Australian news, and some related international items

Secretive and inadequate plan for Toro Energy’s uranium mining project at Wiluna, Western Australia

Toro Energy acknowledges that it has not fully verified the accuracy or completeness of its own application, and does not accept responsibility or liability for its application.….A mining agreement with Traditional Owners has not yet been negotiated…Uranium mining and tailings disposal in this region would occur below the water-table and be connected to aquatic ecosystems. There is a risk of contaminating the aquatic  ecosystems….The mine rehabilitation plans are incomplete and Toro Energy’s preliminary costing for rehabilitation is being kept secret.

Submission to  the Environmental Protection Authority of Western Australia on behalf of the Conservation Council of WA, the Australian Conservation Foundation, the Wilderness Society and the Anti Nuclear Alliance of WA. This submission was prepared with the help and advice from Dr Jim Green, Dr Gavin Mudd and Dr Nic Dunlop.

re: Toro Energy Ltd Wiluna uranium project Environmental Review and Management Programme (ERMP)               Wiluna ERMP Submission_Final.doc


Australian uranium mines have a history of leaks, safety breaches and failed rehabilitation. Accordingly a 2004 report by a Senate References and Legislation Committee found “a pattern of under-performance and non-compliance” in the uranium mining industry and identified many gaps in knowledge. To date, not a single uranium mine in Australia has been rehabilitated to the point that radiological conditions are stable and ongoing monitoring is no longer required.

The history of the wider mining sector in WA has also been problematic as detailed in a recent Auditor General’s report . Continue reading

November 3, 2011 Posted by | environment, politics, uranium, Western Australia | Leave a comment

Australia’s civil liberties under threat – the case of Julian Assange

Assange’s extradition will have broad implications, not only for the exercise of free speech, but also for all Australians — as it will bring into stark relief our own government’s commitment to our rights as citizens…

If he is sent to Sweden, Assange’s extradition must be conditional on him not being subject to the “temporary surrender” clauses in the bilateral treaty between the USA and Sweden….

Kevin Rudd.., unlike the Prime Minister and Attorney General, knew he was obliged to presume Julian Assange innocent
before proven guilty. Instead of threatening to cancel this Australian passport, the Foreign Minister said publicly that his responsibility was to attend to his legal and consular rights.

While the world watches events unfold in London, we have a singular responsibility here in Australia for the protection the citizenship entitlements of one of our own. The next move is squarely in the court of the Australian Government.


Why Julian Assange Could Be You, New, By Scott Ludlam, 3 Nov  Australians should watch closely how the Gillard Government responds to Julian Assange’s extradition . It will test Labor’s commitment to all of our rights as citizens Continue reading

November 3, 2011 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, civil liberties | | Leave a comment

Nuclear power to be scrapped by Belgium

Belgium to completely phase out nuclear power by 2025  Click, 2 Nov 11, The Belgium Government has announced plans to phase out nuclear power within the next 15 years, reports our affiliate site ENN.comGreen staff. Published Wed 02 Nov 2011 Although typically quite fractured, Belgium’s political parties have reached a consensus on nuclear power.

The oldest reactors are to be shut down by 2015 and all nuclear reactors at both sites will be shut down by 2025. The plan is conditional on Belgium finding enough energy from alternative sources to prevent power shortages…..

Plans to have the plants shutdown were drawn up way back in 2003. The plan was kicked into action as public hostility grew towards nuclear energy following Japan’s nuclear disaster at Fukushima. It also has followed Germany’s announcement that it would phase out nuclear power by 2022…..
One of the companies which owns one nuclear site, GDF Suez, saw its shares drop by 4% on Monday following the Sunday announcement. The other owner, Electrabel had refused to comment until it receives official confirmation.

Politicians are now deciding how much more the state will tax the nuclear companies moving forward. Socialist Party chief, Elio Di Rupo, has suggested raising their taxes from €215 million per year in 2009 to €1 billion per year.

November 3, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Nuclear power plant plans scrapped by Mexico

Mexico Scraps Plans to Build as Many as 10 Nuclear Plants, Bloomberg, By Carlos Manuel Rodriguez – Nov 2, 2011 Mexico, one of three Latin American nations that uses nuclear power, is abandoning plans to build as many as 10 new reactors and will focus on natural gas-fired electricity plants after boosting discoveries of the fuel.

The country, which found evidence of trillions of cubic feet of gas in the past year, is “changing all its decisions, amid the very abundant existence of natural-gas deposits,” Energy Minister Jordy Herrera said yesterday in an interview. Mexico will seek private investment of about $10 billion during five years to expand its natural gas pipeline network, he said……

“This is a very good decision by the Mexican government,” said James Williams, an economist at WTRG Economics, an energy research firm in LondonArkansas. With a power generation project based on gas “you can build multiple plants at a much lower cost and much faster pace than a nuclear facility.”

Nations around the world are also reconsidering plans for increasing their reliance on nuclear power after the March 11 earthquake in Japan that wrecked the Fukushima Dai-Ichi plant, causing a loss of cooling, the meltdown of three reactors and the worst atomic disaster since the leak at Chernobyl in 1986…..

November 3, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Big losses at Paladin uranium mine

Shutdowns affect Kayerekera production ,The Daily Times, , 02 November 2011   Kingsley Jassi
Frequent shutdowns at Paladin’s Kayerekera Uranium Mine have affected production, incurring the Australian company a loss of 140,000 pounds of the yellow cake in the quarter ending September, a recently released report has said.
The mine produced 395,478 pounds of uranium as compared to 566,248 pounds at the end of the June quarter, according to the report signed by Managing Director, John Borshoff…….

November 3, 2011 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, business, uranium | Leave a comment

Heavens to Betsy! – Australian Red Cross has gone anti nuclear!

Australian Red Cross Launches a Campaign against Nuclear Weapons,  PopsOp 2 November 2011 | By Anna Rudenko  Greenpeace is known for taking bold and extravagant actions to protect environment and help jumpstart the conversation about ecological dangers, but this organization is not the only one to persuade people to take actions for the planet protection. Australian Red Cross has teamed up with Belgiovane Williams Mackay (BWM) Sydney and digital agency Pollen to launch a social campaign Target Nucler Weapons aiming primarily at younger generation—the aim of this initiative is to start conversation about the legitimacy of the use of nuclear weapon and get more supporters to raise awareness of the devastating consequences of this weapon of massive destruction and advocate for banning it. Continue reading

November 3, 2011 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Opposition to nuclear | | Leave a comment