Australian news, and some related international items

Renewable energy now a very viable investment

piggy-ban-renewables3 Best Renewable Energy Stocks for 2015 Nasdaq By  December 14, 2014 We’re halfway through the 2010’s and renewable energy is no longer an uneconomical pipe dream conjured up by wishful thinkers. Wind energy, solar energy, and first-generation biofuels for blendstock applications are all competitive with incumbents in their respective markets — and the economics will only improve throughout the remainder of the decade. It may take antnuke-relevantanother several decades for each technology group to steal a substantial market share, but advances in wind turbines, rooftop solar, and efficient fuel production processes promise to add competition to fossil fuel projects. We’ve asked some of our top energy analysts which renewable energy stocks they’re eying for 2015. Here’s what they’re focusing on……..

December 14, 2014 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Australia this week in nuclear and climate news

a-cat-CANClimate change. First the Abbott government was in denial over climate change. They sent, not the (useless anyway) Environment Minister, Greg Hunt, to the Lima Climate Summit, but coal fans Julie Bishop and Andrew Robb (Trade Minister). Clearly they were sent to defend the coal industry and promote the nuclear industry. The Australian government first refused to contribute to the UN Climate Fund to help poor countries, then did  a backflip, contributing $200 million that they are taking away from foreign aid!

Abbott’s motivation is to buy back, (if possible) some international credibility, and to position himself to sabotage the Paris Climate Summit next year, in the interests of his backers, the polluting industries.

Australia well represented at Vienna Conference on the Humanitarian Impact of Nuclear Weapons, (though not by government)

Nuclear power. It takes a bit of delicate footwork, for Australia’s governments and corporations to switch from climate denialism to ‘need for climate action’. But this was inevitable – they now swing into action, promoting nuclear power as the cure, seeing that the Abbott government has fairly successfully completed the shutdown of renewable energy industries in Australia.  Prolonged uncertainty about the Renewable Energy Target does  that.

South Australia is the hub of pro nuclear lobbysim – in their pseudo climate activism  (Barry Brook), in BHP, business, in academia, (funded by nuclear businesses). Daily, some prominent person, like former Governor Kevin Scarce, jumps on the nuclear propaganda bandwagon.

Uranium. Tony Abbott wants to sell uranium to Ukraine. Terrific idea?  To be part of the largest nuclear power complex in Europe, in  a conflict zone, in a country still not recovered from the radioactive pollution and trauma of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster?

The treaties committee in Parliament now has to assess the safeguards and conditions of Australia’s deal to sell uranium to India. Will they just rubber-stamp it, despite the warnings of John Carlson?

Aboriginal land rights - on the way to being trashed by the Abbott government ?

Renewable energy. Despite all, Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) survives and thrives


December 13, 2014 Posted by | Christina reviews | Leave a comment

Community opposition to Yeelirrie uranium mining should influence EPA’s assessment of Cameco’s plans

Conservation council highlights opposition to Yeelirrie uranium mine bid 

The WA Conservation Council says traditional owners and locals in the northern Goldfields oppose Canadian giant Cameco’s application to mine uranium.

The Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) is currently assessing the company’s plans to mine uranium at Yeelirrie, an open pit mine site 70 kilometres south-west of Wiluna.

The EPA approved a similar proposal for the same project submitted by BHP Billiton in 2010, before it was sold to Cameco in 2012.

The council’s Mia Pepper said a public inquiry into the project was needed.

She said traditional owners and locals in the area had opposed uranium mining at Yeelirrie for 40 years.

“Yeelirrie in the traditional language means place of death which is a strong indication about local knowledge and there’s also white communities there that have opposed the project for over 40 years,” she said.

December 13, 2014 Posted by | opposition to nuclear, Western Australia | Leave a comment

Abbott government’s lack of international credibility in Lima Climate Summit

Abbott-in-hot-panThe speed at which Australia has lost the respect of the  international community on global warming policy is truly embarrassing. 

This decision to raid the foreign aid budget instead of committing new funds will cause a lot of pain in aid circles, coming as it does on the $7.6 billion cut in the budget, and it may not achieve Australia’s aim of buying back credibility.

While the rest of the world has declared ‘game on’ for the 2015 climate summit in Paris, Captain Abbott is doing as little as possible in the field, because he’s not playing to win for people or the planet, he’s using tactics to fix the game in favour of the fossil fuel industries at the big end of town.

Abbott’s attempt to buy relevance at climate change talks in Lima CHRISTINE MILNE Tony Abbott has tried to buy his way into relevance at the international climate change conference in Lima. But it may not work.

THE ABBOTT GOVERNMENT has finally caved in to international pressure and begrudgingly committed money to the Green Climate Fund (GCF) to help developing nations deal with the impacts of global warming.

The announcement has come only days after Foreign Minister Julie Bishop echoed Prime Minister Tony Abbott in declaring Australia would not support the GCF.

I am glad they have. But why they did so is the issue.

It is clear that they have realised that they are so far on the outer that they will have no influence in the negotiations and will not be able to weaken rules or edit texts unless they contributed in some way. Continue reading

December 13, 2014 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, climate change - global warming | Leave a comment

International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) supports Marshall Islands stand

goliath-&-Marshall-IslesThe Marshall Islands case, which has received worldwide attention and support from many different organisations, is often referred to as “David vs. Goliath”…..: “The Marshall Islands is a small, gutsy country. It is not a country that will be bullied, nor is it one that will give up.

Civil Society Support for Marshall Islands Against Nuclear Weapons, truthout, Friday, 12 December 2014 10:00By Julia RainerInter Press Service Vienna – Ahead of the Dec. 8-9 Vienna Conference on the Humanitarian Impact of Nuclear Weapons, activists from all over the world came together in the Austrian capital to participate in a civil society forum organised by the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) on Dec. 6 and 7.

One pressing issue discussed was the Marshall Islands’ lawsuit against the United States and eight other nuclear-weapon nations that was filed at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in April 2014, denouncing the over 60 nuclear tests that were conducted on the small island state’s territory between 1946 and 1958.


The location was chosen not only because it was an isolated part of the world but also because at the time it was also a Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands governed by the United States. Self-government was achieved in 1979, and full sovereignty in 1986.

The people of the Marshall Islands were neither informed nor asked for their consent and for a long period did not realise the harm that the testing would bring to the local communities. Continue reading

December 13, 2014 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Ukrainian President revs up cold war talk: Russia warns of doubtful security of Ukraine’s nuclear industry

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko warns new Cold War is looming The Age December 12, 2014 –  National security correspondent   Visiting Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has warned Europe is sliding towards a new Cold War and urged the world to stand up to Russia for the sake of global law and order.

Speaking in Sydney during a three-day tour as part of closer relations with Prime Minister Tony Abbott in the wake of the MH17 disaster, Mr Poroshenko also vowed that any Australian uranium sold to his country under a possible deal would be safely used.

But Russia – whose dominance of energy exports to Ukraine would be undermined by any deal between Canberra and Kiev – has already raised doubts about the prospect of Australian uranium sales, which Mr Abbott and Mr Poroshenko flagged on Thursday.

A spokesman for Moscow’s embassy in Canberra branded talk of a uranium deal a “political statement” and warned that given the conflict in eastern Ukraine, nuclear material could “fall into the wrong hands” – though Kiev’s adversaries in the conflict are rebels backed by Russia itself……….

Russian embassy spokesman Alexander Odoevskiy said Australia should bear in mind that eastern Ukraine was “a conflict zone”.


“Given Ukraine’s current geopolitical situation, can it provide enough security for this nuclear industry and safeguards so [uranium] doesn’t fall into the wrong hands? I’m not sure about whether the government institutions in Ukraine are capable of providing these stringent controls.”

December 13, 2014 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, politics international | Leave a comment

Rear Admiral Scarce joins the South Australian pro nuclear clique

Let’s talk nuclear, says ex-governor Kevin Scarce THE AUSTRALIAN  Verity Edwards DECEMBER 13, 2014 AFTER seven years of political silence in his role as governor of South 

AFTER seven years of political silence in his role as governor of South Australia, Kevin Scarce yesterday finally spoke out to say the state should consider developing a nuclear industry to compensate for a downturn in manufacturing……….

December 13, 2014 Posted by | politics, South Australia | Leave a comment

Is it a good idea to sell uranium to conflict zone Ukraine, with its ongoing Chernobyl pollution?

PM talks uranium sales to Ukraine THE AUSTRALIAN AAP DECEMBER 11, 2014 AUSTRALIA is considering selling uranium to Ukraine, home to the world’s worst nuclear disaster.


UKRAINIAN President Petro Poroshenko raised his country’s energy security needs with Prime Minister Tony Abbott when the pair met in Melbourne on Thursday for talks focused on the MH17 disaster.

    “There is the possibility for Ukraine to buy Australian uranium for our nuclear power stations,” he told reporters.Energy security is a vital issue for Ukraine, which relies heavily on its hostile neighbour Russia for gas and has difficult shoring up supplies of uranium and coal.Mr Abbott said Australia was an energy superpower and wanted to help Ukraine address its vulnerabilities…….

Any uranium sales to Ukraine will prove controversial given the legacy of the 1986 explosion at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant, about 100km from the capital Kiev.It remains the worst nuclear accident in terms of lives and cost in history………

December 13, 2014 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, politics international | Leave a comment

Malaysia’s big success in exporting solar energy technology

antnuke-relevantflag-MalaysiaSolar Rises in Malaysia During Trade Wars Over Panels, NYT, By  DEC. 11, 2014 KULIM, Malaysia — Tucked away in this former tin-mining town, past the small farms of banana trees and oil palms, is one of the solar industry’s best-kept secrets.

The six factories here with cavernous rooms up to one-third of a mile long constitute the production backbone of First Solar. Working alongside minivan-size robots adapted from car assembly plants and other industries, 3,700 employees produce five-sixths of the American company’s solar panels. Workers in Ohio make the rest.

The list of manufacturers is long. Panasonic of Japan has a solar panel factory a mile down the road. SunEdison makes wafers 60 miles away in Chemor. Hanwha Q Cells and SunPower have giant factories even farther south, while Solexel, a Silicon Valley start-up, is preparing to build an $810 million solar panel factory in stages.

Malaysia, a Southeast Asian nation with just 30 million people, is the biggest winner in the trade wars that have embroiled the solar sector. As Chinese companies have been hit with American tariffs and European quotas, Malaysia has increasingly attracted multinationals with its relatively low labor costs, lucrative tax breaks, warm relations with the West and abundance of English-speaking engineering talent.

Malaysia is now the world’s third-largest producer of solar equipment, trailing China by a wide margin but catching up rapidly with the European Union. And Malaysia’s role in the global solar trade is only likely to increase in the coming months if the American government broadens tariffs on panels made in China next Tuesday as expected……

The solar manufacturing boom in Malaysia has been almost invisible, a rarity in an industry known for heavily promoting even the smallest factory opening or new solar panel farm as progress toward cleaner energy……..

Trade wars have helped some American companies. SolarWorld, a big manufacturer that has led trade litigation against China, recently said that it was expanding capacity by 150 megawatts and adding 200 jobs at its main solar panel factory in Hillsboro, Ore. It partly pointed to the trade actions that had slowed the flood of Chinese imports.

But production in Malaysia, already triple the United States’ output, is rising faster. The latest project underway in Cyberjaya, Malaysia, is an 800-megawatt solar module factory for Hanwha Q Cells. First Solar is putting the finishing touches on a 100-megawatt factory here to supply the Japanese market.

Malaysia is a beneficiary of the complex interaction of global trade rules, economic competitiveness and environmental policies in the solar industry. Tariffs have had the most immediate effect……….

December 13, 2014 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

VIDEO: Deep divisions in Japan over move to restart nuclear reactors

Move to switch Japan’s nuclear reactors back on divides communities Australian Broadcasting Corporation VIDEO  Broadcast: 12/12/2014 Reporter: Matthew Carney

Switching Japan’s nuclear reactors back on is top of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s agenda if he wins another term but the idea is unpopular and deeply divides communities.


SABRA LANE, PRESENTER: Four years on from one of the world’s nuclear disasters, the meltdown at Fukushima, Japan is on the verge of a historic move to switch its mothballed nuclear reactors back on. The move is deeply controversial, as 120,000 Japanese have still not been able to return to their homes and there are serious doubts the site can ever be contaminated. The issue will be front and centre when Japan goes to the polls this weekend, where Prime Minister Shinzo Abe seems assured of winning a third term in power. North Asia correspondent Matthew Carney travelled to remote southern Japan where the first nuclear reactor will be flicked back on and he found communities deeply divided.

MATTHEW CARNEY, REPORTER: In one of the holiest sites in southern Japan, the monks are sending out a warning to the world. . Nearby, the Sendai nuclear reactors are about to be turned back on. The industry was shut down after the Fukushima disaster.

HIROAKI MURAI, BUDDHIST MONK, CHINKOKU TEMPLE (voiceover translation): If a second accident happens, it will be a catastrophe. Most areas of Japan will become unliveable. Restart of the reactors is unthinkable.

MATTHEW CARNEY: For more than 2,000 years, pilgrims have been coming to this holy mountain to seek clarity and purity. But now it faces another immediate threat, a waste facility has been built at the base of the mountain. The local government says no nuclear waste will be stored here. For the head monk, it’s a step way too far.

HIROAKI MURAI (voiceover translation): This is wrong. Religion and belief are indispensable. They’re about to turn this sacred mountain into a nuclear dump site. For what? Money? We’ve lost any sense of what’s valuable……….

December 13, 2014 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Uranium industry will NOT go ahead in Cape York land, as Aboriginals win land rights

handsoffOlkola reclaim traditional Cape York land after three-decade struggle, Guardian, , 10 Dec 14  More than 6,300 square kilometres of former cattle grazing land in Queensland is formally handed back to Indigenous owners, spelling the end of uranium exploration in the area and the start of a quest to develop tourism opportunities One of the largest returns of land to traditional owners in Queensland’s history has killed off the prospect of uranium mining in a key part of Cape York.

The Olkola, who reclaimed more than 6,300 square kilometres of former cattle grazing land in a formal ceremony on Wednesday, are instead seeking business opportunities in adventure tourism.

Just over 1000 sq km of Olkola land is licensed for uranium exploration by French corporation Areva, which has spoken of north Queensland’s potential to match Kazakhstan as a source for nuclear fuel.

But the deal negotiated by the Olkola has forced Areva to give up its exploration licences in areas given over to a national park, and the clan has no intention of allowing mining elsewhere.

The traditional owners are instead in talks with a global adventure travel agency about a possible joint venture.

It comes just months after the Newman government began to accept uranium mining applications across the state with a view to ending a 25-year ban.

The Australian Conservation Foundation has praised the Olkola people’s move, along with their decision to give over almost a third of their land to a protected national park.

For Mike Ross, the chairman of the Olkola Aboriginal Corporation, the joy of reclaiming country after nearly 30 years of negotiations was tempered by the need to find viable ways for his people to make a living………

December 13, 2014 Posted by | aboriginal issues, Queensland | Leave a comment

Perth council wants renewable energy to be a requirement in home building plans

text-people-power-solarPerth council to seek mandate on renewable energy for new homes, ABC News, 10 Dec 14 720 ABC Perth  By Emma Wynne A Perth council is hoping to radically alter its planning scheme to require new homes to have their own energy supply.

Nedlands council, which covers some of Perth’s wealthiest suburbs, will apply to the WA Planning Commission to alter their planning scheme to require installation of onsite power generations, such as solar panels or wind power, in all new home building…….

December 13, 2014 Posted by | solar, Western Australia | Leave a comment

Record wind power energy, and community support for wind, in UK

antnuke-relevantflag-UKRecord wind power levels as new research shows clear majority back wind energy projects near them, Renewable UK,  9 December 2014
RenewableUK was today celebrating a new daily record amount of electricity generated from wind. Official National Grid figures showed that on Sunday 7th December an average of 7.315GW of power was produced by wind farms. The previous record was 7.234GW. This means that the equivalent of 43% of all GB homes were powered by wind on Sunday.

RenewableUK also commented on research carried out by Accent for the Energy Institute and New Power Magazine which showed that 61% of people would accept a wind turbine, or several turbines, within five miles of their home. The research, which was carried out in November, among householders throughout the UK, found that only 24% of people would welcome a gas extraction site with possible fracking near them, and just 18% backed local nuclear. The only technology with more popular support than wind was solar PV.

The survey also showed that 54% of UKIP voters, and 57% of Conservative voters support wind energy within 5 miles of their home, despite the leaders of their parties opposing onshore wind.

December 13, 2014 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Scotland got 107% of its November electricity needs from wind power

antnuke-relevantflag-ScotlandWind Power Provided 107% of Scotland’s Home Electricity Needs In November

10 December 2014 | Posted by Zachary Scotland is an amazing leader in the renewable energy space. As I wrote last month,renewable energy provided more electricity than either nuclear energy, coal, or natural gas in the first half of 2014 in Scotland. It aims to get 100% of its electricity from renewable resources by 2025, one of the most ambitious targets in the developed world.

In October, wind energy provided 126% of home electricity demand. While that was a great month for wind energy, it wasn’t a wild fluke. WWF Scotland reports that, in November, wind power again provided over 100% of the country’s residential electricity needs, 107% this time. Producing 812 TWh of electricity, that’s enough for 2.6 million Scottish homes.

Scotland has excellent wind resources, but it also has great political leadership and is attractive to industry leaders.

“While Torness nuclear power station had to be shutdown unexpectedly, November turned out to be another big month for wind power in Scotland, with enough pollution-free electricity generated to supply 107 per cent of Scottish households with the electricity they need,” said WWF Scotland’s director Lang Banks. “Even on calmer days, when wind wasn’t at its strongest, wind still supplied the equivalent of almost a third of electricity needs of every home. It’s clear that wind is now a critical and growing part of our current power sector.”

The highest wind power output during the month was on November 11, when 55,611 MWh of electricity were produced by wind turbines. That was enough to supply 5.34 million homes with electricity, or 221% of Scottish homes.

The data above was provided by WeatherEnergy and analysed by WWF Scotland.

December 13, 2014 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Inadequate safeguards in Australia’s deal to sell uranium to India

It would be a pity now if the Coalition’s committee members simply used their numbers to rubber stamp this treaty without addressing Mr Carlson’s concerns


Rethink needed on India uranium deal, The Age December 10, 2014 An abundance of caution is required when dealing with radioactive substances. The consequences of a mistake, even a small error, can be nothing short of catastrophic, with the effects measured over decades, if not far longer. Yet it appears the Abbott government has been regrettably lax in negotiating a safeguards treaty to enable sales of Australian uranium to India. Continue reading

December 13, 2014 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment


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