Australian news, and some related international items

The week that was in nuclear news – Australia

Well, as usual,  quiet in Australian nuclear news. Well, quiet in all Australian news really, as media and politics focus on mud-slinging. At last, Prime Minister Julia Gillard has succumbed to the temptation to answer back, after many months of sexist mud-slinging from Tony Abbott and his supporters in shock jock radio.  A pity, Gillard was doing well when she was just ignoring Australia’s infantile yobbos,  and was talking about issues and policies.

But – nuclear spin and propaganda never rest. Australia has England’s  Professor Chris Llewellyn Smith out here, telling us that Three Mile Island, Chernobyl, and especially Fukushima weren’t so bad, and what Australia needs is – nuclear power. The ABC’s TV program Catalyst has a plug for “Generation IV “- new nuclear reactors – Oh so safe!.  All part of the nuke industry’s desperate bid to promote its piles of lethal wastes as a lucrative asset – fuel for planned new nuclear reactors.

Australian Nuclear Free Alliance marks 15 years of anti nuclear activism, planning its 2013 movement with a meeting in Alice Springs.

Australia likely to sign up to a USA “defence trade treaty” that would effectively censor our scientific researchers.

South Australian Native Title Services (SANTS) will challenge, in Federal Court, the Petroleum and Geothermal Energy (Transitional Licences) Amendment Bill, which effectively gives petrol and gas explorers priority over Aboriginal rights. Meanwhile the South Australian government is assuring mining companies that they’ll get speedy approvals, and appeals will be scrapped.

BUT – also in South Australia, free fuel – wind and sun – are lowering electricity prices.  The Essential Service Commission of South Australian (ESCOSA), which regulates retail electricity prices, has released a draft price determination  that proposes an 8.1% reduction in the electricity standing offer, (that is, the default retail price that must be offered to South Australians, at a minimum). The Australian Energy Market Operator  (AEMO) has noted that the South Australian wholesale prices are lower than they have been since the start of the national electricity market, and that the wind “tends to depress the South Australian regional prices”.

Victoria Wind Alliance formed to counter the Baillieu government’s war on wind energy. However, there is progress now on  new 1.5 megawatt solar power plant near Mildura.

October 10, 2012 Posted by | Christina reviews | Leave a comment

USA-Australia defence trade treaty would censor Australia’s researchers

Defence treaty to ‘censor’ research October 10, 2012 Bianca Hall UP TO 90 per cent of academic research could be affected by an Australian-US trade agreement that would make it an offence for academics to communicate findings on research, the University of Sydney has warned. Continue reading

October 10, 2012 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, civil liberties | Leave a comment

Nuclear spin doctor the keynote speaker at Energy Conference in Melbourne: WHY?

Why is this pro nuke spinner the keynote speaker at  All Energy Australia International, the conference for the Asia Pacific,   tomorrow in Melbourne?

Energy alternatives ABC Radio 10 Oct 12,  Ticky is joined by Professor Chris Llewellyn Smith, Oxford
University’s Director of Energy and former head of CERN.
“…….TICKY FULLERTON  we  know you’re a big fan of nuclear playing a big part in our energy future. Has the global industry moved on from Fukushima or is it still in damage control in your view?

CHRIS LLEWELLYN SMITH: I think it’s in damage control as far as public relations are concerned, but we have to put Fukushima in perspective, as one of a British journalist wrote. You take a crappy old 1960s power station, you hit it with the biggest tsunami and earthquake you can think of – actually bigger than anyone thought of, that’s one of
the problems – make every possible mistake and nobody was killed.

( Christina Macpherson’s note : Just by the way – about that mention of the crappy old 1960s power station, well – in the USA, 23 reactors operate with same flawed GE design  that failed in the triple meltdown at the Fukushima plant and released over four times the amount of cesium-137 than was released in the 1986 Chernobyl disaster. )

So we shouldn’t forget that. Nobody’s been killed and probably … maybe there will be one or two radiation deaths. …. we have to treat it with great respect, but all forms of power production are dangerous and nuclear has a very, very good safety record compared to the others.

TICKY FULLERTON: It’s got a big bill behind it though. I see a report just on Europe reactors is a $30 billion repair job?

CHRIS LLEWELLYN SMITH: Yes, I think the weak spot of nuclear at the moment may be that the new generation of nuclear power stations – which were cracked up to be as cheap as coal – they’re coming out way over budget. We don’t know if that’s just because the first ones or the costs will come down….”

October 10, 2012 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, marketing for nuclear | Leave a comment

AUDIO from Central Australian Aboriginal Media – fight against nuclear waste dump

 AUDIO   Fight against Muckaty Nuclear Dump Continues Oct 12,   Central Australian Aboriginal Media Association Those protesting against a nuclear waste dump being located at Muckaty Station in the Territory gathered over the weekend for a big meeting.
Nat Wasley, Beyond Nuclear Initiative Co-ordinator joined Nerida Currey on Strong Voices to tell us more…

October 10, 2012 Posted by | Audiovisual | Leave a comment

Victorian Wind Alliance to express Victoria’s majority view and promote wind energy

Victorian Wind Alliance to promote industry Samantha Landy |  October 9, 2012 A NEW organisation aimed at building support for wind energy in Victoria is set to launch tomorrow.

The Victorian Wind Alliance, made up of wind workers, landowners, environmental and community groups and anyone else who supports wind energy, hopes to promote the wind energy sector in the face of a halt in wind farm developments.”The premise is that the majority of Victorians and the majority of Australians support the development of
renewable energy,” Friends of the Earth campaigns co-ordinator Cam Walker said.

“Here in Victoria, the government has largely stalled action on renewable energy. Continue reading

October 10, 2012 Posted by | Victoria, wind | Leave a comment

Obama and Romney leave Climate Change and Nuclear in the Too Hard Basket

 Why wasn’t climate change a big topic at the Presidential debate? Jeremy Hance, MONGABAY.COM, 9 Oct 12,  The hour-and-a-half long debate between President Barack Obama and ex-governor Mitt Romney last night ended without a single reference to climate change. Frustrated with the lack of discussion on the issue from both candidates, environmental activists sent a petition with over 160,000 signatures to debate moderator, Jim Lehrer, urging him to ask a question about climate change. The petition fell on deaf ears.

“Although Barack Obama and Mitt Romney sprinkle their speeches with mentions of energy and climate, they have remained stubbornly silent on the immediate and profound task of phasing out a carbon-based economy,” reads the website at Climate Science, which hosted the petition. “Their failure to connect the dots and do the math imperils our nation and prevents the development of a national and global plan to respond to the most urgent challenge of our era.”

The U.S. has suffered from a record drought as well as several record heatwaves and fires this year. In fact, July 2012 was the warmest month ever recorded in the U.S., including beating summer records from the Dust Bowl. In addition, just last month saw a new record low for Arctic sea ice extent, an event that took most scientists by surprise due to the scale of the melt.

Although climate change was a visible part of Obama’s 2008 campaign, he has barely mentioned the issue over the past years, following a failed attempt to pass climate legislation and stalled action internationally. For his part, Romney has recently been shifting his language on climate change during his long campaign. He recently questioned whether or not it is man-made, i.e. linked to greenhouse gas emissions, and made the issue the butt of a joke in his Republican National Convention Speech.

October 10, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

22 storeys up, Adelaide’s roof garden brings an ecosystem, and cools the building

Adelaide is leading the way in water-sensitive urban design and green roof technology.

Roof gardens proven to cool buildings ABC Radio The World Today Nicola Gage reported this story on Tuesday, October 9, 2012 ELEANOR HALL: Roof gardens are becoming more prevalent in the world’s major cities.

Now a study has found that not only are they building mini-ecosystems, they’re also cooling buildings significantly and reducing carbon emissions, as Nicola Gage reports.

NICOLA GAGE: Major cities have inherently been linked to pollution and rising carbon emissions, but 22 stories up on the roof of a building in Adelaide, there’s a micro-climate that’s returning wildlife to the city.

GRAEME HOPKINS: It’s had bees up here collecting honey, it’s got birds and we’ve identified two moth varieties and no doubt the birds have been chasing the moths. So there’s a whole ecosystem and this has
happened spontaneously on the 22nd floor, so it’s quite amazing. Continue reading

October 10, 2012 Posted by | efficiency, South Australia | Leave a comment

Which nations have the best record for using renewable energy?

5 Top Countries Leading The World In Renewable Energy, Care 2, by Judy Molland October 9, 2012 ”  Sustainable Energy and Renewable Energy are terms that are thrown around a lot these days, but what exactly do they mean, and how many countries are taking them seriously?

The US Energy Information Adminstration  (EIA) estimates that in 2008, 10% of the world’s energy consumption was from renewable energy sources. EIA forecasts that by 2035, consumption of renewable energy will be about 14% of total world energy consumption.

What are these renewable sources?

First, what they are not: the coal, oil and natural gas that the U.S. relies heavily on are all non-renewable, and will eventually dwindle and disappear.

By contrast, the many types of renewable, or sustainable, energy resources, such as wind and solar energy, are constantly replenished and will never run out…. And why do we love renewable energy?

These are clean sources of energy, meaning they have a much lower environmental impact than conventional energy technologies. They won’t run out, their costs revolve around materials and workmanship for facilities rather than on expensive energy imports, and better yet, renewable energy technologies developed and built in the U.S. are being sold overseas. Finally, U.S. energy security is at risk when we become so dependent on foreign oil supplies.

Which nations have the best record for using renewable energy? Continue reading

October 10, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

AUDIO: launch of Hiroshima Exhibition , by Tom Uren

AUDIO  Veteran launches ‘anti-nuclear’ Hiroshima Exhibition 9 October 2012,   Former Australian government minister and veteran anti-nuclear campaigner, Tom Uren, has clear memories of the day when an atomic bomb exploded over Japan. As a prisoner of war, he was in Nagasaki when the second nuclear bomb was dropped in 1945

October 10, 2012 Posted by | Audiovisual | Leave a comment

Yes you CAN make nuclear bombs from Thorium bred Uranium-233

Thorium Nuclear Bombs (Shorter version)  Kevin Meyerson, 9 Oct 12, Thorium bred Uranium-233 can be used to make atomic bombs, despite what proponents may claim.

You don’t have to trust me on this, see what the experts at various institutions have to say below:

MIT Energy Initiative, The Future of the Nuclear Fuel Cycle   Continue reading

October 10, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Nuclear industry pressure curtails civil liberties in South Korea

South Korea can’t deny the risks of nuclear power forever
 by Jan Beranek – October 8, 2012 I am at a detention centre at South Korea’s airport, quickly writing these few words as best I can on a mobile phone. Together with my colleague, Dr. Rianne Teule, I have been denied entry to South Korea.

We have done nothing wrong. That is, unless you agree with the government in Seoul that exposing the risks of nuclear power and calling for better protection of people from radiation is wrong. Continue reading

October 10, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment