Antinuclear

Australian news, and some related international items

Australia this week- G20, Climate and Nuclear News

a-cat-CANLast week I wrote about the IPCC latest report on Climate Change, and also about the coming G20 Summit in Brisbane. I thought at the time, that it was pretty crazy, letting a scientifically illiterate puppet of the fossil fuel and nuclear industries  (I refer to Tony Abbott) dictate the agenda for this meeting of world leaders.

This week – the whole thing is turning into a farce. The G20 is no doubt costing Australia $squillions. Now who would pay all that  tax-payer money to look like  a fool?  Alas, Abbott would.

Abbott has set agenda items like – no mention of Climate Change, – like cutting benefits to unemployed, especially those under 30 years – to get nothing for 6 months.  And of course, Abbott has been spruiking coal - “good for humanity”  But just as I write, comes the news that USA and China have made a deal for big cuts in carbon emissions.   I charitably omit here discussion of “shirt-fronting” Putin.

The G20 looks like being, at best, a nice talkfest for the attendees. Meanwhile  Indigenous people have set up their protest rally in Brisbane, and  the Alternative Summit - the C20 is sounding much more sensible than the G20.

Now – to nuclear . Public comments are now closed, on the government’s plan for a national nomination process for a radioactive waste dump site. National civil society groups are urging the government to hold an independent scientific inquiry on the matter of radioactive waste management.  In Western Australia citizens of Leonora joined in this call to Energy Minister Ian MacFarlane. after  the Leonora Shire offered their area as a dump site.

A new project has begun, to document the the health effects from atomic bomb testing in South Australia

War – very much a media item these days. Not just the current ones in Iraq and Ukraine, but a veritable barrage of memorabilia, including militaristic propaganda about World War 1.  It’s remarkable that one Melbourne woman, Geraldine Robertson,  has achieved the feat of exhibiting the story of Australia’s First World War Women – Working For Peace.

Renewable energy. There’s an awful lot of media coverage of this – hard to keep up. Importantly, the Labor Party has stood fast, will not negotiate any weakening of the Renewable Energy Target. The Business Council of Australia (BCA)  (a pro nuclear organisation) has offered a dodgy deal to the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA)  - in whichARENA must  include  Carbon Capture and Storage as a “low carbon” technology. Hmmm – BCA also call nuclear power a “low carbon technology.  The State of Victoria is soon to hold election – renewable energy is a bit of a worry for our anti-wind energy Liberal Premier Napthine – for example, in the Macedon electorate.

 

November 12, 2014 Posted by | Christina reviews | Leave a comment

Australia’s nuclear and climate news this week

a-cat-CANAs Australia’s media dutifully and thoroughly covered the Spring Racing Carnival, the news on the latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report just sort of slipped past us. ABC Radio National did give it  ago. Also I heard a rivetting ABC radio report on health impacts of climate change, from Dr Elizabeth Hanna. I have been unable to find that report. (Is the ABC censoring itself?) Anyway, even THE AUSTRALIAN was moved to publish something about Dr Hanna.

Meanwhile, the G20 summit will be on in Brisbane November 15-16. The military style security is already turning Brisbane into something of a police state. 

In deference to our climate denialist Prime Minister Abbott, Brisbane Airport Corporation has stopped a poster that was urging G20 members to discuss climate change.  Mustn’t have rude things like climate change mentioned, in this coal-exporting country!

The nuclear lobby is a bit hamstrung here, what with climate change being one of their main propaganda points. But that hasn’t stopped them promoting Small Modular Nuclear Reactors for Australia. (Yes, those are the ones that Westinghouse and Babcock got out of – declaring them uneconomic). In this promotion, Australia’s nuclear lobby, particularly Michael Angwin, aims to get rid of environmental law, arguing that nuclear power has no special dangers. Fukushima residents might not agree, and the insurance industry certainly doesn’t.

Uranium industry. Tony Abbott declared that Olympic Damn uranium mine expansion would go ahead, provide many jobs etc. But BHP certainly doesn’t think so, and has firmly mothballed that project.

Renewable Energy. despite well-founded fears about Abbott’s determination to smash the renewable energy industries, lots of good things are happening. Particularly interesting are the community energy initiatives.

Australian government’s ‘Direct Action’ policy. We’ll be hearing a lot more about this farcical project to hand out tax-payer money to the big polluting industries.

 

November 4, 2014 Posted by | Christina reviews | Leave a comment

Australia’s nuclear lobby’s aim to remove environmental protection laws

a-cat-CANAs the intergovernmental panel on climate change comes out with a compelling new report, Australia’s nuclear lobby renews its pressure for nuclear power.   Of course, Michael Angwin and the nuclear lobby are a bit handicapped in this. Australia’s Prime Minister, puppet of both the fossil fuel and nuclear lobbies, has gone all out to please Big Coal, by promoting climate change denialism.

It wouldn’t be good form for Angwin and co to now promote nu clear power as the cure for climate change – they wouldn’t want to naysay their puppet P.M. (They’ll keep the climate change argument for later, when they feel that it has become “politically correct” – that is – when Abbott has safely destroyed renewable energy and any real climate change action.)

Still, they can lay the groundwork, with  a lot of nonsense talk about Australia’s future energy needs. (Never mind that Australians are using less electricity, not more)

Part of the groundwork will be their goal to remove environmental protection – as evidenced in today’s call from Gary Johns in THE AUSTRALIAN, (strangely worded almost exactly as Michael Angwin’s letter in The Age today) : -

“……...The Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999, for example, states that the minister must not approve the construction or operation of a ­nuclear power plant. Such prohibition is unwarranted.

In its green paper, the Abbott government has promised to “review the current regulatory framework that governs nuclear and waste facilities to remove any duplication and streamline regulations”. This is not good enough. The ban on nuclear power must be lifted. These laws are based on old politics and old science. It is time that prohibition was repealed so all sources of power are on the table and assessed according o commercial and environmental risks..…”

Note the pretense here, that nuclear power’s environmental and commercial risks are no different from any other industries’

Tell that to the Japanese, and to the world’s insurance companies!

November 4, 2014 Posted by | Christina reviews | Leave a comment

Australia’s comic Environment Minister Greg Hunt

a-cat-CANThere’s a sort of exquisite pleasure in watching a fool squirming.

I mean – in Christian charity, I should be feeling sorry for Greg Hunt, Australia’s hapless Anti-Environment Minister.  But I just couldn’t help my schadenfreude in watching as Leigh Sales skewered Greg Hunt on the ABC 7.30 Report last night http://www.abc.net.au/7.30/      (If you’re not familiar with schadenfreude, look it up. Because many Australians are going to feel this feeling as they watch Australian Government Ministers explaining their Climate Lack of Policy over coming months.

Anyway – I can’t help feeling that it was fun.  English teachers across the nation can use Greg Hunt as a perfect example of double-speak and wobbly words.   Mr Hunt struggled to not answer Leigh Sales’ quite clear and simple question:

Why are you wasting tax-payers’ money on reviewing emissions trading schemes, when you have stated that this government will never have an emissions trading scheme?”

Poor Greg floundered about, and in this and subsequent interviews, he has been a sample case in weasel words, such as  “Let me be quite clear” and  “at the end of the day”

Hunt-direct-action

 

 

October 29, 2014 Posted by | Christina reviews | Leave a comment

a-cat-CANThe nuclear industry has a grip on USA’s Department of Energy (DOE) – they work together to promote nuclear power. It’s not hard to find academics who will pretty much advertise nuclear power- especially nulcear physicists and engineers. After all, where else will they get a high-paying prestigious job?

A global tactic of DOE is buying academia. Universities like the funding. We have some of this funding in Australia, at Flinders University, for example.

The latest from the UK is Cambridge University  - very happy indeed to be funded by USA to promote the pipe-dream of thorium nuclear powered reactors – as “safer nuclear power”.  Note that it’s not “safe” nuclear power – just a bit less dangerous than conventional uranium-powered nuclear power. And considerably more dangerous that wind or solar power, of course.

Thorium-pie-in-sky

But thorium nuclear power – though super-expensive, dangerous, and a weapons proliferation threat – has one big advantage –  it keeps the failing nuclear power dream alive.

http://www.cambridge-news.co.uk/Cambridge-University-team-fuels-bid-safer-nuclear/story-23659365-detail/story.html#ixzz3HZZfeTUX

October 29, 2014 Posted by | Christina reviews | Leave a comment

The week in nuclear news – Australia

a-cat-CANThe Australian Nuclear Free Alliance (ANFA) met in Alice Springs, with impressive representation from 14 Aboriginal nations, and 16 prominent community organisations from across the land. Their 2014 statement can be read at Beyond Nuclear Initiative . It covers Radioactive waste, Uranium mining, Mine rehabilitation, Women’s health, Men’s health, Weapons, Rare Earths, Land Councils, and the ANFA Netweork.

Australian National University (ANU) announcing it is divesting from fossil fuel investment. Credit to the students who lobbied so hard for this. Credit to ANU too, BUT – the university is keeping its investments in those unethical uranium mining companies BHP and Rio Tinto.

Australia’s Dr Helen Caldicott (- a prophet without honour in her own country?) is speaking publicly at a number of venues in USA – the National Press Club , in Plymouth, Massachusetts,  and with Ralph Nader  at  October 25 – 26  – New York TEACH-IN:  TECHNO-UTOPIANISM & THE FATE OF THE EARTH.

Abbott’s latest ?achievementsSquashing renewable energy development initiatives,.  Also Abbott posed sentimentally with Aboriginal children, while his government erodes Aboriginal land rights with 99 year leases. Abbott government is ignoring the effect that climate change will have, is already having, on Aboriginal communities, disempowering remote communities,  cutting funding to Aboriginal child and family centres, cutting funding to Indigenous legal aid,  and a Budget plan to  remove half a billion dollars from Indigenous programs administered by the Prime Minister and Cabinet and Health portfolios.

Meanwhile – off to war without any community consultation, no formal debate in Parliament, despite Greens’ efforts to initiate one.

Interesting digression. Have you been watching ABC TV’s “The Code”  (ABC TV Sundays 8.30 pm)? Its story centres around  a truck accident, in which uranium – some kind of  radioactive gas was released  Last night’s episode revealed that the fictional company Physanto was transporting uranium  - in  a secret bid to develop Laser Enrichment Technology..

Strange, as that technology has already been developed by Silex. with ANSTO’s support (or I think it was an offshoot of ANSTO)
Silex sold it, with great fanfare, to GE. GE subsequently abandoned it  - for reasons of (a) cost, and (b) its potential for nuclear weapons proliferation.

October 13, 2014 Posted by | Christina reviews | Leave a comment

This week in Nuclear and Climate News – Australia

a-cat-CANAs always, the silence in Australia about nuclear issues belies the truth: the Abbott government remains firmly pro nuclear. According to Industry Minister Ian MacFarlane, nuclear energy is “off the table”. But it’s well and truly there, under the table, in the new Energy White Paper Green Paper 2014 (confusing isn’t it – that title – means that it is not the final White Paper).  And – the government has been duplicitous, pretending that Friends of the Earth Australia supports nuclear power – actually using FOE in its pro nuclear section!

Nuclear security. While pontificating about terror threats,  Abbott quietly lessens the security at Lucas Heights nuclear power plant.  As the Americans say - “Go figure!”  Police surrounded it the other day – it was a false alarm, but shows how jittery they are about the nuclear reactor as a terrorist target.

Climate change. Ha ha – climate change denialism is so rife in Australia’s Abbott government, that they’re not able to use climate change as an argument for nuclear power. (It’s  a spurious argument, but the lying and immoral nuclear lobby is using it extensively world-wide, at present – having run out of other arguments). The new Energy White Paper is just another blueprint for Quarry Australia. 

Australia distinguished itself by being the country of scorn, at the UN climate Change meeting in New York last week. Only Canada can rival us for being internationally on the nose about climate change inaction.  I admit that I had a nice moment of schadenfreude, seeing our Foreign Misnister speak her weasel words to an empty UN conference room.

On the home front, Australians participated magnificently in the global People’s Climate March ,  Melbourne kicked off first, then rallies in many cities and towns across the nation.

Renewable Energy.  Later in the week, rallies to keep the Renewable Energy Target (RET) were held in many areas, with protests embarrassing politicians right at their offices. Several highly reputable national organisations wrote to Abbott urging the importance of keeping the RET as it is.

Meanwhile, despite the lobbying success of the fossil fuel utilities to get Abbott to crush the renewables industries. – well- those industries are still happening! New solar businesses for Melbourne and Moree. Good predictions for our solar market. ANU and ClimateWorks show the way to 50% renewable energy by 2050

 

New book. Crisis Without End , Much awaited report  from the 2013 New York Symposium The Medical and Ecological Consequences of the Fukushima Nuclear Catastrophe

September 29, 2014 Posted by | Christina reviews | Leave a comment

Commonwealth land is best for Australia’s radioactive trash, not bribed Aboriginal areas

a-cat-CANThe Australian government has absolutely no moral compass.  Never mind that they boast about the inhuman condition they impose on refugees – so they can “stop the boats”  - and other heartless policies.

But this page is “anti-nuclear”.  So – what about their latest cybnical ploy –  “allowing” Australian s to “offer their land” for a radioactive trash dump?

This is exactly like their welfare provisions that the government claims are aimed at “all Australians” – but we know damn well that the target is the Aboriginal communities.

The Abbott government (with Labor support no doubt) is determined to make the Aborigines cop the radioactive trash that Australia is obligated to take back  - it originated from the Lucas Heights nuclear reactor.

Never mind that studies years ago found that there were suitable sites on Commonwealth land.

Muckaty’s heroic Aboriginal women resisted the pressure.

Can we expect impoverished Aboriginal communities to resist government bribery? Do Australians care?

 

 

September 9, 2014 Posted by | Christina reviews | 1 Comment

Australian Nuclear News: this week in brief

a-cat-CANUranium sales to India. P.M. Tony Abbott returns in glory from signing up with Indian P.M. Mori the deal to sell uranium to India.

To Russia. Well Tony Abbott was happy to cut exports of agricultural produce to Russia, as part of Australia’s condemnation of Putin. But he didn’t want to cut uranium exports. However, under pressure in Parliament from The Greens, that little piece of hypocrisy became apparent, and Abbott has reluctantly announced cutting of uranium exports to Russia. (Long may that last – just another step in the collapse of that toxic industry)

Renewable Energy Target (RET) .  Abbott faces a difficult time in his goal of destroying Australia’s renewable energy industry. Even quite  a few Liberals (the wimps) are noticing that the RET is not costing electricity consumers more. And of course, the electricity industries’ “death spiral” continues: – householders notice that it will be cheaper to use the free energy from the sun, and, as they switch to rooftop solar, the electricity utilities are forced to raise their prices. That in turn, causes more people to go for “off grid” electricity, and so the companies must again raise prices….

I am often being accused of being paid by industry to run websites etc.  Not so – but why not tell you about a really nifty provider that will give you a good deal using green energy?

logo Powershop green powerFor electricity – I’m switching to green energy Powershop http://www.powershop.com.au/toolkit/   This electricity provider is available in Victoria, but probably not yet in other states. https://www.getup.org.au/campaigns/renewable-energy/switch/victorians-switch-to-save-renewables

 

 

September 7, 2014 Posted by | Christina reviews | Leave a comment

Pro fossil fuel trolls are bad enough: pro nuclear ones are worse

a-cat-CANChristina Macpherson My comment on  What I learned from debating science with trolls, Business Spectator MICHAEL BROWN 20 AUG

Apologies if my comment might appear to be “off the subject”, though I think that it is not. First I welcome this article, clearly showing the illogicality, if not downright dishonesty of the climate sceptic trolls.
I am constantly the victim of Twitter trollsm because I campaign against the nuclear industry. It is ironic that these trolls use climate change as their argument for nuclear power, – and accuse me constantly of being in the pay of the coal and gas companies. That’s despite the fact that I repeatedly write and publish on websites on the critical need for action to address climate change
The pro nuclear trolls use two tactics. The main one is to abuse and discredit their targeted person. Thus I am not only “in the pay” of the fossil fuel industries, I am also a “murderer” – as well as being “stupid” “evil” ignorant” and have many other unpleasant attributes.

Their second tactic is to focus on narrowly technical matters – such as the intricacies of new (though not yet existing) Liquid Fluoride Thorium Reactors (LFTRs). The pretense is that this is the whole argument – the superiority of new nuclear technology. Subjects such as economics, ecology, public health, civil liberties, – these matters are “not relevant” to the discussion on nuclear power. In fact, only people with technical expertise can have a valid opinion. (Of course if  atechnicallly qualified person should oppose nuclear power , then he or she must be “in the pay” of the fossil fuel industries).  http://www.businessspectator.com.au/article/2014/8/20/policy-politics/what-i-learned-debating-science-trolls

August 22, 2014 Posted by | Christina reviews | Leave a comment

Nuclear and Climate News in Australia this week

AUSTRALIA

Radioactive wastes.  The Australian government is still licking its wounds from the debacle of their attempt to impose a waste dump on Aboriginal land at Muckaty  - (the shame, with all their resources,  of being beaten by a few elderly and poor black women).  However, that hasn’t stopped them from calling for volunteers in Aboriginal communities to accept a (presumably bigger) bribe to host the dump.

Meanwhile, saner voices in Australia are calling for an independent National Commission to assess radioactive waste management based on good science, good process and acceptance that social and human concerns are valid and need to be addressed alongside technical criteria.

Uranium. Queensland government mouths stuff about protecting the Great barrier Reef, but in fact, is quite prepared to export uranium through Townsville, if need be.

Climate Change.  Even a top  former coal executive is getting worried about us having a government driven by anti science and climate denialism

Renewable Energy. The battle rages as renewables become ever more effective and cheaper. Big coal power - AGL, Energy Australia and Origin Energy lobby their tiny minds off trying to get rid of the Renewable Energy Target.  In the  ACT there’s a movement against the  proposed 7MW solar farm to be built at Uriarra – to my mind, it’s suspiciously like the supposed “community anti-wind” movement . Just wondering how much backing there from the fossil fuel industries.   Not surprising- as this new solar farm will be, in the fashionable jargon – a national game-changer in electricity technology

Solar power. I just can’t resist publicising the nifty solar thing that has been going on in Port Augusta, S. Australia for 3 years. Now Council has approved an expansion of Sundrop Farms, which uses cutting-edge solar thermal technology to desalinate seawater for irrigation and to heat and cool greenhouses. The Sundrop Farms System allows land normally not deemed suitable for agriculture or horticulture to produce large quantities of food.

POLITICS.  Nuclear and Climate issues are so serious that they are above politics. I try to keep this in mind. However, it would be hypocrisy to pretend that these issues are not political in Australia. Our children and grand-children’s future depends on the management of these issues.  We are in desperate need of getting good government – we don’t have that now.

March-in-Australa

 

 

August 17, 2014 Posted by | Christina reviews | Leave a comment

Nuclear, Climate News This Week in Australia

a-cat-CANAUSTRALIA

Israel, Gaza.    Tony Abbott, Christopher Pyne!   Pyne says:  “Australians supported the Israeli government’s “firm action” in Gaza.”  How dare he speak for me and you!!!

Hiroshima Day commemorative events will be held in Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne between April 3 and 15 - http://antinuclear.net/action-australia/

Some good news, for once: the charity Rainbow Stay Project has brought a group of children from Fukushima to Australia, for  a much needed holiday from their life at home, where they are so confined by the need to avoid radiation.

Uranium - media hype caught out this week. Fairfax and News Ltd recommended Australian  company Silex Systems as the best investment. But 3 days later, Silex’s much-touted laser uranium enrichment technology was dumped by General Electric. Silex had previously dumped its own solar business in favour of its nuclear business. Silex shares were $7.97 a share in 2009. Now they’re 49 cents a share.

But the hype goes on, with the media touting Western Australia’s EPA conditionally approving Cameco’s uranium plan for Kintyre, and Queensland‘s Newman Government enthusing over uranium mining. Indeed, Queensland is so keen that they will consider exporting uranium through Queensland ports -  (Bugger the Great Barrier Reef!)

The Western Australian plan is up against it – with low uranium prices meaning that it is not viable, and with considerable opposition, especially from Aboriginal people. Submissions challenging this uranium project will be accepted by the EPA up until August 11 http://www.epa.wa.gov.au/EIA/EPAReports/Pages/1522-KintyreUraniumProject.aspx

In Northern Australia, Energy Resources of Australia (ERA) continues its loss-making record.

In South Australia - despite the hype, BHP’s proposed new underground Olympic Dan uranium mine is just not happening

France refuses to accept toxic chemical wastes from Orica in Sydney – on the grounds that the transport is too dangerous. Makes me wonder why certain Australians are keen to import toxic radioactive wastes from France?

The Abbott Australian Government. You might suspect that I am frothing at the mouth, and you would be right. The approval of Australia’s largest coal mine which will kill the Great Barrier Reef.  The refusal of Abbott to attend the Pacific Islands Forum (it will discuss Climate Change). Abbott’s determination to keep Climate Change OFF the agenda at the G20 Forum. The treatment of asylum seekers ………

Good news:  Lots of it about renewable energy.     Capital cities are going ahead with renewable energy!    Coober Pedy a great test case for off-grid renewable energy     Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) funding Lord Howe Island’s hybrid renewable energy project     Queenslanders want renewables to become the ‘norm’

INTERNATIONAL

Gaza.  On social media there is gathering world anger at Israel’s actions

Hiroshima and Nagasaki anniversaries bring up the parallels between the cover-ups that went on, about the health results of the atomic bombing, and today’s cover-up of the health effects of the Fukushima nuclear catastrophe

World Nuclear Industry Status Report 2014 is outshowing the continued decline of nuclear power

Japan. While it is supposed to be restarting nuclear power, in reality, Japan’s failure to control the Fukushima radioactive leaks is one of several factors that are delaying the restart.

Fukushima – calls for more thorough examination of the medical effects of the nuclear meltdown.  Fukushima’s wild monkeys have blood abnormalities considered to have only one cause – nuclear radiation.

Ukraine Parliament considering a Bill to renew nuclear power (doesn’t that fill you with confidence?)   Sanctions imposed by Europe – on Russia  - likely to have serious negative effects on European countries’ nuclear industry

Renewable energy is having  a record year in Germany   also in UK  and in Denmark and China

August 3, 2014 Posted by | Christina reviews | Leave a comment

Transport of toxic chemical and radioactive wastes – France says NO to Orica

a-cat-CANFor a long time, I’ve been posting away about radioactive waste, as if it were the only pollution problem.  But of course it’s not. Indeed the same stupid white males who brought us radioactive wastes also bring us chemical wastes – in a sort of mindless onslaught on the very ecosystem we need for our survival.

I thought it ironic that France is now refusing to accept toxic chemical wastes from Australia.

Meanwhile a few very greedy business individuals, and a few not very bright worthies like Bob Hawke, Martin Ferguson, Alexander Downer - are advocating that Australia import radioactive wastes from France and everybody else.

The French have woken up now to the danger and diseconomics of nuclear power, and they’ve also woken up to the dangers of transporting chemical wastes. These wastes are best stored near the point of origin. The same goes for radioactive wastes.

Fortunately, most Australians reject the idea of importing radioactive wastes. The Abbott government and the Labor opposition are forced by public opinion to pretend that they oppose this too. However, under the power of their corporate funders, both parties would be ever so amenable to a business idea like that –  anything to get corporate and media support to be in office.

text-wastes-warningFrench reject Orica’s toxic waste, SMH  July 27, 2014 Natalie O’Brien More than 100 tonnes of highly toxic waste will have to remain at Botany after the French government vetoed plans by chemical giant Orica to ship it from Sydney to France for incineration.

Environmentalists across the world have applauded the decision after angry protests during the Tour de France bicycle race and a petition with 23,746 signatures was collected calling for the shipment to be stopped.

French Ecology Minister Segolene Royal said she would not back the plan to send the Hexachlorobenzene (HCB) waste to an area in south-east France because of fears something could go wrong to the ship which could cause marine pollution.

“The transport of dangerous waste … is an environmental aberration,” she was reported as saying.

She also said such waste “should be treated near their source of production”. ……..

It is Orica’s third attempt to ship the HCB, a carcinogenic pollutant banned in Europe since 1981, from Botany to an overseas destination for incineration. Protests stopped its planned export in 2007 to Germany and in 2010 to Denmark. Experts have said that the longer it remains at Botany the more waste is generated because it has to be repackaged every four years to keep it secure.
Objections had also been made to the Australian government from numerous lobby groups including Doctors for the Environment Australia, Friends of the Earth, the Nature Conservation Council, The National Toxics Network, Greenpeace Australia, International POPs Elimination Network, and the Basel Action Network (the Global Alliance for Incineration Alternatives).

Dr Mariann LLoyd-Smith from the National Toxics Network, said they shared Ms Royal’s concerns about transporting such a large amount of toxic waste by sea to France and they were also concerned about the repeated engineering failures and toxic emissions of the intended French incinerator.

“Now as a matter of urgency, we need to bring all the parties together and decide on a suitable non-combustion destruction technology not only for Orica’s HCB wastes but also to address current and future toxic waste,” she said.

“We then need to start the process to allow the Australian community to select an appropriate site where we can deal with our own hazardous waste in an environmentally sound way in line with Australia’s international obligations.” : http://www.smh.com.au/environment/french-reject-oricas-toxic-waste-20140725-zwd3k.html#ixzz38oF7vOkW

 

July 28, 2014 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Christina reviews, politics international, wastes | Leave a comment

Climate and nuclear news in Australia this week

a-cat-CANClimate change. International criticism as the Abbott government repeals the carbon tax, leaving Australia with no climate change policy.Scientists demonstrate that human-caused global  warming is causing more severe droughts and floods in Australia. South Western Australia’s long term dry is becoming a big cause for concern

Renewable Energy ‘Maverick’ politicians Clive Palmer and Ricky Muir save The Australian Renewable Energy Agency  the Climate Change Authority, the Clean Energy Finance Corporation and the Renewable Energy Target  from Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s renewables -destroying axe.  It is clear that the condition for Abbott’s rise to power, courtesy of the fossil fuel industries, was that his central task is to destroy all real action on climate change in Australia.

The remote South Australian town of Coober Pedy is to get  the  second major off-grid project recently supported by ARENA, which is also investing in a 6.7MW solar plus storage installation at Rio Tinto’s Weipa refinery in far north Queensland.  Australian banks face risks if Renewable Energy Target is gutted or abolished.

Wastes. The problem remains of Lucas Heights nuclear wastes due to return from France to Australia in 2015

Uranium industry - current world glut of uranium , and predicted slow return to nuclear in Japan mean that Australia’s uranium industry future still looks glum    Even if regulators do approve Cameco’s  Western Australian Kintyre project, it is not now economically viable.

Warren Mundine, Tony Abbott’s appointed top Aboriginal adviser is in the hot spot, with apparent conflict of interest in mining deals in Western Australia.

INTERNATIONAL

Ukraine I cannot yet find information on what the airline tragedy might mean  for nuclear power in Ukraine – and sanctions perhaps on Russia.

Iraq. ISIS insurgents seize nuclear materials

USA  - Radiation Safety Standards The Environment Protection Austhority (EPA)  is calling for comments on its planned update of  “Environmental Radiation Protection Standards for Nuclear Power Operations.”   The nuclear lobby is of course very keen to weaken those standards. Sophiticated and disingenuous arguments are being pushed towards that aim.  This is  acomplcated and difficult matter. I would hope that the EPA is concerned first for the public, and second for the nuclear industry, but I doubt this.

Japan. Even with safety clearance Japan’s nuclear reactors might not restart. Big protest in Tokyo against nuclear restart.

Fukushima.   Now  available first hand witness: The Yoshida Testimony. The Fukushima Nuclear accident as told by plant manager Masao Yoshida   The ice wall plan to stop leakage of radioactive water is not working

TEPCO workers leaving Fukushima for better paid, clean, safe jobs in solar energy projects. $1 billion in loans for Japan’s solar energy.

Iran Diplomacy struggles on, as the nuclear talks between Iran and the West are extended until November

Renewable Energy. International Renewable Energy Agency estimates that there are now 6.5 direct and indirect jobs in renewable energy.     10 top USA corporations call for renewable energy

 

 

July 19, 2014 Posted by | Christina reviews | Leave a comment

Australian nuclear news this week

a-cat-CANRadioactive waste- causes for concern

  1. The Abbott government’s move to get rid of its federal responsibilities about environment  - letting the States have control of many issues and decisions
  2. A new Bill in the Western Australian Parliament, that could give power to an Aboriginal leader to evaluate and negotiate decisions on land use.
  3. The proposal by one such Aboriginal leader, for a nuclear waste dump in his area.

Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe visits and does a defence/trade deal with Abbott government, – further locking Australia into USA’s military encirclement of China. Abe was welcomed in Parliament. He offered condolences, but no apology for Japan’s World war 2 cruelties to Australian soldiers, – just as there have been no apologies to Korea for the scandal of the Korean “comfort women”  Abe recently and very publicly visited Yasukuni Shrine, which honors convicted war criminals.  He would not have got the same kind of grand welcome in USA Congress, nor in South Korea, as he got from our historically illiterate P.M. Abbott.

Politics. New Senator Rickey Muir and Palmer United Party are blocking Abbott govt’s attempts to abolish Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA). But  Industry Minister Ian MacFarlane, is pre-empting the parliament by refusing to renew the contracts of Arena board members.

Abbott gaffe - about Australia being “unsettled” before British colonisation – got an angry response from Aboriginals, including Senator Nova Peris, but notably not from Abbott’s best pro nuclear pal Warren Mundine

Climate change.  Conservative British peer Lord Deben absolutely trashes Abbott’s policies on climate change. Anglican Church urges Abbott to change his climate policies.

Lynas rare earths company, (of the dodgy processing plant in Malaysia) is not going too well, and has moved its head office from Sydney to Kuala Lumpur.

Renewable Energy. Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CIFC) continues to fund solar energy initiatives, and following the Al Gore visit, and Clive Palmer’s stance – it looks as if the CIFC will be saved from Abbott.  Interesting times ahead in Australian politics.  Perhaps Tony Abbott’s campaign against renewable energy is about to fall apart?

Australian Capital Territory (ACT) on its way to being Australia’s new energy beacon. and is taking on the anti-wind farm brigade.  Sydney gets the world’s first solar integrated house.

 

July 9, 2014 Posted by | Christina reviews | Leave a comment

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