Australian news, and some related international items

This week: Nuclear Royal Commission and and other Nuke and Climate News in Australia

a-cat-CANSouth Australia’s Nuclear Fuel Chain Royal Commission. Still time to send in submissions.  Closing date for Issues Papers 2 & 3 , and for a submission covering all four issues is August 3rd.

When I got  a policeman to witness my last 2 submissions, he said (completely unexpectedly and unsolicited by me) “You won’t win., you know. They’ll do it. They’ve got all the money”

Yes, it’s a shonky Royal Commission, with Kevin Scarce’s shares in Rio Tinto, and the Commission’s heavies connected to nuclear agencies.

But – as Redgum said, 20 years ago “If you don’t fight, you lose”

Pro Nuclear Royal Commission Pushes on With Determination, calls for tenders.

Federal Labor frontbencher Anthony Albanese opposes Australian further involvement in nuclear fuel chain.

Northern Territory development : Aboriginal owners asked to agree to extinguish native title.

CLIMATE CHANGE: Tony Abbott’s sly way of stopping action on climate change. Labor leader Bill Shorten foresees a climate change election.  Climate change harming wine industry (nuclear power would, too) They are using giant $55,000 electric fans. (Apparently these are not ugly, like wind turbines?)

Bjorn Lomborg’s Climate Consensus Centre for Flinders University?   Flinders University students to fight this plan.

Australian Labor Party delegates vote for 50 per cent renewable energy plan. VICTORIAN Liberal MP Sarah Henderson breaks ranks, supports investment in renewables. Poll finds 60% believe carbon tax had little or no effect on electricity bills.

TRANS PACIFIC PARTNERSHIP  Tobacco corporation Philip Morris sues Australia over cigarette plain packaging. Labor Senator Wong fights TPP’s Investor State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) clauses


July 29, 2015 Posted by | Christina reviews | Leave a comment

#NuclearCommissionSAust’s Issues Paper 3 – designed to please the nuclear corporations!

a-cat-CANI am currently struggling with my Submission to the Commission on the questions in Issues Paper 3  – “Electricity Generation From Nuclear Fuels”. it’s a doozy. They’ve excelled themselves this time – with questions designed to elicit lovely answers from nuclear companies Transatomic, Bill Gates’ Terra Power , SNC Lavalin, NuScale, – anyone but you and me.

Given that the nuclear lobby’s plan is for Australia to be the guinea pigs for new untested (not yet existent) gee whiz reactors, Those companies are gonna love questions like this:

3.2 Are there commercial reactor technologies (or emerging technologies which may be commercially available in the next two decades) that can be installed and connected to the NEM?

3.3. Are there commercial reactor technologies (or emerging technologies which may be commercially available in the next two decades) that can be installed and connected in an off-grid setting?

3.6. What are the specific models and case studies that demonstrate the best practice for the establishment and operation of new facilities for the generation of electricity from nuclear fuels?

SMRs Australia


July 27, 2015 Posted by | Christina reviews, Nuclear Royal Commission | Leave a comment

Australia should wake up to the realities about nuclear waste, and shut down the Lucas Heights reactor

a-cat-CANAustralia must face up to the reality that its radioactive trash that originated in Lucas Heights must come back to this country. It’s not a large amount, and probably could be safely stored at Lucas Heights.

Relatively safely, that is, because it will remain toxic for thousands of years.

Australians need to wake up to the distinction between this situation, of legal obligation to have wastes radioactive trashreturned, and the cranky South Australian plan to be the only nation in the world to actually INVITE in the world’s radioactive trash.

In a reasonable world, in which future generations are considered, the sane thing to do is to shut down the Lucas Heights nuclear reactor, and stop making this trash.

The cry will rise up –  “medical benefits, blah blah”. Well the medical isotope thing was the fig leaf tacked on to the nuclear reactor. Medical isotopes can be made by a speciaLised cyclotron, as is being done in Canada. Sure, that’s expensive, FOR THIS GENERATION. The current system’s plan is to pass on the costs to our grandchildren and beyond. So yes, it LOOKS cheaper.

July 24, 2015 Posted by | Christina reviews | Leave a comment

What’s happened in nuclear and climate news for the past week?

a-cat-CANLabor pro nuclear heavies will keep pushing to overturn Labor’s anti nuclear policy. But they will keep mum at the ALP Conference this weekend, and will not oppose a motion to keep Labor’s anti nuclear policy. Behind the scenes, they’e working with the  global nuclear industry, and with South Australia’s Nuclear Royal Commission. They’re relying on the nuclear lobby’s new religious faith – the global Nuclear For Climate Declaration (aimed at  to getting government funding for nuclear as the solution to global warming.)

Still time to send in Submissions to the Royal Commission. despite its Just About Impossible Submission Process. Helpful information is available at my website http://www.antinuclear.netSubmission Points to Issues Paper 4  (Storage and Disposal of Waste). I think that this is the important one, as the goal of the Commission is to get Australia to import radioactive trash.

 South Australia’s Premier Jay Weatherill embraces nuclear lobby, in desperate bid to stay in power. Nuclear Royal Commission a promotional exercise for Nuclear Industry vested interests, targeting rural South AustraliaInaccuracies in Royal Commission’s Issues paper.

Friends of the Earth launch Adelaide’s Campaign Against Nuclear Expansion

Mirrar people call on Abbott government to secure Kakadu National Park from further uranium mining.

Western Australia’s Barnett government moving Aborigines off their land to benefit miners.    Esperance to be sacrificed for the profits of the uranium industry?

Labor Leader Bill Shorten to announce 50% renewable energy target at Labor conference. But Australian Labor Party needs a credible plan for climate change action.

Australia’s Federal Government welcomes Iran nuclear deal (Video and Audio). But Tony Abbott is two-faced on a nuclear-free Middle East

Industry under attack, as Tony Abbott hacks into Clean Energy Finance Corporation. Clean Energy Finance Corporation may be able to take legal action against Abbott government. More reactions by Australian States to Tony Abbott’s latest onslaught against wind and solar energy

South Australian government says wind and solar power are sources of jobs. Concentrated Solar Power pre-feasibility study now being finalised at Port Augusta.

Australia’s shame. Cardinal Pell criticising Pope Francis over Climate Change policy.


July 22, 2015 Posted by | Christina reviews | Leave a comment

Australia – The week in nuclear news

a-cat-CANSorry, folks,  to harp on the Nuclear Royal Commission.  It’s not arousing any interest in Australia as a whole. I find that extraordinary. No country in the world has invited nuclear waste dumping, yet here, South Australia (world renewable energy champion!) is doing just that!  It’s getting close to deadline for putting in submissions  about this.

I derive some weird comfort from my realisation that this really mightn’t  matter. The outcome of this shonky Commission is a foregone conclusion. It’s stacked with pro nuclear “experts” : prominent ones, like the chief, Kevin Scarce, (with his shares in Rio Tinto)  have a conflict of interest. Best of all, they’ve made the Submission process so damned difficult that only the likes of AREVA and Canada’s very shonky SNC-Lavalin company are sure to get their submissions received and read.

Formidable Aboriginal anti nuclear warrior Kevin Buzzacott leads Aboriginal elders and university students in a tent community at Flinders University in Adelaide in protest against plans for a nuclear waste dump, in South Australia or anywhere else. Traditional owners are building a campaign against any expansion of the uranium/nuclear industry

Submissions called for Inquiry into Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Amendment Bill 2015

BHP (big uranium miner) wants to be represented at climate talks in Paris. Altruism? I don’t think so! The big nuclear companies are campaigning to have nuclear power pronounced as a climate action solution.

Radioactive Exposure Tour highlights the decline of the uranium /nuclear industry. The end of the line for uranium company Energy Resources of Australia. Taxpayers likely to cop the costs of Ranger uranium clean-up. if ERA goes bankrupt.

Uranium investing –  some stocks bad, others worse

Climate change. Government’s Agriculture White Paper  comes out – with lack of vision on climate change. Aboriginal landowners reject coal giant Adani

Renewable energy. Tasmania’s Energy Minister hails wind farms, disagrees with Tony Abbott. New wave power technology set to boost economy in Port Fairy, Victoria. @Rottoturbine hits back at Abbott. Local community funds Repower Shoalhaven renewable energy investment scheme.

July 10, 2015 Posted by | Christina reviews | Leave a comment

Nuclear and Climate News as June ends

a-cat-CANAs June ends, Australians have just a few weeks in which to put in submissions to the South Australian Nuclear Royal Commission. (Submissions due by 24 July and 3rd August)  They’ve made it as difficult as they can – it’s complicated, and you have to sign before a JP etc. The nuclear lobby’s subtle spin implies that it’s for South Australians only – and the mainstream media goes along with that.

But wait! It’s OK if you happen to be an overseas nuclear company. Then you’re invited to submit – and – best of all – submissions from nuclear companies need not be published – they’re “commercially sensitive”

If you’re Aboriginal – no worries – the Commission will coach you, (like a fox coaching the chickens)

Through July please look on this website for guidance summaries and links for submitting, and for latest news.



CLIMATE CHANGE Australia’s New Climate Roundtable. World is watching Australia’s pathetic performance on Climate Change. Australian farmers urge Liberal Party to defeat climate denialism

LEGAL WIN for Australia’s nuclear veterans

Trans Pacific Partnership – putting Australia’s democracy in a noose.

Lynas Rare Earths shares at all-time low.

URANIUM.  Pro Nuclear Expert John Carlson warns on selling uranium to India   Rio Tinto fears that the uranium market will not pick up. The game is up for uranium miners ERA and Paladin?. Half of ERA’s board quits.  It’s the end of big uranium mining projects in Australia.

ABORIGINAL ISSUES. Rallies across Australia protesting shutdowns of remote Aboriginal communitiesMelbourne city’s hub stops as protestors rally. Aboriginal People Need A Treaty First– Forget constitutional recognition. British musician Antony Hegarty joins the Martu people in their struggle against uranium mining

RENEWABLE ENERGY. Weakened Renewable Energy Target legisation passed in Parliament : still, big economic benefits to regional communities, from new wind and solar farms.  South West Victoria’s wind farm goes ahead  General Electric ready to spend $billions on renewable energy in Australia. Wind farm research: Tony Abbott’s strategy to delay development by creating uncertainty.


June 29, 2015 Posted by | Christina reviews | Leave a comment

Why Australians should take Senator Jacqui Lambie seriously

a-cat-CANIt is tempting to laugh at Senator Jacqui Lambie’s way out outburst on climate change, wind energy, and nuclear power.

BUT – Australia’s outrageously ignorant and idealogical government loves her for this.

This brings about what I think of as the “Pauline Hanson effect”.  By this, I mean that the Howard government was pretty far to the Right anyway, but the extreme right wing campaign run with some success by Pauline Hanson made it easier for Howard to move even further that way.

And not just the Liberal Party.  As the whole political discourse in Australia shifted further away from the interest of the public good, and towards corporate interest, and towards xenophobia, – the Labor Lambie,-JacquiParty moved with it.

Now with the already absurdly right-wing Abbott government, we have Jacqui Lambie’s extremism. There is a real danger that she can help to make Liberal and Labor policies – on energy, on climate, on nuclear issues, on asylum seekers – look reasonable and mainstream .


June 19, 2015 Posted by | Christina reviews | Leave a comment

No wonder this scurvy newspaper does not make a profit.

Only THE AUSTRALIAN newspaper could do this –  they go on to twist this event into a plug for the uranium industry

Rio uranium bombshell kills Ranger
Ranger uranium producer Energy ­Resources of Australia suffered a nasty shock this week. (subscribers only)

June 19, 2015 Posted by | Christina reviews | Leave a comment

The latest Australian nuclear news

a-cat-CANGood news for Australia’s environment, and for the Mirrar people of the Northern Territory.  Energy Resources of Australia has finally pulled the plug on its uranium mining activities  in Kakadu National Park. Of course it is financial unviability that forced this decision. And Rio Tinto the “parent company” is not  a bit happy that it will probably have to fork out $millions to rehabilitate the site.

Much credit has to go to the Mirrar people for their continued monitoring of this project. And to the heroic Jeffrey Lee, who donated his land to Kakadu so that it would not be mined for uranium by AREVA.

But how long can white Australia expect the Aborigines to carry the fight against this toxic nuclear industry threatening Australia?

Comical moment for the South Australian Nuclear Fool Chain Royal Commission. Exactly on the day that the Commission arrived in France for extensive talks and tours of AREVA’s advanced nuclear technology – came the French government’s action – splitting up AREVA, effectively killing it off as a nuclear power giant – due to its utterly disastrous financial state.     Funny it it weren’t serious – how South Australia’s greedy nuclear enthusiasts are ready to suck up to international nuclear business incompetents!

Good prospects on the renewable energy scene – Victoria making it easier to develop wind power .Yackandandah goes for 100% renewables – South Australia’s chance to replace coal with renewables. Queensland’s Millmerran solar farm to go ahead – biggest in Australia?  Bundaberg – Queensland’s solar capital.

Tony Abbott. My God, that man is an embarrassment to Australia! Even Environment Minister  Greg Hunt sees the writing on the wall – in Abbott’s daft policies on climate.


June 13, 2015 Posted by | Christina reviews | Leave a comment

Will South Australia’s Nuclear Royal Commission take up the UK idea of ‘beautifying nuclear’ facilities?

Rudd, Amber UKI just couldn’t resist publicising Britain’s latest pro nuclear tactic. The UK government is obviously getting  a bit desperate about the political situation – with their new nuclear power programme bogged down in financial uncertainties (or rather – certainties that it’s unaffordable).

On another tack – the UK government is getting a lot of flak about its ugly (dirty, dangerous, super-expensive) nuclear facilities and plans for the Lake District , Cumbria.


Well – you can bet that South Australia’s Nuclear Fuel Chain Royal Commission will be listening intently to all the pro nuclear PR from UK –  I wonder, will they take up the idea of prettying up nuclear facilities for South Australia?

June 8, 2015 Posted by | Christina reviews | Leave a comment

THe latest in nuclear and climate news – Australia


South Australia’s Nuclear Royal Commission has gone very quiet.  They are now in Japan, then to Taiwan, Finland, Austria, France and the United Kingdom.  It’s all quite secretive – no idea what their global junket is costing the South Australian tax-payer. Why is no media covering this?

South Australia’s agriculture in danger from nuclear developments

Meanwhile the pretense continues that it’s just a State matter – ignored by the media in all other States. Except for The Saturday Paper in which Dr Helen Caldicott dissected the propaganda for South Australia’s Nuclear Chain Royal Commission.

Australia’s nuclear lobby never lets up. Their social media propaganda has lately stepped up its vilification of Dr Caldicott. I guess that could be seen as  a tribute to her expertise, and to the impact of her splendid article – which I urge you all to read.

Some people who care are quietly organising their Submissions to the Royal Commission, due by 24 July, and 3 August. The Conservation Council of South Australia gives helpful advice .  They put out a long IssuesPaper and a summary one.

Senators David Leyonhjelm and Bob Day salivate over thought of free nuclear-powered electricity and want nuclear powered submarines.

Nuclear waste. ANSTO’s problem of mounting radioactive wastes at Lucas Heights.

Uranium Paladin – the ugly Australian in Malawi faces opposition, as its uranium pollution takes its toll. Paladin (apparently not Australian owned) signs Western Australian uranium deal.

Rare earths AND URANIUM company allying with Clean Energy Council!

Big mining companies are losing the public opinion battle.

Climate Change. Universities can get tax-payer funding for a Bjorn Lomborg climate centre.

Renewable Energy:



June 4, 2015 Posted by | Christina reviews | Leave a comment

Nuclear news in Australia this week.

a-cat-CANPolitics. Pro uranium policy in the Draft ALP Conference Platform. Federal parliament’s Joint Standing Committee on Treaties deliberating on uranium sales to India.    Senator Leyonhjelm & Senator Day – nuclear power is fine: wind power is the danger! Senator Bob Day wants nuclear submarines built in South Australia

Revealed – America’s long term push to make Australia accept nuclear waste.

White man’s greed for uranium mining behind closure of remote Aboriginal settlements? Aboriginal cultural heritage depends on remaining on homelands.

Australia’s nuclear lobby keen to “educate” schoolchildren

South Australia. Agricultural scientist warns that South Australia’s agriculture will be endangered by nuclear fuel chain developments. Aboriginal concerns over South Australia’s plans to store nuclear wastes.

South Australia Nuclear Fuel Chain Royal Commission.

Renewable Energy  Labor, Coalition agree on new renewable energy target.  Australia leads the world in percentage of homes with solar power. BHP funded think tank Grattan Institute unfairly critical of solar energy. Australians overwhelmingly prefer solar energy – survey results.  Solar trams for Melbourne. Small scale solar power from Australian company transforms slum life in India. Australian breakthrough solar technology built in Cyprus in five weeks. Tasmania keen to fast track electric vehicles – and become 100% renewable energy powered

Climate change. Australia’s public sector now losing its climate change experts. Tony Abbott likes the Bjorn Lomborg recipe for inaction on Climate Change.   Bjorn Lomborg remains confident about his climate action delaying centre. Labor Party firmly supporting price on carbon

Environment. Environmental powers handed to the States – will mean falling standards.  Federal and Western Australian govts’ systematic attack on environmental critics.

May 29, 2015 Posted by | Christina reviews | Leave a comment

Assessment of Kevin Scarce’s Royal Commission forums

scrutiny-Royal-Commission CHAINMy impression is that the Nuclear Fuel Chain Royal Commission community forums are pretty formulaic. Kevin Scarce has got it all down pat , and does not stray from his agenda of the 4 Issues in the Terms of Reference.  A bit of lip service is paid to Renewable Energy, but it is clear that this will not feature in the serious examination of energy technologies. There is complete avoidance of legal issues.

The thing that gets me about Kevin Scarce and the Royal Commission, and the media coverage – is theScarce,--Kevin-glow pretense that this is all just a South Australian affair – despite the fact that these nuclear developments are illegal under national law. Of course this whole idea of making South Australia the world’s nuclear hub and waste dump concerns all of Australia.

The meeting at Coober Pedy (14/5/15) was quite a lively one, and the audience showed a degree of knowledge and sophistication that The Royal Commissioners might not have expected to find, in such a remote location. Concerns aired in questions included the problems of nuclear wastes – problems handed over to future generations, environmental concerns, and support for renewable energy rather than nuclear .

At University of South Australia – Mawson Lakes, (19/5/15) about 50 people attended. I have no report on this, other than that at least one University lecturer was worried  that harmful affects of tourism and agriculture and food would not be properly addressed, and small businesses would not put in submissions about the potential harm to their business.

At Adelaide University(22/5/15) around 250 people attended, and pro nuclear people were slightly in the majority – as evidenced by  a show of hands when asked for this. David Noonan of Wilderness Society didn’t get to ask his question – that the proposed activities the RC is investigating are currently illegal in Australia!

At Flinders University (20/5/15)  – (see report on this page) there was some pretty lively questioning.  Kevin Scarce was able to deflect very deftly any difficult questions. His two best techniques –  to point out that matters are “not in the Terms of Reference” and to urge the questioner to seek the answer and “put in a submission”.

A concern that showed up in Adelaide meetings was that of bias – questioners wanted to know about the agendas, the interests of the staff and expert advisers on the Commission. They also wanted to know about the companies involved, and their submissions to the Commission – will the Commission be transparent about this?


May 27, 2015 Posted by | Christina reviews, Nuclear Royal Commission | Leave a comment

Iodine pills for South Australians- is that in the Nuclear Royal Commission’s planning?



Will South Australian communities and nuclear workers get iodine pills, once the State launches into its role as the international nuclear hub?

Canada’s communities near nuclear facilities ware getting them.  Kevin Scarce’s Nuclear Fuel Chain scrutiny-Royal-Commission CHAINRoyal Commission will be getting Submissions from Canadian nuclear companies. Perhaps the potassium-iodate-pillsCommission will be visiting Canada, as part of its international junket.

Presumably the South Australian Nuclear Fuel Chain Commission will be keen to keep up with all the safety requirements that Canada has.

May 25, 2015 Posted by | Christina reviews, Nuclear Royal Commission | Leave a comment

This week – in Australian nuclear and climate news

a-cat-CANSouth Australia’s Nuclear Fuel Chain Royal Commission. Australia’s top nuclear commentator Jim Green summarises the themes involved in the Commission.  Vague and confusing Issues Paper No 3 released – ELECTRICITY GENERATION FROM NUCLEAR FUELS. 

Nuclear wastes. Iron ore miner and Councillor in Western Australia apply to host  low level nuclear waste facility Community opposition to a national radioactive waste dump in Western Australia. Morawa Shire not happy about Gindalbie Metals nuclear dump proposal, and no right to veto. Australia IS obligated to take back wastes originating from Lucas Heights nuclear reactor

American military buildup  in Australia

Politics. Greg Hunt, Australia’s Environment Minister makes moves towards removing the tax exempt status of donations to environment groups , with a Committee to inquire into and report on the Register of Environmental Organisations. Submissions addressing the Committee’s terms of reference are due by by 21 May 2015 

Aboriginal Land Councils distrust Northern Territory Government, reject it for running Indigenous outstation services. Uranium mining companies are selectively buying off Indigenous people

Australia’s uranium companies overseas. World Bank warns Malawi not to re-open Paladin Australia’s uneconomic uranium mine. In Greenland , environmental groups oppose Australian uranium/rare earths mining project.

Renewable energy. Labor and business groups say No to reviews of Renewable Energy Target. Queensland government pledges 50% renewable energy by 2030. Victoria wants its own renewable energy target, in light of Abbott govt’s anti climate policies.   Australia has the most affordable solar systems in the developed world.Electricity utility Origin launches solar energy leasing programme. We need a proper judicial investigation of wind farm danger claims.

Climate change. As CSIRO and Bureau of Meteorology warn on extreme weather, Federal Budget ignores climate change. University of Western Australia praised for ditching Bjorn Lomborg Consensus Centre. Climate Council exposes Bjorn Lomborg’s climate fallacies. Sea level rise a serious consideration for Mid North Coast councils.


May 16, 2015 Posted by | Christina reviews | Leave a comment


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 812 other followers