Australian news, and some related international items

Fusion: Ten Times More Expensive Than Nuclear Power,

Fusion: Ten Times More Expensive Than Nuclear Power, Robert L. Hirsch & Roger H. Bezdek
May 12, 2021  

The U.S. and world fusion energy research programs are developing something that no one will want or can afford. The stated goal of fusion energy research is to provide a new source of electric power based on nuclear fusion, the process that powers the sun and the stars. That has proven to be an extremely difficult task because the related physics is extremely difficult. In the 1970s, the Russian tokamak fusion configuration emerged as having great promise for creating and containing the extremely hot gas, known as plasma.

Physicists worldwide adopted the tokamak approach and worked mightily to understand what was going on in the associated hot plasma while scaling up tokamak experiments. The goal was to progress to a system large enough that more energy would be produced in a tokamak system than was required to heat the plasma. Over the past six decades, while substantial progress has been made, ever so slowly the promise of commercially viable fusion power from tokamaks has ebbed away.  Some recognized the worsening commercial outlook, but most researchers simply continued to study and increase the size of their tokamak devices — and to increase the size of their budgets.

At present, there are a number of large tokamak experiments worldwide. The largest such facility is the so-called ITER tokamak experiment, now under construction in France. ITER’s goal is to create a tokamak plasma that is so hot and long lived that it would produce ten times more energy than was used to heat the plasma. ITER was originally envisioned to cost roughly $5 billion, a level that might extrapolate to a reasonably priced tokamak fusion power plant.

However, reality slowly intervened, and the cost of ITER greatly escalated. ITER managers now contend that ITER’s cost is approximately $22 billion. This contention cannot be easily verified, because different parts of ITER are being built in different places around the world, and actual costs are difficult to estimate. The U.S. Department of Energy, which is supposed to be paying 9% of total ITER costs, has estimated that actual ITER costs are much higher, roughly $65 billion.

We calculated that even at a cost of $22 billion, the resulting cost of a power plant based on ITER would be approximately ten times the cost of a nuclear fission power plant, and nuclear fission power plants are considered to be too expensive for further adoption in the U.S. If the ITER cost $65 billion, the resulting cost of a power plant based on ITER would be nearly 30 times more expensive than the cost of a nuclear fission power plant. Thus, no matter how you calculate, ITER is clearly a “White Elephant!”

But the situation is even worse. There are four fusion fuel combinations that might be considered for a practical fusion power plant. The easiest — but by no means easy — involves the fusing of two isotopes of hydrogen, deuterium and tritium.  Deuterium occurs as a small fraction of ordinary water, which is easily extracted. This implies that deuterium exists as an essentially infinite, very low-cost fuel. On the other hand, tritium does not exist in nature and decays radioactively. So, tritium must be produced. 

The largest source of tritium in the world is heavy water nuclear reactors in Canada. The combination of very limited world production of tritium and its loss by radioactive decay means that world supplies of tritium are inherently limited.  It has recently become clear that world supplies of tritium for larger fusion experiments are limited to the point that world supplies are inadequate for future fusion pilot plants, let alone commercial fusion reactors based on the deuterium-tritium fuel cycle.  In other words, fusion researchers are developing a fusion concept for which there will not be enough fuel in the world to operate!

So fusion researchers are developing a fusion concept that stands no hope of being economically acceptable, running on a fuel that does not exist in adequate quantities. The situation sounds impossible. How could this happen? The answer is that the cost escalation happened so slowly that researchers failed to notice. Neither did program managers and those involved in program oversight. The tritium supply issue became known after researchers were very far along with expensive, new tokamak experiments.

In effect “The foxes were watching the chicken coop” because all world fusion oversight over the past 60+ years has been conducted by fusion researchers and sympathizers — something we unfortunately witness in numerous government R&D programs. Practical electric power engineers, utility executives, and others who are not members of the fusion mafia have been excluded from fusion program evaluation. We recently suggested to the Secretary of Energy that she appoint a panel of non-fusion engineers and environmentalists to conduct the objective, independent evaluation we believe is necessary. The Secretary gave the request to the leader of the fusion program, who responded that the program is guided by two recent fusion panel determinations. Those panels consisted of fusion physicists and related researchers.

The situation is tragic. With so many people and institutions at risk of losing jobs and financial support, the “wagons have been circled,” and programs continue with excuses held in reserve. The waste is enormous.  Talented people and large sums of money are being wasted. For example, the U.S. fusion research budget for the current fiscal year is over $600 million.

And that is not all. The ITER fusion experiment, which will soak up a large fraction of world radioactive tritium, will yield an enormous amount of radioactive waste. That volume has been estimated at roughly 30,000 tons. Researchers feel that is not a problem because the radioactive decay of that waste will occur in roughly 100 years, which is a much shorter time period than the decay of radioactive waste from fission reactors. So, the argument is that this rad waste is not so terrible. However, this is debatable.

Is there no hope for attractive fusion power? The answer is yes, because there are a number of other fusion fuel cycles that could be economically and environmentally attractive. The fuel for these cycles is in huge supply, but the physics is much more difficult.  Some physicists shy away from even thinking about the related physics challenges. We will not know if one of these fuel cycles could prove viable unless we try. Right now, government support for these higher fuel cycles worldwide is trivial.

We continue to have hope for practical, acceptable, environmentally attractive fusion power. However, without sharp focus, capable management, and careful, independent oversight it will not happen. Change in fusion research will be jolting. It will also take considerable political courage.

May 13, 2021 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Bill Gates with his  GAVI (the Global Alliance for Vaccine Initative) has the power of a member State in the WorldHealth Organisation

GAVI (the Global Alliance for Vaccine Initative)

it becomes very clear that the private part of this public-private partnership has taken over control. And not only have they taken over control, they’re immune from everything. They’re not responsible for anything. This has got to stop.

The corruption of the WHO: Astrid Stuckelberger, Final Hour., 12 May 21,

Stuckelberger explains how the WHO has mutated into a system of global governance…..

Astrid Stuckelberger interviewed by the Corona Ausschuss

The lawyers at the Corona Ausschuss (the Corona Investigative Committee) have interviewed Dr. Astrid Stuckelberger,, a health scientist, researcher and long-term WHO collaborator. She says she was asked to “take a mandate” on international health regulation, which led to WHO collaboration on pandemic preparedness. She recounts her experience in this field in the interview below and reveals a number of rather extraordinary facts.

Briefly, they are:

1. Incredibly, Bill Gates apparently attempted to get himself the same status as any other country on the board of the WHO! As one of the lawyers remarks, he tried to create ‘Billgateistan’.

2. Gates was rejected in a vote but has seemingly managed, thanks to the leverage that his funding provides, to acquire some sort of special privileges.

Stuckelberger proposes deeper research into the nature of these, starting with the meeting in which Gates was turned down. I had a look at these but couldn’t find a reference to it directly. I did find these minutes from the meeting in 2017 in which a representative of the International Baby Food Action Network raise concerns about a lack of transparency around the relationship between the Gates Foundation and the WHO, the fact that “Foundation had made substantial contributions to many health initiatives and the fact that it could influence WHO’s nutrition policy was no secret. What was less well known, however, was that the Foundation had invested heavily in the food and beverage industries.”

As quoted: “Those investments had been glossed over in the Framework process and the resulting lack of clarity on the relationship had undermined public trust. She echoed the concerns of several Member States concerning the criteria and principles for secondments from nongovernmental organizations, philanthropic foundations and academic institutions. The Framework should be a safeguard; it should not be seen as a funding opportunity. It should be reviewed and evaluated at the earliest opportunity and the terms “partnership” and “stakeholder” clearly defined.”

The framework referred to is the ‘Framework of engagement with non-State actors’.Earlier that year a group of organisations, including the IBFAN, issued an open letter regarding their concern about commercial interests formally entering the WHO.

“Making up WHO budget shortfalls with funding from major investors in food, drug, and alcohol companies (which are often headquartered in wealthy countries) further compromises the independence of the WHO. Granting the Gates Foundation Official Relations status signifies a sharp departure from the post-WWII tradition of the World Health Assembly and makes a mockery of the conflict of interest safeguards purported to underpin the new “Framework of engagement with non-State actors (FENSA).”)

3. GAVI has diplomatic immunity that means it is almost completely protected and can do whatever it wants from its base in Geneva.

4. Swissmedic, the medical regulator, signed a three-way deal between Gates and the WHO. Stuckelberger believes Gates created such deals with many countries after being rejected by the board.

