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….”
These are some of the people behind the push that got South Australia’s Premier Jay Weatherill to change his tune and open the door to the toxic nuclear chain in Australia. Note that I write “chain” – not “cycle”
Directors at SA Nuclear Energy Systems Pty Ltd – the list includes former Labor federal MP Bob Catley, Ian Kowalick, a former head of the Department of Premier and Cabinet during John Olsen’s Liberal Government and later an information technology consultant to the Rann Labor Government, and climate scientists Professor Stephen Lincoln and Professor Tom Wigley
The nuke lobby would have us believe in a cycle, whereby suddenly, by magic – radioactive trash is no long trash. It becomes a “valuable resource” – recycled into gee-whiz new (exiting only in blueprint) innocuous little nuclear reactors.
Apart from all the disecoomics, and health and environment aspects – the promised new reactors themselves create highly toxic radioactive wastes, and eventually themselves become highly toxic radioactive corpses.
I have just listened to Australia’s Prime Minister, Tony Abbott, delivering a lengthy, waffling and repetitive speech at the National Press Club luncheon. Not that this was a surprise, seeing that it represents a last ditch of a beleagured politician to convince sceptical journalists, and the public, that he is The Greatest. That was pretty much the theme – that and the previous labor government being responsible for all our ills.
No matter – as far as I’m concerned, everything that Tony Abbott says is pretty irrelevant to Australia’s present and future condition.
IN 2007 Australia had a Prime Minister who stated that climate change is “the great moral, environmental and economic challenge of our age”
I didn’t expect Abbott to mention Climate Change.
But what about our journalists? There they were – apparently aiming to trap Tony about his leadership position.
I would have liked some more questions about the government’s policies. And at least just one little question about Australia’s policy, or lack thereof, on Climate Change
My website http://www.nuclear -news was shut down for 24 hours – very cleverly hacked, by I don’t know whom. Could it be that this modest little website is annoying the nuclear industry? I feel quite honoured.
Tony Abbott ignores the chance to benefit Australia by using the low 10-year bond rates
Climate change: The Global Catholic Climate Movement launched in Australia Quakers remove funds from 4 major banks – cannot fund uranium, nuclear weapons, coal. Despite overwhelming evidence, Australia’s government in denial about climate change . Liberal Party kids at Uni dutifully toe the Party line on fossil fuels
Uranium price rally was short-lived Lowest production for 16 years. Cameco admits that sagging uranium prices continue to be a problem. Investors are wary, as Australian miner Paladin sells uranium at way below cost of producing it
Aboriginal issues For the convenience of uranium mining, Aborigines are moved off remote homelands
Australia on USA nuclear bandwagon, to sell uranium to India, but technical problems remain
Renewable energy. Billions of dollars and associated jobs in the renewable energy sector are being lost due to Abbott government . Australian government snubs International Renewable Energy Agency congress. Australia: globally top potential for renewable energy, bottom chance in market
Still Australia has achieved quite a lot in 2014, despite the Abbott government’s war against renewables. Rooftop solar is becoming cost competitive with fossil fuel powered electricity. Clean Energy Finance Corporation is proving very successful in its 40 direct investments and 25 projects co-financed . International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) reports that Australia’s solar PV highly competitive
Queensland. Labor promises to promote solar energy, if elected. Queensland Deputy Premier Jeff Seeney dismissed climate change as “a semi-religious belief”. McKinlay Shire plans solar panels for business and Council buildings
Victorian health report supports wind farms
NSW. Gunnedah Shire Council takes the solar power plunge
Western Australian Government’s plan to extinguish native title & land rights in one hit
Tasmanian government moves to restrict citizen’s power to criticise corporations
Notes on this weeks’s nuclear and climate news in Australia
Uranium. Things have gone rather quiet on this, though industry and government put up a bold front. RIO Tinto boasts about plans to sell uranium to India, and its subsidiary ERA downplays its poor record in 2014. ERA ‘s Ranger mine is closed, and even ERA is questioning the viability of the plan for a new underground mine – doing a “prefeasibility” study – not even a”feasibility” one. Much government hype about selling to India, but safety requirements are still not finalised .
Australia-India CEO forum set up, and Tony Abbott appoints Vanessa Guthrie, of uranium company Toro Energy, to head this. (they always give the difficult jobs to a woman)
Freedom of speech. Great timing since the Charlie Hebdo staff masscre – Tasmanian government wants new defamation law that will protect corporations from criticism.
However much people can achieve through individual action, in 2015 it’s a critical time for public action. In December, world leaders meet again to make a plan for climate change action.
At the same time, the failing nuclear industry is making its last, and most dangerous stand, as the nuclear lobby portrays itself as the cure for global warming. Sometimes this pitch is subtly put, touting nuclear and renewable energy as both “part of the mix”. Whether subtly or blatantly, the nuclear lobby’s agenda includes stopping the development of renewable energy and of energy efficiency.
AUSTRALIA is in a unique position as regards climate change. It is arguably the nation that will be hit most quickly and most severely by weather extremes, and rising sea levels.
Australia is also the country with the greatest potential for renewable energy – sunshine, wind, wave.
And at the moment, Australia (?) boasts a leadership role in spruiking for nuclear power. We have Professor Barry Brook, now on the international stage, leading the pack in the story that nuclear power will fix climate change. We have PM Tony Abbott, wannabee PM Julie Bishop, and the obedient Coalition sheep doing all they can to sabotage climate action and renewable energy, both nationally and internationally. Embarrassing, and dangerous, times for Australians present and future.
The Ugly Australian. Paladin uranium miner is in the news again, and for the same old reasons, alleged exploitation of Malawin – this time by discharging radioactive sludge in to Lake Malawi (source of drinking water for millions)
Trans Pacific Partnership Tony Abbott is on the point of signing this secretive Treaty, which will allow corporations to sue Australian governments for $billions. Older Liberal voters may well get a shock if they find that the Pharmaceuticals Benefits Scheme no longer permits cheap medications.
Renewable Energy. Powershop electricity provider way ahead of the game, is about to enter the New South Wales market. It’s already proved, in Victoria, that renewable energy sourced electricity can be cheaper. Abbot government is very keen to wreck the Renewable Energy Target before people wake up to such cheaper providers.
Capt D has pointed out how political leaders can become beholden to the nuclear lobby . So, indeed, can academics who are paid for pro nuclear views and research. So, of course, many writers are already benefiting financially from promoting nuclear power.
But it’s not that simple, especially in Australia. There are other motivations – such as being seen as important, as a leader, even if there is not, at present, any financial gain from promoting the nuclear industry. For example, I’m pretty sure that Barry Brook gains no financial return from the industry, for his extensive pro nuclear lobbying. But he does gain the importance of being almost certainly the only Australian climate scientist who devotes himself to the nuclear cause. Definitely a leader - of sorts!
Then there are the academic and other sheepies – who note all this pro nuclear stuff, and, without much scrutiny of the full issue, decide to go on the “nuclear fixes climate change” bandwagon. After all, the trend is for scientists to be concerned about climate change (and rightly so – plenty of evidence there). So they now seem to adopt the (much more dubious) trend that nuclear power is the cure for climate change.
Then there are the thorium nuclear wannabees – who like to enthusiastically jump on a new bandwagon – be part of the “latest” gee-whiz thing – again , that’s a motive that need not involve financial gain – but does involve some sort of glory by association with the new thorium nuclear companies.
Immediately after the Lima Climate Summit, there has been a spate of pro nuclear articles appearing in the media and across the Internet. In a surprising number of articles, the pro nuclear advocates are scientists, working in prestigious universities in UK, USA, and in Australia , too.
In Australia, this is orchestrated by Barry Brook, who purports to be a climate scientist, but whose agenda is clearly to promote nuclear power.
How is it that reputable scientists now fall for the propaganda for “new” small nuclear reactors – thorium reactors, which require plutonium and/or enriched uranium to function. These thorium nuclear designs are not new – they were designed and abandoned in USA decades ago. To have them in Australia would pretty well necessitate having the entire nuclear chain around our necks. They need plutonium to start with – so we’d have to import plutonium, or set up nuclear reactors to produce it. Similarly we’d have to set up uranium enrichment plants. We would need radioactive waste dumps, because, contrary to the thorium pushers’ propaganda, these reactors do produce highly toxic and long lasting radioactive wastes.
So – how come Australian and other scientists are now jumping on the nuclear thorium bandwagon? Some are simply paid by nuclear interests – like Stefan Simons and Pamela Sykes, in South Australia. Yes the nuclear industry has bought quite a few scientists internationally.
But it’s not that simple. Part of our Australian cultural cringe is that scientists are impressed by other scientists – feel that they should go along with the current tide, even if they haven’t done their homework on the issue. After all, they’re scientists, not economists or health experts, and there’s a prevailing cringing attitude that “hard scientists” i.e nuclear physicists “know best”.
Fortunately, Australia does have some scientists who do see the whole picture, and are not swayed by the present propaganda about nuclear power fixing climate change.
Radioactive trash Doncha love the way Australia’s media slants nuclear news? In USA and UK there is turmoil over where to dump radioactive trash. Communities angrily resist hosting nuclear waste dumps. But not in Australia.
The Northern Territory News seems quite jubilant about citizens being offered this wonderful “opportunity” to host nuclear trash, and seems to bemoan the bad luck of Norther Territory Land Councils that they missed out on this chance.
Solar power. While the Abbott government steadily wages war on Australia’s potential renewable energy industry, the Australian Capital Territory forges on. Now there’s a breakthrough in solar technology that is going to have Canberra’s solar panel laughing all the way to the bank, while the rest of Australians pay megabucks for their coal-generated electricity.
Climate Change. There’s some sort of a result from the Lima Summit – some sort of direction agreed on, ahead of the Paris talks in 2015 (the last chance for meaningful global decisions). The rich countries inch towards real curbing of greenhouse gas emissions. The poor countries get some (not much) hope of help in facing their climate fate. Australia is now an international pariah. Abbott, Bishop and Co. no doubt already planning how to sabotage the Paris talks, for the benefit of the coal industry.
Climate change. First the Abbott government was in denial over climate change. They sent, not the (useless anyway) Environment Minister, Greg Hunt, to the Lima Climate Summit, but coal fans Julie Bishop and Andrew Robb (Trade Minister). Clearly they were sent to defend the coal industry and promote the nuclear industry. The Australian government first refused to contribute to the UN Climate Fund to help poor countries, then did a backflip, contributing $200 million that they are taking away from foreign aid!
Abbott’s motivation is to buy back, (if possible) some international credibility, and to position himself to sabotage the Paris Climate Summit next year, in the interests of his backers, the polluting industries.
Australia well represented at Vienna Conference on the Humanitarian Impact of Nuclear Weapons, (though not by government)
Nuclear power. It takes a bit of delicate footwork, for Australia’s governments and corporations to switch from climate denialism to ‘need for climate action’. But this was inevitable – they now swing into action, promoting nuclear power as the cure, seeing that the Abbott government has fairly successfully completed the shutdown of renewable energy industries in Australia. Prolonged uncertainty about the Renewable Energy Target does that.
South Australia is the hub of pro nuclear lobbysim – in their pseudo climate activism (Barry Brook), in BHP, business, in academia, (funded by nuclear businesses). Daily, some prominent person, like former Governor Kevin Scarce, jumps on the nuclear propaganda bandwagon.
Uranium. Tony Abbott wants to sell uranium to Ukraine. Terrific idea? To be part of the largest nuclear power complex in Europe, in a conflict zone, in a country still not recovered from the radioactive pollution and trauma of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster?
The treaties committee in Parliament now has to assess the safeguards and conditions of Australia’s deal to sell uranium to India. Will they just rubber-stamp it, despite the warnings of John Carlson?
Renewable energy. Despite all, Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) survives and thrives