Antinuclear

Australian news, and some related international items

BHP’s plan to take yet more water for huge copper-uranium mine

https://www.melbournefoe.org.au/olympic_dam_uranium_mine_expansion1219

The federal government is inviting public comment on BHP’s proposed expansion of the Olympic Dam copper-uranium mine (ODM) until Tues. 10 Dec 2019.

BHP plans to increase extraction of precious Great Artesian Basin water to an average 50 million litres per day for the next 25 years, with likely serious adverse impacts on the unique and fragile Mound Springs ‒ which are listed as an Endangered Ecological Community and are of significant cultural importance to Aboriginal people.

Please make a brief submission to the Federal Minister for Environment. You can use our pro-forma submission and just add your name (and you can add any additional comments you like).

More information:

December 5, 2019 Posted by | environment, South Australia, uranium | Leave a comment

Traditional Aboriginal owners will not give up fight against planned WA uranium mine, despite legal loss

December 5, 2019 Posted by | aboriginal issues, legal, uranium, Western Australia | Leave a comment

Fatal drive for economic growth, as planet is trashed by pollution and climate change

Don’t pursue economic growth at expense of environment – report
Europe’s environmental watchdog gives warning as climate crisis continues,
Guardian,  Fiona Harvey 4 Dec 19, in Madrid Pursuing economic growth at the expense of the environment is no longer an option as Europe faces “unprecedented” challenges from climate chaos, pollution, biodiversity loss and the overconsumption of natural resources, according to a report from Europe’s environmental watchdog.

Europe was reaching the limits of what could be achieved by gradual means, by making efficiencies and small cuts to greenhouse gas emissions, with “transformational” change now necessary to stave off the impacts of global heating and environmental collapse, warned Hans Bruyninckx, executive director of the European Environment Agency…..

The EEA scored 35 key measures of environmental health, from greenhouse gases and air pollution, waste management and climate change to soil condition and birds and butterfly species, and found only six in which Europe was performing adequately.

“Incremental changes have resulted in progress in some areas but not nearly enough to meet our long-term goals,” said Bruyninckx. Further marginal changes would grow only more expensive, he predicted, making large-scale change necessary. “We already have the knowledge, technologies and tools we need to make key production and consumption systems such as food, mobility and energy sustainable.”

Wholesale changes could include banning internal combustion engines and scaling up public transport, abandoning fossil fuels in favour of 100% renewable energy, stipulating that products must be designed and manufactured to create no waste, and changes to our diets and agricultural production. Environmental goals could not be seen as separate to or lesser than economic goals, and accepting environmental damage as an inevitable cost would lead to ecological collapse, Bruyninckx warned.

The old system – of “continuing to promote economic growth and seeking to manage the environmental and social impacts” – would not deliver the EU’s long-term vision of “living well, within the limits of the planet”, the report warned.

The report, known as European Environment – State and Outlook (SOER), is a comprehensive study produced every five years and details the health or otherwise of all natural systems across EU member states and others including Norway, Switzerland and Turkey. The 2020 edition was brought forward to inform the incoming European commission as they discuss a promised “green new deal”, and for delegates at COP25, the UN conference on climate change currently taking place in Madrid.

There has been little improvement since the last report in 2015, despite promises, policies and targets, according to SOER 2020. Fewer than a quarter of protected species and only 16% of habitats are in a good state of conservation. Reduced pollution has improved water quality, but Europe will miss by a long way its goal of having a “good” rating for all water bodies by 2020. Though air quality has improved, about a fifth of the urban population live in areas where concentrations of pollutants exceed at least one EU air quality standard, and 62% of ecosystems are exposed to excessive nitrogen levels.

Global heating has added to the risks to health……https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/dec/04/dont-pursue-economic-growth-at-expense-of-environment-report

 

December 5, 2019 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Paducah, Kentucky – severe nuclear waste problem exacerbated by climate change

I never said a bad thing about the plant the whole time I was growing up,” Lamb said. “It made the economy good. But then we got sick.”  

“People who were not highly educated could make really good money working in these industries

“Not only that but the government was saying, this is your patriotic duty. We need this. So everybody just went along because the compensation was pretty good.”

GAO report released in November showed that 60 percent of U.S. Superfund sites are at risk from the impacts of climate change.

Instead of focusing on cleanup plans, some state lawmakers and federal agencies are loosening regulations on hazardous sites…… Last year, the DOE also moved to relax restrictions on the disposal and abandonment of radioactive waste

December 5, 2019 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

Research finds that climate modals have accurately predicted global heating

Climate models have accurately predicted global heating, study finds
Findings confirm reliability of projections of temperature changes over last 50 years,
Guardian,  Dana Nuccitelli, Thu 5 Dec 2019 Climate models have accurately predicted global heating for the past 50 years, a study has found.The findings confirm that since as early as 1970, climate scientists have had a solid fundamental understanding of the Earth’s climate system and the ability to project how it will respond to continued increases in the greenhouse effect. Since climate models have accurately anticipated global temperature changes so far, we can expect projections of future warming to be reliable as well.

The research examines the accuracy of 17 models published over the past five decades, beginning with a 1970 study and including 1981 and 1988 models led by James Hansen, the former Nasa climatologist who testified to the US Senate in 1988 about the impacts of anthropogenic global heating. The study also includes the first four reports by the UN’s intergovernmental panel on climate change (IPCC).

“We found that climate models – even those published back in the 1970s – did remarkably well, with 14 out of the 17 model projections indistinguishable from what actually occurred,” said Zeke Hausfather, of the University of California, Berkeley, and lead author of the paper.

Based on modern climate model projections, if countries follow through with current and pledged climate policies, the world is on track for about 3C of warming above pre-industrial temperatures by 2100 – a situation the IPCC and others predict would be catastrophic…….

Based on modern climate model projections, if countries follow through with current and pledged climate policies, the world is on track for about 3C of warming above pre-industrial temperatures by 2100 – a situation the IPCC and others predict would be catastrophic.  https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/dec/04/climate-models-have-accurately-predicted-global-heating-study-finds

December 5, 2019 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

High levels of radiation detected near start of 2020 Olympic Torch Relay

Nuclear Radiation Hot Spots Found At Starting Point Of Japan’s 2020 Olympic Torch Relay https://www.gizmodo.com.au/2019/12/nuclear-radiation-hot-spots-found-at-starting-point-of-japans-2020-olympic-torch-relay/, George Dvorsky, Dec 5, 2019, High levels of radiation have been detected near Japan’s J-Village, a sports facility and the starting point of the upcoming Olympic torch relay, according to Greenpeace. The discovery was made by surveyors with Greenpeace Japan, which warns that monitoring and decontamination efforts in Fukushima are inadequate.

Radiation levels as high as 71 microsieverts per hour were found on the surface near J-Village in northeastern Japan, according to a Greenpeace press release issued Wednesday. This level of radiation is hundreds of times greater than what’s stipulated in Japan’s decontamination guidelines, prompting Greenpeace Japan to demand that the Japanese government conduct regular radiation monitoring and decontamination of regions affected by the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster.

J-Village National Training Centre is in Fukushima prefecture, which is located 20 kilometres from the damaged nuclear power plant. This sports facility will be the starting point of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Torch Relay, which is scheduled to begin on March 26, 2020. That J-Village was chosen as the starting point for the relay is by design, as the Japanese government is promoting the games as the “reconstruction Olympics.” The Olympics will begin on July 24, 2020 in Tokyo, some 239 kilometres from the damaged reactors.

December 5, 2019 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

South Korea to ensure that its Olympic team gets radiation-free food

South Korea team to bring radiation detectors to Tokyo Olympics over ‘contamination fears’, Independent 4 Dec 19,

Committee claim food may be compromised despite lifting of Fukushima-related restrictions, Ju-min Park,

South Korea‘s Olympic committee plans to buy radiation detectors and ship homegrown ingredients to Japan for its athletes at the Tokyo Games because of worries local food may be contaminated by the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster.

Japan has posted data to show the country is safe from Fukushima radiation and many countries have lifted Fukushima-related food restrictions.

The Korea Sports & Olympic Committee (Ksoc) plans to ship red pepper paste, a key ingredient in Korean dishes, and other foods, and check for radiation in meat and vegetables that can only be sourced locally due to stringent quarantine rules, a Ksoc meals plan report shows.

Apparently, ingredients and food will be transported from South Korea as much as possible, possibly including canned food,” Shin Dong-keun, a ruling Democratic Party member of the parliamentary sports committee who was recently briefed by Ksoc, told Reuters in an interview.

“For this Olympic games, food is our team’s main focus so they can provide safe meals for the athletes to erase radiation worries, as opposed to in the past, food was meant to play the supplementary role of helping with their morale.”

Ksoc plans to arrange local Korean restaurants to prepare meals for baseball and softball players competing in Fukushima, as shipping boxed lunches from Tokyo is not feasible, it said in the “2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics Meals Support Centre Plan”.

“These Korean restaurants should only handle food confirmed as radiation free.”…….

Radiation Hot Spots

Greenpeace said on Wednesday that radiation hot spots have been found at the J-Village sports facility in Fukushima where the Tokyo 2020 Olympic torch relay will begin.

South Korea has stepped up demands for a Japanese response to concerns food produced in the Fukushima area and nearby sea could be contaminated by radiation from the Fukushima plant…….

The official said South Korea was preparing a separate meals plan due to concerns from the public and politicians over food safety, unlike the United States and Australia whose athletes will mainly eat food provided by the host country, Japan.  ……

The South Korean Olympic committee plan to purchase radiation detecting equipment by February and station an inspector at its own cafeteria in Tokyo during the games to check contamination levels, according to the Ksoc report.

