Australian news, and some related international items

Australian govt promotes uranium industry – regardless of safety and weapons proliferation issues

Australian governments and uranium companies could help to break the vicious cycle by making uranium exports conditional on adequate safety standards and proper regulation – but they don’t.

Even more troubling is the willingness of successive Australian governments to turn a blind eye to weapons proliferation concerns in North Asia.


How can we trust nuclear, if we can’t trust its operators? by Jim Green 13 DEC  Whether it’s nuclear safety or weapons proliferation, the federal government (and the Opposition and the mining companies) can be safely relied upon to exacerbate problems with irresponsible uranium export policies.

Widespread safety breaches and proliferation concerns in North Asia are recent manifestations of the problem. In May, five
engineers were charged with covering up a potentially dangerous power failure at South Korea’s Kori-I reactor which led to a rapid rise in the reactor core temperature. Continue reading


December 13, 2012 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, safety | Leave a comment

Australian rare earths company Lynas may lose its Malaysian operating license over the radioactive waste issue

Four Malaysian cabinet MPs (responsible for trade, science, natural resources and health) have now released a joint statement, saying the temporary licence granted to Lynas requires it to remove “all the residue” from the plant out of the country.

They also warned that if Lynas does not comply, the Government can suspend or revoke the licence and order it “to immediately cease operation”.

text-radiationMalaysia orders Lynas to ship out waste  Dec 11, 2012   .
Australian mining company Lynas and its plans to process rare earths in Pahang state have caused local communities and environmental groups to raise concerns over the management of radioactive byproduct waste

Malaysia has ordered the Australian miner Lynas Corp. to ship out all the waste from its new rare earths plant, because of environmental and health concerns. Continue reading

December 13, 2012 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, politics international, rare earths, uranium | Leave a comment

Worldwide, uranium mining declining, as its economic forecast sinks

nuclear-dead-catUranium miners still struggling to emerge from shadow of Fukushima BY PETER KOVEN, FINANCIAL POST DECEMBER 12, 2012 Following the Fukushima nuclear facility disaster in March 2011, uranium miners were quick to rationalize that the fundamentals of their business were unlikely to change and the world still needed more nuclear power.

They were wrong, to put it kindly.

The recovery in Japan has been slower than we expected More than 21 months after Fukushima, the uranium business is still stuck in a rut. Uranium’s spot price has plummeted to nearly US$40 a pound (compared to a high topping US$135 in 2007), and there has been minimal activity in the spot market. Utilities are well-supplied with uranium for the foreseeable future, and, thanks to Fukushima, the outlook for demand growth is not nearly as healthy as it was a couple
of years ago Now the question on everyone’s mind is whether things will finally start to turn around in 2013?

The market is still waiting for news on Japanese reactor restarts, while digesting Germany’s plans to get out of the nuclear business entirely. And France, which derives three-quarters of its power supply  from nuclear and is the industry’s biggest success story, is talking about scaling back its supply. Continue reading

December 13, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

ERA shuts down its open cut Ranger uranium mine

Ranger-uranium-mineOpen cut operations cease at Ranger uranium mine, Australian Mining 11 December, 2012 Cole Latimer Energy Resources of Australia’s Ranger uranium mine has finally stopped open cut mining, after three decades of operation.

It comes as the mine further explores its underground Ranger 3 Deeps project after receiving approvals for a prefeasibility study earlier this year.

ERA is now backfilling its Three Deeps pit after it extracted the last of the ore from Pit 3 in the last week of November, several weeks ahead of schedule, the company says….

December 13, 2012 Posted by | business, Northern Territory, uranium | Leave a comment

Russia receives first shipment of uranium from Australia

The deliveries are being made under the agreement on nuclear cooperation for peaceful purposes signed by President Vladimir Putin and then-Prime Minister John Howard in Sydney in 2007.


Russia receives first uranium shipment from Australia
December 10, 2012  PanARMENIAN.Net – Russia has received the first shipment of uranium from Australia under a 2007 bilateral nuclear cooperation agreement, a spokesman for Russian uranium enrichment concern Siberian Chemical
Combine said, according to RIA Novosti. Continue reading

December 13, 2012 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, politics international, uranium | Leave a comment

BBC science show deliberately minimised health effects of Chernobyl nuclear disaster

“The BBC Trust’s editorial standards committee (ESC) received a complaint on behalf of more than 50 co-signatories that the show was “extremely selective” in the figures it quoted about the impact of radiation released following the Chernobyl disaster and minimised the “more significant and contentious issue” of the secondary effects of health problems such as thyroid cancer.”

Bang Goes the Theory was ‘extremely selective’ in figures used about deaths resulting from Ukraine accident, trust rules

The BBC Trust ruled Bang Goes the Theory failed audiences by not looking at the wider impact of radiation following the Chernobyl nuclear power station disaster. Photograph: Gleb/Garanich/Reuters

BBC1 science show Bang Goes the Theory misleadingly downplayed the likely impact of the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear disaster by stating it has only claimed about 100 lives, the BBC Trust has ruled.

The trust’s editorial standards committee has ruled that a show broadcast on 3 October last year looking at the issue of nuclear power and the impact of radiation gave a “misleading impression” by failing to include research suggesting there could eventually be up to 16,000 premature deaths from the explosion and fire at the Chernobyl plant in Ukraine. Continue reading

December 13, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

New video on renewable energy in Australia – from Energy Matters

Virginia-Energy-MattersEnergy Matters Video News – Episode 77 – December 12, 2012 Presented by Energy Matters team member Virginia, we take a look at some of the stories from Australia and around the world recently added to our renewable energy news section. Continue reading

December 13, 2012 Posted by | Audiovisual | Leave a comment

Australia steps up investment into solar power research projects

Australia takes a shine to solar energy research   December 12, 2012  Peter Hannam Carbon economy editor The Gillard government will step up its investment in joint solar energy research with the US, using additional funds from its new $2.2 billion renewable energy agency. Continue reading

December 13, 2012 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, solar | Leave a comment

South Melbourne’s community owned large solar project

Community solar projects allow people who cannot install solar panels on their own homes for whatever reason to directly participate in the solar revolution.

Community funded solar projects have already been successfully rolled out in the UK and the USA. Closer to home, the communities of Hepburn Springs and Daylesford in Victoria raised $13.5 Million to build the Hepburn Community Wind Park; winner of the 2012 World Wind Energy Award.

Australia’s First Community Owned Large Scale Solar Project   12 DECEMBER, 2012 | A new community project aims to cover South Melbourne Market’s new roof with solar panels. 150 solar panels have already been installed, funded by Port Phillip Council.



LIVE (Locals Into Victoria’s Environment) wants to cover the remaining 95% of the rooftop with solar (around 3,000 panels) via community investment. “Currently we think a Co-operative structure for LIVE Community Power best matches the principles to which we aspire,” states the group’s web site.

The group envisions selling around 1,000 shares at $1,000 each to the community. Electricity generated by the installation would be sold and provide a return to shareholders. Continue reading

December 13, 2012 Posted by | solar, Victoria | Leave a comment