Aboriginal Rights, aquifer, Australia, British colonies, bushfires, colonial settler state, desertifcation, economic development, environment, fire, Great Artesian Basin, Great Artesian Basin aquifer, hydro power, indigenous people, Indigenous peoples, job creation, medical uses radionuclides, MRI, nuclear energy, nuclear power, nuclear waste, Public policy, radioactive waste, renewable energy, Royal Inquiry, Solar Power, South Australia, South Australia Royal Commission Inquiry, Spent Nuclear Fuel, Tc, Technetium, UK, ultrasound, volunteer fire service, wind farms, wind power
“Australia has the highest average solar radiation per square metre of any continent in the world“. http://arena.gov.au/about-renewable-energy/solar-energy/
“RenewablesSA is an initiative of the South Australian Government to support the further growth of South Australia’s renewable energy industry…
RenewablesSA commenced in mid-2009, coinciding with the announcement by the South Australian Government to increase the state’s renewable energy production target to 33 per cent by 2020. This target was achieved in 2013-14. In 2014, a new target of 50% by 2025 was set, subject to national renewable energy policy being retained. South Australia’s significant installed capacity in renewables has translated into investment to the State of $6.6 billion to date, with some $2.4 billion, or 40%, of this occurring in regional areas. In recognition of the economic benefits, South Australia has committed to an investment target of $10 billion in low carbon generation by 2025“http://www.renewablessa.sa.gov.au
29% of suitable dwellings (separate house, semi-detached row or terrace houses) in South Australia have rooftop solar compared to 19% throughout Australia. “South Australia is the largest producer of wind energy in Australia… As of June 2014, South Australia hosts the bulk of the nation’s installed capacity. There are currently 16 wind farms operating across the state with an installed capacity of 1473 megawatts (MW) of power.” https://www.sa.gov.au/topics/water-energy-and-environment/energy/energy-supply-and-sources/renewable-energy-sources/wind-energy/wind-energy-in-sa (accessed May 10, 2016)
According to Dr. Mark Diesendorf (2014) “Wind now supplies an annual average of 27% of South Australia’s electricity generation…. In Germany, the northern states of Schleswig-Holstein and Mecklenburg-Vorpommern have about 100% and 120%, respectively, of their electricity generated from the wind. Of course they use their transmission links with neighbouring states (including each other) to assist in balancing supply and demand with such high wind penetrations.” https://miningawareness.wordpress.com/2015/07/31/renewable-energy-is-ready-to-supply-all-of-australias-electricity/
“During 2012-13, South Australia produced 31.5% of the state’s total energy production from renewable energy… The Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) estimates that in 2012-13 approximately 27% of the state’s energy production came from wind power.” https://www.sa.gov.au/topics/water-energy-and-environment/energy/energy-supply-and-sources/renewable-energy-sources/solar-energy/solar-energy-in-south-australia (accessed 31 July 2015)
“In 2013, Australia had over 120 operating hydroelectric power stations, with a total generation of almost 20 GWh or 8% of total energy generated.” http://arena.gov.au/about-renewable-energy/hydropower/
“Wind energy is the fastest growing renewable energy source for electricity generation in Australia, and its current share of total Australian primary energy consumption is currently almost 4%.” http://arena.gov.au/about-renewable-energy/wind-energy/
Direct full time equivalent employment by renewables 2012-13 in Australia was around 12,590 (accessed 31 July 2015) and 14,020 in 2014-15. http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/mf/4631.0 (accessed May 10, 2016) Spin-off jobs would be even more.
The US Nuclear waste hot potato makes clear that nuclear waste is not only bad for the environment, but also bad for the economy and other industries. Nevada doesn’t want high level nuclear waste at Yucca Mountain, apparently because it might be bad for their Casino-tourism industry. Idaho Senator Crapo, a Mormon (LDS) like Nevada Senator Harry Reed, doesn’t want the nasty nuclear waste either, but he wants the high paying front end so-called “research” jobs at tax-payer funded US government Idaho National Nuclear Lab (INL) providing thousands of jobs with an average salary of an eye-popping $87,000 in largely Mormon east Idaho, part of the “Mormon corridor”. Idaho’s Richard G. Scott, a high-level Mormon leader (Quorum of the Twelve Apostles LDS), helped design the nuclear reactor for the first nuclear-powered submarine of the U.S. Navy, as well as working on development of the first commercial land-based nuclear power plant. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_G._Scott And yet Idaho has demanded that all transuranic and spent nuclear fuel, including US Navy spent nuclear fuel, be removed from Idaho to be dumped elsewhere or they will charge the US government: http://energy.gov/sites/prod/files/2014/03/f8/Idaho_Site_Agreement_1995.pdf
Waste Control Solutions (WCS) in west Texas provides an estimated 155 jobs burying nuclear waste, which may endanger important aquifers or come back up explosively, sooner or later, even though the company claims that the aquifers rather conveniently end at their property line. The nearby vacuum cleaner company provides more jobs: around 200 jobs. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Andrews,_Texas https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Waste_Control_Specialists WIPP which is a slightly more proper nuclear waste facility provides around 1000 jobs at taxpayer expense. WCS has recently applied for a permit to park casks of spent nuclear fuel on an uncovered concrete pad, a so-called “interim storage facility”, but it is really a nuclear waste parking lot.
And, so why?
“Australian inquiry backs nuclear power after decades-long aversion
Posted:Mon, 09 May 2016 05:13:08 -0400 SYDNEY (Reuters) – An Australian royal commission on Monday recommended building a nuclear industry, including a waste dump, in the uranium-rich state of South Australia, propelling the case for overturning long-held opposition to nuclear power.”
Pertaining to the Australian royal commission inquiry, Noel Wauchope points out:
“Of the 94 pro nuclear submissions published, 46 come from companies or organisations connected with the nuclear industry. But who knows how many nuclear companies really did send in submissions, given publication was not mandatory, due to “commercial in confidence”?
What most interested me was the number of individuals (48), rather than companies, who argued for nuclear development… I wondered what topics interested them and what was their background, and this is what I found:
Their most favoured topic, as with the organisations, was Issues Paper 3, “Electricity Generation” — though some wrote on other topics too.
Their backgrounds? Twenty of these 48 individuals are now, or were formerly, employed in a nuclear or nuclear-related company, government or university department. In some cases they state this clearly, in other cases it is not apparent. While most of these are strongly in favour of expanding nuclear developments in South Australia, some are cautious about this. Dr Ian Duncan, who has a long history of involvement in the uranium industry, is quite ambivalent about it.
Then there are the two career politicians, Senator Sean Edwards and MP Tom Kenyon, who have hitched their political future to the nuclear star.” Read the rest here: https://independentaustralia.net/australia/australia-display/sa-royal-commission-who-wants-to-be-a-nuclear-billionaire-
Anglo-Australian BHP Billiton’s Olympic Dam Mine, South Australia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Olympic_Dam_mine
Already, uranium mining in Australia creates only a fraction of a percent of national export revenue and an even smaller fraction of jobs. It literally sucks up and destroys precious water supplies, especially from the Great Artesian Basin aquifer on which so much of arid Australia depends for water. Adding other parts of the nuclear fuel chain will but exacerbate this. Uranium mining, along with the entire nuclear fuel chain, has been long known to cause cancer. Uranium mining needs to be shut down and not added to. BHP Billiton has an exemption from the Aboriginal Heritage Act. Australian uranium was in Fukushima Daiichi nuclear reactors. It’s a bad deal for Australia and for the world!
Great Artesian Basin https://miningawareness.wordpress.com/2015/09/12/uranium-mining-is-a-bad-deal-for-australia/
In another article Noel Wauchope raises concerns regarding:
“1. Aboriginal rights
Our involvement with fighting the nuclear industry is nothing new. We were long ago concerned by the government agreeing to uranium mining activities that have now permanently contaminated our land and our groundwater. We want no further expansion of the nuclear industry and we will continue to fight for our rights as traditional owners in respect of the wisdom of our old people that came before us. We care for our country. We only wish governments and industries would do the same. ~ Anggumathanha Camp Law Mob ….
2. Economics…. The proposal is that we should accept waste before the repository has been completely built and tested. This proposal is so reckless, as to be negligent. We would face the very real risk of being left with high-level nuclear waste, and no technology to properly handle it. ~ Dr Andrew Allison
If Russia, with vast territory, a mature nuclear power industry, and experience with their own stockpiles of waste, could not establish a waste dump for profit, what chance does Australia have of succeeding in such an enterprise? ~ Meg Backhouse
If this is such a great deal, how come no other country has grabbed it before now? ~ South Australian Greens….
4. Transport dangers…
5. Climate change…
7. The legality of the Commission under question…
8. Lack of transparency…
9. Impact on other industries…
10. Deceptive spin about medical wastes…
Read more by Noel Wauchope at antinuclear.net and nuclear-news.net. You can follow Noel on Twitter @ChristinaMac1.” Read the article here: https://independentaustralia.net/politics/politics-display/10-holes-in-the-royal-commissions-pro-nuclear-dump-case,8966
One thing which springs to mind looking at this list are the serious fires which impact South Australia; volunteer fire departments, and an inability to protect nuclear waste from the fast moving fires during transport and on the surface awaiting disposal. Nuclear anything is even more dangerous in a dry climate, so prone to bushfires, and even fire tornados!
From “Bushfire Safety and Survival for Businesses and Organisations“, p. 19: http://www.cfs.sa.gov.au/public/download.jsp?id=30936
“Bushfires in Australia are frequent events during the hotter months of the year, due to Australia’s mostly hot, dry climate. Each year, such fires impact extensive areas” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bushfires_in_Australia
See more here: http://www.cfs.sa.gov.au/site/prepare_for_bushfire/be_bushfire_ready/be_bushfire_ready_app.jsp#step1
The different parts of the nuclear fuel chain fall under the category of “businesses and organisations“. This is a page from the 48 page informational book: “Bushfire Safety and Survival for Businesses and Organisations.” What if this “business” were a nuclear power station, for instance? Apart from direct fire risk, electricity and water are needed for nuclear reactor cooling.
“What to expect in the event of a Bushfire?” (from p. 24 of “Bushfire Safety and Survival for Businesses and Organisations” http://www.cfs.sa.gov.au/public/download.jsp?id=30936
According to the South Australia Country Fire Service, nearly 1/2 of people living in bushfire prone areas don’t understand the threat. This is apparently true of those proposing adding nuclear anything in Australia. For, in such a context, the risks of nuclear anything are clearly even higher than average. And, the solar potential in Australia is higher than average. The choice should be clear.
See more here: https://miningawareness.wordpress.com/2015/08/02/dangers-of-bushfires-wildfires-nuclear-business/
Australia is largely dependent on the Great Artesian Basin aquifer which would be put at risk by nuclear power and nuclear waste. Already uranium mining jeopardizes it. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Artesian_Basin
It should be recalled that Australia is also a colonial settler state. The fact that this is a “Royal Commission” should provide ample reminder of this fact. Although early settlers were often forced to move to Australia, they can at least respect the environment in a stolen land which is not even their own. Some of the earlier settlers are mixed in with indigenous peoples, as in the Americas. Others are such recent arrivals that they could and sometimes have reverse migrated to their place of origin.
As for medical wastes, while iodine 131 – in the environment “only” for months – is comparatively short-lived, Technetium is very long lived. While Technetium 99m has a half-life of 6 hours, it becomes Technetium 99 with half-life of 211,000 years: “Technetium-99 (99Tc) is an isotope of technetium which decays with a half-life of 211,000 years to stable ruthenium-99, emitting beta particles, but no gamma rays. It is the most significant long-lived fission product of uranium fission, producing the largest fraction of the total long-lived radiation emissions of nuclear waste. Technetium-99 has a fission product yield of 6.0507% for thermal neutron fission of uranium-235. Technetium-99m (99mTc)is a short-lived (half-life about 6 hours) metastable nuclear isomer used in nuclear medicine, produced from molybdenum-99. It decays by isomeric transition to technetium-99,…” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Technetium-99 ( Last accessed 27 Feb 2016, version 18 April 2015)
With the advent of MRIs, ultrasound, etc., radionuclides should rarely be needed in medicine, if at all. Technetium is very dangerous and more should not be let into the environment, whether from nuclear medicine, nuclear power, nuclear reprocessing or other careless handling of nuclear waste.
Although it appears to have been removed (or rearranged) on the original web site since we accessed it for an earlier blog post, some of the info found in today’s post was also used in a comment by Coal Seam Gas Free Kongwak and is still found online in that context:
“South Australia was the first state in Australia to introduce a solar feed‐in scheme to encourage the uptake of solar power. The scheme is now closed to new entrants. There are now more than 160,000 installed solar systems on homes and businesses.
Since December 2009, it has been South Australian government policy that all government-owned buildings constructed or substantially refurbished after July 2010 have solar systems installed. Government-owned residential buildings are required to have a minimum 1.5kW solar system and all other government-owned buildings are to have a minimum 5kW solar system.
The government’s commitment to solar power is consistent with a range of other actions being taken to move South Australia towards greater uptake of renewable energy and is contributing to meeting South Australia’s 33% renewable energy target by 2020.
During 2012-13, South Australia produced 31.5% of the state’s total energy production from renewable energy.
The Australian government also funded a number of solar projects in South Australia through its Solar Cities program…” http://www.parliament.vic.gov.au/images/stories/committees/EPC/Submission_433_-_CSG_Free_Kongwak.pdf
Emphasis our own throughout.