Australian news, and some related international items

Video: Fukushima fallout does not augur well for Australia’s uranium industry

Richard Broinowski gives a detailed explanation of the Fukushima nuclear disaster, and why South Australia might be on the wrong economic track, in its enthusiasm for uranium mining, and things nuclear.

March 9, 2012 Posted by | Audiovisual | Leave a comment

Grandiose tower for grandiose BHP and its biggest uranium mine in the world

discussions between major developers and BHP about a new $250m office tower in Currie Street, for which the company would have naming rights….

BHP plans office tower linked to Olympic Dam expansion, BY:MICHAEL OWEN:The Australian March 09, 2012 BHP Billiton is looking at teaming with a major developer to build a new office tower in Adelaide ahead of the planned expansion of its Olympic Dam mine in the far north of South Australia.

It is understood BHP is in talks with several developers and construction companies about a new office tower that could be worth up to $250 million.

The high-rise development, potentially slated for Currie Street, in Adelaide’s CBD, would provide the company with a significant visible presence as it launches a mammoth project with an estimated mine life of more than 100 years. Continue reading

March 9, 2012 Posted by | business, South Australia, uranium | | Leave a comment

Premier Baillieu out of step with voters, on climate chnage

Voters call for action on climate change, The Age, Adam Morton March 9, 2012 AS THE Baillieu government prepares to reveal the future of Victoria’s climate change laws, a poll has found two-thirds of Coalition voters think the state has a responsibility to cut greenhouse gas emissions.
The Essential Media poll of 1009 Victorians, commissioned by conservation group Environment Victoria, found 76 per cent believed the state government should cut emissions and not leave it to the federal government to take action through a carbon tax or other steps.
Among Coalition voters, 66 per cent said the state had a responsibility to cut emissions.

Victorians want the state government to act despite belief in climate
change being split between those who think that it is caused by human
activity (47 per cent) and those who think it is either due to natural
variation or not happening at all (44 per cent).
The poll comes as the state government is due to this month release a
review of the Climate Change Act introduced by the previous Labor government, which includes a target of cutting Victoria’s emissions by 20 per cent this decade.
The Baillieu government has wound back some clean energy programs and fuelled expectations the target could be reduced or scrapped.
Other findings from the poll conducted in December and January were:

■ Just 22 per cent of voters consider wind farm laws that give households right of veto over turbines within two kilometres of their house fair. Fifty per cent said the laws were not fair. ■ A majority said they wanted fewer coal-fired power plants (63 per cent) and more renewable energy (78 per cent) and energy efficiency (82 per cent). :

March 9, 2012 Posted by | climate change - global warming, politics, Victoria | | Leave a comment

The nuclear dream that failed

The dream that failed, Oliver Morton, The Economist, Mar 10th 2012 | THE LIGHTS ARE not going off all over
Japan, but the nuclear power plants are. …  The renaissance that wasn’t…

In the energy world, nuclear has found its place nourishing technophile establishments like the “nuclear village” of vendors, bureaucrats, regulators and utilities in Japan whose lack of transparency and accountability did much to pave the way for Fukushima and the distrust that has followed in its wake.

Scroll down this page  to see excellent video with Oliver Morton

March 9, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

New South Wales Liberal Premier pleased about Clean Energy Finance Corporation for Sydney

NSW wins multi-billion dollar clean energy deal  By Malcolm Farr, National Political Editor, arch 07, 2012 
Sydney to host Clean Energy Finance Corporation
Premier O’Farrell happy despite opposition to clean energy fund
“This is good news whichever way you look at it”
NSW Premier Barry O’Farrell is torn between opposing the Federal Government’s carbon pricing and his pride in Sydney’s selection as host of a multi-billion dollar clean energy fund. Continue reading

March 9, 2012 Posted by | New South Wales, politics | Leave a comment

Malaysia to ensure that Lynas is fully accountable for radioactive wastes and any mishap

AELB: AGC to ensure Lynas is legally liable. The Malaysian Insider 08-03-2012 By Yow Hong Chieh  DENGKIL, March 8 — Lynas Corp’s letters of undertaking have been forwarded to the Attorney-General’s Chambers (AGC) for review to ensure the Australian miner can be held accountable in the event of a mishap. Continue reading

March 9, 2012 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, politics international | Leave a comment

Malaysia might breach international law by sending Lynas’ radioactive wastes back to Australia

Science minister to hear appeal against Lynas licence, The Malaysian Insider,   By Yow Hong Chieh, March 08, 2012 KUALA LUMPUR, March 8 — The science, technology and innovation minister will hear the appeal made by Save Malaysia Stop Lynas chairman Tan Boon Teet and five others to review the rare earth plant in Gebeng.

The appeal to review the decision by the Atomic Energy Licensing Board (AELB) to grant Australian miner Lynas a temporary operating licence (TOL) was made under section 32 of the Atomic Energy Licensing Act.

AELB is supervised by the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation…… Several thousand anti-Lynas protestors thronged an opposition-backed rally led by Himpunan Hijau two weekends ago in the single largest protest yet against the rare earth refinery, which is expected to fire up operations later this year.

Critics of the refinery want government to halt its construction and direct AELB to reverse its decision to grant Lynas a TOL, which will let it embark on a two-year trial run. They alleged that the Australian miner has not given sufficient assurances on how it will handle the low-level radioactive waste that will be produced at the plant in Gebeng, Kuantan.

Putrajaya has been under pressure from anti-Lynas groups to shut down the rare earth project over safety concerns….. Health Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai told the Sin Chew Daily this week Lynas will have to send the waste produced at Gebeng back to Australia, even though the Western Australian government has said it will not accept any residue from ore mined from Mount Weld in the state.

But critics have charged that Malaysia risks breaching international laws if it ships Lynas Corp’s rare earth waste out of the country. The Sydney-based company maintains that waste from its rare earth refinery will not be harmful and can be recycled for “commercial applications”.

March 9, 2012 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, politics international | Leave a comment

Call to National Party M.P. to back Clean Energy Finance Corporation

Stawell Climate Action Group call to build big solar Stawell Times, 09 Mar, 2012  STAWELL – Stawell Climate Action Group, got to work this week building a huge sign spelling out the words ‘big solar’, to show their support for the development of large scale solar power in Australia….They gathered at Central Park, Stawell with overalls, hardhats and tools to
build the big solar sign… .

They are calling on John Forrest to get behind a new $10 billion fund for renewable energy. Continue reading

March 9, 2012 Posted by | politics, Victoria | Leave a comment

Global reach of ionising radiation

The World is Powerless Against Fukushima Fallout, Hyphen Submitted by New America Media, March 8, 2012 by Yoichi Shimatsu A year on, the Fukushima nuclear disaster has reached far beyond Japan as an encroaching threat to human health everywhere and to the very existence of life on Earth. As the fallout goes global, there’s nowhere to run or hide since even tiny dosages in rainwater and the food chain have a cumulative effect.

In high-tech societies under constant exposure to radiation from medical scanners, security systems, telecom devices and consumer electronics, nearly everyone is teetering at the brink of the cancer abyss. The slightest exposure to dust from Fukushima is a ticket to an early exit.

Despite new admissions of a cover-up from high officials and an independent investigation in Japan, governments and the nuclear
establishment continue to deny or downplay the immense dangers posed by atmospheric fallout and sea dumping from the Fukushima meltdowns.
An accurate reckoning of the danger to public health worldwide is not being discussed because governments are powerless against the nuclear monstrosity they created.

Decades of assurances about nuclear safety have been blown away by the unexpected global effects of the March meltdowns. The past year’s crisis yanked open a Pandora’s Box of bizarre science that staggers the imagination of corporate scientists and bureaucrat engineers, from whom there comes only dumfounded silence. These include:…. .

March 9, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Computer bug collecting, by Australian govt spies

Australian spies buying computer bugs: sources, SMH, Cynthia Karena, March 8, 2012   Cyber criminals are not the only ones buying software flaws, say sources. The  Australian government is buying computer security weaknesses found by hackers before they are sold on the black market, as part of its defence strategy, claim those at the coal face of cyber security.

“The Australian government has developed these capabilities as part of ASIO, DSD [Defence Signals Directorate], CSOC [Cyber Security Operations Centre] and possibly others. But they are purely for research and defence,” says an Australian security consultant who wishes to remain anonymous.
He says while the government won’t admit it, buying vulnerabilities is an obvious part of “gathering intelligence”…..Stuxnet , a virus that is said to have crippled Iran’s nuclear arms program in 2010, exploited four zero-day vulnerabilities in Windows. Iranian authorities and security researchers believed the US and Israeli governments were behind the attack.

March 9, 2012 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, secrets and lies | | Leave a comment