How the Coalition can still win the General Election


Still up for grabs

This election is still up for grabs, despite what the polls say. The Australian people don’t trust Bill Shorten, the memories of Rudd-Gillard-Rudd are still fresh in their minds, and they are very suspicious of Labor’s ties to violent, militant unions like the CFMEU and extreme fringe-dwellers like the Greens.

They are also hurting in their wallets thanks to crazy green energy schemes which look like rainbows and unicorns but actually cost ordinary people their standard of living thanks to astronomical electricity prices.

So here are some ways in which the Coalition can still deny Labor a victory in May 2019:

  • Hit Labor’s legendary economic incompetence hard – push the no-surplus-since-1989 line for all it is worth. Labor couldn’t manage a candy store let alone an economy, and people need to be reminded of this. Labor means higher taxes, more government waste, higher unemployment, lower growth and more debt – it always has and it always will – it’s that simple.
  • Hit Labor’s consistent weakness on borders equally hard – they lie about maintaining strong borders but it’s just that – a lie. Just look at Kevin 07 to see where that ended up last time. The boats will be back on the water before the votes are all counted, and more innocent victims will die at sea. Left-leaning parties the world over are unanimous in their desire to let in as many third-world migrants as possible into Western democracies because they know they will unwaveringly shore up their vote – yes, it really is that blatant. Power is all that matters to the Left.
  • Hit Labor’s delusional climate obsession just as hard – pandering to their Greenie mates, Labor is obsessed with tackling climate change and “saving the Barrier Reef”, despite the fact that any cuts Australia makes to emissions will be swamped by China’s new coal fired power stations in no time at all. All pain and no gain. What’s hilarious is that they are dumb enough to believe that reducing emissions in Australia will somehow make the climate better in Australia – which is patently false since mitigation is averaged over the entire planet and anything Australia does is immediately cancelled out by China and India.
  • Attack Labor’s ridiculous electric vehicle policy, which is laughably ignorant and will essentially cripple the Australian economy. Plus the fact that Bill thinks they can be charged in under ten minutes – twit.
  • Commit to build new high efficiency low emission coal fired power stations across Australia, to guarantee baseload power supplies and keep prices affordable. This would be a huge vote winner for the Coalition, and if they don’t announce this, they shouldn’t even be in government.
  • Lift the ban on nuclear generation. Australia has the largest reserves of uranium in the world, and the largest expanse of Outback in which to store it safely. To prohibit nuclear power generation in this country is criminal.

Let’s see how many of these they actually do. I’m not holding my breath.

Nuclear paranoia will wipe out EU's planned emissions cuts


Dilemma

It’s the environmentalists’ worst nightmare – the choice between fossil fuel power stations, which emit carbon dioxide – allegedly harmful to the climate, on the one hand, or nuclear, zero emissions but feared and loathed in equal measure, on the other.

They are sitting on the extremely sharp and painful horns of an insoluble dilemma.

It is one year since the Japanese earthquake and tsunami that put the Fukushima nuclear power plant out of action. The resilience of Fukushima to such an event, however, convinced even George Monbiot to support nuclear power, since in his view it is by far the lesser of two evils.

But knee-jerk reactions of certain countries, Germany in particular, to withdraw nuclear power stations from the grid, will actually increase fossil fuel emissions, and cancel out all their painful and costly efforts to curb emissions:

One of the less-noted consequences of the nuclear disaster at Fukushima is the effect on carbon dioxide emissions. Two of the world’s six largest emitters are switching off their nuclear power stations, leaving them needing to source energy from elsewhere.

Germany has permanently shut eight of its older nuclear reactors and promised to close the remaining nine by 2022. The decision was cemented in September, when Siemens, which built all of Germany’s nuclear plants, withdrew from the nuclear industry. It also seems increasingly unlikely that Japan will restart the more than 50 nuclear reactors that have been closed for safety checks since the accident. Last week, the cities of Osaka, Kyoto and Kobe told utility companies that they no longer wanted nuclear power.

Elsewhere, the impact has been lower than many anticipated. The US and UK still intend to resume building nuclear power after a long pause. China, India and France all aim to carry on as before. Italy and Switzerland have decided to abandon plans for future plants, but existing plants will live out their remaining lives.

All told, that is nearly a billion-tonne jolt to the planet’s climate by 2020, and more beyond. That is small compared with global CO2 emissions – likely to be more than 400 billion tonnes in the same period. But it would send the wrong signal from two of the world’s largest emitters. And anyone involved in climate negotiations will tell you that cuts aren’t easy to agree on. The additional German emissions alone could add up to more than 300 million tonnes by 2020, which, according to the World Nuclear Association, would “virtually cancel out the 335-million-tonne savings intended to be achieved in the entire European Union by the 2011 Energy Efficiency Directive”. (source)

Oops. If the environmentalists are so concerned about the dangers of catastrophic AGW, then they really should get their priorities right.

US approves first new nuclear power plant in 34 years


Constructing the containment vessel

Why? Because nuclear power is safe, clean, reliable and efficient – and produces zero CO2 emissions. Contrast with “renewables” which are horrifically expensive, unreliable and inefficient, and require CO2-belching fossil fuel backup. And wind turbines shred rare birds.

And with the hysteria surrounding Fukushima, which resulted in the most astonishing fear-through-ignorance anti-nuclear knee-jerk reaction from many countries, it demonstrates that at least the US is taking its energy security seriously, and is not prepared to rely on hopeless renewables to keep the lights on.

The United States’ first new nuclear power plant in a generation has won approval after federal regulators voted on Thursday to grant a licence for two new reactors at a site in eastern Georgia.

Atlanta’s Southern Co hopes to begin operating the $14 billion reactors at its Vogtle site, south of Augusta, as soon as 2016. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) approved the company’s plans on a 4-1 vote.

The NRC last approved construction of a nuclear plant in 1978, a year before a partial meltdown of the Three Mile Island nuclear plant in Pennsylvania. That accident raised fears of a radiation release and brought new reactor orders to a near halt.

The planned reactors, along with two others in South Carolina expected to win approval in coming months, are the remnants of a once-anticipated building boom that the power industry dubbed the “nuclear renaissance”. The head of an industry lobbying group said the Vogtle project could be the start of a smaller renaissance that expands nuclear power in the United States.

“This is a historic day,” said Marvin Fertel, president and CEO of the Nuclear Energy Institute. He said the NRC vote “sounds a clarion call to the world that the United States recognises the importance of expanding nuclear energy as a key component of a low-carbon energy future that is central to job creation, diversity of electricity supply and energy security”.

President Barack Obama and other proponents say greater use of nuclear power could cut the nation’s reliance on fossil fuels and create energy without producing emissions blamed for global warming. The Obama administration has offered the Vogtle project $8.3 billion in federal loan guarantees as part of its pledge to expand nuclear power. (source)

If the climate catastrophe is half as serious as claimed, nuclear is the ONLY option for energy security.

Fukushima turns George Monbiot PRO-nuclear


The way ahead for Australia

Sorry if this has turned into a nuclear power blog, but this is too good. Yes, you read that correctly. The events at Fukushima have convinced George Monbiot of the benefits of nuclear power, and its safety:

You will not be surprised to hear that the events in Japan have changed my view of nuclear power. You will be surprised to hear how they have changed it. As a result of the disaster at Fukushima, I am no longer nuclear-neutral. I now support the technology.

A crappy old plant with inadequate safety features was hit by a monster earthquake and a vast tsunami. The electricity supply failed, knocking out the cooling system. The reactors began to explode and melt down. The disaster exposed a familiar legacy of poor design and corner-cutting. Yet, as far as we know, no one has yet received a lethal dose of radiation.

Some greens have wildly exaggerated the dangers of radioactive pollution. For a clearer view, look at the graphic published by xkcd.com. It shows that the average total dose from the Three Mile Island disaster for someone living within 10 miles of the plant was one 625th of the maximum yearly amount permitted for US radiation workers. This, in turn, is half of the lowest one-year dose clearly linked to an increased cancer risk, which, in its turn, is one 80th of an invariably fatal exposure. I’m not proposing complacency here. I am proposing perspective.

If other forms of energy production caused no damage, these impacts would weigh more heavily. But energy is like medicine: if there are no side-effects, the chances are that it doesn’t work. (source)

Well said. George, for once, we salute you. (h/t Konrad in comments, and Delingpole)

 

Nuclear power sense from Barry Brook


The way ahead for Australia

Once again, although we disagree on many issues of climate, Barry Brook is right on the money on nuclear power:

Nuclear power will be needed to supply up to 75 per cent of Australia’s baseload electricity by 2060, a climate change expert says.

Barry Brook, chair of climate change at Adelaide University, said the scenario would be the same for other modern and emerging economies if the current demand for low-carbon energy continued.

He said such a change in supply dynamics would require a large-scale but prudent expansion of nuclear energy infrastructure, including incorporating lessons learnt from the nuclear crisis in Japan.

‘Globally, to service such power demands will need current levels of nuclear energy supply to increase 21-fold around the world,’ Professor Brook told the Paydirt 2011 Uranium Conference in Adelaide on Tuesday.

‘For the protagonists of alternative energy sources, such as solar and wind, those contributors would have to increase their infrastructure more than 40-fold to take even a 15 per cent slice of the future energy mix.’

Prof Brook said the problems with the earthquake and tsunami-damaged Japanese nuclear reactors would, in time, be seen in their proper context.

‘They will lead to improved measures at protecting against extreme natural events,’ he said.

‘They also provide greater encouragement for governments and energy utilities to move even more rapidly now to the very latest nuclear power technologies.

Prof Brook said it should be kept in mind that the explosions at the Japanese reactors were chemical, not nuclear.

‘The radiation dose threat to the public has been small, not one member of the public has died as a direct consequence of the reactor challenges, there has not been a failure of the primary containment vessels nor any large-scale release of radiation,’ he said.

But Prof Brook said the Japanese crisis was a salient lesson for what the nuclear power had to do in the future.

‘As long as any industry learns from the lessons of the past and continues to maintain a high culture of safety, I see a very bright future ahead for nuclear power,‘ he said. (source)

If CO2-related climate change is the apocalypse in waiting the climate change alarmists say it is, then nuclear electricity generation is the only option. Barry Brook correctly acknowledges this fact, and ACM applauds him for that.

UPDATED: ACM Graphic: Understanding nuclear power


Seems to be summed up thus:

Confusion reigns

UPDATE: The Sydney Morning Herald beat me to the link between these events:

“Sixty years ago, my father was in the Royal Australian Navy. The ships he sailed on took him to the Korean War and to Japan, when Australia was part of the occupation force after the bombs ended the war in the Pacific.

He saw what was left of Hiroshima after nuclear power was rained upon it. My father remembers the flattened countryside. When he reads some commentators say that the nuclear threat to Japan and beyond from the stricken reactors is a media beat-up, he gets annoyed. He has seen nuclear power in its destructive guise. To downgrade its threat – even in peacetime – is to him idiocy.” (source)

Environmentalists' hysteria over Fukushima


The way ahead for Australia

“Never let a good crisis go to waste.” The Japanese earthquake, one of the worst in recorded history, and the subsequent tsunami, caused extensive damage to the Fukushima nuclear plant, but its resilience is testament to the design of the reactors and the safety of their design. That, however, doesn’t stop hysterical eco-moonbats from jumping on the bandwagon and using Fukushima as an excuse to abandon nuclear power, despite the fact it is cheap, clean and safe, and the only realistic alternative to coal.

Ian Lowe is just such a person, with frequent appearances on these pages (see here and here). Lowe is the head of the Australian Conservation Foundation (which promotes Al Gore’s Climate Project, the aim of which is to disseminate misinformation on climate to the public) and writes in the Fairfax press under the headline “No nukes now, or ever”:

There are five good [?] reasons for Australia to heed the lesson of Fukushima. [The “lesson” of Fukushima is precisely the opposite of the one you’re about to give – Ed]

THE damage to the Fukushima reactors may have ended the risk of Australia going down the nuclear path. [Translation: “ended the dream of cheap, low emissions electricity” – Ed]

In fact, despite some uninformed commentary, there has been no renaissance of nuclear energy, only a resurgence of pro-nuclear talk.

In 2008 and 2009, the world retired 3000 megawatts of old nuclear capacity and only 1000 megawatts was brought on line. In the same two years, about 60,000 megawatts of new wind power was commissioned. [60,000 megawatts of unreliable wind generators probably generates less than the 1000 megawatts of reliable nuclear, and at many times the price – Ed]

While some enthusiasts claim new nuclear reactors would not have the technical limitations of Chernobyl or be built as dangerously as Fukushima, there will always be some risk of accidents. I was calmly sitting in a Christchurch coffee shop at lunchtime on February 22. We can be glad New Zealand does not have nuclear reactors.

We simply don’t know enough about Earth to be totally confident that any specific location is safe. An accident in a nuclear power station is a much more serious risk than a problem with any form of renewable energy supply.

Where do you start? Fukushima was built on an active fault, and was designed expressly for that purpose. When a massive magnitude 9.0 earthquake struck, there was no breach of the reactor cores, no significant radiation leaks, in fact it behaved exactly what it was supposed to. Contrast this with Australia, which has very little significant earthquake activity and massive reserves of uranium – the ideal location for nuclear generation. And to seriously compare nuclear power with expensive, hopeless, unreliable, inefficient wind is nothing more than a joke. Lowe is a climate alarmist, yet still cannot bring himself to admit that if you genuinely believe the AGW scaremongering, then nuclear is the only option for electricity generation.

The idiocy of his position is summed up in the final paragraph:

The nuclear debate should be a no-brainer for Australia. There is no case for us to commit to a dangerous, slow and expensive energy option when we have such plentiful sources of safe, clean renewable energy. (source)

Delusional doesn’t come close. He genuinely and honestly believes that solar and wind can replace baseload coal and gas! Solar, that doesn’t work at night, and wind that only works when the wind blows. Words. Fail. Me.

Christopher Booker, writing in the UK Telegraph, skewers all this hysteria:

The scaremongers were certainly out in force last week, with talk of “meltdown” and claims that the Japanese nuclear power plant emergency threatened a disaster “worse than Chernobyl”. There is, of course, no parallel with Chernobyl at all. The problem at Fukushima was not the explosion of a working nuclear reactor (all its reactors had been automatically shut down). The main problem was the lack of water to cool spent fuel rods. Even if the overheating rods caught fire, the worst-case scenario was never more than that some radioactive particles, given an unfavourable wind, might reach as far as Tokyo. There was never any chance that this could compare with Chernobyl, although even the long-term effects of that 1986 disaster, as it turned out, were very much less serious than scaremongers at the time predicted.

Read it all.

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