Antinuclear

Australian news, and some related international items

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

Precedent-setting Aboriginal native title grant over large area of SA Eyre Peninsula

Hear-This-wayAUDIO: Barngarla people granted partial native title over large area of SA Eyre Peninsula

ABC News By Nicola Gage and Natalie Whiting 23 Jan 15 A two-decade native title claim which covers about two thirds of South Australia’s Eyre Peninsula has been granted in the Federal Court.

The Barngarla people filed a native title claim for the area in April 1996.

Justice John Mansfield delivered his judgment on their right to the land on Thursday.

     The group’s claim covered 44,500 square kilometres, an area almost triangular in shape and encompassing the coast between Port Augusta and Port Lincoln and the surrounding land and sea……..

Judgment could set precedent for claims in SA, interstate

Solicitor Philip Teitzel said the case was one of the first in the nation to go over densely settled areas and could have broad implications…….http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-01-22/barngarla-people-granted-partial-native-title-in-eyre-peninsula/6033826

January 23, 2015 Posted by | aboriginal issues, South Australia | Leave a comment

Strong interest from South Australia and Victoria in ACT’s wind energy auction

Parkinson-Report-ACT wind energy auction: And the winners are …. REneweconomy, By  on 14 January 2015  The ACT government’s wind energy auction has thrown up some surprising winners, and none of the planned 200MW of wind turbines will be built within a bull’s roar of the nation’s capital, if market intelligence is correct. The ACT government advised the winning tenderers of their success just before Christmas, and have until early February to prove that they have the finance in place to build the projects.

The winners have not been publicly announced, and will be kept confidential. But through a process of elimination – i.e. by crossing out those among the 18 project tenders who concede they didn’t make it, there are three likely winners.

They are the Hornsdale wind project in South Australia – regarded as the country’s most prospective wind project because of its excellent wind resources. Industry estimates suggest that the project could be a go-er with a tariff of around $80/MWh…………

The second winner is thought to the small Coonooer Bridge wind project in Victoria. This is owned by Windlab, a spinoff of CSIRO which is based in Canberra. Coonoer is likely to be just 18MW, but will also likely have a level of community ownership through an innovative structure that we discussed here.

The third project is less certain but is thought to be the Ararat project owned by RES, also based in Victoria. It is also bidding for less than half of its nominated capacity of more than 220MW.

The ACT wind energy auction is important to the wind industry in Australia because the sector has been at a standstill for nearly two years. According to Bloomberg New Energy Finance, no new wind projects were financed in Australia in 2014 because of the Federal government’s attempts to nobble the renewable energy target.

That helped cause an 88 per cent slump in large scale clean energy investment, and pushed Australia down from 11th position to 39th in the world, below Myanmar and Honduras. For some international investors, the ACT auction was considered to be the last hope in Australia, given the uncertainty that continues around the RET.

Contrary to the federal government, which sees its future in coal, the ACT government hopes to source 90 per cent of its electricity needs from renewable energy sources by 2020. It will do this through a series of auctions – 40MW of large scale solar already completed, an initial run of 200MW of wind, and around 50MW of other large scale solar projects including storage, and 23MW of waste-to-energy projects.

The ACT government raised the prospect of winning tenders going to other states if the price was cheaper, although it did profess to have a strong “local content” component of the tender………….http://reneweconomy.com.au/2015/act-wind-energy-auction-and-the-winners-are-25695

January 16, 2015 Posted by | ACT, South Australia, Victoria, wind | Leave a comment

BHP wants Australian Government to allow bigger radioactive waste dam at Olympic Dam

BHP-on-Aust-govtBHP Billiton wants to increase radioactive waste storage at Olympic Dam, but opponents say leakage rates will rise, SMH,  January 12, 2015 –  Resources reporter BHP Billiton believes it can increase the amount of radioactive waste being stored in ponds at Olympic Dam without seepage rates rising, under the new development plan for the famous mineral deposit in the South Australian outback.

Continuing the rollout of new plans for the giant uranium, copper and gold mine, BHP has sought permission from the federal government to raise walls around an important waste or “tailings” dam at the mine from 30 metres to 40 metres.

The change would increase the volume of radioactive fluids that can be held in the dam – which is one of four on site – from 48.4 million cubic metres to 64.8 million cubic metres, with the work expected to be complete by September 2023.

Storage of the tailings, which include radioactive materials and acids, has been controversial since Olympic Dam’s previous owner, Western Mining Corporation, confirmed in 1994 that 5 billion cubic metres of the tailings fluids had leaked out of the storages and into an aquifer underground.

Australian Conservation Foundation spokesman Dave Sweeney said increasing the volume of tailings under storage would probably cause more leakage.

“There is no question that increased pressure would add to the chances of increased seepage,” he said.

“We see tailings management as one of the big, unspoken problems with uranium mining. It is an unresolved environmental management problem.”……..

The push to increase the amount of tailings storage comes just months after BHP revealed a new strategy to develop Olympic Dam by putting a heap leach operation at the start of the existing processing cycle.

BHP will conduct a three-year trial of the heap leach concept, before deciding whether it warrants further expansion.

In-Situ-Leaching

Confirmation of the heap leach trial was the first sign of progress at Olympic Dam since mid 2012, when BHP axed a $30 billion plan to develop the entire Olympic Dam deposit using the world’s biggest open-pit mine.

That $30 billion plan would have required the construction of eight new tailings dams, each requiring a 65-metre-tall embankment, and each covering two square kilometres.  http://www.smh.com.au/business/mining-and-resources/bhp-billiton-wants-to-increase-radioactive-waste-storage-at-olympic-dam-but-opponents-say-leakage-rates-will-rise-20150111-12ltwq.html#ixzz3OfOVIn50

January 12, 2015 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, South Australia, uranium, wastes | Leave a comment

The Maralinga nuclear bomb test scandal lingers on

Lingering impact of British nuclear tests in the Australian outback http://www.bbc.com/news/world-australia-30640338 Jon DonnisonSydney correspondent 1 Jan 2015,  “It seems remarkable today but less than 60 years ago, Britain was exploding nuclear bombs in the middle of Australia.  In the mid-1950s, seven bombs were tested at Maralinga in the south-west Australian outback. The combined force of the weapons doubled that of the bomb dropped on the Japanese city of Hiroshima in World War Two.

In archive video footage, British and Australian soldiers can be seen looking on, wearing short sleeves and shorts and doing little to protect themselves other than turning their backs and covering their eyes with their hands.

Some reported the flashes of the blasts being so bright that they could see the bones of their fingers, like x-rays as they pressed against their faces.Much has been written about the health problems suffered by the servicemen as a result of radiation poisoning.

Far less well-documented is the plight of the Aboriginal people who were living close to Maralinga at the time.

“Every night I cry for them,” Hilary Williams tells me as she sits around a campfire for an impromptu picnic of kangaroo tails laid on for our visit.

Her mother and grandparents all witnessed at least one of the explosions from just a few kilometres away.

Ms Williams said all three of them died young after suffering lung problems.

“It’s so sad. They’re not here anymore,” she said, adding that she had heart problems she believes were also linked to the bombs.Locals around Maralinga spoke about a black mist of radioactive dust over their communities following the explosions.

“A lot of people got sick and died,” said Mima Smart, an aboriginal community leader.

“It was like a cancer on them. People were having lung disease, liver problems, and kidney problems. A lot of them died,” she said, adding that communities around Maralinga have been paid little by way of compensation……….

Robin Matthews, caretaker of the Maralinga Nuclear Test Site. “They thought they’d pick a supposedly uninhabited spot out in the Australian desert. Only they got it wrong. There were people here.”

Maralinga-notice

During the 1960s and 70s, there were several large clean-up operations to try and decontaminate the site. All the test buildings and equipment were destroyed and buried. Large areas of the surface around the blast sites was also scraped up and buried.

But Mr Matthews said the clean-up, as well as the tests themselves, were done very much behind closed doors with a high level of secrecy. “You’ve got to remember that this was during the height of the Cold War. The British were terrified that Russian spies might try and access the site,” he said.

The indigenous communities say many locals involved in the clean-up operation also got sick..

‘Sick land’

Maralinga has long been declared safe. There are even plans to open up the site to tourism. But it was only a few months ago that the last of the land was finally handed back to the Aboriginal people. Most, though, say they have no desire to return there.

Mima Smart told me she regards Maralinga as sick land. “I don’t want to go back. Too many bad memories.”

And even almost 60 years on, the land still hasn’t recovered. Huge concrete plinths mark the spots where each of the bombs was detonated.

Around each, the blast area would have stretched for several kilometres.The orangey red soil of the outback sparkles strangely green.If you look closely, you can see the ground is covered with what looks like broken glass, where the soil got so hot it literally melted and turned to silicon.

And even after all this time, the natural vegetation still won’t grow back. “The grass here only ever grows a few inches,” said Mr Matthews. “Even the birds and the kangaroos still stay clear of this area.”

More than half a century on, most people here still regard Maralinga as a dark chapter in British Australian history

January 2, 2015 Posted by | aboriginal issues, AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, South Australia, weapons and war | Leave a comment

South Australia scaling back feed -in solar payments to householders

solar-feed-inPayments slashed for solar homes that feed into grid in SA 

http://www.adelaidenow.com.au/business/payments-slashed-for-solar-homes-that-feed-into-grid-in-sa/story-fni6uma6-1227165657285?nk=dbba8e056dc1fe2cf4c56ec8f9212876 CAMERON ENGLAND CHIEF BUSINESS REPORTER, 23 Dec 14  THE once-generous payments householders received for their solar power will be scaled back to a 5.3c per kilowatt hour from the start of next year.This equates to a return of about $540 per year from a 6kW system which is large enough to power most homes.

But if you installed the same sized system before October 2011 you would potentially be pulling in $4836 per year.

Those payments will continue until June 30, 2028.

The retailer feed-in tariff, which must be paid by your energy provider, was set at 7.6c/kWh last year but fell to 6c once the carbon price was removed.

The Essential Services Commission of South Australia has further reduced it to 5.3c/kWh because it “reflects the forecast wholesale market value of photovoltaic (solar) electricity in the coming year’’.

“The proposed value is lower than the 2014 retailer feed-in tariff of 6.0 cents/kWh, due to the lower forecast wholesale market price of electricity,’’ ESCOSA says.

Individual energy retailers can elect to pay householders more for their power.

The original 44c/kWh feed-in tariff was taken up by more than 100,000 householders before it was closed by the Government in September 2011, and reduced to 16c/kWh. Householders who receive these payments are also eligible for the 5.3c payment which is paid by energy retailers.

Those who signed up before the cut-off receive the higher tariff until the scheme expires in 2028, costing an estimated $1.425 billion — an amount recovered through fees charged to all electricity customers.

The initially generous scheme was designed to foster the growth of the solar industry.

Solar panel prices have plummeted since then, with larger systems much more affordable now.

December 24, 2014 Posted by | solar, South Australia | 1 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……….http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/state-politics/lets-talk-nuclear-says-ex-governor-kevin-scarce/story-e6frgczx-1227154468047
South-Aust-pro-nuke

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

South Australia’s innovative solar powered farm Sundrop goes from strength to strength

Sundrop gets $100m injection from KKR to grow tomatoes in SA desert http://www.theage.com.au/business/sundrop-gets-100m-injection-from-kkr-to-grow-tomatoes-in-sa-desert-20141204-1208fm.html December 4, 2014  Simon Evans

sundrop-farms-David-Pratt

Sundrop Farms has received a capital injection from private equity firm Kohlberg Kravis Roberts to aggressively expand its operations, which grow tomatoes on desert land north of Port Augusta in South Australia using solar thermal energy and desalination. Continue reading

December 5, 2014 Posted by | solar, South Australia | Leave a comment

Family First Senator Bob Day pushing for nuclear submarines for Australia

Poor South Australia!   I don’t know what it is about South Australia.  Such a beautiful State,with an amazing and interesting history.

And – it’ s the State that can truly boast of success in renewable energy.

South-Australia-nuclearUnfortunately, South Australia is also saddled with that  white elephant – the uranium industry.

It is also the hub of pro-nuclear promotion. There are  the nuclear propagandists like Barry Brook, the universities infiltrated by pro nuclear proponents like Prof Simons, and the pro nuke business groups – all promoted by BHP. (Below Adelaide pro nuke promoters of nuclear power)

South-Australians-for-nukes

Now we have Senator Bob Day urging the government to develop nuclear submarines, as a recent Family First media release (3/12/14)revealed

December 3, 2014 Posted by | Christina reviews, politics, South Australia | Leave a comment

In brief: how Maralinga nuclear bomb caused illness and environmental destruction

Secret Outback nuclear testing site handed back to traditional land owners 50 years after British did HUNDREDS of nuclear tests causing fatal radiation poisoning

  • The British nuclear testing site in outback Australia has been returned to its Aboriginal owners
  • Seven atomic bombs were detonated on ‘Section 400′ in the 1950s
  • There were also about 600 smaller nuclear tests on the area 
  • The land traditionally belonged to the Maralinga-Tjarutja community
  • Britain’s nuclear tests in Australia caused widespread radiation poisoning
  • Aborigines and Australian and UK soldiers suffered disease and death
  • Radioactive fallout in remote Australia was three time greater than predicted
  • Australia spent $100 million cleaning up the traditional lands
  • The government held on to the 1782sq km testing range until this week

By CANDACE SUTTON FOR DAILY MAIL AUSTRALIA and AAP, 6 November 2014……………………Hundreds of nuclear trials were carried out. Britain dropped twelve nuclear bombs at Maralinga, and then went on to test nuclear warheads.

Maralinga-worker-1950s

Although many Aboriginal people were forcibly removed from their land, more than a thousand were directly affected.

The widespread radioactive fallout of the bombs across the environment, which the local Aboriginal people called ‘puyu’ or ‘black mist’, caused disease and death……..http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2822906/Secret-nuclear-testing-site-Australian-outback-known-Section-400-finally-handed-Aboriginal-traditional-land-owners-50-years-British-dropped-atomic-bombs-causing-radiation-poisoning-death.html

November 8, 2014 Posted by | aboriginal issues, history, South Australia, weapons and war | Leave a comment

South Australia’s largest wind farm now fully operational

Map-South-Australia-wind“This plant confirms South Australia’s commitment to being the nation’s leader when it comes to providing efficient renewable wind energy programs. It is a key platform in our plan for renewable energy to supply 50 per cent of the state’s annual power by 2025,”

South Australia’s 270MW Snowtown takes wind energy to new highs http://reneweconomy.com.au/2014/south-australias-270mw-snowtown-takes-wind-energy-to-new-highs-43971 B on 3 November 2014

South Australia’s largest wind farm – and Australia’s second largest – is now fully operational, after the launch on the weekend of phase 2 of the massive Snowtown Wind Farm development by New Zealand gentailer Trustpower. The plant will mean that 40 per cent of the state’s electricity needs will now come from wind and solar.

Continue reading

November 8, 2014 Posted by | South Australia, wind | Leave a comment

Project to document the health effects from atomic bomb testing in South Australia

Uranium the Silent Killer By Hilary Tyler

    http://www.pozible.com/project/187985   The story of the project   At the ANFA (Australia ANFANuclear Free Alliance) meeting in Oct 2014 Indigenous Elders called for documentation of the health effects from the Maralinga and other atomic bomb tests in the 1950’s and 1960’s.   See https://ausnukefreealliance.wordpress.com for the meeting statement.

First Nations people along with the rest of the population from the southern regions of Australia were subject to horrific fallout from atomic testing carried out in these remote areas.
Permission was never sort from the Aboriginal nations.
“Just remember that the fallout at Maralinga affected the whole lot of us. Black, white, brindle; we all breathe the same air, and we’re all being affected in various ways, even though that happened a long time ago. It’s still around.” Sue Coleman-Haseldine (Kokatha Mula – Ceduna)
From 1952 to 1963 atomic testing covered vast areas of South Australia including Maralinga and Emu Fields test sites.
In November 2014 there will be a 3 week road trip to archive the stories of the people from Arabuna, Walitina, Ceduna, and Yalata country to produce film, audio and digital documentaries. We will begin a data base of the families affected, the geographical distributions of fall out and detrimental health repercussions of these unconsented tests.

The project will meet with people and family members who remained in the vicinity of the testing who were exposed to the immediate effects of radiological poison; people who were transmigrated from their homelands under duress to missions including Yalata in the south west of the state and people who suffer intergenerational impacts first hand at the expense of the atomic tests.

Nuclear weapons are the most destructive, inhumane and indiscriminate weapons ever created. Both in the scale of the devastation they cause, and in their uniquely persistent, spreading, genetically damaging radioactive fallout, they are unlike any other weapons.

For more information on nuclear weapons, including an article on Yami Lester, one of the survivors of the nuclear tests in South Australia, see http://www.icanw.org/au/

Many Aboriginal people in South Australia still rely on bush foods – plants and animals sourced from land that still is contaminated. The possibility of bioaccumulation is very real. Certainly the stories of early death from cancer, thyroid disease and congenital deformities are continuing.

“I’ve lost a lot of my family members through early death – and a lot of it was through cancer, and I do blame the Maralinga fallout.”
Aunty Martha – Arabana (Lake Eyre) Contact us at:  uraniumthesilentkiller@gmail.com

November 6, 2014 Posted by | aboriginal issues, ACTION, health, South Australia, weapons and war | Leave a comment

No recognition, no compensation, for Aborigines made sick by Maralinga nuclear bomb tests

Backgrounder: Why was Maralinga used for secret nuclear tests?SBS News 5 Nov 14  “…….

Radiation-Warning1What happened to the people who lived there?

The nuclear testings lead to widespread dispersion of radioactive material in the local environment. The Anangu Aboriginal people who lived the area called it “puyu” or “black mist”.

UK servicemen, Australian soldiers and civilians, including Indigenous people, were all exposed to radiation. Illnesses reportedly included cancer, blood diseases, eye problems, skin rashes, blindness, vomitting, which are all symptoms of radioactive poisoning.

Between 1953 and 1957, two nuclear devices were detonated at Emu and seven at Maralinga, the Department of Industry reported. According to the Australian Radiationn Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency (ARPANSA) these “major trials” have largely decayed and are “no longer a significant health risk” as these nuclear devices were conducted at higher altitudes (from balloons).

However, the biggest cause of contamination was from “minor trials”, which were weapons development trials that investigated the performance of various components of a nuclear device. Although minor trials didn’t involve nuclear explosions, they did contain radioactive material.

Since contamination remains on or close to the ground surface, there is a significant health risk for locals. Three sites, Taranaki, TM100/101 (TMs), and Wewak remained highly contaminated with plutonium 40 years later……..

Were victims compensated by the British government?

Aboriginal people exposed to British nuclear tests in South Australia during the 1950s are being told they have no hope of compensation. British firm Hickman and Rose had hoped to represent more than 150 civilians, if a huge class action by 1,000 British veterans had succeeded.

But the class action was blocked – the UK Supreme Court ruling that 60 years after the event their claims were too late, the causes of their illnesses apparently unprovable. (Read the full judgment here)

The Australian Greens’ nuclear spokesman Scott Ludlam said the dangers of radiation are well known and it’s unfair to ask Aboriginal people with scant medical records to prove a direct link between exposure to fallout and subsequent sickness.

“The British courts have blocked the application from Defence personnel and Aboriginal people in central Australia by saying you can’t prove those radiations exposures are what caused your illness,” he said. “Now, we know that ionising radiation is harmful for health – we know that for a fact. The right thing for the British Government to do is make an Act of Grace payment to the people who they injured in their nuclear weapons tests.”

In response, UK Defence Personnel Welfare and Veterans Minister of State Mark Francois said: “[The] Ministry of Defence’s position with respect to paying compensation is unchanged. I am sorry to have to send a disappointing reply, but I hope I have explained the reasons for doing so.”……http://www.sbs.com.au/news/article/2014/11/05/backgrounder-why-was-maralinga-used-secret-nuclear-tests

November 6, 2014 Posted by | aboriginal issues, AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, South Australia, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Part of Defence Department’s Woomera Prohibited Area returned to Aborigines

Map-MaralingaDefence force releases last Maralinga ancestral lands to traditional owners  theguardian.com, Wednesday 5 November 2014

Former weapons testing range at Maralinga in outback South Australia is returned to Maralinga Tjarutja people Traditional owners finally have full access to their homelands at Maralinga after the defence force gave up its weapons testing range on Wednesday. Maralinga, in the South Australian outback, was the site of British atomic bomb testing from 1955 to 1963 and was contaminated by nuclear waste.

The federal government formally acknowledged the excision of an area of the Maralinga Tjarutja lands from the defence department’s Woomera Prohibited Area in a ceremony at Maralinga Village on Wednesday…….http://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2014/nov/05/defence-force-releases-last-maralinga-ancestral-lands-to-traditional-owners

November 6, 2014 Posted by | aboriginal issues, South Australia | Leave a comment

Maralinga nuclear test site returned to Aborigines, though still some contamination there

Maralinga signBritish Nuclear Test Site Returned To Aborigines, Yahoo News UK 5 Nov 14 A former British nuclear test site in the depths of the Australian outback has finally been handed back to its Aboriginal owners after more than half a century.

Codenamed Section 400, the secret Cold War atomic weapons testing base was used in the 1950s and 60s and covered 1,782 square kilometres (688 square miles) of remote South Australia.

Now the Australian Government has formally given the site at Maralinga back to its traditional owners, the Maralinga Tjarutja, who hope to turn it into a tourism attraction.

Maralinga Tjarutja general manager Richard Preece says the community is establishing a business to take visitors round the nuclear test sites.

“We’re going to set up bus tours so people can be taken round by Robin (the local caretaker), who is a walking encyclopaedia of Maralinga,” he told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

He added the area still had some contamination but would be safe for visitors if they were escorted………https://uk.news.yahoo.com/british-nuclear-test-returned-aborigines-130655845.html#vPKBkL8

November 6, 2014 Posted by | aboriginal issues, South Australia, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 652 other followers