Australian news, and some related international items

This week: uranium gloom, Nebraska, and Australia’s Lynas embarrassment

This week – something of  a change in the nuclear ‘climate of opinion’ .    Channel 9’s “60 Minutes” surprised, with a pretty damning report on Fukushima. SBS TV covered the gloomy outlook for the nuclear industry.

BHP Billiton pulls out of Yeelirrie uranium mining – a decision that reflects the growing gloom in the uranium industry.

Today, the USA waits, quietly, as  workers struggle to shore up the Fort Calhoun Nuclear Plant in Nebraska – it’s now an island, surrounded by the rising Missouri River.   Not a good look for the nuclear industry.

For Australia, a really bad look, is the continuing drama in Malaysia. Australian company Lynas looks to make a (financial) killing, – while Malaysians fear it could result in a slower killing – of groundwater, land, and people , with the long-lasting  radioactive wastes.  Lynas rare earth’s facility plan doesn’t get much coverage in the Australian media.

 Ziggy Switkowski is a Director of Lynas. – That’s not surprising – he’s never worried at all about  radioactive wastes – Christina Macpherson

June 21, 2011 Posted by | Christina reviews | Leave a comment

Economic sense for BHP to pull out of Western Australian uranium mining

 “Australian uranium exporters and investors are uniquely vulnerable to the volatile and unpredictable nuclear industry that has never lived upto the promises it has made in the past,” ….. “The nuclear renaissance is dead. The nuclear industry was in enormous trouble well before the disaster at the Fukushima complex…
 “The Brendan Grylls deal over uranium royalties, to form a coalition government with Colin Barnett must now be seen for what it has created: an uranium feeding frenzy that had no substance,” said Robin Chapple, Greens MLC for the Mining and Pastoral Region
BHP: leaving Yeelirrie uranium in the ground makes economic sense, Australian Greens Senator Scott Ludlam and Greens (WA) MLC Robin Chapple, 21 June 11 The Australian Greens welcome indications that BHP Billiton may be abandoning plans for its Yeelirrie uranium mine.“The political and community backlash in WA is indeed significant” Senator Scott Ludlam said  Continue reading

June 21, 2011 Posted by | business, Western Australia | 1 Comment

Quietly developing nuclear flood crisis in USA?

12 Significant Events That the Mockingbird Media is Currently Ignoring, Benzinga, By Truth is Treason, June 20, 2011  “…The crisis at the Fort Calhoun nuclear facility in Nebraska has received almost no attention in the national mainstream media. Back on June 7th, there was a fire at Fort Calhoun.  The official story is that the fire was in an electrical switchgear room at the plant.  The facility lost power to a pump that cools the spent fuel pool for approximately 90 minutes.  According to the Omaha Public Power District, the fire was quickly extinguished and no radioactive material was released. …….

But the crisis at Fort Calhoun is not over.  Right now, the nuclear facility at Fort Calhoun is essentially an island. It is surrounded by rising flood waters from the Missouri River. (photo from Washington Post 20 June 11)

Officials claim that there is no danger and that they are prepared for the river to rise another ten feet.The Cooper Nuclear Station in Brownville, Nebraska is also being threatened by rising flood waters.  A “Notification of Unusual Event” was declared at Cooper Nuclear Station this morning at 4:02.  This notification was issued because the Missouri River’s water level reached 42.5 feet…….

Right now the facility is operating normally and officials don’t expect a crisis.But considering what has been going on at Fukushima, it would be nice if we could have gotten a lot more coverage of these events by the mainstream media…


June 21, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

IAEA report on safety of Lynas rare earths will be slanted in favour of the company

“How can we monitor daily? The risks of human error are too high,” she said, pointing out that the half-life of thorium was 14 billion years…..Fuziah promised that if the report from the panel, which includes members of the IAEA, was as she anticipated, she will continue to bring the issue to a higher level and exert pressure on authorities.

No confidence in Lynas safety review’Free Malaysia Today Tashny Sukumaran,  June 20, 2011, The IAEA report on the Lynas Corp is bound to be slanted and the human factor will not be taken into account, says Kuantan MP Fuziah Salleh. KUALA LUMPUR: Kuantan MP Fuziah Salleh is already second guessing the International Atomic Energy Agency’s (IAEA) report on the Lynas Corp’s rare earth refinery in Gebeng, Pahang.

She said she has no confidence in the independent panel’s safety review of the RM300 million Lynas Corp rare earth refinery . “I can imagine the outcome will contain acknowledgement of safety concerns, but also on how this refinery can be made safe,” said Fuziah. Continue reading

June 21, 2011 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, rare earths, secrets and lies, uranium | | Leave a comment

Lynas Rare Earths Plant – Profits for Australian Company, Radioactive Wastes For Malaysia

The refinery will produce about 230,000 tonnes of solid waste a year. The waste, containing radioactive thorium and a range of heavy metals and toxic substances, will be dumped in Malaysia…..“This whole Lynas deal has been done in a very non-transparent way,” he said. “They’ve already made a deal to bring this ore from Australia to refine here in Malaysia, then export the rare earths, then keep the waste here….Malaysian government had given Lynas a 12-year tax-free status.

Malaysians resist Oz company’s toxic plan .Green Left By Peter BoyleKuala Lumpur, 21 June 11, Public opposition to a plan by an Australian mining company, Lynas, to build a rare earth refinery in Pahang, Malaysia, was on show at a protest outside Australian High Commission in Kuala Lumpur on May 20.Saturday, June 18, 2011 Lynas plans to ship ore from its Mount Weld mine in Western Australia, through the port of Fremantle, to Malaysia. There it will be refined to extract rare earths, which are widely used in the manufacture of computers and electronics. Continue reading

June 21, 2011 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, wastes | Leave a comment

BHP Billiton moving senior staff away from Yeelirrie uranium project

Query on Yeelirrie after BHP moves PETER KLINGER, The West Australian, June 20, 2011A fortnight after admitting it had put the Yeelirrie environmental approvals process on hold, BHP Billiton is understood to have begun dismantling the senior management team charged with overseeing WA’s biggest uranium development.

The management changes have increased speculation that BHP is considering severing ties with Yeelirrie, south of Wiluna, because it does not fit the miner’s focus on tier-one assets. It is understood the positions of Yeelirrie project director and general manager are under review amid unconfirmed reports several other key members of the Yeelirrie team have either left or been reassigned elsewhere within BHP……..
The miner is under enormous pressure from investors to find and develop projects that will make a material difference to its top and bottom linesComplicating the matter for BHP is that development of Yeelirrie would create significant political and community backlash in WA, where there is vocal opposition to uranium mining, in return for only modest financial rewards for the world’s biggest miner…..

June 21, 2011 Posted by | business, uranium, Western Australia | Leave a comment

Ziggy Switkowski’s superficial views on Fukushima and nuclear power for Australia

Ziggy points out that there seem to have been no deaths directly linked to radiation. But his treatment of morbidity among those living near Fukushima (disease where the clinical picture is yet to become apparent) is at best superficial. The fact that the data are not yet observable does not prove they will be inconsequential……

There is no way the current government is going to back nuclear power. The few in the Australian Labour party who wanted to open that debate have been quiet since Fukushima.

Nuclear Power in Australia? Still a viable option?  Aussie news and Views 17 June 11 A reasoned post Fukushima comment on nuclear power? The article by Ziggy Switkowski published by The Australian is titled “Nuclear is part of the future” . It ends with: “no technology ticks as many mandatory boxes as nuclear power”. It deserves a closer look…….. Continue reading

June 21, 2011 Posted by | people | 1 Comment