Australian news, and some related international items

#NuclearCommissionSAust’s Issues Paper 3 – designed to please the nuclear corporations!

a-cat-CANI am currently struggling with my Submission to the Commission on the questions in Issues Paper 3  – “Electricity Generation From Nuclear Fuels”. it’s a doozy. They’ve excelled themselves this time – with questions designed to elicit lovely answers from nuclear companies Transatomic, Bill Gates’ Terra Power , SNC Lavalin, NuScale, – anyone but you and me.

Given that the nuclear lobby’s plan is for Australia to be the guinea pigs for new untested (not yet existent) gee whiz reactors, Those companies are gonna love questions like this:

3.2 Are there commercial reactor technologies (or emerging technologies which may be commercially available in the next two decades) that can be installed and connected to the NEM?

3.3. Are there commercial reactor technologies (or emerging technologies which may be commercially available in the next two decades) that can be installed and connected in an off-grid setting?

3.6. What are the specific models and case studies that demonstrate the best practice for the establishment and operation of new facilities for the generation of electricity from nuclear fuels?

SMRs Australia


July 27, 2015 Posted by | Christina reviews, NUCLEAR ROYAL COMMISSION 2016 | Leave a comment

Pro Nuclear Royal Commission Pushes on With Determination

scrutiny-Royal-Commission CHAIN

Computational General Equilibrium Modelling Assessments for the Nuclear Fuel Cycle Royal Commission

Issued by Attorney Generals Department

Request for Tender

AGD 027826
Computational General Equilibrium Modelling Assessments for the Nuclear Fuel Cycle Royal Commission
24 July 2015 10 August 2015 Link to Tender
AGD 027828
Quantitative Analyses and Initial Business Case for establishing a Nuclear Power Plant and Systems in South Australia

July 27, 2015 Posted by | NUCLEAR ROYAL COMMISSION 2016 | Leave a comment

Climate change brings bushfires – a terrible risk to nuclear facilities

If the radiation leak lasts more than a few hours, there is no viable safe plan. If the radiation plume passes, the ground will probably still be contaminated

Wildfires also threaten Nuclear Waste and Nuclear Waste Shipments

highly-recommendedWildfires and Nuclear Don’t Mix: Lessons from San Onofre and Chernobyl to Australia  [good text-relevantphotos]  miningawareness  27 July 15 As the deadline looms (3 Aug.) for comments regarding the risks of the nuclear fuel chain for South Australia – whether uranium mining, which is already occurring, or any proposed additions (uranium enrichment, nuclear energy, nuclear waste), foremost in everyone’s minds should be the scrutiny-Royal-Commission CHAINrisk of Bushfires (Wildfires), as well as endangerment to the Great Artesian Basin (GAB) aquifer, upon which so much of Australia is dependent for water, and which is being depleted, and most assuredly contaminated, by uranium and other mining: (Australia’s uranium mining “generates less than 0.2 per cent of national export revenue and accounts for less than 0.02 per cent of jobs in Australia. it is laying waste to the land and provided nuclear fuel for Fukushima)

The Australian climate is generally hot, dry and prone to drought. At any time of the year, some parts of Australia are prone to bushfires with the widely varied fire seasons reflected in the continent’s different weather patterns. For most of southern Australia, the danger period is summer and autumn.”

bushfire & rad gif

2015 Wildfires Near Chernobyl

In April of this year, and again from the end of June into mid July, hundreds of firefighters in the Ukraine bravely battled fires in the area of the Chernobyl nuclear power station. Smoldering peat fires were the hardest to put out.
While this represents a serious danger to Europe, it received shockingly little media coverage. Continue reading

July 27, 2015 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, climate change - global warming, NUCLEAR ROYAL COMMISSION 2016, South Australia | Leave a comment

Australian Labor Party delegates vote for 50 per cent renewable energy plan

ballot-boxSmLabor supports higher renewables target Delegates at the ALP national conference have passed a motion to aspire to a 50 per cent renewable energy target by 2030. SBS News  25 JUL 2015 AUSTRALIA SHOULD BE ASPIRING TO A TARGET OF 50 PER CENT RENEWABLE ENERGY BY 2030, LABOR SAYS.

Climate action groups rallied in support as a motion to increase the target was passed by delegates at the ALP national conference in Melbourne on Saturday.

“Labor will take a 50 per cent goal for renewable energy by 2030 to the election … because we know renewable energy will be a central part, not just of Australia’s energy system, but of our industrial and jobs base as well,” opposition climate change spokesman Mark Butler said……… Continue reading

July 27, 2015 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, politics | 1 Comment

The devil in the Trans Pacific Partnership – ‘Investor State Dispute Swttlement’

Hear-This-wayInvestor State Dispute Swttlement : The devil in the trade deal

logo-anti-TPPISDS, a provision in trade agreements that allows foreign investors to sue host governments, has become a ticking time bomb inside trade agreements like the soon to be signed Trans Pacific Partnership. Jess Hill investigates.

The Trans Pacific Partnership is the biggest trade deal in history: 12 countries, including Australia and the United States, that account for 800 million people and 40 per cent of the world’s GDP. After languishing on the negotiating table for years, the TPP could now be signed within weeks. …

What is ISDS? Put bluntly, it’s a provision that allows foreign investors to sue governments for policy decisions that harm their investments.

ISDS shows up in thousands of international agreements, including dozens that Australia has already signed. In 2011, the Productivity Commission warned that ‘experience in other countries demonstrates that there are considerable policy and financial risks arising from ISDS provisions’. ISDS is widely expected to be included in the Trans Pacific Partnership.

What could be defined as ‘harming’ a company’s interests? It could be something patently unfair, like a government nationalising a privately owned factory. But it could also be something done in the public interest, like banning a chemical, imposing strict conditions on a coal mine, or putting a moratorium on coal seam gas exploration.

July 27, 2015 Posted by | Audiovisual | Leave a comment

Cancer incidence has risen in tandem with increased ionising radiation

Considering that Fukushima has released more radiation than 528 air detonation nuclear tests combined, and remembering that radiation from those tests is still affecting people around the globe to this day, the problems caused by Fukushima are going to be with us for generations.
There are 437 operative nuclear power plants world wide, and another 68 under construction. A dozen more are at the planning stage. Are we really so hungry for electricity that we are willing to risk annihilation to get it? What’s the point if generation after generation will suffer increased cancer rates?
Cancer Started Sky Rocketing in 1945, What Else Happened in 1945, Coud It Be The Start of the Nuclear Cartel?
graph cancer incidencd risingIt fairly hard to find historical data on cancer incidence.Cited near the bottom is an article that state circa 1900,  3 of 100 deaths were due to cancer.
A chart from the town of Boston 1811 showed  5 cancer deaths of 942..    Link and picture is at the far bottom herein.

What are the current stats on cancer deaths?   Honestly I haven’t included any information here except in links.   I deem the answer to that question as so absurdly obvious to not deserve energy put into it.

How may people do you know who have cancer right now?

 The focus now is on “mortality”, which in the twisted world of Big Med, just means that if you live for 5 years after diagnosis that your treatment was a “sucess”.    If you die at 5 years and 1 day, then the cancer didn’t kill you.

They try to avoid clear presentation of “incidences” of cancer, aka new cases.   Some data is out there, but the spin is to try to show how Big Med/Big Pharma is “sucessful”. Continue reading

July 27, 2015 Posted by | Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Comprehensive analysis of Switzerland’s plan for exit from nuclear power

It is a simple statement of fact that Germany today produces more solar and wind power than the entire projected electricity demand for Switzerland in 2050. What is possible in Germany should be manageable in Switzerland too. ………Conservation, greater efficiencies, alternative energy sources, the smart grid, and the introduction of new technologies mean that Switzerland should be readily able to find ways to replace the energy  lost by the closing of its existing nuclear power plants. 

flag-SwitzerlandSmall country, big challenge: Switzerland’s upcoming transition to sustainable energy, Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, 25 July 15 Dominic A. Notter


highly-recommendedSwitzerland has long met a good portion of its energy needs by using nuclear power. But in the wake of the accident at Fukushima, the country will have to turn elsewhere—while still remaining true to its history of self-sufficiency and energy independence. This effort is made more complicated by fears that one of its traditional energy sources, hydropower, may no longer be as reliable as in the past. But with a combination of energy conservation, greater efficiencies, alternative energy sources, the “smart grid,” and the introduction of new technologies currently on the drawing board, the country may readily be able to replace the energy lost by the closing of its existing nuclear power plants. And the loss of the snowpack and glaciers (due to climate change) may not be as dire for Switzerland’s hydropower as first anticipated……. Continue reading

July 27, 2015 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Al Gore’s visit and Victoria’s Climate Charter proposal

a-cat-CANAl Gore is visiting Australia to promote action on climate change. