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The Forum > Article Comments > Coronovirus pandemic could cripple the nuclear industry > Comments

Coronovirus pandemic could cripple the nuclear industry : Comments

By Noel Wauchope, published 26/3/2020

Nuclear power facilities have this one problem that is unique to the nuclear industry, and that is, the need for exceptional security.

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Since coal and gas account for 83% of Australia's electricity (Energy Update 2019 Table 3.2) it's a good thing their workers are immune to pandemics. Otherwise the power could go out for hospitals, respirators and dialysis machines. Meanwhile aluminium smelters and sewage farms could somehow work at night when the wind is not blowing. Some form of low carbon dispatchble generation needs to replace coal and gas.
Posted by Taswegian, Thursday, 26 March 2020 8:29:43 AM
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Go with this one Alan B!

Dan
Posted by diver dan, Thursday, 26 March 2020 8:56:39 AM
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You really have to peculiar to see any connection between nuclear energy and the China China virus.
Posted by ttbn, Thursday, 26 March 2020 9:12:29 AM
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The first of the soon to be tsunami of Climate Change Cultists led assault on anything that they hate. What a pointless waste of space opportunism by the author and his mates

COVID-19 to the rescue, worse than the blatant, advertising sycophantic performance between Lisa Miller and her luvie girlfriend that entitled "North Shore Sydney Princess" Julia Baird promoting her latest driffle book " Phosphorescence" as a relief for COVID-19 attention disorder syndrome! Our ABC my arse, Its Their ABC, we just pay their bloated salaries and expenses( probably larger).

I concur with diver dan, and await with glee to see Alan B let rip. Go Alan B get "stuck into him" as Billy Connelly would say!
Posted by Alison Jane, Thursday, 26 March 2020 9:25:57 AM
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Coronovirus will have no affect at all on the Sun, the only nuclear power source we need.
Posted by ateday, Thursday, 26 March 2020 9:40:23 AM
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Taswegian,
I thought the figure you supplied looked dodgy so I checked and it was. You misread the table, ignoring the contribution from oil.

Anyway, those figures are out of date now, as there's been a lot of investment in solar power since the 2017-18 financial year. I don't know what the figure is for Australia as a whole, but for the NEM over the past year, the market share from fossil fuels was 76.2%
Posted by Aidan, Thursday, 26 March 2020 9:40:59 AM
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Aiden, good fact checking, BUT I reckon the author is not to focused on facts given here track record as an activist.

But while awaiting Alan B, arrival to this discussion and preparing food beverages for a should be cracker event...

Consider responding to my 2 responses to your three over on Essery COVIFD-19 article of Yesterday. I sincerely would love and honestly appreciate the response to my second challenge, I' even over you a virtual glass of your favourite tipple.
Posted by Alison Jane, Thursday, 26 March 2020 9:56:51 AM
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Aidan I should have said fossil fuels I was trying to mention coal specifically.

The point remains that after billions of dollars, nearly 20 years of the RET, the emissions reduction fund and a couple of years of carbon tax Australia's electricity should be low carbon by now. It isn't so we need to try something else.

I think 'Noel' is actually a Christina.
Posted by Taswegian, Thursday, 26 March 2020 10:12:44 AM
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Sorry, just not conclusive, credible or convincing!

As always, with this ignorance personified, Author, predicated on the sky will fall, BS writ large, broken record rhetoric, fearmongering of the worst kind!

Covid-19 just doesn't do as well in populations where the background radiation is higher/double. The study of homeosis.

And some potential nuclear power, uses fuel less radioactive in its natural state, than a banana!

To access some of the radioactive fuel in an MSR, the terrorist must get past passive security. And armed, with shoot to kill, security then break through concrete, then the double-wall, steel water jacket and remove around thirty tons of, beyond white-hot, giving off enough gamma to kill a horse in five, liquid!

And then get it out while gamma sensing satellites are screaming, warning, warning, security breach!

And, make no mistake, see several jets/choppers scrambled with rockets that will kill all the miscreants and their vehicles, once they and their load are in the open. Or on the open ocean!

The gamma count screaming, here we are, here we are, aim your gamma guided response right here!

To get a small sample, one would need to break open a reactor with maybe one/two hundred tons of white-hot molten material just to get a couple of grams!

Anyone who thinks hey can just remove a small sample, hasn't a clue about the internal workings of MSR! Or that the material will not kill its possessor in minutes, is demented beyond description.

I could remove some but I'd need an armoured tank and a couple of robots. even then I wouldn't be able to get it off of the continent without paying with my life!

Security can be remotely controlled mate, even from a sickbed! And from a distance and a secret location!

Stop it now before it falls off!
Alan B.
Posted by Alan B., Thursday, 26 March 2020 10:45:48 AM
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Oh dear!

More wishful thinking by the ratbag fringe.
Posted by Hasbeen, Thursday, 26 March 2020 10:52:17 AM
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While Noel, aka Christina, taught science (type of science not given),she switched to nursing and did some health studies.

She has omitted the qualifications that apparently entitle her to lecture us on things nuclear.
Posted by ttbn, Thursday, 26 March 2020 11:14:04 AM
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Noel's concerns are well taken. ASIO’s CORPORATE PLAN 2007 TO 2011

had concerns about radiological and nuclear terrorism on page 9:

"The next five years will be challenging both at home and abroad, and will be characterised by:

- the persistent terrorist threat from Islamic extremists, including the potential use of chemical, biological, radiological or nuclear materials;"

see my 2007 article http://www.newsweekly.com.au/article.php?id=3241

Note ASIO Corporate Plans remain publically available documents - see http://www.asio.gov.au/corporate-plan.html
_____________________________________________________

RADIOLOGICAL Threats

Most current nuclear threats are "radiological", which means situations in which radioactive material is released without an actual nuclear explosion. This may involve accidental spills of radioactive material that is mined, transported or stored or Radiological Terrorism.

Radiological Terrorism may come in the form of dirty bombs, where terrorists use high explosive to distribute highly radioactive material over key parts of a city.

Dispersal through an accident or sabotage at Australia's one nuclear reactor site, at Lucas Heights, is also possible.

Radiological threats of all types will increase if Australia opts to build reactors for nuclear power using and yielding highly radioactive material.
Posted by plantagenet, Thursday, 26 March 2020 1:00:19 PM
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A very sober, quite tame and non-mud slinging comment. Well done Alan B, I liked it!
as ever, "pig-ignorant" AJ.
Posted by Alison Jane, Thursday, 26 March 2020 1:33:44 PM
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"BREAK-IN AT NUCLEAR SITE BAFFLES SOUTH AFRICA"

Noel is spot on. Eat ya hearts out Hasbeen and Alan B.

NOTHING LIKE A PRECEDENT: New York Times, November 15, 2007 http://www.nytimes.com/2007/11/15/world/africa/15joburg.html

JOHANNESBURG: “This much is known: Just after midnight on Nov. 8, Anton Gerber was sitting with his fiancée in the control room of South Africa’s most secretive nuclear facility, the site at which this nation’s apartheid government conceived and delivered six atomic bombs, when four gunmen burst into the room. Mr. Gerber pushed his fiancée under a desk. The attackers shot him in the chest, grabbed a computer and fled, but abandoned their booty as they came under assault by guards.

Now, one week after the assault, the most serious on a nuclear installation in recent memory, the government is largely mum about who was behind it, how they broke in or why.

Already, the attack is raising questions among advocates and analysts about the wisdom of plans by South Africa and other African states to embrace nuclear energy as a solution to chronic power shortages and the looming problems of climate change.

The assault on the Pelindaba nuclear reactor and research center, one of South Africa’s most zealously guarded properties, is a severe embarrassment to the government. The four gunmen escaped cleanly, neither caught by guards nor identified on surveillance cameras. Mr. Gerber is still recovering.

On Tuesday, officials belatedly acknowledged that the Pelindaba reactor had come under attack that same night by a second team of gunmen who were also repelled — and also escaped — after guards sounded an alarm.

The Nuclear Energy Corporation of South Africa...suspended six security officials after the assaults and hinted that the break-ins were inside jobs, made possible only by intimate knowledge of the elaborate defenses...."
____________________________________________

What do you say to that Hasbeen and Alan B.?

You Murdoch Muppets you!
Posted by plantagenet, Thursday, 26 March 2020 2:45:56 PM
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Clutching at straws to support a weak cause ......
Posted by Aspley, Thursday, 26 March 2020 2:58:15 PM
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Plantagenet proffers the notion that nuclear power is unsafe. And it can be.
Then so too can electricity.

The same crude objections were raised against the generation of AC power in the US, all those years ago. DC was safe, ( and much more expensive and cumbersome to distribute).
The same war between technologies always appears to rise to the occasion.

AC current won the war in the end due to its superior outcome. And that in spite of the fact it will kill you if you mishandle it.

Dan
Posted by diver dan, Thursday, 26 March 2020 9:58:52 PM
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Concur with you again Diver Dan, AC/DC, VHS/Betamax.....yet CCCers claim 97% consensus and sttlked science... a truly bemusing claim re the false stats and contradiction of the values of science… its a funny, human-weak world!
Posted by Alison Jane, Thursday, 26 March 2020 10:06:58 PM
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Well AJ

The problem with nuclear generation is that's ALL it is. Generating electricity.
Not even that really, it just turns a shaft.

It's more about the problem of distribution of electricity, than it is about nuclear power generation.

All the problems of electricity have long been solved. It's always enslaved though, by it biggest fault, that of distribution.
Renewables don't solve that problem, they exacerbate it.
And THERE is it's problem.

Dan
Posted by diver dan, Thursday, 26 March 2020 10:28:57 PM
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Small Modular Reactors (SMRs), the great white hope of OLO's nuclear enthusiasts, fail public liability and cost of security criteria.

See http://www.aph.gov.au/DocumentStore.ashx?id=7a9318c0-aad6-405e-832f-66212a87d158&subId=669038

"Transport issues arising from the modular construction model are too often glossed over. Dr David Lowry notes that the UK's so-called Expert Finance Working Group on Small Nuclear Reactors (EFWG)36

"makes no attempt to provide an analysis of how to provide market based insurance for SMRs, against accidents and terrorist attack on modules in transit to site and in situ; nor how to privately fund SMR radioactive waste management: yet these are real risks for nuclear power, SMRs included.

For example, the EFWG (p.11) talks of "road transportable modules which are easily installed on site" but makes no calculation of the exposure to disruption or indeed destruction of such an SMR module being transported on public roads from fabrication facility to operating site, possible hundreds of miles distant."

Furthermore internal estimates indicate the size of the security protection unit (around 60 men and 10 attack dogs) for an SMR would be as expensive as that required for a large reactor.

Also the razor wire protected exclusion zones for SMRs would need to be as large as those for large reactors. Note population and siting concerns http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1687850713000071
Posted by plantagenet, Thursday, 26 March 2020 11:12:04 PM
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Taswegian,
A good start would be to cut some of the red tape that's currently holding back development of renewable electricity infrastructure. AEMC in particular seem to have been very obstructionist lately.

Then it's mainly a case of ensuring cheap capital is available. An easy solution to that would be to massively expand the CEFC.

__________________________________________________________________________________

Alison Jane,
I so rarely consume tipples that I would not be able to name a favourite.
I really don't think it's worth responding to your challenges when you seem to be as closed minded as runner. You make all kinds of baseless claims, most of which indicate a lack or rational thought, like your "climate change cultists" claim which I see you're now extending to an anti-nuclear activist even though it's obvious she has a completely different agenda!

Whatever I say you don't believe even when I post the reasons. Indeed you're so contemptuous of what I have to say that you consider my statement that I'm unimpressed with your namedropping to be an admission of the exact opposite. Your mindset is so totally unscientific that I find it difficult to imagine anyone in academia ever hired you - unless of course your current behaviour is due to more recent effects of senility.

But if anyone else here wants to take up the challenge, I have three tips to get them started:
(tbc)
Posted by Aidan, Friday, 27 March 2020 10:15:37 AM
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...

• Some alleged predictions are fake.
For example, Tim Flannery said the rain might not come. The context was why building desalination plants was needed, so the timescale was however long it would take for the dams run dry. Yet some people on this board have such poor comprehension they thought he was predicting it will never rain again!

• Many predictions were conditional on lack of action.
In some cases multiple emission scenarios were modelled. The one that was most dramatic, and hence got most media attention, was the one based on the world ignoring the problem completely and continuing to increase CO2 emissions unabated. But that's not what happened. The Kyoto protocol resulted in developed countries cutting their emissions. Though it was a lot less than needed, it was much better than doing nothing. Modelling of this scenario got results pretty close to what actually happened, yet denialists still pilloried it because we're not getting the results the newspapers say it predicted.

• Many predictions were not made by scientists.
Environmentalists in the early 1990s were making all sorts of alarmist predictions. The scientists at the time knew (for example) that the sea level rises would occur a lot more slowly. But again, less dramatic predictions don't sell newspapers.
Posted by Aidan, Friday, 27 March 2020 10:16:09 AM
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THANK for paying a little attention to this "pig-ignorant" 60+ and noe senile old girl.

Its so nice that you young'uns show such respect to the oldies who built this comfortable 1st environment with trifling basics like toilets and taps and even reusable water bottles (intended for water, but you probably fill it with Power minerally balance boutique water for your spandex glad buttocks we all have to look at).

While I soldier on in the "Cha-ni led virus pandemic" and don't die from bog-roll famine, your attempts to meet/aoid the '47 step Flim-flam Flannery challenge ARE SO INCITEFUL AND PLEASE TO THIS "pig-ignorant OLD-fart!

A wait the next challenger with the stamina to match your 15 point character of CC cultist challenge. 15 is your limit, well done, solid 2-2 rating piece of denialism. I can see your don't have the kahunas to match the "47-step Flim-flam Flannery challenge".

Wo has the real stamina for the "47 step Flim-flam Flannery challenge.... Steel-Rednuts?

Hippo isolation day and do practice social distancing between You ego, inner-monalog and your physical body!

Yours, this "senile", "pig-ignorant" old tart, Climate realist
AJ
Posted by Alison Jane, Friday, 27 March 2020 10:36:07 AM
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from Noel Wauchope. Since I wrote this article, things have got more serious for the global nuclear industry. The industry itself certainly recognises this. In France, inspections of nuclear reactors can now be done only "remotely"
The Nuclear Energy Institute outlines the situation. https://www.neimagazine.com/features/featurecovid-19-impacts-nuclear-industry-worldwide-7839553/
Posted by ChristinaMac1, Saturday, 28 March 2020 7:49:47 AM
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So what's your alarmist point here... are you scared of nasty nuclear power that can give you co2 net zero emissions or the virus that might make the operators do " Chai=na Syndrome, Chernobyll, Fujiyama" mistakes.

As for me its still rude mysoginists lke Aiden and Steel-rednuts and the dreaded "how-dare you!", creton -- Grimacing Greta
Posted by Alison Jane, Saturday, 28 March 2020 9:54:36 AM
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to Alison Jane
I'm not being "alarmist" - merely pointing out that the nuclear industry is unique in its need for stringent security. In this time of pandemic, the nuclear industry is obliged to maintain security. That, in turn, means that they have to bring in special conditions, which could even include shutting down reactors. All of which means even more costs. So - it could mean that the nuclear industry has had its day.

As to "rude misogynists" - may I offer a bit of advice, - very much from personal experience. Just ignore them. Misogynist trolls thrive on argument and "debate". They seem to have endless time. Some are paid to do it. We're not. And our time is precious.
Posted by ChristinaMac1, Saturday, 28 March 2020 10:37:40 AM
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Alison Jane,
Your accusation that I'm a misogynist is libellous. Consider this an unofficial warning.
Did you fail to notice the rules of this board include:
"Observe Australian copyright and defamation laws and all other laws relating to acceptable speech"?
If it happens again I will make it official.

________________________________________________________________________________________________

ChristinaMac1
I don't think Alison's time is precious. She's retired (or claims to be) and seems to have nothing better to do than troll on this board.
Posted by Aidan, Saturday, 28 March 2020 10:59:23 AM
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Can't see how I said you were an alarmist.. as you don't seem to write like one. I spent 40 years lips sealed on CCC and the bullys ( male and female) I have met in my 60 year on this wonderful planet, time for this senile old tart climate realist to have some fun with them, as they can no longer hurt my career/.well-being/superfunds!

Thanks ChristinaMac1, Will do, but I do like giving them a piece of their own medicines, like all bullies they have nano-thin skin.

AS for Aidens scary reply to us...must check his "legal threat" powers. and pass him on to a lovely woman I was shook hands with... owe my failing memory is so, what's the word for it...... damned annoying senility, even worse than my incontinence and drooling. Ah yes Julia... Gillard?

We pig-ignorant, senile old tarts must stick together!
Posted by Alison Jane, Saturday, 28 March 2020 12:34:43 PM
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Aidan,

Flannery. I don't think anyone's saying he "said the rain might not come." He didn't. What he did say, on several occasions, was that the rains, when they did come, wouldn't fill the dams. This was both part of his usual scaremongering and attempts to justify what became a frivolous waste of funds on de-sal plants. His predictions were wrong, laughably wrong, and the usual suspects have been trying to obfuscate that ever since. I'm a little surprised you are party to that effort.

" Many predictions were conditional on lack of action" and "Many predictions were not made by scientists"

This is true but is part of the 'game'. The idea is that multiple predictions are made based on differing scenarios and then the scariest gets promoted. If scientists were honest and not part of the 'game' they'd be out there telling the world not to give any extra credence to the scaremongering.

That's why, for example the IPCC continues to use RCP8.5 . Despite being thoroughly debunked as a viable future scenario, it yields the scariest predictions. So the IPCC continues to publish those predictions knowing full well that they are wrong and also knowing that when, in the future, they are shown to be wrong, they can simply say that they were one of several other predictions. Its part of the 'game' and part of gaming the system.

/cont
Posted by mhaze, Saturday, 28 March 2020 1:21:48 PM
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/cont
Another example is the James Hanson predictions. Back in 1990 he made predictions about future temperatures for 2010. Scenario A showed large scary increases, scenario B slightly less scary increases and scenario C slight increases. Over the years scenario A was usually mentioned as his prediction and by extension NASA's prediction. Never did he come out and say that this was the wrong way to use his data. But come 2010 and scenario C was closest to the mark and he and the usual suspects immediately pivoted to claiming that he was right all along.

If scientists were honest they'd be out there telling people that their data was being misused. Where are the scientists pointing out that the claims about a climate catastrophe by 2030 are rubbish? Not to be found? Why? Because, in the words of Stephen Schneider "So we have to offer up scary scenarios, make simplified, dramatic statements, and make little mention of any doubts we might have"
Posted by mhaze, Saturday, 28 March 2020 1:21:52 PM
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Just to clarify: I wasn't threatening to sue. When I said "make it official" I meant I'd report you, which could result in a ban.
Posted by Aidan, Saturday, 28 March 2020 1:24:29 PM
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“Oh you are awful “, as Dick Emery/ Dame Edna would put it! I’m so weak when threatened/bullied, your more Frightening than Grimacing-Greta, don’t worry you sensitive young so,…be patient.

Your follow-up “Just to clarify: I wasn't threatening to sue. When I said "make it official" I meant I'd report you, which could result in a ban.” Your followup Post ‘fwithened' poor senile pig-ignorant old tart like weak me.

I reoeat, be patient, generate serenity with Yoga induces "NO2-nasal excercises.Yer mucker be BBF “Grimacing Greta“ climate-stress” CCC derived COVID-19/96gg special weapons grade virus the Russians are help her develop in her Mummies Shed, at the bottom of her net-zero emitting Swedish home.., the one behind the sauna and steaming lap- pool and hot top, if you recal.

I assume you’ve been round for her famous “candle-lit suppers of herrings and caviar avec organic champers”, assuming you got a ride on that Aussie-rich-kid-yachts she has commandeered to shout “ how dare you… global, nomad old farts must die!” to all the wealthy retired old tarts like me stuck on that fleet of coffin-ship Cruise ships wandering the ocean spewing out COVID-19 and worse CO2 emissions,.
Posted by Alison Jane, Saturday, 28 March 2020 1:40:30 PM
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Dear mhaze,

What a slippery use of figures. Why on earth are you using Hansen's 2010 figures when the 2019 are available.

Temperature anomaly compared to 1951-1980 average, in degrees Celsius

Scenario A – 1.565

Scenario B – 1.104

Actual from GISTemp NASA - .980

Scenario C - .0606

http://www.bloomberg.com/opinion/articles/2020-01-30/1988-global-warming-forecast-by-james-hansen-proved-mostly-true

Hansen was pretty well spot on and far closer to B than C. Why try and fudge with old figures? Doesn't fit your argument perhaps? Either way you are being dishonest once again.

Please stop.
Posted by SteeleRedux, Saturday, 28 March 2020 5:18:28 PM
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Well said mhaze, this Aiden troll is worse and more "hubristic" than Steel-Rednuts!

He is a nasty little boy, who when I first stood in front of a calls of 9 year olds, who be give the cane/birch, and made to either sit on the corner and forced to serve milk to his class mates for a week.

But then I' old-fart AJ awaiting a CCC hit-man to take me out!
Posted by Alison Jane, Saturday, 28 March 2020 7:10:09 PM
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The only major country approaching net zero is France which obtains nearly 80% of its power from nuclear and with reprocessing of its fuel has little to no nuclear waste and nearly the cheapest power in Europe.

That its safety record is better than any other power source in Europe is yet another statistic that the nuclear deniers are trying to bury.
Posted by Shadow Minister, Sunday, 29 March 2020 5:56:45 AM
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SR,

Your link is paywalled, but thanks for making my point ie that scenario A was rubbish yet was the most favoured among the climate hysterics until it became untenable to do so.

SM,
"The only major country approaching net zero is France..."
I'm not opposed to nuclear but electricity production is only one aspect of an economy. France is nowhere near zero. Per capita French emissions are still over 5 mt CO2e /pa - lower than most but miles from zero - and nationally France's carbon footprint is over 670 Mt CO2e pa.

Additionally the recent French trend is up not down.

Of course, if, like me, you think the level of emissions is neither here nor there in the great scheme of things, then issues about relative emissions is a mere curiosity
Posted by mhaze, Sunday, 29 March 2020 8:54:14 AM
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yep we seen all those body bags in Italy, Spain and China caused by gw. The charlatans still want to ensure their tax payer (those lucky enough to have a job) funding flow into their pockets. I mean gw has stolen people's future not Coronavirus. How dare they?
Posted by runner, Sunday, 29 March 2020 9:42:04 AM
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Runner I concur. I saw the priest shaking water on the line of coffins. Sad opportunities media and panic merchants like the " their ABC and BBC mother of ABC are and always have has no worries. I lived in the UK and watched the BBC spin crap to support the IRA and enflame the Troubles, while Ulster suffered. They sat in the only 5 star Europa hotel, on company paid tab at bar. No wonder both sides bombed over 20 times.

That shot of coffins raise the issue of Family Isolation, not the horror of real wars, afghan, Syria, Kosovo et al, Vietnam, Korea, WW1/2...…

And as for Dr 'stormin' Normas Swan...… Grrrrrr! his the worse. Just look at the CORONA CAST and the CORONA factcheck site promoted by Mad Madeline on ABC Breakfast...….and we pay them well for this... and ITA B where is she.. Hiding in that panic room penthouse apartment in New York with Emp Mal and Queen Lucy I guess.!..... double GrrrrrrH!
Posted by Alison Jane, Sunday, 29 March 2020 10:58:21 AM
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Mhaze,

Roughly 80% of France's electricity is generated from Nuclear generation at half the price that Germany and Denmark do.

They also buy cheap power from the above when the wind and solar generate more than Germany and Denmark can use, and sell them expensive power when the wind and solar dry up without which G&D would need to buy massive batteries.

That there are other sources of CO2 is not pertinent to this discussion.
Posted by Shadow Minister, Monday, 30 March 2020 2:25:26 PM
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