Antinuclear

Australian news, and some related international items

Potential impact of radioactive wastes on water activities in the Spencer Gulf

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September 14, 2019 Posted by | Federal nuclear waste dump, South Australia | Leave a comment

Kimba or the Flinders Ranges – nuclear sacrifice zone?

Susan Craig Fight To Stop Nuclear Waste Dump In Flinders Ranges SA

Yet the Federal Government plan to store this nuclear waste indefinitely, above ground, on earthquake prone land, on floodplains in a canister that has a design life of 40 years, with no plans for a permanent facility and hope that future generations will come up with new ideas for a permanent disposal and the financial resources to implement them. This is an unethical neglect of responsibility and dangerous for the people of South Australia.

The Federal Government admits that Australia does not have enough nuclear waste to justify a safe, permanent facility for Intermediate Level Nuclear Waste and they have NO PLANS to build one.

This can only mean one of two outcomes. Leave it indefinitely in Kimba or The Flinders Ranges and expect our children to deal with it. Or, they will offer South Australia to become the International Sacrifice Zone to dispose of the world’s nuclear waste, enabling us to financially deal with our own.

Quote from the office of Kim Carr. “We have to get the nuclear waste out of Lucas Heights, because it’s too dangerous to have it in densely populated metropolitan Sydney.” Well if it’s too dangerous for Sydney, it’s too dangerous for South Australia. Both Steven Marshall and Peter Malinauskashave been asleep at the wheel on this and we need to wake up South Australia now before it’s too late. There is a nuclear waste site ballot taking place in Kimba next month which will likely decide the fate of our state. Only people within those precincts are allowed to vote, 99% of South Australian’s cannot vote on this. Call Steven Marshalll and Peter Malinauskas or your local MP and demand they stop the ballot process and engage with the people of South Australia. We cannot be a Sacrifice Zone

September 12, 2019 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Federal nuclear waste dump | Leave a comment

Minister Canavan and Department of Industry Innovation and science ready to spoil beautiful, sacred, and arable land – for nuclear trash

Goodes abuse mirrors SA nuclear fight, Eureka Street, Michele Madigan, 03 September 2019   On 21 August I came out of an Adelaide preview of The Australian Dream, Stan Grant’s documentary about the racialised mistreatment of the former AFL footballer Adam Goodes, for a brief interview on our local ABC’s Evening Show. The topic: the resumption of federal government visibility and determination to both deposit and dump nuclear waste in either the Flinders Ranges or Kimba regions.

Later I reflected on this synergy. One of these threatened areas was the location for The Australian Dream’s dramatic opening panoramic shot: Adam Goodes, a tiny figure in a vast landscape, with the Ranges of his ancestors in majestic background. …..
I wonder sometimes if this kind of vehement rage towards certain persons has parallels with the attitude and actions of some among us ‘latecomers’ to this country, to the country itself. It shows itself in a determination to exploit the country, to commodify it, to rape it of its resources; all done with entirely no regard for the consequences — on lands, on precious waters and eventually on all of us, the human race, who rely on creation for our survival.

There is at best exasperation, and at worst, genuine anger shown to many Australians seeking to defend country: to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander defenders certainly. In regard to non-Aboriginal people, the word ‘greenie’ has become largely a term of derision………

The Flinders became a place of healing refuge for Goodes. Yet the glory of its incredible antiquity has not been enough to shame the Minister and the Department for Industry, Innovation and Science (DIIS) in the four-year journey of seriously considering this place of ancestry, beauty, earthquakes and floods as host to Australia’s nuclear waste which will remain dangerous for 10,000 years. Neither has being part of just six per cent of Australia’s arable lands served any protection for the international grain-farming region of Kimba as the alternative choice.
As Goodes paid heavily for his defence against racism, defending country continues to be a costly business for the people of the Flinders and Kimba regions whose communities are irrevocably torn apart by the National Radioactive Waste Management Facility project. Despite Barngala Traditional Owners appealing against Justice White’s 12 July decision that their native rights give them no right to vote, the Kimba Council has recently decided their opinion ballot is to go ahead anyway — from 3 October to 7 November. In contrast, the Flinders Ranges Council is requiring a risk assessment before proceeding with their ballot. The Adnyamathanha people’s appeal remains undecided.

On 13 August, DIIS, in meeting with the Barndioota Consultative Committee in the Flinders, confirmed that the size of the proposed site would now be 60 per cent larger. On 21 and 22 August Minister Canavan visited both areas for brief ‘consultative’ meetings, declaring the site decision is likely before the end of this year, and acknowledging that this may take place before the Flinders ballot. While again refusing to give a named acceptable percentage on such a ballot, Senator Canavan stressed the ballot was just one component in the decision making. Other evidence will include the 1000 submissions in this still open process.

On his 26 August Evening Show, Peter Goers interviewed an enthusiastic proponent — the Member for the vast federal seat of Grey. Rowan Ramsey was indignant that ‘outsiders’ were daring to protest the project. As well as ignoring his companion interviewee, local Greg Bannon, Ramsay revealed his misconception that other South Australians and indeed other Australians have no right to object. In claiming no knowledge of nuclear transport accidents, clearly he had not heard of the 1994 spill near Port Augusta, to name just one example; nor that transporting and simply ‘storing’ the spent fuel rods from the Lucas Heights reactor is exponentially more dangerous than Olympic Dam yellowcake transport……    https://www.eurekastreet.com.au/article/goodes-abuse-mirrors-sa-nuclear-fight?utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Eureka%20Street%20Daily%20-%20Wednesday%204%20September%202019&utm_content=Eureka%20Street%20Daily%20-%20Wednesday%204%20September%202019+CID_df4eff5733a50d6914ba873c7e09aea7&utm_source=Jescom%20Newsletters&utm_term=Goodes%20abuse%20mirrors%20SA%20nuclear%20fight

September 5, 2019 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, environment, Federal nuclear waste dump | Leave a comment

Is Australian govt’s plan for “temporary” nuclear waste dump really part of drive to IMPORT NUCLEAR WASTES?

The Australian government is not being up front with the public.  The plan to set up a supposedly “temporary” nuclear waste dump in South Australia must be involved with some idea of what to do with these wastes permanently.

Is this plan in fact the precursor to a secret plan to set up a dump for the importation of nuclear wastes?

 

August 30, 2019 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Federal nuclear waste dump | Leave a comment

FlindersRanges Council delays nuclear waste dump ballot

Kimba council set a date while Hawker faces further delays, Transcontinental Amy Green  23 Aug19,

August 24, 2019 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Federal nuclear waste dump | Leave a comment

Resources Minister Matt Canavan in Kimba : pressing for a ‘Yes” vote in nuclear waste dump ballot?

The man on the right liberal politician member for Grey tendered his own property for a nuclear waste dump in his own town with out consulting any one not even his neighbor.

August 24, 2019 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Federal nuclear waste dump | Leave a comment

The Kimba nuclear waste dump ballot – breaching South Australian law?

ENuFF[SA], 21 Aug 19, Today Kimba Council announced a date for a community ballot on the radioactive suppository ~ October 3rd.
http://www.kimba.sa.gov.au/page.aspx?u=408&c=10102

The legality of conducting such a ballot needs to be tested in the courts, since s.13 of the Radioactive Waste Storage Facility (Prohibition) Act SA 2000 prohibits public monies being spent “…. encouraging or financing any activity associated with the construction or operation of a nuclear waste storage facility in this State.”
http://classic.austlii.edu.au/au/legis/sa/consol_act/nwsfa2000430/s13.html

This concerns & will affect ALL South Australians, not just Kimba. We should start a fund for a court injunction based upon s.13 “… any activity …” of the Radioactive Waste Facility [Prohibition] Act ~ & then engage Maurice Blackburn Lawyers [eg] to mount a case against the ballot.

https://www.facebook.com/sanuclearfree/

August 22, 2019 Posted by | Federal nuclear waste dump, legal, South Australia | Leave a comment

Council announces dates for Kimba radioactive waste ballot

Council announces dates for Kimba radioactive waste ballot, Kimba District Council, 21 Aug 19, The Kimba community will have its say on the of the Commonwealth Government’s proposed National Radioactive Waste Management Facility at one of two nominated sites in the district from October 3.

The District Council of Kimba today announced the dates for the long-awaited ballot, which has been delayed for more than 12 months due to litigation.

While the favourable judgment received by Council in the Federal Court of Australia on 12 July has been appealed, Mayor Dean Johnson said that there was no legal impediment to the ballot proceeding to determine the level of community support as part of the overall site selection process.

“Council’s position has always been to facilitate the ballot on behalf of the Minister for Resources and Northern Australia so our community could have its voice heard, and we reaffirmed that position at our ordinary meeting last week,” he explained.

“We were advised this morning that the Minister no longer requests that the Kimba and Hawker ballots to be run concurrently, so Council has commenced planning with a view to ballot papers being posted out on 3 October.”

The ballot will be run in a manner identical to that scheduled to be held in 2018, and applications from eligible ratepayers and residents for inclusion on the voters roll will be open for a period of three weeks from 23 August 2019 until midday on 13 September 2019…..http://www.kimba.sa.gov.au/page.aspx?u=408&c=10102&fbclid=IwAR1y2ZfiGYV6gFpnvtTkWYWNs1_LcelO3cQ1iLG3RaC22tVRoHy0NHQ2igg

August 22, 2019 Posted by | Federal nuclear waste dump, politics, South Australia | Leave a comment

Secrecy in Sinister Matt Canavan’s meeting with nuclear waste dump organisations in Hawker, South Australia

August 20, 2019 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Federal nuclear waste dump | Leave a comment

Some caustic comments on Minister Canavan’s closed nuclear waste dump meeting in Hawker S.A.

These comments refer to both the article above and to the one discussed at  https://antinuclear.net/2019/08/17/nuclear-waste-kimba-committee-even-discussed-transitioning-out-of-the-site-selection-process/

Raised eyebrows amongst anti-nuclear campaigners ….only? How about maybe the rest of the communities as well??

Also, last time I looked Kimba and Hawker were not islands!! Nope – they are DEFINITELY part of South Australia too!!! And ALL of South Australia will be affected by this National Nuclear Dump!

This is MEANT TO BE “AN OPEN AND TRANSPARENT PROCESS” so we have been told….When will we HAVE THAT???

Shan’t hold my breath!!…….DISGRACEFUL!!

Noel Wauchope Jeff Baldock’s Kimba property is allegedly the frontrunner for a future nuclear waste dump. No wonder this man is prominent at this meeting, happy with the progress and his financial prospects. Better than farming, hey?

Doug Potts The man who offered land owns both sites. I’m not sure if it’s free hold or lease. But why are they pushing, showing, brainwashing for these site especially when one is in a known sciesmic active area with floods as well. Also a West Australian site has said yes we would like this no interest is shown. Sadly the whole thing stinks like yesterday’s nappies!

August 20, 2019 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Federal nuclear waste dump | Leave a comment

Sinister for Resources, Matt Canavan, avoids Quorn community in his nuclear waste dump promotion visit

Katrina Bohr, no nuclear waste dump anywhere in south australia, 20 Aug 19, 

Have heard it through the Grapevine, we are expecting theMinister’s  presence.  Hawker and Kimba, the apple of his eye. Quorn has a voting population far greater than Hawker, yet we are overlooked. A 30 min. meeting on Wednesday at 12:30 with the Flinders Ranges Council in Quorn, is the limit of the Minister’s ‘time’ here.  https://www.facebook.com/groups/941313402573199/

August 20, 2019 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Federal nuclear waste dump | Leave a comment

Nuclear waste: Kimba committee even discussed transitioning out of the site selection process

Life after nuclear decision discussed, Eyre Tribune, Rachel McDonald  16 Aug 19, 

August 17, 2019 Posted by | Federal nuclear waste dump, South Australia | Leave a comment

Beautiful Flinders Ranges – no place for a nuclear waste dump

Beautiful Flinders, The Advertiser, MICHELE MADIGAN, 15 Aug 19

RE Susan Andersson’s letter “No nuclear move” (The Advertiser, yesterday): As I travelled south along the highway from Coober Pedy this week, the glorious Flinders Ranges to the east were an inspiring sight.

One can only wonder at a Federal Government, which proposes to build a low-level nuclear dump (toxic for 300 years) and, even more concerning, as the letter stated, to simply store intermediate nuclear waste (toxic for 10,000 years) at such an iconic Australian site.

Neither does it make sense to build and store such literally halfway across the country in the international grain farming area of the Kimba region.

Yes, surely, both for residents and we travellers, it is safer (and better for the SA economy) to store the intermediate-level waste where it is – under the eyes of the nuclear experts.

 

August 17, 2019 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Federal nuclear waste dump, politics | Leave a comment

Why is the Australian government planning a nuclear waste dump in an earthquake zone?

August 16, 2019 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Federal nuclear waste dump, safety | Leave a comment

NUCLEAR POWER ‒ NO SOLUTION TO CLIMATE CHANGE 

Friends of the Earth Australia Statement August 2019 http://www.nuclear.foe.org.au 

  1. Introduction 2. Nuclear Power Would Inhibit the Development of More Effective Solutions 3. The Nuclear Power Industry is in Crisis 4. Small Modular Reactors 5. Nuclear Weapons Proliferation and Nuclear Winter 6. A Slow Response to an Urgent Problem 7. Climate Change & Nuclear Hazards: ‘You need to solve global warming for nuclear plants to survive.’ 8. Nuclear Racism 9. Nuclear Waste 10. More Information 
  2. Introduction 

Support for nuclear power in Australia has nothing to do with energy policy – it is instead an aspect of the ‘culture wars‘ driven by conservative ideologues (examples include current and former politicians Clive Palmer, Tony Abbott, Cory Bernardi, Barnaby Joyce, Mark Latham, Jim Molan, Craig Kelly, Eric Abetz, and David Leyonhjelm; and media shock-jocks such as Alan Jones, Andrew Bolt and Peta Credlin). With few exceptions, those promoting nuclear power in Australia also support coal, they oppose renewables, they attack environmentalists, they deny climate change science, and they have little knowledge of energy issues and options. The Minerals Council of Australia – which has close connections with the Coalition parties – is another prominent supporter of both coal and nuclear power. 

In January 2019, the Climate Council, comprising Australia’s leading climate scientists and other policy experts, issued a policy statement concluding that nuclear power plants “are not appropriate for Australia – and probably never will be”. The statement continued: “Nuclear power stations are highly controversial, can’t be built under existing law in any Australian state or territory, are a more expensive source of power than renewable energy, and present significant challenges in terms of the storage and transport of nuclear waste, and use of water”. 

Friends of the Earth Australia agrees with the Climate Council. Proposals to introduce nuclear power to Australia are misguided and should be rejected for the reasons discussed below (and others not discussed here, including the risk of catastrophic accidents). 

  1. Nuclear Power Would Inhibit the Development of More Effective Solutions 

Renewable power generation is far cheaper than nuclear power. Lazard’s November 2018 report on levelised costs of electricity found that wind power (US$29‒56 per megawatt-hour) and utility-scale solar (US$36‒46 / MWh) are approximately four times cheaper than nuclear power (US$112‒189 / MWh). 

A December 2018 report by the CSIRO and the Australian Energy Market Operator concluded that “solar and wind generation technologies are currently the lowest-cost ways to generate electricity for Australia, compared to any other new-build technology.” 

Thus the pursuit of nuclear power would inhibit the necessary rapid development of solutions that are cheaper, safer, more environmentally benign, and enjoy far greater public support. A 2015 IPSOS poll found 

that support among Australians for solar power (78‒87%) and wind power (72%) is far higher than support for coal (23%) and nuclear (26%). 

Renewables and storage technology can provide a far greater contribution to power supply and to  climate change abatement compared to an equivalent investment in nuclear power. Peter Farley, a fellow of the Australian Institution of Engineers, wrote in January 2019: “As for nuclear the 2,200 MW Plant Vogtle [in the US] is costing US$25 billion plus financing costs, insurance and long term waste storage. For the full cost of US$30 billion, we could build 7,000 MW of wind, 7,000 MW of tracking solar, 10,000 MW of rooftop solar, 5,000MW of pumped hydro and 5,000 MW of batteries. That is why nuclear is irrelevant in Australia.” 

Dr. Ziggy Switkowski ‒ who led the Howard government’s review of nuclear power in 2006 ‒ noted in 2018 that “the window for gigawatt-scale nuclear has closed”, that nuclear power is no longer cheaper than renewables and that costs are continuing to shift in favour of renewables

Globally, renewable electricity generation has doubled over the past decade and costs have declined sharply. Renewables account for 26.5% of global electricity generation. Conversely, nuclear costs have increased four- fold since 2006 and nuclear power’s share of global electricity generation has fallen from its 1996 peak of 17.6% to its current share of 10%. 

As with renewables, energy efficiency and conservation measures are far cheaper and less problematic than nuclear power. A University of Cambridge study concluded that 73% of global energy use could be saved by energy efficiency and conservation measures. Yet Australia’s energy efficiency policies and performance are among the worst in the developed world. 

  1. The Nuclear Power Industry is in Crisis 

The nuclear industry is in crisis with lobbyists repeatedly acknowledging nuclear power’s “rapidly accelerating crisis”, a “crisis that threatens the death of nuclear energy in the West” and “the crisis that the nuclear industry is presently facing in developed countries”, while noting that “the industry is on life support in the United States and other developed economies” and engaging each other in heated arguments about what if anything can be salvaged from the “ashes of today’s dying industry”. 

It makes no sense for Australia to be introducing nuclear power at a time when the industry is in crisis and when a growing number of countries are phasing out nuclear power (including Germany, Switzerland, Spain, Belgium, Taiwan and South Korea). 

The 2006 Switkowski report estimated the cost of electricity from new reactors at A$40–65 / MWh. Current estimates are four times greater at A$165‒278 / MWh. In 2009, Dr. Switkowski said that a 1,000 MW power reactor in Australia would cost A$4‒6 billion. Again, that is about one-quarter of all the real-world experience over the past decade in western Europe and north America, with cost estimates of reactors under construction ranging from A$17‒24 billion (while a reactor project in South Carolina  was abandoned after the expenditure of at least A$13.3 billion). 

Thanks to legislation banning nuclear power, Australia has avoided the catastrophic cost overruns and crises that have plagued every recent reactor project in western Europe and north America. Cheaper Chinese or Russian nuclear reactors would not be accepted in Australia for a multitude of reasons (cybersecurity, corruption, repression, safety, etc.). South Korea has been suggested as a potential supplier, but South Korea is slowly phasing out nuclear power, it has little experience with its APR1400 reactor design, and South Korea’s ‘nuclear mafia‘ is as corrupt and dangerous as the ‘nuclear village‘ in Japan which was responsible for the Fukushima disaster. 

  1. Small Modular Reactors 

The Minerals Council of Australia claims that small modular reactors (SMRs) are “leading the way in cost”. In fact, power from SMRs will almost certainly be more expensive than power from large reactors because of diseconomies of scale. The cost of the small number of SMRs under construction is exorbitant. Both the private sector and governments have been unwilling to invest in SMRs because of their poor prospects. The December 2018 report by the CSIRO and the Australian Energy Market Operator found that even if the cost of power from SMRs halved, it would still be more expensive than wind or solar power with storage costs included (two hours of battery storage or six hours of pumped hydro storage). 

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”. 

No SMRs are operating and about half of the small number under construction have nothing to do with climate change abatement – on the contrary, they are designed to facilitate access to fossil fuel resources in the Arctic, the South China Sea and elsewhere. Worse still, there are disturbing connections between SMRs, nuclear weapons proliferation and militarism more generally. 

  1. Nuclear Weapons Proliferation and Nuclear Winter 

“On top of the perennial challenges of global poverty and injustice, the two biggest threats facing human civilisation in the 21st century are climate change and nuclear war. It would be absurd to respond to one by increasing the risks of the other. Yet that is what nuclear power does.” ‒ Australian

Nuclear power programs have provided cover for numerous covert weapons programs and an expansion of nuclear power would exacerbate the problem. After decades of deceit and denial, a growing number of nuclear industry bodies and lobbyists now openly acknowledge and even celebrate the connections between nuclear power and weapons. They argue that troubled nuclear power programs should be further subsidised such that they can continue to underpin and support weapons programs. 

For example, US nuclear lobbyist Michael Shellenberger previously denied power–weapons connections but now argues that “having a weapons option is often the most important factor in a state pursuing peaceful nuclear energy”, that “at least 20 nations sought nuclear power at least in part to give themselves the option of creating a nuclear weapon”, and that “in seeking to deny the connection between nuclear power and nuclear weapons, the nuclear community today finds itself in the increasingly untenable position of having to deny these real world connections.” 

Former US Vice President Al Gore has neatly summarised the problem: “For eight years in the White House, every weapons-proliferation problem we dealt with was connected to a civilian reactor program. And if we ever got to the point where we wanted to use nuclear reactors to back out a lot of coal … then we’d have to put them in so many places we’d run that proliferation risk right off the reasonability scale.” 

Running the proliferation risk off the reasonability scale brings the debate back to climate change. Nuclear warfare − even a limited, regional nuclear war involving a tiny fraction of the global arsenal − has the potential to cause catastrophic climate change. The problem is explained by Alan Robock in The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists: “[W]e now understand that the atmospheric effects of a nuclear war would last for at least a decade − more than proving the nuclear winter theory of the 1980s correct. By our calculations, a regional nuclear war between India and Pakistan using less than 0.3% of the current global arsenal would produce climate change unprecedented in recorded human history and global ozone depletion equal in size to the current hole in the ozone, only spread out globally.” 

Nuclear plants are also vulnerable to security threats such as conventional military attacks (and cyber-attacks such as Israel’s Stuxnet attack on Iran’s enrichment plant), and the theft and smuggling of nuclear materials. Examples of military strikes on nuclear plants include the destruction of research reactors in Iraq by Israel and the US; Iran’s attempts to strike nuclear facilities in Iraq during the 1980−88 war (and vice versa); Iraq’s attempted strikes on Israel’s nuclear facilities; and Israel’s bombing of a suspected nuclear reactor site in Syria in 2007. 

6. A Slow Response to an Urgent Problem 

Expanding nuclear power is impractical as a short-term response to climate change. An analysis by Australian economist Prof. John Quiggin concludes that it would be “virtually impossible” to get a nuclear power reactor operating in Australia by 2040. 

More time would elapse before nuclear power has generated as much as energy as was expended in the construction of the reactor. A University of Sydney report states: “The energy payback time of nuclear energy is around 6.5 years for light water reactors, and 7 years for heavy water reactors, ranging within 5.6–14.1 years, and 6.4–12.4 years, respectively.” 

Taking into account planning and approvals, construction, and the energy payback time, it would be a quarter of a century or more before nuclear power could even begin to reduce greenhouse emissions in Australia … and then only assuming that nuclear power displaced fossil fuels.

  1. Climate Change & Nuclear Hazards: ‘You need to solve global warming for nuclear plants to survive.’ 

“I’ve heard many nuclear proponents say that nuclear power is part of the solution to global warming. It needs to be reversed: You need to solve global warming for nuclear plants to survive.” ‒ Nuclear engineer David Lochbaum

Nuclear power plants are vulnerable to threats which are being exacerbated by climate change. These include dwindling and warming water sources, sea-level rise, storm damage, drought, and jelly-fish swarms. 

At the lower end of the risk spectrum, there are countless examples of nuclear plants operating at reduced power or being temporarily shut down due to water shortages or increased water temperature during heatwaves (which can adversely affect reactor cooling and/or cause fish deaths and other problems associated with the dumping of waste heat in water sources). In the US, for example, unusually hot temperatures in 2018 forced nuclear plant operators to reduce reactor power output more than 30 times

At the upper end of the risk spectrum, climate-related threats pose serious risks such as storms cutting off grid power, leaving nuclear plants reliant on generators for reactor cooling. 

‘Water wars’ will become increasingly common with climate change − disputes over the allocation of increasingly scarce water resources between power generation, agriculture and other uses. Nuclear power reactors consume massive amounts of cooling water − typically 36.3 to 65.4 million litres per reactor per day. The World Resources Institute noted last year that 47% of the world’s thermal power plant capacity ‒ mostly coal, natural gas and nuclear ‒ are located in highly water-stressed areas. 

By contrast, the REN21 Renewables 2015: Global Status Report states: “Although renewable energy systems are also vulnerable to climate change, they have unique qualities that make them suitable both for reinforcing the resilience of the wider energy infrastructure and for ensuring the provision of energy services under changing climatic conditions. System modularity, distributed deployment, and local availability and diversity of fuel sources − central components of energy system resilience − are key characteristics of most renewable energy systems.” 

  1. Nuclear RacismTo give one example (among many), the National Radioactive Waste Management Act dispossesses and disempowers Traditional Owners in every way imaginable: 
    • The nomination of a site for a radioactive waste dump is valid even if Aboriginal owners were not consulted and did not give consent. 
    • The Act has sections which nullify State or Territory laws that protect archaeological or heritage values, including those which relate to Indigenous traditions. 

The nuclear industry has a shameful history of dispossessing and disempowering Aboriginal people and communities, and polluting their land and water, dating from the British bomb tests in the 1950s. The same attitudes prevail today in relation to the uranium industry and planned nuclear waste dumps and the problems would be magnified if Australia developed nuclear power. 

The Act curtails the application of Commonwealth laws including the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Heritage Protection Act 1984 and the Native Title Act 1993 in the important site-selection stage. 

  • The Native Title Act 1993 is expressly overridden in relation to land acquisition for a radioactive waste dump.

9. Nuclear Waste

Decades-long efforts to establish a repository and store for Australia’s low-and intermediate-level nuclear waste continue to flounder and are currently subject to legal and Human Rights Commission complaints and challenges, initiated by Traditional Owners of two targeted sites in South Australia. Establishing a repository for high-level nuclear waste from a nuclear power program would be far more challenging as Federal Resources Minister Matt Canavan has noted

Globally, countries operating nuclear power plants are struggling to manage nuclear waste and no country has a repository for the disposal of high-level nuclear waste. The United States has a deep underground repository for long-lived intermediate-level waste, called the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP). However the repository was closed from 2014‒17 following a chemical explosion in an underground waste barrel. Costs associated with the accident are estimated at over A$2.9 billion

Safety standards fell away sharply within the first decade of operation of the WIPP repository ‒ a sobering reminder of the challenge of safely managing nuclear waste for millennia.

  1. More Information 
  • Climate Council, 2019, ‘Nuclear Power Stations are Not Appropriate for Australia – and Probably Never Will Be‘ 
  • WISE Nuclear Monitor, 25 June 2016, ‘Nuclear power: No solution to climate change‘ 
  • Friends of the Earth Australia nuclear power online resources 

August 15, 2019 Posted by | aboriginal issues, AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, climate change - global warming, technology, wastes | Leave a comment