Australian news, and some related international items

Olympic Dam anti uranium protest 12 July

from David Bradbury 4 p.m 12 July Just got call through to Kelly at base camp. Police say anyone who uses the Oodinatta track to go south to Roxby from present base camp on Uncle Kevins country will be fined $1500. Not a bad earn for our neutral Guardians of Democracy: the SA police force. At that rate they won’t have to rely on BHPB’s miserable tax rate royalties to keep SA Inc afloat. Just keep fining the ‘ferals’ and ‘Greenies’.

from David Bradbury 3 p.m 12 July Jarminji at the wheel.42 Kms from Port Augusta…and 4hrs approx from police blockade just south of Roxby. Reports of lots of cop cars and scores of police ‘everywhere’ to thwart protest camp being set up at mine entrance -proverbial Gates of Hell.

from David Bradbury 2.p.m 12 July
  Nearing Port Augysta. Four hours south of Roxby. Received word this morning cops now also blockading this southern road from PA to Rox. Cops searching cars and quizzing drivers etc for reason going to Rox. If not ‘legit’ reason, turned back. Welcome to SA police state. Feels more like redneck Qld under Jo Bjelke of 30 years ago.

July 12, 2012 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

The Lizard’s Revenge – protest against Olympic Damn Uranium Mine – HOT NEWS

This is a special week for Australia.  Pretty much ignored by the mainstream media, BHP Billiton prepares to
squander  $30 billion of their investors’ money on an economically dubious Biggest Man-Made Hole in the world –  Olympic Dam open cut uranium mine, at Roxby Downs, South Australia.

To be the biggest uranium mine in the world – the project also puts BHP above the law in Australia – exempted from laws in Aboriginal Heritage, Environment, Water Management, and Freedom of Information.

All this barely touches public awareness, in Australia’s media Murdochracy.

But this week, BHP will not enjoy its usual freedom from public scrutiny.

Across the Generations.   At anti-nuclear rallies in South Australia, Japan, and Taiwan, there’s an interesting mix of the young and the old.  As with Climate Change, it is youth who will later pay the price of the world’s polluting nuclear industry. It is “Generation Y” who are actively opposing nuclear power, along with older generations, who remember Chernobyl, even Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

A bit like the nuclear lobby – that tries on the one hand to convince the world that old, “Generation II” nuclear reactors can keep ongoing safely, and that new untested “Generation IV” nuclear reactors will be safe.    Neither of those human generations believe these nuclear lobby lies Christina Macpherson

July 12, 2012 Posted by | Christina reviews | 1 Comment

Renowned film-maker David Bradbury will document anti-uranium protest at Olympic Dam

David Bradbury is traveling to Roxby with a small camera crew to document the actions at Olympic Dam as part of Lizard’s Revenge. He is driving down (ie. heading south) and is aware of the roadblocks the state is putting in place, but is hoping to make it down by today or tomorrow. His trip and the festival can be followed on Facebook:

 Letter from David Bradbury 10 July 12
Dear Friends ,I sense I am stepping into a maelstrom in going to Roxby. We’re on the road now and overnighting in Coonabarrabran before heading over the border via Broken Hill today. Trevor and I – two filmmakers – are traveling with 36 year old Aboriginal man Jarmanj and his 13 year old son to Roxby to join the Desert Liberation Army of ‘faithful ferals’ (mostly Generation Y)  who have organised this protest called for by ‘Uncle’ Kevin Buzzacott. The Lizard’s Revenge is a Dreamtime story of Kalta, a giant sleeping lizard, who lies with ‘poison’ in his belly under the ground at Roxby; his giant protective tail wrapping all around Australia. Roxby is sited at the Gates of Hell, the entrance to the giant Olympic Dam uranium mine, the largest deposit of uranium on the planet……

BHP Billiton who own the mine and run it ‘like Nazi Germany’; so one of the workers told me three years ago when I was there filming after he told me not so politely to put my camera away and ‘f- off’. The miners and the huge multi national mining giant don’t like their right to earn big money and profits ripping out the Heart of Australia and polluting the precious water supply of future generations. Continue reading

July 12, 2012 Posted by | Audiovisual, South Australia, uranium | | Leave a comment

Police agree on ‘right to protest’ – but block off road 4Km from Olympic Dam uranium mine

Police block mine road to protesters, BY: MARK SCHLIEBS  The Australian July 12, 2012   POLICE will set up roadblocks around BHP Billiton’s Olympic Dam mine in outback South Australia, creating further anger and warnings of confrontations with anti-uranium activists who plan to “shut down” mining operations during a five-day protest at the site.

Two roads leading to the Roxby Downs mine, in the state’s remote centre, have been blocked ahead of the first day of the protest on Saturday. The road protesters planned to use has been blocked 4km from the mine’s southern gates.

Only mine workers, emergency services workers and people individually approved by police can use the roads.

Protest organisers had hoped between 200 and 2000 activists would attend the demonstration and a music festival. One organiser, Nectaria Calan, said yesterday the police were being deliberately antagonistic.

“They’re blocking a public road,” she said. “On the one hand, they’re saying we’ve got the right to protest but on the other hand they’ve already made moves to prevent us from doing so.” She said the activists would decide how the protest would proceed once they reached Roxby Downs, but would not rule out blockading the roads.

Hundreds of police reinforcements, including special operations officers, have reportedly been sent to the town….. A company spokeswoman would not confirm whether hundreds of private security contractors had been flown to Roxby Downs but said preparations had been made.

July 12, 2012 Posted by | civil liberties, Opposition to nuclear, South Australia, uranium | , , | Leave a comment

Dr Helen Caldicott’s call to the mothers at Roxby Downs Wednesday 18 July

Dear mothers, fathers and grandmothers of  Roxby, I am a paediatrician and I have worked for years treating children with cystic fibrosis, the most common fatal genetic disease of childhood. I am deeply concerned and committed to the well-being of our children and grandchildren. That is why I plan to come to Roxby on the afternoon of July 18th to speak at a public meeting about the special vulnerability that babies and children have to radiation exposure.

Because their cells are rapidly dividing as they grow, they are 10 to 20 times more apt to develop cancer if exposed to radioactive materials in the dust and the air and little girls happen to be twice as vulnerable as little boys. Also women
are twice a sensitive than men – we do not know why.

Living in Roxby adjacent to the uranium mining poses special risks to children and I will explain why when you attend the meeting.

I am also concerned about the health of the miners themselves as their bodies are constantly being exposed to radiation from the uranium ore face and also they are inevitably breathing in radioactive gases even if the mine is well ventilated. Also the badges they wear do not measure the deadly alpha radiation that they swallow and inhale.

I will describe how cancer is caused by radiation exposure, how long it takes to develop and what we as doctors can or cannot do about it.

I addressed a similar meeting years ago at the Mary Kathleen uranium mine in Queensland, where at first the people were suspicious, but after I explained the dangers of uranium mining and radiation the people were immensely grateful and lined up in queues to ask me questions. As a deeply concerned doctor I therefore invite you to attend this meeting. Wednesday July 18th from 1-3pm at the Oasis Motor Inn.

Very sincerely,

Helen Caldicott MD

Dr Caldicott received her medical degree from the University of Adelaide Medical School in 1961. She founded the Cystic Fibrosis Clinic at the Adelaide Children’s Hospital in 1975 and subsequently was an instructor in pediatrics at the world leading Harvard Medical School in America and was on the staff of the Children’s Hospital Medical Center in Boston. She
has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize for her work for humanity.

July 12, 2012 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

Failure of Britan’s MOX nuclear reprocessing plant does not augur well for their next nuclear reactor adventure

Minister admits total failure of Sellafield ‘MOX’ plant BY GEOFFREY LEAN  
 It was a deeply embarrassing moment for the Government, though it passed almost without notice.

Late last month, the Energy Minister, Malcolm Wicks, had to admit to one of the most comprehensive and catastrophic failures in British industrial history – and one that has led directly to the plans to ship weapons-ready plutonium to France.

Answering a question from Dai Davies, the independent MP for Blaenau Gwent, Mr Wicks confessed that a new plant at Sellafield, built amid great controversy at a cost of £473m, had comprehensively failed to work. Continue reading

July 12, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Nuclear power plant licensing and relicensing at a standstill in USA

opposition groups are saying that they will push hard to require site-specific evaluations, which could add years to any licensing or re-licensing process.

Nuclear Waste Issue Searing American Landscape Forbes, 11 July 12, Nuclear waste possibly ranks as that industry’s top quagmire: Nuclear plant operators are supposed to store their spent fuel onsite until it is properly cooled and at which point, it is supposed to go into a permanent burial facility. The problem is that such an eternal resting spot has never come to pass.

The dilemma has gotten even more complex now that a federal appeals court ruled last month that the Nuclear Regulatory Commission did not properly do its job when it previously told those same nuclear operators that they could extend their onsite storage from 30 years to 60 years . With such a triumphant court decision in their hands, environmental and citizen groups pounced: They subsequently asked the U.S. Court of Appeals  in the District of Columbia to stop issuing any nuclear construction or operating licenses until the NRC does its job.

“It’s hard to see how federal and state officials can justify putting more taxpayers or customer money at risk on new reactor projects until this situation is resolved,” says Former NRC Commissioner Peter Bradford, who has lent his support to the 22 groups, called , who filed this petition before the court. Continue reading

July 12, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Aboriginal Traditional Owners join Maritime Union of Australia in Darwin anti-nuclear protest

We’ll stand with workers to stop the waste:  Muckaty Traditional Owners join nuclear dump protest at Darwin wharf Senior Traditional Owners from the area targeted for a national nuclear waste dump will join Maritime Union of Australia (MUA) representatives from around the country for a protest at Stokes Hill Wharf in Darwin this afternoon at 4pm.

The rally marks seven years since the former Howard government announced plans for building the first national radioactive waste dump at one of three potential sites in the NT. Minister Martin Ferguson has continued to pursue Northern Territory sites, with legislation passed earlier this year naming Muckaty, 120km north of Tennant Creek, as the only place now under active consideration.

Bunny Nabarula, 83 years old, has travelled from Tennant Creek to attend the rally. “We want to work together with the MUA and others to stop this waste dump. We don’t want any waste stored in our country, we’re thinking about our children, our grandchildren and the country. We want to be able to enjoy our country, not have it spoiled”.

Muckaty Traditional Owner Isobel Phillips added, “We want the government to start thinking about the risks of this waste dump plan. We are worried about the safety of workers handling the waste at the Port, we are worried about storing the waste on our country. When will the government think about the safety of the people?”

Beyond Nuclear Initiative coordinator Natalie Wasley said, “When announcing the dump plan in 2005, Federal Science Minister Brendan Nelson asked why on earth can’t people in the middle of nowhere have low- level and intermediate level waste.’ People have worked tirelessly over the last seven years to spread their story nationally and challenge the notion that remote areas can be used as political and environmental sacrifice zones.”

“The rally today shows that Territory concern has grown into a national issue. Traditional Owners, unionists and environmentalists have mobilised supporters around the country, including peak public health and trade union bodies. The Northern Territory Government also remains strongly opposed to the plan”.

Bunny Nabarula says the community is determined to stop the waste dump at Muckaty “In April we blocked the highway in Tennant Creek and stopped a road train. We’ll stand with workers at the Port to stop this waste being unloaded from the ships. We’ll dance at the wharf to stop the waste coming through.”


July 12, 2012 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

Renewable energy project a practical community plan for Newcastle region

Council briefed on potential renewable energy projects  July 11, 2012   Australian Community Energy says a community renewable energy project is achievable in the Hunter. Newcastle Councillors have been told a community renewable energy project is achievable with as little as 1,000 people investing.

Dr Richard Finlay-Jones from the Hunter-based company Australian Community Energy briefed Councillors last night on the potential for community owned and managed wind and solar projects. Dr Finlay-Jones says such a project is already running near Daylesford in Victoria where just over 1,000 people invested to get the development off the ground.

He says a similar project would work in the Hunter. “Imagine if we could all invest $100 and be owners of an energy
company,” he said. “I think there would be a lot of people who would be receptive to that and it might not all be in the same location. “It might be disparate, it might be more regionalised.”

July 12, 2012 Posted by | energy, New South Wales | Leave a comment

Australia’s pro nuclear Foreign Minister hastening sales of uranium to India

Australia working to ensure uranium supply to India: Bob Carr to SM Krishna The Economic Times, 11 JUL, 2012,   Australia today said it was in the process of working out internal arrangements to ensure supply of the yellowcake to New Delhi.

Australian Foreign Minister Bob Carr conveyed this to External Affairs Minister S M Krishna during their talks here in the Cambodian capital on the sidelines of the ASEAN Ministerial meeting.

“As you are aware, Labor party had earlier decided to reverse its policy and supply uranium to India. Mr Carr informed the External Affairs Minister that they are in the process of working out internal arrangements which will enable them to give effect to this policy of the Labor Party and as a government they will finalise this (arrangement) and come to India shortly with the draft,” MEA Spokesperson Syed Akbaruddin said…… Continue reading

July 12, 2012 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, politics international | 1 Comment

Documentary on uranium mining’s threat to Grand Canyon

Documentary Short: How Uranium Mining Threatens The Grand Canyon  By Public Lands Team on Jul 11, 2012 By Jessica Goad

Today the Center for American Progress and the Sierra Club released a series of short documentary videos called “Public Lands, Private Profits .”

One of the stories, “A Grand Threat ,” profiles the new rush to extract uranium around Grand Canyon National Park. A Canadian company is currently excavating uranium at one mine on the north rim of the canyon, and it has plans for more mines in the near future.

Although Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar set one million acres off-limits to mineral extraction this past January, that decision applied only to new mining claims, not those already in existence.  There are approximately 3,500 mining claims that may be valid — potentially resulting in up to 11 uranium mines  near the Grand Canyon.

Shockingly, these new mines are moving forward under environmental studies and plans of operation last approved in the 1980s. Although the Interior Department and the Forest Service have full authority to demand updated environmental reviews, they have not taken that step.

And just two weeks ago, Kaibab National Forest Supervisor Mike Williams agreed to let Denison move forward  with its plans to develop the Canyon Mine (featured in the video) under environmental and cultural impact studies from 1986.

Last week, Denison Mines sold its U.S. assets to Energy Fuels Incorporated. Denison declined to comment, but Energy Fuels explained that it is “highly cognizant ” of the responsibilities of mining in the region.

Opponents of uranium mining fear that any water pollution could take years to clean up. To find out more about this issue or to take action, visit the Sierra Club’s website .

July 12, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Big solar panel company opening in Sydney, sees great future for solar power in Australia

GREEN DEALS: Australia’s new solar player, Climate Spectator,  11 Jul 2012 Daniel Palmer Yingli Green Energy The world’s third largest solar manufacturer is setting up shop in Australia. China-based and NYSE-listed Yingli Green Energy has said it will open an office in Sydney to serve as its regional headquarters. With the unique claim to fame of being the first renewable energy company to sponsor the FIFA World Cup, the company sees Australia as a great place to further boost its global market share.
“Australia is one of the most promising markets in the solar industry,” Liansheng Miao, Chairman and CEO of Yingli, said. “We are happy to enhance our local presence by establishing this subsidiary, which will enable us to provide more convenient products and services to Australian customers.”  The new branch will also be looking at selling panels in New Zealand and the Pacific Islands……

July 12, 2012 Posted by | New South Wales, solar | | Leave a comment

Beyond Zero Emissions issues first major report on Australia’s renewable energy potential

Moving towards 100% renewable energy in 10 years The Guardian, Peter Castaldo 11 July 12,  A talk given at the Melbourne Unitarian Memorial Church…..Beyond Zero Emissions Beyond Zero Emissions is a not-for-profit organisation focusing on research and then communicating it to the public. The first major report produced is the Stationary Energy Plan (or otherwise known as the Electricity Grid Plan).

This is the first of six plans that are currently being produced and cover: Buildings, Transport, Land Use, Industrial, and finally, Australia a Renewable Energy Superpower…..
The Zero Carbon Australia Project is collaboration between BZE and Melbourne University and is largely volunteer run with as many as 600 volunteers,
Climate change Continue reading

July 12, 2012 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, energy | Leave a comment

International Energy Agency predicts unprecedented growth in renewable energy, especially solar

Renewable Energy to See Huge Growth Over Next 5 Years  July 11th 2012  GetSolar  . Renewable energy, including solar energy, will be even more popular over the coming years, according to a new International Energy Agency report.

Over the next five years, the report predicts a 40 percent increase in the generation of energy from renewable sources worldwide. If that comes to pass, then renewables would generate 1.5 times the amount of energy currently produced in the United States. Continue reading

July 12, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment