Australian news, and some related international items

The latest in Australian nuclear news

a-cat-CANClimate change. It is a worry that Australia’ s scientifically illiterate Prime Minister Tony Abbott has, for his chief business adviser, one of the country’s leading climate change denialists. Maurice Newman makes even Tony look well-informed. Sadly, Tony has surrounded himself with yes-men. Notably, Greg Hunt , Minister Against the Environment has really sold out.  Hunt did his PhD on climate change, but is now the strongest advocate for coal mining.

Maverick politician Clive Palmer calls Tony Abbott’s Direct Action policy – a “token gesture” and a waste of money, and he won’t vote for it.

Small Modular Nuclear Reactors (SMRs) Just as Westinghouse, Babcock & Wilcox, and top investor Warren Buffett pull the plug on this uneconomic project, nuclear lobbyists seem to be succeeding in getting the Australian government to move in this direction. The government would need to overturn existing law against nuclear power, and make a massive order for a heap of these little gimmicks, that nobody else will buy.

Uranium mining.  Now here is an Australian mystery. Uranium prices continually topple yet  all the business pages tout up what a good investment is uranium. It really does look more like some kind of religious faith, rather than any sound economic analysis.

  • Four Mile uranium mine The Australian pronounces The Sun Will Rise On  Uranium, but then proceeds to describe all the problems facing South Australia’s Four Mile uranium project – warning that this new mine will be “no earnings bonanza”.  Four Mile uranium mine is supposed to start production soon, despite a coming court case.  It is largely owned by USA’s General Atomics, nuclear weapons maker, and big lobbyist of Australian State and Federal politicians.
  • Ranger mine. No resolution about who will pay to rehabilitate the radioactive mess created in Kakadu National Park. ERA desperately trying to restore investor confidence in Ranger.
  • Paladin uranium company continues in its downward spiral, with declining production and falling revenue

Finally, despite all the glowing predictions for uranium investment, the energy analysts do tell it as it really is. Greg Peel of FN Arena  is ” becoming increasingly bearish on the outlook for uranium prices, and just to add to global oversupply. Australia’s Four Mile mine in South Australia… is expected to commence production”

Joint Strike Fighter jets $12 billion purchase. Not only the Greens, but  even a Liberal MP is against this. 



April 24, 2014 Posted by | Christina reviews | Leave a comment

Australian nuclear news this week

a-cat-CANAustralia’s comedy shows are getting poor audiences this week. Everyone’s focussed on New South Wales and federal politics. My thanks to tweeters “Barry walks the plonk” Che Shiraz Shiraz – whatever will be , will be”

Sorry – I digressed badly there.

Uranium Now we’re going to sell uranium to Saudi Arabia. Such a stable, democratic, Middle Eastern power – no worries about a Middle East nuclear arms race ?

Uranium mining at Ranger: Energy Resources of Australia (ERA) trying to pull a real swiftie. They say they won’t rehabilitate this polluting mine in Kakadu National Park, unless they get approval to start a new underground mine. Meanwhile the parent company Rio Tinto is not prepared to pay for the Ranger clean-up – saying it’s the responsibility of the loss-making ERA.   All bad news for the Mirrar people – they’re ing exploited again , as always, by the nuclear industry.

Australia’s participation in Hiroshima meeting on nuclear disarmament. We refuse to join the non nuclear nations movement towarsds banning nuclear weaposn. We mustn’t be “emotional” about nuclear bombing,, said our Foreign Minister Julie Bishop, in Hiroshima.

Politics . (No this is not about a bottle of wine. Stop it!)  The Australian Labor Party in its Not wisdom, is pushing to have mining, uranium mining too, in the radioactively polluted Woomera nuclear weapons test area.

The Liberal government’s response to the IPCC report on climate change?  The Anti Environment Minister, Greg Hunt, announced yesterday that Australia would promote coal and nuclear industries. Not renewable, not energy efficiency. Is it any wonder people are turning to the Greens?  Looks as if Liberal and Labor are now joined at the hip.

New South Wales. A nifty new solar project that should revolutionise remote area energy systems.

Victoria. I bet Greg Hunt wishes that those pesky Morwell people would just shut up, and look after their coal -caused asthma, emphysema, etc. They have started a campaign to keep the Renewable Energy Target.  And they want the government to put money that’s pledged for new brown coal projects into cleaning up Morwell after the Hazelwood coal fire.  Who do they think they are? (“Ohmigawd“, –  thinks the Napthine govt - “they’re voters!“)

April 18, 2014 Posted by | Christina reviews | Leave a comment

Australia’s disgraces – uranium mining in Kakadu, – now uranium sales to Middle East!

a-cat-CANThe Murdoch press, and all the business pages are jubilant : –  Australian uranium to be sold to the United Arab EmiratesAustralian Mining , 16 April 14  - “Australia’s uranium sector will receive a much needed boost with the United Arab Emirates signing a deal that will see it purchase yellow cake produced here. Trade Minister Andrew Robb met with UAE foreign minister Sheikh Abdullah in Abu Dhabi to sign …”

Has Australia no pride?  No understanding of the consequences of its pathetic drive to resurrect the flagging uranium industry. Will Australia go to any country to try and make a few bucks ?  We will sell uranium to India,- non signatory to the Nuclear Non Proliferation Treaty, to Russia, notorious for its poor monitoring of where uranium and its wastes go.

Now we’re supposed to rejoice that Australia might sell to United Arab Emirates –  never mind if that triggers off a Middle East nuclear arms race.


At the same time, the Australian government and Australian generally seem oblivious to the mess that uranium mining has made in Kakadu. I mean – it’s only home to traditional Aborigines,  an ecological paradise (or it was) a top Australian tourism attraction.  Having messeed it up environmentally, and messed up financially too, ERA plans to start a new uranium minng venture there – even though they’re too broke to clean up the mess.

April 16, 2014 Posted by | Christina reviews | Leave a comment

The Small Modular Nuclear Reactor project is looking sick

a-cat-CANWhile the BHP-funded Grattan Institute and a number of other “authoritative” bodies tout Small Modular Nuclear Reactors (SMRs) – powered by Thorium, for Australia, the bottom is falling out of the SMR project.  The big firms involved are pulling out. Westinghouse already has. Babcock and Wilcox will be next.

Lobbyists like the USA’s nuclear front group, the Breakthrough Institute, have worked successfully on Australia’s pro nukers to flog off these (so far non-existent) SMRs to Australia.  Note that they leave out the word “nuclear”, knowing that this word gives their project a bad smell.

However, – forget  the associated bad smells of terrorism targets, proliferation dangers, waste problems that go with these nasty little nuclear reactors.

The biggy is economics. They just don’t stack up economically.  (It’s such bad taste to mention this – but reneweable energy does stack up economically.  And when you’re talking about small decentralised power sources – well – solar and wind are obviously the go.)

SMRs Australia

April 15, 2014 Posted by | Christina reviews | Leave a comment

Australia’s Foreign Minister, Julie Bishop joins the ranks of the Nuclear Honorary Males

a-cat-CANWell, well, here am I always advocating that women should play a major role in matters nuclear.   But look out for the Nuclear Honorary Males.

Yes, women are occasionally let in to the pro nuclear system.  As long as  they are selected by the middle-aged white male corporatocracy.

For example:

  • Dixie Lee Ray, former chairwoman of the Atomic Energy Commission
  • Margaret Thatcher – pushed for nuclear power (yes, to address climate change) but mainly in order to crush the coal miners’ union. Fan of nuclear weapons
  • Anne Lauvergeon, former CEO of nuclear octopus AREVA

and we, in Australia, have  Julie Bishop. In Hiroshima  she dismissed the call of the non nuclear nations to work for  a ban on nuclear weapons

Ms Bishop says:
 ‘to ban the bomb’ may be emotionally appealing, but the reality is that disarmament cannot be imposed this way’
“the horrendous humanitarian consequences of nuclear weapons are precisely why deterrence has worked” 
Now we do know how silly it is for women, or men, to be emotional about the humanitarian consequences of atomic bombing. Don’t we?
Those Nuclear Honorary Males are not silly like that.

April 14, 2014 Posted by | Christina reviews | 2 Comments

This week in Australian nuclear news

a-cat-CANWestern Australian election.  It’ s interesting that despite a joint Liberal-Labor attempt, aided by the MSM (Main Stream Media)  to make the Greens and Scott Ludlam invisible, it didn’t work out that way.  On first preferences, a big swing to the Greens, and swings away from both Liberal and Labor.  Also a big swing to Clive Palmer’s Palmer United Party, (PUP) . The successful PUP candidate, Zhenya ‘Dio’ Wang had previously spoken in favour of keeping the Renewable Energy Target - ”the right scheme for maintaining and improving Australia’s environment”. However, Clive Palmer soon pulled Wang into line, though Clive did lose his cool in trying to explain the PUP’s true coal-promoting policy.

Climate change. Unfortunately, after preferences are sorted, the new Senate on July 1 will be amenable to Tony Abbott – the Government will be able to get its legislation through – undoing as much as possible all the legislation that meant taking action on climate change.  Abbott’s business adviser, Maurice Newman, and the head of the panel to review the Renewable Energy Target, Dick Warburton are dyed in the wool opponents of renewable energy. Dick Warburton is a fervent believer in nuclear power for Australia.

Still more or less under the radar, are moves to get the full nuclear cycle in Australia. This is pretty secretive stuff.  More about this later.

Nuclear submarines? The Liberal Party always keen for this –   nuclear submarines for South Australia  And, by chance?  Tony Abbott, in Japan,  has just been negotiating $40 billion expenditure on submarines and on joint research with Japan on submarine-related technology. Also joint military exercises with Japan (China wan’t like this)

April 10, 2014 Posted by | Christina reviews | Leave a comment

Why the Western Australian Senate election is critical to this nation’s survival

a-cat-CANThis website is dedicated to nuclear issues.frog boiling

So – what am I doing, worrying about a side-issue like the Senate election tomorrow?  And about climate change?   After all, that’s not an immediate worry  -  it’s  a gradual thing…..

Well – apologies to dedicated anti nuclear readers, but:

Climate Change IS an urgent matter.

The fossil funded Liberal Coalition government is out to use every delaying tactic, to see that no real action is taken, about global warming, and to, if they can, kill off the renewable energy industry, energy efficiency, and rail transport development.

Mavericks like Clive Palmer will join their onslaught. Other minor parties – who knows – but likely to be Liberal stooges.

Labor Party?   It’s getting harder and harder to distinguish them from the Liberals.

WHAT’s LEFT?   The chance that somebody in the Senate can put the brakes on Australia’s regressive government.  That somebody is SCOTT LUDLAM , along with other Greens.

Tomorrow’s election may make all then difference –   and how all the government and media stooges fear this!  (which makes it all that amazing that THE AUSTRALIAN newspaper came out today barracking for climate change action and renewable energy! )

NUCLEAR ISSUES - held over until tomorrow –  but be assured – Australia’s pack of pro-nuke shills are on the move!)

April 5, 2014 Posted by | Christina reviews | Leave a comment

Climate and Nuclear – but what’s the panic?


I’ve been humming Reg Livermore’s song all this morning ” I’m in the Dance Band on the Titanic”   Now why is that?  Oh, It’s ever since I learned of   Prime Minister Tony Abbott’ response to the IPCC’s report on Climate Change – Tony’s got no worries. ““Australia is a land of drought and flooding rains, always has been and always will be”.  

Is that not dandy?  And here were we stressing unnecessarily about yesterday’s The report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Those panic merchants say that climate change is already upon us, and will get worse. Especially here in Australia! Rubbish! (Excuse me while I yell to someone –  ”for god’s sake someone turn on the air-conditioning, it’s boiling hot here”)

Anyway – not to worry, because it’s the poor and disadvantaged in Australia, who will be hit most. (Not US – will we?)

And, another thought. There’s that enthusiastic push in Australia for the nuclear industry , including the claim that nuclear power will solve the climate change problem.  (That in itself is  a bit of a problem for them, with a government that doesn’t believe in climate change).

But no doubt Tony Abbott will change his mind about climate change, as soon as BHP and Rio tell him to.

Nuclear industry for Australia?  Sure, sez I,  why just stuff up our country partially with coal and gas, when we can stuff it up completely with nuclear.

However, nuclear will have zilch impact on climate change, for many reasons. but here’s  a couple:

  1. The time lapse until the 11,000 necessary nuclear plants are operating, will be many decades – by which time global warming will have run away with no hope of mitigation.
  2. The entire nuclear fuel cycle – uranium mining to reactor and waste burial – gives out heaps of carbon emissions. (The nuclear lobby just doesn’t count the dirty bits at the beginning and at the end.



Oh dear – in my patriotic delight that we in Australia are exempt from worrying about Climate and Nuclear, – I have left little space for those countries that are NOT Australia.

Well – the IPCC says that they are all going to cop Climate Change, too. (See youtube video)  And odd people like Barack Obama, David Cameron, Xi Jinping, and all the European leaders believe it.  Well, we in Oz never did trust foreigners, did we?

USA are going to spend over 1 $trillion making and minding their nuclear weapons until 2015

UK is paying private companies 7 billion pounds  to clean up old nuclear reactors.

Japan has a shocker of  a nuclear energy plan so full of dangers that it is a (bad)  April Fools Day joke.


Oh dear – in my patriotic delight that we in Australia are exempt from worrying about Climate and Nuclear, – I have left little space for those countries that are NOT Australia.

Well – the IPCC says that they are all going to cop Climate Change, too. (See youtube video)  And odd people like Barack Obama, David Cameron, Xi Jinping, and all the European leaders believe it.  Well, we in Oz never did trust foreigners, did we?

USA are going to spend over 1 $trillion making and minding their nuclear weapons until 2015

UK is paying private companies 7 billion pounds  to clean up old nuclear reactors.

Japan has a shocker of  a nuclear energy plan so full of dangers that it is a (bad)  April Fools Day joke.

Sorry – I gotta go and get some ice.  Summer in Australia is supposed to end in February?   Oh well….


April 1, 2014 Posted by | Christina reviews | Leave a comment

Don’t knock Earth Hour: it awakens people to Climate Change action

a-cat-CANWhy on Earth are supposed environmentalists knocking Anna Rose and Earth Hour?
We can’t all be fantastic activists and lobbyists.
We can’t all be in Canberra chucking rotten eggs at Abbott, much as I would like to do.
Earth Hour gives all of us a chance to do a little something. Added up – globally it represents quite an impressive gesture –  one that might awaken interest in people previously unaware, in the looming danger of climate change. And that interest might grow – add to a groundswell of public movement for action.

March 29, 2014 Posted by | Christina reviews | Leave a comment

How Australia is being conned by the nuclear industry

nuke-spruikersSmChristina Macpherson 26 March 14, When are we going to wake up to the pro nuclear propaganda insidiously pervading our media and government?

THE AUSTRALIAN newspaper’s headline “Australia can take lead role to brighter safer nuclear future” (24/3/14) I was spared the details, as I do not pay up to read this nuclear/fossil fuel industry’s advertising  brochure.


Bodies with vested, and not so vested interests are pushing away -especially with submissions for the Energy White Paper to come out in a few months.

The mainstream media would have us to believe that there’s a mad global rush for nuclear power, and that  it’s not only our ethical duty to import the world’s radioactive trash, – but also –  Oh My God – if we don’t import the world’s trash – why we might impede the global development of this wonderful nuclear industry!

Deloitte Access Economics analyst Chris Richardson   says in today’s Financial Review “A focus on selling nuclear waste “storage” to global customers would  remove one of the biggest barriers to nuclear power around the world.”  

Bewdy, sez I – Let’s keep that barrier up.

But more amusing to me is the constant propaganda for thorium nuclear reactors. Apart from ads “Thorium Replaces Uranium” – there are pro thorium tweeters saying “Thorium means the death of uranium”

Now how does that affect Australia’s much vaunted uranium industry? Oblivious to this Thorium push – we get headlines like this today from the Whyalla newspaper - ‘Uranium SA confident of future’

I have yet to see mainstream media in Australia cover things like:

  • USA’s radioactive trash crisis
  • UK’s nuclear costs crisis
  • And – well,it’s bad taste to mention this now – Japan’s Fukushima crisis

March 25, 2014 Posted by | Christina reviews | Leave a comment

Wake up Australia – to the machinations of the Thorium Nuclear Lobby!

a-cat-CANAUSTRALIA – Wake up!!

Completely under the radar, unknown to mainstream media, nuclear lobby machinations are going on, especially in Victoria and South Australia.

On March 15th, South Australians will elect a Liberal government, and that will hasten the lobby’s plans for a nuclear power ‘hub’ in that state. Long promoted by Prof Barry Brook, Alexander Downer Prof Stefan Simons (BHP funded)  and others, the nuclear push gets an extra kick from  drive to get nuclear submarines. At present Australia’s Defence Minister is in Scotland, researching construction of nuclear submarines.

This will involve South Australia becoming part of USA’s nuclear war machine (i.e. yet another Australian target). It will be pitched to us as both necessary for Australia’s defence, and necessary to replace jobs lost when Holden shut down. And, if they can pull this off – it will be the prelude to South Australia hosting the full nuclear cycle, and importing foreign radioactive wastes.

Now to Victoria.  Under the guise of coal seam gas search Ignite Energy Resources’s very media-shy executive director, Dr John White is closely involved in nuclear lobbying.

The Nuclear Activities (Prohibitions) Act 1983, effectively prohibits the exploration and mining of thorium and uranium in Victoria.   Sandi Keane of Independent Australia has revealed the interest being taken by the thorium nuclear lobby, and the Victorian government  in leases where thorium exists, and in the potential for using it to power nuclear  reactors.

Not to be forgotten - the Northern Territory, where traditional Aboriginal landowners continue to fight the draconian  National Radioactive Waste Management Act (NRWMA)

March 14, 2014 Posted by | Christina reviews | Leave a comment

How pro nuclear trolls, (especially pro thorium) operate on the Internet

a-cat-CAN An article below page describes the campaign by Western intelligence agencies to discredit and disgrace critics.

I don’t for a moment think that I am so significant as to be one of their targets. However, I am a target of the pro nuclear lobby, particularly the proponents of Thorium nuclear reactors – Liquid Fluoride Thorium Reactors, (LFTRs)  and Small Modular Nuclear Reactors (SMR.s).

I don’t think that these guys can be Australians, because on the whole, Australian don’t go for extreme language and “over the top” accusations. They’re more likely to laugh about this, (as I do)

So I reckon that my attackers are Americans.  Here are just a few samples of what these guys say about me on Twitter, (where my name is ChristinaMac1):

logo-twitterBrendan @totterdell91   @ChristinaMac1 is “a despicable manipulative evil grub” #thorium
Brendan @totterdell91 #thorium just how further will your anti nuclear theatre & fetishism corrupt you @ChristinaMac1 ?
Brendan@totterdell91  Personally I believe your anti nuclear phobias have made you into a bitter twisted & seriously evil, duplicitous individual @ChristinaMac1
Brendan @totterdell91 so aside from promoting outright lies & political bastardry @ChristinaMac1 what other lunacy are you selling
John Randall@thjr19 You don’t give a rat’s rear-end about anybody’s future @ChristinaMac1, all you see is your tiny bigoted little world. Put up or shut up.
John Randall @thjr19 @ChristinaMac1 . Are you really so stupid? Go away. Go play in your little sandbox.

John Randall @thjr19 Be warned that @ChristinaMac1 has conceded that she is a paid shill for the FFI. @susila55 Avoid this tainted source of (mis)information.
This would just be funny – except that these same people also put out seemingly scientific and authoritative  messages praising new nuclear technology.  They do this consistently, raising the question as to whether they in fact work for the nuclear industry, and use this “two pronged” approach to promote it.


February 28, 2014 Posted by | Christina reviews | Leave a comment

Yesterday I Wrote Too Soon About Australia and Nuclear Power

a-cat-CANYesterday I wrote that ” the nuclear push goes on in media silence.” How wrong I was!

Today we have two worrying developments.

1, In the beautiful State of South Australia, we have a  greedy and ignorant push Howes,-Paul-upwardready to poison the land with the full development of the nuclear fuel cycle, aligned with USA nuclear military development.

2. Paul Howes, union heavy, comes out in support of Tony Abbott! It’s all about workers conditions etc. But let’s not forget. Along those other career minded people – Aboriginal Warren Mundine, and soon to be Governor General, Peter Cosgrove –  Paul Howes is right behind the nuclear lobby’s push into Australia.

February 6, 2014 Posted by | Christina reviews | 3 Comments

The past week in Australian nuclear news

a-cat-CANNuclear.  Apart from one nuclear marketing pitch, today in THE AUSTRALIAN, from the veteran Australian nuclear physicist Leslie Kemeny, the nuclear push goes on in media silence.

As the Antinuclear and nuclear-news theme for February are all about WORDS, Kemeny’s article is likely to be a fine example of the best nuclear spin words in  the business (I can’t read it- subscribers only)  - ( Leslie Kemeny: More power to our nuclear renaissance “….THE arguments against uranium as a clean energy are political, not environmental. For far too long our Canberra decision-makers have been guided on the science and technology of clean energy policy by special interest group pressures, political spin and green pseudo-science. ..”)

Uranium Toro Energy’s Western Australia uranium project’s costs blow out, amid ever dwindling uranium prices. Meanwhilesubmissions about this project are due by Feb 14.  Yet again, Energy Resources of Australia (ERA) lost money, and uranium production, in 2013, and uranium processing remains closed following radioactive spills.


February 5, 2014 Posted by | Christina reviews | Leave a comment

Nuclear and Climate News this week in Australia

a-cat-CANPrime Minister Abbott has done several worrying things this week. As I wrote this, I watched  Liberal Cabinet member Malcolm Turnbull on ABC television adroitly parrying Leigh Sales’ questioning about the ABC.  As well he might, as his boss, Abbott has launched an attack on the ABC, and in particular, on its coverage of climate change.

Abbott is setting up an inquiry into the health impacts of wind energy. Presumably he does not trust several Australian inquiries , nor the  19 reviews overseas, that found no health impacts.

Abbott’s appointments:

New South Wales government – toeing the Abbott line on climate change, instructs coastal Councils to ignore “doomsday” UN scenarios of global sea-level rises

Also New South Wales -construction of Australia’s largest solar PV plant – to be operational by June 2015. (Imagine any nuclear plant going up that fast!)

February 1, 2014 Posted by | Christina reviews | Leave a comment


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