are lots of places where this makes all sorts of sense in 10 years’ time.”

Mr Pritchard said the station would not be built tomorrow, but called for the community to envisage the future. “The first one that would ever operate would not operate until 2030 – you’ve got 13 years,” he said.

“We’ve got the timeline mapped out as to what would happen in those 13 years but the work has to start now. Where you start is not with the technology – that’s a given – you’ve got to start with the community support.”

Mr Pritchard said there was a growing interest in nuclear generation across the community, which would be vital to its future……..

Federal Member for Blair Shayne Neumann dismissed the call.

“I don’t think it’s in the best interests of Ipswich to have a nuclear power plant on the banks of the Bremer River,” he said.

“It’s got to be renewables – solar, wind and geo-thermal energy.”

He said the nation was moving away from a high-emissions-intensity economy towards a green future.

“I’ve come to the conclusion a long time ago, as far as I’m concerned, not for our future here,” he said.

The strong opposition from the Member for Blair does not discourage Mr Pritchard, who, although encouraged politicians to keep an open mind, said it was up to the people to decide. “I think this is going to capture the public’s imagination, mainly because it’s not being pushed by politicians,” he said.”If the community doesn’t want it, we’re not going to have it, that’s the end of the story,” he said.The energy policy executive said it was a matter of; “fly the kite and see what happens”.

 

Mr Neumann was “convinced” the majority of residents in Ipswich would be opposed to nuclear generation technology.

Mr Pritchard said it would take the community time to learn about nuclear power generation.

He pledged to set up a series of meetings around the country where people were expressing serious interest.”What we want to do over the next little while is start these dialogues with community people,” he said.”You’re not going to push anything down people’s throats – people just won’t cop that.”The vast majority of people will be interested.” revolution, https://www.qt.com.au/news/ipswich-ticks-the-boxes-for-nuclear-revolution/3281160/ 

December 4, 2017 Posted by | Queensland, spinbuster | 1 Comment

The ignorance of Australia’s nuclear pushers – Cory Bernardi and co.

Paul Waldon Fight To Stop Nuclear Waste Dump In Flinders Ranges SA, 3 Dec 17, 

December the 4th, another red letter date in the nuclear arena.

On this day 37 years ago, at Cap La Hague, where a report of several litres of highly contaminated liquid containing one gram of Plutonium per litre leaked, this happened in part of their vitrification plant where Uranium, and Plutonium are separated from fission products. One gram of Plutonium per litre may not sound like much to the ignorant, but remember the contamination on a leg of a fly at the Hanford nuclear  installation initiated a shutdown and evacuation of 20 acres.

Australia has recently held France up as a poster child for the risky and dangerous nuclear industry, with DIIS, and ANSTO’s falsely claiming with their factoids that the French nuclear industry is one to be applauded.

There are many ignorant people in the political arena, like Cory Bernadi espousing to the production of nuclear waste with no understanding that electricity is only a costly “byproduct” of reactor generation that future generations and the environment will have to pay for, so we can indulge for a meagre time in their history.

 Some people embracing Thorium reactors do so without the understanding that such reactors share the same risky technology of a reprocessing plant on site to separate fuel and fission products to maintain a neutron moderator. This also opens another can of worms with the location of a site to abandon the radioactive waste, and the promotion of a reprocessing plant may dilute the Basel Convention which Australia signed in 1992 to keep all dangerous and toxic material as close as possible to the place of production. https://www.facebook.com/groups/344452605899556/

December 4, 2017 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, spinbuster | Leave a comment

News Corpse writers and politicians mindlessly parrot spin about Small Modular (Nuclear) Reactors (SMRs.

Steve Dale  Nuclear Fuel Cycle Watch South Australia

 How big is a SMR (Small Modular Reactor)? If you read the comments in the recent Australian article entitled “Want a nuclear reactor in your backyard? Step this way” – many people really think these things can fit in your back yard.

The news article is based on SMR Nuclear Technology Pty Ltd submission to the Australian Energy Security Board (Nov 2017) ( http://www.smrnuclear.com.au/…/SMRNT-ESB-Submission-Nov-201… ). The submission mentions the NuScale SMR module – which is actually 3 metres in diameter and 20 metres high! – and you need 12 or more of them together to create a plant, each weighing 700 tons.

I wonder how many politicians that parrot the words “Small Modular Reactor” actually know how big they are? The following document (“Small Isn’t Always Beautiful – Safety, Security and Cost Concerns about Small Modular Reactors”) is still very relevant http://www.ucsusa.org/…/nuc…/small-isnt-always-beautiful.pdf

November 29, 2017 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, spinbuster | Leave a comment

Australia’s Ben Heard and the failed pro nuclear push at Bonn Climate talks

Above: Ben Heard at Bonn, 16 November

Ben Heard and the pro nuclear lobby group “Generation Atomic” were not very successful at the Bonn climate talks. A member of the group ‘marraskuu’ explains:

“we ran around Bonn, trying to secure a permission for a side event that our group would like to organize on Monday, when the UNEP [ United Nations Environment Programme ] Sustainable innovations forum, from which the nuclear industry was kicked out from, starts. They eventually ended up denying us the permission.
The evening was spent in one of the weirdest way I have ever spent an evening: By sticking up stickers on Bananas”

So – the nuclear lobby at the climate talks was reduced to pushing one of their most dishonest and silliest propaganda spins – the “banana argument”.  Because our bodies contain a small amount of (mildly) radioactive Potassium 40 –  and because there’s potassium 40 in bananas – then we are told not to worry about the nuclear fission produced highly radioactive ions like Cesium , Strontium, Iodine,

BUT – IN REALITY :  When you eat a banana, your body’s level of Potassium-40 doesn’t increase. You just get rid of some excess Potassium-40. The net dose of a banana is zero.

 

 

November 18, 2017 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, spinbuster | Leave a comment

Nuclear propagandist Michael Shellenberger hated ABC interview, loved shock jock Alan Jones

6 Nov 17           The pro nuclear Twittersphere was alive with angry comments about the ABC’s interview with nuclear propagandist Michael Shellenberger.

I missed that interview, but apparently the ABC interviewer asked some hard questions.

Shellenberger commented: “fighting to survive a brutal interview by a tough young reporter in Oz On ABC (the Aussie BBC)”

Australia’s own nuclear propagandist, Ben Heard,  commented:  “Shabby interview. Host evidently unfamiliar with topic”

However, those pro nuclear spinners were happy with shock jock Alan Jones on 2GB Alan Jones Breakfast Show.  Jones said:

“Michael has turned on wind and solar with a passion: he’s now advocating for an all-atomic energy future, simply because the latter provides reliable power, whereas the former are a childish nonsense…..

the Finkel review totally ignored nuclear power as an option and pushed harder for more and more renewable energy. So Victoria’s looking at 25% renewables by 2025, South Australia 50%, the ACT 100%, Queensland 50%……

one of the world’s leading new-generation environmental thinkers has said the renewable energy experiment with wind and solar has failed. Michael Shellenberger is a former renewables advocate and adviser to Barack Obama when he was President. [ed. not true. Shellenberger sent an unsolicited  submission to President Obama]  He is now global champion for nuclear energy, which he said was the only option to replace coal and gas on a global scale. ……”

Shellenberger  said:

every major study for the last 40 years finds that nuclear power is the safest way to make reliable electricity. You don’t have the risks that come with coal and fossil fuels, both in terms of mine collapses and air pollution, and the accidents themselves that everyone worries so much about hardly have any impact on people’s lives…

Wind and solar – They’re the worst. Really, all renewables are. The reason is easy to understand, in the sense that the fuels are very dilute, they’re very diffuse, and so you have to cover a huge amount of land with wind and solar……. solar produces huge quantities of toxic waste…… They produce two to three hundred times more toxic waste than nuclear plants, which are the only way of producing electricity that contain all of their potentially harmful waste. Of course it’s been contained so well that nobody has ever been harmed by the radiation from nuclear power waste, ever……

The other problem is that you just end up getting too much wind energy when you don’t need it, like the middle of the night. Solar and wind, it’s like they’re almost set up to destroy cheap, clean, reliable energy.

What happened was that there was a smaller group of anti-human so-called environmentalists that opposed nuclear precisely because it allowed for so much cheap and abundant power, and they thought, “Well, if we’re going to stop the human cancer, we have to cut off its energy supplies.” …..

You’ve got some really crazy anti-nuclear people down there…..

Alan Jones: “I’ll tell you something, when you arrive in this country, Michael we’ll have you on again. We can’t hear enough of you. It’s time we had a good healthy dose of common sense”

November 6, 2017 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, media, spinbuster | Leave a comment

The costs -financial, environmental, human, – of plutonium-fuelled space exploration

Australia’s international space agency hype https://independentaustralia.net/environment/environment-display/australias-international-space-agency-hype,10876  s the current hype about space travel justified, and what of the human and environmental cost? Noel Wauchope reports.

ENTHUSIASM for space travel has been mounting since Australia hosted the recent International Astronautical Congress (IAC), held in Adelaide in September.

Then there was the announcement that Australia is getting a space agency!

We are informed by space scientist Dr Megan Clarke:

“ … more than 3000 of the world’s top space experts wildly cheered [and] all aspects of Australian society were united on the need for a national agency.” 

In November, the very brilliant and appealing space travel and nuclear power enthusiast, Professor Brian Cox is to tour Australia! Champion astronaut Scott Kelly has just published his exciting bookEndurance: a Year in Space, A Lifetime of Discovery.

Dare anyone throw cold water on all this joy?

Intriguingly, the Australian Government, while proudly hyping up this initiative, has not yet come up with a title for the new agency. However, someone else has and they have set up an elegant and professional-looking website for it: Australian Research and Space Exploration (ARSE).

Let’s start with that most important consideration — money Continue reading

November 1, 2017 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, spinbuster | 1 Comment

UN rejects nuclear industry participating in clean energy forum: Ben Heard spits the dummy

THE AUSTRALIAN, 31 Oct 17 The UN has blocked the nuclear industry from participating in an international forum on clean energy….

The London-based World Nuclear Association was originally accepted by the organisers of next month’s Sustainable Innovation Forum as a £40,000 ($68,338) gold sponsor, but the deal was rescinded a week later after intervention by the UN environment program.

The organisers then offered a watered-down sponsorship that would include no branding presence, but that deal was also vetoed by UNEP………

Next month’s forum takes place on the sidelines of the UN’s COP 23 climate change conference, where government representatives from around the world will meet to discuss progress towards meeting international emission-reduction targets.

The Sustainable Innovation Forum will be hosted in the purpose-built Climate Action Dome, which itself will be powered by energy generated using food waste from the conference.

Ben Heard, an energy researcher [ ed. more correctly a nuclear promoter] with the University of Adelaide and an advocate for the climate benefits of nuclear energy, described the UN’s intervention as “frightening” and an example of “outright prejudice”. “This family of technologies has been the principal source of carbon-free energy for the last four decades. Along with hydro-electricity, they have been the two big hitters that have actually delivered, and you’re running a climate change conference and you won’t let the representatives of that industry through the door,” he said.

“For me it’s gobsmacking to see this. I’m an advocate for this technology on environmental grounds but it struggles, and part of the reason is time after time it faces this kind of institutional bias which means no-one can even have a conversation about it.”

November 1, 2017 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, spinbuster | Leave a comment

Top spinner Michael SHILLenberger to spread pro nuclear falsehoods in Australia

The nuclear power industry is having one of its worst ever years. Environmental Progress is warning about nuclear power’s “rapidly accelerating crisis” and other pro-nuclear lobbyists have noted that “the industry is on life support in the United States and other developed economies“.

Is there a future for ‘pro-nuclear environmentalism’? Jim Green, 30 Oct 2017, http://reneweconomy.com.au/is-there-a-future-for-pro-nuclear-environmentalism-94038/

Michael Shellenberger is visiting Australia this week. He has been a prominent environmentalist (of sorts) since he co-authored the 2004 essay, The Death of Environmentalism. These days, as the President of the California-based ‘Environmental Progress’ lobby group, he is stridently pro-nuclear, hostile towards renewable energy and hostile towards the environment movement.

Shellenberger is visiting to speak at the International Mining and Resources Conference in Melbourne. His visit was promoted by Graham Lloyd in The Australian in September. Shellenberger is “one of the world’s leading new-generation environmental thinkers” according to The Australian, and if the newspaper is any guide he is here to promote his message that wind and solar have failed, that they are doubling the cost of electricity, and that “all existing renewable technologies do is make the electricity system chaotic and provide greenwash for fossil fuels.”

Trawling through Environmental Progress literature, one of their recurring themes is the falsehood that “every time nuclear plants close they are replaced almost entirely by fossil fuels”. South Korea, for example, plans to reduce reliance on coal and nuclear under recently-elected President Moon Jae-in, and to boost reliance on gas and renewables. But Shellenberger and Environmental Progress ignore those plans and concoct their own scare-story in which coal and gas replace nuclear power, electricity prices soar, thousands die from increased air pollution, and greenhouse emissions increase.

Fake scientists and radiation quackery

Environmental Progress’ UK director John Lindberg is described as an “expert on radiation” on the lobby group’s website. In fact, he has no scientific qualifications. Likewise, a South Korean article falsely claims that Shellenberger is a scientist and that article is reposted, without correction, on the Environmental Progress website.

Shellenberger says that at a recent talk in Berlin: “Many Germans simply could not believe how few people died and will die from the Chernobyl accident (under 200) and that nobody died or will die from the meltdowns at Fukushima. How could it be that everything we were told is not only wrong, but often the opposite of the truth?”

There’s a simple reason that Germans didn’t believe Shellenberger’s claims about Chernobyl and Fukushima ‒ they are false. Shellenberger claims that “under 200” people have died and will die from the Chernobyl disaster, but in fact the lowest of the estimates of the Chernobyl cancer death toll is the World Health Organization’s estimate of “up to 9,000 excess cancer deaths” in the most contaminated parts of the former Soviet Union. And of course there are higher estimates for the death toll across Europe.

Shellenberger claims that the Fukushima meltdowns “killed precisely no one” and that “nobody died or will die from the meltdowns at Fukushima”. An Environmental Progress report has this to say about Fukushima: “[T]he science is unequivocal: nobody has gotten sick much less died from the radiation that escaped from three meltdowns followed by three hydrogen gas explosions. And there will be no increase in cancer rates.”

In support of those assertions, Environmental Progress cites a World Health Organization report that directly contradicts the lobby group’s claims. The WHO report concluded that for people in the most contaminated areas in Fukushima Prefecture, the estimated increased risk for all solid cancers will be around 4% in females exposed as infants; a 6% increased risk of breast cancer for females exposed as infants; a 7% increased risk of leukaemia for males exposed as infants; and for thyroid cancer among females exposed as infants, an increased risk of up to 70% (from a 0.75% lifetime risk up to 1.25%).

 

Applying a linear-no threshold (LNT) risk factor to the estimated collective radiation dose from Fukushima fallout gives an estimated long-term cancer death toll of around 5,000 people. Nuclear lobbyists are quick to point out that LNT may overestimate risks from low dose and low dose-rate exposure ‒ but LNT may also underestimate the risks according to expert bodies such as the US National Academy of Sciences’ Committee on the Biological Effects of Ionizing Radiation.

Attacking environment groups Continue reading

October 30, 2017 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, spinbuster | 2 Comments