Antinuclear

Australian news, and some related international items

Fact-checking the false nuclear claims of NSW Deputy Premier John Barilaro

NSW Deputy Premier John Barilaro’s nuclear falsehoods https://nuclear.foe.org.au/barilaro/Correcting the nuclear falsehoods of NSW Deputy Premier and Nationals leader John Barilaro. Mr. Barilaro has been repeatedly provided with factual information so there is no excuse for his ignorance., March 2020, Jim Green, FoE Australia national nuclear campaigner, jim.green@foe.org.au

Mr. Barilaro: Nuclear power is “probably the cheapest cost to the average Australian household”.

Facts:

* Nationals Senator Matt Canavan acknowledges that nuclear power is “very expensive”.

* Industry insiders and lobbyists freely acknowledge that nuclear power is suffering from an economic crisis that could prove to be terminal.

* Nuclear power is in decline worldwide and a growing number of countries are phasing out nuclear power including Germany, Switzerland, Spain, Belgium, Taiwan and South Korea.

* Laws banning nuclear power has saved Australia from the huge costs associated with failed and failing reactor projects in Europe and North America, such as the twin-reactor project in South Carolina that was abandoned in 2017 after the expenditure of at least A$13.4 billion, bankrupting Westinghouse. That expensive fiasco could so easily have been replicated in NSW if not for the prudent legal ban.

* There are many other examples of shocking nuclear costs and cost overruns, including:

‒ The cost of the two reactors under construction in the US state of Georgia has doubled and now stands at A$20.4‒22.6 billion per reactor.

‒ The cost of the only reactor under construction in France has nearly quadrupled and now stands at A$20.0 billion. It is 10 years behind schedule.

‒ The cost of the only reactor under construction in Finland has nearly quadrupled and now stands at A$17.7 billion. It is 10 years behind schedule.

‒ The cost of the four reactors under construction in the United Arab Emirates has increased from A$7.5 billion per reactor to A$10‒12 billion per reactor.

‒ The cost of the only two reactors under construction in the UK has increased to A$25.9 billion per reactor. A decade ago, the estimated cost was just A$4 billion. The UK National Audit Office estimates that taxpayer subsidies for the project will amount to A$58 billion.

Mr. Barilaro: “As I write this piece, a further 50 nuclear reactors are being built globally (450 reactors currently operate in 31 counties) including in Finland, France, the UK, China and Canada.”

Facts:

* The number of power reactors under construction has fallen steadily from 68 in 2013 to 49 as of Feb. 2020.

* As noted above, reactors under construction in Finland, France and the UK have been subject to catastrophic cost overruns.

* There has only been one reactor construction start in China in the past three years. The number of reactors under construction in China has fallen from 20 in 2017 to 10 now. Renewables generate twice as much electricity in China as nuclear power.

* No reactors are being built in Canada.

Mr. Barilaro on small modular reactors (SMRs): “Given their size and efficiency, their waste is minimal (new advancements in technology continues to address the waste issue)”.

Facts:

* SMRs would produce more nuclear waste per unit of energy produced compared to large reactors.

* A 2016 European Commission document states: “Due to the loss of economies of scale, the decommissioning and waste management unit costs of SMR will probably be higher than those of a large reactor (some analyses state that between two and three times higher).”

* Mr. Barilaro’s “new advancements” (‘Generation IV’ concepts) have failed spectacularly and have clearly worsened nuclear waste management problems (see p.42-43 of our joint submission to the NSW inquiry).

Mr. Barilaro: “The compact nature of SMRs means they need close to only 5 per cent of the nuclear fuel required for large conventional reactors.”

Fact: As the South Australian Nuclear Fuel Cycle Royal Commission report noted: “SMRs have lower thermal efficiency than large reactors, which generally translates to higher fuel consumption and spent fuel volumes over the life of a reactor.”

Mr. Barilaro: SMRs are “becoming very affordable”.

Facts:

* Every independent economic assessment finds that electricity from SMRs will be more expensive than that from large reactors.

* SMRs will inevitably suffer from diseconomies of scale: a 250 MW SMR will generate 25% as much power as a 1,000 MW reactor  but it will require more than 25% of the material inputs and staffing, and a number of other costs including waste management and decommissioning will be proportionally higher.

* A December 2019 report by CSIRO and the Australian Energy Market Operator concluded that wind and solar power, including two to six hours of storage, is two to three times cheaper than power from small reactors per unit of energy produced. Nuclear lobbyists dispute the construction costs that underpin this estimate but, in fact, they are a neat fit with real-world construction costs (as opposed to self-serving industry speculation). Indeed the CSIRO/AEMO estimate is lower than the average cost of small-reactor projects in China, Russia and Argentina.

* SMRs in China, Russia and Argentina are, respectively, 2, 4 and 23 times over-budget. None could be described as “very affordable”.

Mr. Barilaro: SMRs “are now on the horizon”.

Facts:

* A handful of SMRs are under construction (half of them to power fossil fuel mining operations in the Arctic, the South China Sea and elsewhere).

* Private sector investment has been pitiful and the main game is to find governments reckless enough to bet billions of taxpayer dollars on high-risk projects. SMRs under construction are all being built by government agencies.

* The prevailing scepticism is evident in a 2017 Lloyd’s Register report based on the insights of almost 600 professionals and experts from utilities, distributors, operators and equipment manufacturers. They predict that SMRs have a “low likelihood of eventual take-up, and will have a minimal impact when they do arrive”.

* Likewise, a 2014 report produced by Nuclear Energy Insider, drawing on interviews with more than 50 “leading specialists and decision makers”, noted a “pervasive sense of pessimism” regarding SMRs.

Mr. Barilaro: SMRs are “not as water hungry as traditional nuclear power plants, because they use air or sand to cool the core.”

Facts:

* SMRs will likely use as much water per unit of energy produced compared to large reactors ‒ possibly more due to lower thermal efficiencies. Nuclear power, large or small, is incredibly thirsty: a typical large reactor consumes 35‒65 million litres of water per day. Gas cooling creates its own set of problems and inefficiencies, leading to higher costs ‒ that is why a very large majority of reactors are water-cooled.

* Sand to cool a reactor core? Perhaps he means sodium ‒ which has caused a number of fires in fast neutron reactors. Sand has only been used as a desperate measure in the event of major accidents, e.g. Chernobyl. Continue reading

March 12, 2020 Posted by | New South Wales, spinbuster | Leave a comment

The climate denialist spin machine – the “Anti-Greta” in Australia

In denial: The spin machine upending the climate consensus, DW, 11 Mar, 20   Climate law rollbacks in the US and Australia have origins in libertarian think tanks that trade in climate denial. Investigative journalists have exposed how one is now trying to strip climate protections in Germany…….

….young and upcoming German YouTuber and “influencer,” Naomi Seibt.   Anti-Greta’

The 19-year-old was also in Madrid during the climate denial side event dubbed the Climate Reality Forum, where she spoke on behalf of Heartland. “These days, what scientists say about climate change isn’t really science,” she said.

Since her February 28 appearance at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in the US, global media has dubbed the self-described “climate realist” as the “anti-Greta,” a rising counter to climate activist icon Greta Thunberg. Seibt has embraced the moniker, and during a FOX News interview on the eve of CPAC said that “CO2 emissions are not actually harmful to the planet” while also railing against “climate change propaganda.”………

Outsized influence.   In Australia, climate disinformation campaigns with Heartland links have also helped to depress support for climate action and roll back protections.

Nearly a decade ago, Australia instituted a carbon price and a tax on mining industry profits that made it a climate leader. But both those policies were repealed in 2014 following a misinformation campaign headed by Australia’s incoming conservative prime minister at the time, Tony Abbott — a poster boy for the Heartland Institute and a speaker at climate skeptic conferences who fearmongered about a “carbon tax.” Six years later, Australia is ranked last in climate policy among developed nations.

According to Australian scientist, author and climate analyst Ketan Joshi, a watershed moment in this reversal came in 2011 when Britain’s arch climate denier, Lord Christopher Monckton, told mining industry leaders that Australia needed a news outlet akin to Rupert Murdoch-owned Fox News in the US to fight “bogus” climate science. Monckton also spoke at the Madrid climate skeptic conference in December.

Murdoch’s Sky News soon became that voice, says Joshi, the news channel hiring vocal climate skeptics as regular political pundits who call out “global warming rubbish.” Their voices also echo across Murdoch publications that make up around 70% of the print media market in Australia.

Naomi Seibt inevitably took her bow on Sky last week, telling viewers that Fridays for Future rallies in Germany had been infiltrated by radical anti-fascist protesters. Billed as the “anti-Greta sensation,” she also claimed that “Greta Thunberg never talks about the science,” and that climate alarmism will lead to “energy poverty.” This despite Thunberg’s now famous entreaty to “listen to the scientists.”

‘Instilling doubt’  “It’s not about the science,” says Joshi. “It’s about instilling doubt, it’s about making people distrust information that they receive — even if it’s from a trustworthy source.”

Back in Madrid, Taylor also offered the PRs the services of another young YouTuber, his daughter Tiffany. Her latest video argues that climate change has increased rainfall in Australia, and that the recent megafires were primarily caused by arsonists.

The discredited theory that arson was to blame for the intensity of Australia’s unprecedented bushfire season was pushed globally by climate deniers fighting back against the consensus that global heating is the culprit. Donald Trump, Jr, for example, helped the arsonist meme go viral by tweeting about an “exclusive” in Rubert Murdoch’s The Australian newspaper that promoted the debunked theory.  …….https://www.dw.com/en/trump-climate-change-denial-emissions-environment-germany-fake-heartland-seibt/a-52688933

March 12, 2020 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, spinbuster | Leave a comment

Small nuclear reactors, (just like large) can survive only with massive government subsidies

March 10, 2020 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, business, spinbuster, technology | Leave a comment

“NuclearHistory” exposes the unpleasant facts about liquid fluoride thorium nuclear reactors

Some people believe that liquid fluoride thorium reactors, which would use a high temperature liquid fuel made of molten salt, would be significantly safer than current generation reactors. However, such reactors have major flaws. There are serious safety issues associated with the retention of fission products in the fuel, and it is not clear these problems can be effectively resolved. Such reactors also present proliferation and nuclear terrorism risks because they involve the continuous separation, or “reprocessing,” of the fuel to remove fission products and to efficiently produce U-233, which is a nuclear weapon-usable material. Moreover, disposal of theused fuel has turned out to be a major challenge. Stabilization and disposal of the
remains of the very small “Molten Salt Reactor Experiment” that operated at Oak
Ridge National Laboratory in the 1960s has turned into the most technically challenging cleanup problem that Oak Ridge has faced, and the site has still not been cleaned up. Last updated March 14, 2019″ Source: Union of Concerned Scientists, at https://www.ucsusa.org/sites/default/files/legacy/assets/documents/nuclear_power/thorium-reactors-statement.pdf I wonder who is correct, The Union of Scientists or Mr. O’Brien and ScoMo?

The Industry Push to Force Nuclear Power in Australia, Part 1 of A Study of the “Report of the inquiry into the prerequisites for nuclear energy in Australia” Australian Parliamentary Committee 2020.by nuclearhistory, February 29, 2020, “………Nuclear power enables the great powers to project power. It is a crucial geo-political influencer. If the committee has it’s way, we will be working with Russia and China and others on reactors they want to develop, that their own people have not had a say in, that are all based upon reactor designs first thought of in the 1950s, and where actual examples were built at that time, turned out to be unsafe failures which continue to present cost and risk at their sites to this day.

The committee’s first recommendation to government includes the following two sub parts:

“b. developing Australia’s own national sovereign capability in nuclear energy over time; and

c. procuring next-of-a-kind nuclear reactors only, not first-of-a- kind.” end quote.

If Australia becomes a nuclear powered nation, it will become subject to the directives of the IAEA in regard to the standards of those nuclear reactors and the procedures and actions which must take place in regard to them. Australia will also become subject to IAEA directives in regard to the standards and specifications of the Australian national energy grid. Further, the ICRP and other bodies will have an enhanced ability to direct and advise Australia and its people. Further international non proliferation requirements will dictate Australian actions regarding “special nuclear substances.” These requirements including control of information – security provisions – regarding the use of and production of “special nuclear substances”. As is true all over the world, nuclear industries are alone in that they do not, indeed cannot, fully disclose operational matters to share holders. This hardly renders Australia and Australians in control of its own sovereign nuclear technology.
Collaborator nations can be expected to demand certain requirements from Australia in return for their help. In the case of China, which wishes to produce small, light reactors of new types partially to provide a means by which it can quickly transform its navy into a nuclear one, in particular, there may well be special requirements placed upon Australia in return for Chinese collaboration. Who knows what Putin will demand in return for Russian collaboration . America might want many things in return. And so on. No nation which might help Australia would want Australia to benefit to the point where we might gain too much control and power over nuclear facilities located in this country.

“procuring next-of-a-kind nuclear reactors only, not first-of-a- kind” How refreshing that the Committee does not want the first gen iv type reactors – the Fermi 1 and Monju type for example. Those dangerous failures that sit like wounded Albatross in the US and Japan and continue to demand taxpayer funds. The failure of Monju, which has long been foreseen by many, renders the original basis for the Japanese nuclear industry subject to severe doubt. As result of vastly improved safety standards, fuel reprocessing in Japan is in doubt, its future course uncertain, and the nature of high level waste management has been an even more pressing issue.

In any event, it is my view that  the new  types of reactor China is experimenting with are dual use.  That is, they have both military and civilian uses in China. There is little overt opposition to either in China as protest in that nation is dangerous, costly and often lethal. I do not see it in Australia’s national interest to collaborate with Chinese nuclear reactor experimental development. Our contribution will probably speed the ascendancy of a Chinese nuclear navy, and the contribution to be made to Australia by a Chinese/Australian Gen IV is highly suspect, both in the short and long term, both in tactical and strategic terms. And if we are not to buy “first of a kind” reactors but “next of a kind” ones, does this mean we wont buy unproven experimental units but will buy unproven Mk1 production units which have not yet been used to supply power to a grid and which have proven that they fulfil the promises this Parliamentary Committee is making? No such reactors exist with a track record in service providing economic power to any nation grid. None have existed in such deployment and there is no service life span in commercial use for any of these “new” reactor types. 10 years would be the bare minimum to test such a unit over. Anything less is not satisfactory Continue reading

March 5, 2020 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, politics, reference, spinbuster, technology | Leave a comment

Flinders University, South Australia: collusion with nuclear power promotion, Prof Pam Sykes, and the scam of “hormesis”

The Industry Push to Force Nuclear Power in Australia, Part 1 of A Study of the “Report of the inquiry into the prerequisites for nuclear energy in Australia” Australian Parliamentary Committee 2020.by nuclearhistory, February 29, 2020“………….The most recent nuclear collaboration between Australia and a nuclear power for nuclear purposes commenced in the year 2000. At that time a US Department of Energy Contractor named Bobby Scott, based at Los Alamos and at Lovelace Respiratory Research Laboratory, New Mexico, came to Adelaide carrying contract documents. The documents were to be signed by the US DOE and involved personnel of Flinders University. Bobby Scott is a well known (to people in the field) as a leading advocate for the theory of radiation hormesis. The contract to be signed was the first of a number. From the time of the signing of that contract, Flinders University engaged in very strong advocacy of the expansion of nuclear industry in South Australia. Prof Pam Sykes was flown from Adelaide to Los Almos and undertook training and seminars in Hormesis. The concept that radioactive substances are, in her words, “like vitamins”.

I have fully explained that this unproven theory flies in the face of reality in terms of radiological safety and data from monitoring of dose and disease all over the world, including, contrary to the claims of the school hormesis, the naturally high background radiation regions of Iran and India. In those parts of Iran and India, (the five northern provinces in Iran, and Kerala in India) some cancer rates are among the highest in the world. Further, in those Iranian provinces breast cancer in teenage women is more common than it is even in the West. And so on. There are five types of cancer in northern Iran which have very high rates. In south western Kerala, the rates of female thyroid cancer is very, very high.

Contrary the to statements made by the school of hormesis, headquartered at Los Alamos, USA and Flinders University Adelaide. From 2000 on, Flinders University promoted the idea of radioactive substances such as uranium and its decay products and the fission products as being “like vitamins”, necessary for life. By 2011 the university was promoting the idea that an expansion of the state’s uranium mines would be good for the health of South Australians, because the natural background here is “too low” for good health. Presumably the transport of tons of additional uranium ore by train from the mines to the ports in open railway trucks would result in faint clouds of radionuclide “vitamins” being dispersed over the whole population of the state in precisely the right theoretical dose, taking into account, somehow, automatically, the age, gender and health status of each South Australian. (I didn’t write what Sykes did, so don’t blame me.). In 2011 the US DOE funded Flinders University put its pedal to the metal and flew into the debate, labelling South Australians who disagreed with it’s position in words which were insulting and which labelled us as lunatics, radiophobes and totally ignorant of radiological safety principles, cowardly, and devoid of reason. Read it here: https://news.flinders.edu.au/blog/2011/07/14/radiation-response-a-meltdown-in-reason/

At least in the piece the University acknowledges that Sykes is funded by American tax dollars paid to the University by a foreign government with a vested interest in obtaining cheap Australian uranium. One of the University’s programs, as explained by Sykes on Channel 7 in 2011 was to deliver healthy male volunteers of all ages radiation doses to their prostate glands to see what happened to those glands. For a fuller accounting of this foreign interference by the USA, using money to induce an Australian university to carry out US policy in terms of the South Australian uranium debate, see my submissions to the SA Royal Commission into the nuclear fuel cycle  here: https://www.academia.edu/14613296/Submission_to_the_South_Australian_Nuclear_Fuel_Cycle_Royal_Commission It’s not pretty, and it was a complete re run of the British/Australian nuclear collaboration of decades earlier (from which this country has not fully recovered). It continues today.
The presumption of nuclear industry and PR program, based as it is on the concepts of the arrogant Dr. Goldman (the last man to deny Chernobyl fallout caused childhood thyroid cancer). Any bullshit will do, just get consent or don’t worry about consent. That’s the line. I’m a doctor, you can’t argue with me. Yes i can sir. You are a liar. I expect Sykes to pop her head up again soon. I’m hoping TEPCO renames the Fukushima break water “The Sykes Health Spa and Resort”. Meanwhile, a bit later on the former SA Premier bobs up and says “Let’s discuss nuclear waste storage, because the northern hemisphere has a big problem with it, and they will pay us plenty to become their global dump. No one, much, lives on Eyre Peninsular, so we can bury the stuff there in tubes made from SA copper, which will last a million years. No worries.   We are working with the Swedes on the this. (I’d rather he’d worked with a pumpkin). We promise, the Premier said, never ever, in a zillion years, or for the life of this government, which ever comes first, to use our nuclear knowledge or nuclear resources for military purposes. Even as he spoke those words, he must have known he was wrong, because the supposed research the US paid for (via experiments the US DOE designed) was already being used by the US Air Force in its negotiations with the State of Nevada. The USAF wanted to fire more DU ammunition on the Fallon Air Firing Range, whereas the State of Nevada wanted less to be fired and more to be cleaned up. No joke, I have the letters, and the DOE publication which promotes it’s new you beaut hormesis technology. Which doesn’t work.
And so that brings me to current time. Hormesis research continues and remains unproven. No-one has solved the very high rates of certain cancers in naturally high radiation areas of Iran and India. And the USAF is still having to clean up its on going messing of the land in Nevada, while no one bothers about the DU littered battlefield of Europe and the Middle East. And the Chair of this nuclear committee, a highly skilled politician which a knowledge of China, reckons I and all I say is not worth while. This argument has been going on for many, many decades. The safety culture of the nuclear authorities is totally lame, pathetic and dangerous. I can imagine, on the basis of the past and on the basis of the changing geo-political future, what the results of Australian collaboration in nuclear energy with other nations will be.……  https://nonuclearpowerinaustralia.wordpress.com/2020/02/29/part-1-of-a-study-of-the-report-of-the-inquiry-into-the-prerequisites-for-nuclear-energy-in-australia-australian-parliamentary-committee-2020/

March 5, 2020 Posted by | reference, South Australia, spinbuster | 1 Comment

Prof Peta Ashworth, stooge of the nuclear lobby, is again propagandisingfor them

Tim Bickmore , No Nuclear Waste Dump Anywhere in South Australia, 3 Mar 20
An upcoming pro-nuke propaganda circus headlines Prof PETA ASHWORTH.

Supposedly independent (LOL), Ms Ashworth was contracted by DIIS to massage the NRWMF community consultation process ~ & recommended a 2 site competition strategy to “…. ‘motivate competing communities to become invested in winning …”

Yet here she now be, boldly spruiking nuclear power in the company of other tricky nuke cyclists……

PS…. JACOBS would be one of the front runners in the chase to get the Govt contract for construction &/or to operate any national radioactive suppository.  https://www.facebook.com/groups/1314655315214929/

March 5, 2020 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, spinbuster | Leave a comment

No advantage in ‘new’ back-to-the-future nuclear reactors for Australia. Is the real motive military?

It is a spurious argument to say any reactor type will reduce Australia’s power industry high level nuclear waste when we produce zero at the moment.
only a devotee of nuclear power would see any advantage in introducing any type of nuclear reactor to Australia. Unless the real motive for such a reactor is a military motive. If so, the O’Brien Committee and the government need to come clean on that.
The waste from the very first molten salt fuelled and cooled reactor, as we saw in the previous post, continues to cost US taxpayers money 60 years later.
The sub text of the picture admits that nuclear industry cannot keep going in the way that it has done since the days between 1945 and now. The industry would disappear if it did not “modernise”.  
Seeing as there actually no new concepts, why not look again, in desperation, at the rejected designs of the past?

Part 2 of A Study of the “Report of the inquiry into the prerequisites for nuclear energy in Australia” Australian Parliamentary Committee 2020.       The Industry Push to Force Nuclear Power in Australia    

The Parliamentary Committee recommends, in part, the following: Recommendation 2

The Committee recommends that the Australian Government undertake a body of work to progress the understanding of nuclear energy technology by:

  1. Commissioning the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO), or other equivalent expert reviewer, to undertake a technological assessment on nuclear energy reactors to:
    1. produce a list of reactors that are defined under the categories of Generation I, II, III, III+ and IV;
    2. advise on the technological status of Generation III+ and Generation IV reactors including small modular reactors;
    3. advise on the feasibility and suitability of Generation III+ and Generation IV reactors including small modular reactors in the Australian context; and
    4.  formulate a framework to be used by Government to monitor the status of new and emerging nuclear technologies.The first item of the recommendation – for ANTSO to compile of reactors according to each one’s status within the table of Generation – 1 to 4 might be a good idea, for many of the Generation IV reactor designs were first envisaged and trialled in the 1950s and 1960s before being discarded. Whereas, at the present time, and since the time the US Department of Energy sought ways of halting the decline of nuclear power’s percentage contribution to global energy supply in the 1990s. For that is the time that the idea of resurrecting old designs and calling them new and “Generation IV” and re marketing them first arose

The waste from the very first molten salt fuelled and cooled reactor, as we saw in the previous post, continues to cost US taxpayers money 60 years later.

In 2014 the Brookings Institute published an essay by Josh Freed entitled “Back to the Future, Advanced Nuclear Energy and the Battle Against Climate Change”. This essay is available to read at http://csweb.brookings.edu/content/research/essays/2014/backtothefuture.html The cover illustration is very interesting.

The titled cover includes the disclosure that the nuclear industry sees a future for previously discarded, old reactor designs. It shows a nuclear reactor sitting below sea level, protected by a combined Dyke / Causeway for levitating vehicles. Huge waves threaten the Dyke, vehicles, reactor and giant Science Woman, who is watching on with skilled impartiality. In the distance, buildings taken straight from the cartoon “The Jetsons” appear. The illustration is also, actually, a reinterpretation of the events which occurred in March 2011 at Fukushima. The sub text of the picture admits that nuclear industry cannot keep going in the way that it has done since the days between 1945 and now. The industry would disappear if it did not “modernise”.

The fission industry is dying as more and more competition arises in the form of alternative technologies in the energy generation technology market. Even Fusion research continues to make inroads toward the goal of successful and economic power generation, but it still a few years off. The 1930s fission patents of Szilard are long in the tooth and actually, in terms of economic energy production has always been a failure. Kick started by governments, the standard designs are trusted by fewer and fewer people, especially throughout Asia. Westinghouse Nuclear, GE Nuclear, Toshiba Nuclear are all bankrupt. British Nuclear Fuels Ltd is broke, Sellafield is broke and a growing cleanup cost liability.

So increasingly, the industry needs a unique selling point, something new and radical, something that solves the old nuclear problems. It needs a product which never fails or spills radioactive materials into the biosphere, it needs a product that will not fail because the grid goes down for a few days, it cannot melt down, catch fire like Windscale, Monju and Fermi 1 did.

Seeing as there actually no new concepts, why not look again, in desperation, at the rejected designs of the past? The essay by Josh Freed (his real name) mentions a company called Transatomic. In contrast to the contents of the Freed article, which claims the old new reactor envisioned by Transatomic run on nuclear waste, Transatomic make no such claim. They state that their proposed reactor would run on liquid uranium fuel. As per the original 50s/60s design. They claim that the Molten salt reactor would create less weight of high level waste.

Because the waste would be continuously removed from the reactor. he corporate website for Transatomic is here: http://www.transatomicpower.com/the-science/ And this, from their web site, is precisely what they promise: Molten salt reactors like Transatomic Power’s are fueled by uranium dissolved in a liquid salt. The fuel is not surrounded by cladding, making it possible to continuously remove the fission products that would otherwise stop the nuclear reaction. The liquid fuel is also much more resistant to structural damage from radiation than solid materials – simply, liquids have very little structure to be damaged. With proper filtration, liquid fuel can remain in a molten salt reactor for decades, allowing us to extract much more of its energy.” end quote. They claim their reactor design produces half the nuclear waste of a comparable conventional light water reactor.

This still does not solve the high level nuclear waste stockpile. It adds to it. Given the competition nuclear power has in the modern world, given that the need for ‘baseload’ energy is now shown to be nonsense, what would 1 or 2 small modular molten salt reactors add to Australia? Would they merely replace coal fire powered generation? SA has not had coal fired electricity for some years now. A combination of solar, wind and storage in SA means SA is a net electricity exporter to the Eastern States. We have back up of gas fired generation which very rarely needed.

Sadly for Transatomic, Green Tech Media state the following at https://www.greentechmedia.com/articles/read/transatomic-to-shutter-its-nuclear-reactor-plans-make-its-technology-public announced the following in 2018:

“Transatomic to Shutter It’s Nuclear Reactor Plans, Open-Source It’s Tecnology.

The startup backed by Peter Thiel won’t be able to build its advanced reactor designs—but it’s making its IP available for others to carry on the work.” Source: Jeff St. John, 25 Sept 2018.as given above.

This gift to the world by Transatomic occurred at the time in Australia when various people began a bombastic and highly enthused campaign to convince Australians that Molten Salt Reactors, fuelled with either Uranium or Lithium or nuclear waste, were Jesus Mark 2. “We’ll Save Yer, just like we did in the Cold War. Solar and batteries are for whimps. We Can’t have solar and wind power in Australia, its a threat to Queensland Coal. Let’s nuclear instead and all make a quick a buck with IP”.

Funny that. Talk about drumming up business prospects and investment funds, and in 2020, floating a float on the back of sympathetic and one eyed Parliamentary Inquiry!

Double or Nothing?

The promise made by Transatomics is that molten fuel/molten salt reactors made with modern techniques will reduce by roughly half the amount of high level nuclear waste generated per unit of power generated. However, at the current time the amount of high level nuclear waste (ie, fission products -the transmutation products described in Szilard’s 1930s patents) and the release of the gaseous forms of these substances into the atmosphere, generated by Australian electricity generation is ZERO.

So the introduction of Molten Salt Reactor into Australia for electricity production will RAISE the production of high level nuclear waste from this activity by 100%. It won’t half, it won’t double, it will increase by x grams per watt. It is a spurious argument to say any reactor type will reduce Australia’s power industry high level nuclear waste when we produce zero at the moment. And if Australia continues on its non nuclear path, that zero rate of power related high level waste will remain zero forever. So where is the advantage for Australia in introducing power reactors in the civilian sphere?

I am led to believe that it will take between 10 – 20 years for any Australian nuclear power reactor to come on line from the time it is approved. By that stage the competition from other forms of low carbon power production will be much, much more severe than it is now. And today, in my opinion, only a devotee of nuclear power would see any advantage in introducing any type of nuclear reactor to Australia. Unless the real motive for such a reactor is a military motive. If so, the O’Brien Committee and the government needs to come clean on that. Not that they will. Such an admission is likely to be impossible for several reasons. Besides, no nuclear industry is free to fully disclose the corporate production and disposition of “special nuclear materials”.

So, I suppose in the end the Committee recommend ANTSO compile a list of reactor types and nominate the current industry PR terms for each type. For the Generational types (1 through IV) have actually very little to do with the chronological order and date range over which each type first manifest as a prototype. The small World War 2 German reactors, of which there were many, are little known, and the US ALSOS project has not disclosed that much about them. Germany had at least 4 reactor programs, 7 ways of enriching uranium. Japan had an Army fission project, a Navy fission project, an Air Force Fission project. All were formally abandoned, ironically , in July 1945. Germany was able to enrich uranium.

This is ancient history, but the world remains fairly ignorant I think, as to which reactor type is the safest, most economic, most reliable and so on. So far, all I have heard from the nuclear industry is PR manufactured originally by the US Department of Energy which relabelled the various reactor designs originated in the US according to a “Generation Number” which is completely detached from the chronological sequence in which they occurred.

In World War 2 Germany was working on heavy water reactors. Does that mean Hitler’s heavy water reactors were Generation III+ ? Of course not. They were Gen 1. As was the Canadian heavy water reactor of World War 2 which supplemented the US plutonium production at Hansford. If the Candu reactor is Gen III+ I’m Father Christmas. What the US DOE is doing with its naming is using marketing techniques to sell old concepts as new ideas.

Car companies do the same when naming cars. Makers of garbage trucks send salesmen around to Council depots extolling the virtues of the Gen IV 2 ton rubbish truck, complete with compactor, a tilt tray and 8 track stereo sound. And Depot managers get given toy model rubbish trucks they sit on their book cases to show how technically astute they are in the field of garbage.

Same deal here. It’s a no brainer. Yet, start collecting lists from ANSTO Mr. O’Brien. Great idea sir. It’ll keep you off the streets for awhile.

March 3, 2020 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, politics, spinbuster | Leave a comment

Busting the lies of the Australian Government about “new” nuclear reactors

The core propositions of non-traditional reactor proponents – improved economics, proliferation resistance, safety margins, and waste management – should be reevaluated.

Before construction of non-traditional reactors begins, the economic implications of the back end of these nontraditional fuel cycles must be analyzed in detail; disposal costs may be unpalatable………. reprocessing remains a security liability of dubious economic benefit

Non-traditional” is used to encompass both small modular light water reactors (Generation III+) and Generation IV reactors (including fast reactors, thermal-spectrum molten salt reactors, and high temperature gas reactors)

March 3, 2020 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, politics, spinbuster, technology | Leave a comment

No, Mr Baldock, our children do not deserve this dirty, long-lasting, nuclear trash dump

Paul Waldon  Fight To Stop A Nuclear Waste Dump In South Australia, 21 Feb 20, People leaving, property values dropping, large tracts of land hitting the market, children’s heritage being sold and/or eroded, a once strong community now divided, people happier to shop outside their community, these are the trademarks of a dying town with poor opportunities.

An aggressive social cancer fueled by a desperate and ignorant nuclear embracing dichotomy trying to grasp the doctrines of the indentured servitude bound nuclear coterie with a vested interest spouting factoids will surely fail to attract new business and people to the region.

Meanwhile Andrew Baldock, nuclear profiteer, social axe man has continued to state “We are doing this for the children!”

Well Baldock my children, my children’s children’s children don’t deserve this.   https://www.facebook.com/groups/941313402573199/

February 22, 2020 Posted by | Federal nuclear waste dump, South Australia, spinbuster | Leave a comment

Correcting the propaganda: Australia’s nuclear medicine DOES NOT NEED a national radioactive waste dump

February 22, 2020 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Federal nuclear waste dump, spinbuster | Leave a comment

#ScottyFromMarketing ‘s hypocritical ploy to do nothing effective against climate change

February 22, 2020 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, climate change - global warming, politics, spinbuster | Leave a comment

“Ecomodernists” – Ben Heard, Oscar Archer, Barry Brook, Geoff Russell, – Australia’s pro-nuclear fake environmentalists

even in Heard’s scenario, only a tiny fraction of the imported spent fuel would be converted to fuel for imaginary Generation IV reactors (in one of his configurations, 60,000 tonnes would be imported but only 4,000 tonnes converted to fuel). Most of it would be stored indefinitely, or dumped on the land of unwilling Aboriginal communities.
Russell’s description of Aboriginal spiritual beliefs as “mumbo-jumbo” is beyond offensive.
Silence from the ecomodernists about the National Radioactive Waste Management Act (NRWMA), which dispossesses and disempowers Traditional Owners in every way imaginable:
Now, Traditional Owners have to fight industry, government, and the ecomodernists as well.

 

January 24, 2020 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, politics, reference, spinbuster | Leave a comment

Australian Parliamentary Committee Want Money Wasted On More Nuclear Reports

 Parliamentary Committee Supports Nuclear – But Only If Everyone Is Into It , Solar Quotes, December 19, 2019 by Ronald Brakels   “….They Want Money Wasted On More Reports

The report suggests we get people to write another report on how much nuclear power will cost here:

But I have a different suggestion.  A much cheaper one.  We just wait for another country to build and operate a nuclear power plant at a low enough cost that would be competitive in Australia.  Then we can look into it.

Better yet, to make sure they aren’t exaggerating how cheap their nuclear power is, we say:

“Hey, budget nuclear energy guys, how would you like to build a nuclear power station in Australia?  We give you nothing, but you get the market price for whatever electricity you sell.”

If they say, “nyet” or “bu shi” or “piss off” then we can suspect it’s not as cheap as they’re making it out to be.

If they say, “yes” then we can talk about how they’ll be required to insure it for a reasonable amount based on the costs of nuclear accidents that have occurred in the past.  While nuclear power is very safe, there must have been at least one or two minor little upsets.

Everyone Has To Love Nuclear Energy

The report says that social acceptance of nuclear power is necessary for it to go ahead.  So it’s not going to go ahead because that’s not going to happen.  Nuclear energy has turned out to be an economic disaster overseas, we have much cheaper alternatives, and now that I think about it there have been one or two major nuclear accidents overseas that have left a bad impression.

There was a problem with a nuclear power station in Fukushima, Japan.  The Japanese Government estimated the cost at around $270 billion dollars.  As our government is currently willing to spend around $4.5 million to save an Australian life through public health and safety measures, if we lost that amount of money it would represent around 60,000 Australian lives that potentially could have been saved with it.

Since nuclear power — at the costs we see overseas — is only going to increase electricity bills, and we have far cheaper ways to reduce emissions that are quicker to deploy, and because Australians aren’t in love with a very very small chance of a nuclear accident that has a very high cost, there will never be acceptance for nuclear power in this country.  Not in its current form.  But be sure to let me know when a DeLorean compatible Mr Fusion becomes available.

I’m guessing the entire section on social acceptance is only in the report so when nuclear power doesn’t get built, its supporters can say, “It’s the fault of normal Australians for not believing in the nuclear economic viability fairy hard enough”, rather than admit they themselves were wrong.

The Moratorium Means Nothing

Currently there is a moratorium on nuclear power in Australia.  This means you’re not allowed to build it without special permission from the government.  Well, guess what?  In this country you are never going to be allowed to build a nuclear reactor without permission from the government.  That’s just the way it is.  I know it’s a terrible infringement of our right to build nuclear reactors in our backyards and squash courts.  But on the other hand, it does support our right not to live next door to someone who’s building a nuclear reactor in their backyard, so I could go either way on this one.

The report suggests scrapping the moratorium or partially lifting it.  I’m not sure what partially lifting it means.  Maybe you have to ask for permission but you don’t have to say pretty please or maybe it just means they won’t be too worried if you have an eye patch, a cool scar, and introduce yourself as “The Jackal”.

Because the moratorium doesn’t really mean anything, there may not be any harm in lifting it and shutting up a few idiots who think the only reason nuclear power isn’t currently under construction in this country is because the government hasn’t muttered the magic words, “The moratorium is lifted!”  So they may as well say moratorium leviosa and be done with it.

It’s not as if nuclear power is going to be built in this country one way or the other.  Supporters will soon discover no one’s lining up to build reactors even with our current high wholesale electricity prices.  The only way they will get built is with very substantial subsidies and the government is too busy trying to keep coal power afloat while Australia burns to waste its energy subsidising nuclear.   https://www.solarquotes.com.au/blog/nuclear-energy-australia/

 

December 19, 2019 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, politics, spinbuster | Leave a comment

Pro nuclear nonsense from Geoff Russell – “we’re all toast without nuclear power”

Once again, New Matilda gave nuclear lobbyist Geoff Russell a forum for an attack on a critic of the nuclear industry.  (Steggall’s Chicken On Nuclear Family, While Party Politics Buggers Inquiry, 16 Dec 19.) On this occasion, New Matilda was trashing a very mild nuclear critic, Zali Steggall.

So we’re “all toast” without nuclear power? This is nonsense. Even Geoff Russell knows that to get up and running the thousands of nuclear power plants that would be needed to stall global heating – would take decades. That means that, with the speed of global heating, nuclear power would be too late to make any difference. (And that’s if nuclear power really were effective against climate change – which it isn’t, when you consider the whole carbon emitting nuclear fuel cycle from uranium mining to deep disposal of wastes) Meanwhile, energy efficiency, wind and solar power, are quickly set up, quickly effective, and provide energy fuel that is genuinely zero carbon.

December 17, 2019 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, media, spinbuster | 1 Comment

Dr Jim Green busts ANSTO’s spin about nuclear wastes

Dr Jim Green at Senate Nuclear Inquiry , 11 Nov 19

WES FANG: I am unaware if you heard the evidence earlier today, but we heard from Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation about the advances that have developed not only in the development of power but also in the way that waste is handled. ANSTO is not a lobbyist; it is a scientific organisation.

Dr GREEN: ANSTO is a lobbyist and its claims about nuclear waste are demonstrably false. I mean that quite literally. If you take the example of the integral fast reactor, the idea is that you can use high-level nuclear waste, consume it in a reactor and then turn it into low-carbon power. That is an incredibly enticing proposition but the reality in Idaho—where they operated one of those demonstration reactors and are now trying to deal with the waste—is that they have turned one difficult, challenging form of nuclear waste, namely spent fuel, into multiple forms of challenging, difficult nuclear waste. They have not improved the situation; they have made a bad situation worse.

That is the reality of the theoretical arguments that you have heard from ANSTO this morning. I would also strong recommend that you read the articles that we have pointed to in our submission from Dr Allison Macfarlane, who is a former chair of the US Nuclear Regulatory Committee. Once again, she has looked at demonstration advanced reactor projects. They are not improving waste management issues; they are making those issues more difficult to deal with—demonstrably in the real world, as opposed to the theoretical nonsense you have heard from ANSTO.

December 7, 2019 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, spinbuster | Leave a comment