The budget for the Tokyo Olympics meals service is earmarked at 1.7 billion won (£1.2bn), which includes twice the amount of money for buying and shipping ingredients than previous games, according to the committee.  https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/asia/tokyo-2020-olympics-south-korea-radiation-fukushima-nuclear-disaster-a9232291.html

December 5, 2019 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

Many pitfalls in adopting Small Modular Nuclear Reactors – not a viable solution to climate change

‘Many issues’ with modular nuclear reactors says environmental lawyer, https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/new-brunswick/many-issues-modular-nuclear-1.5381804

Three premiers have agreed to work together to develop the technology, Jordan Gill · CBC News   Dec 03, 2019  Modular nuclear reactors may not be a cure for the nation’s carbon woes, an environmental lawyer said in reaction to an idea floated by three premiers.

Theresa McClenaghan, executive director of the Canadian Environmental Law Association, said the technology surrounding small reactors has numerous pitfalls, especially when compared with other renewable energy technology.

This comes after New Brunswick Premier Blaine Higgs, Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe and Ontario Premier Doug Ford agreed to work together to develop the technology.

Small modular reactors are easy to construct, are safer than large reactors and are regarded as cleaner energy than coal, the premiers say. They can be small enough to fit in a school gym.  Designs have been submitted to Canada’s nuclear regulator for review as part of a pre-licensing process.

The premiers say the smaller reactors would help Canada reach its carbon reduction targets but McClenaghan, legal counsel for the environmental group, disagrees.

“I don’t think it is the answer,” said McClenaghan. “I don’t think it’s a viable solution to climate change.”

McClenaghan said the technology behind modular reactors is still in the development stage and needs years of work before it can be used on a wide scale.

“There are many issues still with the technology,” said McClenaghan. “And for climate change, the risks are so pervasive and the time scale is so short that we need to deploy the solutions we already know about like renewables and conservation.”

Waste, security concerns: lawyer

While nuclear power is considered a low-carbon method of producing electricity, McClenaghan said the waste that it creates brings its own environmental concerns.

“You’re still creating radioactive waste,” said McClenaghan.

“We don’t even have a solution to nuclear fuel waste yet in Canada and the existing plans are not taking into account these possibilities.”

McClenanghan believes there are national security risks with the plan as well.  She said having more reactors, especially if they’re in rural areas, means there’s a greater chance that waste or fuel from the reactors could be stolen for nefarious purposes.

“You’d be scattering radioactive materials, potentially attractive to diversion, much further across the country,” said the environmental lawyer.

December 5, 2019 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

Australian slammed for using First Nations people to try and dodge climate bill — RenewEconomy

Australia awarded second Fossil of the Day, as negotiators use Aboriginal Australians to argue against taking responsibility for climate damage. The post Australian slammed for using First Nations people to try and dodge climate bill appeared first on RenewEconomy.

via Australian slammed for using First Nations people to try and dodge climate bill — RenewEconomy

December 5, 2019 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Hiding in the past, destroying the future — John Quiggin

As I write this, the haze of smoke from the now-continuous bushfires is hanging over Brisbane, as it is over Sydney and other cities. It’s scarcely surprising that the Morrison government is doing its best to ignore the problem, but you might think the official Opposition would be making some noise about it. Not likely!…

via Hiding in the past, destroying the future — John Quiggin

December 5, 2019 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

NCH Launches built-for-purpose solar Panel cleaner for harsh Australian conditions — RenewEconomy

Demand is increasing with the improved efficiency and lifespan of solar systems, which are returning better investment than ever. The post NCH Launches built-for-purpose solar Panel cleaner for harsh Australian conditions appeared first on RenewEconomy.

via NCH Launches built-for-purpose solar Panel cleaner for harsh Australian conditions — RenewEconomy

December 5, 2019 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Morrison carves up environment and energy, praises Taylor for waving big stick — RenewEconomy

Federal environment and energy department abolished in end of year shake up that will see the portfolios separated once again. The post Morrison carves up environment and energy, praises Taylor for waving big stick appeared first on RenewEconomy.

via Morrison carves up environment and energy, praises Taylor for waving big stick — RenewEconomy

December 5, 2019 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Australia’s biggest businesses could deliver “a Yallourn” of new wind and solar — RenewEconomy

Australian companies committed to 100% renewables now represent almost 25% of the value of the ASX, but there’s plenty of room for improvement. The post Australia’s biggest businesses could deliver “a Yallourn” of new wind and solar appeared first on RenewEconomy.

via Australia’s biggest businesses could deliver “a Yallourn” of new wind and solar — RenewEconomy

December 5, 2019 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

December 4 Energy News — geoharvey

Opinion: ¶ “From Bird-Friendly Coffee To Chocolate Safe For The Rainforest, These Holiday Gifts Give Back” • In 2019, Impact Your World highlighted many of those who make a difference, from fighting to stop rainforest loss and bird extinction to setting up safe spaces for sex-trafficking victims. Here are low-impact ways to help while giving […]

via December 4 Energy News — geoharvey

December 5, 2019 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

APA officially opens new 20MW solar plant next to W.A. wind farm — RenewEconomy

APA officially opens Badgingarra solar farm in Western Australia wheatbelt region, where it is co-located with a larger wind farm. The post APA officially opens new 20MW solar plant next to W.A. wind farm appeared first on RenewEconomy.

via APA officially opens new 20MW solar plant next to W.A. wind farm — RenewEconomy

December 5, 2019 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment