Australian news, and some related international items

Uranium: Greens are asking some critical questions about BHP’s Roxby Downs Indenture Bill

Greens put forward 100 amendments to gridlock mine’s $525 million, by:Sarah Martin, The Advertiser,   November 09, 2011  Greens MLC Mark Parnell said his minority party was “not going to be cut short and stopped from asking the questions that need to be asked”, …. BHP says the revised Indenture Act needs to pass Parliament before the end of the year to trigger spending on preparatory work for the mine…. the Bill’s passage could be delayed until Parliament resumes in February next year…..




    Why did the Government lock in a royalty regime for 45 years, and why is it based exclusively on old-style production-based royalties, rather than one that captures a fair share of mining profits?


    How good an economic deal did SA receive when BHP CEO Marius Kloppers is claiming to his shareholders that the Olympic Dam Expansion will be low cost and highly profitable?


    How many South Australian jobs will be lost by not requiring BHP to process our ore here in South Australia rather than exporting it to China?


    Why is BHP exempt from over 20 South Australian laws that every other mining company in SA has to comply with?


    Why wasnt a No Uranium Roxby Expansion considered when we know it is not only technically feasible, it would also mean less water and energy use and more jobs as the processing would be done here in SA, rather than in China?


    Why isn’t there a plan to wean BHP off using 42ML/day of ancient water from the Great Artesian Basin, when they plan double that volume in excess capacity (80ML/day) from their desalination plant?


    Why is the Government prepared to risk the breeding grounds of the Giant Australian Cuttlefish by not requiring the company to build in a different location?


    How can the Government claim that they have met their public commitment for the expansion to meet worlds best environmental practice when only 4 per cent of the tailings dams will be lined and the dams are designed to leak up to 8 million litres of toxic radioactive waste liquid/day?


    Who will ultimately be responsible to manage the open pit, tailings dams and rock waste pile for the 10,000 years after the operations cease that the radioactive risk remains: the company or SA taxpayers, and how much will that management cost?


    Why isn’t the company committing to any investment in cleaner energy to meet their whopping 650 MW electricity demand beyond the 57MW commitment for powering the desal plant (less than 10 per cent of total demand) to reduce their enormous increase in the states greenhouse pollution of 12-15 per cent?


November 9, 2011 Posted by | Olympic Dam, politics, South Australia, uranium | , | Leave a comment

Abdul Kalam, a total fake, was sent to reassure Indian villagers about nuclear safety

 From our Antinuclear correspondent in India, 9 Nov 11  I was reading Kalam’s report on how Koodankalam was safe and why nuclear is the future for India when I had a suspicion about his educational background. All his rantings seemed very unscientific to me so I did some research and found out that HE IS A TOTAL FAKE! He has only a degree (bachelor’s in science) BSc and the prefix Dr. has been conveniently been added by him in front of his name to promote himself as a doctor of science. in fact he has not received even an honorary doctorate degree from any institution or group as they sometimes arbitrarily give someone a doctorate even if they have just a fifth standard education in India (as in the case of Kurananidhi, former chief minister of Tamil Nadu who according to a report in Facebook apparently  has stashed away 3500 crores of indian rupees in Swiss Banks (an astounding amount).
 Abdul Kalam and  his missile tests were actually a botched job covered up by the BJP govt to save their face. Kalam is probably under threat that he will be revealed if he takes a anti nuke stand on Koodankalam so I’m sure if We bring the truth out about him and make it public, this would help the Koodankalam movement a great deal.
‘What is so sacrosanct about A.P.J. Abdul Kalam?’
ARVIND SWAMINATHAN writes from Madras: The larger-than-life, conversation-stopping image of the former President of India A.P.J. Abdul Kalam is the fruit of assiduous self-promotion, audacious political opportunism and pumped-up nationalism, combined with the gee-whiz ignorance of an uncritical media. Continue reading

November 9, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Facts on Australia’s new climate change legislation

How the package will roll out , SMH, November 8, 201

Factbox on how the climate package will roll out:

• Carbon emissions tax for the 500 biggest polluters starts on July 1, 2012.

• Tax moves to an emissions trading scheme in 2015.

• Tax begins at a fixed price of $23 a tonne and rises by 2.5 per cent a year until 2015.

• Tax will not apply to agricultural emissions or light on-road vehicles.

• Electricity generation, stationary energy, some business transport, waste, industrial processes and fugitive emissions will be covered by the initial tax.

• Average households will see a $9.90 weekly cost rise.

• Average households will receive assistance of $10.10 weekly.

• Free carbon permits will be given to the most emissions-intensive and trade-exposed industries.

• The government wants to cut pollution by 80 per cent by 2050.

(Source: Federal Government)

November 9, 2011 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, climate change - global warming | | Leave a comment

Submission by Australian rare earths company Lynas rejected by Malaysia on safety concerns

Miti on Lynas plant: Safety is top priority, Free Malaysia Today  Stephanie Sta Maria, | November 8, 2011Lynas will not be allowed to operate its plant until it meets IAEA conditions. KUALA LUMPUR: The Ministry of International Trade and Industry (Miti) today clarified its stand on the controversial rare earth plant in Gebeng, saying the government would not allow Lynas Corporation Ltd to operate if it flouted the rules.

Miti secretary general Rebecca Sta Maria said safety was the ministry’s top priority.

Last week the government revealed that it had rejected Lynas’ submissions on safety requirements for the RM1.5 billion rare earth refinery. This followed reports by the Australian Associated Press that Lynas was expected to commence operations late this year and begin commercially supplying radiation-risk rare earth by next year. Continue reading

November 9, 2011 Posted by | politics international, rare earths, uranium, Western Australia | Leave a comment

Australia’s new climate laws are just the start for our clean energy future

The Clean Energy Finance Corporation [CEFC] and Australian Renewable Energy Agency [ARENA] have the potential to dramatically reshape the investment environment for renewable energy in this country. If they are to be as effective as they possibly can be, the renewable energy industry and those who want to see it grow as fast as it can have a very small window of opportunity to help shape the CEFC’s investment mandate and make suggestions for who should be on the boards of both
independent statutory authorities. We need to get these right and get them moving to give big solar and all the other technologies themarket signal they need to start building.

Now begins the campaign for serious climate action, The Drum,  CHRISTINE MILNE, 9 Nov 11 Yesterday we celebrated a huge achievement, with the passage of the Clean Energy Future legislation that finally puts a price on pollution
and gets us ready for historical investments in clean, renewable energy, energy efficiency and protection of landscape carbon.

But, in a very real way, yesterday’s vote is a new beginning for the campaign for serious climate action, not the end. This package of bills was designed carefully to have as many points of review as possible, as many opportunities for campaigning as possible, and as much independent expert advice as possible. Critically, it is designed with complete upward flexibility: there is no limit to ourambition if we are ready to aim high.

The challenge now is to build the political will for ambitious, science-based action over the years ahead. Continue reading

November 9, 2011 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, climate change - global warming | | Leave a comment

Well planned feed in tariffs are the way to promote renewable energy

a number of studies, including those carried out for the European Commission, have found well-designed and well-implemented feed in tariffs are the most efficient and effective support policies for promoting renewable energy generated electricity.

IPCC Report Supports Feed-In Tariffs, Renewable Energy news, by Energy Matters 08 NOVEMBER, 2011 Australian states without solid feed in tariff programs or reviewing their current arrangements should take note of the Special Report on Renewable Energy Sources and Climate Change Mitigation published by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

Released some months ago and prepared by over 130 lead authors working with the IPCC, the reportseemed to hardly make a ripple in Australia, perhaps due to its complexity. Consisting of 11 chapters, the section on Financing, Policy and Implementationalone is 135 pages. Continue reading

November 9, 2011 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, solar | | Leave a comment

Plutonium radioactive exposure to 17 workers at Idaho nuclear waste laboratory

Seventeen workers exposed to radiation at Idaho lab, By Laura Zuckerman, SALMON, Idaho | Tue Nov 8, 2011  (Reuters) – Seventeen workers were exposed to low-level radiation from plutonium on Tuesday at a U.S. Energy Department nuclear research lab in Idaho, but there was no risk to the public, the government said.

 The accident at the Idaho National Laboratory occurred inside a facility used for remotely handling, processing and examining spent nuclear fuel, radioactive waste and other irradiated materials, the lab said in a series of statements.

The so-called Materials and Fuels Complex is located near the edge of the sprawling 890-square-mile laboratory site in the high desert in eastern Idaho about 38 miles from the city of Idaho Falls……

At least 17 employees were working inside a decommissioned research reactor when “a container was opened for normal, scheduled work, resulting in low-level worker exposure to plutonium,” the statement said…..

November 9, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment