Uranium deal with India a hot topic – 23-Apr-2014 http://www.themonitor.com.au/news-articles/140423-uranium-deal-with-india-a-hot-topicThe Australian Government’s signing of a uranium export deal with India was a hot topic of discussion at the recent Olympic Dam visit by members of environmental group Friends of the Earth.
The annual radioactive tour has been operating since the 1980s, and has taken thousands of people to the heart of the industry at destinations from Melbourne to Tenant Creek.
Local BHP Billiton employees from various sectors of the Olympic Dam operation, including environmental, radiation, community and external affairs took time to show the group through the operation on Tuesday, April 16.
The tour was followed by an informal question time in Richardson Place, where members of the group particularly focused on the company’s commitment to indigenous traditional land owners and the Federal Government’s stance on direct supply or uranium to India.
A BHP Billiton spokesperson told the group the company was working closely with the traditional land owners, including through employment programs and through financial dispensation into a trust.
He said the amount of money awarded to the trust was ‘confidential’, but ‘substantial’.
The group asked many questions regarding the company’s ethical stance on supply of Olympic Dam Uranium to countries which could be using the product to fuel their nuclear armament programs.
The topic was particularly sensitive for one Indian representative , who said his country’s unstable government, lack of regulation, extremist religious groups and dense population were recipes for disaster.
The representative said India’s suspected nuclear armament activities were of major concern to humanity across the globe, and that companies like BHP Billiton should have an moral and ethical commitment to ensure their uranium did not reach the hands to those planning to build nuclear weapons.
Currently, BHP Billiton and other Australian uranium miners have legislative and regulatory obligations that cover mining, processing and the transport of uranium on road and by sea.
The onus of responsibility for the product then passes to the Government at the port of destination.
The group continued on to Alice Springs and Tenant Creek on Tuesday afternoon as part of the 14 day tour, and will return to Melbourne on Sunday, April 27.
Anti-nuclear campaigner seeks port uranium assurances http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-12-05/anti-nuclear-campaigner-seeks-abbot-point-uranium/5137248 An anti-nuclear campaigner is calling on the Queensland Government to rule out that uranium will be exported through the Port of Mackay.
Last year, the Newman Government reversed a long-standing ban on uranium mining in Queensland.
The port’s operator, North Queensland Bulk Ports (NQBP), said it could be used to transport associated mining equipment.
Mark Bailey from Keep Queensland Nuclear Free says he has serious concerns about the possibility of the resource being shipped through the reef.”I don’t think any of us want uranium on the Great Barrier Reef and we certainly don’t want our tourism industry affected by an incident like a grounding on the reef in bad weather with a uranium ship,” he said.
“This has happened before, you know Cameco had a ship that hit bad weather in the Pacific. If that happens on the reef, the publicity will be very bad.”
He says he wants assurances Abbot Point will not be used.
A spokesman for NQBP says there are no plans to export the commodity through the Port of Mackay at this stage.
21 Nov 13, Mr Kevin Buzzacott, the President of the Australian Nuclear Free Alliance and a respected Arabunna elder will today take his concerns over the proposed expansion of the Olympic Dam uranium mine in South Australia to BHP Billiton’s annual meeting in Perth. Mr Buzzacott has been vocal in opposing the Olympic Dam uranium mine and the planned expansion. Mr Buzzacott unsuccessfully tried to halt the expansion through the courts and has now been ordered to pay court costs to the Government and to BHPB. At today’s meeting he will be asking whether BHP, the world’s largest miner, will be seeking to follow this cost order.
“I’m an Arabunna elder and I’ve spent the last thirty years trying to protect my country and the water from my country from this monster mine,” said Mr Buzzacott. “Now I’ve come all the way from South Australia because this is so important for me, I’m getting old and this could be my last chance to get BHPB to quit to shut Olympic Dam down and leave the desert and us in peace.”
“All my life I’ve stood up for my country because that is the right thing, that’s what we’re taught to do. Now BHPB have a choice whether they’re going to penalise me, take me for the court costs, for standing up for my country – or whether they’re going to respect my rights to protect those sacred places.”
The planned massive expansion of Olympic Dam has been shelved because of low uranium prices and market uncertainty. The current Olympic Dam mine consumes over thirty five million litres of water day from the Great Artesian Basin from Arabunna country and any future expansion would increase pressure on water resources.
“Now you say the expansion is on hold well we have a right to know whether you’re going to try and get this expansion happening or not. I mean it doesn’t make sense to dig deeper when people are waking up and saying no to the nuclear industry around the world.”
“Our land is our life and we will follow BHP Billiton to the ends of the earth to stop this mine from damaging our country and draining our water,” concluded Mr Buzzacott.
French walk ends with renewed commitment to stop uranium mining in Australia http://walkingforcountry.com/2013/08/15/french-walk-ends-with-renewed-commitment-to-stop-uranium-mining-in-australia/#comment-1579 (Great photographs) Walkatjurra Walkabout, August 15, 2013 by Marcus Atkinson It’s been a couple of weeks since the walk through the Rhone Valley in France finished. After having time to reflect on the situation that France is faced with and the connection we have with the movement there due to Australia being one of the largest exporters of uranium.
Along the walk it really hit home that uranium from Australia had taken this same path over the last few decades and many of the accidents that have happened in France would have more than likely involved uranium that had been exported from Australia.
Just in this short 4 week walk we touched on so many aspects of the industry, from the enrichment facilities to the fabrication of fuel rods and the development of MOX fuel along with nuclear power plants that are nearing their use by date with the possibility of an extension in their license.
Bugey where we finished the walk has local community members fighting to shut down the nuclear power plant by it’s used by date is in 2016. There is also the concern of decommissioning and where all the radioactive material will be stored when this finally happens. The local group made us extremely aware of the issues that they face. When they finally close down the plant then a whole new struggle begins to make sure that the decommissioning is done properly and that the radioactive material is isolated from the environment..
The problem that they and many others in similar positions have is the question of where will this be stored!!! ? NOBODY wants the waste and NOBODY knows what to do with it!!!
It is unacceptable that this industry has been able to continue, and the fact that Australia is playing a major role in supplying uranium while also trying to expand the uranium mining industry here is something that we must all take responsibility for.
All along the way we heard stories of intimidation, bribes and coercion, but we also heard the stories from brave individuals who have stood strong against the industry even in the face of health concerns.
This has empowered many of us to fight even harder against the proposed uranium mines here and to work in collaboration with the global community to end the nuclear industry.
We hope that many of you will join us on the Walkatjurra Walkabout in Western Australia next year or become involved with groups in your own area. Check out the video of the MADador who made a special appearance at the Bugey Nuclear Power Plant for a show down with the TORO BULL!! https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=10201328478109318
There will be more information at www.walkingforcountry.com in the coming months..
“We’ve been arguing for a long time that the Northern Territory was targeted because it was a politically weaker jurisdiction.
“Obviously it was easier for the Commonwealth to override any local opposition to the plan, which is what they’ve done.
“We want the Territorian Senators to actually stand up for the interests of the community, and not just roll over and say that we’ll accept Canberra’s waste dump plan.”
Dust-up over nuclear waste dump hits eight years http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-07-15/opposition-grinds-on-over-muckaty-nuclear-waste-dump-plans/4820806 Jul 15, 2013 A Northern Territory traditional owner has vowed to keep fighting federal government plans for a radioactive waste dump on her land.
Dianne Stokes is in Melbourne today for a scheduled Federal Court directions hearing on the Muckaty waste dump.
Today also marks eight years since the Federal Government announced a plan to dump nuclear waste in the Territory. Continue reading
“We request that the French people and their government, demand that the reprocessed nuclear waste from Lucas Heights, remain in France until the Australian Government guarantees not to dump it on Aboriginal land and store it at Lucas Heights, where there is ample storage and can be safely monitored.”
La Marche Internationale 2013 (The International Walk 2013), is a 4 week walk through one of Europe’s most nuclear intensive regions – The Rhone valley in Frances South East. The Australian wakers have come to witness first hand the effects of the nuclear industry in France which Australia supplies uranium to.
Mitch an Aranda Woman from Alice Springs and the Co-chair of the Australian Nuclear Free Alliance (ANFA) joined the walk for the beginning and spoke at the press launch in Paris before the walk, which was organised by the largest anti nuclear group in France, Reseau Sortie du Nucleare. Mitch and Marcus Atkinson from the Anti Nuclear Alliance of Western Australia (ANAWA) spoke about the impacts of uranium mining and the pending nuclear waste dump at Muckaty in the Northern Territory, on Aboriginal communities and the radioactive racism of the industry. Continue reading
24 May 13, Six years and still standing strong: NT Union members will join Traditional Owners and supporters from across the Territory in Tennant Creek this weekend for a rally against the proposed national radioactive waste dump at Muckaty in the Northern Territory. The rally and concert will mark exactly six years since the Northern Land Council voted to nominate the site.
In May 2012 the Australian Council of Trades Unions National Congress unanimously voted to support the Muckaty campaign. Bryan Wilkins, NT Organiser for the Australian Manufacturing Workers Union said, “NT Unions are standing in solidarity with Traditional Owners and communities to resist the federal government plan for a radioactive waste dump. We will continue to campaign against any legislation that targets the Muckaty Land Trust, or any site in Australia for a nuclear waste dump that is not based on recognised scientific and international best practice.”
Muckaty Traditional Owners and the community in Tennant Creek remain resolutely opposed to the national radioactive dump being built. Muckaty Traditional Owner Dianne Stokes said, “It’s been six years of big struggle for Warlmanpa and Warumungu people. We are still standing strong. We are saying that we still don’t want the waste to come to Muckaty Land Trust.”
“Tomorrow will be a big day for us mob, the Traditional Owners of the Muckaty. We are happy that we have people traveling to Tennant to join us for the rally against the nuclear waste. We also have unions coming along and we are looking forward to meet these people. We will march together to stand up strong and tell the NLC and the government to back down and leave us alone.”
Beyond Nuclear Initiative coordinator Natalie Wasley added, “The nomination of Muckaty by the NLC and the dogged pursuit of the site by successive Federal Ministers are being challenged on the ground as well as in the federal court. It is highly disappointing that while the court is scrutinising the original nomination process, the NLC is preparing to nominate a new site on Muckaty for assessment. The process of managing radioactive waste must be transparent and include all stakeholders. We urge Federal Resources Minister Gary Gray to step away from the highly contested Muckaty plan and initiate an Independent Commission into radioactive waste management.”
Activists check in on Olympic Dam http://www.roxbydownssun.com.au/story/1408767/activists-check-in-on-olympic-dam/?cs=1503 By Ifereimi Nadore April 4, 2013, BHP Billiton has been told to take some responsibility by stopping the sale of uranium to other countries, especially those that have nuclear energy plants.
The message was relayed to a management team based at the Olympic Dam mine this week by a 30 member anti-nuclear resistance movement group, the Friends of the Earth (Australia) which had been touring all of the uranium mines in South Australia.
The group, which is represented by various nationalities from India, Vietnam, Europe and Australia shared its concerns to the BHP Billiton management team and requested it to discontinue selling uranium to safeguard the environment and its population.
A particular case of interest which the group highlighted was the Fukushima disaster in Japan, which the group said was plagued by safety breaches, scandals, cover-ups and inadequate regulations.
Group leader and national nuclear campaigner Doctor Jim Green said the educational trip also gave the group the chance to see the uranium deposits at Olympic Dam and other uranium mines in South Australia. He said BHP Billiton had maintained that the selling of uranium had received the approval of the federal government.
“We are asking [BHP] to stop selling it and take some responsibilities,” he said. He said the group’s request to also visit the tailing dams had been turned down. Dr Green said the trip also provided the members the opportunity to talk to the indigenous landowners about the effect of uranium mining and what it could do to the environment.
The group’s next stop will the uranium mine in Beverly South, Australia.
Plea to Vice Chancellor of The University of Adelaide – stop promoting nuclear power as climate solution
I am currently fighting against pro nuclear (and anti renewables) lies being told by Adelaide University.
See the Notice of Demand 121212 at
I plan to make a lot of noise in the days and weeks ahead.
My primary target is Warren Bebbington, the Vice Chancellor of The University of Adelaide.
The Vice Chancellor is a newcomer to the scene and can claim “no blame” while cutting the fraudsters away from the Uni.
But to do so, the VC needs to act within the next few weeks, or he will be seen by history to be part of the problem.
Please feel free to offer advice and support and to spread the word.
I hope you can lend me a hand by:
Please comment on the The Environment Institute FaceBook page
Please comment on the 6th December post on The Environment Institute FaceBook page
Please email to the Vice Chancellor of The University of Adelaide
Please post public advice and expressions of support on my FaceBook pages, including the Notice of Demand 121212
Please email me with private advice and expressions of support
Iraq: Crimes against Humanity. The Babies Will Haunt Us By Kelley B. Vlahos Global Research, December 18, 2012 antiwar.com It was like walking through a nightmare: drifting in an out of hospital rooms, down the long hallways, her contact with shock-ravaged Iraqi parents interrupted only by glimpses of their physically deformed and terminally sick babies who in many cases, would never see the outside of Fallujah’s main hospital, ever.
Then, the more than vague sense that she must apologize. The words thick like molasses were hard to form. “I felt inadequate,” said Donna Mulhearn. “What was so hard was, what do you say to these people other than saying sorry, which I said over and over again. You just wanted to offer more.”
Donna Mulhearn is a name we need to remember, as she is one of a small but dedicated group of citizen activists who, after most of us have said the long goodbye to Iraq in the rear-view mirror, are taking on the environmental and humanitarian legacy of the Iraq War as a personal cause. Continue reading
Uranium, LNG protests mar BHP AGM, http://m.theaustralian.com.au/business/mining-energy/uranium-lng-protests-mar-bhp-agm/story-e6frg9df-1226526641056 SARAH-JANE TASKER, November 29, 2012
BHP Billiton’s annual general meeting in Sydney today was the scene of vocal protests against the uranium assets of the world’s largest miner.
Four abseilers managed to scale Sydney’s Convention Centre and hang two banners, one with the message, ‘Australian uranium fuelled Fukushima,’ in reference to Japan’s 2011 nuclear disaster. The other banner read, ‘BHP, Dirty Deeds’.
Police riot squad and rescue officers attended the scene in Darling Harbour, where about 40 people gathered to protest against the miner. Various groups were concerned by uranium, coal seam gas and James Price Point, the $40 billion LNG joint venture project which BHP has a minority interest in.
At the start of the meeting, attended by around 600 shareholders, a vocal protester shouted her protests against uranium from the back of the room, following an address by chief executive Marius Kloppers.
Police at the scene today told AAP they expected to charge the abseilers.
A Friends of the Earth spokeswoman said the first pair of activists had been brought down by a police rescue team and taken to Surry Hills police station. The last two had climbed back onto the roof voluntarily and had not yet been detained, she said.
One of the groups was distributing an alternative annual report, Dirty Deeds, which was distributed to shareholders. The report focuses on the uranium and copper mine at Olympic Dam, South Australia, and the James Price Point project in Western Australia.
Additional reporting: AAP
Rockhampton mayor says nuclear “over my dead body” The Bulletin Christine Mckee 29th Oct 2012 “Over my dead body”. These are the words of Rockhampton Regional Council mayor Margaret Strelow in response to the possibility of building a nuclear plant in the region.
Media reports on the weekend revealed secret plans from the Bjelke-Petersen era to construct a nuclear enrichment plant in the Rockhampton region are being revisited by the Federal Opposition.
“It’s not even a discussion I want to have,” Cr Strelow says. “I’m a Mum and a grandma.”
Broadmount, 30 kms south-east of Rockhampton, and Boolburra, 95km west of Rockhampton, were among three preferred options put forward 40 years ago for a $1 billion uranium enrichment plant. North Queensland MP Warren Entsch says it makes sense to reconsider the plan, and Senator Barnaby Joyce is also showing his support…..http://www.themorningbulletin.com.au/news/strelow-rejects-plan-for-uranium-plant/1600099/
Uranium mining rethink sparks Qld farmland fears, ABC News, By Chrissy Arthur 24 Oct 12 Rural lobby group AgForce says it has concerns about the impact of uranium mining on Queensland farms. The State Government will lift a long-standing ban on uranium mining, saying it will generate investment and jobs.
However, some landholders and conservationists have expressed concern about the environmental impact and the possibility of toxic mine spills. AgForce president Brent Finlay says landholder concerns will need to be considered.
“All of those issues concern us and that is why it has to be done properly if it is done,” he said.
“We have to work with landholders, we understand that no landholder wants any mine in their backyard – it puts pressure on agriculture. “If these developments do go ahead, the impacts on the environment and the community are very important and they have to be managed and if there are spills, they need to be cleaned up.”
A Gulf of Carpentaria mayor says local government leaders will also pressure the Queensland Government to ensure environmental safeguards are in place for any uranium developments…