Australian news, and some related international items

ERA’s new uranium plan for Ranger mine sheds doubt on proper future cleanup

Ranger-uranium-mineRanger uranium mine expansion plan faces scrutiny By Kristy O’Brien Jul 9, 2013 The Northern Territory Environment Centre says it is assessing draft environmental guidelines for the expansion of the Ranger uranium mine.

The draft EIS guidelines from the Northern Territory Environment Protection Authority aim to minimise the effects on the surrounding Kakadu National Park of a move from open-cut to underground mining.

The Environment Centre’s Lauren Mellor says the group is opposed to the expansion but is happy to see increased scrutiny of the project.

“What has been proposed here is underground mining, which is something that has never been done before at the Ranger site,” she said. “This is being proposed at a time when the company should be ramping down operations in preparation for rehabilitation, not ramping them up.”

Mine operator Energy Resources of Australia (ERA) says underground mining would extend the life of the operation. Ms Mellor says her group will assess the EIS guidelines to ensure they are appropriate.

“They [ERA] have got a legal obligation to cease mining and mineral processing by 2021 on the site,” she said. “What they are proposing here is to increase contamination, increase tailings and waste at the site, which means rehabilitation is more than likely to be delayed,” she said.

July 11, 2013 Posted by | environment, Northern Territory | Leave a comment

Japan’s neighbours concerned, as Fukushima radiation leaks into the sea

water-radiationThe threat of radioactive substances spreading into the Pacific Ocean has prompted concerns from Japan’s neighbors

Toxic water at Fukushima likely contaminating sea – Japan’s nuclear watchdog July 10, 2013  Japan’s nuclear watchdog says that highly contaminated radioactive water is likely seeping into the ground from the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear reactors and contaminating the Pacific Ocean.

Shunichi Tanaka, chairman of the Nuclear Regulation Authority (NRA), said the contamination is “strongly suspected” and has been occurring since March 2011, when a massive earthquake and tsunami triggered three meltdowns in the Fukushima plant.

“I think contamination of the sea is continuing to a greater or lesser extent,” Tanaka said. “It was contaminated at the time of the accident, but I think it has been continuing for the last two years. Coming up with countermeasures against all possible scenarios is a top priority.”

The plant operator, Tokyo Electric Power Co. (Tepco), claims that the source of contamination is the pit from which radioactive water is leaking into the sea. However, Tanaka believes that this may be not the only source of contamination. Continue reading

July 11, 2013 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Uranium prices just keep on – going down, down

fearSpot uranium prices about $39.50/lb with ‘downward’ bias: sources Washington (Platts)-  Jim Ostroff -9 Jul2013  The spot price of uranium is around $39.50 a pound, unchanged from last Tuesday, but the ongoing weak demand for U3O8 indicates that prices are more likely to soften further than rise in coming weeks, according to price publisher Ux Consulting and market sources.
Ux, in its weekly report Monday, said the spot U3O8 price was $39.50/lb, unchanged from Friday, but that the market “could see further erosion as the month wears on.” It added, “The overall demand situation may not improve anytime soon,” noting it is unlikely “that Japanese reactors will see a surge in restarts in the near future.”

Ux on Monday reduced its daily Broker Average Price — based on information from Evolution Markets and Armajaro Securities — by 6 cents to $39.38/lb. The BAP bid-offer spread Monday was $39.00-$39.75/lb, with the bid down 13 cents and the offer unchanged from Friday…..”The bias still is to the downside a bit” in the uranium spot market, one market source said in an interview Tuesday. “There remains more supply than demand and nobody seems to be motivated on either side,” to conclude deals, he said.

July 11, 2013 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, business | Leave a comment

Fukushima radiation situation gets worse: record levels in groundwater

Fukushima-reactor-6Fukushima Groundwater Shows Record Radiation Levels HUFFINGTON POST, Reuters   07/09/2013 “……SITUATION WORSENS Tokyo Electric Power Co, the operator of the Fukushima station, hit by the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami, said that an observation well between the damaged reactor No. 2 and the sea showed levels of radioactive caesium-134 were 90 times higher on Monday than they had been the previous Friday.

water-radiationTokyo Electric, also known as Tepco, said it detected caesium-134 at 9,000 becquerels per litre, 150 times above Japan’s safety standard. A becquerel is a measure of the release of radioactive energy.

The reading for caesium-137, with a half life of 30 years, was some 85 times higher than it had been three days earlier.

The latest findings, 25 metres from the sea, come a month after Tepco detected radioactive caesium in groundwater flowing into its wrecked plant far from the sea on elevated ground. The level of caesium found in June was much lower than the amount announced on Tuesday.

The spike, combined with recent discoveries of high levels of radioactive elements like tritium and strontium, suggest that contaminated water is spreading toward the sea side of the plant from the reactors sitting on higher ground…..

The operator has been flushing water over the three reactors to keep them cool for more than two years, but contaminated water has been building up at the rate of an an Olympic-size swimming pool per week.

In April, Tepco warned it may run out of space to store the water and asked for approval to channel what it has described groundwater with low levels of radiation around the plant and to the sea through a “bypass”. Local fishermen oppose the proposal…..

July 11, 2013 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Mining companies in control of Aboriginal land; the battle for land rights continues

aboriginal-bark-petition“This time it is [for the] economic side of the land rights, [for] the money that comes into the hands of the Aboriginal people through their own country and not to the mining company or contractors,” he said. “We want to develop our country and we want to develop our own soil.”….

Land rights are empty, Yolngu elder tells Rudd on bark petition anniversary,  10 July 2013  Galarrwuy Yunupingu throws down gauntlet to PM over ‘economic side of land rights’ at Yirrkala commemoration Fifty years ago the Yolngu people of Yirrkala in remote east Arnhem Land changed history, but to this day respected leaders of the community say not enough is being done for Indigenous land rights.

The Yirrkala bark petitions, signed in 1963 to protest against the federal government’s approval of a bauxite mine on their reserve, were the spark for a land rights movement that engaged much of Indigenous Australiaand resulted in the first formal acknowledgement of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in law. Continue reading

July 11, 2013 Posted by | aboriginal issues, AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL | Leave a comment

Atomic veterans battle for recognition – effects of radioactive “black rain” covered up

Radiation-Warning1A victory for the vets would destroy the current radiation risk model and open the floodgates for more claims If the court were to allow the evidence, a victory is more likely, setting a legal precedent for some 900 other veterans waiting in the wings.

 “Millions have died because of this cover up of the effects of internal radiation, and millions more will die if we don’t succeed in destroying this risk model.”


antnuke-relevantEXPOSED: Health threats of ‘safe’ levels of radiation covered up by Anglo-American flag-UKestablishment in nuke test; vets fight for pensions, July 10, 2013 by: Anna Bragga A pensions case has become the site of a vicious battleground between the Anglo-American establishment and a British scientist in a row over accepted safe levels of radiation exposure.

It began in 2011 when a group of 16 veterans of UK nuclear bomb tests in Australia and Christmas Island applied for pensions on the grounds that their illnesses (and those of their children and grandchildren) were most likely caused by particulate uranium inhalation.

In a tale with more twists than a John Grisham novel, the veterans have had their appeals quashed after being forced to change their firm of solicitors and their expert witness – international radiation authority and Scientific Secretary of the European Committee on Radiation Risk, Dr. Chris Busby, who has a track record of winning five similar cases in a row.

secret-dealsThe veterans, originally represented by Rosenblatts Solicitors, had commissioned Dr. Busby to provide evidence. But Rosenblatts suddenly pulled out of the case in December 2012 after funding provided by the Royal British Legion dried up. Washington-based Hogan Lovells International – a firm with a history of representing government and pharmaceutical companies, quickly filled the gap.

Coincidentally, at the very same time, Dr. Busby had obtained access to secret nuclear test reports by the Ministry of Defence (MoD), revealing information of significance to the case. He had also by then written 12 reports showing new evidence of the link between internal radiation exposure to uranium, the main component of all the bombs and a range of ill health effects. Continue reading

July 11, 2013 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Solar air conditioning on show at Brisbane’s Clean Energy Event

map-Sunshine-CoastKingtec Solar to Showcase Solar Powerered Air Conditioner in Australia’s Clean Energy Week Event  Visit for further information Event runs July 24-26 at the Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre Australia  Melbourne, Australia, July 9th, 2013: Kingtec Solar, a recognized leader in solar powered air condition technology, is pleased to announce its participation in events at the Clean Energy Week, Australia’s largest solar event. Following its exceptional success last year (2012) in Sydney, where over 2500 delegates from local and international organization participated; this year’s events take place at the Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre from July 24th to 26th. …….

Kingtec’s current PV solar air conditioner line-up includes:

K25FT – Solar Split Ductless
K25CJ – Solar Window Air Conditioner
K25DZ – Solar RV Roof Top AC
and have special significance for businesses and homeowners in areas hit by constant blackouts or rolling brownouts.
Kingtec Solar’s unique PV-powered air conditioners are designed with simplicity and economy in mind, and are built to run using free and abundant solar renewable energy. We deliver 100% zero energy consumption for up to 7 1/2 hours on as little as 1000 watts of solar panels for a 16000 BTU AC. These air conditioners feature tri-energy inputs from any combination of solar, grid or batteries and can run in three modes: Energy Saving, Off Grid, or Hybrid.
And while you get a durable renewable energy solution, you not only save the planet by reducing your personal CO2 footprint, but also save on energy bills. Our air conditioners will run 100% on solar with grid or batteries! ……

To learn more about Kingtec Solar and it’s solutions, visit us online at:

July 11, 2013 Posted by | Queensland, solar | Leave a comment

Australian anti nuclear walkers join in France’s anti nuclear walk

“We request that the French people and their government, demand that the reprocessed nuclear waste from Lucas Heights, remain in France until the Australian Government guarantees not to dump it on Aboriginal land and store it at Lucas Heights, where there is ample storage and can be safely monitored.”

France Walk Update    July 10, 2013by  Australian and New Zealand activists from the Walkatjurra Walkabout visit France in support of the French Anti-nuclear movement.

La Marche Internationale 2013 (The International Walk 2013), is a 4 week walk through one of Europe’s most nuclear intensive regions – The Rhone valley in Frances South East. The Australian wakers have come to witness first hand the effects of the nuclear industry in France which Australia supplies uranium to.

Mitch an Aranda Woman from Alice Springs and the Co-chair of the Australian Nuclear Free Alliance (ANFA) joined the walk for the beginning and spoke at the press launch in Paris before the walk, which was organised by the largest anti nuclear group in France, Reseau Sortie du Nucleare. Mitch and Marcus Atkinson from the Anti Nuclear Alliance of Western Australia (ANAWA) spoke about the impacts of uranium mining and the pending nuclear waste dump at Muckaty in the Northern Territory, on Aboriginal communities and the radioactive racism of the industry. Continue reading

July 11, 2013 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Opposition to nuclear | Leave a comment

The long term impacts of mining

Australia’s Mining Legacies, Arena,  by Gavin M. Mudd, 11 July 13 The impacts of mining waste will be felt for years to come. Mining is, by its very nature, a dirty business—it excavates and processes billions and billions of tonnes of rock and dirt every year to extract a wide variety of metals and minerals demanded by modern industrial and technological society. These include metals used in pipes, electronics, buildings and gadgets, such as copper, zinc, iron, nickel and lithium, as well as energy resources for heating and electricity, such as coal, gas and uranium. Australia has, without doubt, a vast resource base in these metals and minerals and we commonly export most of our production to overseas customers who aren’t so luckily endowed. The great scale of modern mining, however, comes at a real cost whether on the local landscape, public health or the global environment, and it is understanding these real costs and how the environmental and social impacts intertwine with economic issues that is the crux of the great mining debate in Australia and globally. Continue reading

July 11, 2013 Posted by | General News | 1 Comment

Australia’s 3 year clean energy investment plan

Australia to boost clean energy economy with new investment plan Australian government-funded organization, the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA), released its three-year investment plan on Wednesday, which will continue to “drive Australia towards a clean energy economy.” ARENA is a government-funded organization working with industry to improve the competitiveness of renewable energy technologies and increase the supply of renewable energy in Australia. This is the agency’s second General Funding Strategy and Investment Plan, covering the years 2013/14 to 2015/16.

One of the initiatives, which will start with a study, is exploring opportunities for hybrid plants where renewable energy can be cost competitive with fossil fuel generation. Adding renewable energy, such as solar thermal, to fossil fuel based energy production has the extra benefit of boosting generation capacity during times of high demand while producing less carbon pollution.

The Investment Plan also includes a focus on overcoming barriers to commercialisation of renewable energy, expanding research and development activities beyond solar technologies, etc.

“The Australian Renewable Energy Agency’s (ARENA) new Investment Plan builds on over half a billion AU dollars (almost $460 million) of existing funding opportunities already on the table to increase the supply and improve the competitiveness of renewable energy technologies in Australia, and outlines the potential for five new initiatives,” Resources and Energy Minister Gary Gray said.

July 11, 2013 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, energy | Leave a comment

Solar micro grids and off grid solar power – solutions for Australia

Parkinson-Report-NRG looking at solar-based micro grids in Australia REneweconomy By  on 10 July 2013 NRG Energy, the largest privately owned power generation company in the US, says it is looking at entering the Australian market with off-grid and micro-grid solutions that will be based around solar and storage……..

Todd Michaels, a senior director with NRG Solar, its newly created subsidiary says some of the company’s large industrial customers, with significant operations in Australia, are looking at solar-based micro grids to reduce costs in their operations.

“They are burning diesel fuel and they want NRG to come up with micro grid solution to address that,” Michaels told RenewEconomy in an interview at the InterSolar conference in San Francisco.  “Solar PV will be a large component of that solution.” Continue reading

July 11, 2013 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, solar | Leave a comment

Austtralian founding documents – Aboriginal bark petitions

aboriginal-bark-petitionYirrkala remembers bark petitions, The Age, July 11, 2013, Dan Harrison Health and Indigenous Affairs Correspondent  “.…… Prime Minister Kevin Rudd described the petitions, the first traditional indigenous documents to be recognised by the Australian parliament, as ”two of Australia’s most important founding documents.”

”These bark petitions are the Magna Carta for the indigenous peoples of this land,” Mr Rudd said……

July 11, 2013 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment