Antinuclear

Australian news, and some related international items

Brewarrina residents step up campaign against proposed nuclear dump.

22 Feb 18 Brewarrina residents, including Ngemba people with local cultural responsibilities, are stepping up their campaign against the proposal for national nuclear waste dump in the region. 

silent vigil will be held during the Council meeting at 8:30am this Friday February 23, followed with a rally on Saturday morning at 9:30am.

In November 2017 the Brewarrina Council revealed that a delegation had traveled to Lucas Heights nuclear reactor in Sydney and subsequently engaged pro-nuclear consultant Robert Parker.

Trish Frail, a Ngemba woman who is coordinating the local campaign to oppose the dump, said the community was shocked by the proposal.

“This nuclear facility will not benefit our town, the community or the environment,” Ms Frail said. 

“Ngemba people are custodians for the Ngunnhu Fish Traps. The site is claimed to be over sixty thousand years old and is heritage listed, being the oldest man-made structure in the world.”

“The Biami Traps were once a great gathering site for all clans to trap fish and to host corroborees, initiation ceremonies, and meetings for trade and barter.”

“A lot of our younger generation are talking about moving away if a nuclear dump is built on our land, they will lose our culture and our lore, this must not happen. The young people have been helping.”

“Brewarrina will not become a nuclear dumping ground for the Australian Government. We say No Nuclear Bundabunda (poison) on Ngemba Land – Bad Poison,” Ms Frail concluded. 

Facebook events

Friday vigil: https://www.facebook.com/events/1222018404595401/?ti=icl

Saturday rally: https://www.facebook.com/events/186908808568897/?ti=icl

 

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February 22, 2018 Posted by | aboriginal issues, ACTION, New South Wales | Leave a comment

Swedish Court’s finding on dubious safety of copper canisters for radioactive wastes

MKG 20th Feb 2018, Translation into English of the Swedish Environmental Court’s opinion on
the final repository for spent nuclear fuel – as well as some comments onthe decision and the further process. The court said no to the application because it considered that there were problems with the copper canister that had to be resolved now and not later.

The translation shows the court’s judicial argumentation and why it decided not to accept the regulator
SSM’s opinion that the problems with the integrity of the copper canister were not serious and could likely be solved at a later stage in the decision-making process.

The main difference between the court’s and the regulator’s decision-making was that the court decided to rely on a multitude of scientific sources and information and not only on the material provided by SKB.

It had also been uncovered that the main corrosion expert at SSM did not want to say yes to the application at this time that may have influenced the court’s decision-making. In fact there appear to have been many dissenting voices in the regulator despite the regulator’s claim in the court that a united SSM stood behind its opinion.
http://www.mkg.se/en/translation-into-english-of-the-swedish-environmental-court-s-opinion-on-the-final-repository-for-sp

February 22, 2018 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

Small Modular Reactors for Nuclear Power: Hope or Mirage?

 https://www.theenergycollective.com/m-v-ramana/2426847/small-modular-reactors-nuclear-power-hope-mirage   by M.V. Ramana 

Supporters of nuclear power hope that small nuclear reactors, unlike large  plants, will be able to compete economically with other sources of electricity. But according to M.V. Ramana, a Professor at the University of British Columbia, this is likely to be a vain hope. In fact, according to Ramana, in the absence of a mass market, they may be even more expensive than large plants.

In October 2017, just after Puerto Rico was battered by Hurricane Maria, US Secretary of Energy Rick Perry asked the audience at a conference on clean energy
in Washington, D.C.: “Wouldn’t it make abundant good sense if we had small modular reactors that literally you could put in the back of a C-17, transport to an area like Puerto Rico, push it out the back end, crank it up and plug it in? … It could serve hundreds of thousands”.

As exemplified by Secretary Perry’s remarks, small modular reactors (SMRs) have been suggested as a way to supply electricity for communities that inhabit islands or in other remote locations.

In the past decade, wind and solar energy have become significantly cheaper than nuclear power

More generally, many nuclear advocates have suggested that SMRs can deal with all the problems confronting nuclear power, including unfavorable economics, risk of severe accidents, disposing of radioactive waste and the linkage with weapons proliferation. Of these, the key problem responsible for the present status of nuclear energy has been its inability to compete economically with other sources of electricity. As a result, the share of global electricity generated by nuclear power has dropped from 17.5% in 1996 to 10.5% in 2016 and is expected to continue falling.

Still expensive

The inability of nuclear power to compete economically results from two related problems. The first problem is that building a nuclear reactor requires high levels of capital, well beyond the financial capacity of a typical electricity utility, or a small country. This is less difficult for state- owned entities in large countries like China and India, but it does limit how much nuclear power even they can install.

The second problem is that, largely because of high construction costs, nuclear energy is expensive. Electricity from fossil fuels, such as coal and natural gas, has been cheaper historically ‒ especially when costs of natural gas have been low, and no price is imposed on carbon. But, in the past decade, wind and solar energy, which do not emit carbon dioxide either, have become significantly cheaper than nuclear power. As a result, installed renewables have grown tremendously, in drastic contrast to nuclear energy.

How are SMRs supposed to change this picture? As
the name suggests, SMRs produce smaller amounts of electricity compared to currently common nuclear power reactors. A smaller reactor is expected to cost less to
build. This allows, in principle, smaller private utilities and countries with smaller GDPs to invest in nuclear power. While this may help deal with the first problem, it actually worsens the second problem because small reactors lose out on economies of scale. Larger reactors are cheaper
on a per megawatt basis because their material and work requirements do not scale linearly with generation capacity.

“The problem I have with SMRs is not the technology, it’s not the deployment ‒ it’s that there’s no customers”

SMR proponents argue that they can make up for the lost economies of scale by savings through mass manufacture in factories and resultant learning. But, to achieve such savings, these reactors have to be manufactured by the thousands, even under very optimistic assumptions about rates of learning. Rates of learning in nuclear power plant manufacturing have been extremely low; indeed, in both the United States and France, the two countries with the highest number of nuclear plants, costs rose with construction experience.

Ahead of the market

For high learning rates to be achieved, there must 
be a standardized reactor built in large quantities. Currently dozens of SMR designs are at various stages of development; it is very unlikely that one, or even a few designs, will be chosen by different countries and private entities, discarding the vast majority of designs that are currently being invested in. All of these unlikely occurrences must materialize if small reactors are to become competitive with large nuclear power plants, which are themselves not competitive.

There is a further hurdle to be overcome before these large numbers of SMRs can be built. For a company to invest
in a factory to manufacture reactors, it would have to be confident that there is a market for them. This has not been the case and hence no company has invested large sums of its own money to commercialize SMRs.

An example is the Westinghouse Electric Company, which worked on two SMR designs, and tried to get funding from the US Department of Energy (DOE). When it failed in that effort, Westinghouse stopped working on SMRs and decided to focus its efforts on marketing the AP1000 reactor and the decommissioning business. Explaining this decision, Danny Roderick, then president and CEO of Westinghouse, announced: “The problem I have with SMRs is not the technology, it’s not the deployment ‒ it’s that there’s no customers. … The worst thing to do is get ahead of the market”.

Delayed commercialization

Given this state of affairs, it should not be surprising that
 no SMR has been commercialized. Timelines have been routinely set back. In 2001, for example, a DOE report on prevalent SMR designs concluded that “the most technically mature small modular reactor (SMR) designs and concepts have the potential to be economical and could be made available for deployment before the end of the decade provided that certain technical and licensing issues are addressed”. Nothing of that sort happened; there is no SMR design available for deployment in the United States so far.

There are simply not enough remote communities, with adequate purchasing capacity, to be able to make it financially viable to manufacture SMRs by the thousands

Similar delays have been experienced in other countries too. In Russia, the first SMR that is expected to be deployed is the KLT-40S, which is based on the design of reactors used in the small fleet of nuclear-powered icebreakers that Russia has operated for decades. This programme, too, has been delayed by more than a decade and the estimated costs have ballooned.

South Korea even licensed an SMR for construction in
2012 but no utility has been interested in constructing one, most likely because of the realization that the reactor is too expensive on a per-unit generating-capacity basis. Even the World Nuclear Association stated: “KAERI planned to build a 90 MWe demonstration plant to operate from 2017, but this is not practical or economic in South Korea” (my emphasis).

Likewise, China is building one twin-reactor high- temperature demonstration SMR and some SMR feasibility studies are underway, but plans for 18 additional SMRs have been “dropped” according to the World Nuclear Association, in part because the estimated cost of generating electricity is significantly higher than the generation cost at standard-sized light-water reactors.

No real market demand

On the demand side, many developing countries claim to be interested in SMRs but few seem to be willing to invest in the construction of one. Although many agreements and memoranda of understanding have been signed, there are still no plans for actual construction. Good examples are the cases of Jordan, Ghana and Indonesia, all of which have been touted as promising markets for SMRs, but none of which are buying one.

Neither nuclear reactor companies, 
nor any governments that back nuclear power, are willing to spend the hundreds of millions, if not a few billions, of dollars to set up SMRs just so that these small and remote communities will have nuclear electricity

Another potential market that is often proffered as a reason for developing SMRs is small and remote communities. There again, the problem is one of numbers. There are simply not enough remote communities, with adequate purchasing capacity, to be able to make it financially viable to manufacture SMRs by the thousands so as to make them competitive with large reactors, let alone other sources of power. Neither nuclear reactor companies, 
nor any governments that back nuclear power, are willing to spend the hundreds of millions, if not a few billions, of dollars to set up SMRs just so that these small and remote communities will have nuclear electricity.

Meanwhile, other sources of electricity supply, in particular combinations of renewables and storage technologies such as batteries, are fast becoming cheaper. It is likely that they will become cheap enough to produce reliable and affordable electricity, even for these remote and small communities ‒ never mind larger, grid- connected areas ‒ well before SMRs are deployable, let alone economically competitive.

Editor’s note:

Prof. M. V. Ramana is Simons Chair in Disarmament, Global and Human Security at the Liu Institute for Global Issues, as part of the School of Public Policy and Global Affairs at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver.  This article was first published in National University of Singapore Energy Studies Institute Bulletin, Vol.10, Issue 6, Dec. 2017, and is republished here with permission.

 

February 22, 2018 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

Premier Jay Weatherill says that South Australia’s election will be a referendum on renewables

Weatherill: Why state election will be referendum on renewables, REneweconomy, By Giles Parkinson on 22 February 2018 

February 22, 2018 Posted by | politics, South Australia | Leave a comment

Labor’s doublespeak about Adani coal mine plan

Greens use Labor’s Adani indecision to ramp up Batman campaign
Activists seize upon Labor’s contradictory messages on Queensland coalmine in battle for inner-city Melbourne,
Guardian, Katharine Murphy Political editor @murpharoo 21 Feb 2018 

 

February 22, 2018 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, politics | Leave a comment

Townsville City Council censors documentary about Adani coal megamine plan

Anti-Adani documentary screening axed for safety reasons, not politics, council says, ABC News, 21 Feb 18 By Josh Robertson   Public safety concerns, not politics, were behind the axing of the screening of a documentary on the Stop Adani protest movement, a north Queensland council says.

February 22, 2018 Posted by | civil liberties, politics, Queensland | Leave a comment

#StopAdani movement “A Mighty Force” coming to a screen near you. #Auspol #Qldpol #ClimateChangef — jpratt27

A new film documenting the massive community movement to stop Adani’s mega coal mine in Queensland’s Galilee Basin, A Mighty Force, will screen in Bellingen on Friday March 2 and in Coffs on Thursday February 22. The events will also launch a crowdfunding campaign to cover legal costs for locals arrested last month disrupting work […]

via #StopAdani movement “A Mighty Force” coming to a screen near you. #Auspol #Qldpol #ClimateChangef — jpratt27

February 22, 2018 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Donald Trump suggests extra pay for teachers who carry guns

Trump floats pay bonus for teachers who carry guns in class, NBC News 22 Feb 18 WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump expanded on his idea to train and arm some teachers with guns Thursday, suggesting that firearm-adept school staff be given “a little bit of a bonus” for carrying weapons, and promising federal funds for their training.

At a White House discussion of school safety solutions with state and local officials, Trump said “highly adept people…who understand weaponry” could carry guns in schools, estimating that between 10 and 40 percent of teachers could be qualified for such a task. Those who are would undergo “rigorous training,” he said, later adding that he’d consider offering federal money for that effort. Officials “can’t just give a teacher a gun,” he said.

Asked if he had concerns about teachers with guns making quick judgments in the chaos of a school shooting, the president said he did not, because they would be “experts.”…….https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/white-house/trump-floats-bonuses-teachers-willing-carry-guns-class-n850281

February 22, 2018 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

The latest comments on ARPANSA’s site about Code for Radioactive Wastes

James & Cindy Shepherdson   We feel very strongly that there should be no consideration at all of having any type of radioactive waste stored on agricultural land. ARPANSA also needs to take into consideration the social ramifications of any proposed site on any populated, productive land.

Janet Tiller Nuclear waste and food producing districts do not mix. I say no.
The whole process is flawed and one sided. The guidelines keep changing when the outcomes don’t suit what the government are seeking.

Tiffany Congdon I am 100% against this proposal and my mind will never change. This whole process has turned a once thriving, peaceful and friendly town into a town of fighting, taking sides and the friendliness has definitely gone. I was born and bred in Kimba and I loved the community but this whole dump idea and how the town has divided was not something I wanted for my family so a few months ago we moved and we are the happiest we have been in a long time. This has made such a damaging impact!!!
Colleen Guidera  I am very much opposed to a Nuclear Waste Facility being built in the Kimba District or anywhere else in South Australia. Low level waste is hazardous for up to 300 years and Intermediate level waste is estimated to take tens of thousands years to decay. How can the Government guarantee it will be monitored? No amount of money or jobs is worth the stress and division in our community that the process so far has caused.

Graham Tiller   BROAD community support. Set figure 70% and dont change it.
Completely transparent and fair process a must.Not the present pathetic process. Not to be on any agriculture aquaculture and horticulture areas of food producing land. Food and nuclear waste do not mix . Clean and Green
The yes / no vote should be the whole state not just one town.
Local vote to be 100km radius of nominated sites. Neighboring councils should be notified and have input .

Graham Tiller  In the event of a nuclear waste dump incedent eg. fire flood earthquake leakage accident, all persons within a 500km radius of the dump must be fully compensated by the gov. for there loses until such time that contamination, health and livelihoods are restored.
All dumps to be on gov. land, controlled by the gov. and put on arid waste land eg. WOOMERA PROHIBITED AREA. Basic common sense really.

GrahamTiller Continuous lies, change of guide lines, half truths proper gander misleading information have been a issue through the whole process period in kimba. And of course the 2 mill. bribe and the 10mill. bigger bribe . Not much for the destruction of a ounce perfect safe and prosperous community . Greed sums it up, it’s all about the money.   https://www.arpansa.gov.au/code-disposal-solid-radioactive-waste-rps-c-3

February 21, 2018 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Federal nuclear waste dump | Leave a comment

Hunters Hill residents still waiting on government to clean up uranium contaminated land

Hunters Hill residents wary of latest announcement on uranium contamination, ABC News, 20 Feb 18, By Jade Macmillan

Residents on Sydney’s lower north shore have dismissed the Government’s latest plans to clean up land contaminated by a uranium smelter more than hundred years ago as “a hollow promise”.

Property Minister Victor Dominello announced $30 million to remediate the waterfront land on Nelson Parade in Hunters Hill, the former site of the Radium Hill refinery, which closed in 1915.

The area was also occupied by a carbolic acid plant until the early 1900s and a tin smelter until the 1960s.

Residents have spent decades urging the Government to remove the affected soil, which the NSW Environment Protection Authority found it was contaminated with petroleum hydrocarbons, coal tar pitch, arsenic and lead.

“Having this funding should give the community confidence that we are determined to remediate the site,” Mr Dominello said, ahead of a public meeting of more than 200 residents on Tuesday night.

“The Government is currently considering suitable disposal locations for the waste, and is in discussions with the Federal Government on the possibility of using the proposed National Radioactive Waste Management Facility earmarked for development in South Australia.”

The minister did not provide a timeframe for the works and a site for the radioactive facility has not yet been selected.

Rosemary Manusu, 80, who has lived on Nelson Parade for more than 50 years, said she had little faith in the announcement after years of inaction from successive governments.

“It’s been promised and promised about three or four times. So until they actually start moving it, I don’t believe a word they say,” she said……http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-02-21/hunters-hill-uranium-contamination-residents-wary/9468272

February 21, 2018 Posted by | environment, New South Wales, uranium | Leave a comment

Swedish court rules these nuclear waste containment canisters unsafe – liable to corrosion.

 

Are these the same sort of  canisters planned by the Australian Government for Kimba, South Australia?

Sweden’s problem is also our problem https://cumbriatrust.wordpress.com/2018/02/21/swedens-problem-is-also-our-problem/  February 21, 2018 by cumbriatrust

Last month Cumbria Trust reported that the Swedish Environmental Court had blocked a licence application to construct a GDF for spent nuclear fuel after serious concerns were raised over the corrosion of the copper canisters used in the KBS-3 method. The same containment method is intended to be used in the UK. This court ruling was a success for MKG, the Swedish environmental organisation which receives government funding to act as a critical friend, scrutinising Sweden’s plan to bury nuclear waste.

MKG have now released some further details which show that the corrosion concerns are shared by experts within the Swedish regulator, SSM. While the nuclear industry, including the UK’s Radioactive Waste Management (RWM) seem keen to minimise the significance of this court ruling, by describing it as a delay and a request for more information, it appears the problem may be more fundamental, and could lead to this method of KBS-3 copper encapsulation being abandoned……problem https://cumbriatrust.wordpress.com/2018/02/21/swedens-problem-is-also-our-problem/

February 21, 2018 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

Mark Parnell outlines The Greens environment policy for the coming South Australian election

At the South Australian State Election Leaders’ Forum on the environment “South Australia: Our Future”, I outlined the Greens vision for an environment that is clean, healthy and resilient.

Protecting South Australia’s environment means:

• 100% renewable energy by 2025
• A healthy River Murray
• Valuing our wildlife and biodiversity
• Protecting the Great Australian Bight
• Opposing destructive and polluting industries
• Marine sanctuaries
• Investing in our National Parks and Reserves
• No nuclear waste dump 
• Enhancing urban open spaces and landscapes

February 21, 2018 Posted by | politics, South Australia | Leave a comment

Nuclear waste canisters will themselves eventually become toxic radioactive trash

Paul Richards No Nuclear Waste Dump Anywhere in South Australia, 20 Feb 18, Even if they were the to last not 4, 40, or world’s best practice type with the limited liability guarantee of a 100 years;

The canisters after any time period, create yet more nuclear waste, along with their toxic radioactive contents, that all have to be repackaged creating more nuclear material to be stored.

This process, of repackaging, whether it’s 4, 40, or a 100 years, goes on indefinitely.

To add another layer of complexity to this utterly illogical process, this waste grows exponentially over this indefinite timeline of essential care.

As nothing but steady decay into volatile, life-damaging radionuclides occurs, phasing from one type to the next. A process that literally is indefinite, unimaginable in human governance terms.  Even ‘if’ no nuclear waste and unspent fuel are created by the nuclear cycle, of mining, milling, rod construction and the reactor outcomes, including decommissioning reactors.

February 21, 2018 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Federal nuclear waste dump | Leave a comment

A public watchdog wants USA govt to demand stronger nuclear waste canisters

NRC Petitioned To Require Stronger Canisters To Store Nuclear Waste Indefinitelyhttp://www.kpbs.org/news/2018/feb/19/nrc-asked-require-stronger-canisters-indefinite-nu/ February 19, 2018   By Alison St John 

February 21, 2018 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

Is the promis of “jobs” worth the contamination of a community’s agricultural land ?

Paul Waldon  Fight To Stop Nuclear Waste Dump In Flinders Ranges SA, An irresponsible, nuclear ignorant proponent of nuclear waste with no business acumen or idea of economics, once said to me “If one person gets a job, its worth it.” So would one job that cost the taxpayer millions, that creates a tourist void, promotes the impact of the forever atomic stigma, divides families and friends, enhances the risks of contaminating the environment, and invites death, to name but just a few issues, have a greater value?. If so, the people that are espousing a nuclear waste dump in Hawker of Kimba, don’t seen perturbed about the future of these communities. https://www.facebook.com/groups/344452605899556/

February 21, 2018 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment