Australian news, and some related international items

Don’t let the nuclear lobby shut you up! Submissions to Royal Commission due by 3rd August

a-cat-CANIf you’ve been thinking of making a submission, I hope that you have not been intimidated by the Royal Commissions Issues Papers – by either their  ambiguous and confusing content, or by their complicated process for submitting.   These submission procedures are set up to be easy  for AREVA, EDF, Toshiba, Lavalin SNC, Terrestrial Energy, Bill gates’ Terra Power – or any other international  nuclear company.

And – hard for the ordinary person.


  • you can send in a submission on paper, if the Internet process is not convenient for you.
  • You don’t have to make comments on every question on the Issues Paper – just ones that you are interested in.
  • You can add your own ideas, outside of their set questions,  though the Commission wants them to be at the end, in an Appendix.


Your submission doesn’t have to be long.  They want you to download and use a Cover Sheet

They want you to have your signature witnessed, and signed by a JP or a Commissioner for Affidavits. A member of the police force will do. In some States, pharmacists, teachers, and others will qualify. This is a hassle, but not that hard to do.

If you don’t want the hassle of scanning it all into the computer – to send via the internet, to, you can post it to Nuclear Fuel Cycle Royal Commission GPO Box 11043 Adelaide SA 5001.  You can even phone them, and arrange a verbal submission  o8 8207 1480

More information at the Commission’s website



July 18, 2015 Posted by | NUCLEAR ROYAL COMMISSION 2016 | Leave a comment

Friends of the Earth Adelaide’s Campaign Against Nuclear Expansion

logo-FOEThe SA Government has launched a Royal Commission into the Nuclear Fuel Cycle in the hope of garnering support for an expansion of the nuclear industry. The terms of reference and the makeup of the commission and its experts are clearly biassed towards expanding the industry.
We believe this is an attempt to soften up the public for the creation of a nuclear waste dump for high-level waste from overseas.

FoE Adelaide are proud to announce the launch of the Campaign Against Nuclear Expansion

We believe that renewable energy is the best alternative to fossil fuels and SA is not the place for a nuclear waste dump, an enrichment facility or expansion of uranium mining.  More at our website

Our local campaigner will track the Royal Commission activities, plan our campaign, arrange public meetings, disseminate information, build our membership and coordinate volunteers.

The battle in South Australia is highly relevant to all Australians as it has been suggested that SA host a dump site for the world’s high level nuclear waste.

If you would like to give a one-off or ongoing donation you can use  the online form at
Donations are tax deductible.

July 18, 2015 Posted by | ACTION | Leave a comment

Labor Party nuclear enthusiasts will postpone their push until after the National ALP Conference

Nuclear power on the backburner as ALP awaits review THE AUSTRALIAN JULY 18, 2015  Rebecca Puddy and  Michael Owen

scrutiny-Royal-Commission CHAINA national push within Labor ranks to change decades of oppos­ition to nuclear energy has been shelved while South Australia conducts a royal commission into the controversial power source.

Gary Gray, the federal oppos­ition’s resources spokesman, told The Weekend Gray-nuclear-Australian a move within the ALP to end the party’s opposition to nuclear energy was on hold until the royal commission reported to the Weatherill Labor government next May.

This means that delegates at the ALP national conference in Melbourne next weekend will move a motion unopposed for Labor to continue its prohibition of the “establish­ment of nuclear power plants and all other ­stages of the nuclear fuel cycle in Australia”.

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July 18, 2015 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, NUCLEAR ROYAL COMMISSION 2016, politics | Leave a comment

Uranium company Cameco offends Shire of Esperance in discussing use of its port.

exclamation-Shire of Esperance irate about uranium remarks, Australian Mining 
15 July, 2015 Ben Hagemann The Shire of Esperance has lashed out at public suggestions by Cameco that they would want to use the WA port for shipping uranium. The managing director of Cameco Australia, Brian Reilly, recently announced the company would want to explore the possibility of shipping their products through Esperance.

Shire president Malcolm Heasman said the Canadian miner had not approached the local council to discuss the prospect of exporting uranium through the Port of Esperance, before the making public statements of their intent, a move he said was “extremely discourteous”……..

Heasman said uranium was a very emotive commodity, and that the Shire of Esperance ran a “very clean port” which used world-best practice when handling cargo. “It doesn’t matter whether it’s uranium or nickel or any other product, to come through our port hey have to satisfy world’s best practice, and the community won’t stand for anything less,” he said. “I don’t know if they were just trying to solicit a comment, but it would be nice if they actually came and spoke with us.”

Cameco’s Yeeleerie project, billed as the largest uranium development in WA, is located near Wiluna some distance from Port Adelaide and Darwin, the only two ports in Australia approved for shipping uranium.

July 18, 2015 Posted by | politics, uranium, Western Australia | Leave a comment

Nuclear deal with Iran will become international law, despite problems in USA Congress

flag-UN.Iran deal set to become international law UNITED NATIONS, 18 July 15  — The U.N. Security Council scheduled a vote for first thing Monday morning on a resolution endorsing the Iran nuclear deal.

The resolution was circulated to council members Wednesday by the United States. Members were also briefed by both Iran and the other countries that negotiated the landmark agreement to curb Iran’s nuclear program.

With all five veto-wielding permanent members of the Security Council involved in the marathon Iran negotiations, the resolution’s adoption Monday was almost certain.

The resolution implements an intricate deal that places restrictions on Iran’s nuclear program while allowing relief from sanctions that the country’s leaders say have hurt its economy. Continue reading

July 18, 2015 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Nuclear deal is a big win for ordinary Iranians

diplomacy-not-bombsflag-IranOrdinary Iranians the big winners in groundbreaking nuclear peace pact, Irish Independent  Mary Fitzgerald18/07/2015 The images from Tehran after news broke of an historic deal on Iran’s nuclear programme this week told their own story. Exuberant crowds took to the streets, cheering and dancing in celebration of an agreement that means their nation will now come in from the cold of international sanctions. Continue reading

July 18, 2015 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Australia’s Federal Government welcomes Iran nuclear deal (Video and Audio)

diplomacy-not-bombsIran nuclear deal welcome: Australia (AUDIO and Video) The federal government has welcomed the landmark nuclear deal Iran thrashed out with major international powers.
By AAP, Reuters  THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT SAYS IRAN’S NUCLEAR DEAL IS A STEP FORWARD IN CURBING THE COUNTRY’S NUCLEAR WEAPONRY AMBITIONS.Parliamentary secretary for foreign affairs Steve Ciobo says the landmark deal thrashed out with Tehran to ensure Iran does not obtain a nuclear bomb was a positive outcome built on the work of past two years.

“It settles the issue with respect to Iran’s nuclear ambitions to ensure there isn’t an opportunity for Iran to develop nuclear weaponry,” he told ABC radio on Wednesday.

Central Europe correspondent Kerry Skyring speaks to SBS Radio from Vienna:

July 18, 2015 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, politics international | Leave a comment

Tony Abbott is two-faced on a nuclear-free Middle East

Abbott’s double standard on a nuclear-free Middle East BERNARD KEANE | JUL 16, 2015 TONY ABBOTT SAYS HE WANTS A NUCLEAR-FREE MIDDLE EAST. SO WHAT ABOUT ISRAEL?

Does Australia have a new Middle East policy?

Yesterday, in reluctantly welcoming the nuclear deal with Iran, the Prime Minister said “we certainly want a nuclear-free Middle East. The Middle East is the most unstable and dangerous part of the world. If any country in the Middle East were to get nuclear weapons that would be a horrifying…. (subscribers only)

July 18, 2015 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

Tony Abbott’s vindictive war against renewable energy

Abbott-destroyerAbbott’s war on renewable energy has been protracted and aggressive. It has destabilised investment. It has been fought through an attrition of uncertainty. This week, one wonders if he has entered the final campaign
Abbott’s campaign to kill renewable energy sector MARTIN MCKENZIE-MURRAY The Saturday Paper,  JUL 18, 2015 Unable to disband a financing body it despises, the Abbott government has set about rigging renewable energy investment to fail. John Grimes isn’t happy with the prime minister, and he’s not shy about saying so. The former Royal Australian Air Force officer and CEO of the Australian Solar Council has watched what he considers the government’s vindictive “crusade” against renewable energy – and his pique increased this week after the treasurer and finance minister directed the statutory body, the Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC), to cease investment in wind farms and domestic-scale solar projects……….
The CEFC was created through legislation passed in 2012, and became operational in July 2013. It was based upon Britain’s Green Investment Bank, a model that was attractive to Milne. But Labor also promised that it would make money – and it has. This week, shadow assistant treasurer Andrew Leigh said it was making returns “3 per cent over the bond rate, by investing in things such as wind farms in Victoria, solar in Alice Springs, energy efficiency in other contexts”.

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July 18, 2015 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, energy, politics | Leave a comment

Nuclear power looking outdated, as renewables powering more countries

sun-championHalf the world already gets more power from renewables than from nuclear, Quartz, 17 July 15   The dream of a low-carbon future thanks to nuclear power is already looking dated. The two most populous countries in the world—China and India—plus Japan, Germany, Spain, the Netherlands, Mexico, and Brazil already generate more electricity from (non-hydro) renewable sources than they do from nuclear, according to a global nuclear industry report (pdf). That’s 45% of the world’s population that rely on wind, solar, and other green energy more than they do on radioactive atoms.

 And renewables are far outstripping nuclear in the growth of power capacity, too. Between 1997 and 2014, the world added an average of 879 terawatt hours of solar and wind power every year, compared to nuclear’s 147:……..

the trend toward more renewable power will likely continue for some time. First, global opinion on nuclear energy soured after the Fukushima disaster in Japan, and as a result plenty of potential nuclearpower plants aren’t getting built. Power-hungry China, for instance, isslow to approve new nuclear power plants due to both government and public safety concerns. At the same time, though, it is investing heavily in wind power.

 And then there’s Tesla, the electric car manufacturer led by Elon Musk. It announced earlier this year that it’s working on a battery that cancontain enough electricity to power a house. That could be a major breakthrough in the effectiveness of renewable energy, as it would create the ability to store power whenever it can be generated, to be used whenever it is needed, almost eliminating the current problem of reliability.

July 18, 2015 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Clean Energy Finance Corporation is the key to Australia’s chance to be Renewable Energy Superpower

despite the higher investment hurdle to be cleared when the CEFC makes any new loan, it has managed to continue to unveil new projects such as the launch this month of a $100 million, 12-year fund with Origin Energy to promote more commercial use of solar panels, with more to be announced within days

Aust-sunAustralia can be a global solar and wind superpower, and the CEFC is the keJuly 13, 2015   Environment Editor, The Sydney Morning Herald

Australia is perfectly placed to become the next global superpower of renewable energy, the “Saudi Arabia of solar” for the coming century.

While Saudi Arabia has barrels of oil, we have an abundance of sunlight to fuel solar power and wind to power turbines, plus enough geographical space, modern infrastructure and a stable political system to house such an industry on a massive scale.

But if Australia is to realise its remarkable renewable energy wealth, (see chart below, published by the Melbourne Energy Institute, revealing its world-beating solar exposure as indicated by the lighter colours on the map), banks and investors will need to active players.

 And that is where the $10 billion Clean Energy Finance Corporation – again under fire by the Abbott government – is absolutely crucial.

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July 18, 2015 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, energy | Leave a comment

Australia’s government not stopping Sydney IKEA’s renewable energy project

IKEA backs renewable energy targets despite government changes, SMH,  by Sue Mitchell, 17 July 15  Richard Wilson is looking forward to the day he can go off the grid – not at his Sydney home but at homewares chain IKEA. As sustainability manager for IKEA Australia, the 43 year old is spearheading arguably the nation’s most ambitious private sector renewable energy project.

The world’s biggest furniture retailer, which has annual sales of €30 billion ($44 billion), is aiming to be energy neutral by 2020, with 100 per cent of its energy needs coming from renewable sources.

IKEA’s Australian business took the first steps last year, installing 16,000 solar panels on the roofs of six stores, including almost 4000 panels at its flagship store at Tempe, near Sydney Airport.

 The panels are now generating just under five megawatts of energy a year – enough to power air conditioning systems and low-energy lighting in stores and distribution centres during the day.

“It’s really cool,” says Wilson, who gave up his job running Randwick Council’s Sustaining Our City program almost three years ago to join the Swedish retailer, attracted to the company by its ambitious long-term environmental targets.

“When they do have bold ambitions it makes things happen,” says Wilson. “It was the 100 per cent renewable energy targets that got me excited about working for IKEA – I want to be on that journey.”

It’s a journey that may not have got off the ground if not for Labor’s now defunct carbon tax. When electricity was cheap and solar panels expensive, the business case simply did not stack up.

 “But we just kept recalculating it,” says Wilson. “We managed to get it in with the carbon tax and panels kept coming down in price.”

The company pressed ahead after the carbon tax was scrapped by the Abbott government last year and now expects to achieve payback in less than 10 years, in line with its parent’s relatively generous return on investment hurdles……….

July 18, 2015 Posted by | New South Wales, solar | 1 Comment

Tasmanina farm introduces Indian renewable energy technology

India’s renewable energy technology inspires Tasmanian tomato business ABC Rural By Laurissa Smith, 17 July 15  A tomato farm in Tasmania’s north-west is turning to India’s latest technology in renewable energy to reduce its power bills and improve yields.

The Brandsema’s at Turners Beach plan to install a biomass gasifier to power its greenhouses. The gasification system, built in India, turns agricultural or forest waste into energy and as a by-product, creates CO2 for plants.

Grower Marcus Brandsema recently travelled to India. He met with manufacturers and engineers to watch the biomass plants in action.

“What happens is the organic material goes into a gasifier,” he said. “It’s operating at a reasonably high temperature, around 800 degrees Celsius or thereabouts, in a reduced oxygen atmosphere.

“The organic material doesn’t actually burn, but it oxidises and gives off a gas which is useful to use downstream.

Once the gas is produced we can then use it to fire a boiler to create hot water, which is what we need, especially in Tassie’, to grow tomatoes

Marcus Brandsema, tomato grower

“They clean it and use it in an engine, which can drive a generator, or a pump, or alternatively the gas can be used as fuel source.”

Mr Brandsema is particularly attracted to the system’s ability to generate additional CO2 for the greenhouse to enhance photosynthesis.

“Once the gas is produced we can then use it to fire a boiler to create hot water, which is what we need, especially in Tassie’, to grow tomatoes,” he said.

“But the by-product of that is CO2, which would normally go up the flue as an emission, we could extract from the flue and introduce it into the greenhouse.”……..

July 18, 2015 Posted by | energy, Tasmania | Leave a comment