South Australia Despite the indecently short period allowed for submissions the government still received over 1000 submissions on its Draft Terms of Reference for its Nuclear Royal Commission – overwhelmingly requesting uranium mining to be included, and safety, environmental, indigenous, historic aspects. These were to be publicised, but mysteriously vanished from the government’s website in a day or two.
You can see one submission, from Dr Peter Burdon, Associate Professor, , Alexander Reilly, and Paul Leadbetter of the University of Adelaide, on my website. You can also read the (narrow) Terms of Reference decided on by the South Australian Government . Nuclear lobby influence – Australian Industry Group Defence Council wants nuclear submarines. (Conflict of interest in its chairman Chris Jenkins, who is also the Australian chief of French industry giant Thales)
Western Australia. Wiluna uranium project not viable due to flooding risks? The planned pit areas for up to 100 million tonnes of uranium tailings is presently under water. Widespread opposition to the State and Federal governments’ moves to get remote Aboriginal communities off their land – conveniently for the uranium industry. The importance of connection to country – the danger of Terra Vacua. Some Good news.- new national park in W.A. - mining excluded
Queensland. Unprecedented Aboriginal stand to stop $16bn Carmichael coalmine, Australia’s largest.
New South Wales. Government funds Byron Bay’s renewable energy trading plan.
Victoria. Mildura’s solar farm – successful without a cent of government money
British report slams Australia for its polluting industries, high carbon emissions. Abbott’s “Direct Action” climate policy – a gift to the big polluters. Australian farmers lobby Abbott government for emissions trading scheme. Both Labor and Liberal happy to get donations from coal seam gas companies. Australian government downplays climate change, invites sceptic to talk on foreign aid
The Better Power campaign. Sponsored by GetUp and Powershop electricity retailer, this campaign urges Australians to switch from the big polluting companies Origin, AGL and Energy Australia. I switched months ago -to Powershop , with entirely renewable energy – also greatly reducing my electricity bill.
We wait to find out just who are to be the experts on South Australia’s Nuclear Royal Commission, (and what their agendas might be). We already know that the Terms of Reference exclude important issues, – so that the whole thing is likely to end up as just an eminently forgettable PR exercise for the nuclear lobby.
The Royal Commission received well over 1000 Submissions on its Terms of Reference. But now it seems that all have been removed from its website.
Could this be because the submissions were so overwhelmingly critical of the proposed Terms of Reference, that the nuclear lobby is embarrassed?
South Australia Royal Commission into nuclear industry expansion. Governor Hieu Van Le has signed off to mark the official start of the Nuclear Fuel Cycle Royal Commission. Note the word “cycle”. That word already implies a circular process, which is indeed the intention of the nuclear lobby. Their story is that nuclear waste will be transformed into fuel for fleets of new (untested) Small Modular Nuclear Reactors. Waste problem solved!
But no. The promised geewhiz little reactors that Australia is supposed to buy en masse, DO themselves produce highly toxic wastes, and will themselves eventually become radioactive corpses requiring burial.
So -rather than a nuclear fuel cycle, Premier Weatherill’s plan would mean a nuclear fuel chain – around our necks!
So far just one Commissioner appointed – the pro nuclear Kevin Scarce. The Term of Reference do not include examining the uranium industry, nor South Australia’s global nuclear role, nor the connection with nuclear weapons. Already it is implied that the proposed nuclear waste dump will be on Aboriginal land.
South Australian voters reject expansion of nuclear industry
A number of articles on these issues are on my website http://www.anti-nuclear.net – under the categories “South Australia” and “politics” (Also note – USA Nuclear lobby looking for tax-payer funded guinea pigs to test their new gimmicks).
National. Nuclear waste that originated in Lucas Heights is due to return to Australia soon. Why don’t people realise the distinction between the relatively small amounts of nuclear waste (originating at Lucas Heights) that Australia is contracted to take back, and the greedy dream of some to import nuclear wastes from other countries?
On a positive note – The Senate voted “Yes” to Greens Senator Lee Rhiannon’s motion, backing a local Councils’ a solar powered initiative in western New South Wales. On a negative note, Family First Senator Bob Day won enough Senate support to formally welcome the nuclear commission, with his motion passing 34 to 33. I think that he’s carrying his religious fervour for the nuclear family too far!
Queensland . French nuclear giant AREVa (itself in financial trouble) has permanently abandoned its plans to mine uranium in Queensland- due to the new government’s policy and to the ever slumping uranium market. New Labor govt says no to uranium mining.
Australian Capital Territory rejects hosting radioactive waste dump
Media. Vanuatu cyclone disaster. Australian media seems to have decided that it’s not nice manners to mention climate change having any connection.
Renewable Energy Target impasse continues. That’s the way the Abbott govt likes it – slowly killing investment for future development. Greens Senator Larissa Waters strongly advocates for keeping the RET
South Australia: Submissions for draft Terms of Reference – Royal Commission into nuclear power – closing date March 13. We don’t know who will be on this ?”expert ” panel, headed by pro nuclear Kevin Scarce . March 13 leaves a very short time, especially for those who will be most affected – Aboriginal South Australians, many of whom do not speak or write English. But that’s no doubt the idea, in the time honoured tradition of putting radioactive nasties on indigenous land.
It’s easy to do a submission – go to https://conservationsa.good.do/renewable-not-radioactive/make-your-submission-now/
Canada to take part in this Royal Commission, – invited by South Australian Labor Treasurer Tom Koutsantonis and Liberal federal Trade Minister Andrew Robb. That’s despite the notoriety of Canada’s nuclear industry . Canada now dominates World Bank corruption list, thanks to its nuclear technology exporter SNC-Lavalin.
Australian-first floating solar farm due to begin construction in SA
Western Australia: Barnett Liberal government has approved Cameco’s Kintyre uranium mine, with (weak) conditions. Govt is dismissive of environmental concerns, and is also not waiting for the outcome of corruption investigation.
National: Federal govt calls for nominations, by May 5, to host radioactive waste dump . Govt produces its “Intergenerational Report” – climate change barely mentioned, no policy beyond 2020 .Australia quietly stopped testing of food imports from Japan. Abbott govt enjoys dragging on forever about the Renewable Energy Target, as investors give up on renewable energy – which is, of course, the Govt’s intention.
Sorry to harp on about South Australia’s Royal Commission into Nuclear Power – but it IS the most important matter to come up in Australia’s recent nuclear history. And, it’s all being done in such a hurry.
Senator Scott Ludlam wrote a wonderful, courteous (what a novelty for an Aussie politician!) article, on how this Commission might be done properly. Alas, few people are confident that this will happen.
This Royal Commission looks like a cover for an old agenda – to make South Australia the world’s nuclear waste dump. Last time they tried this, the nuclear lobby was beaten in a campaign led by a bunch of Aboriginal women - The Kupa Piti Kungka Tjuta. A court decision in 2004 resulted in the dump plan being abandoned.
The public has until March 13 to send submissions about the draft Terms of Reference. These draft terms are extraordinarily narrow – ignoring comparative costs, health, agricultural and tourist impacts, and they exclude uranium mining and the current situation of radioactive contamination at Maralinga. The Conservation Council of South Australia provides clear and simple guidance for anyone wanting help in sending a submission.
South Australian farmers have lately been flat out selling berries , as uproar has gone out about people getting sick, from eating imported berries. I wonder how our fruit and vegies would go, if South Australia did become the world’s hub for radioactive trash importing.
The Renewable Energy Target saga drags on – but that’s the way that the Abbott government likes it – the inertia that slowly kills off investor interest. Victoria’s new Labor government now starting some pro renewable initiatives – funding a Community Solar Energy Farm in Macedon. Even some Victorian Liberals are making pro renewable energy noises.
Nuclear weapons. The focus has been on this issue throughout February. This weekend, experts in studying nuclear weapons and war have been gathering in New York at the Symposium: The Dynamics of Possible Nuclear Extinction. It’s streaming live – and podcasts, transcripts and a book will later be available.
This week – Lots of (not very good) news on nuclear weaponry and war risks, e.g USA law-makers wanting to spend $577 billion on defense, China, Russia, India ramping up their nuclear weaponry. North Korea, too.
This month, the focus on http://www.nuclear-news.net, (and on http://www.antinuclear.net) will be on the growing movement for a clean nuclear-free planet. At the same time, a global revolution is happening at extraordinary speed – the change from “top-down” “vertically integrated” systems to “small scale or “horizontal” systems. Some business examples – Airbnb, Taskrabbit, Uber, They work through the “digital ecosystem” . Political examples – extreme religious activist groups. So it’s not all good. But most of it is good- based on trust between individuals, building “reputational capital” between strangers with a common vision.
The nuclear lobby has no grasp of this 21st Century transition.
Even the current nuclear PR for Small Modular Reactors is based on huge centrally organised, government funded, mass purchase and mass distribution – imposed from above. Compare that with the millions of homes and small businesses and institutions where individuals made the choice for solar energy – it was not imposed by government.
The clean planet movement is happening at the local level, most often led by indigenous people – and they are linking up globally. The new digital ecosytem has opened the way for millions of people to work together for a healthy nuclear-free planet.
OK – Now it has turned up on http://yoursay.sa.gov.au/blogs/draft-terms-of-reference
The Premier’s media release says that you can find the Terms of Reference at www.yoursay.sa.gov.au.
I couldn’t find anything there about the subject. Perhaps later?
Also no mention of personnel – other than the pro nuclear former S.A Governore Kevin Scarse. (at right) Independent, my foot!
Anyway – here are the Draft Terms of Reference Continue reading
National: a new political party about to take off – the Renewable Energy Party - born in Lismore NSW, but destined for a national future.
Uranium to India. it gets to be a bit of a worry when Australian pro nuclear experts condemn this agreement as dangerously inadequate.
The secretive Trans Pacific Partnership moves along. People WILL notice it when their pharmaceuticals suddenly rocket up in price, and when U.S. corporations start suing Australian State and Federal governments.
Tim Wright, the Australian who leads in international nuclear disarmament conferences , is off to New York, to join prestigious speakers at – Symposium – The Dynamics of Possible Nuclear Extinction, Feb 28 – March 1. It’s co-ordinated by another Australian, Dr Helen Caldicott – a prophet without honour in her own country, if ever there was one.
South Australia’s Royal Commission into Nuclear Power. Despite the very short time for submissions, comments, they did get 111 comments, – 70% against nuclear power, and with some excellent points. That page appears to have now disappeared from the Web.
Anyway, the South Australian government has no business in calling such a State Royal Commission on a matter that is clearly the province of the Federal government. It’s a national issue – a protected issue as a “A Matter of National Environmental Significance” under the National Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999.
It’s a vastly expensive exercise – the motivations here are not clear. Just looks as if Premier Jay Weatherill panicked at South Australia’s economic woes, and saw importing nuclear waste as a multi-$billion financial solution.
Meanwhile – back in the real world, South Australia continues to star as the nation’s renewable energy leader. There are not only its wind power success, and innovative small solar projects for home and business, but now, big solar is happening there.
Western Australia: World’s first wave-energy farm connected to grid is switched on.
To the Attorney-General Department,
I request that you consider the following Terms of Reference to be included for the Royal Commission into nuclear energy. The Royal Commission will be undermined if it doesn’t include the following Terms of Reference.
· The environmental impacts of uranium mining in South Australia. This would include especially the effects on South Australia’s water. South Australia is a water scarse State, and nuclear facilities requre huge amounts of water – both for uranium mining, and nuclear power. Cooling water from nuclear power plants result in heat pollution of water sources – rivers, or sea areas nearby. Radioactive waste contaminates groundwater, and would threaten Australia’s precious Great Artesian Basin.
.Foodstuffs from Australia are known to be clean and radiation free. This status would be threatened by nuclear operations, and lose Australia’s reputation for clean food exports. Nuclear environmental damage also threatens our tourism industry.
· Nuclear waste; the Royal Commission must look widely at nuclear waste management in South Australia, including uranium tailings. The Commission should examine proposals to host international nuclear waste and status of the waste industry globally.
. Safety. Though nuclear accidents are rare, their consequences are catastrophic. Terrorism is a risk – nuclear facilities and transport of radioactive materials are becoming an attractive target for terrorist attacks.
. Climate change. Climate change is bringing sea level rise which in turn would threaten nuclear facilities near the coast, such as at Port Adelaide. Risks of storm surges and even tsunamis cannot be discounted. Climate change will increase droughts, adding to the water shortage problems that already beset the nuclear industry. Climate change brings extreme weather, with greater risk to transport. The recent Malaysian airliner disappearance in the Indian ocean was almost certainly due to an unprecedented extreme weather event. As we must expect more of these extreme events, this brings into question the danger of transporting radioactive wastes over long distances. Australia is contracted to take back a relatively small amount of radioactive waste that originated from Lucas Heights. That is hazard enough, without contemplating an international waste repository as an import business.
· Legacy sites; South Australia’s contaminated nuclear sites including Maralinga, the Port Pirie Uranium Treatment Complex, and Radium Hill. There are unresolved concerns over the status of these sites (in relation to public health and environmental impacts) and the Royal Commission provides an opportunity to finally resolve these issues.
· Insurance, financial risk, public liabilities and subsidies; a comprehensive examination of the potential liability of the SA Government in the case of an incident or accident.
· Exploration of alternative energy sources to address the challenge of climate change, including the potential for growth in renewables and other low carbon technologies
AUSTRALIA – NUCLEAR LOBBY ATTEMPTS TO PUT IT OVER THE AUSTRALIAN PUBLIC - aided by government, media, and business. Royal Commission on Nuclear Power Special
8th February. South Australian Labor Premier Jay Weatherill announced a Royal Commission into our role in nuclear energy . Call for public comments on Terms of reference. Pro nuclear former governor Kevin Scarce appointed as “independent” head of the inquiry. No mention of what scientists etc might be on the panel.
9th February . Consultations began on the Terms of reference for the Royal Commission. Weatherill touted nuclear power for climate change action, though he said it was not economically viable. The better options, he said were importing and storing radioactive wastes, and uranium enrichment.
16 February. Public comments on the Terms of reference close.
POLITICS. Premier Weatherill’s pro nuclear conversion sides him with Liberals, and against Labor’s national platform. National Labor leader Bill Shorten opposes the Royal commission proposal. But South Australian Labor Senators defy Labor policy. Former Labor P.M. Bob Hawke enthusiastically supports importing nuclear waste into Australia.
MEDIA. Adelaide media, and especially the Adelaide Advertiser are all for South Australia becoming the world’s nuclear waste dump, with uranium enrichment, and fast breeder nuclear reactors.The ABC – a conundrum. Reliable sources tell me that the 7.30 reporters interviewed Conservation Council members, but yet no item appeared on 7.30 report. Other national media silent about the Royal Commission. Is it being treated as just a South Australian State issue – not a national one?
BUSINESS. I could go on at length here. There’s for decades been a solid push of greedy businessmen in South Australia, wanting to turn that state into the world’ nuclear waste hub – the whole nuclear chain. I’ll just mention the latest delighted cry from Business S.A.
Lots more about all this . Scroll way down the right sidebar to Categories and click on South Australia
USA. Marshall Islands loses nuclear lawsuit against USA. Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel joins coalition for renewable energy, and against nuclear. India nuclear deal protects USA nuclear companies from legal action after accidents. Feb 28 – March 1 New York Symposium The Dynamics of Possible Nuclear Extinction.
UK. EDF’s financial problems delay decision on proposed new nuclear plant at Hinkley Point. UK government bullying Austria over UK subsidies to the nuclear industry? Continuing trial of 2 Russians accused of the 2006 radiation murder of Alexander Litvinenko.
UKRAINE. USA Sending more nuclear weapons to Europe is the wrong move
CANADA Indigenous Canadians Are Fighting the Uranium Mining Industry,
NAMIBIA. Radiation leakage fear from fire in Rossing uranium mine
EGYPT - Russia to help Egypt build ‘a whole new nuclear power industry’ –
By the time South Australia’s nuclear entrepreneurs get their greedy little paws on contracts for importing radioactive trash, it’s likely that extreme weather events will be more frequent and more extreme, making the transport of that trash mega dangerous
Global warming may be affecting jet stream, SMH, 13 Feb 15 February 13, 2015A winter of strange weather and turbulent transatlantic flights in the northern hemisphere has scientists asking: Has a predicted climate imbalance of the jet stream begun?
The Arctic is warming faster than other parts of the world, and scientists believe that is having a dramatic impact on the jet stream, which may be responsible for the unusual weather and stronger upper atmospheric winds of late.
n January 8, thousands of Britons were left without electricity in the aftermath of the most violent storms to hit the isles in more than a century. British Airways Flight 114 carried by strong winds journeyed from New York to London in a record five hours and 16 minutes.
Several jetliners flying from Europe to North America in recent weeks faced powerful headwinds, which forced them to make unscheduled mid-flight stops to refuel.
The jet stream – a narrow, variable band of westerly air currents miles above the Earth – is strongest in winter, when boundaries between hot tropical and cold polar air masses are most pronounced.
Currents can be even more turbulent at high altitudes flown in by jetliners some 10 kilometres above the Earth, where winds can reach 300 kilometres per hour.
Since 2012, researcher Jennifer Francis of Rutgers University in New Jersey has been trying to develop new scientific tools to study these “very messy” changes in the jet stream.
“Last winter and this winter the jet stream has been unusually strong,” she told the Royal Society of Britain last year, adding that scientists expect more of the same in coming years…..http://www.smh.com.au/environment/climate-change/global-warming-may-be-affecting-jet-stream-20150212-13dhtm.html
The USA and UK nuclear lobby has worked on gullible South Australians for decades – happily encouraging fame-seeking pretend environmentalists like Barry Brook and Ben Heard, as well as career academics like Stefan Simons and Pamela Sykes. Then there are the pack of straight out greedy business people.
But why did they pick South Australia?
Because South Australia already has the ignominious nuclear history of Maralinga, and the great white elephants of the uranium industry – Olympic Dam, Beverley, FourMile (with its military connections)
Panic is no doubt setting in – and there are plenty of Aussie politicians glad to get on the well-funded nuclear bandwagon.
Clean energy vs nuclear: the battle intensifies http://safeenergy.org/2015/02/06/clean-energy-vs-nuclear/ Michael Mariotte February 6, 2015
“…../The war on solar, which is real, is really a war over what kind of energy system we will have in the 21st century. Will it be the 21st century model we at GreenWorld and NIRS advocate, based on clean renewable energy, distributed generation and the rest?
Or will it be a continuation of the 20th century model of large baseload power plants, whether they be coal or nuclear? That’s the fundamental issue and how it is resolved may well determine the future of our planet….”
These are some of the people behind the push that got South Australia’s Premier Jay Weatherill to change his tune and open the door to the toxic nuclear chain in Australia. Note that I write “chain” – not “cycle”
Directors at SA Nuclear Energy Systems Pty Ltd – the list includes former Labor federal MP Bob Catley, Ian Kowalick, a former head of the Department of Premier and Cabinet during John Olsen’s Liberal Government and later an information technology consultant to the Rann Labor Government, and climate scientists Professor Stephen Lincoln and Professor Tom Wigley
The nuke lobby would have us believe in a cycle, whereby suddenly, by magic – radioactive trash is no long trash. It becomes a “valuable resource” – recycled into gee-whiz new (exiting only in blueprint) innocuous little nuclear reactors.
Apart from all the disecoomics, and health and environment aspects – the promised new reactors themselves create highly toxic radioactive wastes, and eventually themselves become highly toxic radioactive corpses.
I have just listened to Australia’s Prime Minister, Tony Abbott, delivering a lengthy, waffling and repetitive speech at the National Press Club luncheon. Not that this was a surprise, seeing that it represents a last ditch of a beleagured politician to convince sceptical journalists, and the public, that he is The Greatest. That was pretty much the theme – that and the previous labor government being responsible for all our ills.
No matter – as far as I’m concerned, everything that Tony Abbott says is pretty irrelevant to Australia’s present and future condition.
IN 2007 Australia had a Prime Minister who stated that climate change is “the great moral, environmental and economic challenge of our age”
I didn’t expect Abbott to mention Climate Change.
But what about our journalists? There they were – apparently aiming to trap Tony about his leadership position.
I would have liked some more questions about the government’s policies. And at least just one little question about Australia’s policy, or lack thereof, on Climate Change
My 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.
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
Notes on this weeks’s nuclear and climate news in Australia
Uranium. Things have gone rather quiet on this, though industry and government put up a bold front. RIO Tinto boasts about plans to sell uranium to India, and its subsidiary ERA downplays its poor record in 2014. ERA ‘s Ranger mine is closed, and even ERA is questioning the viability of the plan for a new underground mine – doing a “prefeasibility” study – not even a”feasibility” one. Much government hype about selling to India, but safety requirements are still not finalised .
Australia-India CEO forum set up, and Tony Abbott appoints Vanessa Guthrie, of uranium company Toro Energy, to head this. (they always give the difficult jobs to a woman)
Freedom of speech. Great timing since the Charlie Hebdo staff masscre – Tasmanian government wants new defamation law that will protect corporations from criticism.