Antinuclear

Australian news, and some related international items

Western Australia’s Conservation Council condemn’s govt’s approval to Kintyre uranium mine proposal

indigenous-1`Minister approves uranium mine threat to National Park  The states peak environment group, the Conservation Council of WA, has condemned the decision by Environment Minister Albert Jacob to approve the Kintyre uranium mine proposal in an excised area from WA’s biggest National Park, Karlamilyi.

Piers Verstegen, Director of the Conservation Council said “The Kintyre uranium proposal directly threatens the unique desert environment of the Karlamilyi National Park, the intricate water network of the Karlamilyi River water catchment and many endangered and threatened species.”

“This decision shows a weakening of standards for environmental protection and is a reminder that uranium and other environmentally significant and dangerous projects must retain Federal oversight under the EPBC Act, something both Governments are trying axe.”

Mia Pepper, Nuclear Free Campaigner of the Conservation Council of WA said “In an attempt to gain public support for uranium this Government is desperately trying to ‘normalise’ uranium. But uranium is not like any other mineral; it is radioactive and poses a significant and long term risk to the environment and public health. It is the asbestos of the 21st century and we cannot afford to treat it like any other mineral.”

“This decision is just one of many still needed before construction could begin at the proposed mine. This is a bad deal but not a done deal and we will continue to explore every avenue possible to challenge this uranium proposal.”

“Cameco the proponent of the Kintyre uranium mine has a shocking operating record overseas we will be watching their every move here and internationally, uniting with other communities that have been negatively impacted by this company.” Ms Pepper concluded.

January 30, 2015 Posted by | opposition to nuclear, uranium, Western Australia | Leave a comment

Paladin’s Malawi uranium mine of little benefit to the country, and now threatening pollution of Lake Malawi

Government officials in Malawi are upset about the situation. “I am very shocked with the situation I have seen after monitoring the mine here and all my questions to the Paladin boss have not been answered satisfactory

Meanwhile international experts are starting to question the benefits of the Kayelekera mine

 

Malawi-LakeAustralian Uranium Mining Company Accused of Contaminating Lake Malawi By Mayu Chang……Global Research, January 29, 2015  CorpWatch  Paladin Energy, an Australian mining company, has been accused of discharging uranium-contaminated sludge into Lake Malawi, which supports 1.7 million people in three countries – Malawi, Mozambique and Tanzania. The company began uranium mining operations in Malawi in 2009 although it suspended operations last year after ore prices fell.

“It is rumored that Paladin secretly have started discharging the so called purified water. Reports from the Beach Village Chairman indicates that this started in late November,” wrote Rafiq Hajat of Malawi’s Institute for Policy Interaction on Facebook. “[At] a radius of 35 km from the Boma, you will be shocked to see fish of different species dead with some communities along the lakeshore collecting [the fish].”……………“Uranium is radioactive and that with open-pit mining, like the one to be conducted at Kayelekera, the soil drains into rivers and contaminates the water,” Titus Mvalo, a lawyer representing several civil society organizations in Malawi, told Inter Press Service in 2007. “When humans drink the water, it damages kidneys and causes cancer.

At the time, the activist groups warned that the mine would pose a threat to Lake Malawi, Africa’s third largest freshwater lake, which is a major source of drinking water and fish for the country. Continue reading

January 30, 2015 Posted by | politics international, uranium | Leave a comment

Shameful hypocrisy of Campbell Newman on uranium mining for Queensland

Queensland Minister for Natural Resources Andrew Cripps has refused to rule out the export of uranium across the Great Barrier Reef.

The ALP and the Greens have clear policies supporting the reinstatement of the ban on uranium mining in Queensland, a position recently reaffirmed at the ALP State conference. The positions of the minor parties have been less clear, but we know the Katter Party and PUP have also voiced concerns about the resumption of uranium mining. 

ballot-boxCampbell Newman’s nuclear lies and Queensland’s radioactive future, https://independentaustralia.net/environment/environment-display/campbell-newmans-radioactive-queensland,7309 Independent Australia  Dave Sweeney 29 January 2015 Queensland Premier Campbell Newman broke his 2012 election promise and overturned a longstanding ban on uranium mining in Queensland,  and is now looking at exporting the radioactive material across the Great Barrier Reef.

THE LEGACY of uranium mining lasts longer than the promises of politicians. This lesson has particular resonance today as it wasn’t so long ago Premier Campbell Newman wrote to the Australian Conservation Foundation with a promise that only lasted a matter of weeks.

On 11 October 2012, Campbell Newman wrote(see letter below):

“I take this opportunity to reaffirm my statements, made before the last election, that the State Government has no plans to approve the development of uranium in Queensland.”

But on October 22, less than two weeks later, Cambell Newman moved quickly to overturn Queensland’s longstanding, popular and prudent ban on uranium mining.

So much for politicians’ promises. Unfortunately the legacy of uranium mining is much more consistent and long standing.

Fast forward to 2015 and the LNP’s uranium backflip remains, despite the fact no mandate has ever been sought or granted from Queensland voters on the issue.

In Townsville, uranium mining is a key issue for people who remember the debacle that occurred around the Ben Lomond (Harvey Range) uranium deposit back in 1975.

The mismanagement of the site drew such community ire that it is often recognised as sparking the growth of the Queensland anti-nuclear movement.

The entire project was a case study in poor management and neglect.  Continue reading

January 30, 2015 Posted by | politics, Queensland | Leave a comment

The nuclear industry’s emphasis on climate change has merely promoted renewable energy

  “The nuclear industry giving credence to climate change from fossil fuels has simply led to a stronger renewables industry. …….now renewables, often thought of as useful complements to nuclear, begin to threaten it in power markets when there is abundant power from renewables when the wind blows and the sun shines.”

U-turn to nowhere: Nuclear’s dire outlook U-turn to nowhere: Nuclear’s dire outlook Business Spectator, 27 January 2015Jim Green “……. a long-standing pattern of stagnation continues. Global nuclear capacity grew by 10.6% in the two decades from 1995-2014, and just 2.6% in the decade from 2005-2014.

The pattern of stagnation is likely to persist. Steve Kidd, a nuclear consultant who worked for the World Nuclear Association for 17 years, wrote in a May 2014 article:

“Upper scenarios showing rapid nuclear growth in many countries including plants starting up in new countries now look very unlikely……….”Despite 20 years of stagnation, the World Nuclear Association remains upbeat. Its latest report, The World Nuclear Supply Chain: Outlook 2030, envisages the start-up of 266 new reactors by 2030. The figure is implausible.

Nuclear Energy Insider was more sober and reflective in an end-of-year review published in December: “As we embark on a new year, there are distinct challenges and opportunities on the horizon for the nuclear power industry. Many industry experts believe that technology like Small Nuclear Reactors (SMR) represent a strong future for nuclear. Yet, rapidly growing renewable energy sources, a bountiful and inexpensive supply of natural gas and oil, and the aging population of existing nuclear power plants represent challenges that the industry must address moving forward.”

Steve Kidd is still more downbeat: Continue reading

January 30, 2015 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

No real safeguards against India using Australian uranium for nuclear weapons

India looks to use US formula to convince France and Australia –  Indian Express by Shubhajit Roy | New Delhi | January 27, 2015 A day after Prime Minister Narendra Modi and US President Barack Obama announced a resolution to the nuclear liability issue and administrative arrangements, India  plans to engage with France and Australia in the next few weeks to clear the remaining hurdles before nuclear commerce.

India will share the Indo-US formula on resolving the nuclear liability issue with France to resolve the issue of liability with the latter as well, sources said — this has come in the way of nuclear commerce with Areva, the French nuclear supplier.

India-uranium1With Australia, the sources said, India will share the template of its administrative arrangements with Canada — and now the US — so that uranium from Australia can be supplied without further delay. India signed an uranium supply agreement with Australia last September, when Prime Minister Tony Abbott visited the country.

……….The US is said to be no longer insisting on tracking these supplies, required under its rules to ensure it is not being used for military purposes. -……http://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-others/india-looks-to-use-us-formula-to-convince-france-and-australia/

January 30, 2015 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, politics international | Leave a comment

US-India nuclear deal, IF it ever comes off, will cost Indian tax-payers dearly

Financially, solar and wind energy are already becoming more attractive than nuclear. Electricity from these renewable sources cost Rs 8 and Rs 4.5 per unit respectively,according to a report by solar think-tank Bridge to India. Renewables are quicker to erect and are not as politically contentious as nuclear. In contrast, the Mithi Virdi project has run into serious opposition from local residents and farmers. If it is ever built, electricity from the Westinghouse reactors will cost Rs 12 per unit.

Buy-US-nukesflag-indiaThe ‘breakthrough’ in Indo-US nuclear deal will bleed Indians every which way, Scroll In,  The taxpayer will be made to pay to cover US companies’ untested technologies and the expensive electricity they generate. Nityanand Jayaraman, 29 Jan 15 

“………If American corporations are sufficiently convinced to follow through and supply nuclear power plants to India, the common man (and woman) – namely, Indian taxpayers, electricity consumers and communities that host the plants – may well get the wrong end of the stick……….
Scrapping even limited liability Indian law – CLNDA – is already weak. But American and Indian private equipment suppliers – like Westinghouse, L&T, JSW Steel and Tata Power – feel it is not weak enough. Continue reading

January 30, 2015 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Vague nuclear agreement between India and USA – more symbolic than real

no specific document was signed

India is already generating more power from wind turbines alone than from nuclear power and has announced a solar target of 100 gigawatt by 2022. So it is perfectly coherent that the joint US-India declaration contains one paragraph on nuclear cooperation and eight on clean energy.

antnuke-relevantflag-indiaFlag-USABreakthrough in US-India civil nuclear deal ‘more symbolism than reality’, DW 29 Jan 15 The US and India announced a “breakthrough” in resolving a liability spat that has stalled the implementation of a civil nuclear deal. But Mycle Schneider tells DW this is more about geopolitics than industrial reality.

“…….Mycle Schneider, an independent international consultant on energy and nuclear policy, says in a DW interview that there is no real market for foreign nuclear companies in India, unless they bring their own funding, adding that the recent announcement is more about presenting both countries as equal partners than it is about the vision of a future blooming Indian nuclear export industry.

DW: What exactly does the new nuclear deal entail?

Mycle Schneider: Very little has so far been published about it. First of all, it is unclear whether there is even a “new nuclear deal.” Usually, when heads of state meet, the occasion is used to sign agreements. However, on this issue, the US-India joint statement only says President Obama and Prime Minister Modi welcomed the “understandings reached” on the issues of civil nuclear liability and “administrative arrangements for civil nuclear cooperation.” Continue reading

January 30, 2015 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Queensland Labor’s feeble effort on renewable energy

ballot-boxQueensland Labor talks bold, promises little on renewable energy TRISTAN EDIS  Business Spectator, 27 JAN,  The Queensland Labor Party released a policy statement on renewable energy last Friday full of platitudes with so much wriggle room that Treasury officials should have no difficulty hacking them apart if Labor ever manage to make it into government in the Queensland state election.

Of course Labor didn’t face much competition from Premier Campbell ‘We’re in the Coal Business’ Newman, who is yet to release any policy on reducing carbon emissions or promoting clean energy.

Framing the entire policy is a target of 50% renewable energy by 2030 – not to achieve it, but rather to study it. And in case you might have actually taken them seriously, they’ve also said that as part of achieving such a goal they’ll be establishing an auction to acquire 40 megawatts of renewable energy. Given the state already has 12,000 megawatts of scheduled power generating already installed, you can get a sense of just how serious they are about cracking that 50% target.

By the way, Queensland householders and businesses themselves managed to install 250MW of solar last year so you can imagine what a huge difference Labor’s auction will make.  …….http://www.businessspectator.com.au/article/2015/1/27/renewable-energy/queensland-labor-talks-bold-promises-little-renewable-energy

January 30, 2015 Posted by | politics, Queensland | Leave a comment

Scientists warn on climate change – a hotter drier South Australia

climate-AustSouth Australia to get much hotter, drier, new climate change report reveals The Advertiser  KATRINA STOKES JANUARY 27, 2015   SOUTH Australia is only going to get hotter and drier and more prevalent periods of drought and fire-related conditions will continue to increase, a report released today reveals.

The CSIRO and Bureau of Meteorology report says what climate change experts have been saying for a long time — climate change is real.

The experts predict Adelaide will experience an increase in the number of days above 35C from 20 in 1995 to 26 in 2030, to between 28 and 47 in 2090.

TO READ THE FULL REPORT CLICK HERE……..

ey predictions from the report include:

WINTER and spring rainfall in southern Australia is projected to decline, while changes in other areas are uncertain

THE time in drought will increase over southern Australia, with a greater frequency of severe droughts

BY 2090, Australian average temperatures are projected to increase by 0.6 to 1.7C for a low emissions scenario, or 2.8 to 5.1C under a high emission scenario

MORE hot days are like to occur as well as harsher fire weather, including an increase in the number of days with a “severe” fire danger rating

Climate Institute chief executive officer John Connor said the report findings demonstrated why it was in Australia’s best interest to “drive ambitious climate action”.

“This new data reinforces earlier analysis for Treasury (the government) that showed large chunks of the Australian economy will be whacked by global warming … sectors like agriculture, health and ecosystems are hit well beyond their ability to adapt,” he said……… http://www.adelaidenow.com.au/news/south-australia/south-australia-to-get-much-hotter-drier-new-climate-change-report-reveals/story-fni6uo1m-1227198291102?nk=12eb6391f5cbbe65f220fb12fca19ba4

January 30, 2015 Posted by | climate change - global warming, South Australia | Leave a comment

Veterans of Christmas Island nuclear tests compensated by Fiji government

Fiji compensates nuke-test soldiers  Asia Pacific Editor Melbourne THE AUSTRALIAN JANUARY 30, 2015  FIJI will give $1.83 million today to the survivors among 70 soldiers exposed to radiation during British nuclear tests and to direct dependants of those who have died.

The servicemen sent to witness Operation Grapple on Christmas Island in 1958 were led by chief petty officer Ratu Inoke Bainimarama, the late father of prime minister and former military commander Frank Bainimarama, who will hand out cheques for $6300 to each of the 23 soldiers still alive. Dependants of the others will receive the same amount………..

The Fiji veterans are persisting with a legal case against the British government. http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/world/fiji-compensates-nuke-test-soldiers/story-e6frg6so-1227201434006?nk=12eb6391f5cbbe65f220fb12fca19ba4

January 30, 2015 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Problems of aging nuclear reactors make politicians and public wary of new ones!

nukes-sad-The nuclear industry has a simple solution to the problem of old reactors: new reactors. But the battles over ageing and decommissioned reactors − and the raiding of taxpayers’ pockets to cover shortfalls − will make it that much more difficult to convince politicians and the public to support new reactors.

U-turn to nowhere: Nuclear’s dire outlook U-turn to nowhere: Nuclear’s dire outlook Business Spectator, 27 January 2015Jim Green “……..The elephant in the room − ageing reactors The problem of ageing reactors came into focus in 2014 − and will remain in focus for decades to come with the average age of the world’s power reactors now 29 years and steadily increasing.

Problems with ageing reactors include:

– an increased risk of accidents (and associated problems such as generally inadequate accident liability arrangements);

– an increased rate of unplanned reactors outages (at one point last year, less than half of the UK’s nuclear capacity was available due to multiple outages);

– costly refurbishments;

– debates over appropriate safety standards for reactors designed decades ago; and

– the uncertainties and costs associated with reactor decommissioning and long-term nuclear waste management.

Greenpeace highlighted the problems associated with ageing reactors with the release of a detailed report last year, Continue reading

January 30, 2015 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Melbourne’s Australia Day Parade disrupted by Aboriginal Rights Protest

Aboriginal rights protest disrupts Australia Day Parade in Melbourne, The Age January 27, 2015 Allison Worrall Hundreds of people marching for Aboriginal rights have disrupted official Australia Day celebrations in the Melbourne CBD.

The group – holding Aboriginal flags and chanting “always was, always will be Aboriginal land” – followed the parade down Swanston Street, flanked by police. Thousands of spectators watched the parade, which began with a flag raising ceremony at town hall attended by Victorian Governor Alex Chernov, Premier Daniel Andrews and Opposition Leader Matthew Guy.

The rally that followed was lead by two organisations: Warriors of Aboriginal Resistance and First Nations Liberation.

Organiser Meriki Onus, 27, said the group had earlier gathered at the steps of parliament house to lay flowers in commemoration of Aboriginal people who were killed during white settlement, the Stolen Generation and Aboriginal deaths in custody.

She said January 26 was a day of mourning for Aboriginal people.

“We don’t celebrate Australia Day, because Australia Day celebrates genocide,” Ms Onus said.

“Today is Invasion Day for Aboriginal people.”

As the vocal group marched from Parliament to town hall and on to Birrarung Marr, people chanted “No pride in genocide” and “Always was, always will be Aboriginal land.”

Placards carried in the procession included “End the NT intervention” and “Stop deaths in custody”……..http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/aboriginal-rights-protest-disrupts-australia-day-parade-in-melbourne-20150126-12ya7z.html

January 30, 2015 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

Repeal of carbon tax has not reduced electricity prices as much as Abbott promised

Carbon tax repeal saves less than promised, New Daily , Jan 29, 2015 KAITLIN THALS PM News Reporter The nation’s consumer watchdog reveals scraping the tax has not put less downward pressure on energy prices…..http://thenewdaily.com.au/news/2015/01/29/accc-carbon-tax-repeal-saves-less-promised/

January 30, 2015 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

This week: Australian nuclear and climate news

a-cat-CANMy website http://www.nuclear -news was shut down for 24 hours – very cleverly hacked, by I don’t know whom. Could it be that this modest little website is annoying the nuclear industry? I feel quite honoured.

AUSTRALIA

National  Nuclear power Nowhere to put Lucas Heights nuclear waste – but they still keep making it!  Australian government funding research in China into dodgy thorium nuclear reactors

Tony Abbott ignores the chance to benefit Australia by using the low 10-year bond rates

Climate change: The Global Catholic Climate Movement launched in Australia Quakers remove funds from 4 major banks – cannot fund uranium, nuclear weapons, coal.    Despite overwhelming evidence, Australia’s government in denial about climate change .  Liberal Party kids at Uni dutifully toe the Party line on fossil fuels

Uranium  price rally was short-lived     Lowest production for 16 years.  Cameco admits that sagging uranium prices continue to be a problem. Investors are wary, as Australian miner Paladin sells uranium at way below cost of producing it

Aboriginal issues For the convenience of uranium mining, Aborigines are moved off remote homelands

Australia on USA nuclear bandwagon, to sell uranium to India, but technical problems remain

Renewable energy. Billions of dollars and associated jobs in the renewable energy sector are being lost due to Abbott government .  Australian government snubs International Renewable Energy Agency congress.  Australia: globally top potential for renewable energy, bottom chance in market

Still Australia has achieved quite  a lot in 2014, despite the Abbott government’s war against renewables. Rooftop solar is becoming cost competitive with fossil fuel powered electricity. Clean Energy Finance Corporation is proving very successful in its 40 direct investments and 25 projects co-financed .  International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) reports that Australia’s solar PV highly competitive 

Queensland. Labor promises to promote solar energy, if elected.  Queensland Deputy Premier Jeff Seeney dismissed climate change as “a semi-religious belief”.  McKinlay Shire plans solar panels for business and Council buildings

Victorian health report supports wind farms

NSW. Gunnedah Shire Council takes the solar power plunge

Western Australian Government’s plan to extinguish native title & land rights in one hit

Tasmanian  government moves to  restrict citizen’s power to criticise corporations

 

January 26, 2015 Posted by | Christina reviews | Leave a comment

Australia Day – the disconnect from the country’s true history

The day I don’t feel Australian? That would be Australia Day The Conversation, Chelsea Bond Senior Lecturer in the Oodgeroo Unit at Queensland University of Technology, 26 January 2015, If there is ever a day that I don’t feel Australian, it would be on Australia Day.

My mother is a fifth-generation Australian of English and Irish heritage and my father is Munanjahli and an Australian-born South Sea Islander…….

The disconnect I feel on the January 26 is not a rejection of my mother’s history. Rather, it is a rejection of the privileging of one version of history at the expense of another. I simply cannot be part of the collective amnesia that sweeps the nation on January 26 each year. This amnesia is evidenced in our current prime minister choosing the arrival of the First Fleet as the “defining moment” of our national identity.

This nation has a history that extends well beyond the past 227 years, not to mention a few more inclusive “defining moments” since then.

There is no doubt that the arrival of the First Fleet was a“defining moment” for this nation, but defining for vastly different reasons for Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians. For me, this day is worthy of commemoration, not celebration……..

The iconic Australia Day images of people adorning various flag paraphernalia, parades, boozy BBQs, and bikini-clad girls on beaches shows complete disregard for the Indigenous lives, lands and languages that were lost as a result of the British invasion of this country and the persisting inequalities that exist

So how do I commemorate Invasion Day? I march. I march not because I’m bitter or stuck in the past, or ungrateful for the privileges I enjoy today. Rather, I march in remembrance for those who lost their lives simply defending their own land and people. I march with pride and pay tribute to the innumerable acts of resistance of our warriors and the ongoing resilience of our communities.

I march with my children so they will never forget about who they are, where they come from and how they came to be where they are today.

Last year, my husband and I took our eldest three children to participate in the Invasion Day march organised by the Brisbane Aboriginal Sovereign Embassy. As we walked through the city to join the march wearing Aboriginal flag T-shirts, we noticed the responses of our fellow Australians. Many averted their gaze or looked disturbed simply by our presence. I just didn’t feel very Australian at all.

More than 1,000 of us marched across Victoria Bridge to South Bank where the official Australia Day celebrations were being held. We noted the newly erected fences around the two main entrances to the South Bank Parklands and the heavy police guard ensuring that we didn’t spoil their parade by entering. It was a stark reminder of our standing in this country…….

Hey, maybe you could even step out to one of the marches taking place in our capital cities and commemorate January 26 with your fellow Australians – the first peoples of the land that you proudly call home.

And maybe then, you will come to understand why this really should be a day to commemorate, not celebrate.http://theconversation.com/the-day-i-dont-feel-australian-that-would-be-australia-day-36352

January 26, 2015 Posted by | General News | 1 Comment

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