Australian news, and some related international items

Australian Senate to debate draconian nuclear waste bill today

Radioactive waste fight grows: Muckaty plan a bad deal, not a done deal,  14 June CANBERRA: The Australian Conservation Foundation has described as cynical and irresponsible the introduction to the Senate of recycled Howard-era legislation aimed at fast-tracking a nuclear waste dump in the Northern Territory. The National Radioactive Waste Management Bill, which seeks to override state, territory and local government concerns and exempt the federal government from meeting key environmental and Aboriginal heritage rules, is to be introduced to the Senate today.

“This heavy-handed legislation is a cut-and-paste of a deeply unpopular Howard-era law Continue reading

June 13, 2011 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

Liberal Senator wants “balance” in teaching Climate Science

Liberal senator Concetta Fierravanti-Wells said she hoped the curriculum would reflect balance if there were a divergence of expert views on the subject of climate science.

Push to oust climate science from schools * Joe Kelly   The Australian * June 14, 2011 SCHOOL Education Minister Peter Garrett has confirmed the Gillard government will not stop the teaching of climate science in the classroom following a move in Britain for the subject to be withdrawn from the national curriculum. Continue reading

June 13, 2011 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, climate change - global warming | | Leave a comment

Overwhelming anti nuclear vote in Italy

a historic result….The expected majority against nuclear power was 94%……The outcome was a huge success for the anti-nuclear movement in the world’s first nationwide vote on the issue since Japan’s Fukushima disaster….The era of nuclear [energy] is coming to an end today.

Berlusconi’s nuclear power plans crushed Referendums see huge votes against PM’s plans   John Hooper in Rome,, Monday 13 June 2011 The anti-nuclear movement won a crushing victory in Italy on Monday when well over 90% of voters rejected Silvio Berlusconi‘s plans for a return to nuclear power generation. Continue reading

June 13, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Australia’s role in nuclear non proliferation means no uranium sales to India

The precedent set by nuclear trade with India increases the risk of other countries pulling out of the NPT, building nuclear weapons and doing so with the expectation that civil nuclear trade would continue.

Nuclear trade with India risks boosting arms race,  The West Australian, By Scott Ludlam  June 13th, 2011,  Australia’s long-standing policy to not sell uranium to nations refusing to sign the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty must not change.

Nuclear trade with India would undermine the fundamental principle of the global non-proliferation regime – the principle that signatories to the NPT can engage in international nuclear trade for their civil nuclear programs while countries which remain outside the NPT are excluded from civil nuclear trade. Continue reading

June 13, 2011 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Australia’s radiation register about planning for compensation, not about safety

the initiative announced does not improve safety for uranium workers. It collates evidence of harm in preparation for compensation….the classic leap from a pledge of no (or minimal) harm to the reality – a register of harm.

Wrong safety messages from Australia’s resources minister « SafetyAtWorkBlog, Kevin Jones, 13 June 11, IMPROVED SAFETY FOR URANIUM WORKERS” is the headline of a media release from Australia’s Minister for Resources and Energy, Martin Ferguson. The 9 June 2011 statement concerns the positive initiative of new health monitoring for those workers in the uranium mining and milling industries, but it also betrays a perspective that is dominant in the thinking of national policymakers. Continue reading

June 13, 2011 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, health | Leave a comment

Fukushima Investigation Panel -Nuclear Industry tries to get control

the possibility of METI officials renewing their push for control of the panel. With Kan expected to step down in the near future, the energy mandarins may still have their way. 

Japan Nuclear Industry Trying To Hijack Fukushima Investigation Panel by Alexander Higgins – June 13, 2011    Japan’s largest newspaper is reporting that bureaucrats associated with the nuclear industry in Japan are trying to hijack the Fukushima investigation panel. (Image below from Japan Nuclear Industry Trying To Hijack Fukushima Investigation Panel  )

While the prime minister has rebuked their first attempt, he is expected to step down any time now at which point they will try to take it over again.

METI tried to gain influence over Fukushima panel Asashi Shimbum 2011/06/12  – BY SHINJI MURAMATSU  “…A push by bureaucrats associated with the nuclear industry to increase their influence over the government-appointed panel investigating the accident at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant Continue reading

June 13, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Electric cars will boost Australia’s renewable energy development

Australia group says Electric Vehicles charging can help jump-start renewables, Recharge,by Oliver Wagg, 13 june 11A nationwide electric vehicle (EV) charging network roll-out can act as a significant driver of renewable energy demand, says Better Place Australia after unveiling a landmark supply deal with the Australian Capital Territory’s utility ActewAGL. Continue reading

June 13, 2011 Posted by | ACT, energy | Leave a comment

Renewable energy plan for North Queensland

The construction phase will see investment of up to $A1.5bn, generating up to 1,000 jobs…….”The Queensland government has stimulated significant activity in renewable-energy projects in the clean-energy corridor, particularly through its investigation of large-scale solar in conjunction with the Clinton [Global] Initiative.

In depth: Australia’s $1.6bn plan to turn the outback green –  Recharge ,by Oliver Wagg,14 June 11 Northern Queensland may become home to one of Australia’s major clean-energy hubs if a proposal to connect the remote mining region to the national grid gets the green light. Continue reading

June 13, 2011 Posted by | energy, Queensland | Leave a comment

Medical Association of Malaysia says No to Lynas’ radioactive wastes

Then there is the uranium-laced REE ore to be imported from Lynas Malawi mines.To all this the Medical Assn. of Malaysia has said NO WAY. NO environmental nor health studies were done. Our team have all dumped all their Lynas shares

by ThomasT | June 13, 2011 The thorium laced ore safe transport is safe, until there is an accident. Accidents happen. Chernobyl, Fukushima, 3 Mile Island, USA, Sellafield UK, Brazil, Germany, France etc. Storage of waste ores is not discussed here. Malaysian Govt said only temporary on-site storage. Lynas said no, permanently on site. Does Lynas think it is running the M Govt. just because they may have paid-off a few Pahang State officials? Continue reading

June 13, 2011 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, politics international | Leave a comment

Uranium companies exempt from Australia’s Minerals and Resources Rent Tax

the enormous deductions that BHP, Rio and Xstrata will enjoy…The proposed MRRT was borne out of private consultations between the government and mining giants BHP Billiton, Rio Tinto and Xstrata. It was then fleshed out by a government advisory group known as the policy transition group, chaired by former BHP chairman Don Argus…

…BHP’s expanding Olympic Dam project in South Australia is also excluded from the MRRT. This is a project with the world’s largest uranium deposit, fourth-largest copper deposit and fifth-largest gold deposit…….

Mining tax a mystery tour,Sydney Morning Herald, June 13, 2011 “……After the savage battle with the miners reached boiling point 12 months ago, when mining companies spent more than $20 million on an anti-mining-tax advertising campaign, many believed the worst of the hostilities had finished… Continue reading

June 13, 2011 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, politics | Leave a comment

Oblivious of world trends, Australia’s nuclear marketeers hype on

Greens’ Senator Scott Ludlam says the Minister is underestimating the impact of this year’s nuclear disaster in Japan….”The nuclear industry’s been going backwards. They’ve closed more reactors than they’ve opened since 2002.”

Uranium exports predicted to quadruple ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation) Jun 10, 2011  An independent analyst has supported a statement by the Federal Government that Australian uranium exports could quadruple in the next 20 years.The Minister for Resources and Energy, Martin Ferguson, made the statement during this week’s AusIMM uranium conference in Perth….

Get ready for nuclear, Sydney Morning Herald, Mark Hawthorne, June 11, 2011
  WITH energy needs, carbon pricing and the tragic events at Fukushima firmly on the agenda, Andy Lloyd walked into Media House this week to deliver a Lowy Institute lecture on Australian attitudes to nuclear power.

Lloyd is chief development officer for uranium with Rio Tinto and, despite the tragedy at Fukushima, had a clear message – unless we are willing to pay more, nuclear power will have to play a major role in Australia’s future energy mix …….”I am not advocating a start on nuclear power today, but we need the foundations for a nuclear future.”

Erica SmythNuclear power should also be considered for Australia, she says.”We have good, stable geology, we have the right sort of environment, particularly on the east coast,”

 – Female trailblazer Erica Smyth still fired up * Matt Chambers   The Australian *June 13, 2011

“……Smyth, 59, is now a professional director, with one of her roles being chairwoman at uranium explorer and developer Toro Energy…… Continue reading

June 13, 2011 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, marketing for nuclear | Leave a comment

Long term radioactive contamination of Japan’s ‘no go’ nuclear zone

The narrow strip of hilly coastal country between Fukushima City – a metropolis of 2 million – and the crippled Daiichi nuclear plant on Japan’s east coast, is a no-go zone occupied by an invisible enemy – potentially life-threatening radiation. It is in the ground, in the atmosphere and in the sewerage…….Exploding clouds of radioactive steam and debris were swept by strong winds across a broad arch of countryside, including Iitate and Minamisoma. Mountain forests, streams, rice fields, school grounds and houses were contaminated.

A long wait for solace in a ravaged land, Sydney Morning Herald, Russell Skelton, June 11, 2011 Almost 100 days since the earthquake and tsunami devastated Japan, the nation struggles to give hope to its citizens……. Continue reading

June 13, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Solar Summit at NSW Parliament House – Solar Industry Initiative

[In NSW] now some power companies are receiving surplus electricity generated by systems not covered under its previous program for free; while charging a premium price to their non-solar customers subscribing to green electricity plans.

Fearing a NSW-type scenario occurring in other states; AuSES and the SEIA want to see legislation for a one-for-one feed in tariff applied across the nation as an absolute minimum,…….The Industry Led National Solar Summit will be held at Parliament House in Sydney on 21 June, 2011

Industry Led National Solar Summit Announced, Renewable Energy News,  by Energy Matters, 13 June 11,  National Solar Summit – Australia The Australian Solar Energy Society (AuSES) and the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) have announced an industry led national solar summit to develop a national strategy to ensure the ongoing viability of the sector. Continue reading

June 13, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Renewable energy, electric cars,it’s all happening in Australian Capital Territory

….. Canberra is also expected to become home to electric cars, with charging points to be installed around the ACT, ActewAGL and Better Place Australia signed an agreement worth about $60 million over 10 years during the week, sealing the largest renewable energy deal of its kind in Australia. The energy will be drawn from generation sources such as wind, hydro and solar.

Boom in renewable energy, Waste management World, The Canberra Times (Australia), June 12, 2011  The ACT region is leading the way in innovative power generation, JULIEANNE STRACHAN and MICHAEL INMAN write, CANBERRA has the potential to claim the crown as the renewable energy capital of Australia, but the rewards will need to be there for consumers and big businesses to make it happen, industry experts say. Continue reading

June 13, 2011 Posted by | ACT, energy | Leave a comment

Middle East advised: renewable energy more economic than nuclear

Economic analyst Omar Al Jutraifani suggests that rather than spend billions of dollars on advancing nuclear energy — with all the risks that it involves — why not spend the money on .. renewable energy?…”Spending this amount on solar energy projects will be relatively safer compared with nuclear energy, which is a time bomb that could explode at any time, as with what occurred in Japan.”

Region urged to embrace renewable energy projects, Japan’s Fukushima plant disaster should serve as a warning to Middle East countries bent on spending billions of dollars on nuclear plants * By Orlando Crowcroft, Business News Editor   June 13, 2011 Continue reading

June 13, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment