Fukushima still out of control February-2014 The World is at a critical crossroads. The Fukushima disaster in Japan has brought to the forefront the dangers of Worldwide nuclear radiation.
The crisis in Japan has been described as “a nuclear war without a war”. In the words of renowned novelist Haruki Murakami:
“This time no one dropped a bomb on us … We set the stage, we committed the crime with our own hands, we are destroying our own lands, and we are destroying our own lives.”
Nuclear radiation –which threatens life on planet earth– is not front page news in comparison to the most insignificant issues of public concern. While the long-term repercussions of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster are yet to be fully assessed, they are far more serious than those pertaining to the 1986 Chernobyl disaster in the Ukraine…..http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pz1j4IHcsP4
Fukushima apologies and apologists Jim Green, Climate Spectator, 12 March 2014 “…..Nuclear apologists Sadly, nuclear apologists have been slow to apologise for peddling misinformation. Adelaide-based nuclear advocate and conspiracy theorist Geoff Russell and Adelaide University’s Barry Brook insist that the Fukushima disaster was “deathless” despite a growing number of scientific studies giving the lie to that claim.
Last year the World Health Organisation released a report which concluded that for people in the most contaminated areas in Fukushima Prefecture, the estimated increased risk for all solid cancers will be around 4% in females exposed as infants; a 6% increased risk of breast cancer for females exposed as infants; a 7% increased risk of leukaemia for males exposed as infants; and for thyroid cancer among females exposed as infants, an increased risk of up to 70% (from a 0.75% lifetime risk up to 1.25%).
Estimates of the long-term cancer death toll include:
- a Stanford University study that estimates “an additional 130 (15-1100) cancer-related mortalities and 180 (24-1800) cancer-related morbidities”;
- an estimate of 1000-3000 cancer deaths by physicist Ed Lyman (based on an estimated collective whole-body radiation dose of 3.2 million person-rem to the population of Japan); and
- an estimate of around 3000 cancer deaths, from radiation biologist and independent consultant Dr Ian Fairlie.
Indirect deaths must also be considered, especially those resulting from the failure of TEPCO and government authorities to develop and implement adequate emergency response procedures. A September 2012 editorial in Japan Times noted that 1632 deaths occurred during or after evacuation from the triple-disaster; and nearly half (160,000) of the 343,000 evacuees were dislocated specifically because of the nuclear disaster. A January 2013 article in The Lancet notes that “the fact that 47 per cent of disaster-related deaths were recognised in Fukushima prefecture alone indicates that the earthquake-triggered nuclear crisis at the Fukushima power plant caused extreme hardship for local residents.”
In Fukushima Prefecture, 1656 people have died as a result of stress and other illnesses caused by the 2011 disaster according to information compiled by police and local governments and reported last month. That number exceeds the 1607 people in Fukushima Prefecture who were drowned by the tsunami or killed by the preceding earthquake.
“The biggest problem is the fact that people have been living in temporary conditions for so long,” said Hiroyuki Harada, a Fukushima official dealing with victim assistance, “People have gone through dramatic changes of their environment. As a result, people who would not have died are dying.”
The claim by Brook and Russell that Fukushima was “deathless” has no basis in truth. They ought to take a leaf from Naomi Hirose’s book, bow deeply and apologise..www.businessspectator.com.au/article/2014/3/12/energy-markets/fukushima-apologies-and-apologists
Dennis Matthews, 12 Mar 14 Given the on-going economic, environmental, social, health and safety disaster at Fukushima there can be only two excuses for supporting an expansion of the nuclear industry in South Australia, either you have a financial or ideological investment in the nuclear industry or you haven’t been as vigilant as you would like to be.
The Fukushima disaster happened three years ago but the situation is by no means under control. South Australia’s contribution through uranium mining at Roxby Downs and Beverley is deplorable and should not be compounded by further excursions into this inherently dangerous industry.
Uranium export helps arm the nuclear weapons nations of the world. The escalating confrontation between nuclear armed Russia and nuclear armed USA over Ukraine is fuelled by uranium from South Australia.
The March 15 state election is one chance in four years to make a strong statement to our politicians by voting for those candidates who are unequivocally opposed to an expansion of the nuclear industry in South Australia. The price of freedom is eternal vigilance.
Australia’s uranium exports and US ties behind nuclear stance: New Zealand PM John Key SMH March 11, 2014 - Australia’s uranium exports and close alliance with the United States explain Canberra’s opposition to Wellington’s nuclear disarmament diplomacy, according to New Zealand prime minister John Key.
”It’s kind of inevitable we might take a slightly different stance to a country like Australia that produces uranium and is part of ANZUS,” Mr Key said on Monday.
”It’s just one of those things where they come from a slightly different perspective. They are part of ANZUS, there’s just different factors that might play into their thinking when it comes to nuclear disarmament.”
Mr Key was responding to reports by Fairfax Media that Australian diplomats worked to undermine a New Zealand-led push at the United Nations to highlight the humanitarian consequences of any use of nuclear weapons.
New Zealand Labour opposition spokesperson on disarmament Maryan Street said the revelations Australia had tried to frustrate New Zealand’s diplomacy struck “a jarring note” in trans-Tasman relations……
One hundred and twenty five countries supported the New Zealand-led statement on nuclear disarmament while only 17 countries signed up to the Australian text – all US allies and mostly NATO members. http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/australias-uranium-exports-and-us-ties-behind-nuclear-stance-new-zealand-pm-john-key-20140311-34jcq.html
The US struggles to make Japan fear nuclear terrorism, Global Post, 11 Mar 14 A behind-the-scenes debate over Japan’s plans to develop a giant plutonium stockpile
Already, Japan has 9.3 metric tons of plutonium stored at Rokkasho and nine other sites in the island nation, along with around 35 tons of plutonium stored in France and the United Kingdom.
Japan’s plans to develop a giant plutonium stockpile reveals big cultural clashes. ROKKASHO, Japan — Sporting turquoise-striped walls and massive steel cooling towers, the new industrial complex rising from bluffs astride the Pacific Ocean here looks like it might produce consumer electronics or bath salts.
But in reality it is one of the world’s newest, largest, and most controversial production plants for nuclear explosives. The factory’s private owners said three months ago that after several decades of construction, it will be ready to open in October, as part of a government-supported effort to create special fuel for the country’s future nuclear power plants.
Japan’s leaders affirmed last month they intend to proceed with that effort, a decision that has stoked anxiety in East Asia and set off alarms among Western experts who worry about the spread of nuclear weapons technology — including some inside the Obama administration.
Once it is running, the plant will produce thousands of gallon-sized steel canisters containing a flour-like mixture of uranium and plutonium, in theory capable of providing the building blocks for a huge nuclear arsenal.
Publicly, the United States has said little about Japan’s plans to enlarge its already substantial hoard of plutonium. Washington formally granted Japan the unlimited right to use US technology and nuclear feedstock for the plant during the Reagan administration. Now some of that materiel is to be returned, under a deal to be announced later this month at a US-led international summit in the Netherlands promoting the security of nuclear materials that can be used as explosives.
It all sounds calm and cordial. But since Obama was first elected, Washington has been lobbying furiously behind the scenes, trying to persuade Japan that terrorists might regard Rokkasho’s new stockpile of plutonium as an irresistible target — and to convince Japanese officials they should better protect this dangerous raw material……. Continue reading
Urgent need for uranium audit http://www.bordermail.com.au/story/2144411/urgent-need-for-uranium-audit/?cs=14 — DAVE SWEENEY, March 12, 2014 THE world held its breath, crossed its fingers and learnt a new word three years ago.Fukushima went from the name of a provincial Japanese city to shorthand for a costly and contaminating nuclear disaster.
Rocks dug up in northern South Australia and Kakadu are now the source of the radioactive fallout spread across Japan and beyond on the wind and in the polluted water that continues to be dumped into the Pacific Ocean.
In September 2011, six months after the meltdown, the UN secretary general outlined the severity of the situation and the actions needed to stop a repeat, including a clear call for an in-depth assessment of the net cost of uranium mining in Australia.
This commonsense and long overdue examination has not taken place — it now needs to.Uranium mining companies, state and federal governments and industry public relations organisations need to stop the assurances and we need to urgently examine their performances.
Dennis Matthews, 12 Mar 14 The 12th of March was the third anniversary of the Fukushima nuclear disaster, a disaster which is still seriously affecting the people and economy of Japan. Given that South Australia is commercially involved with the Japanese nuclear industry then I would have thought that an up-to-date report on the Fukushima disaster would have been appropriate to furthering the nuclear debate in South Australia, a debate that both BusinessSA and The Advertiser have vigorously endorsed. Their silence over Fukushima speaks volumes.
Is it possible that the pro-nuclear lobby want to hear only one side of the debate?
Nuclear Weapons Ban: Secret Documents Reveal Australia Blocking New Zealand-Led Campaign International Business Times, By Reissa Su | March 10, 2014 The Australian government was reportedly leading secret attempts to block New Zealand’s push for nuclear disarmament based on the released documents under the freedom of information laws. The documents contained declassified information on ministerial communications, cables and emails from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and revealed the efforts of Australian diplomats working in secret. The documents said that the Australian government relies on U.S. nuclear forces to prevent a nuclear attack in the country.
In October 2013, shortly after the Coalition won the seat of power, Australia had refused New Zealand in its request to endorse a joint statement signed by 125 countries at theUnited Nations which highlighted the effects of nuclear weapon use. Australia had reportedly found the statement declaring that it is in the best interest of mankind not to use nuclear weapons “under any circumstances.” Reports said that 16 countries including New Zealand, Malaysia, Mexico andSouth Africa are working together to put the spotlight on the use of nuclear weapons and its humanitarian consequences.
The nuclear disarmament campaign will lay the foundation for negotiating an agreement to ban nuclear weapons. The diplomatic campaign seeks to put nuclear weapons in the same category as chemical and biological weapons which are already considered illegal under international law……..
Among the documents revealed included Foreign Affairs and Trade head Peter Varghese’s statement that New Zealand’s push for nuclear disarmament goes against the security interests of Australia.
The diplomatic image of Australia has been hit with the Japan’s consent to sign the New Zealand-led initiative through Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida. Australian diplomats had conferred with the U.S. State Department over the matter. Declassified information revealed the email exchanges between the two parties, including Washington reprimanding Tokyo for its decision to sign the nuclear disarmament statement. http://au.ibtimes.com/articles/542532/20140310/australia-nuclear-weapons-disarmament-new-zealand.htm
“Should the public discover the true health cost of nuclear pollution, a cry would rise from all parts of the world and people would refuse to cooperative passively with their own death.”
Thus the desperate drive – in which a largely compliant mainstream media have been complicit – to deny the Fukushima catastrophe, a disaster deeply affecting life on Earth.
No one died, no one’s health was damaged’ – Fukushima’s big lie The Ecologist, Karl Grossman 8th March 2014 The nuclear industry and its media cheerleaders have raised a chorus of misinformation over Fukushima, writes Karl Grossman. But their attempts to suppress the truth are ultimately doomed to failure.
With the third anniversary of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear catastrophe coming next week, the attempted Giant Lie about the disaster continues – a suppression of information, an effort at dishonesty of historical dimensions.
It involves international entities, especially the International Atomic Energy Agency, national governmental bodies – led in Japan by its current prime minister, the powerful nuclear industry and a global ‘nuclear village’ of scientists and others with a vested interest in atomic energy.
Deception was integral to the push for nuclear power from its start. Continue reading
Parties urged to pledge Port Augusta solar thermal funds http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-03-11/parties-urged-to-pledge-solar-thermal-funds/5312566 11 Mar 2014, A community action group pushing for clean energy in Port Augusta wants a commitment from both parties to convert the local power stations to clean energy.
Alinta Energy received federal and state funding for a feasibility study into a solar thermal conversion of its coal-fired power stations at Port Augusta.
However, campaigner Dan Spencer, from Repower Port Augusta, says whichever party is elected at state level needs to make a firm commitment to the project now.
“Solar thermal plants operate overseas, we’ve got lots of precedents for how other countries have made solar thermal happen, so we don’t need to wait on all the details from the feasibility study for the State Government to start planning how it can happen,” he said.
“We know that over the next three years the next state government could play a critical role in facilitating this project – the worst thing that could happen would be the feasibility study being finished and then there’s no funding available to pour some concrete and start building it.”
The Liberal Party’s nuclear dreams: The strange case of Dr John White and Ignite, Independent Australia Sandi Keane 12 March 2014,
Why were Ignite Energy so desparate to dissociate their director Dr John White from both the nuclear industry and the Liberal Party? Deputy editor Sandi Keaneinvestigates.
More to the point, is the iconic Ninety Mile Beach region of Gippsland being eyed off as a future source of thorium – uranium’s young sister – the substance hailed by nuclear proponents as the green energy source of the future?………
Enquiries to both the Sydney and Melbourne offices of Ignite confirmed that, yes, Dr White was still one of its key people — manager, government and community liaison. Less than five months ago, he was introduced as Ignite’s “executive director” in an interview with the ABC’s The World Today on 17 October 2013. Indeed, the receptionist at Ignite thought that the ‘executive director’ title was still listed on Dr White’s CV.
So, why delete it from the website and have conniptions over us publishing his connections to the Uranium Industry Framework? Also, what did Megan Davison mean by ‘casting aspersions’? Was it the reference to his being ‘a key Liberal Party adviser in the Howard-era’?
As chair of Howard’s Uranium Industry Framework and mastermind of the business plan for the Global Nuclear Energy Partnership (now renamed the International Framework for Nuclear Energy Co-operation), ‘key adviser’ hardly seems to do him justice.
Is this a reaction to the claims by members of the Gippsland community that Ignite is getting favourable treatment because of John White’s special relationship with the Liberal Party?
ELA4968’s thorium prospects Continue reading
Neoliberalism, market fundamentalism and the colonization of Aboriginal policy http://challengingthemarket.blogspot.com.au/2014/03/neoliberalism-market-fundamentalism-and.html
“Neo-liberalism is a hungry beast and this 21st Century strain of capitalism is shaping the agenda for control of Aboriginal lands………..Australian Government policy is heavily influenced by neo-liberalism through its extraordinary emphasis on managing access for mining companies to resources on Aboriginal lands. This involves controlling what is still perceived as ‘the Aboriginal problem’ and forcing a social transition from traditional values and cultural practice to ‘mainstream’ modernism of a particular brand. It also involves displacing many Aboriginal people from their traditional lands and concentrating them in ‘growth towns…….To make any sense of the aggression behind most current Indigenous policy in Australia you need to study the impact of neo-liberalism around the globe”
Jeff McMullenThe Australian journalist, writer and social justice campaigner Jeff McMullen has written two cogent and articulate critiques of the colonization of Aboriginal policy making in this country by the cancer of neo-liberalism (or what others call market fundamentalism).
Controversial changes proposed for Queensland mining ABC Rural By Virginia Tapp and Cassandra Hough 12 Mar 14, Queensland’s Department of Natural Resources and Mines has released a discussion paper looking at reducing notification requirements for new mines.
Minister Andrew Cripps is proposing that only those directly affected have their say on a mine proposal in its early stages……
The Lock the Gate Alliance has reacted strongly to the discussion paper, saying it threatens everyone’s democratic right to have a say on new mining developments. The alliance’s Ellie Smith also believes it favours the miners.
“We definitely believe that landholders should not be made to stand up by themselves against huge multi-national mining corporations,” she said.
“Community groups should be able to stand with landholders and object to mining leases on their land.”………
Cecil Plains landholder David Hamilton still has concerns about any change which might limit one’s ability to object to mining applications.
“The impacts of a mining operation don’t stop at the farm gate. Neighbours are impacted, people downstream are impacted, and I think they should all have a right to have a say, and I would like to see more detail on the proposal.” http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-03-11/qld-mining-laws/5312262
Wind energy to power 80,000 Canberra homes Kirsten Lawson Chief Assembly reporter for The Canberra Times, 12 Mar 14, Wind energy is set to power 80,000 Canberra households within six years as the ACT government announces details on Thursday of an auction for huge wind farms in the region.
The government will sign 20-year deals with successful bidders, who will get a guaranteed price for the energy they supply.
The news will energise wind farms at different stages of approval and construction that have been waiting for a guaranteed buyer for the energy. But it is also set to galvanise anger in country areas that will host forests of wind turbines powering the capital…..http://www.canberratimes.com.au/act-news/wind-energy-to-power-80000-canberra-homes-20140311-34kox.html
Fukushima apologies and apologists Jim Green, Climate Spectator, 12 March 2014 It has been a sad and sorry year in Japan’s Fukushima Prefecture. Three years after the March 2011 nuclear disaster and Japan is nowhere near recovering.
ABC journalist Mark Willacy neatly described the recurring pattern: “At first TEPCO denies there’s a problem at the crippled Fukushima plant. Then it becomes obvious to everyone that there is a problem, so the company then acknowledges the problem and makes it public. And finally one of its hapless officials is sent out to apologise to the cameras.”
In February 2013, TEPCO president Naomi Hirose apologised for false information which led a parliamentary panel to cancel an on-site inspection of the Fukushima plant. TEPCO even managed to lie in its website apology, according to the Asahi Shimun newspaper.
In March 2013, a rat found its way into an electrical switchbox resulting in a power outage that left 8800 nuclear fuel assemblies without fresh cooling water for 21-29 hours. TEPCO delayed notifying the Nuclear Regulation Authority and local municipal officials about the incident. “We sincerely apologise. We are deeply regretful over the delay in reporting the incident and for causing anxiety to residents,” said TEPCO representative Yoshiyuki Ishizaki.
On March 29, TEPCO belatedly acknowledged that the company’s failings were responsible for the Fukushima disaster. Hirose apologised: “Our safety culture, skills, and ability were all insufficient. We must humbly accept our failure to prevent the accident, which we should have avoided by using our wisdom and human resources to be better prepared.”
In April, TEPCO discovered that at least three of seven underground storage pools were seeping thousands of litres of radioactive water into the soil. Hirose travelled to Fukushima to apologise for the leaks……..www.businessspectator.com.au/article/2014/3/12/energy-markets/fukushima-apologies-and-apologists
The thing is, if Foreign Affairs Minister Bishop had cared to read the proposed Nuclear Weapons Convention (ban treaty) she would see that it stipulates the very ”sustained, practical steps needed for effective disarmament” to which she ignorantly claims we “still have a long way to go.”