…………… there was already severe discomfort about the expanding power of the Gates Foundation and the commercial interests that it fronts for within the WHO. As the open letter mentioned above also states: “It is, of course, deeply troubling from a governance standpoint that the Executive Board is being asked to approve applicants for Official Relations and verify compliance with conflicts of interest safeguards without being provided with any relevant evidence—verified or otherwise—on the public record.” Does that means Gates’ request to join the Executive Board was entirely unrecorded?

…….. Here’s a machine translation of the terms of GAVI’s [ Global Alliance for Vaccine Initative”s] immunity:
“Art. 5 Immunity from Jurisdiction and Enforcement
1. in the course of its activities, GAVI Alliance shall enjoy immunity from jurisdiction and execution, except:

when such immunity has been expressly waived in a particular case by the Executive Director or by the person designated by him…………

Switzerland is the centre of a lot of corruption because we have one of the most important NGO, it’s GAVI, the Global Alliance for Vaccine Initative, which the foundation Bill Gates has, which has, I tell you, I have the papers, total immunity. Total, total. They can do whatever they want, the police cannot come and look into their computer. ……………..  Maybe we can get the minutes of the executive board. They even accepted that he would be considered as a member state because of the money he gives. So, this is unprecendented in the constitution of the member states.

RF: Is he now being considered as a member state?

AS: Not officially.

RF: But unofficially yes? And that’s probably, that’s why he has this immunity, right?

AS: Yeah. Well, I can tell you why it is very suspicious, it because I think he has done something which every member state the same contracts. What I found out with Swissmedic, Swissmedic is the FDA of Switzerland, because I gave the paper to a jouranlist and I can’t even find it…Swissmedic has signed a contract with Bill Gates and the WHO.

Continue reading

May 13, 2021 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Corruption in the pharmaceutical industry – the Bill Gates connection

I Never Trusted Bill Gates, Nor Should You

While leading a Senate investigation, I tracked a corrupt pharmaceutical executive right into the lobby of the much-vaunted Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation—Bill Gates did nothing.

The DisInformation Chronicle, May 11The last year has not been kind to Bill Gates. For two decades, Gates has shoveled out buckets of cash through the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to transform himself from despised 1990’s software monopolist to a present-day public health intellectual—a miraculous, money-fueled metamorphosis. But that reputational makeover has stumbled, as a series of critical articles have tarnished Gates’ paid-for golden image and cast doubt on his credibility. However, long before these articles came to light, I already knew that Gates could not to be trusted. 

A decade ago, I led a Senate investigation into a multi-billion-dollar diabetes drug sold by GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) that government scientists found to have caused around 83,000 heart attacks. During this federal investigation, I uncovered multiple examples of GSK officials intimidating medical experts who decried the drug’s dangers. A leader in this campaign was GSK’s chairman of research and development, Dr. Tadataka (Tachi) Yamada. 

By the time our committee uncovered GSK’s coercion campaign, Yamada had left the company to run Gates’ global health program. And yet, as the media outlets reported on Yamada’s prior role bullying physicians who tried to warn about the drug’s dangers, the Gates Foundation ignored this public outcry and allowed Yamada to maintain his pulpit as global health protector.

Twenty years back, journalists scrutinized Gates’ foundation as a vehicle to enrich himself and polish his appearance. But over the years, reporters began to forget Gates’ past and provide him a platform to puff himself up as scientific expert, despite his having no medical or scientific credentials. Bill Gates’ sculpted persona as health policy guru began to wobble last summer, however, precisely because of revelations showing the tools he had used to improve his media cachet.

In August 2020, Tim Schwab published an article in the Columbia Journalism Review exposing around $250 million in grants that Gates was throwing at journalism outlets including the BBC, NBC, Al Jazeera, ProPublica, National Journal, The Guardian, Univision, Medium, the Financial Times, The Atlantic, the Texas Tribune, Gannett, Washington Monthly, Le Monde, and the Center for Investigative Reporting. 

A later article in The Nation spotlighted Gates’ potential to profit from investments in companies situated to reap a windfall from the COVID pandemic. And another report in The Nation found that Gates’ funding has stifled debate in public health—described as “the Bill chill”—as organizations are reluctant to bite the hand that feeds them.

These revelations came as little surprise to me.

Continue reading

May 13, 2021 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

“It is just prejudice against clean energy”: Bowen slams Coalition hostility to renewables — RenewEconomy

Chris Bowen says Coalition’s antipathy to renewables is based on prejudice rather than ideology, and raises concerns about solar tax. The post “It is just prejudice against clean energy”: Bowen slams Coalition hostility to renewables appeared first on RenewEconomy.

“It is just prejudice against clean energy”: Bowen slams Coalition hostility to renewables — RenewEconomy

May 13, 2021 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Victoria government backs standards to blacklist fossil fuel hydrogen — RenewEconomy

The Victorian government has signed up to a certification scheme that prevents fossil fuel hydrogen from be able to claim it is a zero carbon energy. The post Victoria government backs standards to blacklist fossil fuel hydrogen appeared first on RenewEconomy.

Victoria government backs standards to blacklist fossil fuel hydrogen — RenewEconomy

May 13, 2021 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

“They’re going broke”, ESB chair says coal plant closures now unavoidable — RenewEconomy

ESB chair says not to worry about when coal plants might close, because they’re already going broke. The post “They’re going broke”, ESB chair says coal plant closures now unavoidable appeared first on RenewEconomy.

“They’re going broke”, ESB chair says coal plant closures now unavoidable — RenewEconomy

May 13, 2021 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Turnbull dismisses fossil hydrogen as “delay tactic” by coal and gas industry — RenewEconomy

Turnbull dismisses fossil fuel hydrogen and carbon capture and storage and laments lack of any new major clean energy projects in Morrison budget. The post Turnbull dismisses fossil hydrogen as “delay tactic” by coal and gas industry appeared first on RenewEconomy.

Turnbull dismisses fossil hydrogen as “delay tactic” by coal and gas industry — RenewEconomy

May 13, 2021 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The don’t-mention-climate budget delivers on its goal — RenewEconomy

The single most definitive driving force behind Scott Morrison’s climate policy has been avoiding talking about climate policy. The post The don’t-mention-climate budget delivers on its goal appeared first on RenewEconomy.

The don’t-mention-climate budget delivers on its goal — RenewEconomy

May 13, 2021 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Cash for gas and big emitters in another miserly budget for clean energy and EVs — RenewEconomy

Clean energy and electric vehicles again ignored in a federal budget focused on propping up fossil fuels. The post Cash for gas and big emitters in another miserly budget for clean energy and EVs appeared first on RenewEconomy.

Cash for gas and big emitters in another miserly budget for clean energy and EVs — RenewEconomy

May 13, 2021 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Questions that must be asked of Resource Minister Pitt, about the new money for Kimba, designated as Australia’s nuclear waste dump.

The contentious Waste Management Amendment (Site Specification, Community Fund and Other Measures) Bill 2020 has been listed in the Senate’s order of business for Tuesday 11 May 2021 as number 11 in the government business—orders of the day

The senator representing the responsible minister for the bill is Senator the Hon. Zed Seselja as Minister for International Development and the Pacific.

It is now important that people who care about the Kimba community,about South Australia, about Australia should contact politicians, especially Keith Pitt, Rowan Ramsey, and also Kimba Mayor Dean Johnson, and ask them these vital questions about the money that the Federal government plans to shower on Kimba.

Member for Grey, Rowan Ramsey MP, said the new nvestment highlighted the government’s commitment to
Kimba. Applications for projects will be open later in 2021 and will be assessed by Business Grants Hub in consultation with the Kimba community.

Pitt and Ramsay should be asked with regard to the latest grant:

1. How will it “drive further economic and socialimprovements across the Kimba community?

2. What is the economic success of Kimba?

3. What is the disruption which this has caused for the people in the area by the progress of the facility when
no effort has been made by Pitt and Ramsay to enable those objecting to the facility the opportunity to have an
independent assessment of the safety and economic consequences of the facility’s establishment?

4. Will the services and infrastructure under the new round of funding include payment for an independent assessment sought by the the many persons objecting to the facility proposals.?

5. Would the funding for this payment be made automatically by Pitt without the intended application process?

6. Does Pitt accept that a major part of the disruption to the people in the area has been caused by his government
failing in providing them with a safety case and enabling an independent assessment as demanded by them since the initial proposals for a facility?

7.Surely he would acknowledge that “this funding will be invested into therefore the disruption which this has
caused for the people who live in the area” by paying for an independent assessment as sought by them?

8. How does Ramsay expect that this funding will “include projects which will grow employment in the community”
when there is a justified fear and concern among many in the community that the facility’s presence will destroy the region’s economy“?

9. Is this “a warm welcome”?

10. How can Johnson justify this as “a win for Kimba businesses and residents” when there is the strong
likelihood based on overseas experience that the local economy will be destroyed through the presence and operations of the facility?

11. What are the important health care initiatives, tourism funding and economic diversification projects referred to in the media release as they presumably should have been normal funding obligations of the federal and state

May 11, 2021 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Federal nuclear waste dump, politics | Leave a comment

New South Wales Deputy Premier John Barilaro denies collusion with nuclear lobby. Labor opposition leader doesn’t believe him.

Barilaro denies nuclear ties: “It’s a straight out lie”
Filed in Just In by Taylah Fellows, Scone,  April 22, 2021   DEPUTY Premier John Barilaro has rejected connections drawn between the National Party and pro-nuclear group Atomic Australia, calling them “a straight out lie.”

A recent article in The Australian revealed Jeff McCormack, National Party Deputy Chief of Staff as the listed contact tech for Atomic Australia, which registered the domain names of competing candidates and, including his personal email address. (See: Barilaro: “We pulled their pants down.”)

The Australian said Mr McCormack denied being the owner of Atomic Australia and that a close confidant with an ABN had set up the domain in his name.

Today Mr Barilaro vehemently denied any affiliation between his office and the pro-nuclear group.

“Nobody in my office has any part of Atomic Australia, including Jeff McCormack,” Mr Barilaro said.

“We responded to the Australian and they didn’t run our comments and Jeff has said in that particular piece that it’s not Jeff McCormack but he won’t actually name the person it may be,” he said.

Barilaro said although the debate is still worth having, nuclear energy will not be part of the National Party agenda in the upcoming Upper Hunter by-election.

“I’m a big promoter of nuclear energy as a new energy source that decarbonises the environment and the economy but this election is not about nuclear because it’s banned in this nation,” Mr. Barilaro said………..

Opposition Leader Jodi McKay said the National Party remains focused on fake online websites and called on the Deputy Premier to come clean.

“We’ve already seen two fake websites that they’ve set up attacking two candidates in the Upper Hunter by-election and now we know the creation of these fake websites goes to the very heart of the Deputy Premier’s office. These websites have been created out of his office by his staff,” Ms McKay said.

This goes to the heart of his office. That means the head of the National Party is involved in these dirty tricks. This is a culture that is ingrained in the National party. It is why Michael Johnsen has been forced to resign because he’s not fit to be a member of the Parliament. Yet, now we know the Deputy Premier is involved in this.

“I would say to John Barilaro, to be honest, to say your staff was involved in this,” she said.

May 11, 2021 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Call for Kakadu annual funding to be doubled ahead of federal budget

Call for Kakadu annual funding to be doubled ahead of federal budget
 The yearly operating budget for Kakadu National Park should be doubled ‘at the very least’ even before a $276m masterplan is implemented, according to the region’s peak tourism body…… (subscribers only)

May 11, 2021 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

Australia’s fossil exports are on increasingly shaky ground — RenewEconomy

Australia’s major fossil fuel export customers are getting cold feet. What does that mean for the country’s fossil-reliant economy? The post Australia’s fossil exports are on increasingly shaky ground appeared first on RenewEconomy.

Australia’s fossil exports are on increasingly shaky ground — RenewEconomy

May 11, 2021 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Resources minister Keith Pitt refuses to say battery storage is dispatchable — RenewEconomy

Keith Pitt refuses to say whether he thinks battery storage is dispatchable, after blocking a government loan to a North Queensland wind and battery project. The post Resources minister Keith Pitt refuses to say battery storage is dispatchable appeared first on RenewEconomy.

Resources minister Keith Pitt refuses to say battery storage is dispatchable — RenewEconomy

May 11, 2021 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

AEMO says Australia “well ahead” of 90 per cent renewables scenario for 2040 — RenewEconomy

AEMO says record installations and growing pipeline of wind, solar and storage mean Australia is well ahead of “step change” scenario. The post AEMO says Australia “well ahead” of 90 per cent renewables scenario for 2040 appeared first on RenewEconomy.

AEMO says Australia “well ahead” of 90 per cent renewables scenario for 2040 — RenewEconomy

May 11, 2021 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment