Australian news, and some related international items

Uranium mining has done damage enough to Mirrar Aboriginal people

“Uranium mining has also taken our country away from us and destroyed it – billabongs and creeks gone for ever. There are hills of poisonous rock and great holes in the ground with poisonous mud.”

Aborigines to block uranium mining after Japan disaster, The Independent, By Kathy Marks, 14 April 2011 “………..Uranium mining has a troubled history in the area. The Ranger deposit – now operated by Energy Resources of Australia (ERA), a subsidiary of the Anglo-Australian mining giant Rio Tinto – was developed against the Mirarr’s wishes. Continue reading

April 14, 2011 Posted by | aboriginal issues, Northern Territory | Leave a comment

New radiation problem at Fukushima’s No 4 reactor

Tokyo Electric Power Co. was unsure whether the surge in radiation was being caused by the spent fuel rods or radioactive material leaking from the reactor’s pressure vessel…….

Radiation surges above 4’s fuel pool The Japan TimesOnline By KANAKO TAKAHARA STAFF WRITER, 14 April 11,Radiation has risen to high levels above the spent-fuel pool at reactor No. 4 and its temperature is rising, the nuclear safety agency said Wednesday, indicating the fuel rods have been further damaged and are emitting radioactive substances. Continue reading

April 14, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Nuclear company AREVA opens solar project in Australia

The Kogan Creek Solar Booster project gave Prime Minister Julia Gillard a wonderful new photo opportunity…the largest project of its type in the world, and the first commercial-scale operation for Areva Solar,….The technology, conceived by Dr David Mills at Sydney University

Areva’s sunshine test Business Spectator CLIMATE SPECTATOR Giles Parkinson, 14 Apr 2011 It’s been just over a year since French nuclear giant Areva bought out the aspiring solar thermal energy developer Ausra, but the purchase of the Californian-based company with the Australian-grown technology may be about to pay dividends. Continue reading

April 14, 2011 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, solar | | Leave a comment

Climate change might cause earthquakes

Earthquakes linked to climate change, The Age, 13 April 11, Long-term climate change could be responsible for moving the Earth’s tectonic plates.A team of scientists based in Australia, France and Germany has established a link between monsoons in India over the past 10 million years and the motion of the Indian plate.The scientists have found that, as monsoons in the area increased, the plate moved by almost one centimetre a year.

The researchers say it’s the first time climate change has been recognised as having the potential to influence the motion of tectonic plates.

“It is known that certain geologic events caused by plate motions have the ability to influence climate patterns over a period of a million years,” Dr Giampiero Iaffaldano from the Australian National University said in a statement.        “Now we know that the opposite holds as well……Earthquakes linked to climate change


April 14, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Productivity Commission condemns desalination plants

The 600-page report is highly critical of decisions by state governments across the country to overinvest in expensive and inefficient desalination plants, with economic modelling indicating desalination plants in Melbourne and Perth alone could cost consumers between $3.1 billion and $4.2bn more than cheaper water-saving measures over 20 years.

Commission slams desal plants * Lauren Wilson * The Australian * April 14, 2011 PROLONGED water restrictions and expensive desalination plants are the least efficient way of providing water security, the government’s key economic advisory body has found. Continue reading

April 14, 2011 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, water | | Leave a comment

Australians massaged back into nuclear complacency

Nuclear Fall-Out – A Window Into The Rabbit-Hole, Media With Conscience By Allen L. Jasson 13 April “…..the tranquillity I am witnessing here in Australia derives from the way the Nuclear Disaster is subtly presented as a kind of natural extension of the earth quake and tsunami; a terrible, unfortunate but inescapable fact of life. Continue reading

April 14, 2011 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, spinbuster | Leave a comment

“Very low probability” nuclear accidents mean very high taxpayer cost

The standard formulation of ‘risk’ is that it is a function of the probability of an event occurring and the magnitude of the hazard. From the viewpoint of technological optimism and managerialism, the seductiveness of a very low probability often leads people to discount the magnitude of the hazard. This distortion is amplified even further by the fact that the profits of success remain privatised, wheras the responsibility for large-scale hazards is often socialised, with Governments and taxpayers picking up the tab.

Probability and responsibility at Fukushima, Crikey, April 14, 2011 – , by John Hepburn In the long run, the least likely event will occur. Such is the nature of probability, and the nature of risk. Continue reading

April 14, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment