Australian news, and some related international items

Wrap up of the week’s nuclear and climate news – Australia

a-cat-CANAll appears to have gone quiet, on nuclear matters. This is not really the case. Nuclear lobbyists continue to work quietly on the very receptive Australian government, and the South Australian Nuclear Fuel Chain Commission  (RC)  publishes their submissions, except, of course, for those that are “commercially sensitive”.

I’d love to know if the Canadian company SNC Lavalin put one in. They make the CANDU nuclear reactor – the one that the Commission was so interested in when it visited Toronto on July 14th. The same company that’s responsible for Canada’s top position in  World Bank’s most corrupt countries.

To be fair, the RC is also publishing many fine submissions that are written for the public good, as well as all those from vested interests. You can read significant sections of some these at  Submissions to Royal Commission. (I can’t quite keep up with all, at the moment)

On the media front there’s Dr Derek Muller, known for his Youtube shows that confuse and minimise the risks of ionising radiation, with bananas as examples. . The SBS documentary “Uranium – Twisting the Dragon’s Tail” was superbly produced and very entertaining. The first two episodes were terrific. Episode 3 moved into shill territory, and became a sophisticated plug for the nuclear industry.

How badly we need science writers who are motivated by concern for the public good, rather than for the benefit of corporations with deep pockets for employing media!

Lucas Heights (terrorism target) gets security upgrades.  BHP wants to remove Federal and State laws on uranium mining.  Radioactive Waste: Information for communities.

CLIMATE CHANGEAustralia’s bushfire and flood danger, as climate change accelerates. Canning voters are urged to reject Liberals’ war on solar energy.  Citigroup analysis finds that renewable energy IS cheaper than fossil fuel energy. Climate expert Connie Hedegaard in Australia to discuss Paris talks. Uterne 4.1MW solar expansion complete, ready to power Alice Springs.

August 28, 2015 Posted by | Christina reviews | Leave a comment

Latest Australian nuclear news

a-cat-CANSOUTH AUSTRALIA. Let’s not forget that the purpose of the Nuclear Fuel Chain Royal Commission is to have South Australia become the world’s nuclear toilet. For that reason, the most important submissions are those concerning Issues Paper 4 – Management, Storage and Disposal of Wastes.

Many submissions newly  published. I’m not able to keep up. I single out an outstanding, powerful submission from Josephite SA Reconciliation Circle.   A top Submission on Nuclear Waste Importing for South Australia comes from NGOPPON TOGETHER INCAnd there’s Claire Catt’s fine Submission.

South Australian government warned on the illegality of using public money to encourage nuclear industry.

Ambivalence in Port Adelaide Enfield Council about trucking radioactive trash. Nuclear stooge MP Rowan Ramsey touting radioactive trash dump for his electorate.

FEDERAL POLITICS.  Family First  (!!) Senator Bob Day not able to dismantle Australia’s law against establishing nuclear facilities . He tried. Abbott’s plan to change environmental law puts Great Barrier Reef at risk.  Farm organisations angry at Abbott plan to restrict legal action against resource projects. Very little use made of “third-party appeal rights” in Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act.

ABORIGINAL ISSUES. A beautiful article by Jeff McMullen on Aboriginal custodianship of Australia

RENEWABLE ENERGY . Huge solar panel array for Canberra Hospital’s roof.  Sunshine Coast solar farm to start building before Christmas. Australian.  Victorian government to back new wind farms as part of renewables plan  Electric Vehicle Association launched in Tasmania.



August 21, 2015 Posted by | Christina reviews | Leave a comment

Australian nuclear and climate news in brief

a-cat-CANTHE NUCLEAR PR WAR intensifies.  The South Australian Nuclear Fuel Chain Royal Commission is now publishing submissions. Rather selectively.  Issues Paper 4  –  Management, Storage and Disposal of Waste is the most important topic, because the whole aim of the nuclear lobby and its shonky Commission is to get South Australia to take in the world’s radioactive trash.

On this trash topic, they’ve now published 44 submissions. No surprise that they didn’t manage to put in Dr Helen Caldicott’s one (or even my humble effort under real name Noel Christina Wauchope)

But they did manage to publish 29 pro nuclear ones. With one exception ( the Australian Workers Union), all of these come from industries, associations, and individuals who would benefit commercially or career-wise from the nuclear industry.

ABC Radio National came to the pro nuclear party, with Philip Adams hosting two nuclear propagandists.  SBS TV is to an extent coming to the same party, hosting a confusing programme about uranium. For just one thing, that programme buys the nuke lobby’s false story about bananas being equal to nuclear fission in their effects on the human body.

No time just now to do credit to the fine submissions from Australian organisations and individuals. But I cannot resist mentioning a splendid little piece from Brett Bernard Stokes. Brett lightens things up – even though what he says is true, anyway.

CLIMATE CHANGE. Many Australians, and international observers are dismayed, and shocked, at the Abbott government’s deliberately pathetic greenhouse gas emissions target. A UN climate expert warns that Australia will have to improve on this. But Abbott has no intention of meeting even his emissions target.

Surprise surprise! Australian women are more concerned about climate change, and more anti nuclear, than Australian men are.

ABORIGINAL ISSUES: Winda-Mara – Aboriginal success stories that we just don’t hear about.

RENEWABLE ENERGY. Electricity companies offer solar, battery, technologies for lease.


August 14, 2015 Posted by | Christina reviews | Leave a comment

Remembrance of Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombing, and this week’s Australian nuclear news

This week is marked by Hiroshima commemorations around Australia -news reports from  Canberra , Lismore, Newcastle  are already online. Some splendid writing by the Mirrar people of Northern territory , and by Prof Tilman Ruff, and Dr Sue Wareham  on the atomic bombing, and on moves to ban nuclear weapons.

CLIMATE CHANGE This month I am concentrating on the damage that climate change is doing to uranium and nuclear facilities. I was prompted to this by hearing of the disastrous wildfires in the Northern Hemisphere, that threaten the nuclear industries. Australia’s turn will come – what insanity to plan for the nuclear industry in Australia’s summer climate conditions! Climate change makes nuclear power unviable and unsafe for Australia.

Australian Youth Climate Coalition calls for NO Bjorn Lomborg Climate Centre at Flinders University,   What’s Australia’s water security under future climate? Olympic Dam Uranium mine- Australia’s largest water guzzler – it’s criminal in a dry climate.

SOUTH AUSTRALIA  South Australia Nuclear Royal Commission – outcome is already decided?   A #NuclearCommissionSAust for the nuclear industry, not for the people of South Australia. Tom Kenyon MP revealed as the man who sold the radioactive trash idea to South Australia Short term greed overtakes long term prospects in South Australia’s push for nuclear waste importing.

 All the submissions to the Royal Commission that have been uploaded so far can be found by clicking on the four pictures on the following page:

Two good submissions to the Royal Commission on Issues Paper 4:

As Alinta coal mine to close, opportunity opens for solar thermal plant. South Australia’s new wind farm creating 250 construction jobs.

Uranium mining executives still profess their faith, despite the gloomy situation for the nuclear industry. In reality, uranium mining is being phased out.  Uranium miner ERA losses slump, yet again.

Wind inquiry: Australia’s pro-nuclear Senate trio downgrades nation’s peak medical research body. The Senate wind farm inquiry report designed to kill the industry. Senate inquiry into wind power a ‘stitch up’.

Renewable energy Largest coal mining union backs Labor’s Renewable Energy Target. Australian Renewable Energy Agency helps kick off Queensland’s ‘Virtual solar plant’.  Energy storage is revolutionising electricity – especially in off-grid solar


August 7, 2015 Posted by | Christina reviews | Leave a comment

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 | 1 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


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