Australian news, and some related international items

Uranium sales fall as smart companies pull the plug on nuclear – Greens

Senator Scott Ludlam –  September 19th, 2011 A big drop in the value of Australia’s uranium exports is a further sign the nuclear industry is crumbling, the Australian Greens said today.

Greens spokesperson for nuclear affairs Senator Scott Ludlam said figures from the Bureau of Resources and Energy Economics showing a 19 per cent fall in the value of Australian uranium exports from 2009-10 to 2010-11 could not be ignored.

“This is not a short-term reaction to the Fukushima Daiichi disaster. For fifteen yearsrenewable energy capacity additions per annum have been outpacing nuclear start-ups.

“World-leading engineering firm Siemens announced yesterday they will not return to the nuclear sector because of ‘clear position taken by society and politics in Germany’ against the industry. Switzerland – like Germany – is completely phasing out its sizeable nuclear sector, joining a number of other European nations taking a stand against nuclear power.

“In the USA no new nuclear power plant has been built for 30 years. In any country with an even remotely open energy market nuclear power is shrinking.

“Ambitious projections about the future of uranium mining are either delusional or disingenuous. In 2010-11 the value of exports fell 19 per cent and the volume by 8 per cent. Uranium mining makes no environmental sense and it has become clear that it makes no economic sense. We don’t need this toxic industry.”

Senator Ludlam urged the Government and Australian companies to back an industry with a future – renewable energy.

“In 2010 world-wide cumulative installed capacity from wind turbines, biomass, waste-to-energy and solar power surpassed installed nuclear capacity for the first time in history. There is no going back now.”


September 19, 2011 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

Giant engineering firm quits nuclear industry, now backing renewables

Siemens to quit nuclear industry BBC News, 19 Sept,11,  German industrial and engineering conglomerate Siemens is to withdraw entirely from the nuclear industry…  chief executive Peter Loescher said, announcing that the firm will no longer build nuclear power stations.  “The chapter for us is closed,”

A long-planned joint venture with Russian nuclear firm Rosatom will also be cancelled, although Mr Loescher said he would still seek to work with their partner “in other fields”….
The latest decision appears to imply a step back from building “conventional islands” – the non-nuclear plant in nuclear power stations – an area in which Siemens has remained active….
U-turnHe also gave his backing to the German government’s planned switch to renewable energy sources, calling it a “project of the century” and claiming Berlin’s target of reaching 35% renewable energy by 2020 was achievable….

September 19, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Jeff McMullen’s passionate call against a second Aboriginal Intervention

 the fight for the homelands is the new frontline.

Federal, Northern Territory and state government policy is now in collusion — and it’s across both sides of the political spectrum.

Assimilation is the essence of this government approach and what they are trying to do is, ever so slowly, prise Aborginal people up from their settlements on the homelands and move them for economic rationalisation and to clear the way for the the various kinds of development that have always taken the wealth out of Aboriginal land…..the contest with the miners, and that appetite, that greed for the wealth on Aboriginal lands, is bringing Aboriginal society once more to the crossroads……

This intervention started with a vicious lie: the one that said all of these communities had pedophile rings.

The Australian Crime Commission has now erased that lie, saying there were, and there are, no pedophile rings…….

Jeff McMullen: Don’t buy the NT intervention lie, Green Left, September 17, 2011, Outside prescribed Aboriginal communities in the NT ‘those shameful signs still exist’. Jeff McMullen, a prominent journalist and Aboriginal rights advocate, gave the address below at the Sydney launch of Walk With Us: Aboriginal Elders Call Out to Australian People to Walk with them in their Quest for Justice at Gleebooks, Sydney, on September 1. Continue reading

September 19, 2011 Posted by | aboriginal issues, AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Northern Territory | Leave a comment

Muckaty nuclear waste dump film to open Berlin festival

  – Beyond Nuclear, 16 Sept 11Muckaty Voices, a short film outlining the campaign against a nuclear waste dump in the Northern Territory, will open the first exclusively Australian film festival in Berlin tomorrow morning (Friday evening Berlin time).

The “Down Under Berlin – Australian Film Festival” is directed by Sydney-born Frances Hill and organised by Australian and German volunteers.

Muckaty Voices was produced in 2010 by Enlightening Productions and the Beyond Nuclear Initiative, in collaboration with Muckaty Traditional Owners. Continue reading

September 19, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Are nuclear power plants REALLY cheaper than natural energy?

Creating a Solar Belt in East Japan: The Energy Future, Japan Focus , Son Masayoshi with an introduction by Andrew DeWit, 19 Sept 11  “……… Are nuclear power plants actually cheap while natural energy is expensive?   From the standpoint of practical, economical logic, solar power and natural energy are expensive. I had always believed that nuclear power was the most inexpensive way of producing power, at 5-6 yen per kilowatt-hour; therefore we have to use nuclear power and construct new plants. I am sure that many people thought the same.

But is this really true? According to figures listed on an application for approval of the nuclear power plant installation, its unit cost is 15-20 yen. This is the actual data; the pre-accident cost. Continue reading

September 19, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Abuse of Australia’s scientists as Climate Change denial hots up

 Climate debate hitting new lows – scientist, Herald Sun,, September 19, 2011  AUSTRALIA’S chief scientist says climate change debate continues to hit new lows as the government’s contentious carbon pricing scheme fuels the fire for political division. Professor Ian Chubb wants politicians to consider compelling evidence that human activity has adversely affected the climate through global warming.

He says while it’s important people have different views about climate science, there are concerns about the level of threats sent to those working in the field. “Every time I think it’s reached a low, we then go on and reach a new low,” Prof Chubb has told ABC Television’s Four Corners Program. “And I think that’s of very little benefits to us as we’re trying to grapple with what is a very serious problem that needs serious discussion.

“I would urge politicians to look at all the evidence and to wonder why it might be that something like 32 national academies of science all around the world are all saying that it’s very likely that human activity has adversely affected our climate through global warming.”  Continue reading

September 19, 2011 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

Upper Hunter region Councils look to renewable energy “life after coal”

Coal towns urged to consider renewable future, ABC News Newcastle, September 19, 2011 , A new $100,000 report has identified Muswellbrook and Singleton as future renewable energy hubs. The Upper Hunter Diversification Report was commissioned by the six Upper Hunter councils, co-funded by the State Government, and is being released to Singleton councillors this week.

It attempts to signal where the Hunter’s jobs will come from over the next 25 years and as the coal boom subsides. Singleton Council’s Salena Avard says because of the skilled mine labour force in Muswellbrook and Singleton, the towns would be perfect for the production of renewable energy technologies. “Singleton has a really fantastic set of skills that are associated both with the mining industry but professional services and all sorts of support industries,” she said.

“I think there is an opportunity for us to have a look at where we can transfer those skills. “Everyone recognises that the mining industry is going to be here for some time yet, but certainly life after mining is a consideration of this report.”

September 19, 2011 Posted by | energy, New South Wales | Leave a comment

Japan’s opportunity to rebuild with smart grid and solar power

The nuclear village and its hired guns in the academic and administrative and political sectors have worked together to craft a mechanism through which compensation will almost inevitably be torn out of the public budget as well as the pockets of utility ratepayers.

Creating a Solar Belt in East Japan: The Energy Future, Japan Focus , Son Masayoshi with an introduction by Andrew DeWit, 19 Sept 11   Introduction  “……..In fact, the fight over Japan’s energy options is not at all ended. The nuclear village’s effort to portray Fukushima as merely a setback has failed in the face of the facts, of course. Continue reading

September 19, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment