Australian news, and some related international items

South Australia Nuclear Royal Commission Issues Paper 4 – misleading and serious omissions

scrutiny-Royal-Commission CHAIN

the issues paper appears to be talking about a so-called public-private-partnership (PPT).

 There is no mention of “user pays” or “polluter pays” principles. Nor is there any discussion of the role of Government economic regulation of such a venture.




Once again, the word “ionising” has been omitted from “ionising radiation”. It is hard to believe that this is an oversight and appears to be a deliberate move by the nuclear industry to play down the fact that radiation from radioactive substances is very different in its effect on living tissue from other forms of radiation such as visible light and radio waves.

In addition a new ploy has emerged, not only has nuclear waste been differentiated from radioactive waste but in the majority of cases it is simply referred to as “waste” and we end up with terms like “waste disposal facility”.

I anticipate that in the near future the nuclear industry, its fellow travellers, and the unsuspecting public will be using these sterilised and  misleading terms. For example, it would be a simple matter to quote sections of the issues papers out of context in such a way that terms like “radiation”, “waste” and “waste disposal facility” can be bandied about until they become the standard.

As previously, there is widespread use of terms like “proposed”, “under development”, “being developed”, “would involve”, and research is “ongoing”. Such terms have no place in a document that is being used to determine government policy, especially on such a contentious issue as expansion of the nuclear industry.

This issues paper is in three sections: Nuclear and Radioactive Waste, Facilities and Techniques for the Management, Storage and Disposal of (nuclear and radioactive) Waste, and Risks and Opportunities.


Continue reading

May 8, 2015 Posted by | NUCLEAR ROYAL COMMISSION 2016 | 3 Comments

Climate change defines Christine Milne’s fine legacy in Parliament

Milne,-Christine-13Given our climate politics, who can blame Christine Milne for retiring?, Guardian 7 May 15 Tim Hollo
After 25 years of campaigning, Milne’s retirement from parliament is an indictment of how little progress Australia has made on climate change. 
egardless of the surprise of the press gallery, anyone paying attention realised Christine Milne would have been thinking deeply about her future. With her first grandchild on the way, the planet’s future would also have been brought into a stark new light.

Milne can be confident that she steered the Greens through a hugely difficult period, bringing a new strategic focus to campaigning and beautifully mentoring a new crop of advocates. But it is climate change which keeps her awake at night, and she has had to consider where she could most effectively focus her efforts in the critical years ahead.

 Climate change defines Milne’s legacy, and points to what she will do next. But it also holds the central message for our politics from her departure. While I have the utmost respect for Richard Di Natale and his team, no matter how well the Greens advocate or negotiate, they are a small team up against a Coalition government antagonistic towards climate action, a Labor opposition which still fails to understand the depth of the crisis we face, and a media which struggles to grapple with climate policy.

Who can blame her for concluding that Australian parliamentary politics is a poor place right now from which to work for radical climate change action?

Milne’s deep knowledge of (and passion for) climate science and policy is legendary in and around parliament. Less well known is her record on climate change over the last quarter century.

In 1990, while a member of the Tasmanian Parliament, she was appointed alongside Joan Kirner and Rupert Hamer to Australia’s first Greenhouse Council. She moved to the international arena in 1998 and was elected to the Global Council of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature in 2000. She was elected its vice president in 2004, the same year she was elected to the Senate.

From all of these positions, Milne worked to build awareness and acknowledgement of climate change. More deeply, she challenged us to grapple with its deep ramifications for our economies, our politics and our lives.

From all of these positions, Milne worked to build awareness and acknowledgement of climate change. More deeply, she challenged us to grapple with its deep ramifications for our economies, our politics and our lives……………..

Milne’s role in bringing depth to the climate change debate through that period was vital to the tremendous election result for the Greens in 2010. She capitalised on that by proposing the Multi Party Climate Change Committee as a condition of supporting the Gillard government, insisting on experts sitting on the committee, and shepherding through it the best possible result that could have been achieved. She also used the process to increase the understanding of climate change in the community.

While we have, of course, lost the carbon price, the Climate Change Authority and the Clean Energy Finance Corporation remain – and both are Milne’s hard-won achievements. More importantly, the idea that we cannot be serious about climate change without phasing out coal remains and is growing ever stronger. No future government will be able to get away with what Tony Abbott has done, and that is in no small part thanks to Milne’s efforts…….

May 8, 2015 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, politics | , | Leave a comment

Stop Australian government handing out money to the big polluters

fossil-fuel-industryFifteen billion reasons By Kelly O’Shanassy May 1, 2015

Five bad ideas and five good ideas — what’s your pick?

Every year, our government hands out billions of dollars to big polluting companies through tax breaks and subsidies.

While the rest of the world takes steps to cut pollution, our government lets these giants pollute with abandon. Even worse, it actually pays them to pollute.

Right now, Joe Hockey is busy looking for ways to save the government money. Next week he’ll hand over the Federal Budget.

Five really bad ways to spend public money in the federal budget:

Pay Glencore Xstrata $109 million to pollute.

Pay BHP Billiton $93 million to pollute.

Pay Peabody $58 million to pollute.

Pay Rio Tinto $57 million to pollute.

Pay Anglo American $49 million to pollute.

Cutting handouts to Big Coal and other polluters will save the budget $15 billion.

Fifteen billion goes a long way. Just think of all the ways that money could make Australia a better place.

Five really good ways to spend public money in the federal budget:

  1. Cut pollution with smart rules that make polluters pay and invest in clean energy.
  2. Fund Indigenous rangers to look after country.
  3. Protect the water catchments that provide our drinking water.
  4. Create a threatened species recovery fund.
  5. Formally require governments to consider the environment in decision making.

Fifty thousand reasons to speak out and not stay silent at budget time

Our government has a duty of care to protect life. 42,859 people have already signedour petition with one simple message to Treasurer Joe Hockey: Put an end to big polluter handouts. 

Let’s make it 50,000. Will you speak out?

Want all the details?

May 8, 2015 Posted by | ACTION | Leave a comment

Research into the effects of Fukushima radiation on animals in the Pacific Ocean

US university testing animals in Pacific for Fukushima radiation — Photos show bodies riddled with tumors, eyes bleeding, covered in lesions — Some are missing testicles, eyeballs — Skin disintegrating, peeling off, turning yellow — Mammals affected by diseases never seen in species (WARNING: Graphic Pics)

Colorado St. Univ.
, Apr 13, 2015 (emphasis added): CSU partners with Fukushima University to study radiation effects… Many CSU faculty and researchers are contributing to radiation research in Japan… including Thomas Johnson… professor of health physics, who is testing trace radiation samples in seal populations in thenorthern Pacific Ocean, where radiation from the Fukushima disaster was released.

Alaska Marine Science Symposium presentation, Raphaela Stimmelmayr (Dept. of Wildlife Management, North Slope Borough) & Gay Sheffield (Univ.of  Alaska – Fairbanks Marine Advisory Program), 2014:

Incidental Gross Necropsy Findings in Subsistence-Harvested Ice Seals and Walruses

• Reproductive system: adnexal cysts [uterus], uterine and penile melanosis [darkening of skin], cliteromegaly [enlarged clitoris], cryptorchism [testicle(s) absent from scrotum], retained placenta;
• Endocrine system
: thyroid cysts, adrenal nodules;
• Musculoskeletal system: synovial cyst [fluid-filled sacs in spine due to degeneration];
• Integumentary system
: panniculitis [inflammation of fatty tissue], epidermal molt, skin sloughing;
• Respiratory system
: lung tumor, parasitic granulomas [inflammation that forms when immune system is unable to eliminate a substance];
• Digestive system
: microdontia [teeth smaller than normal], chronic interstitial pancreatitis [inflammation of pancreas], hepatic cyst [liver], cholestatic jaundice [yellowing of skin caused by thickening of bile or problems in liver], geophagia [eating dirt], and primary diffuse peritoneal tumor [membrane lining abdomen];
variety of the observed disease conditions are reported for the first time in ice seals and/or walruses.
• The majority of observed conditions in our material is classified as benign and are mostly inconsequential to the health of the harvested animals.

See also: Scientists present links between Alaska seal deaths and Fukushima disaster — Exposed to ‘pulsed release’ after fallout that accumulated in ice was quickly set free when melting occurred — “Wildlife health implications” due to radiation exposure discussed

View the AMSS presentation poster here

May 8, 2015 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Australians! Wake up to pro Nuclear Baloney

CaptD 8 May 15 Every informed voice is important especially N☢W since the nuclear industry and its nuke-spruikersSmsupporters are doing everything they can to spread what I call Nuclear Baloney* (NB). N☢W it is even more important to call out those that are doing it, because without people like us, many readers that are not informed will be swayed by all those that seek Nuclear Payback**.


What Phoboggers*** try and use to sidestep the reality of all the problems surrounding Nuclear Reactors; (like Safety, Fallout and the harmful effects of all kinds of radioactive particles) usually because of their connection to the Nuclear Industry!


Those that support nuclear power because nuclear power somehow supports them; no matter what the health implications or other “costs” are for others.


A Phony Blogger, someone that is getting paid and or promoting Spin to disrupt a blog discussion.

May 8, 2015 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Nuclear reprocessing commercial failure for near-bankrupt AREVA

antnuke-relevantCrisis for Areva’s La Hague plant as clients shun nuclear, News Daily  May 6, 2015 EMMANUEL JARRY FOR REUTERS BEAUMONT-HAGUE, France – Areva’s nuclear fuel reprocessing plant in La Hague needs to cut costs as its international customers disappear following the Fukushima disaster, and its sole remaining big customer, fellow state-owned French utility EDF, pressures it to cut prices.

Located at the westernmost tip of Normandy, La Hague reprocesses spent nuclear fuel for reuse in nuclear reactors and is a key part in Areva’s production chain, which spans uranium mining to fuel recycling.

Its valuation and outlook are crucial for the troubled French nuclear group, which is racing to find an equity parter after four years of losses have virtually wiped out its capital……….

One of the world’s biggest nuclear waste storage facilities, La Hague’s four pools hold the equivalent of about 50 reactor cores under four meters of water.

Protected by 1.5 meter thick anti-radiation concrete walls, employees in space suits cut up spent nuclear fuel rods, extract uranium and about one percent of plutonium, and melt the remaining waste into glass for eventual deep storage.

Areva says reprocessing reduces natural uranium needs by 25 percent but opponents say that separating plutonium from spent nuclear fuel increases the risk of nuclear proliferation.

The United States does not reprocess its nuclear fuel, but Britain has a large reprocessing plant in Sellafield. A planned recycling plant in Rokkasho, Japan – modeled on La Hague – has been plagued by problems and is years behind schedule.

Since the 2011 nuclear disaster in Fukushima, Areva’s reprocessing unit has lost nearly all of its international customers.

The company’s “back-end” sales – which include reprocessing, logistics and decommissioning – have fallen to 1.53 billion euros in 2014, 18 percent of Areva’s turnover, from 2 billion euros, 30 percent of nuclear revenue, in 2004.


In the past decades, more than 32,000 tonnes of spent nuclear fuel has been reprocessed at La Hague, of which nearly 70 percent for EDF, 17 percent for German utilities, nine percent for Japanese utilities and the rest for Swiss, Belgian, Dutch and Italian clients.

This year, La Hague expects to treat 1,205 tonnes of spent fuel, of which just 25 tonnes will come from abroad. That leaves Areva with EDF virtually as its sole customer, and although both firms are state-owned – Areva 87 percent, EDF 85 percent – EDF has played hardball in contract negotiations.

La Hague extracts plutonium from used nuclear fuel, which it then sends to Areva’s Melox plant in southeast France, which produces MOX fuel – a mixture of plutonium and spent uranium – for 22 (soon 24) of EDF’s 58 reactors.

The arrival of new management at both companies since the start of the year has ended years of hostility between France’s two nuclear champions, but a 6.5 billion euro contract to treat and recycle 1,100 tonnes per year of EDF’s spent fuel for the 2013-2020 period has still not been signed…………

May 8, 2015 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Germany’s renewable energy success bringing super power status

antnuke-relevantGermany, the Green Superpower , NYT  MAY 6, 2015 BERLIN — A week at the American Academy in Berlin leaves me with two contradictory feelings: one is that Germany today deserves a Nobel Peace Prize, and the other is that Germany tomorrow will have to overcome its deeply ingrained post-World War II pacifism and become a more serious, activist global power. And I say both as a compliment.

On the first point, what the Germans have done in converting almost 30 percent of their electric grid to solar and wind energy from near zero in about 15 years has been a great contribution to the stability of our planet and its climate. The centerpiece of the German Energiewende, or energy transformation, was an extremely generous “feed-in tariff” that made it a no-brainer for Germans to install solar power (or wind) at home and receive a predictable high price for the energy generated off their own rooftops.

There is no denying that the early days of the feed-in tariff were expensive. The subsidies cost billions of euros, paid for through a surcharge on everyone’s electric bill. But the goal was not simply to buy more renewable energy: It was to create demand that would drive down the cost of solar and wind to make them mainstream, affordable options. And, in that, the energiewende has been an undiluted success. With price drops of more than 80 percent for solar, and 55 percent for wind, zero-carbon energy is now competitive with fossil fuels here.

In my view the greatest success of the German energy transition was giving a boost to the Chinese solar panel industry,” said Ralf Fücks, the president of the Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung, the German Green Party’s political foundation. “We created the mass market, and that led to the increased productivity and dramatic decrease in cost.” And all this in a country whose northern tip is the same latitude as the southern tip of Alaska!


This is a world-saving achievement. And, happily, as the price fell, the subsidies for new installations also dropped. The Germans who installed solar ended up making money, which is why the program remains popular, except in coal-producing regions. Today, more than 1.4 million German households and cooperatives are generating their own solar/wind electricity. “There are now a thousand energy cooperatives operated by private people,” said the energy economist Claudia Kemfert. Continue reading

May 8, 2015 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Why South East Asia will eventually reject nuclear energy

 In spite of the enormous political clout of South Asia’s nuclear authorities and the hold they have in moulding public attitudes, in the long run the demise of nuclear fission power production globally is likely.

With abundant sun and wind, South Asia has only begun its travel towards renewables. Cheaper by the day, small decentralised solar and wind units offer the best option for urban and village households. 


antnuke-relevantWhy South Asia needs a non-nuclear future , Sci Dev Net, 7 May 15 

  • Nuclear energy’s share of global energy production dwindled to 10 per cent in 2013
  • Pakistan plans to install two 1,100 megawatt reactors in Karachi, a city of 20 million
  • Expansion of solar and wind energy can hasten the decline of nuclear energy
  • Risky nuclear energy can be replaced by safer and cheaper options in South Asia, writes Pervez Hoodbhoy.Considered risky by increasing numbers of people, nuclear energy is now no longer the eagerly sought panacea to the world’s energy problems. From its all-time high of 17 per cent in 1995, its share of world production dwindled to 10 per cent in 2013. The Fukushima nuclear disaster, even more than Chernobyl, has left Japan and most western countries deeply worried and suspicious. Japan’s 48 reactors remain shut, about 120,000 people are homeless, and the three reactors that experienced core meltdowns are still in deep crisis. They will need another 30—40 years to fully decommission.

    Some developing countries are also losing their former enthusiasm. Post-Fukushima, Indonesia’s civil society insisted that the country’s nuclear electricity programme be scaled back. Its demands were largely met. So, why has it been difficult for public opinion to compel any Pakistani or Indian government to similarly change course?
    Opaque programmes  

    The reason is clear. Both countries used opaque civilian nuclear programmes to make nuclear weapons, which then became objects of national veneration and symbols of power. Shrouded in secrecy, nuclear establishments became a force in their own right. They were not subject to any significant scrutiny of safety aspects. Nor did they feel the need to reveal their plans for disaster management or prove their adequacy. While environmental impact mitigation schemes became legally necessary, these were not to be taken seriously. No attempts were made to educate populations near a reactor about radiation hazards. Continue reading

May 8, 2015 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment