Antinuclear

Australian news, and some related international items

AUDIO: EU wants USA, China, Australia to join global climate agreement

climate-changeflag-EUAUDIO: EU pressures US and China to join global climate agreement ABC Radio, The World Today ,David Mark reported this story on Thursday, February 26, 2015 ELEANOR HALL: The European Union (EU) has ratcheted up pressure on the United States and China to join a global climate agreement.

Overnight the EU released its target for greenhouse gas reductions ahead of a meeting later this year in Paris.
It’s committing to reducing emissions by at least 40 per cent over 1990 levels by 2030 as David Mark reports.

DAVID MARK: The US and China made some commitments to greenhouse gas reduction targets at the APEC (Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation) meeting in Brisbane last year.

Now the EU has announced specific targets – its member countries will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 40 per cent by 2030 over 1990 levels.

ELEANOR HALL: The European Union (EU) has ratcheted up pressure on the United States and China to join a global climate agreement.

Overnight the EU released its target for greenhouse gas reductions ahead of a meeting later this year in Paris. It’s committing to reducing emissions by at least 40 per cent over 1990 levels by 2030 as David Mark reports.

DAVID MARK: The US and China made some commitments to greenhouse gas reduction targets at the APEC (Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation) meeting in Brisbane last year.

Now the EU has announced specific targets – its member countries will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 40 per cent by 2030 over 1990 levels……

DAVID MARK: The EU has also thrown down the gauntlet to big emitters – China, the US and the G20, which includes Australia – to make known their targets for Paris early, and once there, commit to a new protocol to cut emissions.

ERWIN JACKSON: Well, I think the momentum is towards having a core agreement in Paris which is legally binding, which does ensure that countries come forward and have national targets………

DAVID MARK: The Australian Government has said it will announce its targets for greenhouse emissions in the lead up to the Paris meeting which is being held in December. http://www.abc.net.au/worldtoday/content/2015/s4187401.htm

February 27, 2015 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, climate change - global warming, politics international | Leave a comment

Australia sleep-walking into a bad deal with the secretive Trans Pacific Partnership

An Australian National University study of the US-Australia Free Trade Agreement found there was very little in it for Australia. A recent US department of agriculture study found it would deliver a zero economic benefit to Australia and a zero economic benefit to the United States. For smaller nations the economic benefits are bigger which may explain why they are eager to join and why the US is driving a hard bargain on intellectual property and the rights of its pharmaceutical industry

text-TPP-Avaaz-petitionTrans Pacific Partnership. What’s the deal being negotiated in our name?, SMH,  February 21, 2015  Peter Martin   When The Lancet and the Australian Medical Journal editorialise against Australia’s next free trade agreement it’s a fair bet they are concerned about more than just trade.

The Trans Pacific Partnership is the biggest free trade agreement hardly anyone’s ever heard of. Bubbling along below the radar for half a decade, it’s about to become solid. It is set to deliver much more money and power to US pharmaceutical companies, to criminalise the use of technology in ways that presently don’t attract jail time and to set up outside tribunals to reconsider decisions already made by Australian courts. Continue reading

February 21, 2015 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, politics international | Leave a comment

Australia’s treaty to sell uranium to India is ‘not fit for ratification’ – pro nuclear experts say

“My conclusion”, Mr Walker said, “is that this proposed treaty is not fit for ratification as it stands. It is bad for our security, bad for our uranium miners, bad for our bilateral relations with third countries and bad for the path we would like to see India take”.
Mr Carlson said there was no justification to require less of India than other Australian partners, such as China, the United States and Japan.
“However, he added, “this proposed agreement falls well short of Australia’s other safeguards agreements
India-uranium1Australia-India nuclear treaty ‘not fit for ratification Financial Review : 19 FEB 2015  BY GEOFFREY BARKER A parliamentary committee is being urged to reject ratification of the proposed nuclear cooperation treaty with India because it is “bad for our security”. Experts say Australia would be seen as having “caved in” over non-proliferation standards if the ratification of the treaty Australia-India nuclear co-operation proceeds.
A parliamentary committee is being urged to reject ratification of the proposed nuclear cooperation treaty with India because India may be able to enrich Australian uranium to weapons-grade standards without its consent.
Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s assertion of India’s “impeccable” non-proliferation record has been challenged in committee hearings, which also heard evidence that a national interest assessment of the treaty tabled by Foreign Minister Julie Bishop contains assertions “which are simply not true”.
The warnings to federal Parliament’s joint standing committee on treaties (JSCOT) come from two of Australia’s most eminent experts on non-proliferation. Ronald Walker is a former Australian diplomat who served as chairman of the Board of Governors of the International Atomic Energy Authority, and John Carlson is a former director general of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade’s Australian safeguards and proliferation office
Unlike most critics of Australian uranium sales to India, they are pro-nuclear advocates who believe Australia should supply uranium to India.
But Mr Walker told the committee the treaty is “not fit for ratification as it stands”.

Continue reading

February 20, 2015 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, politics international | Leave a comment

Australians unaware of what they will lose with the Trans Pacific Partnership

Australia’s imminent TPP disaster: Crowning corporations, Independent Australia Dr Matthew Mitchell 13 February 2015The controversial top-secret Trans-Pacific Partnership is due to be signed very soon and is likely to have negative impacts upon many areas of ordinary Australian’s lives without any financial gain whatsoever, writes Dr Matthew Mitchell.

text TPP

The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is a global trade agreement being pushed by the United States onto nations around the Pacific.  What is so disturbing about the TPP compared with other trade agreements is that it covers so many areas. Its breadth means it will affect many aspects not only of Australian business, but also of everyday Australian life. Continue reading

February 14, 2015 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, politics international | Leave a comment

Top nuclear experts pilloried terms of Australia-India uranium sales plan

Ronald Walker – a former chairman of the global nuclear regulator, the International Atomic Energy Agency – reiterated Mr Carlson’s concerns.

Mr Walker warned the committee that the deal’s terms would injure Australia’s international reputation on nuclear safety.

Nuclear experts put government on notice http://thenewdaily.com.au/news/2015/02/10/nuclear-experts-put-abbott-govt-notice/ Feb 10, 2015 GEORGE LEKAKIS Financial Services Editor A Parliamentary Committee is considering whether to support a criticised uranium pact between Australia and India. Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s quest for a free trade agreement with India has been dealt a potentially fatal blow after two of the world’s most respected nuclear safety experts pilloried the terms of the uranium deal negotiated with the Indian government in 2014. Continue reading

February 11, 2015 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, politics international | Leave a comment

Legal problems may stall Australia- India uranium sales deal

It is not clear whether that agreement will have been finalised before Mr Roy’s committee is due to report its findings to government at the end of March.

The committee is expected to conduct public hearings next month.

India-uranium1India uranium deal faces legal challenge, New Daily,  Jan 14, 2015 GEORGE LEKAKIS Financial Services Editor The Australian government’s controversial agreement to sell uranium to India may face a legal challenge from a conservation group.  The agreement is controversial because India will be the first country permitted to buy Australian uranium without being a signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

“We will look at those legal options available to us and explore what we think are pretty clear legal inconsistencies between the terms of the agreement with India and Australian laws,” Mr Sweeney said.

“The ACF has real concerns that the wording of the agreement is inconsistent with sections of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Safeguards Act and Australia’s obligations under the South Pacific Nuclear Free-Zone Treaty that was signed by the Hawke government.” Continue reading

February 11, 2015 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, politics international | Leave a comment

Tony Abbott completely out of touch: China about to launch a national carbon market

Abbott-chicken-littleTony Abbott denies China’s carbon trading plan shows he is out of step, Guardian, ‘More and more countries are going down the direct action path,’ prime minister says of grants aimed at lowering emissions.   @olliemilman 6 February

Tony Abbott has denied that China’s plan to launch a national carbon trading market shows he is out of step internationally on climate change, claiming his Direct Action policy is getting “more and more support” in Australia and abroad.

On Wednesday a Chinese government official said a national carbon market was likely to be launched by the middle of next year, along with an emissions cap for six sectors: power generation, metallurgical, nonferrous metal, building materials, chemicals and aviation………Abbott dismissed the suggestion that China’s actions showed the Coalition decision to dump Australia’s carbon pricing scheme in favour of his Direct Action plan ran against the tide of international efforts to reduce emissions…….

China, by comparison, has launched seven regional carbon markets since 2013, with Qingdao, a city of 9 million people, planning to join the scheme. It’ i estimated the pilot carbon markets cover around a third of China’s overall emissions, although the lack of a unified national system has led to variations in each of the markets.

The plan to introduce a national scheme will unify these regional markets, subject to approval by Chinese state authorities. The national market would eclipse the EU’s emissions trading scheme, which is now the world’s largest.

In September China put its name to a list of 73 countries that signalled support for putting a price on carbon. This list includes Germany, France, Britain, South Africa and New Zealand. It also includes US states such as California and Massachusetts, as well as more than 1,000 businesses.

Australia, which was the first country in the world to repeal a carbon price, is now working out its position on emissions cuts beyond 2020. Crunch UN climate talks in Paris this year will set out a new global deal on lowering emissions, with the aim of avoiding more than 2C of warming compared with pre-industrial times.

Analysis conducted by the CSIRO and Bureau of Meteorology states that Australia could warm by up to 5.1C by 2100 unless action is taken to curb emissions. This level of warming would have major ramifications for agriculture, human health owing to increased heatwaves, and coastal infrastructure owing to rising sea levels and extreme weather events.http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/feb/06/tony-abbott-denies-chinas-carbon-trading-plan-shows-he-is-out-of-step

February 7, 2015 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, politics international | Leave a comment

Australian Parliament should scrutinise the unsatisfactory deal on selling uranium to India

India-uranium1India nuclear deal needs serious parliamentary scrutiny, The Interpreter, John Tileman, 

3 February 2015 The Australian parliament’s Joint Standing Committee on Treaties (JSCOT) will soon review the proposed treaty between Australia and India on Cooperation in the Peaceful Uses of Nuclear Energy, signed by Prime Ministers Abbott and Modi in New Delhi on 5 September 2014.

Ostensibly about selling uranium to India, the key intent of the treaty is to remove Australia’s implied slight of not according India the same status as a nuclear cooperation partner that we have already accorded the five nuclear weapon states recognised under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).

………JSCOT’s scheduling: it has put aside two hours to hear from four non-government witnesses on 9 February, and 45 minutes to hear government witnesses on 11 February.

……………………. we need a policy discussion that builds on the excellent analyses of the safeguards and legal issues raised in the submissions to JSCOT, especially those of the former head of the Australian Safeguards and Non-proliferation Office, John Carlson, and the ANU arms control expert Kalman Robertson.

A starting point would be for JSCOT to understand how Australian agencies came to the conclusion that there is no risk that providing uranium to India will enhance India’s nuclear weapons arsenal. The National Interest Statement does not make that case.

JSCOT could also seek clarification that the public and confidential provisions of the treaty are or will be consistent with those negotiated by our major partners in the uranium trade. The Government presumably has legal advice that the treaty is compatible with existing obligations. But can it assure industry that challenges will not arise?……….

the questions for JSCOT are numerous: just what priority will be given to this dialogue? What resources will be devoted to it? At what level will it be conducted? When is the next round scheduled? How will outcomes be reported? http://www.lowyinterpreter.org/post/2015/02/03/India-nuclear-deal-needs-serious-parliamentary-scrutiny.aspx?COLLCC=3260990079&

February 4, 2015 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, politics international | Leave a comment

Recalling the Liberal Party’s push for importing foreign nuclear wastes

the previously secret deal followed the Liberal Party’s federal council meeting in June at which it unanimously supported an international waste dump being built in Australia.

logo-IFNECAustralia next ‘nuclear dump’ http://www.sbs.com.au/news/article/2007/07/20/australia-next-nuclear-dump The Wilderness Society has warned a deal between Prime Minister John Howard and US President George W Bush to join an exclusive global nuclear club would ensure Australia became the dumping ground for the world’s nuclear waste. Source: 20 JUL 2007 UPDATED 22 AUG 2013 

 The Wilderness Society has warned a deal between Prime Minister John Howard and US President George W Bush to join an exclusive global nuclear club would ensure Australia became the dumping ground for the world’s nuclear waste.

The ministers for foreign affairs and resources had urged Mr Howard to announce the joint nuclear energy plan during the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation visit in Sydney in September, Fairfax newspapers reported.

The statement

“The proposed action plan would help to open the way for valuable nuclear energy co-operation with the United States,” the briefing note says.

“It would also be consistent with the government’s strategy for the nuclear industry in Australia. Continue reading

February 4, 2015 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, politics international, secrets and lies, wastes | Leave a comment

Paladin’s Malawi uranium mine of little benefit to the country, and now threatening pollution of Lake Malawi

Government officials in Malawi are upset about the situation. “I am very shocked with the situation I have seen after monitoring the mine here and all my questions to the Paladin boss have not been answered satisfactory

Meanwhile international experts are starting to question the benefits of the Kayelekera mine

 

Malawi-LakeAustralian Uranium Mining Company Accused of Contaminating Lake Malawi By Mayu Chang……Global Research, January 29, 2015  CorpWatch  Paladin Energy, an Australian mining company, has been accused of discharging uranium-contaminated sludge into Lake Malawi, which supports 1.7 million people in three countries – Malawi, Mozambique and Tanzania. The company began uranium mining operations in Malawi in 2009 although it suspended operations last year after ore prices fell.

“It is rumored that Paladin secretly have started discharging the so called purified water. Reports from the Beach Village Chairman indicates that this started in late November,” wrote Rafiq Hajat of Malawi’s Institute for Policy Interaction on Facebook. “[At] a radius of 35 km from the Boma, you will be shocked to see fish of different species dead with some communities along the lakeshore collecting [the fish].”……………“Uranium is radioactive and that with open-pit mining, like the one to be conducted at Kayelekera, the soil drains into rivers and contaminates the water,” Titus Mvalo, a lawyer representing several civil society organizations in Malawi, told Inter Press Service in 2007. “When humans drink the water, it damages kidneys and causes cancer.

At the time, the activist groups warned that the mine would pose a threat to Lake Malawi, Africa’s third largest freshwater lake, which is a major source of drinking water and fish for the country. Continue reading

January 30, 2015 Posted by | politics international, uranium | Leave a comment

No real safeguards against India using Australian uranium for nuclear weapons

India looks to use US formula to convince France and Australia –  Indian Express by Shubhajit Roy | New Delhi | January 27, 2015 A day after Prime Minister Narendra Modi and US President Barack Obama announced a resolution to the nuclear liability issue and administrative arrangements, India  plans to engage with France and Australia in the next few weeks to clear the remaining hurdles before nuclear commerce.

India will share the Indo-US formula on resolving the nuclear liability issue with France to resolve the issue of liability with the latter as well, sources said — this has come in the way of nuclear commerce with Areva, the French nuclear supplier.

India-uranium1With Australia, the sources said, India will share the template of its administrative arrangements with Canada — and now the US — so that uranium from Australia can be supplied without further delay. India signed an uranium supply agreement with Australia last September, when Prime Minister Tony Abbott visited the country.

……….The US is said to be no longer insisting on tracking these supplies, required under its rules to ensure it is not being used for military purposes. -……http://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-others/india-looks-to-use-us-formula-to-convince-france-and-australia/

January 30, 2015 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, politics international | Leave a comment

Australian government funding research in China into dodgy thorium nuclear reactors

a-cat-CANIsn’t this just dandy?  The Australian government can’t afford to fund services to the needy in health, education,  and is doing its darndest to kill clean energy, but is quietly promoting nuclear energy. And not conventional nuclear energy, which is bad enough, but the untested, hugely costly thorium experiment – the same one that was tried and found unviable 50 years ago

 

text-my-money-2ANSTO-SINAP Joint Research Centre, 16 Jan 15  In December 2012, ANSTO signed a memorandum of understanding with the Shanghai Institute of Applied Physics (SINAP) for cooperation in the area of materials research and development.

 Within the same week, the Institute of Materials Engineering (IME) was awarded a major grant from the Australia-China Science and Research Fund to conduct collaborative research with SINAP on advance Thorium Molten Salt Reactors (TMSR). The newly formed Joint Research Centre (JRC) covers a range of scientific disciplines in order to cover the challenges of next generation TMSRS.
The contributions of IME within the framework of the JRC are to provide materials performance assessment and to conduct independent research on the behaviour of nuclear materials exposed to corrosive molten salts at high temperature and in high radiation fields.  ……….
Thorium-pie-in-sky
This Project is supported by the Commonwealth of Australia under the Australian-China Science and Research Fund – See more at: http://www.ansto.gov.au/ResearchHub/IME/Projects/SINAP/index.htm#sthash.2cGODOCp.dpuf

 

January 16, 2015 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, politics international, secrets and lies | Leave a comment

Pope Francis takes a leadership role for global action on Climate Change

Popehe has been invited by Ban Ki-moon, Secretary General of the United Nations, to address the general assembly of the UN on the issue.

The impact of this on Australian politics is hard to predict. A number of senior Coalition ministers are Catholic, yet their climate credentials are less than impressive. Tony Abbott’s claim that coal is “good for humanity” is the antithesis of the likely papal message. Now his opponents will be able to quote chapter and verse of a papal encyclical calling his policies into question.

Climate-change encyclical may lay ground for UN progress http://www.antnuke-relevantcanberratimes.com.au/comment/climatechange-encyclical-may-lay-ground-for-un-progress-20150113-12n3u2.html January 14, 2015  Neil Ormerod This is the year the Catholic Church will join the battle to save the planet; as Bishop Marcelo Sánchez Sorondo, chancellor of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, stated, “2015 could be a decisive year in history”.

From the start of his pontificate Pope Francis indicated his intention to publish an encyclical on the environment. Encyclicals are the most authoritative documents a pope can issue, and it has become increasingly clear that global warming will be its central theme.

Previous popes – both John Paul II and Benedict XVI – referred to the environment and climate change in various communications, and committed the Vatican City to being carbon neutral, but this will be the first time a pope will have dedicated an entire encyclical to it. Continue reading

January 14, 2015 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, politics, politics international | Leave a comment

Toro Uranium company’s Vanessa Guthrie appointed by Abbot to represent Australia in India n top business group

Guthrie poisoned-chalice-3Toro Energy CEO chosen to represent Australia in India, Australian Mining  12 January, 2015 Vicky Validakis  Prime Minister Tony Abbott has appointed the head of uranium developer Toro Energy to the Australia-India CEO forum.

The CEO Forum is a high level business group jointly appointed by Abbott and the Indian Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, to help drive the bilateral economic relationship between Australia and India.

The forum will be made up of 10-15 business leaders who will provide advice to both Prime Ministers on issues of trade, investment and economic development.

It comes after Abbott signalled he was keen to secure a free trade agreement with India this year.

CEO of Toro Energy Vanessa Guthrie said she was “honoured” to accept the appointment……..Guthrie will join Trade and Investment Minister Andrew Robb in India this week to attend the Australia Business Week in India, an event which promotes Australian opportunities to increase trade and investment markets with the country.

http://www.miningaustralia.com.au/news/toro-energy-ceo-chosen-to-represent-australia-in-i

January 12, 2015 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, politics international | Leave a comment

The Ugly Australian, Paladin, has another radioactive spill at its Malawi uranium mine

Uranium miner announces spill, Australian Miner, 8 January, 2015 Vicky Validakis Just days after uranium miner Paladin Energy denied it discharged polluted water into a river, the company announced a tank failure at its Kayelekera mine has resulted in a spill.

Paladin told the ASX a 20-minnute high-intensity storm resulted in around 25mm of rain falling at the mine site, located in northern Malawi.

As a result, a surge of stormwater caused the liner in the plant run-off tank to rupture, releasing 500 cubic metres of material to the bunded areas of the site, the company said.

Up to 50 litres of the material “overtopped” one of the containment bunds………..

On Monday Paladin denied claims it released toxic water from the mine into a local river system………

Kayelekera mine has been in care and maintenance since February 2014 due to the depressed price of uranium.http://www.miningaustralia.com.au/news/uranium-miner-announces-spill

January 10, 2015 Posted by | politics international, uranium | Leave a comment

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