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):
Today we have two worrying developments.
1, In the beautiful State of South Australia, we have a greedy and ignorant push ready 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.
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.
Prime 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.
- Alan Moran (anti- wind anti-solar energy campaigner) to the review panel for the Renewable Energy target. Moran also keen to have a radioactive waste importing facility in Australia.
- Peter Cosgrove (miltary man and nuclear power enthusiast) for Governor General
- Tim Wilson (wants to weaken Racial Discrimination Act) as Freedom Commissioner
- Sophie Mirabella (former right wing Liberal MP) to submarine corporation ASC – at a time when nuclear submarines are advocated.
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!)
All very quiet on the nuclear/uranium front – except for renewed media efforts by the South Australian nuclear promotion nest, and nuclear enthusiasts from overseas to push the ever more wobbly nuclear barrow.
So I give myself license to wander off the point (?perhaps), in considering Queensland’s new and draconian anti-bikie laws. Well, we’re all supposed to hate bikies, aren’t we? So that’s OK? Similar laws might come in other States. This is how erosion of civil liberties proceeds – as Queenslanders should well know – those who remember the Joh Bjelke Petersen era.
Not so quiet on the climate front. In the face of extreme weather in Australia, and overseas, the Australian government is more firmly than ever wedded to serving its masters – fossil fuel corporations. Tony Abbott hides behind the extraordinary climate denialist statements of his top business advisor, Maurice Newman.
Small Modular (Nuclear) Reactors (SMRs) for Australia ? ( Notice how they leave out that unpopular word”Nuclear” ). The Liberal Coalition government put SMRs on their Christmas wish list, while mouthing pieties about “no plans for nuclear”.
However. SMRs exist only as (already expensive) blueprints. The USA government has just given only modest funding to a University-linked research group, for SMRs, instead of funding big coprporations Westinghouse/Ameren, as the nuclear lobby had expected. And SMRs are not all that they’re cracked up to be.
Uranium: At Ranger mine, the bursting of a leach tank spilled 1 million litres of highly acidic uranium slurry, and highlighted the dubious safety of this aging facility. Latest European research indicates that radioactive material gets dispersed through the filtration system more than previously thought. Thus the World Heritage Kakadu National Park could be endangered. Operations at Ranger are closed pending investigations.
Tony Abbott spruiks Olympic Dam uranium mine as job provider for the former Holden workers – BHP probably embarrassed, as they have recently rejected any expansion of the mine – due to the miserable market prospects.
Tony Abbott sure is good at destroying progressive agencies. Australians have been caught unawares at the speed and ruthlessness of this destruction. Starting with having no Minister for Science, then destruction of Climate Change Authority, of AusAid, and now the Immigration Health Advisory Group .
However, Tony’s getting a tad more subtle now – why shut down an agency when you can subvert it towards pushing your own agenda?
The first big step in this more subtle tactic was in appointing Warren Mundine (of the Australian Uranium Association) as Aboriginal Advisor.
And now, - Tony’s appointing Tim Wilson to the Human Rights Commission.
And what is Tim Wilson’s idea of “Human Rights”? Why – it’s the right to publish false science about climate. the right of tobacco companies to promote cigarettes to children, the right to say racist things about Aborigines and asylum seekers.
The Australian Human Rights Commission was getting pretty piss-weak anyway – with its latest decision against the rights of nuclear veterans. Tim Wilson should help Abbott to keep the focus off anything of real human value, – while favouring xenophobia and the tobacco companies.
Uranium. Toro Energy holds its AGM in Perth today. As other uranium companies cut back on spending, in some cases closing, and exploration ceasing this one company forges ahead with expansion plans. I wonder if their shareholders understand the true situation. Or even if their new CEO Vanessa Guthrie, understands what she’s been caught up in. Investment advisers are waking up to the poor outlook for uranium markets
Muckaty nuclear waste dump plan. Traditional owners are determined to fight this – now awaiting a meeting with Minister Ian Macfarlane. (Will he bother to meet them, or just give them the brush off in the style of notorious former Minister martin Ferguson?)
Wind Energy. While the Victorian government (inexplicably) clings to its anti wind legislation, The Victoria Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) approves the new Cherry Tree wind farm, near Seymour. VCAT accepted the findings of New South Wales and Victorian state health bodies, and federal departments that wind farms are not harmful to health. Meanwhile in South Australia the EPA study finds no evidence that wind farm noise is impacting residents
Climate Change: The Abbott government presses on doggedly in its course to demolish all effective action – now readying for the costly task of getting rid of the Clean Energy Finance Corporation, despite the CEFC’s success so far. Senator Xenophon points out that the government just hasn’t bothered to do any modelling at all on the relative costs of its “Direct Action” policy on carbon emissions
UV RADIATON. Yeah – I know it’s not ionising radiation, but it’s close – and it’s so important. This is scary stuff. Australia (with Egypt and Libya) has the world’s highest rate of UV radiation from te sun. Now they’re finding that the rare, and usually fatal, Merkel’s skin cancer is increasing, in Queensland – and now it’s thought to be caused by UV radiation.
Yesterday Australians of all ages gathered in their thousands to support government and public action for carbon pricing and renewable energy development. They want full funding the business-friendly Australian Renewable Energy Agency, (ARENA) and the Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) They want the Abbott government to act in concern for our children and grandchildren, not just in concern for the multinational corporations that pay for the Liberal – National Coalition’s campaigns.
In Melbourne there was an anti nuclear presence at the climate rally, and an obvious interest from people attending the rally. We must not forget that:
- Even a “limited” nuclear war would bring virtually instant climate change across the planet.
- With climate change, nuclear facilities become ever more dangerous – vulnerable to sea level rise, storm surges, floods, extreme heat, water shortages, earthquakes.
- The lying nuclear lobby has only recently discovered their latest spin – having previouslyignored or denied climate change, they now pose virtuously as the saviour – ”nuclear power is the solution to climate change”. (this is complete rubbish - even if nuclear power could be effective against climate change, it would require thousands of nuclear reactors to be set up – taking decades to achieve. There just isn’t time.)
This week the Murdoch Press further glorified nuclear power by publishing a rave review of the filmic nuclear advertisement “Pandora’s Promise”. They used the dishonest argument that “environmentalists really favour nuclear power but are afraid to speak out”. So they imply that there’s some sort of “environmental mafia”?
However – as to that filmic ad – there are indeed many reviews that show Pandora’s Propaganda up in its true light.
Robert Stone and “Pandora’s Promise”http://noelwauchope.wordpress.com/2013/10/09/robert-stone-and-pandoras-promise/
Beyond Nuclear: Pandora’s False Promises Download 38-page report here: http://charlottesierraclub.files.wordpress.com/2013/11/aug23_2013_pandoras-false-promises.pdf Pandora’s Promise, is a new pro-nuclear propaganda documentary released theatrically in the US in July 2013. It is funded in part by individuals with a vested interest in seeing the development of new reactors and is seemingly a vehicle by which to raise the profile of the anti-environmental Oakland think tank, The Breakthrough Institute, whose personnel feature prominently in the film. Despite the film’s premise and early claim that it features “a growing number of leading former anti-nuclear activists” who now support nuclear energy, no one in the film ever led the anti-nuclear movement. Nor was any credible, independent scientific or medical professional with expertise in the areas covered in the film consulted or featured. Beyond Nuclear has bird-dogged the film from the beginning, and has produced numerous critiques. We have also published a definitive report - Pandora’s False Promises: Busting the pro-nuclear propaganda - and a two-page synopsis. These documents address virtually all of the myths, lies and omissions typically found in pro-nuclear rhetoric and are intended to address these long after Pandora’s Promise fades into deserved oblivion.
Download the 2-page synopsis at: http://www.beyondnuclear.org/storage/pandoras-false-promises/Pandora_Two-Pager_Handout_July2013.pdf
Download 38-page report Pandora’s False Promises: Busting the pro-nuclear propaganda at:
Analysis: ‘Pandora’s Promise’ one-sided Anderson Cooper gets reaction to the CNN Films special “Pandora’s Promise” and talks with the director. http://edition.cnn.com/video/data/2.0/video/bestoftv/2013/11/08/ac-later-pandoras-promise-reaction-one-sided.cnn.html More commentary & film excerpts available here: http://edition.cnn.com/SPECIALS/world/cnn-films-pandoras-promise/index.html?iid=article_sidebar
Scientist: Film hypes the promise of advanced nuclear technology Editor’s note: Edwin Lyman, a physicist, is a senior scientist with the Union of Concerned Scientists in Washington. For more of his critique of Pandora’s Promise, see his blog post, ”Movie Review: Put Pandora’s Promise Back in the Box.” http://edition.cnn.com/2013/11/07/opinion/lyman-nuclear-pandora/index.html
Sierra Club: Nuclear power irrelevant The director of “Pandora’s Promise,” Robert Stone, debates the merits of nuclear power with The Sierra Club’s Mike Brune. http://edition.cnn.com/video/?/video/us/2013/11/07/newday-pandora-promise-brune-stone-nuclear-debate.cnn&video_referrer=http%3A%2F%2Fedition.cnn.com%2FSPECIALS%2Fworld%2Fcnn-films-pandoras-promise%2Findex.html%3Fiid%3Darticle_sidebar
Renewable Energy Generation Hits All Time Highs in Denmark and Germany .http://www.permaculture.co.uk/news/1511134008/renewable-energy-generation-hits-all-time-highs-denmark-and-germany
South African solar plant connects to the grid three months ahead of schedule, Renewable Energy Magazine, Robin Whitlock Friday, 15 November 2013 The 75MW Kalkbult solar plant will generate 135 million kilowatt hours per year and displace 115,000 tons of greenhouse gas emissions A solar plant built by Scatech Solar in cooperation with local partners has become the first utility-scale renewable energy facility to supply electricity to South African public utility Eskom after connecting to the country’s electricity grid three months ahead of schedule.
Mena solar energy market gears for growth Most of demand expected to originate from Turkey and Saudi Arabia Gulf news, By Sarah Diaa, Staff Reporter November 15, 2013 Dubai: With an expected combined output of 10 gigawatts by 2017, the Middle East and North Africa (Mena) solar energy sector is gearing for significant growth, experts said…… http://gulfnews.com/business/general/mena-solar-energy-market-gears-for-growth-1.1255473
Renewables get big boost as 50MW solar plant to be built Ghana Web 15 Nov 13 . http://www.ghanaweb.com/GhanaHomePage/NewsArchive/artikel.php?ID=292098
Senate motion; the indefatigable Senator Ludlam brings a motion (14 November) in Parliament to call on the government to assess the situation (removal of nuclear fuel rods from Unit 4) at Fukushima, and evaluate, advise the Senate on the risks and radioactive pollution of the Pacific Ocean.
Radioactive trash. Warning to Western Australia on chance of it being selected, if Muckaty nuclear waste dump plan falls through. WA is the only state with a dedicated low-level nuclear waste storage facility. The trash is not medical, as the government would have us believe, but wastes from the Lucas Heights nuclear reactor. (and perhaps the precursor to importing other countries’ radioactive trash)
Uranium. As USA’s nuclear power plants shut down, falling like ninepins, Australia’s uranium mines look like following the trend. The Ranger mine in the Northern territory is closed. Now the Honeymoon mine in South Australia is closing. Uranium explorers are getting nervous. Thundelarra sells its Hayes Creek uranium asset
Climate change: the Australian government snubbed the United Nations climate change talks in Warsaw, by for the first time in 16 years, not sending a Minister there. Meanwhile Tony Abbott talked with Alan Jones on radio, repeating misconceptions about wind energy, and renewable energy in general. Abbott begins the new Parliament with a determination to remove carbon pricing.
Australia refuses to join new UN Green Climate Fund that is set up to help poor countries deal with climate change. World Meteorological Association declares 2013 to be becoming the seventh hottest year on record, and singles out Australia as a country most affected.
Well, it’s amazing what terrific access the pro nuclear lobby has to Australia’s mainstream media. We hear little about the precarious situation at Fukushima nuclear plant, or about the deplorable economics of nuclear power as evidenced right now in the UK, or the European Union wanting mandatory disaster insurance for nuclear power plants. … But I digress.
What Australians do hear about is the call by Tom Wigley, of Adelaide University, for nuclear power as the solution to climate change. Wigley is a member of the pro nuclear lobby group – Breakthrough Institute. (They’re the people who brought you that glossy nuclear advertising film “Pandora’s Promise”) Wigley thinks that climate change is a severe problem (which puts him at odds with the prevailing public position of the Liberal Party) And NSW Liberal MP Jonathon O’Dea came out with the same pro nuclear argument.
I’d say that Wigley and O’Dea got in just a bit too soon. They really needed to wait until the Abbott government had demolished all effective action to combat climate change. Then, we will all be allowed to believe in climate change again, even the Liberals, as they need a reason to promote nuclear power.
But now – there’s John Howard, arising from the political dead, to: (a) pour scorn on the “alarmist” scientific consensus on global warming in a speech to a gathering of British climate sceptics, comparing those calling for action on climate change to religious zealots. And (b) promote nuclear power. – “as it becomes more economic to have nuclear power, we should entertain it.” (Howard thinks that nuclear will get cheaper!)
Media. The ABC did show Mark Willacy’s low key, but very touching video on people of Fukushima. Much more radical will be John Pilger’s new film “Utopia” - on Australia’s Aboriginal people - to be shown on Invasion Day - sorry, I mean Australia Day 26 January.
Other news – Paladin Energy in trouble, as usual – losses, never any dividends. Trans Pacific Partnership under secret negotiations with Abbott government. Anti wind farm group trying every strategy to delay feasibility study on wind farm for King Island.
True, all mining has problems, and in fact, all mining does release some radioactive particles into the environment.
However, that pales into insignificance compared with the health and environmental problems of uranium mining. The only other mining of exceptionally serious health danger - is asbestos mining, and that is now long banned in Australia. Uranium mining should be banned, too.
Uranium mining leaves a legacy of radioactive tailings, of radioactively polluted waterways – problems that last long long after the mining company has disappeared from the scene, and from the responsibility.
Uranium mining is also completely involved in teh dangerous nuclear industry, and in catastrophes such as the Fukushima nuclear accident. It is also an essential part of the nuclear weapons industry.
It is a backward step for Australians to accept the idea that uranium mining is a “normal” industry, to be merged and hidden within the general mining scene.
! AUSTRALIAN URANIUM ASSOCIATION TO BE INTEGRATED INTO MINERALS COUNCIL OF AUSTRALIA (FED)
7 Nov 13, National mining industry advocacy is to be further strengthened through the integration of the Australian Uranium Association (AUA) and the Minerals Council of Australia (MCA). The decision to integrate the two organisations has been taken by member companies of both organisations. The move will enhance the uranium sector’s advocacy, reinforce its position in the mining industry.
The Australian Liberal Party is soon to ‘discover” that human induced climate change is real. Well they have to, as the push for nuclear power in Australia heats up, and the Liberals will eventually have to come up with a reason for backing nuclear power, (other than just being sycophantic stooges for USA military industrial complex)
But I was quite surprised to find A new South Wales Liberal MP coming out with this position quite so early, as Jonathon O’Dea has.
Really – Australian Liberals should be a bit more careful about this. The official Liberal line is that we really do nothing much about climate change, because, well, it’s not a big deal at all, and certainly nothing to do with Australia’s weather extremes and bushfires. Mr Abbott and Mr Hunt have made this clear.
And secondly – it’s just not a great time to be advocating new nuclear power. Theoretically, Japan might be starting the most perilous exercise at Fukushima as soon as Friday 8th November. A nuclear fuel rods’ cooling pool sits precariously atop the damaged nuclear reactor No 4, with the building unsteadily sinking gradually into the ground. There have been 2 earthquakes in the neighbourhood only very recently. So those fuel rods gotta be removed ASAP, in an operation of unprecedented risk. One slip and the whole of Tokyo would need to be evacuated. It’s a dodgy time to be advocating nuclear power!