Indigenous people continue to bear the brunt of nuclear toxicity. It started with uranium mining – of course, on indigenous land in rural areas, in USA, Canada, Bulgaria, Australia, Germany , India, and of course to provide nuclear weapons material.
Then came the nuclear bomb tests – on remote rural indigenous lands and islands
This Radioactive pollution remains today, from uranium mining in many countries – but always on or close to indigenous lands. The nuclear bomb test sites remain too radioactive for the indigenous people to return home.
Uranium mining and milling, nuclear bomb tests and radioactive wastes ... Russia is secretive about its nuclear wastes. They used to dump it in oceans, as did the French and others. Russia is notorious for its extremely polluted remote area at Mayak, where the rural people suffer the health legacy to this day
The “developed” world realises that something must be done with the growing amounts of radioactive trash.
Where to dump it? That’s a “developed society” no brainer
– ON INDIGENOUS LAND, of course. There’s now a movement to export radioactive trash to remote rural areas, such as the Aboriginal lands of Australia
Next week we will look at the indigenous fight against the nuclear industry
Poison In The Heart: The Nuclear Wasting Of South Australia Counter Currents by Vincent Di Stefano — July 22, 2016
“Nuclear weapons and nuclear power are both leading instances of the irrationalities
Our planet is deeply burdened. It presently harbours 390,000 tons of high level nuclear waste produced by nuclear reactors and weapons programs over the past 70 years. Spent nuclear fuel is one of the most dangerous materials on earth. Most of it is stored underwater in numerous cooling ponds throughout the world. High level nuclear waste is dangerous to all life for unthinkable periods of time. Plutonium, which is produced in every nuclear fuel rod, has a toxic lifespan of 240,000 years. With each passing year, a further 10,000 tons of spent fuel is added to the world’s accumulated stores of deadly waste. In addition to the spent fuel from nuclear reactors, vast amounts of lower-level radioactive waste lie scattered in mining sites, tailings dams, undersea dumps and soil-borne contamination on every continent.
We have no idea what to do with the stuff. The Americans sank over $13 billion into the construction of a massive underground repository at Yucca Mountain in Nevada. It was closed down in 2010 without taking in a single gram of nuclear waste. The Soviets didn’t bother with such elaborate schemes and until recently, simply dumped much of their waste – including obsolete submarines complete with nuclear reactors – into the Kara Sea and elsewhere in the Arctic Circle where they slowly corrode, leaching their lethal contents into the cold waters of the Arctic Ocean.
In the meantime, a small cadre of aspirational Promethean technocrats in South Australia have somehow decided that Australia holds the solution to the global problem of nuclear waste. The recently releasedNuclear Fuel Cycle Royal Commission Report recommends that the South Australian government accepts over one third of the world’s high level waste for above-ground storage and eventual burial in yet-to-be-built underground repositories in the South Australian desert. The report proposes that South Australia imports 138,000 tons of high level radioactive waste in the form of spent fuel rods as well as an additional 390,000 cubic metres of intermediate level waste for storage and eventual disposal.
This has all been spruiked as a fail-safe commercial venture that will relieve the South Australian Government of its financial problems ever after and create a rosy economic future for generations that have yet to be born. Such madness blithely ignores the fact that the genetic and biological futures of those generations may thereafter be a different story……. ww.countercurrents.org/2016/07/22/poison-in-the-heart-the-nuclear-wasting-of-south-australia/
Indigenous rangers play a silent and undervalued role as leaders and educators in their communities, role models for how to progress in both worlds. It’s important to provide local, challenging, culturally relevant, real jobs to keep these leaders embedded within the fabric of their families and communities.
They need a commitment beyond 2018 that their real jobs will still exist.
[The video below does not apply to The Numbulwar ranger group, but still gives an example of the kind of work that they do]
Queensland Indigenous Land and Sea Ranger Program
As well as protecting the land, Indigenous rangers play an undervalued role as leaders in their communities. It’s never been more important to protect these jobs. Many conservative politicians and commentators argue Indigenous ranger jobs are not “real jobs”. This is perfectly illustrated by the recentleaking to Crikey of a secret federal Coalition government plan to radically change this successful Indigenous ranger program in order to “get participants into employment”. While the minister for Indigenous affairs, Nigel Scullion has denied he is planning an overhaul of the program, his government has not made a commitment to fund the program beyond 2018.
This question of whether ranger jobs are “real jobs” can easily be put to rest.
The Numbulwar ranger group in Arnhem Land was re-established in November 2015, Continue reading
Matt Canavan has now the opportunity to correct these mistakes and engage in a truly inclusive and transparent process which actually listens to the concerns of the community and other stakeholders. Although a nuclear proponent, he should ensure that this process is not dealt with light-heartedly and pays attention to all aspects involved.
This would best be achieved through an independent inquiry into Australia’s nuclear waste and options for managing it.
Aboriginal communities all across Australia have sustainably managed the land for thousands of years, longer than any other group of people can claim. Their knowledge and concerns are valuable. Let’s hope they will be listened to.
3rd Minister in two years to handle Australia’s nuclear waste dump http://www.onlineopinion.com.au/view.asp?article=18394&page=0 Anica Niepraschk – , 22 July 2016 The recent federal election has once more seen a bit of a reshuffle in PM Turnbull’s cabinet and thereby thrown the portfolio for Australia’s national radioactive waste dump in the hands of another Minister for the third time in less than two years.
After 20 years of failed siting processes for the proposed dump, then Industry and Science Minister Ian MacFarlane only announced a new attempt in November 2014. The first half of last year saw a voluntary nomination process happen where landowners across Australia could propose their property to host Australia’s low and intermediate level nuclear waste. Out of the 28 sites nominated, six were shortlisted for further consultation and investigation last November. All six site nominations were highly contested by the local communities.
Although the government, with its new ‘voluntary’ approach promised to not impose a nuclear waste dump on any community and therefore rely on voluntary nominations and community consultation, one of these six sites, Wallerbidina/ Barndioota in the Flinders Ranges, SA, made it to the next stage of the process, despite the strong opposition of the local Adnyamathanha community at Yappala station, just kilometres away from the site.
Not only chose the government to once again, after pursuing Coober Pedy from 1998 to 2004 and Muckaty in the NT from 2005 to 2014, to target an Aboginial community but it also chose a culturally highly significant site. The proposed property, nominated by former Liberal Senator Grant Chapman, is part of a songline and hosts many cultural sites, including the beautiful Hookina springs, a sacred women’s site for the Adnyamathanha. The local community remains actively connected to the maintenance and preservation of the land and is documenting and preserving their culture and history through recording traditional heritage sites and artefacts and mapping storylines in the area. Continue reading
The project to bury the world’s nuclear poison in the heart of the Australian desert has not sprung out of a void. It is an idea that has been insidiously festering for two decades in a variety of incarnations.
The first stirrings of the hellish project to turn Australia into the world’s nuclear dumping ground emerged in the late 1990s when Pangea Resources, a U.K. based company promoted the construction of a commercially-operated international waste repository in Western Australia. The project was supported by a $40 million budget, 80% of which came from British Nuclear Fuels Limited (wholly owned by the U.K. government), with the remaining 20% from two nuclear waste management companies.
Australia’s Overflowing Nuclear Waste Dumps
One of the more disturbing elements of the Royal Commission report is its explicit endorsement of the progressive nuclearisation of the planet over the course of the next century. But given the make-up of the Royal Commission, this comes as no surprise.
Poison In The Heart: The Nuclear Wasting Of South Australia Counter Currents by Vincent Di Stefano — July 22, 2016 “……..It is a curious thing to observe the confidence with which the recent Nuclear Fuel Cycle Royal Commission has embraced the promotion of South Australia as the ideal destination for over one third of the world’s accumulated stores of spent nuclear fuel. This spent fuel, together with the 400,000 cubic metres of intermediate-level nuclear waste that the Royal Commission recommends be transported to South Australia, represents a problem that nations with decades-long histories of nuclear energy production have failed to resolve. The entrancement induced by a whiff of billions of dollars of new revenue presently has a closed circle of nuclear advocates and politicians straining to persuade the people of South Australia to obligingly make their way as latter-day lemmings towards a dangerous and uncharted nuclear abyss.
In the short term, the Commission calls for the transportation of vast tonnages of highly radioactive materials from around the planet for decades-long storage in above-ground facilities. In the longer term, it proposes the construction of a deep underground repository for the “permanent” burial of the most dangerous wastes produced by a destructive and senescent civilisation. Continue reading
White House’s New Initiative to Install 1GW of Solar for Needies, Energy trend, 21 July 16 Under name of President Obama, the White House announces “Clean Energy Savings for All Initiative” and aims to offer a total of 1GW solar to low- and moderate-income families by 2020.
The Initiative, which was announced through a FACT SHEET on July 19, includes an investment of approximately US$288 million from housing associations, energy corporations, and power companies for solar deployment. The Initiative targets installing 1GW of solar systems for around 200,000 low- to moderate-income families by 2020.
President Obama’s Climate Action Plan set a goal of installing 100MW of renewable energy on federally-assisted affordable housing by 2020. The new initiative, depicted as “new catalytic goal,” will bring 10 fold of solar to the needy Americas. The Clean Energy Savings to All Initiative is the successor to the Climate Action Plan.
The new scheme will be implemented in collaboration with state agencies. Propergy-Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) funding, a community solar competition and jobs programs will also be involved in.
The Initiative is supported by government agencies include the Departments of Energy (DOE), Housing and Urban Development (HUD), Agriculture (USDA), Health and Human Services (HHS), Veteran’s Affairs (VA), and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
Celeste Tsai, analyst at EnergyTrend, describes this new initiative as “an American version of PV Poverty Alleviation Project.” This program will be helpful for expanding renewable energy installations and relevant jobs as well as creating economical supports for needy families……., the new program will further declare Obama’s commitment to developing renewable energy and creating new jobs for the United States. http://pv.energytrend.com/news/White_House_New_Initiative_to_Install_1GW_of_Solar_for_Needies.html
Paladin cops ASX query over deals The West Australian on July 22, 2016, Paladin Energy has been forced to halt trading of its shares after a query from the Australian Securities Exchange demanding more information about $US200 million worth of deals flagged to the market yesterday.
Paladin did not outline the additional information requested by the ASX, but yesterday’s announcement was notable in that it did not give the name of the party offering to pay $US175 million for 24 per cent of its Langer Heinrich uranium mine in Namibia.
Paladin said yesterday the agreement was non-binding and that “key terms of this proposed transaction remain confidential, including the identity of the counterparty”.
Paladin promised yesterday to disclose details as the deal firmed up, including the identity of the buyer.
But the ASX has been on the warpath over non-disclosure of counterparties to major funding deals since the Padbury Mining scandal in 2014, when shares in the market tiddler surged after it said funding had been “secured” from an unnamed party that would supposedly deliver $US6.5 billion to build the Oakajee port and rail project…….Paladin shares closed down 3.5¢ to 20.5¢ on the announcement yesterday. ra ra https://au.news.yahoo.com/thewest/wa/a/32125776/paladin-cops-asx-query-over-deals/#page1
Uranium Price Falls to 11-Year Low, Economic Calendar, July 21, 2016, Despite bullish forecasts for uranium in the years ahead, the commodity continues to languish in the aftermath of the Fukushima nuclear disaster. Shortly after the earthquake in Japan caused the disaster at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, uranium prices crashed on the expectations, and reality that countries around the world would shun nuclear power as a source of energy…..
Although uranium analysts changed their sentiment from negative to positive, uranium prices till floundered. This is because, in reality, the ramp-up of nuclear power plants was much slower than anticipated and at the same time stockpiles of the commodity remained high. Ahead of the nuclear disaster, there was a ramp up in global uranium production with the price of uranium reaching a record high of $70 a pound, which spurred increased investment and production increases around the world. After the nuclear disaster, uranium demand came to a virtual stand still, leaving an oversupplied market.
Now, these stockpiles are being worked down, and there is little incentive for new production. In fact, many companies have slashed production as weak pricing has impacted the economics of uranium mining. On Monday, according to Ux Consulting, uranium prices fell to an 11-year low. Uranium is also finding new competition for an energy source thanks to the increase in availability and decrease in the price of natural gas….
There are good reasons for California to phase out nuclear power, Huffington Post, Johann Saathoff,MP German BundestagCoordinator of energy policy for the Social Democratic Party in the German Bundestag 07/22/2016 “…….While electricity from nuclear power stations may be carbon-free at the time of production, looked at in overall terms it is anything but that and it is certainly not clean.
Nobody asks or calculates how much CO2 was released in the building of the power station. Nobody considers how CO2 is released through the mining, processing and enrichment of uranium and through its transportation. And nobody in the world knows at this point where and how radioactive waste can be safely stored for the millennia to come, how much CO2 will have to be used in the process and what the costs will be in terms of the second energy bill, as in the case of fossil energy sources.
Considered in overall terms – even assuming no incidents – the actual costs of nuclear power per kilowatt hour and CO2 emissions are incalculable. What is certain, however, is that unlike renewable energies, nuclear power is not carbon-free.
For this reason alone a renaissance of nuclear power would be irresponsible. It would also be irresponsible because of the danger of accidents (particularly in earthquake-prone areas) and the unsolved question of the final storage of nuclear waste. Nuclear power is also not clean; discharges of hot water cause considerable damage to the environment – to say nothing of the enormous environmental damage caused by the extraction of uranium……..http://www.huffingtonpost.com/johann-saathoff/there-are-good-reasons-fo_b_11133916.html
Russian wildfires put key climate change resource at risk, Japan Times, 22 July 16 AFP-JIJI, REUTERS JUL 22, 2016 MOSCOW – Russia’s practice of leaving massive wildfires to burn out of control in sprawling stretches of Siberia puts at risk a key global resource for absorbing climate-warming emissions: its trees. Continue reading
India Nuclear Suppliers Group Membership Depends on Signing NPT http://sputniknews.com/politics/20160722/1043439110/india-npt-signing.html No country which is not a signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) can become a member of the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG), Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang said Thursday.
MOSCOW (Sputnik) — On Wednesday, India’s Minister of External Affairs Sushma Swaraj told the lawmakers that India will not sign the NPT.“It is worth mentioning that China does not make the rules for how to become new members of the group. The international community has forged a consensus long ago that the NPT is the cornerstone of the international non-proliferation regime. No country should or can put itself opposite to the NPT,” Lu Kang was cited as saying by The Times of India.
The Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty entered into force in 1970 with the aim to prevent the spread of nuclear weaponry. Three states, namely India, Pakistan and Israel, denied to sign the treaty. North Korea withdrew from NPT in 2003.
The Nuclear Suppliers Group is a group of nuclear supplier countries whose aim is to prevent nuclear proliferation by controlling the export of materials, equipment and technology which could be used to produce nuclear weapons. As of 2016, the NSG has 48 members, including China
Sections of Great Barrier Reef suffering from ‘complete ecosystem collapse’
Coral Watch investigator reports ‘shocking’ lack of fish and says the surviving corals are continuing to bleach, even during winter, Guardian, Michael Slezak, 22 July 16, “Complete ecosystem collapse” is being seen on parts of the Great Barrier Reef, as fish numbers tumble and surviving corals continue to bleach into winter, according to a scientist returning from one of the worst-hit areas.
“The lack of fish was the most shocking thing,” said Justin Marshall, of the University of Queensland and the chief investigator of citizen science program Coral Watch. “In broad terms, I was seeing a lot less than 50% of what was there [before the bleaching]. Some species I wasn’t seeing at all.”
Marshall spent a week this month conducting surveys on the reefs around Lizard Island………overall, Marshall estimate that more than 90% of the branching corals had died around Lizard Island. He said many of the huge porites corals, which could be a thousand years old, had died.
Coral and other organisms like anemones and giant clams bleach when water temperatures are too high for too long. When they become stressed, they expel their colourful symbiotic algae that provide them with energy, becoming pale or white. Unless the water temperatures quickly return to normal, many of those organisms die.
Lizard Island was particularly badly hit by the global bleaching event that hit every major reef region in the world and killed almost a quarter of the coral on the Great Barrier Reef. But, in the northern section of the Great Barrier Reef, between Lizard Island and the Torres Strait, a majority of the coral is thought to have died.
The mass bleaching this year was driven by climate change, which raised water temperatures close to the maximum threshold coral could stand, and a strong El Niño that bumped the temperatures above that threshold. https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2016/jul/21/sections-of-great-barrier-reef-suffering-from-complete-ecosystem-collapse
This week’s front-page “exclusive” in The Australian suggests South Australia’s wind turbines were producing significant amounts of “negative power” from the grid at the height of the recent electricity “crisis”. But the numbers it quotes are ridiculously wrong.
The story, by Adelaide bureau chief Michael Owen, suggests the state’s wind turbines were “producing about 5780MW” between 6am and 7am, but by mid afternoon were producing “negative 50MW”. Asanalysis from Ron Brakels observes, the report confuses energy terminology, apparently not knowing the difference between capacity and output.
In fact, the state’s wind turbines cannot produce 5780MW — they only have a combined capacity of 1600MW. There’s not even 5780MW of wind capacity in the whole country……
As SA Energy Minister Tom Koutsantonis told the ABC, that’s precisely why the government encouraged investments in wind and solar: to bring costs down. That has largely succeeded. https://www.crikey.com.au/2016/07/22/558133/
Back in 2014, an unsuspecting world was on the verge of a major global temperature increase. But despite warnings from scientists like Dr. Kevin Trenberth that deep ocean warming had sped up and would eventually result in rapid surface warming, the big media meme at the time was that global warming had ‘paused.’ Originating in The Economist, and swiftly spreading to numerous other news outlets, this particular blast of bad information fed the public a big helping of false sense of security.
In 2014 through 2016, maximum global temperatures jumped from around 0.65 degrees Celsius to around 1 C above the 20th-century average. In just three years’ time, the whole of the Earth’s surface had warmed by about 0.35 C. This is like cramming all of the warming from 1880 to 1980 into the three-year 2014-to-2016 period. Never before in all of the global climate record starting in the late…
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It’s not too late to comment on this appalling nuclear lobby plan to make South Australia the world’s nuclear toilet. Yes, the South Australian govt will probably ignore you. However, as with Facebook, Twitter, and comments all over the place – the pro nuclear shills are active on this site, too – at http://nuclear.yoursay.sa.gov.au/discussions/nuclear-community-conversation-share-your-initial-thoughts-on-the-royal-commission-s-final-report
CLIMATE and NUCLEAR.
Federal Politics Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull wasted no time in gifting to the nuclear and coal industries – the new Minister For Environment and Energy – Josh Frydenberg. Australia rates rather poorly on UN Sustainable Development Goals. Turnbull govt still backing Trans Pacific Partnership. Warning to Australia against being USA ‘deputy sheriff’ near China.
South Australia holding Parliamentary Inquiry in the nuclear waste importing plan. No report so far, but evidence was given by Craig Wilkins (Conservation Council Of South Australia), and by independent campaigner David Noonan.
Premier Jay Weatherill is launching a pro nuclear extravaganza. The tax-payers of this cash-strapped State are forking out at least $13 million this campaign to blanket the State with nuclear propaganda. First the Royal Commission fed them with a biased report recommending nuclear waste importing. Then a Citizens’ Jury was fed very dubious economic, health and safety information on this.
The Nuclear Fuel Cycle Royal Commission Consultation and Response Agency, (made up of nameless people) are sending out teams to 101 cities and towns to carry the pro nuclear message to the population.
Renewable energy. In South Australia the Liberal Coalition opposition appears to be behind the feeding of misinformation on wind energy, to the Murdoch media. In other States, the Coalition attacks renewable energy, and Murdoch media continues to publicise this. Nick Xenophon wants inquiry in South Australia’s renewable energy issues.
South Australia is set to get world’s biggest solar + storage project. Canberra’s solar farms with sun- tracking technology. Victoria to get record-breaking wind farm. Queensland: Catholic schools recognised by Vatican for solar energy success.