While Australia went into somewhat of a frenzy about ANZAC Day, over 100 nations were sending official delegations, and Japan, Mexico, Norway, Canada and other nations sending representatives of their non-governmental peace movements to the Nuclear Non Proliferation Review Conference in New York City, beginning April 27
On April 24 and 25, 800 of these representatives gathered at a Peace and Planet Conference at Cooper Union in Lower Manhattan to explore how to press their governments more effectively for nuclear disarmament. On the 26th there will a march and rally at the UN to encourage the official delegations to work diligently for true nuclear disarmament.
Is Australia sending any official delegation to the conference? If so, it’s a well kept secret.
I wonder what the old ANZAC soldiers would think about all this. They might be pleased to be remembered – but perhaps a bit cynical about Australia apparently ignoring the global effort to prevent nuclear war.
ANZAC Day It’s a pity that this 100 year commemoration of the soldiers of Gallipoli has turned out to be, in some areas, more of a party, and an opportunity for jingoism. Still, I visited a small country library, and was impressed with the tasteful and respectful way that the community had acknowledged this day. So I think that for most people, respect, and the desire for a peaceful world, are uppermost in their thoughts . I felt a bit sorry for Woolworths – they got into trouble for commercialising ANZAC Day – when heaps of others were doing the same – and all had been encouraged by the government.
Amongst all the ANZAC fuss, a small exhibition in Melbourne and online should not be missed. FIRST WORLD WAR WOMEN working for peace 1914 – 1919. Primary sources remind us of the strength and influence of the anti war movement 100 years ago.
South Australia’s Nuclear Royal Commission. Quite a secretive affair really. We don’t know who are the Commissioners, except for their pro nuclear chief Kevin Scarce. Only one (very narrowly defined) Issues Paper is available, yet Scarce (and we don’t know who else) are visiting country towns for “informed discussion”. Only 35 people turned up at Mt Gambier. The S.A. govt is keeping it as a State matter, (not National). But when it comes to advice and help – well, that’s coming Internationally, from Canada’s corrupt nuclear industry, and the very troubled EPR nuclear technology of France’s near-bankrupt nuclear industry.
Climate. Tony Abbott – having gone allout to shut down reputable climate science, offered University of Western Australia funding for a climate think-tank – headed by Bjorn Lomborg, who advocates no action on climate change. The international nuclear lobby was delighted – they see nuclear taking over – much later, from coal. Australia’s crumbling international reputation – questions on climate policy
Uranium. Rio Tinto and ERA passing the buck to each other on who pays for Ranger uranium clean-up
Aboriginal issues. Australia breaches international law in evicting remote Aboriginal communities
Solar power. In Nyngan in New South Wales Australia’s largest solar project is completed.
South Australia’s Nuclear Royal Commission. It’s gone pretty quiet, but South Australian Treasurer Tom Koutsantonis has been spruiking nuclear expansion at a resources conference. Publicity promotes Australia as becoming the Saudi Arabia of Nuclear Power
Nuclear promoters quietly lobbying Labor politicians, claim that they have the backing of Labor leader Bill Shorten.They are planning to follow the tactics of USA anti-climate lobbyists – taking their attack to the States. Although the nuclear industry is a Federal issue, and they need to overturn National laws – the idea is to get the States onside first. Keep up with developments at http://antinuclear.net/nuclear-royal-commission/
Social media. I’m hoping that some people will join me in monitoring Twitter. (I’m quite chuffed at the attacks on me – I tweet as @ChristinaMac1 – shows that my tweets are having an impact. ) The Australian pro nuclear lobby tweets with the hashtag #SANuclearRC. So far that’s just a few shills retweeting old propaganda to each other – nothing new or really relevant.
Former estate agent Senator Sean Edwards has gone out on a political limb, spruiking for the Australian nuclear lobby. He got national media coverage, but Dr Helen Caldicott got the brushoff, from Murdoch media (surprise surprise)
Queensland Senator Matthew Canavan wants no tax deductability for environment groups
We must keep an eye on the South Australian machinations towards that State becoming the world’s nuclear hub and waste dump. For that reason I’ve put this new page up on this website – http://antinuclear.net/nuclear-royal-commission/ – it will be regularly updated.
April 6th 2015 South Australia’s Nuclear Royal Commission is due to report its Recommendations by 6 May 2016
Things have gone very quiet now, since the initial announcement about this Nuclear Fuel Chain Royal Commission on 8th February 2015.
So – what is going on now, about this? Well, we don’t know.
We don’t know:
– who will be on the Royal Commission panel, (except for pro nuke leader Kevin Scarce) and who will be their “expert” witnesses
– when submissions from the public will be invited
– what will be the closing date for submissions
We do know – that there’s a format for submissions,http://nuclearrc.sa.gov.au/files/submissions-guideline.pdf and that those submissions must relate to the Terms of Reference, and presumably nothing outside of that.
What we can expect.
I’m betting on a fairly long period of media silence. During that time, the nuclear lobby will be organising all its well paid industry writers to produce detailed, highly technical arguments in submissions for bringing the whole nuclear fuel chain to South Australia.
I’m expecting that the great unwashed – that’s you and I – will be supposed to be intimidated by the legalistic format for submissions. Meanwhile Australia’s mostly ignorant and mostly subservient mainstream media will – in the fullness of time – trot out all the necessary simplistic pro nuclear dribble provided by the nuclear lobby.
SO – watch this space – watch this page – for regular updates on the progress of South Australia’s Nuclear Fuel Chain Commission. AND – you can sign up to get their emails – from http://nuclearrc.sa.gov.au/ – click on “Keep me informed”
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….”