Australian news, and some related international items

Uranium a poor investment, despite “dead cat bounce”


Of all the problems confronting uranium, and a reason to stay clear, the biggest is the energy glut and the fact that most alternatives forms of power are easier to develop and require much less government scrutiny than nuclear power.

Uranium Is Hot, But Not For Investors, Forbes, Tim Treadgold, 18 Nov 14 At a time when most commodity prices are falling it is hard to ignore a metal outlier that has just had its best week in 18 years, but in the case of uranium ignorance could save you money.

Last week’s 14% rise in the price of the nuclear fuel took most observers by surprise though when nuclear-dead-catanalyzed it seems that the much of rise in the short-term price from $36.75 a pound to $42/lb was in a category called dead-cat bounce.

For anyone unfamiliar with market slang a dead-cat bounce is the height a cat rises off the footpath after falling 20 floors – it’s an irrelevant recovery, and the cat’s still dead……… Continue reading

November 19, 2014 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The nuclear power program is a dud deal for India

antnuke-relevantGlobally, nuclear power is set to face increasing challenges due to its inability to compete with other energy sources in pricing. Another factor is how to manage the rising volumes of spent nuclear fuel in the absence of permanent disposal facilities.  …….  nuclear power is in no position to lead the world out of the fossil fuel age.

False promise of nuclear power, THE HINDU, BRAHMA CHELLANEY 19 flag-indiaNov 14 “…….Westinghouse, GE and Areva also wish to shift the primary liability for any accident to the Indian taxpayer so that they have no downside risk but only profits to reap. If a Fukushima-type catastrophe were to strike India, it would seriously damage the Indian economy. A recent Osaka City University study has put Japan’s Fukushima-disaster bill at a whopping $105 billion.

To Dr. Singh’s discomfiture, three factors put a break on his reactor-import plans — the exorbitant price of French- and U.S.-origin reactors, the accident-liability issue, and grass-roots opposition to the planned multi-reactor complexes. Continue reading

November 19, 2014 Posted by | Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Did you know? Australia is a supporter of Sustainable Energy for All (SE4ALL)

No to Nukes: Australia’s Stand Lunes, Novembre 17, 2014
“………Fukushima met its unfortunate fate due to nature’s indescribable and immeasurable force. Now, we must return to its cradle in order to survive the next thirty or so years. Other renewable resources Australia is currently harnessing are bioenergy, hydro, and geothermal. It seems the country is one of the supporters of Sustainable Energy for All (SE4ALL) program launched on September 2011by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.

SE4ALL has three objectives, one of which is “doubling the share of renewable energy in the global energy mix” by 2030. Renewable energy is eco-friendly and cheap compared to fossil fuels that contribute to air pollution worldwide. This global initiative is same as “hitting two birds with one stone” approach. It doesn’t only solve the problem of energy or electricity shortage in the future. This may also lessen the impact of climate change that we are experiencing right now.

In this way, we don’t have to resort on desperate actions such as extracting electricity from nuclear power plants. As always, nature has everything we need in terms of natural resources and all we have to do is search for it and seize it. In return, we must be responsible ambassadors of our planet so it could still be available for the future generations.  Article Written By:

November 19, 2014 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, energy, politics international | Leave a comment

Russia calls Australia unreliable partner in nuclear power industry

Australia unreliable partner in nuclear power industry — Russian FM Tass  November 18, Australia has shot itself in the foot to demonstrate that it cannot be regarded as a reliable business partner in such a sensitive sphere as nuclear power, the Russian Foreign Ministry said MOSCOW, November 18. /TASS/. By refusing to supply uranium to Russia, Australia has positioned itself as an unreliable business partner in such a sensitive and responsible sphere as the nuclear power industry, the Russian Foreign Ministry said on Tuesday.

“We have taken note of statements by the Australian ambassador in Moscow Paul Myler to the effect his country has stopped uranium supplies to Russia because of the loss of confidence in our country,” the Russian Foreign Ministry said. “In fact, Myler has accused Russia of a possible abuse of WMD (weapons of mass destruction) non-proliferation liabilities.”………….

November 19, 2014 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

Australia’s trade deal with India, export of uranium not finalised

India-uranium1PM announces 12-month deadline for the new trade deal with India STEVEN SCOTT THE COURIER-MAIL NOVEMBER 19, 2014“………The Prime Minister backed  India’s investment in coal in Queensland’s Galilee Basin  and vowed to fast track the first sales of uranium to the world’s largest democracy in a drive to revive flagging ties between our two countries……..

” Mr Abbott said. “And if all goes to plan Australia will export uranium to India under suitable safeguards, of course, because cleaner energy is one of the most important contributions that Australia can make to the wider world.

“By the end of next year we will have a free trade deal with what is potentially the world’s largest market.”……..

Mr Modi said India wanted “energy that does not cause our glaciers to melt”, saying his country had a growing appetite for “clean coal and gas, renewable energy and fuel for nuclear power”………

Uranium sales have not yet taken place but Mr Abbott, who signed a safeguards agreement for the exports in New Delhi in September, said he wanted the trade to begin soon………

November 19, 2014 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, politics international | Leave a comment

ACT and South Australia winning the renewables race

renewable-energy-pictureThe ACT has the country’s most ambitious emissions reductions and renewable energy targets Climate Council report reveals, Canberra Times November 18, 2014     The ACT is “punching above its weight” compared to other jurisdictions with the most ambitious emissions reduction and renewable energy targets in the country, the Climate Council’s latest report reveals.

Along with South Australia, the ACT is “winning the Australian renewable energy race” putting it in the “best position to reap the benefits of the global shift to cleaner energy”, the report comparing the renewable energy policies of all states and territories said.

The ACT aims to source 90 per cent of its electricity supply from renewables by 2020; currently it’s at 20 per cent.

In comparison, South Australia has a renewable energy target of 50 per cent by 2025 but is already sourcing around 33 per cent of its electricity from renewable sources.

………The report said Australia’s states and territories could act as leaders tackling climate change and growing Australia’s renewable energy industry, mirroring the US where state-based targets and incentives had made the country second in the world for installed renewable energy capacity.

November 19, 2014 Posted by | ACT, energy | Leave a comment

Thorium nuclear power, not only super expensive, but has a weapons proliferation risk

“The difference in the state of development of thorium versus other sources of fuel is so vast and the cost of developing the technology is so high, it’s really questionable today whether it’s worthwhile to spend a lot of money on the development of thorium.”

Thorium-snake-oilIs the “Superfuel” Thorium Riskier Than We Thought?
A new study in Nature says that using thorium as a nuclear fuel has a higher risk for proliferation into weapons than scientists had believed. Popular Mechanics, By Phil McKenna December 5, 2012 
Imagine a cheap, plentiful source of energy that could provide safe, emissions-free power for hundreds of years without refueling and without any risk of nuclear proliferation. The fuel is thorium, and it has been trumpeted by proponents as a “superfuel” that eludes many of the pitfalls of today’s nuclear energy. But now, as a number of countries including China, India, and the United States explore the potential use of thorium for nuclear power, researchers say one of the biggest claims made about the fuel—its proliferation resistance—doesn’t add up.

“It may not be as resistant as touted and in some cases the risk of proliferation may be worse than other fuels,” says Stephen Ashley of the University of Cambridge. Continue reading

November 19, 2014 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

South Australia a world leader on renewable energy, other States lagging badly

States inconsistent on renewable energy NEWS.COM.AU NOVEMBER 18, 2014

SOUTH Australia is a world leader when it comes to renewable energy but other states including Victoria have missed out on investment worth billions of dollars, a report has found.

AUSTRALIA is being put in a vulnerable position without clear federal policy and changes to the renewable energy target, Climate Council chief councillor Professor Tim Flannery says.

Prof Flannery said the Australian government has to stop dragging its feet and be willing to address the issues, instead of seeking to reduce its target of 20 per cent renewable energy by 2020.”If we can forge a policy mix, a policy formula, that serves our economy well, that allows us to do our bit for combating climate change at a commensurate level from what we’ve seen China and the US do, I think people will be satisfied.”Prof Flannery says individual states are being put under pressure to perform and the Climate Council report released on Tuesday has recorded varying results.He said South Australia took action early and now got 36 per cent of its energy from renewable resources while less than four per cent of Victoria’s energy is renewable.”Victoria has got fantastic wind and solar resources, every bit as good as South Australia but we’re seeing here a laggard state,” he said.”We haven’t seen the investment here in Victoria that we would otherwise have expected.”Victoria has probably missed out on $4 billion worth of investment in the renewable energy sector.”Prof Flannery said the NSW government has seen the error of its ways and is now committed to a renewable focus……..

November 19, 2014 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

Ozone depletion contributes to climate change

diagram-ozone-depletionThe ozone hole leaves a lasting impression on southern climate, The Conversation,  Sharon Robinson Professor at University of Wollongong, 8 November 2014, Many people think of sunburn and skin cancer when they hear about the ozone hole. But more ultraviolet (UV) radiation isn’t the only problem.

The ozone hole has also led to dramatic changes in Southern Hemisphere weather patterns. These in turn are altering natural ecosystems and food production. These climate changes are likely having a similar if not greater impact than more UV radiation.

We discuss some of these changes in a paper published today in Global Change Biology.

This week the parties to the Montreal Protocol will meet in Paris, to consider the latest report from the United Nations Environment Programme Environmental Effects Assessment Panel. This report summarises the impact of both ozone loss and the associated increase in ultraviolet radiation on the environment and human health.

The Montreal Protocol continues to be effective at phasing out ozone depleting chemicals and has decreased levels of these greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. But while the Montreal Protocol is a success story, the Southern Hemisphere still faces the threat of climate change from rising greenhouse gases. There is still much to do.

Changing the weather Continue reading

November 19, 2014 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, climate change - global warming | Leave a comment

Warning on outdoor workers’ risk of melanoma

UV-radiation Warning for employers on melanoma, The Standard, By PETER COLLINS
Nov. 19, 2014,   EMPLOYERS have been urged to ensure outdoor workers take precautions against skin cancer, with rising cases of melanoma requiring medical attention.
 In the past 10 years the Victorian WorkCover Authority has received 107 claims costing more than $6.2 million in compensation, common law damages and impairment benefits.

Lost work time and extra insurance costs were also repercussions for employers, the Cancer Council of Victoria said at the start of National Skin Cancer Action Week.

The Standard sought comment after observing several outdoor workers in recent weeks without sun-protective headwear………

he cancer council said outdoor workers received five to 10 times more UV radiation exposure than indoor workers.

“In Australia it is estimated that around 200 melanomas and 34,000 non-melanoma skin cancers are caused by occupational exposures to UV every year,” a spokeswoman said. “Recent research indicated that while 95 per cent of Australian outdoor workers use some form of sun protection, just 9 per cent are considered to be fully protected from UV overexposure.”

In Victoria more than 40,000 new cases of skin cancer were diagnosed every year including 2307 cases of melanoma and 460 deaths from skin cancer……..

It is estimated two in three Australians will get some form of skin cancer before they are 70 and UV levels are strong enough in January to damage the skin in as little as 11 minutes.

November 19, 2014 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

Joe Hockey touts uranium exports as cure for the climate change that he doesn’t believe in anyway

Hockey,-Joe-on-GROWTHHockey: Australia resources will benefit from China, US climate pact THE AUSTRALIAN  NOVEMBER 13, 2014 
URANIUM and natural gas exporters will see “massive opportunity” from the historic climate pact between the US and China to reduce carbon pollution levels, Treasurer Joe Hockey says………Mr Hockey said the climate deal would benefit Australian resources sector, including uranium, gas and coal……

    Greens leader Christine Milne warned Australia risked “looking like just a quarry” while the world moved to post-carbon economic models…….

November 19, 2014 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

Balance between need for Vitamin D, and avoidance of skin cancer

radiation spectrumSkin cancer fears blinding people to health benefits of sunlight, say scientists SMH, November 18, 2014    Skin cancer prevention campaigns may be steering people away from healthy doses of sunlight, which is now thought to protect against high blood pressure, heart disease and possibly stroke, a group of British scientists say.

In a provocative presentation to a Melbourne conference this week, Martin Feelisch, a professor of clinical and experimental sciences at the University of Southampton, questioned whether it was time for a “radical rethink” of the advice given to people about how much time they should spend in the sun.

Professor Feelisch said recent epidemiological studies suggested that the health benefits of moderate sunlight exposure outweighed the harmful effects of UV radiation on the skin.

In particular, a recent study conducted with colleagues at the University of Edinburgh found that a dose of UV equivalent to about 30 minutes of sunshine during the summer in southern Europe lowered people’s blood pressure……….

But head of the Australian Cancer Council Professor Ian Olver said current public health advice was sophisticated in Australia, balancing the pros and cons of sunlight for Vitamin D and emphasising high UV index times when people are more likely to burn.

“If the UV index is three or above, the sun is intense enough to burn you and therefore you need to take some protection measures. If it’s less than three, you can probably safely go out in the sun. So for vitamin D, early in the morning or late in the afternoon, it might be fine to go out without protection but in the middle of the day, it usually isn’t.”

Professor Olver said despite these campaigns, Australia still had high rates of skin cancer. There were still more than 12,000 melanomas and 430,000 non-melanoma skin cancers diagnosed each year and about 2000 people died from the disease annually, he said.

November 19, 2014 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

Australian uranium miner Paladin continues its downward plunge

burial.uranium-industryPaladin continues uranium plunge, Yahoo 7 News,  Nick Evans  November 14, 2014 A surge in the uranium spot price failed to help Paladin Energy’s bottom line, with the company declaring a net after-tax loss from operations of $US45.8 million for the September quarter.

According to Paladin’s latest financial results, released late yesterday, revenue for the quarter crashed 43 per cent to $US39.3 million………

The unexpectedly big loss will put further pressure on Paladin’s balance sheet, despite the completion of a $US190 million company-saving deal with China National Nuclear Corporation for the sale of a 25 per cent stake in Langer Heinrich. Closure of the deal left Paladin with cash holdings worth $US209.5 million at September 30.

Paladin also refinanced its existing $US110 million project finance loan and $US20 million working capital facility in the quarter, and used some of the CNNC cash to pay down debt.

But the company still faces the task of refinancing $US300 million of convertible bonds maturing next November, as well as paying $US40.4 million in interest and principal repayments before next September…….

November 17, 2014 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, business, uranium | Leave a comment

Tony Abbott urged by United Nations chief to support climate change fund

UN chief urges Australian PM to support climate change fund, SMH, November 15, 2014  National Affairs Editor UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has revealed that world leaders at the G20 are “actively discussing” climate change as he called on Australia to contribute to a UN fund supporting developing nations to combat global warming.

Abbott-in-hot-panDescribing climate change as the “defining challenge of our times”, Mr Ban’s comments cut across prime minister Tony Abbott’s push to keep discussions on climate change off the agenda at the G20.

And, while the US has pledged $3 billion to the UN’s Green Climate Fund, Mr Abbott has previously said Australia won’t contribute, describing it as “socialism masquerading as environmentalism”.

“Climate change is the defining issue of our times so it’s only natural that G20 leaders should focus much more on this as part of making this world sustainable,” said Mr Ban said in Brisbane on Saturday..

The world, he added, was looking to the G20 to take the lead on climate change, and he asked for more “ambitious pledges” towards the Global Climate Fund. As well as the US, Denmark, Mexico, South Korea, Germany, France, Denmark, Norway and Switzerland are other nations to support the fund…………

November 17, 2014 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, climate change - global warming | Leave a comment

Tons of radioactive wastes for incineration in Japan


Even if Japan opts for the best technique (rejection of one radionuclide in 100,000 to 1 million, according to Areva) this operation will lead to significant emissions into the atmosphere. As to incinerate waste will not remove the radioaction . Reconquérir le territoire reste une tâche titanesque. To reconquer that territory from radiation will remain a gigantic task.

Fukushima: Japan has chosen to incinerate tons of radioactive waste By Marc Cherki  11/09/2014  Translation by D’un Renard

In Kawauchi, a small village located on both sides of of 20 kilometers division line around the Fukushima plant, many one cubic meter bags, are filled by the decontaminators with radioactive vegetal waste. Plants, grasses, lichens, shrubs that lined the road are now piled into these big bags.

Thus, the radiation received by persons traveling on this path is reduced. The plants are also removed within 20 meters around houses.

With Date and Minamisoma, Kawauchi is one of the “model villages” exemplified by the IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency) and the Japanese government.

The committed efforts are huge . In less than a year, since the nuclear accident in March 2011, projects funded by the government were already valued at 10 billion euros only for the decontamination of soils, houses and a microscopic part of the forests.

At present, the kariokiba, the temporary storage sites, are overfull of waste.
About 43 million cubic meters (43 million tons), as plastic bags of blue, black or gray colors depending on the choice of the town, are piling into a thousand temporary sites.


The bags are half filled with plants.
The others contain the contaminated soil removed from the surface of rice fields and schoolyards, materials polluted by radioactive fallout cloud or dust collected in houses gutters,

The Japanese government has pledged to deal with the waste from 1 January 2015. But nobody believes this possible in such a short time. Continue reading

November 17, 2014 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 580 other followers