Australian news, and some related international items

Health and Environment – Fukushima radiation’s long term effects – theme for March 2013

cancer_cellsThe nuclear lobby loves to concentrate only on the dramatic – explosions, accidents, sudden deaths from acute “high level” radiation.  The nuclear lobby very deliberately leaves out the more subtle effects of ionising radiation from its industry – the long term non dramatic ones,  – cancers, birth defects, damaged genes.

Nuclear “experts” are, as we are always told, nuclear physicists, nuclear engineers – the “hard” scientists – the ones who know all about machines, reactor designs, functions, reactor buildings, nuclear weapons. ( But some “hard” scientists are very worried about  radiation effects  – these ones are called “cranks”)

insect-scorpionflyNuclear “non experts” are the doctors, biologists, ecologists, paediatricians – the ones who know about human bodies, and the lives of humans and other species.  These are the people who know, and care,  about ionising radiation and its effects.

Thank goodness – these true radiation experts, (and some well informed “hard” scientists).  are getting together in New York on March 11-12,  to tell the world the facts about ionising radiation, health, environment – and the true long term effects of Chernobyl and Fukushima disasters.   Symposium on The Medical and Ecological Impacts of the Fukushima Nuclear Accident To Be Held at the New York Academy of Medicine

Just a few of the topics they will cover:

  •  Chernobyl, Fukushima and Other Hot Places, Biological Consequences (Dr. Tim Mousseau,)
  • Congenital Malformations in Rivne Polossia and the Chernobyl Accident (Dr. Wladimir Wertelecki) 
  • Thyroid Pathology in Children with Particular Reference to Chernobyl and Fukushima (Dr. Marek Niedziela)  
  • The implications of the massive contamination of Japan with radioactive cesium (Steven Starr) 
  • The Hazards of Low-level Ionizing Radiation: Controversy and Evidence.” (Dr. Herbert Abrams) 
  • Gender Matters in the Atomic Age (Mary Olson) 
  • The Nuclear Age and Future Generations (Dr. Helen Caldicott)

February 28, 2013 Posted by | Christina themes | Leave a comment

Australian Uranium Association knows that uranium mining for Queensland is not a goer

terminal-nuclear-industryThe Australian Uranium Association’s website  recently published an article “Uranium Mining – an opportunity for Queensland”  talking up, as one would expect, the potential for uranium mining n Queensland.

And yet, and yet –

included in this article –

“The uranium industry in Queensland will likely be a moderately sized industry developed over a lengthy period, with the potential to make a valuable contribution to the diversity and prospects of the Queensland economy and to employment, including regional employment.

Queensland’s uranium endowment is about 2% of Australia’s endowment.  Queensland contains upwards of 40,000 tonnes of reasonably assured and inferred resources.”

Jim Green of Friends of the Earth, points out  –  That amount of uranium would fetch less than $4 billion at the current rate for Oz U sales (around $87,000 / t U3O8), and contrasts sharply with the AUA’s claim last year that the known uranium resource in Queensland, using projected prices and exchange rates, is valued at around $18 billion.  The $4 billion figure is of little relevance since the uranium price is too low for any mines to be viable in Queensland

February 28, 2013 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, spinbuster, uranium | Leave a comment

Australia’s Liberal Coalition gearing up to fight against wind and solar energy?

Liberal-policy-1Hunt’s remarks confirm the worst fears of the renewable energy industry

The comments by Hunt continue the apparent confusion over the Coalition’s policy position on climate and clean energy – firstly over the mechanics of its “Direct Action”, and its proposed buyback of emissions, and its real position on renewables. Several of its new “star recruits” have strong anti-wind and anti-solar positions.

Coalition may stop wind, solar farms if energy demand stays weak By    28 February 2013 The Federal Opposition has given its clearest hint yet that it is prepared to dilute the 20 per cent renewable energy target – and bring  new developments of large scale wind and solar farms to an effective  halt – if electricity demand continues to be weak.

The Coalition continues to sell its position for large scale renewables as one of “bipartisan support” for the 20 per cent target. But there is great suspicion that it is prepared to soften the fixed target of 41,000GWh – which would require some 8,000MW of new renewable capacity – and adjust it to a “floating” 20 per cent that reflects revised demand forecasts. This would effectively cut installations by more than half  – as demanded by most major generators and electricity utilities and the conservative state governments. Climate Change spokesman Greg Hunt told the Australian Summer Study on Energy Efficiency and Decentralised Energy in Sydney on Wednesday that there were no current plans to change the RET. However, he said “we will want to see where energy consumption is heading in 2014,” when the next RET review is expected to be held. Continue reading

February 28, 2013 Posted by | politics | Leave a comment

Trend to renewable energy going faster than we expected


Focus on Australia’s energy system heats up, Climate Spectator, David Green, 27 Feb 13,
  • “……The move to cleaner energy is now part of a strengthening global trend. According to Bloomberg New Energy Finance, new global investment in clean energy is now greater than in coal and gas. In 2004 only $US34 billion was invested in clean energy globally. In 2012 Bloomberg estimates that it was almost $270 billion.

This is all happening a good deal faster than most predictions and is being stimulated by technological innovation, multi-million dollar investment and a rapid decline in the cost of renewables.

In Australia and elsewhere, cleaner energy growth has been driven by policies including renewable energy targets, feed-in tariffs and government incentives. There is nothing new in this. Last century, providing electricity to every home and business involved direct action by governments through extensive public funding and active regulation. The largest engineering project in Australian history is still the Snowy Mountains scheme: a nation-building clean energy project driven by political optimism….. Our energy system will continue to change as clean energy costs continue to fall, and both businesses and individuals move to take control of their electricity costs.

The political debate in this federal election year will no doubt be fierce. Notwithstanding differences over the carbon price, it is heartening that both sides of politics in Australia accept the need to maintain the current national renewable energy target of achieving at least a 20 per cent share of electricity supply in Australia by 2020.

But beyond power generation, energy innovation will also involve developing a better understanding of the electricity we use in a cleaner, smarter energy system. It is a change that Australia can, and I believe will, embrace.

February 28, 2013 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

Sustainability Victoria failed to publicise guide to energy efficiency and developing small renewable energy systems

exclamation-Sustainability guide on ice February 28, 2013 Tom Arup Environment editor, The Age VICTORIA’S lead sustainability agency shelved documents for more than a year that would help encourage greater connection of energy efficient power options for small businesses, communities and local councils. Continue reading

February 28, 2013 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

As Australians reduce electricity use, Energy Australia gears up to fight renewable energy?

EnergyAustralia says one key focus of the coming year will be the managing the implications of reducing growth in energy demand,

Its other key focus, it says, will be on “policy advocacy

energy-efficiency1Australian energy utilities buffeted by winds of change, REneweconomy By Giles Parkinson  26 February 2013 The winds of change in the energy industry has struck at the heart of the earnings of another of the country’s big three utilities, EnergyAustralia, which has reported a 42 per cent slump in profits as a result of the changing dynamics in the sector – lower wholesale prices, greater uptake of solar, and other decentralised generation, and lower consumption from energy efficiency.

It may seem ironic that in a year when consumer electricity prices jumped so sharply that Australia’s biggest energy utilities should suffer such sharp falls in profit. But the other big trend to weigh on EnergyAustralia’s earnings was a cost-conscious public, who are either reducing consumption or producing it themselves, through rooftop solar. Continue reading

February 28, 2013 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, energy | Leave a comment

Newcastle did not warm to the anti global warming message of “Lord” Monckton

Monckton urges dancing over global warming, ABC News   Feb 27, 2013  British climate change sceptic Christopher Monckton got a mixed response from a Newcastle audience overnight, as he presented his views on global warming.

Despite an overwhelming majority of climate scientists reaching consensus on human-induced climate change, Lord Monckton says he does not believe there has been any evidence of global warming for 17 years.

He said his research shows ‘extreme weather events’ cannot be blamed on climate change.

He told the 50 people gathered they should be ‘dancing in the streets’, but not all were convinced….. “The guy is a complete snake oil salesman,” one man said….

Lord Monckton is presenting a series of talks on climate change and will be in Sydney later this week.

February 28, 2013 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

Russian-British coverup of radiation murder of Alexander Litvinenko?

LitvinenkoDyingLitvinenko family lawyer accuses UK of coverup  Feb 27, 2013  Press TV  The lawyer for the family of former Russian spy Alexander Litvinenko says Britain and Russia are conspiring to try to close an inquiry into his murder for the sake of bilateral trade ties.

Litvinenko, who was once an officer of the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) and later a fierce critic of the Kremlin, died on November 23, 2006. He was poisoned on November 1, 2006 with polonium-210, a highly toxic radioactive isotope, at a hotel in central London.

On his deathbed in London, the 43-year-old accused Russian spies of ordering his assassination. The Kremlin denied the allegations and said Litvinenko, who had been granted British citizenship, was a British spy.

On Tuesday, at a pre-inquest hearing at the Royal Courts of Justice in London, Ben Emmerson, the lawyer of Litvinenko’s widow Marina, said the British government was now trying to withhold details of his clandestine work for Britain’s MI6 intelligence service and material which showed that Russia was behind the murder.

 “It is crucial, absolutely crucial, that the outcome of this hearing is to scotch, once and for all, any possible suggestion that it is because (Prime Minister) David Cameron is interested in promoting trade with Russia that he is trying to close down the truth about this inquest,” Emmerson said.

However, lawyers for British Foreign Secretary William Hague said that the examination of some government documents in open court is not in the public interest.

They argued that confidential information held by the government about Litvinenko should be subject to a public interest immunity (PII) certificate.

“The disclosure of material would pose a real risk of serious harm to public interest,” said Neil Sheldon, who is one of Hague’s lawyers.

February 28, 2013 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Face to Face with Fukushima – Japanese and Australia speakers March 14

Darwin public meeting – ‘Face to Face with Fukushima Tour’  Charles Darwin University Ellengowan Drive, Darwin, Northern Territory 0909
To Commemorate two years since the Fukushima nuclear Disaster, people directly affected will visit Australia to share their stories. This tour arrives in Darwin on March 14. Come and hear the first hand experiences of a farmer from the Fukushima region.

Speakers include:

Akira Kawasaki, Peace Boat organisation, Tokyo- Japan

Hasegawa Kenichi, a farmer from the Iitate village, Fukushima- Japan

Tomohiro Matsuoka, Japanese for Peace, Melbourne- Australia

and from Darwin,

Andrew Campbell, Director, Research Institute for the
Environment & Livelihoods

Michael Haire, NT Organiser, Electrical Trades unions

Donna Jackson, Australian Nuclear Free Alliance, Larrakia activist  This is a free event, please come along.

February 28, 2013 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment