In this week’s news I single out two significant themes – 1. the analysis of Senator Sean Edwards’ plan for importing nuclear wastes, and 2. the fact that big corporations are investing in renewable energy. Now, isn’t Australia’s Liberal Coalition government supposed to be on the side of business? Are they aware that Telstra and AGL Energy are not, in fact, tree-hugging hippies out to destroy Australia’s economy?
- Australia Institute Analyses Senator Sean Edwards’ Nuclear Plan For South Australia.
- Sean Edwards proposal for nuclear pot of gold – a myth, says South Australia’s Conservation Council.
- Even Adelaide newspaper aware of unrealism of Sen Edwards nuclear fantasy.
- Here’s how the Australia Institute demolishes the argument for importing nuclear waste, and for new nuclear (PRISM) technology.
- Environmental Defenders Office (SA) outlines critical issues in proposal for nuclear waste facility.
- Traditional Owners vow to fight nuclear proposals ahead of the Royal Commission’s draft report
- Greens ready for #NuclearCommissionSAust report “all about waste dumping”
South Australia – decision on nuclear expansion at end of 2016.
Hunt for site to dump LucasHeights radioactive trash. Friends of Omanama: A local community’s perspective on national nuclear waste storage. Senator Scott Ludlam backs 6 Australian communities opposing nuclear waste dump. Strong opposition to Hill End nuclear waste plan- petition
A big mistake to gut CSIRO climate change research.
They meant Environment Minister Greg Hunt won World’s Best Milliner (not Minister).
Renewable Energy & Energy Efficiency In bushfire season, Solar microgrids and batteries are safer than conventional grid.South Australia Riverland farmers get new crop – harvesting the sun. Clean Energy Finance Corporation funds Energy-efficient housing.
UN Panel Report finds in favour of Julian Assange
As usual, all seems to be quiet in this sleepy land of Oz. And yet, and yet – the nuclear lobby is manipulating away as usual, with THE AUSTRALIAN and South AUSTRALIA’s ADVERTISER as its mouthpieces. We are now being told yet again how essential it is to have a centralised nuclear waste dump – for medical reasons, of course. Not true, as Australia’s Medical Association for the Prevention of War reminds us. Australia could have cheaper, safer, non nuclear cyclotrons, at hospitals, to produce medical radioisotopes. No need for that Lucas Heights nuclear reactor.
There’s a Parliamentary Committee Inquiry into Lucas Heights Nuclear Waste Management Facilities.
Jolly Resources Minister Josh Frydenberg says radiation anxieties are based on myth.
South Australia. South Australian community in Kimba alarmed: nuclear waste site “at Minister’s discretion”. South Australia’s Port Augusta at the crossroads: clean renewable energy, or dirty nuclear? Port Augusta Council to consider DP Energy’s big solar/wind project. AUSTRALIAN NUCLEAR ASSOCIATION wants nuclear reactors on Spencer Gulf.
Continuing my reviews of Pro Nuclear Submissions to the Royal Commission: Australian Government Submission. That submission also recommends cyclotrons as a method to produce medical isotopes! Charles Waite’s Submission wants tax-payer to buy Small Modular Nuclear Reactors. Christopher Camarsh touts underwater nuclear reactors
New South Wales. Community opposition might stop Hill End nuclear waste dump plan : U-turn by MP John Cobb on nuclear policy
Western Australia. Endangered Marsupial Mole and more at Proposed Australia-Japan (Toro) Uranium Mine in Western Australia, Comment Deadline 8 Feb 2016.
ACT. Canberra’s Williamsdale Solar Farm approved
Victoria. Australia’s dirtiest coal-fired power station launches global campaign for 1,000GW of solar
Renewable energy an economic boon for Australia’s drought affected rural communities. Turnbull copying Abbott as destroyer of renewables, stripping Australian Renewable Energy Agency. AFL Footee Chief Gillon McLachlan a neanderthal anti-wind crusader
Port Augusta now has the opportunity to be part of Australia’s move into 21st Century clean energy. The DP Energy project for a renewable energy park with wind and solar is up for consideration and public consultation.
What’s the betting that the snake oil salesmen of the nuclear lobby will be exerting pressure against this exciting new venture.
Remember – renewable energy projects can be up and runnning with a year ot two. Compare that with nuclear power’s record of literally decades to have operational. And even that’s in countries where nuclear power plant is permitted by law – which is not the case in Australia.
Readers of this site may be aware that sevral Submissions to the South Australia Nuclear Fuel Chain Royal Commission have their sights set on Port Augusta. For example, the one on this page, from the Australian Nuclear Association – that persistent lobbyist and publicist for the nuclear industry.
The Nuclear Fuel Chain Royal Commission in full swing in South Australia , (though ignored in Australia at large), with its plan to import nuclear wastes.
It is timely to ask why foreign countries might want to send their radioactive trash here.
After all, the nuclear lobby keeps telling us that radioactive trash is a RESOURCE, not WASTES. So why wouldn’t other countries want to keep it, and get rich from new purportedly “waste eating” nuclear reactors?
An article from an American County is relevant to this discussion in Australia. As you read, you will get a whiff of the problem in USA.
Rocky road for nuclear waste bore hole study, http://bismarcktribune.com/news/state-and-regional/rocky-road-for-nuclear-waste-bore-hole-study/article_7698d465-0316-5031-83e9-bc727d3592b9.html By Lauren Donovan, A plan to explore deep ancient rock in Pierce County for its potential to store nuclear waste hit a bumpy road if not a rock wall in its first introduction to state officials Thursday.
The State Board of University and School Lands heard from the Energy and Environmental Research Center at Grand Forks that its team was awarded $35 million by the federal Department of Energy to drill 16,000 feet down into crystalline rock to learn whether the rock could suitably store spent nuclear fuels.
John Harju, project liaison, said the bore hole is for study purposes only, no waste would be stored there and that such storage isn’t even yet legal under federal rules.
Harju said the bore hole would be an opportunity to analyze rock core that’s rarely ever been looked at for minerals or geothermal properties. The chance to go that deep, into the oldest rock on the planet, “may never present itself again,” Harju said.
The issue was presented to the land board because EERC is proposing to drill on 20 acres of state-owned land about 15 miles south of Rugby.
Pierce County commissioners were at the meeting and said they were startled to read about the project before anyone from EERC even came to the county.
Commissioner Duane Johnston said, if the issue had come up at a local zoning meeting, “half the county would have been there to say no.” Commission chairman Dave Migler said it was tough to take calls from residents and not have much information to share. “It’d be nice to be in the loop,” he said.
While there was no formal application on the table, land board members didn’t hesitate to weigh in with worries that a federal project could become a federal mandate.
In the end, it was far from clear how the EERC would proceed with getting approval to use public land for the project in Pierce County, or perhaps anywhere in the state.
Afterward, Harju said he was a little surprised by his reception. “Plan B? We don’t have one. If the project is not able to proceed, the DOE will have to evaluate” alternatives, he said.
The five-year project was awarded to the Battelle Memorial Institute of Ohio, along with EERC and Schlumberger, a familiar drilling service company in the Bakken. The crystalline rock formation underlies much of the continent.
New South Wales. Hill End community remains resolute against radioactive waste plan.
Just a few of the pro nuclear Submissions to South Australia’s Nuclear Fuel Chain Royal Commission :
- Business South Australia wants nuclear waste import, is worried about public opinion.
- Australia should not be guinea pig for new nuclear reactors – Australia’s Chief Scientist.
- ASSOCIATION OF MINING AND EXPLORATION COMPANIES (AMEC) wants Pro Nuclear Public Education.
- George Bereznai‘s Submission to #NuclearCommissionSAust – religious faith in “new nukes”.
- Geoff Russell Submission to #NuclearCommissionSAust: convince public that radiation is OK.
Western Australia KARLALMYI WALK: 5th – 12th June 2016 anti uranium mining .
Why on earth have Australian governments, media, and corporate world been able to put it over the Australian public? I think that the mainstream media are especially to blame? Are they really that stupid? Are their jobs really on the line? So that they can just keep mum about what’s going on in South Australia, because it’s only a South Australian issue?
Only today The Ecologist has discussed the serious terrorism risk in transporting nuclear waste across the world. It is serious concern in UK, USA, in Japan – wherever nuclear waste is piling up.
Only in Australia it doesn’t matter, apparently. Doesn’t get a mention in the articles about what issues Australia faces in 2016. No mention of this very dubious Royal Commission in South Australia. No mention that the ALP will be reviewing its policy on nuclear power.
No other country in the world has considered a nuclear waste importing industry. USA and Japan tried it on Mongolia, receiving a strong and definitive knock-back.
Because of course – it matters only to South Australia?
“The Commission will then undertake a week-long public information program, visiting key regional South Australian cities and towns including Port Pirie, Port Augusta, Whyalla, Port Lincoln, Mt Gambier, Ceduna, Renmark and Aboriginal communities in the Far North and West Coast.
Commissioner Kevin Scarce said the release of the Tentative Findings would provide an opportunity to update progress and highlight how the community might comment on the report during a five week feedback period…..
“The Tentative Findings will be a document that reflects the Commission’s current thinking and the evidence behind it. The community then has five weeks to provide written comments on the findings and the evidence upon which it is based.
The Tentative Findings will be available to download from thewww.nuclearrc.sa.gov.au from 11am, February 15, 2016 or by contacting the office on 08 8207 1480. Feedback on the Tentative Findings can be provided to the Commission via its website, email or through traditional mail delivery. Details on this process will be on the NFCRC website soon.”
Royal Commission Public Meeting details:
* Monday, 15 February – Adelaide Town Hall (6pm)
* Tuesday, 16 February – Port Pirie Yacht Club (1pm), Port Augusta Institute Theatre (6pm), Ceduna Foreshore Hotel (6pm)
* Wednesday, 17 February – Whyalla Mt Laura Homestead (12.00pm), Port Lincoln Hotel (6.30pm), Coober Pedy United Club (6pm)
* Thursday, 18 February – Mt Gambier Main Complex (6.30pm) Renmark Hotel Galaxy Room (6pm)
* APY, Umuwa and Oak Valley community meetings are also being planned for February.
Mercifully short newslist today – I hope. I’ve been preoccupied with reading all the dreary pro nuclear Submissions to the South Australia Nuclear Fuel Chain Royal Commission. (You can read the Submissions here, or my potted versions here. )
Nearly all pro nuclear Submissions come from people with either obvious or vested interests in the nuclear industry, (in contrast to the variety of sources of anti nuclear Submissions)
Anyway, the Commission will announce its tentative findings on 15 February. These are their likely recommendations. The pro nuke lobby is beavering away, lobbying especially lobbying the ALP.
My favourite pro nuke Submissions come from Geoff Russell, who sent in two. I am indebted to the Twitter troll “Thomas Huxley” for recommending these as “essential reading” . Russell devotes his confusing jargon to rubbishing thee media, reputable authors, governments, because he knows, and ?proves it with confusing jargon, that ionising radiation is just nothing to worry about. Falling off a solar roof is the big public heath worry. Another Geoff, Geoff Hudson, wants the Commission to go for floating nuclear reactors at sea.
South Australian Cabinet gets two new pro nuclear enthusiasts.
Australian Nuclear science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO) not honest about cyclotrons.
The campaign against Oman Ama nuclear dump site is gaining momentum.
Mongolia secret [but failed] nuclear waste deal – a model for Australia?
Oh my God! Global Warming Is Affecting The TENNIS!
Well, there isn’t much, it would seem. And yet, and yet. I gaze into my magical witches globe, and what do I see? Why , it is Kevin Scarce, and the entire Australian nuclear lobby, feverishly spinning a web of confusion for the report, (due on 15th February) of the South Australian Nuclear Fuel Chain Royal Commission.
What they want, is want they wanted before the charade even started – Australia to decide to be the first country in the world to announce itself as the world’s nuclear toilet. But, more than that, it’s the underlying imperative to set up the entire nuclear fuel chain in this country. South Australian Premier Jay Weatherill no doubt thinks that this will save his political skin. We await what will be a tome, or should I say tomb? of doublespeak.
On February 15, Dr Helen Caldicott will be speaking in Adelaide on this issue, (prior to setting off for St Louis County, USA, where there continues to be a nuclear waste pollution and fire threat drama)
I plagiarise myself here – Five big nuclear issues for 2016 — and Australia’s role in them. In short the issues are:
- Nuclear Weapons. We can’t go on pretending that Australia is a disarmament hero when we continue to host America’s secret Pine Gap site, rely on the “nuclear umbrella”, and enthusiastically support USA’s every militaristic move – e.g by surveillance flights near China coast.
- Indigenous rights. This is such a big one. When is mainstream Australia going to wake up to the fact that we can’t just leave it to the Aborigines to resist the nuclear empire? Are we going to sit back and let the nuclear/mining industries take over heritage Aboriginal land – as in Western Australia right now.
- Renewable energy. The dinosaur energy industries, and especially nuclear, prevail on the Australian Government to stifle 21st Century renewables – and this, in the country that has the best potential for renewables, and the greatest likelihood of climate disasters. Are we going to stay an international climate pariah? And anyway, despite the government, it’s all happening in solar and wind here.
- Australia as the world’s nuclear waste dump. The shonky South Australian Nuclear Fuel Cycle Royal Commission has from the outset, aimed for Australia as the global nuclear toilet. The pretense that this is just a little South Australian State matter cannot go on. It’s a National matter, and our media is a disgrace for not having covered this throughout 2015. It will be an election issue, too, and Labor will be put on the spot.
- The propaganda war. Gotta restrain my rage here, but Australia, like the rest of the world, will be hearing plenty about how “nuclear fixes climate change” and how “radiation is not bad for you, after all”. That’ll be a test of our journalists – will they toe the corporate line? (Well we know that THE AUSTRALIAN will)
You wouldn’t think this, from the mainstream media coverage, but 2015 has been a successful year for the Australian nuclear-free movement, with Aboriginal led opposition to nuclear waste dump plans, the end to the Ranger uranium mine, and a lively anti-nuclear movement. In polling, 72% of Australians oppose this nation becoming the world’s radioactive trash dump.
The key nuclear issue for 2015 was radioactive trash. Australia is obligated to take back nuclear trash, reprocessed in France, UK and Argentina, but which originated at the Lucas Heights nuclear reactor in Sydney.
An intelligent visitor from Mars might wonder as to why Australia doesn’t just shut down that reactor, store that small amount of trash at Lucas Heights, and stop producing more, especially as a nuclear reactor is now not necessary for production of medical radioisotopes.
But hey – you’d have to explain to that Martian that Lucas Heights is the nuclear lobby’s foot in the door to Australia, and also that the lobby hopes to confuse Australians into accepting something entirely different – a global nuclear waste import business.
Hence the setting up of South Australia’s Nuclear Fuel Chain Royal Commission, an attempt to establish a waste-dump in South Australia. With breathtaking hypocrisy, this clearly biased Royal Commission pretends that this is just a South Australian matter. Australia’s government and truly pathetic mainstream media go along with this hypocrisy, so the question of Australia becoming the world’s nuclear toilet is just not even discussed across the nation.
The Australian government had already learned, to its cost, that Northern Territory indigenous landowners can defeat their plans for nuclear waste dumping on Aboriginal land. So the government was forced to set up an unwieldy system of inviting volunteers to host the nuclear waste that must be received back from France in 2016. So far,only non indigenous volunteers have been forthcoming, and these met with strong local opposition.
Despite continual funding cutbacks, the Australian Renewable Energy Agency is pushing ahead, and investing in projects which will change the face of Australia’s energy market — if the government allows it for any longer. Australia leads the world in home rooftop solar.
The Nuclear Fuel Chain Royal Commission might have bitten off more than it intended to. There were numerous powerful and well constructed Submissions to this Commission, opposing its nuclear waste dump plan. You can read some of these at the Submissions pages on my Antinuclear website.
Space does not here permit discussion of Australia’s rather embarrassing role at the December Paris climate talks.
McClatchy News Service’s Washington Bureau’s Rob Hotakainen, Lindsay Wise, Frank Matt and Samantha Ehlinger spent a year, over 100 interviews across USA, and analysing over 70 million records in a federal database obtained under the Freedom of Information Act. for this story: At least 33,480 American nuclear workers dead from radiation-caused illness
The Center For Public Integrity’s India’s nuclear industry pours its wastes into a river of death and disease, and also India’s repression of activists who protest about its poor safety record.
SOUTH AUSTRALIA NUCLEAR FUEL CHAIN ROYAL COMMISSION has gone very quiet, following its low key rural community propaganda meetings earlier this month. It’s getting ready to release findings in February. I note A couple of good Submissions. Aboriginal, environmental, public health groups produced a composite report on assessing the Commission:
The report raises serious concerns about the Royal Commission, from the unrepresentative and unbalanced composition of the Expert Advisory Committee, conflicts of interest, the Royal Commission’s unwillingness to correct factual errors, to a repeated pattern of pro-nuclear claims being uncritically accepted and promoted.
FEDERAL SEARCH FOR WASTE DUMP SITE for Lucas Heights’ returning nuclear wastes. Aboriginals near Alice Springs, and medical experts fight nuclear dump plan, but they’re up against complete stupidity! Even more stupid, the Shire of Leonora, Western Australia is enthusiastic for nuclear waste dump. Hill End community (NSW) not satisfied with MP John Cobb’s attitude to nuclear waste dump proposal. Lithgow, New South Wales, is very concerned about transport of radioactive trash.
WESTERN AUSTRALIA Yeelirrie uranium proposal poses genuine extinction threat.
CLIMATE CHANGE. Prime Minister Turnbull returns from Paris Summit with the same old Abbott fossil-fuel pleasing policies, but with an unnerving jollity “great optimism and faith in humanity’s genius”.
RENEWABLE ENERGY new wind farms to go ahead as Turnbull removes barrier to Clean Energy investment. Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) funding new solar technology to reduce solar costs. In Australian Capital Territory panasonic home battery trial launched.
CLIMATE CHANGE. Australia ranked way down the bottom for climate change action. Julie Bishop won ‘fossil of the day’ award for her coal-praising speech at Paris climate talks. Australia is at this stage refusing to join the ‘high ambition coalition’ of 100 nations wanting to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees C, to save our Pacific neighbours. Important contribution of Australia’s indigenous people at Paris Climate Summit.
SOUTH AUSTRALIA NUCLEAR FUEL CHAIN ROYAL COMMISSION quietly pressing on, with public hearings in Adelaide dominated by nuclear proponents. Commission blocks lessons learned from Maralinga.
Royal Commission chief Kevin Scarce has been making ?soothing comments about nuclear industry for Australia being a long term project, and understanding opposition to it “ “I think (the fear) is probably a mixture of seeing the impact of accidents and perhaps not understanding the technology,” (the good old argument – don’t worry – the technical experts know best) . At the same time, Scarce is clearly moving on to the next phase – that of getting Australia’s environmental legislation overturned.
While Scarce clearly has his sights on this National issue, and is discussing this with Australia’s pro nuclear Chief Scientist Alan Finkel, the propaganda spin goes on very quietly at the rural State level only, with “community information” sessions at Port Pirie Yacht club (3/12), at Port Lincoln and Whyalla this week.
The South Australian government has just granted an addition $3 million to the Royal Commission. Additional to how much already, we wonder? A super expensive exercise – submissions, months of hearings, and junkets around S Australia, and to Japan, France, South Korea, Canada etc for the predominantly pro nuclear Commission members.
Meanwhile a poll,finds that 72% of Australians oppose this nation becoming the world’s radioactive trash dump.
NUCLEAR WASTE Even Right wing Senators Madigan and Bill Heffernan angry about unsafety of nuclear waste ship bringing back reprocessed Lucas Heights spent nuclear fuel rods. Elaborate secret operation transports deadly nuclear wastes through Sydney. Search goes for national site for Lucas Heights nuclear reactor wastes though they pretend that it is for “medical” wastes. Local communities are not fooled, for example, as expressed at a meeting at Hill End (NSW).
RENEWABLE ENERGY. Sydney’s Lord Mayor Clover Moore in Paris: upbeat about city’s climate change action. Increasing popularity of community solar energy projects in Australia. Govt talks big on renewables ‘innovation’, but will close Australian Renewable Energy Agency. Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) funds CSIRO’s solar energy initiative.
How much has the South Australian tax-payer already spent on the Nuclear Fuel Chain Royal Commission? The public should be informed – how much are they paying Kevin Scarce and his overwhelmingly pro nuclear merry men for all their ‘hearings’ and ‘information sessions’ and junkets to rural Australa, and to Japan, France, Canada, South Korea etc?
Blind Freddy could tell that the purpose is now, and always has been , to set up an international nuclear waste importing business – aimed at enriching a very few South Australians – and bugger the costs to the State’s children their children their chilred and beyond.
A whole heap of blah has gone on about nuclear power stations – which, everybody knows, is not an option, due to their astronomic expense. Then Kevin Scarce presumably will look good when he rules that one out, and just goes for the waste dump.
Anyway, it’s about time we all knew how much this whole sorry farce is costing.
ABC News reported thuis week that an extra $3 million will be pumped into the Nuclear Fuel Chain Royal Commission
On the one hand, as Kevin Scarce has recently revealed, the first move for the nuclear lobby is to get rid of Australia’s national legislation against setting up a nuclear waste dump. (There is special legislation allowing only the Lucas Height reprocessed nuclear wastes to be deposited)
On the other hand, the Royal Commission is keeping a very low profile, nationally.
Do they think that rural South Australia is stupid? Quietly quietly, the Royal Commission is doing its propaganda bit in rural centres – at Port Pirie Yacht club (3/12), at Port Lincoln and Whyalla this week.
As this email flies through cyberspace, some community groups and unions prepare to protest at Port Kembla, NSW, the arrival of radioactive trash on its return trip to Lucas Heights. However, the dock workers union, the Maritime Union of Australia (MUA) , will unload the wastes, without incident, as they recognise Australia’s obligation to take back the Lucas Heights nuclear reactor wastes reprocessed in France. The MUA makes it clear that they will not co-operate in the event of other nuclear wastes that might be imported separately as part of an international nuclear waste industry as proposed by the South Australia Nuclear Fuel Chain Royal Commission.
In tandem with the global nuclear PR, one of Australia’s most long term and most hypocritical nuclear pusher delivered a volley of support for importing nuclear wastes, and a volley of attack on anti-nuclear critics. Gareth Evans, enjoying world-wide prestige for his involvement in Nuclear Disarmament, has always promoted “peaceful” nuclear power. At the South Australian Nuclear Fuel Chain Royal Commission he rejoiced at the plan to import nuclear wastes – Australia would “stand very tall in the international community”. He dismissed safety concerns as “emotional” .
Dr Margaret Beavis of Medical Association for Prevention of War explained that a national waste dump is NOT NEEDED for medical nuclear wastes.
Yet another delay in radioactive cleanup of Sydney’s Hunter’s Hill.
Malcolm Turnbull in Paris: the dinosaurs are still in charge of climate policy. Australian govt’s contribution to UN Climate Summit – pro coal video “Coal is Amazing”! United Nations call on Australia to produce a consistent climate policy, not ‘mixed messages’. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1vGW49gJE-Q Greens expose the Australian govt’s ‘paltry’ contribution on climate change. Australia refuses to sign Paris communique on phasing out fossil fuel subsidies . No new money for Pacific Islands climate help: Australian govt just taking it from foreign aid.