Antinuclear

Australian news, and some related international items

Australia’s betrayal of the global nuclear disarmament movement -theme for August 16

This week, sadly, I, and many others have to report that Australia’s history of doublespeak on nuclear disarmament  has now gone even further down the path of promoting nuclear weapons.

The Australian government did this by sabotaging the final day of the UN Open-ended Working Group on taking forward multilateral nuclear disarmament negotiations.  It did this by attempted to derail a ban on nuclear weapons at a UN meeting on disarmament, by single-handedly forcing a vote on a report that had been expected to pass unanimously.

thumbs-down Australia’s contribution.  More detail on this can be found in several recent articles quoted on this website
world-nuclear-weapons-free

August 27, 2016 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Christina themes, politics international, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Australia makes itself unpopular at Geneva with unintelligent nuclear weapons diplomacy

The real reason for Australia’s opposition to a ban treaty (that a ban will make it more difficult for Australia to continue its reliance on extended nuclear deterrence) was never mentioned. The transparent dishonesty in Australia’s rhetoric only increased scepticism of Australia’s commitment to nuclear disarmament.
thumbs-downAustralia writes itself out of nuclear disarmament diplomacy http://www.text-relevantlowyinterpreter.org/post/2016/08/23/Australia-writes-itself-out-of-nuclear-disarmament-diplomacy.aspx 23 August 2016 

On Friday at the United Nations in Geneva, Australian diplomats called a vote they knew they would lose, split their already modest support base in half, and enraged more than 100 other countries that had been ready to agree to a painstakingly negotiated compromise. For its trouble, Australia gained precisely nothing, and seriously damaged its credibility and influence. If it sounds like a diplomatic train wreck, it was. What on earth was going on?

The drama unfolded on the final day of the UN Open-ended Working Group on taking forward multilateral nuclear disarmament negotiations. This group has met intermittently throughout 2016; the principal goal for Australia and around 28 other countries in nuclear alliances (also known as ‘umbrella states’ or, more colourfully, ‘nuclear weasel states’) was to ensure that the group did not recommend the negotiation of a new treaty prohibiting nuclear weapons (Tim Wright covered the ban treaty proposal and the associated dilemmas for Australia in The Interpreter in June).

Australia’s manoeuvres on Friday were merely the latest in a series of ill-conceived efforts to try to stop the ban treaty, but which have only fuelled support for it. Continue reading

August 27, 2016 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, politics international, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Australia’s weasel words at United Nations Nuclear Disarmament Conference

Australia has steadily retreated from the push for universal nuclear disarmament that Bill Hayden, notably, inserted into policy when he was foreign minister in the Hawke government to provide moral balance to the alliance with the US.

weasel-words1As we’ve noticed before, the new Defence White Paper this year dropped all that. “Australia’s security is underpinned by the ANZUS Treaty, United States extended deterrence and access to advanced United States technology and information,” it stated. “Only the nuclear and conventional military capabilities of the United States can offer effective deterrence against the possibility of nuclear threats against Australia.”

Julie Bishop is all for nuclear weapons, gushing that “the horrendous humanitarian consequences of nuclear weapons are precisely why deterrence has worked”. In Geneva, her diplomats have been hard at work trying to derail efforts for a United Nations ban on nuclear weapons.

…..much bad will towards Australia. But Bishop can be sure of brownie points in Washington, no doubt.

People’s tribunal finds Australia guilty over nuclear weapons, The Saturday Paper, HAMISH MCDONALD, AUG 27, 2016

Weasel words at UN working group Malcolm Turnbull is getting accused of many things as he text-relevantheads towards the first anniversary of his snafu-prone prime ministership. But aiding and abetting the planning of genocide, ecocide and even omnicide (that is, the destruction of everyone and all living things)?

Well, yes. The University of Sydney was recently the venue for an international people’s tribunal, a kind of volunteer court, in which the leaders of the nine nuclear powers were on trial for planning the above crimes through their explicit threats to use their weapons. Turnbull, as our current leader, was up for facilitating the use of American weapons. The judges were New Zealand’s former disarmament minister Matthew Robson and Sydney politics academic Keith Suter, who duly found the accused guilty, in absentia of course.

They ruled that nuclear weapons violate the accepted principles of international humanitarian law in wartime because they cannot discriminate between military and civilian targets; go far beyond proportional response and military objectives; don’t protect non-combatants; cause unnecessary suffering by spreading poison, disease and genetic damage; cause massive environmental damage; threaten future generations; threaten death on a scale amounting to genocide; and involve massive collateral damage to neutral countries.

The United States, France, Russia, Pakistan and Britain refuse to rule out first use of their nuclear weapons, “but all indicted leaders have military plans and exercises that demonstrate that they are ready to use nuclear weapons if they deem it necessary”, the tribunal found. …….

The gesture comes as nuclear powers are expanding or modernising their arsenals. India and Pakistan are in a nuclear arms race: even use of 100 Hiroshima sized-bombs in that theatre would plunge the Earth into its coldest climate for a thousand years, University of Missouri expert Steven Starr told the tribunal. An exchange between the big powers would, aside from the immediate casualties, create a new Ice Age and result in most surviving humans and large animals dying of starvation……

Nuclear ‘weasels’ Continue reading

August 27, 2016 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, politics international, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Kazakhstan’s nuclear ‘sacrifice zone’ – Semipalatinsk

studies have detected among area residents heightened levels of leukemia and cancer of the breast, colon, esophagus, liver, lung and thyroid. They have also revealed higher levels of cardiovascular and blood diseases, chromosomal aberrations and congenital anomalies.

Kazakhstan: Living with Semipalatinsk’s Nuclear Fallout, EurasiaNet August 26, 2016 –  by Joanna Lillis   In the village of Znamenka in northeastern Kazakhstan, adults have vivid memories of nuclear explosions rocking the steppe.

 “We saw mushroom clouds — big and terrifying ones,” recalled Galina Tornoshenko, 67, shaking her head at the traumatic memory and gesturing upward at the clear blue sky. “I was small at the time, but I remember it well.”…….Over the next 40 years, 456 blasts were detonated there, releasing energy 2,500 times that of the first atomic weapon dropped on Hiroshima in 1945. The tests turned swaths of Kazakhstan into a toxic wasteland and ravaged the health of locals, who were, in effect, human guinea pigs……..
The site was mothballed in 1991, the year of the Soviet Union’s collapse. But for the people still suffering from the fallout, the atomic legacy is living on. Now renamed Semey, Semipalatinsk lies 120 kilometers east of the former ground zero, which is marked by a poignant monument in a city park depicting a woman nursing a child under an exploding mushroom cloud.

In a small apartment on the outskirts of Semey, Mayra Zhumageldina is massaging her daughter’s twisted limbs. “If you don’t do massage, they freeze up,” Zhumageldina told EurasiaNet.org, smiling down fondly at her disabled daughter. “I took a special massage course to do this.”

Zhannur Zhumageldina, 25, was born in the village of Olzhabay, 200 kilometers from the polygon, the year after it closed and three years after it conducted its last explosion.

anencephaly

At 15 months old, she was diagnosed with microcephaly, a rare neurological condition in which the head is abnormally small, impeding brain development, and scoliosis, curvature of the spine. Both conditions were caused by radiation exposure. Continue reading

August 27, 2016 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

A practical first step that America could take towards nuclear disarmament

It is time to turn nuclear common sense into national policy. A declaration that the United States would never use nuclear weapons when conventional weapons could destroy the target could reduce the number of nuclear weapons we need for legitimate deterrence purposes.

Flag-USAThe common-sense fix that American nuclear policy needs, WP,  By Jeffrey G. text-relevantLewis and Scott D. Sagan August 24

Jeffrey G. Lewis is director of the East Asian Nonproliferation Program at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey. Scott D. Sagan is the Caroline S.G. Munro professor of political science and senior fellow at the Center for International Security and Cooperation at Stanford University. This op-ed was adapted from an article that will appear in the fall issue of Daedalus.

President Obama, in his final months in office, is considering major nuclear policy changes to move toward his oft-stated goal of a world without nuclear weapons. One option reportedly under consideration is a “no first use” pledge, a declaration that the United States would not be the first state to use nuclear weapons in any conflict. While we think that such a pledge would ultimately strengthen U.S. security, we believe it should be adopted only after detailed military planning and after close consultation with key allies, tasks that will fall to the next administration.

There is, however, a simpler change that Obama could make now that could have as important, or even greater, benefits for U.S. security. The president could declare, as a matter of law and policy, that the United States will not use nuclear weapons against any target that could be reliably destroyed by conventional means.

This might seem like common sense, but current U.S. doctrine allows the use of nuclear weapons against any “object” deemed to be a legitimate military target. Continue reading

August 27, 2016 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Tasmanian conservationists have a legal win, in their fight against mining groups

Legal win for Tasmanian anti-mining groups fighting two Tarkine proposals, ABC News By Pablo Vinales , 27 Aug 16  Tasmanian conservationists have won the right to find out why previous state governments granted mining leases in the Tarkine region.

The Supreme Court in Hobart has dismissed an appeal by the State Government in an ongoing dispute with the Tarkine National Coalition.

Conservationists were seeking the reasoning behind decisions made by both Labor and Liberal governments which gave Venture Minerals Limited leases at Mount Lindsay and Livingstone in the Tasmania’s north-west.

Scott Jordan from Save the Tarkine said the decision was emphatic.

“This is a really clear judgement, it’s a strong judgement that the minister must provide statements of reasons for decisions he made around mining leases and that he can’t withhold that information and it should be available to the public,” Mr Scott said.

“The judgement was very clear to that there wasn’t any merits to the case that was brought, we’re very pleased with the judgement.”……http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-08-26/legal-win-for-tarkine-group-opposing-mines/7789080

August 27, 2016 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit (ECIU) think tank finds Hinkley nuclear station ‘not essential’

text Hinkley cancelledHinkley Point C nuclear plant not essential – think tank, BBC News 26 Aug 16, The Hinkley Point C nuclear power plant is “not essential” for the UK to meet its energy and climate change targets, according to a think tank.

The Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit (ECIU) also said opting for “established” approaches instead would save bill payers £1bn a year in total.

EDF Energy, which has agreed to back Hinkley, said the ECIU report did not offer “credible alternatives”.

The government is due to make a final decision on Hinkley in the autumn………

One of the report’s authors, former Npower chief executive, Paul Massara – who now runs North Star Solar – said: “You are looking at a deal which is two and half times the current price, it goes on for 35 years and effectively this report today shows we can transition to a low carbon, affordable secure option without Hinkley and that’s what we should be doing.”

Mr Massara said a more “flexible” cost saving approach was needed that “includes things like demand-side management, which means people can turn down their electricity demand and manage their demand, with smart meters and batteries which are going to come in the next five to six years”…….

In its report, the not-for-profit ECIU made the assumption that “the total annual cost of Hinkley will probably be about £2.5bn”.

It then calculated the cost of a basket of alternative measures to meet the country’s energy and climate change targets, and concluded that bill payers, both domestic and business, would end up paying a total of £1bn less per year for their energy if they were adopted than if Hinkley C were built.

‘Not essential’

The think tank’s alternative proposals include building more wind farms and gas-fired power stations than are currently planned and laying more cables connecting the UK grid with other countries.

“Our conclusion is that [Hinkley Point’s] not essential,” said ECIU director, Richard Black.

“Using tried and tested technologies, with nothing unproven or futuristic, Britain can meet all its targets and do so at lower cost,” he added……..http://www.bbc.com/news/business-37191222

August 27, 2016 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Doubts on China’s nuclear energy plans as public opposition rises

Protest-No!flag-ChinaProtests threaten China’s nuclear energy plans,  Global Risk Insights, 26 Aug 16  NIMBYism is on the rise in China, and without better dialogue between stakeholders, threatens to undermine Beijing’s nuclear plans and efforts to meet its COP21 goals.

Over the past two weeks, thousands of residents of Lianyungang, a town in Jiangsu province, have gathered, halting preparations for a proposed nuclear waste reprocessing plant. Lianyungang is one of six sites under consideration for the project, but the two companies developing the plant, China National Nuclear Co. (CNNC) and France’s Areva, have not yet decided on a final location.

China’s ambitious nuclear plans The proposed fuel reprocessing center would recycle spent fuel to create new fissile material. This process also reduces the final volume of nuclear waste that needs to be stored. Currently, spent fuel is stored onsite at the power plant, usually first in cooling pools and then in dry casks. Long term storage facilities, such as the controversial Yucca mountain repository in Nevada, have been unsuccessful in gaining regulatory approval. However, on-site waste storage is not viable in the long term, and fuel reprocessing centers, like the proposed $15 billion CNNC-Areva project, will be critical to the viability of nuclear energy in China.………

Chinese state media has attributed the movement in Lianyungang to “nimbyism.” The NIMBY (Not In My Backyard) mentality has led to the suspension or cancellation of other industrial projects in China, such as praxylene or waste incinerator plants.

Lack of public input fuels opposition There is growing advocacy in China for an expanded role for public input in planning these projects – currently decisions at the planning stages are made with little input from residents: “for many local residents, there is no absolute guarantee that those projects, if built in their neighborhood, can be 100 percent safe. If there is some harm, they will bear the brunt of the costs and risks…..” http://globalriskinsights.com/2016/08/nimbyism-threatens-china-nuclear-plans/

August 27, 2016 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Time that Australia ended its reliance on Extended Nuclear Deterrence (END)

The revival of concern about the humanitarian impacts of these weapons is shifting old assumptions.

Australia’s reliance on END keeps us on the wrong side of history. And it has led previous governments and the current government to actively oppose the growing calls for a ban on nuclear weapons.

Instead of blindly following US nuclear policies into whatever a future president might envisage, Australia should carefully consider its non-nuclear defence and challenge all claims, surrogate or otherwise, to nuclear weapons.

highly-recommendedAustralia’s stance on nuclear deterrence http://www.swinburne.edu.au/news/latest-news/2016/08/australias-stance-on-nuclear-deterrence-.php 26 August 2016

IN SUMMARY Analysis for The Conversation by Swinburne PhD candidate text-relevantDimity Hawkins and Swinburne senior lecturer Julie Kimber.CONTACT Lea Kivivali  +61 3 9214 5428      lkivivali@swin.edu.au  

For Australia, the US election should provide an opportunity to rethink defence relationships, especially as they relate to nuclear weapons.

There has been much hand-wringing at the thought of Donald Trump becoming US president. If, by some miracle, Trump succeeds in November, he will have his hand on the nuclear trigger.

But this concern, while great political fodder, is dangerously simplistic. It presupposes there are “safe hands” when it comes to nuclear weapons. There are not.

The US has around 7,000 nuclear weapons. Hundreds of these can be launched within minutes. While the global community has outlawed other indiscriminate weapons of mass destruction, nuclear weapons are yet to be banned.

The Cold War’s MAD (Mutually Assured Destruction) doctrine has morphed over the years into a framework of nuclear deterrence. Many governments globally have played a double game: supporting nuclear disarmament on the one hand, while relying on a nuclear defence on the other.

One such government is Australia’s. Despite consecutive governments insisting they support nuclear disarmament, Australia’s reliance on Extended Nuclear Deterrence (END) means it is frustrating attempts at a total ban.

August 27, 2016 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Following nearby earthquakes, Kagoshima’s Governor calls for halt to Sendai nuclear reactors

flag-japanGovernor asks utility to halt nuclear reactors in Kagoshima THE ASAHI SHIMBUN August 26, 2016 KAGOSHIMA–New Kagoshima Governor Satoshi Mitazono on Aug. 26 asked Kyushu Electric Power Co. to immediately shut down its Sendai nuclear power plant for a fresh safety inspection following the earthquakes that rocked neighboring Kumamoto Prefecture.

“We will consider your request and discuss it with many people,” Michiaki Uryu, president of Kyushu Electric, told Mitazono at the Kagoshima prefectural government building.

The utility plans to make an official response by early next month, but it is set to reject the governor’s request, sources said.

The two reactors at the Sendai plant in Satsuma-Sendai, Kagoshima Prefecture, on the southern main island of Kyushu, are the only ones online in Japan.

A governor does not have the legal authority to order a shutdown of a nuclear power plant. But under safety agreements, a prefectural government can call for measures deemed necessary to ensure the safety of the plant based on an inspection of the site…….http://www.asahi.com/ajw/articles/photo/AS20160826003329.html 

August 27, 2016 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Indigenous people oppose Australian company’s plan for massive uranium mine in Greenland

nuke-indigenous.1Greenland Inuit oppose open-pit uranium mine on Arctic mountain-top http://www.theecologist.org/News/news_analysis/2988016/greenland_inuit_oppose_openpit_uranium_mine_on_arctic_mountaintop.html, Bill Williams ,17th August 2016 

A collapse in the price of uranium has not yet stopped Australian mining company GME from trying to press ahead with a massive open-pit uranium mine on an Arctic mountain in southern Greenland, writes Bill Williams – just returned from the small coastal town of Narsaq where local people and Inuit campaigners are driving the growing resistance to the ruinous project.

As a doctor I routinely get asked for a second opinion, but it is not often that I travel halfway around the world to deliver it.

Recently I was invited to assess an old Danish uranium exploration site in Kvanefjeld in southern Greenland.

Inuit Ataqatigiit – the opposition party in the national parliament – had asked me to talk to local people about the health implications of re-opening the defunct mine.

An Australian firm called Greenland Minerals and Energy (GME) has big plans to extract uranium and rare earth minerals here. It would be a world first: an open-pit uranium mine on an Arctic mountain-top.

From the top of the range above the mine site I looked down across rolling green farmland to the small fishing village of Narsaq. Colourful timber houses rested at the edge of a deep blue strait that the Viking Eric the Red navigated a thousand years ago. Hundreds of icebergs bobbed on its mirror-like surface. To the east, half way up the valley, a small creek tumbled into a deep rock pool.

Behind that saddle lies Lake Tesaq, a pristine Arctic lake that GME plans to fill with nearly a billion tonnes of waste rock. This part of the mine waste would not be the most radioactive, because the company plans to dump this material in a nearby natural basin, with the promise that an ‘impervious’ layer would prevent leaching into the surrounding habitat.

Left behind – all the toxic products of radioactive decay

These mine tailings would contain the majority of the original radioactivity – about 85% in fact – because the miners only want the uranium and the rare earth elements. They would mine and then leave the now highly mobile radioactive contaminants, the progeny from the uranium decay behind: thorium, radium, radon gas, polonium and a horde of other toxins.

Even at very low levels of exposure ionising radiation is recognised as poisonous: responsible for cancer and non-cancer diseases in humans over vast timespans.

This is why my own profession is under growing pressure to reduce exposure of our patients to X-Rays and CT scans in particular – making sure benefit outweighs risk. It’s also why ERA, the proprietors of the Ranger mine in Kakadu, Australia, are legally obliged to isolate the tailings for at least 10,000 years.

While this is hardly possible, the mere fact that it is required highlights the severity and longevity of the risk. My Inuit audience in Narsaq was particularly interested to hear the messages I brought from traditional owners in Australia like Yvonne Margarula, of the Mirarr people:

“The problems always last, but the promises never do.”

And Jeffrey Lee from Koongara:

“I will fight to the end and we will stop it, then it won’t continue on for more uranium here in Kakadu.”

So far in 2016, not a single new nuclear reactor has opened

When GME started touting this project a decade ago the price of uranium was over $120 per pound and everybody in the extractive industry was breaking open the bubbly in anticipation of the ‘nuclear renaissance’.

We were told that nuclear power would save the world from anthropogenic carbon-carnage and uranium was a stock-market wunderkind. Then came the global financial crisis of 2007/2008 and the spot-price halved. And then the nuclear reactors at Fukushima melted down, and the price halved again.

And so the ‘renaissance’ failed to materialize: the real news today is that there has not been one reactor construction start-up so far this year. Not one. Not even in China, the only place where one could honestly claim there has been significant build in the past decade. Consequently, the uranium price has collapsed down to about $25 a pound at present.

GME’s share price trajectory has amplified the fall in the uranium price – from $65 a share in 2007 to less than 3 cents today. Despite this reality GME continues to wax lyrical about the company’s prospects.

A small nation divided

Two years ago the newly elected Greenland national government rescinded a 30-year ban on mining and exporting uranium – but their majority of just one seat in the 31-seat parliament makes this a fragile promise. Inuit Ataqatigiit holds the other 15 seats and is strongly committed to preventing any mine.

Similar division exists in the region where the ore-body is located. The small town of Narsaq deep in the southern fjords has seen much conflict and distress ever since the Aussie miners came to town. While some locals believe the mine would mean jobs and dollars, many of their neighbours are profoundly suspicious and resistant.

When I reached the mine site I was reminded of Tolkien and of Orcs and Goblins. The Danes who first dug down deep into the mountain side 40 years ago left a great grey door fastened tightly into the mine entrance to deter any curious future visitors. And behind the door lies the booty – the fuel for the world’s most dangerous weapons and long lived industrial waste, buried in the mountain top.

If allowed to the Antipodean treasure hunters would dump a billion tonnes of waste rock in a sapphire lake and hundreds of thousands of gallons of liquid radioactive waste in a shallow ditch at the head of a primeval watershed. Then they would pack up and leave within a few decades.

But the wastes and risks they would have generated would not. Some of uranium’s radioactive byproducts would be a contamination threat to the surrounding region for tens of thousands of years.

And as the Inuit Party and a lot of folks in Narsaq have been trying to tell GME, keeping the door open for a truly green Greenland means keeping the great grey door in the mountain firmly shut on uranium mining.   Bill Williams MBBS is Chair of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons(ICAN) – Australia.

 

August 26, 2016 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, politics international | Leave a comment

Climate Change Adaptation – South Australia in the lead

National Climate Adaptation Conference 2016, Day Three – Sean Kidney

SOUTH AUSTRALIA: LEADING ON CLIMATE CHANGE ADAPTATION  The Climate group, August 2016. Sandy Pitcher, Chief Executive of South Australia’s Department of Environment, Water and Natural Resources, reflects on the achievements of Australia’s preeminent climate change forum, the Climate Adaptation 2016 conference, which took place in Adelaide in July. 

The Climate Adaptation 2016 conference provided an unprecedented opportunity for South Australia to highlight the important progress being made on climate change adaptation in our state, and learn from others in Australia and around the world.

The conference was presented by the National Climate Change Adaptation Research Facility and the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation, with the South Australian Government – a member of The Climate Group’s States & Regions Alliance, the platinum sponsor. It attracted around 490 policy makers, researchers and practitioners and the debate focused on the challenges and opportunities presented by climate change adaptation.

The innovation that we’re seeing mainly happens at the local level, and can be shared at conferences like this. It is a crucial way, for us in South Australia and beyond, to share ideas, catalyze local action, and bring key influencers together.

ADAPTATION IS A VERY KEY TENANT TO ANY FUTURE STRATEGY – THERE ARE MANY PEOPLE WHO ARE GOING TO BE IMPACTED BY A CHANGING CLIMATE

Tim Jarvis, Australian adventurer  ADAPTATION CENTRAL TO CLIMATE EFFORTS

South Australia has long been recognized as a global leader on climate action, and our work in climate change adaptation is central to our efforts.

Our award-winning adaptation framework is based on a collaborative, regional approach involving partnerships between local government, regional development committees and natural resources management boards, who are working together to develop well-informed adaptation solutions for their communities.

Currently, in each of the State’s regions, five climate adaptation plans have been completed with the remainder due to be finalized by the end of the year….https://www.theclimategroup.org/news/south-australia-leading-climate-change-adaptation

August 26, 2016 Posted by | climate change - global warming, South Australia | Leave a comment

South Australia’s nuclear waste dump plan not economically viable? The nuclear lobby doesn’t care

The global nuclear lobby surely does not care about whether or not the South Australian nuclear waste importing scheme is economically viable. Their fairly desperate need is to sell nuclear reactors to those countries that don’t already have them. In particular, the ‘small nuclear” lobby sees an urgency now, with ‘big nuclear’ failing, to get their industry happening.

A commitment by an Australian State to take in nuclear waste could do the trick for them – as Oscar Archer put it – by unblocking the back end of the nuclear fuel cycle.

toilet map South Australia 2

Mixed motives in South Australia’s nuclear waste import plan. Online Opinion, Noel Wauchope, 23 Aug 16  In South Australia the continued nuclear push focusses solely on a nuclear waste importing industry. Yet that might not be economically viable. Behind the scenes, another agenda is being pursued – that of developing new generation nuclear reactors.

First, let’s look at the message. The message from the Nuclear Fuel Cycle Royal Commission (NFCRC) is clearly a plan to make South Australia rich, by importing foreign nuclear wastes. …..This theme has been repeated ad nauseam by the NFCRC’s publicity, by politicians, and the mainstream media.…..

Whereas other countries are compelled to develop nuclear waste facilities, to deal with their waste production from civil and military reactors,that is not a necessity for Australia, (with the exception of relatively tiny amounts derived from the Lucas Heights research reactor).

So, the only reason for South Australia to develop a massive nuclear waste management business is to make money.

If it’s not profitable, then it shouldn’t be done.

Or so it would seem.

There is another, quieter, message. When you read the Royal Commission’s reports, you find that, while the major aim is for a nuclear waste business, in fact, the door is kept open for other parts of the nuclear fuel chain……… Continue reading

August 26, 2016 Posted by | Nuclear Royal Commission, South Australia | Leave a comment

ERA unable to meet costs of cleaning up Ranger uranium mine

Ranger 3ERA short of Ranger rehabilitation costs
August 25, 2016. The slump in uranium prices is affecting ERA’s ability to build up enough cash to rehabilitate its Ranger mine…..(subscribers only)
http://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/mining-energy/era-short-of-ranger-rehabilitation-costs/news-story/13a3fd7135b1dfe49f7e057488ff2330

 

August 26, 2016 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Ban the Nuclear Bomb in 2017 – call from huge majority of governments

world-nuclear-weapons-freeOverwhelming Majority: Ban The Bomb In text-relevant2017, Huffington Post, Susi Snyder Nuclear Disarmament Programme Manager for Pax in the Netherlands 08/19/2016 A nuclear working group at the UN concluded its work in Geneva today and the majority of governments voted to recommended that the UN General Assembly set up a conference in 2017 to negotiate a new treaty prohibiting nuclear weapons.

Nuclear weapons are the only weapon of mass destruction that are not outlawed by international treaty. But that is about to change.

2017 Conference
After more than twenty years of nothing, this working group just had a breakthrough. 107 governments said they support:

“The convening by the General Assembly of a conference in 2017 open to all states, international organisations, and civil society, to negotiate a legally binding instrument to prohibit nuclear weapons leading towards their total elimination”

It was a group of Pacific Island countries that said these exact words first. Diplomats who have personal connections with nuclear weapons- relatives who remember seeing the bombs explode in the distance. Friends that can never go home to what were once islands of paradise, and are now radioactive wastelands.

The 54 member African Group, the 33 member Community of Latin America and Caribbean countries (33) also voiced their support for a conference in 2017. For the first time, the ASEAN grouping (11) added their collective voice to this call for negotiations next year on a new nuclear weapons treaty.

It is now up to the October meeting of the UN General Assembly First Committee to take up this recommendation, and set up a meeting next year to negotiate a new treaty to finally make nuclear weapons illegal.

Putting people first
This breakthrough is result of the new global discourse on nuclear weapons. Since Norway hosted the first conference on the Humanitarian Impact of Nuclear Weapons in 2013, the effect of the weapons on humans and the environment has taken center stage……http://www.huffingtonpost.com/susi-snyder/overwhelming-majority-ban_b_11610606.html

August 26, 2016 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

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