Australian news, and some related international items

BHP Billiton spends up big to set up nuclear front think tank

The production of fuels for the civil nuclear industry is an important debate that UCL wants to encourage,………

BHP signs $10m deal to set up energy research facilities, THE AUSTRALIAN, Verity Edwards , June 11, 2011 BHP Billiton has signed a $10 million deal to establish two energy institutes in partnership with University College London, in Britain and in Adelaide, in a move that could signal its intention to commit itself to the $20 billion Olympic Dam expansion.

The Institute for Sustainable Resources in London and the Energy Policy Institute in Adelaide will focus on postgraduate research, including renewable energies and nuclear enrichment and power. UCL Adelaide chief executive David Travers said the partnership would build on the world’s fourth-ranked university’s international research capabilities and its ability to influence the energy debate.

“Australia is going to become increasingly more influential in the development of rigorous public policy in the energy arena,” Mr Travers said……….. The production of fuels for the civil nuclear industry is an important debate that UCL wants to encourage,………

BHP’s long-awaited decision on the $20bn expansion of its copper, uranium, silver and gold mine at Olympic Dam in South Australia’s north is expected by the end of the year.

If given the go-ahead, Olympic Dam would become the world’s largest open-cut mine.

Funding the energy institute in Adelaide would also facilitate a relationship between BHP and renewable energy companies currently tied to the campus, including Santos.

BHP would not comment on its Olympic Dam plans but said the energy institutes reflected the company’s commitment to education. “The two new institutes will spur new thinking into the complex issues created by the growing demand for commodities and provide a new forum in which industry and the research community can collaborate,” BHP group executive Andrew Mackenzie said. The announcement was made in London last night 


June 11, 2011 - Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, spinbuster


  1. The UCL International Energy Policy Institute is neither pro nor anti-nuclear energy. What we are interested in is proper, balanced and rigorous scientific debate on important issues. It is therefore disappointing that you have chosen to ignore the second half of my quote in The Australian, preferring to maintain an ignorant emotive anti-nuclear energy argument. For the record, my full quote says: “The production of fuels for the civil nuclear industry is an important debate that UCL wants to encourage, as is the use of renewables and the carbon tax debate.” These were examples. Australian and world energy politics is bereft of open debate, honesty, transparency and endeavour towards responsible and sustainable solutions. Your headline “BHP Billiton spends up big to set up nuclear front think tank” is an example of a complete untruth. Try to separate your opinion from the facts. The gift to which you refer is a substantial donation from a BHP Billiton charity to further the knowledge of energy policy. There are no conditions set on UCL – uranium, enrichment, nuclear, gas or any other research focus. We have not decided. When you’re ready to debate facts we’d welcome your participation.
    David Travers, Chief Executive, UCL Australia.


    Comment by David Travers | June 17, 2011 | Reply

  2. OK – but – when you sup with the devil – use a long spoon.
    And – particularly when the devil is paying, it is hard to believe that he doesn’t have a big say in selecting the menu.


    Comment by Christina MacPherson | June 17, 2011 | Reply

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