Wednesday, 11 March 2020

The Nationals MP for Clarence is predictable - in the first instance he always presumes the electorate is as ignorant as he is and in the second that what his bosses want is inherently right

Well it seems the nuclear lobby has resurrected that hoary chestnut, a nuclear power plant in the Clarence Valley.

This time it is at least a 2.2 gigawatt plant requiring an extensive power grid upgrade and, cooling as a once though from the Clarence River estuary or evaporative towers with off stream storage. One possible siting of the plant is in the Grafton-Koolkhan area.

The NSW National Party MP for Page.....

The Daily Examiner, 9 March 2020, p.3:

There was a need for a mature debate before any decision on nuclear energy could be made, member for Clarence Chris Gulaptis has stated. 

But he believes the concept will go nowhere without first obtaining a “social licence” for the technology. 

His comments come in response to NSW Nationals leader and Deputy Premier John Barilaro expressing his, and the Nationals’ support for a bill introduced by One Nation’s Mark Latham to overturn the state’s ban on nuclear energy and uranium mining. 

Mr Gulaptis said there needed to be a clearer picture of the current state of the science as it related to nuclear energy. 

“At the moment the community’s perception of nuclear reactors is based on Fukushima, Chernobyl and Homer Simpson working at the Springfield Nuclear Power Plant,” he said. 

“Quite frankly, that’s all I understand about the technology. “I don’t know where we are with nuclear technology — I’m just like the rest of the community, and I need to know more before I can make more of a call.” 
Mr Gulaptis said scientists needed to lead a mature debate based on evidence and not fearmongering so the community could make an informed decision. 

“Whenever the question about the possibility of using nuclear energy comes up, it is always shut down by a minority, and I believe that minority is fearmongers who are just pushing that Chernobyl model down our throats,” he said. 

“Now if that’s where the technology is still at, then I certainly don’t want it. “But I believe that they have advanced significantly, just like all other technology has — people are walking around with this year’s latest iPhone in their pocket, they’re not carrying the bricks of 20 years ago......

Members of the Clarence Valley Community.....

The Daily Examiner, 10 March 2020, p.5:

The success of the recent fight against coal seam gas has reinforced the message to politicians that large scale developments such as nuclear power required a social license according to the Clarence Valley Conservation Coalition. 

Secretary of the group Leonie Blain said it was wise of Clarence MP Chris Gulaptis to realise there would need to be considerable discussion about any nuclear proposal. 

“It is interesting that Mr Gulaptis claims that the closing down of any debate about nuclear power in the past is the result of fearmongering by a minority,” she said. “I would like to know what evidence he has for this belief.” 

Ms Blain said the fact that Grafton was one of the possible sites for a nuclear power station meant there would be interest in the issue. 

“There would be considerable local interest in any debate on whether a nuclear power station should be built and where it would be located,” she said.....

Murdoch-News Corp doing a little editorial lobbying on behalf of the nuclear industry.....

The Daily Examiner, 10 March 2020, p. 11: 

It's true, we need to be able to talk openly and rationally about nuclear energy in Australia. 

Nationally, it must be considered as a low carbon emissions energy source, and a viable replacement for the phase out of coal reliance. 

In NSW, where nuclear energy and uranium mining is currently banned, it must be considered as an alternative industry for regional areas vulnerable to a future of agriculture yields being marginalised by increased desertification. 

Locally, our future depends on thinking differently and accepting new industries to boost our economy, job prospects and population growth. 

Nuclear for Climate Science [*] earmarked Grafton as one of 12 possible sites for a nuclear power station in the future. 

The Nationals’ endorsement of a call from One Nation’s Mark Latham to overturn the NSW ban has put nuclear squarely back on the agenda.....


[*] The correct name for this 'group' is Nuclear for Climate Australia. It has a post office box postal address in Berrima, but does not appear to be incorporated under its trademarked name or have an ABN number. It principally functions as a website.
The individual who seems to organise its social media presence is its founder Rob Parker, who coincidentally is also Vice President of the Australian Nuclear AssociationIt has one known associate Barrie Hill, who appears to be Managing Director of SMR Nuclear Technology Pty Ltd
Nuclear for Climate Australia lobbys to overturn the Australian nuclear power ban and for the adoption of Small Modular Nuclear Reactors (SMRs), which are alleged to have the same unresolved cost and safety concerns associated with larger plants and there is no consenus in the industry concerning SMRs.
Nuclear for Climate Australia has been riding the 2019-20 bushfire crisis on Twitter as a vehicle to push for nuclear power in this country.

Another perspective.....

The Climate Council, 23 January 2019:

What is a nuclear power station? 

Nuclear power stations run on uranium. When the nucleus of a uranium molecule is split inside a reactor, heat is produced. This process is called nuclear fission. The heat produced from this process is used to create steam from water. The steam drives a turbine that powers a generator. The generator creates electricity. 

Unlike coal and gas, no greenhouse gas pollution is created in the operation of the nuclear reactor. However, all other steps involved in producing nuclear power (from mining, to construction, decommissioning and waste management) result in greenhouse gas pollution. 

But nuclear energy is not “renewable”. Uranium is a finite resource just like coal or gas.... 

Nuclear power stations also present significant community, health, environmental, and cost risks associated with potential impacts from extreme weather events and natural disasters, such as occurred in Fukushima, Japan in 2011. Nuclear power stations leave a long-term and prohibitively expensive legacy of site remediation, fuel reprocessing and radioactive waste storage. 

Australia is one of the sunniest and windiest countries in the world, with enough renewable energy resources to power our country 500 times over. When compared with low risk, clean, reliable and affordable renewable energy and storage technology in Australia, nuclear power makes no sense.

Nuclear power stations are extremely expensive to build. For example, the Hinkley nuclear power station under construction in the UK will cost 20 billion pounds (AU$36 billion). Nuclear cannot compete on a cost basis with wind and solar, which are the cheapest forms of new generation. The cost of energy from the Hinkley Power station is significantly higher than large-scale solar, wind and offshore wind energy in the UK....

No comments: