Australia is in the unique position of being the only country in the world planning to invite in NUCLEAR WASTES. Thus Australia invites in the very real prospect of being landed with STRANDED WASTES.
The South Australian Nuclear Royal Commission’s idea is to import containers of high level wastes, that will sit somewhere for many decades, before the touted nuclear waste facility is even built.
Then when something goes wrong with that massive planned facility, and the nuclear companies go bust, and the facility doesn’t even get built – South Australia will have masses of dirty great containers of radioactive trash – with nowhere for it to go – (and no more money in sight)
Pro nuclear witnesses in RED. Probably Leaning to pro – orange Neutral (or I don’t know) in Yellow Leaning to nuclear free – light green Nuclear free -GREEN
It is not clear exactly which individuals are to be the facilitators.
(includes overview and focus on impact on human health)
|Dr Sami Hautakangas (alternate for Timo Äikäs)
|Dr Margaret Beavis
|Dr Robert Hall (alternate for Professor Tilman Ruff)
|Dr Stephan Bayer (alternate for John Carlson)
|Dr Tony Hooker (added by democracyCo from Fact Check queries)
|Dr Ian Fairlie (via Skype)
|Dr Jim Green
(includes general safety, siting and transport)
Dr John Loy (alternate for Carl-Magnus Larsson)
|Dr Andrew Herczeg
|Professor David Giles
|Dr Dirk Mallants (alternate for Dr Ian Chessell)
|Professor Sandy Steacy
(includes role of Government, legislation, regulation, trust in Government)
|Hon. Mark Parnell, MLC
|Dr Benito Cao
|Keith Baldry (added by democracyCo from Fact Check queries)
|Professor Haydon Manning
|Attorney General/Crown Solicitors Office Witness TBA
|Adjunct Professor Richard Blandy
|Professor Barbara Pocock
|Assoc. Professor Mark Diesendorf (via Skype)
|Tim Johnson (added by democracyCo from Fact Check queries)
|Professor Bob Watts (via Skype)
|Dr Simon Longstaff
|Cathy O’Loughlin (alternate Gill McFadyen)
David Noonan, 22 Oct 16 In mid-late November Premier Weatherill intends to announce his SA gov decision and go to the SA Parliament to amend the Nuclear Waste Storage Facility Prohibition Act 2000 – at a minimum: to repeal the prohibition on spending public monies on nuclear waste plans (as per the likely ‘amber light’ Citizen Jury outcome over the first weekend in Nov).
This has to follow on from release of the SA Parliamentary Inquiry Report, likely in the week of Parliamentary sittings 15th to 17th Nov. The SA Liberals have privately said they will not give their position while the Citizen’s Jury is on, and will not do so until after this Inquiry reports.
The Premier will likely go to Parliament in the final scheduled sitting week of 29th Nov to 1st Dec (with an ‘optional sitting week’ in early Dec – which is very rarely ever used). The Premier requires the SA Liberals to agree to his proposed changes.
Appears unlikely the SA Liberals will agree to repeal the key prohibitions on import, transport, storage and disposal of International nuclear waste (at this time) BUT likely agree to repeal the prohibition on spending public funds – in a ‘further information’ style approach.
The Premier will then formally ask the Federal government to jointly work up the Inter dump plan along-side the SA gov through-out 2017 and in the lead up to the March 2018 State election. The Premier would then have to return to Parliament to repeal the key prohibitions on import, transport, storage and disposal of nuclear waste – potentially late in 2017 OR after the State Election.
Note: Shadow Treasurer Rob Lucas MLC (the lead Liberal on the Parliamentary Inquiry) has made media statements (as an individual) that the extent of public funds required to be spent before SA knows if this plan could go ahead – “is a potential deal breaker”;
And has also cast doubt on the potential economic benefits: warning it was not possible to verify “some of the financial estimates in terms of what the state might earn from this facility”.
see:“SA nuclear dump dreams just fool’s gold: senior Lib” The Australian 29 Sept 2016:http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/state-politics/sa-nuclear-dump-dreams-just-fools-gold-senior-lib/news-story/a595649777c14703159a462c5d9cb34f
see: “SA would have to spend up to $600 million to plan a nuclear waste repository” The Advertiser 11 September 2016:http://www.adelaidenow.com.au/subscribe/news/1/index.html?sourceCode=AAWEB_WRE170_a&mode=premium&dest=http://www.adelaidenow.com.au/news/south-australia/sa-would-have-to-spend-up-to-600-million-to-plan-a-nuclear-waste-repository/news-story/9287ad32b2717574afdeb29e0cf90f5c&memtype=registered
when China looks at Australia, it will see Australia as an American base
“I think fundamentally we have to ask is that really the way we want to go. The signal we’re sending to Americans is that if they go to war with China, sure, we’ll be part of that.”
“It is embedding us in global military operations for which there is little strategic benefit for Australia.”
We are told mass surveillance makes us safer and in our fear we accept growing militarisation….. these facilities most likely don’t protect us, but put us at greater risk….These are the questions we don’t discuss.
Later this month, the First Committee of the United Nations General Assembly will vote on a draft resolution that will ‘convene a UN conference in 2017, to negotiate a legally-binding instrument to prohibit nuclear weapons, leading towards their total elimination’. The resolution is expected to be adopted with a substantial majority. But the Australian government, in an unprecedented departure from a decades-long bipartisan commitment to nuclear disarmament, plans to vote no.
As reported in The Interpreter in August, Australian diplomats have been fighting an increasingly desperate rearguard action against the move by more than 100 other countries to negotiate a new treaty that prohibits nuclear weapons, with or without the participation of nuclear-armed states. Such a treaty would put Australia in an awkward spot. As a non-nuclear-weapon state party to the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty (NPT), there is no prima facie legal reason Australia could not support and join such an instrument. Indeed, it is not obvious why any state that is legally obliged by Article VI of the NPT to ‘pursue negotiations in good faith’ on effective measures relating to nuclear disarmament could not vote to ‘convene a United Nations conference in 2017, to negotiate a legally-binding instrument to prohibit nuclear weapons’. But Australia’s reliance on extended nuclear deterrence evidently poses a problem.
Australia has been curiously reluctant to engage honestly with other governments about its true objection to the ban treaty. Instead of frankly expressing their concerns about the implications that an absolute prohibition of nuclear weapons might have for Australia’s defence doctrine, Australian officials have continued to trot out one flimsy and transparent pretext after another. Ambassador John Quinn told the First Committee that a ban treaty ‘would not rid us of one nuclear weapon. It would not change the realities we all face in a nuclear-armed DPRK’. This is a ludicrous criticism from a country that supports the ‘step-by-step’ or ‘building blocks’ approach to nuclear disarmament. A fissile material cut-off treaty would also ‘not rid us of one nuclear weapon’, but Australia (rightly) supports it as one of a range of measures needed to move closer to a world without nuclear weapons…….
Australia has also joined the US and other opponents of the ban treaty in incorrectly and disingenuously portraying it as ‘abandoning’ their preferred ‘step-by-step’ approach. Proponents of the ban treaty have been careful to emphasise that it is not a replacement for existing measures (such as pursuing a fissile material treaty, entry into force of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test-ban Treaty, further bilateral stockpile reductions, etc), but, rather, is intended to support and reinvigorate them. There is no choice to be made: any country that supports, negotiates and joins the ban treaty can and will continue to work cooperatively with all states to strengthen the NPT and pursue the ‘practical, realistic’ measures that Australia advocates……
Contrast this with other countries that share some of Australia’s concerns. Sweden’s decision to vote yes came after months of careful deliberation by a commission specially established by the government to examine the implications of the ban treaty for Sweden. Japan’s government commissioned an extensive study by the Japan Institute of International Affairs. The Clingendael foreign policy institute produced a study back in May 2015 on the implications of a ban treaty for the Netherlands, and the Friedrich Ebert Foundation produced a similar study for Germany.
However Australia casts its vote in the First Committee, negotiations on the ban treaty will commence at the UN next year. Australia is manifestly unprepared for this. It would be totally unprecedented (and unconscionable) for Australia to fail to participate in a UN-mandated negotiation of a multilateral disarmament treaty. But if Australia does choose to participate, its record of disingenuous and at times dishonest opposition to the ban, coupled with a dire lack of substantive policy analysis, will leave it poorly placed to steer the negotiations in its national interest. http://www.lowyinterpreter.org/post/2016/10/20/Australia-digs-itself-deeper-into-nuclear-disarmament-policy-hole.aspx
In Australia, we have a senator who similarly sees climate change as a thing made up by the UN. Our top-rating radio host, Alan Jones, has said climate science is “witchcraft”.
Now, before I go on, there’s a prevailing view (often expressed in the comments of this blog) that climate science deniers and oddballs like Alex Jones should be ignored. In some ways, those commenters are right.
But then you look at the popularity of people like Jones and see that, to increasing numbers of people, they are not people to be ignored, but are paragons of fearless truth-telling.
There’s a demographic to which rhetoric from people like Jones and, more broadly, Trump, appeals.
For a while, maybe the Trumpocene and the Anthropocene can coexist.
But even though they exist on separate plains, can we really afford to dismiss the impact of either of them?
We are approaching the Trumpocene, a new epoch where climate change is just a big scary conspiracy https://www.theguardian.com/environment/planet-oz/2016/oct/21/we-are-approaching-the-trumpocene-a-new-epoch-where-climate-change-is-just-a-big-scary-conspiracy Graham Readfearn
Websites pushing climate science denial are growing their audience in an era where populist rhetoric and the rejection of expertise is gaining traction For years now geologists have been politely but forcefully arguing over the existence or otherwise of a new epoch – one that might have started decades ago.
Some of the world’s most respected geologists and scientists reckon humans have had such a profound impact on the Earth that we’ve now moved out of the Holocene and into the Anthropocene.
It’s not official. But it’s close.
Dropping nuclear bombs and burning billions of tonnes of fossil fuels will do that to a planet, as will clearing swaths of forests to make way for food production and supermarket car parks and the like.
That’s all in the real world though, and sometimes you might get the horrible, chilling idea that when it comes to the production of our thoughts and ideas, that’s not the place a lot of us live anymore.
So I’d like to also propose the idea of an impending new epoch – the Trumpocene – that in the spirit of the era itself is based solely on a few thoughts held loosely together with hyperlinks and a general feeling of malaise.
In the Trumpocene, the epoch-defining impacts of climate change are nothing more than a conspiracy. Even if these impacts are real, then they’re probably good for us.
The era is named, of course, for the phenomenon that is Donald Trump, the Republican pick for US president whose candidacy has been defined by a loose grasp of facts, jingoistic posturing, populist rhetoric, his amazing hair and his treatment of women.
So what are the things that might define the Trumpocene?
Is it the point at which large numbers of people started to reject the views of large groups of actual experts – people with university qualifications and things – in exchange for the views of anyone who agrees with them? (Brexit, anyone?) Continue reading
Trisha Dee Nuclear Fuel Cycle Watch South Australia, 22 Oct 16 Leading international nuclear industry executives have descended on Adelaide. James Voss has global links in the nuclear industry at the highest level. Through UCL he is lecturing South Australians on the glories of nuclear. Voss is the ex-MD of Pangea Resources – a failed joint venture attempt to bring High Level nuclear waste to Australia in the late 1990s. We need community driven, not industry driven initatives.
James ‘Jim’ Wilson Voss is an American senior nuclear engineer who has managed nuclear materials and radioactive waste since graduating from Arizona University in the 1970s. Voss became known to Australians through his managing directorship of Pangea Resources, a consortium which planned to establis…
Eliminate nuclear weapons – or they’ll eliminate us http://www.citizen-times.com/story/opinion/contributors/2016/10/21/guest-columnist-eliminate-nuclear-weapons-eliminate-us/92510602/ Will you help end our terrible love affair with nuclear weapons that threatens us all?
Former Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi said the pro-nuclear ruling party of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe could lose the next Lower House election if nuclear power becomes the main election issue.
Citing recent gubernatorial election wins for candidates concerned about restarting nuclear power plants in Niigata and Kagoshima prefectures, Koizumi said during a recent interview with Kyodo News, “(Anti-nuclear) opinions are beginning to grow . . . that could influence the (next) House of Representatives election.”
If opposition parties unite in fielding anti-nuclear candidates and make complete phase-out of the country’s nuclear plants one of the top election issues, they can defeat the ruling Liberal Democratic Party by tapping into voter fears following the 20111 Fukushima meltdowns, Koizumi said.
The current term of Lower House lawmakers expires in December 2018, but some senior LDP officials have said Abe might dissolve the house for an election early next year.
Koizumi, who promoted nuclear power generation as prime minister between 2001 and 2006, has become an active anti-nuclear campaigner. He has repeatedly criticized Abe and the way his government is dealing with the aftermath of the Fukushima nuclear disaster.
“There is no way that a party which ignores the will of the public can maintain its hold on power,” said Koizumi, who retired from politics in 2009.
Koizumi also said that the main opposition Democratic Party “has not realized that the nuclear issue can be the biggest election issue.”
“The slogans by promoters of nuclear power that (nuclear power) is safe, low-cost and clean, are all lies,” Koizumi said. Continue reading
Ukraine to stop paying Russia for nuclear waste disposal Rt.com : 21 Oct, 2016 From next year Ukraine is not going to pay Russia $200 million annually to remove spent nuclear fuel from the country, according to Ukrainian Energy Minister IgorNasalik.
The country will build its own spent nuclear fuel storage facility, the minister announced.
The storage site chosen is in the exclusion zone of the Chernobyl nuclear power, but it is not designed to store nuclear waste for a long time.
The exclusion zone is a 30-kilometer radius from the Chernobyl nuclear power plant established by the USSR soon after the 1986 accident.
Construction of the new central used fuel storage facility is expected to start in March 2017, according to a director of a subsidiary of the Ukrainian nuclear power plant operator Energoatom.
European nuclear industry experts are concerned the Ukrainian project does not meet standards for nuclear safety and creates a risk of a radioactive accident.
In August, the former director of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant Mikhail Umanets warned of the rising number of emergency situations in Ukraine’s nuclear energy sector, stressing the country would face a “collapse” in the sector within seven years……https://www.rt.com/business/363655-ukraine-nuclear-waste-russia/
US environment crusader Erin Brockovich has vowed to advocate on behalf of residents affected by the Defence Department’s Adelaide contamination scandal.(subscribers only)
Environment regulator questioned over its measuring of how it protects public health, ABC News By Rebecca Turner, 20 Oct 16, The environmental regulator has been questioned why it is using the speed at which it issues environmental approvals to measure its effectiveness at protecting public health and the environment.
Between the lines of the department’s 2015-16 annual report lies a simmering disagreement between the public sector watchdog, auditor-general Colin Murphy, and the director-general of the Department of Environmental Regulation, Jason Banks.
Mr Murphy has taken the Department of Environment Regulation (DER) to task for choosing to monitor how effectively it fulfils one of its key roles — ensuring pollution and land clearing do not put the health of Western Australians or their environment at risk — by measuring how quickly it finalises environmental approvals, permits and investigations……..
While the disagreement is being played out in the most bureaucratic of language in a document which is likely to gather dust on departmental shelves, it is an interesting insight into how policy debates are conducted among public servants.
For example, Mr Murphy chose to issue a qualified opinion on the department’s annual report, a serious matter in the world of auditing.
He was critical of how the department used four Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) which focused on the timeliness of regulatory activities — including the percentage of major resource projects work approvals decided within 60 days — to measure how it was avoiding risks to public health and the environment.
He called the KPIs to assess its effectiveness as a regulator “not relevant”…….
While the nature of this new KPI is unknown, this year’s annual report marked the first time the department has not published KPIs which show how many times environmental pollution exceeded safe guidelines.
It has prompted Greens MP Lynn Maclaren to call on the WA Government to reinstate vigorous environmental health and air quality measuring in the annual report.
Ms Maclaren said she agreed with the auditor-general, who had raised a serious issue with a department which she claimed was shifting its focus away from ensuring a healthy environment and towards speedy development approvals.
“Who else is going to challenge the director-general in this way?” she said.”It shows that he is taking his job very seriously.” http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-10-20/auditor-general-in-public-spat-with-agency-der-environment/7947734
‘No-brainer’: Calls for CSIRO to make its CSG gas research more independent , The Age, Peter Hannam, 19 Oct 16 The CSIRO needs to ensure its research into coal seam gas remains independent of industry if it’s to win over opponents worried about environmental and social impacts, The Australia Institute (TAI) argues in a new paper.
The report highlighted how the original research advisory committee of the CSIRO-led body – known as the Gas Industry Social & Environmental Research Alliance (GISERA) – had been dominated by industry representatives and the CSIRO.
While this committee have since been split into NSW and Queenslandones, industry continues to have a significant presence that raised doubts about how arm’s length the research work could be, said Matt Grudnoff, a researcher with the TAI.
“It’s not just the industry is sponsoring this research,” Mr Grudnoff said. “Industry also sits at the table that decides the questions, and decides what projects get funded.” “It’s a no-brainer that they should get gas executives off these research committees” if the industry wanted to be accepted by communities worried about interference and possible contamination of aquifers from CSG wells, he said.
The industry also wants to convince the public that gas is cleaner than coal as part of efforts to gain “social licence”, Mr Grudnoff said. CSIRO executives will face a fresh grilling at Senate estimates on Thursday.
Emails released earlier this year revealed the nation’s premier research agency was looking to shift its emphasis away from “science for science sake”.
“Public good is not enough, needs to be linked to jobs and growth, but science that leads to SLO [social licence to operate] is OK,” Andreas Schiller, an executive in the Oceans and Atmosphere division, said in one email.
According to CSIRO, GISERA funding totalled $13.05 million for the 2014-15 to 2016-17 years. Industry chipped in about half, or $6.65 million, with governments and CSIRO providing the rest…….http://www.theage.com.au/environment/nobrainer-calls-for-csiro-to-make-its-csg-gas-research-more-independent-20161019-gs5vvg.html
Australia will not support negotiations to outlaw nuclear weapons Senate estimates to question foreign affairs department officials on Thursday on nuclear disarmament stance, Guardian, Ben Doherty 20 Oct 16, Australia will not support a resolution to begin negotiations to outlaw nuclear weapons, as it grows increasingly isolated from a global disarmament push.
A resolution is before the United Nations general assembly to “convene a United Nations conference in 2017, to negotiate a legally binding instrument to prohibit nuclear weapons”.
The resolution has 39 co-sponsoring nations and will be voted on by the general assembly later this month, or next. The conference is slated for March next year.
Officials from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade will appear before Senate estimates on Thursday to face questioning on Australia’s nuclear disarmament position.
Support for a ban treaty has been growing steadily over months of negotiations, but it has no support from the nine known nuclear states – the US, China, France, Britain, Russia, India, Pakistan, Israel, and North Korea – which includes the veto-wielding permanent five members of the security council.
Australia has spent months in negotiations over the proposed negotiations, seeking to stymie the push for a ban on nuclear weapons, and has sought to press the case for what it describes as a “building blocks” approach of engaging with nuclear powers to reduce the global stockpile of 15,000 weapons.
Australia has consistently maintained that while nuclear weapons exist, it must rely on the protection of the deterrent effect of the US’s nuclear arsenal, the second largest in the world.
In August, with nations at a UN disarmament meeting set to unanimously pass a report recommending negotiations on a ban start in 2017, Australia forced a vote on the issue, which it lost 68 to 22.
The move upset opponents and allies alike, resulting in the adoption of a report with stronger language in favour of a ban. Australia was marked as the most strident opponent of a ban treaty.
But diplomatic cables obtained under freedom of information laws now show that Australia, despite its resolute opposition, is increasingly pessimistic about stopping ban treaty negotiations progressing.
“We are concerned that the [open-ended working] group [on nuclear disarmament] is tracking towards recommendations supporting a nuclear weapons ‘ban treaty’ which we do not support,” a cable sent to Canberra from Geneva in June this year said.
A so-called “humanitarian pledge” to eliminate nuclear weapons has been signed by 127 states around the world. Australia is particularly isolated in the Asia-Pacific region – ASEAN nations, New Zealand, and almost all Pacific Island states, support a ban treaty……….
Associate professor Tilman Ruff, co-president of International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War, said that with a ban treaty likely to be concluded next year, the world stood at an historic turning point.
A ban would, he argued, “fill the existing legal gap which currently makes the most heinously destructive of all weapons the last weapon of mass destruction not explicitly outlawed by international treaty”.
“For other indiscriminate and inhumane weapons … the world has first established a clear moral and legal norm of prohibition. For biological and chemical weapons, antipersonnel land-mines and cluster munitions, establishing an unequivocal norm of prohibition has … been the basis for subsequent progress towards their elimination.
“Prohibit, then eliminate. That is the proven, logical path. For nuclear weapons it is also the only feasible, practical option at this time.”
The Australian government’s position, he said, was becoming increasingly untenable globally, and falling further out of step with Australian public opinion.
Politically, support for Australian reliance on America’s extended nuclear deterrence, is no longer bipartisan. At its national conference in 2015, Labor formally adopted a policy of “firm support” for an outright ban on nuclear weapons.
Lisa Singh spoke at a UN side event in New York last week – in her capacity as a Labor Senator, not as a representative of the Australian government – arguing the “doctrine of nuclear deterrence … is based on a willingness to inflict violence indiscriminately and on a massive scale”……… https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/oct/20/australia-will-not-support-negotiations-to-outlaw-nuclear-weapons
Dennis Matthews, 21 Oct 16 I have just read the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) Update Report on the state-wide blackout.
The collapse of more than twenty transmission line towers initiated a sequence of domino-like events that ended with the loss of grid-power to the entire state. When I came to the end of the report I was mystified by the lack of attention to the first domino to fall – the transmission-line towers. The final chapter of the report, Next Steps, makes no mention of the towers, including the fact that they have been replaced by temporary structures.
I went back to the beginning of the report and was amazed to find the transmission line faults (caused by the tower collapses) classed as “pre event”.
What on earth is AEMO doing? Do we have to wait six months to find out whether the transmission-line towers are strong enough? Will there be another disruption to the electricity transmission system in the meantime? Your guess is as good as mine.
Why the silence on climate in the US presidential debates? The Conversation, October 20, 2016 As scientists become more gloomy about keeping global warming below the allegedly “safe” limit of 2℃, the issue is disappearing from the US presidential debates. There was a brief mention in the second debate between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton debate, with climate change treated as an “afterthought”.
Trump has previously (in 2012) suggested that climate change “was created by and for the Chinese”. Clinton has put forward a detailed climate and energy plan.
Even former Vice President Al Gore joining Clinton on at a campaign rally in Florida didn’t particularly help.
So why has climate change gone AWOL? Continue reading