Australian news, and some related international items

How long is Australia going to take Ziggy seriously?

I used to think that Ziggy Spinowski was quite bright.  Then I heard him, 2 years ago,  at Melbourne University, trying to answer questions on Climate Change.  It was clear that he knew little about it.  Perhaps he’s taken a few lessons since then.

Now, Ziggy is on about China selling nukes to Australia. Cheap! lovely!

Ziggy is apparently unaware that China is regarded as very unsafe in relation to its siting of nuclear plants, and lack of emergency procedures.  China is planning nuclear reprocessing –  a technology that the USA rejected years ago because of its danger, proliferation risks, and exorbitant cost.  China has a murky record on selling nuclear materials, to places such as Iran.  And an even murkier record on its treatment of nuclear workers, and communities where it chooses to dump radioactive wastes.   And of course,there’s the little problem of secrecy,  poor civil rights, and China’s deplorable treatment of dissenters.

And anyway, China’s now having second thoughts –  it probably will need nuclear only for its growing nuclear weapons program.  For civil energy, China is turning to renewables, especially solar power, in  a big way.

Why does the Australian media adopt such a reverent attitude to this absurd spruiker, Ziggy Switkowski – treating his every spruik as “gospel truth”?

May 18, 2011 Posted by | Christina reviews | Leave a comment

Ziggy Switkowski enthuses about Australia buying Chinese nuclear reactors

“When we are ready to get involved in nuclear power, we will look in a catalogue, pick up the phone and place an order on a Chinese vendor, who will deliver it at a price that we can afford,” Mr Switkowski told a Committee for Economic Development of Australia

Chinese nuke plants could power Australia,   Sydney Morning Herald, May 18, 2011 It will soon be possible for Australia to import nuclear power plants made in China, a nuclear policy expert says. Continue reading

May 18, 2011 Posted by | marketing for nuclear | Leave a comment

China’s scandalous record on nuclear power and civil liberties

 It is scandalous that Ziggy Switkowski is  touting China as a great leader in nuclear power.  All this while knowing how very dangerous is the nuclear industry, and how China is both excessively secretive and  tramples on dissent and curtail civil liberties.

Nuclear issues are one area of significant environmental concern in China and occupied territories such as Tibet and East Turkestan.  Considerable ecological damage caused by nuclear production, and uranium mining and the disposal of radioactive waste within China and the occupied territories of Tibet and East Turkestan……… – Christina Macpherson

“… has been reported that secret nuclear testing has also been going on with grave effects on the health of the people in the surrounding areas. An investigative report by London’s newspaper, The Independent, revealed that the areas surrounding the Lop Nor nuclear test site—on the eastern edge of the Taklamakan Desert—have a cancer rate that is 35 percent higher than the rest of China and higher than average rates of Leukemia, tumors, and birth defects such as cleft palates. …….A UK television documentary ‘Death on The Silk Road’ (Channel Four 1998) secretly filmed inside East Turkestan documented a range of illnesses linked to radiation exposure…………Greenpeace Ignores Tibet’s Nuclear Poisoning « Tibettruth

“………………Sun Xiaodi, in Gansu province, complained for years about pollution from a uranium mine and recently accused local officials of fraud. In July he was sentenced to two years in a labor-reform facility for “illegally providing state secrets overseas” and “rumor-mongering.” His daughter Sun Haiyan was sentenced to 18 months on the same charges………” Zhang Zuhua and Jiang Qisheng — To help fix the climate, fix human rights in China –

May 18, 2011 Posted by | politics international, secrets and lies | | Leave a comment

China increasing solar power, scaling back nuclear plans

China mulls to switch over to solar photovoltaics to scale down N-power  The Times of India | Mar 30, 2011, BEIJING: China is seriously considering to down size its massive expansion plan of nuclear plants in view of radiation crisis created by ruptured Japanese nuclear reactors and weighed option to double the target capacity of solar photovoltaics (PV) to meet future power requirements.

China, world’s largest PV producer, is seriously considering to increase the five year target for PV industry capacity from five gigawatts (GW) to 10 GW, state-run Xinhua quoted Shi Lishan, deputy director of the renewable energy department of the National Energy Administration (NEA) as saying on Wednesday…..
Shi’s comments came amid reports that China may fine tune its nuclear power development plan as the nuclear leak crisis in Japan has triggered security concerns…..On March 16, Chinese Cabinet decided to halt new approvals of nuclear projects following crisis at Japan’s Fukushima nuclear plant. After this, China’s National Nuclear Safety Administration ordered existing facilities to begin safety checks.
China mulls to switch over to solar photovoltaics to scale down N-power – The Times of India

May 18, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Australian MP calls for ban on Lynas dumping radioactive wastes in Malaysia

“I also call upon the Transport Minister (Troy Buswell) to halt planned shipments of rare earth with radioactive Thorium 232 to Malaysia,”

Aussie MP: Don’t dump toxic by-products in Kuantan,  Free Malaysia Today, G Vinod | May 18, 2011 An Australian MP has joined the chorus of calls to halt planned shipment of radioactive waste to Malaysia.

PETALING JAYA: The people of Kuantan are against it.The community in Fremantle, the port where the radioactive waste would be kept before being shipped to Malaysia will be against it as well. Continue reading

May 18, 2011 Posted by | politics international, rare earths, Western Australia | Leave a comment

The enormity of Olympic Dam’s planned nuclear waste mountain, and its cost

“………Mineweb has been detailing the enormity of this project of transforming a large underground mine into a massive open cut – particularly with there being a sterile cover of between 300-400 metres. However, the price for the development has escalated in the past eight years from original projections of about US$S3 billion, in itself a daunting figure for many mining companies….It has been long known that removal of the overburden and rock will create “mountains” in a landscape that is virtually a pancake. Now, Gottliebsen said the rock storage facility covers 6,720 hectares and eventually will be 150 metres high. “By 2050, when the mine has not even completed half its life, the pit will be 4.1 kilometres long, 3.5 km wide and 1 km deep,” …”.  Mineweb, 18 May 11

May 18, 2011 Posted by | South Australia, uranium, wastes | | Leave a comment

USA’s continuing turmoil over nuclear waste

Lessons of Fukushima remain unknown……..critical details of what happened to the spent fuel held in elevated water pools in reactor buildings remain a mystery to U.S. regulators and the Blue Ribbon Commission members.

Fukushima Disaster Deepens U.S. Turmoil Over Nuclear Waste Storage,, By PETER BEHR of ClimateWire  May 16, 2011 Japan’s nuclear disaster and the abandoned Yucca Mountain repository are combining to create a more complex puzzle for U.S. policymakers wrestling with the future of nuclear power in the United States. Continue reading

May 18, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment