Australian news, and some related international items

Earthquake danger in restarting Japan’s nuclear reactors

Seismic modelling by Japan’s nuclear regulator did not properly take into account active fault lines near the Ohi plant, Katsuhiko Ishibashi, a seismologist at Kobe University, told reporters.

“Instead of making standards more strict, they both represent a severe setback in safety standards.”

Seismologists warn Japan against nuclear restart  TOKYO, June 26 (Reuters) – Two prominent seismologists said on Tuesday that Japan is ignoring the safety lessons of last year’s Fukushima crisis and warned against restarting two reactors next month. Continue reading

June 26, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Queensland Premier Newman’s war on solar energy

Can-do Campbell slashes Queensland solar PV tariffs,  REneweconomy,  By  on 25 June 2012 One of the most depressingly predictable political back-flips has finally come to pass, with the Campbell Newman-led Queensland state government abandoning its commitment to the solar bonus scheme, and announcing it will slash its net feed-in tariff from a 44c/kWh to just 8c/kWh.

The dramatic move means that Queensland is the last state to remove the solar PV FiT, and replace it with a nominal amount. The 8c tariff will be reviewed in July 2013, and will end in July 2014 – leaving retailers to make only a “voluntary contribution.”

This is despite promises by Newman during the campaign that the solar bonus scheme would not be cut. But as we pointed out in this item in March, Can-do Campbell and the art of political risk, Newman intended to cut a whole range of climate and clean energy schemes. Newman has now brought an end to a variety of renewable energy schemes, including a $5 million grant for the Cloncurry solar PV project, and funding for geothermal research.

Newman also sought to exit a $75 million grant for the Solar Dawn project in the solar flagships program, but has found he could not. He may still be able to hold on to the money if Solar Dawn is unable to negotiate a power purchase agreement with the state government-owned utility. Continue reading

June 26, 2012 Posted by | Queensland, solar | | Leave a comment

Fukushima crisis, real risk of another, and worse nuclear disaster

VIDEO Experts warn of another disaster awaiting at Fukushima   Australian Broadcasting Corporation 7.30 report Broadcast: 25/06/2012 Reporter: Mark Willacy Japanese and US nuclear experts warn that another earthquake hitting Fukushima could spark a disaster worse than Chernobyl. Continue reading

June 26, 2012 Posted by | Audiovisual | Leave a comment

VIDEO – Elderly Aboriginal landowners must wait for legal case about nuclear waste dump for their land

 Muckaty residents were targeted because of their isolation.

VIDEO  Muckaty nuclear waste case adjourned 25 JUN 2012,  Lawyers for the traditional land owners at Muckaty in the Northern Territory fear some community members may die before court proceedings against a proposed nuclear waste facility are heard.

The Federal Court has decided to adjourn the case against the site until the end of the year. Continue reading

June 26, 2012 Posted by | Audiovisual | Leave a comment

Muckaty traditional owners not consulted about nuclear waste plan, – legal case begins

Nuclear dump court battle begins,  SMH, Farah Farouque June 26, 2012   “……While much has been made of the environmental implications of building a nuclear waste facility at Muckaty, less understood is that the takeover ”heralds a significant unwinding of Aboriginal land rights”, according to Sydney lawyer George Newhouse.

”The Commonwealth’s preparedness to accept and act upon a deeply flawed and contested nomination at Muckaty, a home to at least seven Aboriginal family groups, represents a retrograde move in the history of indigenous land rights.”
Maurice Blackburn solicitor Elizabeth O’Shea says a nuclear dump in plain terms ”will mean the traditional people cannot access the land again”. The two lawyers are among a high-octane legal team who have donated their time to advance the cause of the elders. The barristers involved include Melbourne QCs Ron Merkel and Julian Burnside.

A leading issue in the Federal Court challenge, defended by the federal government and Northern Land Council, is that key traditional owners will testify they were never consulted while others say that they were not properly consulted and never consented to the nomination.,,,,,”

June 26, 2012 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, legal | Leave a comment

Community owned solar farm plan for Bacchus Marsh, Victoria

Solar farm proposed for Bacchus Marsh, Melton Weekly, Moorabool Weekly, BY CLAIRE KNOX, 26 Jun, 2012 STATE and federal governments need to encourage smaller-scale community renewable energy (CRE) projects, according to sustainability leaders. They say promoting community-owned models could be the key to engaging the wider public in lowering carbon emissions.

Deb Porter, secretary of Moorabool Environment Group (MEG), said the group was looking at developing a community solar farm in Bacchus Marsh, with people purchasing shares. Continue reading

June 26, 2012 Posted by | solar, Victoria | | Leave a comment

The role of the smart meter in Australia’s renewable energy future

Challenge 13: smart energy demand and renewable supply “….The Conversation, Mark Diesendorf argues that it is high time we got smart about power: how we generate it and how we deliver it. 26 June 12

Global challenge 13: How can growing energy demands be met safely and efficiently?
“……..Question 13 was posed by the Millennium Project in a global context. However, when applied to Australia and other rich countries, the assumption that energy demand should continue to grow must be challenged at the outset.

There is huge potential for increasing the efficiency of energy use through technological improvements (known as “energy efficiency”) and reducing the demand for energy services by fostering behavioural changes (known as “energy conservation”). These are the cheapest and fastest ways of cutting unnecessary energy demand. The key foci are buildings (including the appliances and equipment they contain) and industry.
In the near future, a new tool will become widely available for monitoring and reducing electricity demand: the smart meter as a component of the “smart grid”. Continue reading

June 26, 2012 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, efficiency | Leave a comment

Liberal MP confronted over his rash anti wind farm statements

Wind energy sector hits back at MP, Warrnambool Standard, PETER COLLINS, 25 Jun, 2012   THE wind energy sector has hit back at scathing criticism in Federal Parliament last week by an [MP Sydney-based Liberal Craig Kelly] who described electricity generation by wind turbines as ludicrously inefficient…

. The Clean Energy Council later issued an invitation to Mr Kelly to tour a wind farm and learn how it drives investment in
local communities. South-west Victoria is one of Australia’s fastest-growing regions for wind farm investment. Continue reading

June 26, 2012 Posted by | General News | 1 Comment

Radioactivity ruining fishing industry in Fukushima region

Fukushima fish still hard to stomach 26 June 2012 Japanese fishermen are facing a struggle for their livelihoods.An ABC report shows that many fish caught in the oceans around Fukushima contain dangerous levels of radioactive material. Continue reading

June 26, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment