Australian news, and some related international items

A New South Wales City Council sets up Australia’s largest solar powered streetlighting project

Shining light in renewable energy Goulburn Post, 22 Jun, 2012  GOULBURN Mulwaree Council is leading the way when it comes to combining renewable energy and street safety by installing more than 50 solar powered streetlights along Marys Mount Road.
The 3km stretch of road is believed to be the single largest solar powered streetlighting project for a councilowned and maintained road in Australia. The solar powered streetlights took three weeks to install, with local tradespeople contracted to assist with the project……..
Each stand-alone system comprises primarily the three major electronic
components, all working in unison.

1) Solar Panels – Absorbed radiation sent to through the controller to the batteries. The Solar Panels are monocrystalline and generally do not require maintenance.

2) Sealed Batteries – Supplying daily stored power. The batteries are sealed and require no regular maintenance.

3) Controllers – The Control Centre (operating, monitoring, regulating).

The controller automatically adjusts for the daylight savings throughout the entire year, and no manual adjustment is required.

The Cost of Life Analysis included the poles, solar panels, batteries, controller and fittings. This worked out to be $400 per pole/annum or approx five per cent of the Total Project value.
Goulburn Mulwaree Council has also installed solar panels at its Visitor Information Centre (installed by Ingenero Pty Limited), and is currently investigating options to install panels at its Aquatic Centre. Stage 1 of this process is now complete, with local company Sunup Solar and LED Lighting Systems installing the systems. Council is investigating the possibility of tendering for Stage 2 of an additional 5KW.

June 22, 2012 Posted by | New South Wales, solar | | Leave a comment

Solar energy project on tribal land in USA

Tribal lands hold great renewable energy potential, and smart development of these resources has the power to strengthen tribal economies, create jobs and generate clean electricity for communities across Indian Country,” 

Solar energy project approved on tribal land near Las VegasLas Vegas Sun, By Conor Shine , June 21, 2012  The federal government on Thursday approved a massive 350-megawatt solar energy project to be built on land in Clark County belonging to the Moapa Band of Paiute Indians Tribe.

It would be the first utility-scale solar project on tribal lands. The project, covering about 2,000 acres, would be located 30 miles north of Las Vegas and occupy about 3 percent of the tribe’s land, which is held in trust by the U.S. government.
The operation would generate enough electricity to power 100,000 homes, the Department of the Interior said in a statement. Continue reading

June 22, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Aboriginal Kevin Buzzacott keeps up the good fight to stop huge Olympic Dam uranium mine

Geoffrey Kennett SC argued it was not sufficient for Mr Burke to have just considered the impact of taking water from the basin. He said the minister had to have proper regard to the conditions already imposed on water extraction by the state government.

Elder fights on to stop SA mine expansion  9 News, Jun 21 2012, Tim Dornin An Aboriginal elder, Kevin Buzzacott, has returned to the Federal Court to tell “a good story” in his bid to block the $30 billion expansion of the Olympic Dam copper, uranium and gold mine in South Australia’s north. Continue reading

June 22, 2012 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

Lynas rare earths plant in Malaysia to go ahead without plan for long term disposal of radioactive wastes?

 why are we talking about a storage facility in Malaysia when it was made clear that one of the prerequisite to the Temporary Operating License or TOL is that the waste be shipped back to Western Australia?

The Australian government reiterated that it will not accept responsibility for any waste material produced by Lynas, although one of the five conditions attached to the recent approval of its temporary operating license is that it must take full responsibility for waste management from its plant including returning the waste to the source, if necessary.

But in a media briefing, AELB director-general, Raja Abdul Aziz Raja Adnan, gave his assurance that the board would insist on a letter of undertaking from Lynas Australia that it would adhere to this condition.

TOL sell-out by PSC: The final smirk from Lynas Malaysia Chronicle,  by  Charles Santiago, 19 June 12,  We welcome the report of the Parliamentary Select Committee which has produced its recommendations, including the upgrading of the standards used by the AELB. But while we appreciate the effort, this is clearly a document which has only looked at ways to keep the Lynas Advance Material Plant (LAMP) in operation.

The key area – returning the radioactive waste to Western Australia – has not been looked at although it was one of the earliest pre-conditions to the government granting Lynas a Temporary Operating License.

Violating pre-requisite to the Temporary Operating License (TOL)   Over a ten-year period of the plant’s operation, the total volume of wastes will amount to 2,766,600 cubic metro. Over a 20-year period, as Lynas continues to enjoy its tax break, the waste would presumably have doubled. And it is highly inconceivable that there will be enough soil and technology available to “dilute” the wastes and remove its radiation level to natural ground level radiation.

This is especially crucial as Lynas plans to store the wastes onside in the Residue Storage Facility (RSF). Continue reading

June 22, 2012 Posted by | politics international, rare earths, uranium, Western Australia | Leave a comment

No sign of a future for Jabiluka uranium mining

No start on horizon for Jabiluka development, SMH, Peter Ker, June 21, 2012 Development of Australia’s most prospective and controversial uranium deposit, Jabiluka, is unlikely to happen in the next decade despite its leaseholder improving relations with local indigenous groups.
That’s the view of analysts visiting the Northern Territory operations of uranium miner Energy Resources of Australia this week.
ERA is currently hosting major investors on a tour of its mines and leases near Kakadu National Park, in a bid to promote its recent decision to spend $57 million on a ‘pre-feasibility’ study into turning its Ranger open cut mine into an underground operation.
But discussion of ERA’s future inevitably turns to Jabiluka, which has remained untapped for years out of respect for the wishes of the local indigenous Mirrar people…… ERA, which is majority owned by Rio Tinto, has been targeted by environmental groups who believe its proximity to Kakadu is inappropriate.

June 22, 2012 Posted by | business, Northern Territory, uranium | Leave a comment

Non political and impressive panel to oversee Australia’s climate action and renewable energy targets

High-power panel to put emissions on target June 22, 2012 THE Gillard government has named its ”Reserve Bank for climate change” – as coined by Tony Mohr of the Australian Conservation Foundation – a high-powered panel, including hard-headed industry representatives, that will help set Australia’s greenhouse gas and renewable energy targets.

The Climate Change Authority will include industry heavyweight John Marlay, widely seen as a more conservative voice on the panel, and Reserve Bank board member Heather Ridout, who in her previous job as head of the Australian Industry Group was critical of elements of the carbon tax. The panel, announced yesterday, will also include respected climate
scientist David Karoly, former economics bureaucrat Lynne Williams, left-leaning economist Clive Hamilton, AustralianSuper chairwoman Elana Rubin and leading economist John Quiggin….. The authority will be chaired by former Treasury secretary and Reserve Bank governor Bernie Fraser.
The authority members will constitute the most powerful independent advisers on the carbon pricing scheme, recommending greenhouse gas emissions targets to the government….. Greens leader Christine Milne said the panel would ”depoliticise the fraught process” of setting targets.

June 22, 2012 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, climate change - global warming | | Leave a comment

Harvey Norman aims to be an Australian leader in solar panel sales

Harvey Norman invests in solar panels 19 June 12  Retailer Harvey Norman plans to be a market leader in the domestic solar industry after placing a substantial order for user-friendly solar panels. Continue reading

June 22, 2012 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, solar | | Leave a comment

USA’s Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s blind faith in the ‘future solution’ for nuclear wastes

 the NRC is now contending that the spent fuel can be stored safely “until a depository was needed” or “realized.”

the June 8 Appeals Court decision  said that “the commission’s evaluation of the risks of spent nuclear fuel is deficient in two ways:

First, in concluding that permanent storage will be available when necessary, the commission did not calculate the environmental effects of failing to secure permanent storage — a possibility that cannot be ignored.

Second, in determining that spent fuel can safely be stored on site for 60 years after the expiration of a plant’s license, the commission failed to properly examine future dangers and key consequences.”

Nuclear plant relicensing opponents challenge NRCSeaCoastonline By Shir Haberman, June 21, 2012 SEABROOK — For the second time in two months nuclear safety groups have filed a federal action against the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission for allegedly failing to appropriately fulfill its role as the protector of public health and safety. Continue reading

June 22, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Malaysia’s Atomic Energy Licensing Board (AELB) set radiation standards to exempt Lynas to reuse wastes

  the Atomic Energy Licensing Board (AELB) has arbitrarily set its own safety standards for radiation exposure, which is not in accordance with international standards. The AELB standards would be used to exempt and clear Lynas’ radioactive wastes for reuse and recycle. The exposure to radioactive waste was one of the causes that led to high levels of lead poisoning and other severe health complications of the people in Bukit Merah.

TOL sell-out by PSC: The final smirk from Lynas , Malaysia Chronicle,  by  Charles Santiago, 19 June 2012 “…….Health over investment?  The PSC has outlined a guideline to look into health measures for the people, wording it to say that this was undertaken to arrest the fears of the public. Severe birth defects, eight leukemia cases over five years in a community of 11,000, tears and anguish of the poor people from a largely shoe-making community – these are not news headlines. Neither is it the plot of a movie.

These are the consequences of carelessly allowing the Asian Rare Earth factory to be built in Bukit Merah, Perak in 1982. When Mitsubishi Chemical started operating its rare earth factory, the villagers complained of choking sensation, pungent smell, coughs and colds.

The community also saw a sharp rise in the cases of infant deaths, congenital disease, leukemia and lead poisoning. Thirty years later, it has not wiped out the memories and heartache of the villagers who lost their children and loved ones. Only the government is feigning ignorance. Continue reading

June 22, 2012 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, politics international | Leave a comment