Antinuclear

Australian news, and some related international items

The Australian Government’s frenzied plan for a nuclear “sacrifice zone” in Kimba or Hawker, South Australia- theme for July 18

Resources Minister Matt Canavan announced that on 20 August, there will be  a ballot to gauge community support for a nuclear waste dump near one of the small towns of Kimba and Hawker, about 450km north of Adelaide. The vote will be confined to the residents in the immediate local area.

“The decision will be made in the second half of this year” said Canavan ““We do not want this overlapping with a federal election”.

Indeed they don’t!  Heck! This nuclear garbage dump idea is a National matter. But Canavan, the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science, ANSTO, ARPANSA, and the rest of the nuclear lobby, are pitching it ONLY to the small farming communities of Kimba and Hawker, and resolutely keeping the rest of us in blissful ignorance.

Trekking Lucas Heights’ highly radioactive nuclear reactor wastes for 1700 km across Australia – to become a “temporary , i.e. stranded waste dump, is a dangerous idea. And unnecessary – Lucas Heights has the necessary space, technology, and expertise.

Nuclear medicine itself,  short-lived hospital radioactive wastes, do not need this. Hypocritically, the government  tells the Kimba and Hawker people that it’s a “medical necessity”  they’ll be Australia’s heroes. AT WHAT PRICE – now and for future generations?

A Senate Inquiry will report on this on 14 August. Too late to make a difference.  Read many brilliant submissions to this Inquiry, posted on this website. Summaries of these, with links to full submissions are at SUBMISSIONS TO SENATE INQUIRY 18.

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July 14, 2018 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Federal nuclear waste dump | Leave a comment

Nuclear high priest Dr Adi Paterson admits the REAL purpose of proposed South Australian nuclear waste dump

Tim Bickmore  No Nuclear Waste Dump Anywhere in South Australia. 16 July 18 “When I was speaking to Adi Paterson, who’s the CEO of ANSTO, I said, ‘I don’t really favour the intermediate-level waste coming here, because I worry about it becoming stranded waste if the political landscape changes.’

He said: ‘Why wouldn’t you want the intermediate-level waste? Without it, there’s no real economic benefit for the community.‘ So the CEO of ANSTO is telling me that, without the intermediate-level waste—and this will in the long run just be a low-level waste facility—there’s no economic benefit. “https://www.facebook.com/groups/1314655315214929/

July 16, 2018 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Federal nuclear waste dump | Leave a comment

Cameron Scott – Kimba Consultative Committee rigged to justify “broad community support” for nuclear waste dump

Cameron Scott, Supplementary submission for the senate inquiry into the national radioactive waste facility siting process, Senate Standing Committees on Economics

Since my previous submission I have been trying to gain more information from CSIRO about the Waste and Storage Facility at Woomera. I have also asked them for their expert opinion on aspects of the facility using their international experience in Nuclear Facilities and processes. I have had direct contact with a Senior Principle Research Scientist at CSIRO who had previously presented to us when our Agricultural group went on a tour to ANSTO. During this Ag trip he told me that he would try and get me a tour of Woomera, since returning despite his efforts he was unable to gain access to the Woomera facility. He had been very forthcoming with his expert opinion and information until I was using the information he had giving me to question certain issues with the Department.

I have now been advised that if I want further information from CSIRO I will need to go directly to the Department of Industry Innovation and Science or via the Kimba Consultative Committee. It seems  that the only expert opinions we are allowed to have are those who read off the Department script.

I would like to take this opportunity to recall a conversation I had with Bruce Wilson on this same Ag trip where he assured us that the Kimba Consultative Committee would be made up of people with equal numbers for and against the facility. After my recent conversations with CSIRO I am concerned that the international models which this KCC is based on, in countries such as Belgium the community committee were used in reporting community consent ie unanimous community support actually meant unanimous consultative committee support. I have always thought the Government had rigged this committee for a reason and I am very worried it will be used in reporting to justify broad community support.

July 16, 2018 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Federal nuclear waste dump | Leave a comment

Promoting Nuclear Waste Dump – the sole purpose of Hawker Community Development Board

Tim Bickmore  No Nuclear Waste Dump Anywhere in South Australia  So, it would seem that apart from dump promotions the HCDB has no other purpose.

As the HCDB is now neutral in concern to the NRWMF until the formal vote is counted this page will now be going into recess until this has occurred. Future meeting dates will be advertised on ‘Get About’ Hawker and in the town Crier. See you all again in September

July 16, 2018 Posted by | Federal nuclear waste dump, South Australia | Leave a comment

Australian Government aid contracts given to crooked company

comment from Brett Stokes “Jacobs, the company that bought out SKM” Jacobs MCM were paid by the Scarce Royal Commission to produce a business case for nuclear waste imports. Same mob?

the firm was bought out by Californian contracting giant Jacobs. The government continues to award contracts to Jacobs on defence-related projects.

Australia handed out millions in aid contracts to company accused of bribery, Guardian , Sinclair Knight 15July18Merz, a donor to both Labor and Liberal parties, won contracts worth $489m for Asia-Pacific projects.

The Australian government awarded hundreds of millions of dollars in foreign aid contracts to a company that was found to have been systematically bribing high-level Vietnamese officials.

Australian consulting firm Sinclair Knight Merz (SKM), a donor to both the Labor and Liberal parties, was a significant corporate player in the government’s foreign aid program for more than a decade, winning 83 contracts worth $489m for projects across the Asia-Pacific.

But Guardian Australia can reveal evidence of widespread corruption by the firm as it operated in one south-east Asian nation and allegations over dealings in another.

In Vietnam, the firm was found to have repeatedly bribed public officials to secure work on three aid projects funded by the World Bank.

“[The firm used] comparably sophisticated means of affecting and covering up the illegitimate payments through the use of third-party agreements, ghost contracts, and fake invoices,” the World Bank’s independent integrity arm alleged, according to a sanctions decision.

Different SKM subsidiaries were used to help mask the bribes and make the payments. A range of staff appeared to have knowledge of the payments.

One staff member gave damning testimony that SKM had made “provision[s] for illegitimate payments in all of the projects for which [the firm] tendered since 2000”.

SKM is also now facing criminal prosecution in Australia for conspiring to bribe officials in two countries: Vietnam and the Philippines

Court documents seen by Guardian Australia allege SKM offered bribes to Vietnamese officials between 2006 and November 2011 to secure work on four infrastructure projects, including in Thanh Hoa, Da Nang and the northern mountains. The company is alleged to have offered benefits of $USD880,000 ($AUD1,193,632).

SKM also allegedly conspired to bribe officials on five separate projects in the Philippines between 2000 and mid-2005, including sewage, river rehabilitation, and air quality projects in Manila, and an urban services project on Mindanao.

The firm is accused of offering benefits worth about PHP 6,543,578.94 ($AUD165,768.09) to “unknown public officials” from the Philippines working on the tender approval process for infrastructure projects.

There is no evidence SKM directly used Australian taxpayers’ money to bribe foreign officials and there is no suggestion it acted improperly to win aid contracts from the Australian government

But the case has raised questions about the strength of Australia’s supposedly “zero tolerance” approach to foreign bribery and the level of scrutiny applied to Australian corporations that win big through the foreign aid program.

Australian authorities are likely to have known about the bribery allegations since at least 2012, when the firm self-reported to the World Bank’s integrity arm, which has a formal information sharing agreement with the federal government.

The Australian federal police (AFP) began investigating the allegations in July 2013.

Despite this, the government continued to contract SKM on foreign aid projects until the end of 2013, when the firm was bought out by Californian contracting giant Jacobs. The government continues to award contracts to Jacobs on defence-related projects.

In total, the company received 83 contracts worth $489m from Australia’s aid program between 2000 and 2014, according to government figures. It worked largely on infrastructure-related aid projects, and advisory, consulting and service-oriented contracts relating to a diverse range of topics, including sanitation, energy, and health care on Nauru.

SKM was awarded Australian aid contracts specifically relating to Vietnam in 2008, 2009 and 2011, and the Philippines in 2008 and 2012.

Anti-corruption advocates have long warned against continuing to give government contracts to firms found to have paid bribes to foreign officials.

In 2016, Transparency International urged the government to legislate to bar such companies from government work if they are found to have bribed overseas officials – an approach taken in Canada and the United States……..

Aid/Watch, an NGO that scrutinises Australia’s aid program, said there had been a significant shift to favouring large corporates to deliver foreign aid since 2013.

The group’s coordinator, Natalie Lowrey, said this corporatisation of aid made it more difficult to ensure accountability. NGOs who deliver government-funded aid are subject to extreme scrutiny, requiring accreditation, solid governance structures, a proven track record, and compliance with strict transparency measures, Lowrey said.

There is no accountability for private companies administering aid, whereas, Australian NGOs are strictly accredited,” she said. ……..

The decision to prosecute SKM was not publicly announced and the cases went unreported when they first appeared in a Sydney court last month.

Guardian Australia has seen documents that confirm that the claims being brought against SKM relate to foreign bribery offences under the commonwealth criminal code. The claims relate to activities in both Vietnam and the Philippines. The case is ongoing.https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2018/jul/13/australia-handed-out-millions-in-aid-contracts-to-company-accused-of-bribery?CMP=share_btn_fb

 

July 16, 2018 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, secrets and lies | Leave a comment

Government lack of transparency about interim storage of nuclear wastes

Lawmaker says he can’t get info on waste plan https://www.abqjournal.com/1195897/legislator-citizens-deserve-to-have-answers-about-nuclear-facility.html, By Maddy Hayden / Journal Staff Writer July 12th Albuquerque Journal

A legislator says he isn’t getting any answers out of the administration of Gov. Susana Martinez to questions about a proposed interim storage site for spent nuclear fuel in southeastern New Mexico.

Sen. Jeff Steinborn, D-Las Cruces, chairman of the Legislature’s Committee on Radioactive and Hazardous Materials, sent nearly 60 questions to the heads of several state departments in April.

Only one responded.

“It raises the obvious conclusion that this governor and her administration have done no analysis on this project,” Steinborn said. “The citizens of the state deserve to have answers on our state’s ability to handle this facility.”

The senator wrote in a July 9 letter to the governor that the New Mexico Environment Department did respond to his questions “but without providing substantive information on the issues raised.”

The Environment Department provided that letter to the Journal.

In it, department Secretary Butch Tongate said NMED would review the Environmental Impact Statement in progress at the Nuclear Regulatory Commission “and provide comments to the NRC as necessary.”

“The Senator’s questions should be directed to the NRC – the agency overseeing the process,” NMED spokeswoman Katy Diffendorfer said in an email.

Diffendorfer also said it is still unclear what role the NMED would play in the permitting and oversight of the proposed facility.

Questions were also directed to the Department of Transportation, Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Department, Homeland Security and Emergency Management Department and Department of Military Affairs, which did not respond to Steinborn’s inquiries at all, he said.

Steinborn asked for details about transporting the waste through the state, safety protocol should a leak or other event occur and how the state’s oil and gas industry could be affected by the project, and other issues.

Martinez has expressed support for the project.

The facility, proposed by Holtec International, would house spent nuclear fuel from nuclear power plants around the country.

The NRC is considering the facility’s license, a process that could take years.

July 16, 2018 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

UK government advisers tell ministers that renewables are a better bet than nuclear

New figures released by energy analytics firm EnAppSys show renewables have already overtaken nuclear for electricity generation. Wind, solar and biomass power stations supplied 28.1% of power across April, May and June, with nuclear at 22.5%, the third quarter in a row that renewables have outstripped nuclear.

Cool down nuclear plan because renewables are better bet, ministers told,    https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2018/jul/10/nuclear-renewables-are-better-bet-ministers-told  Government advisers say UK should back just one more new nuclear power station in the next few years, Guardian,  Adam Vaughan, 15 July 18

Government advisers have told ministers to back only a single new nuclear power station after Hinkley Point C in the next few years, because renewable energy sources could prove a safer investment.

The National Infrastructure Commission (NIC) said the government should cool down plans for a nuclear new build programme that envisage as many as six plants being built.

The commission, launched by George Osborne in 2015, said that a decade ago it would have been unthinkable that renewables could be affordable and play a major role in electricity generation. But the sector had undergone a “quiet revolution” as costs fell, it said.

Sir John Armitt, the NIC’s chairman, said: “They [the government] say full speed. We’re suggesting it’s not necessary to rush ahead with nuclear. Because during the next 10 years we should get a lot more certainty about just how far we can rely on renewables.”

He argued that wind and solar could deliver the same generating capacity as nuclear for the same price, and would be a better choice because there was less risk. “One thing we’ve all learnt is these big nuclear programmes can be pretty challenging, quite risky – they will be to some degree on the government’s balance sheet,” he said. Continue reading

July 16, 2018 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

Trump Low Expectations For Putin Summit; Calls EU “Foe”; Head Of EU Council Tweets That US And EU Are “Best Friends” And Whoever Says Otherwise Is Spreading “Fake News” — Mining Awareness +

Trump maternal island in the UK. Why didn’t the UK keep him? Or, his paternal home of Germany? If in 2004 the Bush administration worked with Canada and France to kidnap and deport the legitimate, democratically elected, President of Haiti – Jean Bertrand Aristide, and take him to a foreign country, across the Atlantic, then […]

via Trump Low Expectations For Putin Summit; Calls EU “Foe”; Head Of EU Council Tweets That US And EU Are “Best Friends” And Whoever Says Otherwise Is Spreading “Fake News” — Mining Awareness +

July 16, 2018 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Why Does NuScale SMR Look Like a 1964 Drawing of Swiss Lucens Nuclear Reactor (which suffered a major meltdown in 1969)? — Mining Awareness +

Originally posted on Mining Awareness + : Whatever NuScale is, or is not, it clearly isn’t “new”. The Bible must have foreseen the nuclear industry when it said that there was no new thing under the sun. While there might be something new about it, certainly its scale is not. And, it seems mostly a remake of…

via Why Does NuScale SMR Look Like a 1964 Drawing of Swiss Lucens Nuclear Reactor (which suffered a major meltdown in 1969)? — Mining Awareness +

July 16, 2018 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Clean energy award finalists shine brightly during unprecedented year for industry — RenewEconomy

The world’s biggest battery, a ground-breaking greenhouse project to grow tomatoes in the desert and a solar schools challenge in Western Australia are among the finalists announced in the 2018 Clean Energy Council Awards.

via Clean energy award finalists shine brightly during unprecedented year for industry — RenewEconomy

July 16, 2018 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Renault makes Zoe electric car available to Australian consumers — RenewEconomy

Renault makes electric Zoe available to individual consumers in Australia after modest sales to fleet owners.

via Renault makes Zoe electric car available to Australian consumers — RenewEconomy

July 16, 2018 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Australia has 35GW of solar farms in development pipeline — RenewEconomy

After a record 2017, there is now more than 1900MW of solar PV farms under construction across Australia, and 35GW in various stages of development.

via Australia has 35GW of solar farms in development pipeline — RenewEconomy

July 16, 2018 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Power prices won’t drop till energy industry removes smoke and mirrors — RenewEconomy

ACCC report identifies too little competition in market, but chooses to leave status quo in place. That won’t help energy prices.

via Power prices won’t drop till energy industry removes smoke and mirrors — RenewEconomy

July 16, 2018 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Development approval for 300MW solar farm near Gladstone — RenewEconomy

Development approval given for 300MW solar farm near Gladstone, yet another sign of transformation of the state’s coal industry centre.

via Development approval for 300MW solar farm near Gladstone — RenewEconomy

July 16, 2018 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

July 15 Energy News — geoharvey

Opinion: ¶ “Forest policy looms over Oregon’s climate change debate” • As lawmakers gear up to make another attempt to pass a climate change bill in 2019, new data suggests that the forest sector is not only a factor in Oregon’s carbon picture, it is THE factor and one of national and even international importance […]

via July 15 Energy News — geoharvey

July 16, 2018 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

When it comes to Nuclear Power, Small Isn’t Beautiful, Nor Safe Nor Cheap Nor Even New — Mining Awareness +

Originally posted on Mining Awareness + : NuScale in 2003 when it belonged to the US Gov and was called “MULTI-APPLICATION, SMALL, LIGHT WATER REACTOR (MASLWR)” INEEL/EXT-04-01626 Greenpeace’s Justin McKeating made an excellent analysis of NuScale last year (see below our commentary). However, he overlooked that the US DOE actually invented NuScale under the name of MASLWR.…

via When it comes to Nuclear Power, Small Isn’t Beautiful, Nor Safe Nor Cheap Nor Even New — Mining Awareness +

July 16, 2018 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment