Antinuclear

Australian news, and some related international items

Greens urge that Western Australia get a nuclear emergency plan

safety-symbolGreens want Barnett to make emergency nuclear plan for WA http://www.watoday.com.au/wa-news/greens-want-barnett-to-make-emergency-nuclear-plan-for-wa-20140919-10iutv.html September 18, 2014 Brendan Foster With Australia on the brink of new conflict with Iraq, Greens MP Lynn MacLaren says she can’t believe the Barnett government doesn’t have an emergency plan if a nuclear accident happened at Fremantle Port.

On Monday, Prime Minister Tony Abbott said Australia would send 600 troops, including SAS soldiers and eight FA18 Super Hornets, to the Middle East in preparation for military action against the Islamic State terror group.

And on Thursday, more than 800 police officers raided homes in Sydney in an attempt to foil a plot to “commit violent acts”, including plans to behead a member of the public.

Ms MacLaren asked Attorney-General Michael Mischin on Wednesday night in State Parliament if the Liberals had an action plan for workers and residents living near the port in the event of the nuclear reactor incident from a nuclear-powered warship. Mr Mischin said a nuclear detonation was not a defined hazard prescribed within the Emergency Management Act 2005.

“The state emergency management arrangements allow for a controlling agency to be appointed for any hazard not prescribed in the act,” Mr Mischin said.

Ms MacLaren said as Australia prepared to send troops to Iraq, “we cannot afford to have a head-in-the-sand approach to an emergency response”.

“Since nuclear-powered vessels visit our shores, we need to be ready in the event of an accident or incident. The report tabled in response to my question was last updated in 2010,” she said.

“Nuclear weapons have been a major threat to world peace for decades, how can the state government not have an emergency response to the risk of a nuclear weapon detonation or accident?

“The consequence of even a small incident would be catastrophic. Yet, we should have a plan which factors in health care facilities and staff to provide triage care in the event of a nuclear detonation or other nuclear incident.” Ms MacLaren said with the Mayors of Peace Conference in Fremantle next week, the call to prohibit nuclear weapons was more important than ever.

Junko Morimito who will describe her experience as a 13-year-old in Hiroshima when the atomic bomb went off is one of the guest speakers at the conference.

“I will be attending the Fremantle Peace Walk which will take place on International Peace Day, Sunday 21 September – celebrating the opening of Fremantle Peace Grove. Tthis issue must be kept as a priority for leaders and the community,” Ms MacLaren said.

September 20, 2014 Posted by | politics, safety, Western Australia | Leave a comment

Naomi Klein’s new book : This Changes Everything: Capitalism Vs The Climate

global capitalism has “from its very first moments, systematically sabotaged our collective response to climate change”.

Book-Naomi-Klein

More than Dangerous: Naomi Klein takes on climate deniers  September 20, 2014  Environment Editor, The Sydney Morning Herald The disturbing implications of climate change are rarely taken to their logical conclusions in public discussion.

Scientists who spend their careers researching the climate system and publishing findings in professional journals are typically far more candid in private than in their scholarly publications.

The human-generated surge in greenhouse gas emissions is accelerating, they note, altering the chemistry of the biosphere and, ultimately, the conditions for life.

“People are not being told the truth,” one scientist told Fairfax Media this week. “It’s an event to which species will struggle to adapt. This is more than dangerous.” Continue reading

September 20, 2014 Posted by | Resources | Leave a comment

Obama to urge for Climate Action at UN Summit

Obama-and-windAt UN, Obama to urge nations to go big on climate SF Gate, By JOSH LEDERMAN, Associated Press , September 18, 2014 WASHINGTON (AP) — Having spent political capital fighting climate change at home, President Barack Obama will turn his sights overseas next week, urging fellow heads of state to be as ambitious as possible as they negotiate a make-or-break global treaty to be finalized in Paris next year.

Obama will attend a United Nations climate summit where he will announce new U.S. commitments, aiming to ramp up the pressure on other major polluters like India and China to demonstrate they’re not laggards in the global campaign against climate change.

White House officials said the U.S. will offer tangible contributions such as American technology to help vulnerable populations deal with food security, sea level rise and other negative effects of climate change.

“Our hope is that others will do the same and that can build momentum toward an agreement in Paris,” Dan Utech, Obama’s top adviser on climate and energy issues, said in an interview…….

By taking time out at the U.N. for climate change, Obama is working to keep the issue at the top of the global agenda even after the crises of the day recede from memory. More than 100 heads of state will join Obama at the summit, which U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is hosting…….http://www.sfgate.com/news/science/article/At-UN-Obama-to-urge-nations-to-go-big-on-climate-5765158.php

September 20, 2014 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Slashing of Renewable Energy Target will mean loss of thousands of rural jobs

Abbott-destroyerRenewables energy suppliers warn on RET jobs http://www.businessspectator.com.au/news/2014/9/19/policy-politics/renewables-energy-suppliers-warn-ret-jobs 19 SEP,

Suppliers working on Australia’s renewable energy projects say many thousands of jobs will be lost – most of them in rural and regional areas – if the federal government slashes the Renewable Energy Target (RET).

Forty small and medium businesses from around Australia have jointly written to the government, urging it to retain the current policy, rejecting the recommendations of the recent Warburton review to shut down or severely reduce the RET.

“We are writing as suppliers to Australia’s renewable energy industry, which has now generated more than $10 billion worth of investment in large-scale renewable energy projects,” the companies said.

The companies (listed at bottom) between them operate across all Australian states and territories.  “Our businesses build electrical infrastructure, roads and components for power stations in wind, solar, hydro and bioenergy, along with supplying safety equipment, cranes, trucks and cement.

“They provide catering, cleaning services, security, logistics and accommodation to construction teams, manage environmental and cultural heritage plans, and supply many other essential inputs to the renewable energy industry.

“While the industry directly employs 21,000 people, our companies collectively employ many thousands more as a result of the clean energy sector.”

The companies, whose sizes range from 1 to 2000 employees, said Australia’s 68 wind farms, 49 large-scale solar projects, 139 bioenergy projects, 123 hydro projects and trial marine and geothermal projects had provided the incentive to grow and employ more workers.

“Many of these jobs are in rural and regional areas where other job opportunities are scarce,” they said.

“We have hired and trained workers and invested in our businesses on the basis of the development of renewable energy in Australia. Maintaining the RET in its current form will help us continue to create jobs and opportunities for Australian workers,” they wrote.

The companies also referred to analysis undertaken by ACIL Allen for the Federal Government, which found that retail electricity prices will be lower over the long term if the RET is maintained, as it will help shield Australians from rising gas prices.

“This is beneficial to all Australians, consumers and businesses alike,” the companies said.

Signatories: ………

September 20, 2014 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, employment | Leave a comment

Aboriginal constitutional recognition is worthless without a treaty

text TreatyCampaign to recognise what? NEDA VANOVAC, 7 News  September 19, 2014, “………….Northern Territory elder Rosalie Kunoth-Monks, think constitutional recognition is worthless without a treaty, and she criticised indigenous leaders who back the movement.

“You have the elite blacks that have been almost handpicked to be the voices for First Nation Australians: Noel Pearson, Marcia Langton, Adam Goodes; I don’t want him in there, he’s such a wonderful young ambassador but he better come and listen to us mob, too, and get what it is that makes us a First Nations person,” she told AAP.

She said she was “gutted” when the Prime Minister said last month that the arrival of the First Fleet “was the defining moment in the history of this continent”.

Ms Kunoth-Monks said Mr Abbott had delivered a double insult, since he purports to be a prime minister for indigenous affairs.

She sees constitutional recognition as another form of assimilation, and at a referendum “I hope those that have got a heart and a grasp on reality will also vote no”.

Aboriginal commentator Celeste Liddle has called the Recognise campaign “a government-sponsored ad campaign removed from grassroots indigenous opinion” and has asked where the funding is for the opposing view…….

…..But calling the campaign racist is a distortion of the principle of the movement, said its campaign director Tanya Hosch.

“A key (reason) is to create a unifying moment for the nation where the first people of the country become included in our national founding document where they’ve previously been excluded,” she told AAP.

“That’s going to be a moment for all of us as Australians to celebrate together.”

She said legal experts had confirmed that voting yes for constitutional recognition does not pose any legal impediment for those seeking a treaty or sovereignly. But despite the message of unification, the campaign is not promising change after the vote, Ms Hosch said…….

PROPOSED CHANGES FOR AUSTRALIA’S CONSTITUTION:

An Expert Panel, which included indigenous and community leaders, constitutional experts and parliamentarians, consulted across Australia and reported to the Prime Minister in January 2012, recommending that Australians should vote in a referendum to:
remove Section 25, which says the states can ban people from voting based on their race

remove section 51(xxvi), which can be used to pass laws that discriminate against people based on their race

insert a new section 51A to recognise Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and to preserve the Australian government’s ability to pass laws for the benefit (not detriment) of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples

insert a new section 116A, banning racial discrimination by government

insert a new section 127A, recognising Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages were this country’s first tongues, while confirming that English is Australia’s national language.(SOURCE: Recognise, www.recognise.org.au)

September 20, 2014 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

Radiation sickness among Fukushima workers at time of nuclear crisis

text ionisingVIDEO: Gov’t experts highly suspicious of Japan’s claim that nobody suffered acute radiation syndrome after Fukushima — So many workers were ill they had to lay on cardboard after running out of beds — Officials “repeatedly talked of death” — CBS: There were reports of people with radiation sickness http://enenews.com/video-foreign-govt-very-suspicious-japans-claim-suffered-acute-radiation-syndrome-after-fukushima-many-workers-ill-lay-cardboard-after-running-beds-officials-repeatedly-talked-death-video?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+ENENews+%28Energy+News%29

Japan Times, Sept. 17, 2014 (emphasis added): [Deceased Fukushima Daiichi chief Masao Yoshida] repeatedly talks of “death” in the initial days of the crisis as the realization sinks in that the nuclear fuel had already started to melt.

Mainichi, Sept 12, 2014: “Nobody came to help us. I am still full of resentment and bitterness,” Yoshida said… heaping scorn on [the] TEPCO President… and calling him ”that man.”

Xinhua, Sept 11, 2014: Masao Yoshida [revealed] the government had utterly failed to understand the gravity of the workers’ situation at the plant… three days into the crisis the chief had lost hope and was losing his grip on the situation… politicians and TEPCO officials at the headquarters were clueless as to the dire predicament he and his workers were in, including those who had been exposed to potentially lethal levels of radiation.

Kyodo News, Sept 14, 2014: [Satoru] Hayashizaki and his coworker opened the door to the [No. 3] suppression chamber’s room… “My hands, covered by rubber gloves, instantly got hot”…Hayashizaki felt groggy… he put his right foot down on it only to see the rubber sole of his shoe melt instantly, leaving a black smear… He was alarmed to see [his dosimeter number] rising rapidly, even though he was [back] in the control room… everyone else’s dosimeters were rising… [He] thought he might die… and started writing a farewell letter.

Kyodo News, Sept. 14, 2014: Mitsuhiro Matsumoto, 47, was outside during both explosions… he [became] unable to believe anyone or any of the information he received. “I completely lost my will to fight”… Many [workers] had already absorbed more than 100 millisieverts… A man injured by the rubble was soon brought in on a stretcher… there were no doctors… Another man [was] in a state of panic… Those feeling ill were taken to a meeting room… Tepco quickly ran out of mattresses and had to put down cardboard for them to lie on…  the door closed behind [Yumiko Kato and a reactor operator] shouted: “Is that an explosion? Again?” He then clasped his arms around his knees and trembled, muttering “I am afraid, afraid, afraid.”… “I want to go home,” a young female Tepco employee said as she started to cry…[Kato] said, “Let’s believe in our people, because they are working very hard.” The situation, however, only got worse, cornering everyone at the plant.

IRSN, France’s Institute for Radiological Protection and Nuclear Safety (at 11:00 in): “At first sight there was no acute radiation syndrome observed in the weeks following the accident, , as was the case of the first rescue workers during the Chernobyl accident. These figures are to be taken with great caution because of severe degradations due to the tsunami… Medical checkups are now implemented by the Japanese authorities.” >> Watch the video here

Contrary to IRSN’s claim about medical checkups, NHK recently reported, “Screening of workers is left up to the contractors […] they’re not obliged to submit data. [A gov’t adviser says they need] a centralized system to collect health data right away.” And according to the Asahi Shimbun, “Many companies involved have failed to conduct medical examinations.. [It’s now] impossible to check whether workers have suffered health problems.”

CBS News discussed radiation sickness after the explosions: Prof. Cham Dallas, a nuclear energy expert, you’ve been in contact with both the Japanese and the US government throughout this process… Let’s talk about radiation exposure… Dallas: “There’s some disconnects here. We’re being told by the Japanese government that the radiation levels are very low… We have reports of people with radiation sickness. That’s the disconnect, usually it takes days for radiation [sickness]” >> Watch the broadcast here

September 20, 2014 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

How Australians pay twice over for electricity infrastructure

DORC rort: The art of getting energy infrastructure paid for twice, SMH,  September 19, 2014  Business columnist “……..you will hear how you have been paying for something, on a quarterly basis for the past 10 years, which you have already paid for. We are all victims of a high-brow rort by governments and energy companies.

While the consulting industry thrives on selling so-called expert valuations to justify this rort, Sydney University finance professor David Johnstone says it should end…….

energy companies are valuing old assets such as gas pipelines – things that consumers have already paid for – as if they were brand-spanking new. We, the mug punters, are lumbered with the cost on our power bills.

This is the DORC rort (depreciated optimised replacement cost), its moniker alone sufficient to discourage further inquiry.

Suffice to say that a reasonable thing for regulators to do might simply be to value assets at their cost, or to recognise only what their owners actually spend. Suffice to say that in Singapore and Hong Kong they would not be silly enough to use DORC, yet large corporations from these places are here enjoying riskless 10 per cent returns by stinging we mug Aussies twice for access to old gas pipelines, things that were paid for, and privatised, years ago……

why are assets that are already in private hands given the same favourable regulatory treatment? “I think it comes down to ideology as well as vested interests,” Johnstone says. “Economists fall in love their own models and crave the authority of being scientists.”  http://www.smh.com.au/business/dorc-rort-the-art-of-getting-energy-infrastructure-paid-for-twice-20140919-10jega.html#ixzz3DuqE0nIm

September 20, 2014 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment