Australian news, and some related international items

Anti nuclear protest against Obama at Darwin, Australia

Local activists plan Obama protest 10 Nov 11 LOCAL activists angry at US military bases in Australia are planning to protest US President Barack Obama’s trip to Darwin next week. Justin Tutty from Darwin Residents Against War says he expects at least 20 locals to stage a peaceful protest near Parliament when Mr Obama arrives on Thursday.

“Our message is that we don’t want US bases, we don’t want US nuclear warships in Darwin Harbour and we don’t want US troops in Darwin,” Mr Tutty said. There has been speculation Mr Obama will use the visit to make an announcement relating to increasing the US military presence in the Northern Territory.

Australian Defence Minister Stephen Smith recently foreshadowed increasing the number of joint training exercises with America in Darwin and the US storing more equipment in the city for disaster and humanitarian assistance.

Already the US and Australia jointly run the Pine Gap spy base near Alice Springs in the Northern
Territory. Mr Tutty said there was little information about what a greater US presence in Northern Territory would mean.

“They have talked about a pre-positioning base and we are very sceptical about the nature of the base because of all the lies we have been told about Pine Gap,” Mr Tutty said.”For so many years they told us that Pine Gap was a communications base, but in the last few years it has come out about its offensive role and it was used to direct dozens of attacks on Iraq.”

November 10, 2011 Posted by | Northern Territory, Opposition to nuclear, weapons and war | | 1 Comment

Obama’s Australian visit is vital to USA’s military industrial complex

Obama’s Australia visit vital says White House, Herald Sun  by:By Erica Werner in Washington , November 10, 2011  US President Barack Obama is about to embark on a nine-day trip to Hawaii, Australia and Indonesia that will take him away from Washington at an important time, but White House officials say its all about US jobs.

The trip also will underscore the economic, political and security importance of the fast-growing Asia-Pacific region, which the US sees as critical to American interests in coming years.

“The President’s No.1 priority is job creation, and our efforts to create American jobs are tied very directly to our engagement in the Asia-Pacific,” said Ben Rhodes, a White House deputy national security adviser.

“Increasingly the centre of gravity in the 21st century is going to make the Asia-Pacific critical to all of our interests,” Mr Rhodes said.

Mr Obama leaves on Friday for Hawaii, where the US will host the Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation summit, bringing together 21 member nations which together comprise 40 per cent of the world’s population. From there, he makes a long-delayed visit to Australia…
In Australia, the President visits the capital, Canberra, as well as Darwin, site of an Australian military base, where discussion is expected to focus on an emerging defence agreement that would let the US to expand its military presence in Australia….

Kim Beazley, Australia’s ambassador to the US, said in an interview today …”Australia’s geographic location is becoming increasingly important to the US.”…

November 10, 2011 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, weapons and war | Leave a comment

India’s anti nuclear protest growing more determined

Protests galore expected in Kudankulam  IBN Tamil Nadu |  Nov 10, 2011   Press Trust of India Chennai: Extending support to locals agitating against Kudankulam Nuclear Power project, about 100 anti-nuclear activists will embark on a yatra from Madurai to the site on Thursday.

The activists, under the aegis of Chennai Solidarity Group for Kudankulam Struggle would start their journey from Madurai on November 10 and stop at towns and villages en route to Kudankulam to explain “the terrible environmental and health effects of nuclear energy.”

At Kudankulam, they would conduct a national seminar titled “National Conference on Safety issues at Nuclear installations in India.” The Yatra will culminate in Chennai on November 13, where a seminar for students would also be held. There are also plans to hold a photo-exhibition, depicting the horrors of nuclear energy, a press release from the group said.

The yatra has been organised by National Alliance of Anti-Nuclear Movements. Some of those attending the yatra are nuclear physicist Suvrat Raju, Prof Banwarilal Sharma, mathematician and former president of the International Congress of Mathematics and Thomas Kochery of National Fishworkers Forum, it said. (Watch CNN-IBN live on your iPad. IBN7 and IBN Lokmat too. Download the IBNLive for iPad app. It’s free. Click here to download now

November 10, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Expansion of renewable energy power spells doom for costly nuclear energy

Nuclear power ‘doomed in Australia’ by alternative energy, Adelaide Now, by:RUSSELL EMMERSON,The Advertiser November 10, 2011 THE success of a competitive energy market and the rise of wind power effectively spell doom for an Australian nuclear industry, an expert says.

A paper authored by University College London director Tony Owen links the rise of nuclear power to government backing, but warns the private sector is unlikely to see an economic case for nuclear power because companies will face greater investment risk without government security. Continue reading

November 10, 2011 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, business | Leave a comment

Authorities do not acknowledge the horror of depleted uranium’s effects on soldiers

Gulf War vets wounded and angry, CNews By Kris Sims, Parliamentary Bureau, 10 Nov 11 OTTAWA –– All of Louise Richard’s hair fell out after she came home from the Gulf War.  “Ninety-five percent of the casualties we dealt with were Iraqi prisoners of war,” the former army nurse said. “They were obviously totally contaminated with depleted uranium, they had shrapnel, we operated on them, so here we were — hands in guts and breathing all of these things.”
Gulf War veterans say they have been suffering for 20 years after being exposed to depleted uranium in the Persian Gulf in 1991. 
“Many have died or are dying of various cancers, auto immune diseases, neuromuscular diseases, neurological diseases,” Richard said. “This government has done everything to keep a tight lip, lie and deny; our war has never been acknowledged officially, nor have they acknowledged the seriousness of the health consequences.”

It has been two decades since the United States and its allies pushed Saddam Hussien’s forces out of neighbouring Kuwait, pursuing them into Iraq. Canada joined the fight, being deployed into combat overseas for the first time since Korea. While the battle was short, the fallout of chemicals and elements that wafted into fighters’ clothing and vehicles and blew on desert winds has plagued modern war vets…

Canadian Gulf War vets say they get next to no response from the feds in Ottawa. Pascal Lacoste, 38, a Bosnian vet, ended a hunger strike in Quebec after Veterans Affairs Minister Steve Blaney promised to ask a panel of experts to study the affects of depleted uranium on troops. “I find it despicable, criminal, that a veteran who put his life on the line for this country has to resort to threatening to end his life for attention,” said Richard. “We have been crying for help since we went on these missions.”

November 10, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Olympic Dam “Every word of the agreement favours BHP, not South Australians” – Liberal MP

Opposition industry spokesman Martin Hamilton-Smith joined the criticism of the deal struck with BHP Billiton.  Mr Hamilton-Smith said, “Every word of the agreement favours BHP, not South Australians.”

Greens turn new Premier Jay Weatherill blue, The Advertiser, Sarah Martin , November 10, 2011   “……Mr Parnell agreed that the Greens did not support any expansion of uranium mining in Australia, and argued the mine could be viable without uranium exploration. Continue reading

November 10, 2011 Posted by | Olympic Dam, politics, South Australia, uranium | , | Leave a comment

Plutonium in the lungs of workers in nuclear waste laboratory

Further lung examinations were ordered for two workers whose body scans tested positive for radiation in their lungs and for a third worker whose lungs showed an “anomaly,”
More tests ordered for plutonium-exposed Idaho lab workers By Laura Zuckerman, SALMON, Idaho  Nov 9, 2011  (Reuters) Doctors at a nuclear research lab in Idaho on Wednesday ordered further medical tests of 16 workers accidentally exposed to low-levels of radiation from plutonium fuel in a decommissioned reactor. Continue reading

November 10, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Australia’s energy resources boom threatened by China’s move to renewable energy

China may go green
A BEIJING academic has warned Australia not to rely too much on China’s demand for iron ore and coal because a move to green power from the Asian powerhouse was real and could stem consumption of our exports.

Well, that is all I could get – unable to get online material from THE AUSTRALIAN.  I think it’s because I haven’t paid up a subscription to it. – Christina Macpherson

November 10, 2011 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, politics international | Leave a comment

Renewables plus energy efficiency can bring Australia to 100% energy

100% renewables, no hot air, Climate Spectator, Matthew Wright, 10 Nov 11 The Zero Carbon Australia Stationary Energy project has paved the way for Australian researchers to contribute their best scenarios for transitioning to a 21st century renewable powered economy in a decade….. We congratulate UNSW for being the first institution to take up the challenge.

As the community partner in the ZCA project, Beyond Zero Emissions welcomes the UNSW’s contribution with its soon to be released scenario for taking the economy to 100 per cent renewable energy.

Before we can discuss the merits of their proposal, we need to consider the two schools of thought on how to achieve a completely decarbonised economy: those who think we should have a fossil fuel powered “transition;” and those who think that transition using fossil fuel “lite” technologies – namely fossil gas – is a diversion, not a shortcut. Beyond Zero Emissions fit into the latter category while the UNSW fit somewhere in between……

Gas generation is the most notable difference between the Zero Carbon Australia plan and the UNSW scenario but it’s not the only one.

The ZCA included a significant energy efficiency program, the most ambitious one proposed to date, which shows how we can deliver half the end use energy we currently deliver. How we do that is being comprehensively detailed in the work of the Zero Carbon Australia Buildings plan, which will be published in February next year.

Then there’s our plan to link the main electricity grids in Australia: the Mount Isa mine grid in the north and the eastern seaboard grid with the West Australian grids. This proposed updating of infrastructure is on par with what’s happening in China, in South America, and serious plans to connect North Africa and the Middle East to Europe. Our plan to link eastern and Western Australia with HVDC, creating a national grid, is consistent with the recommendation of Siemens Australia. The cost of this technology has come down since we researched and produced our report……

Beyond Zero Emissions welcomes the UNSW study and looks forward to the ensuing debate on the proposal once it is released…….

November 10, 2011 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, energy | Leave a comment

Australia can move towards 100% renewable energy

100% renewable target achievable: Greens, SMH November 10, 2011 Australian Greens leader Bob Brown has backed a colleague’s claim that Australia could be totally powered by renewable energy within a decade, despite others calling the claim unrealistic.

“(Senator) Larissa (Waters) is simply stating what is possible if we really want to ward off dangerous climate change,” he told ABC Radio on Thursday.”We’ve got – with the Gillard government – this quite remarkable (carbon tax) package through the parliament … but of course we can’t rest on our laurels and we’ll be looking at how we can improve on that in the future.”

Senator Brown insisted that putting a price on carbon did not mean putting an end to action on climate change, with a new international report showing the world is fast approaching the point of no return. “On current trajectory, the world’s going to lose the opportunity … the door will be shut,” he said. “We really need to be taking this seriously.”

Senator Waters said various studies showed the 100 per cent renewable energy target could be achieved in 10 years, however acting Queensland Premier Andrew Fraser disputed the claim and described the Greens as “delusional”…..


November 10, 2011 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

Australia’s newest uranium mine, Honeymoon, is majority owned by Russia

Uranium One is now majority owned by the Russian’s…will they be first to sell uranium to Russia under the Howard-Putin deal that was ratified without any changes by PM Gillard & Foreign Affairs Minister Rudd against the recommendations of a JSCT Parliamentary Inquiry to not proceed with the deal ?

AUSTRALIA’S fourth uranium mine – Honeymoon in the  northeast of South Australia  – is up and running. Owned by Uranium One, It is the first uranium project to reach production since the Australian Labor Party scrapped its no-new mines policy in 2007.

November 10, 2011 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, politics international, South Australia | | Leave a comment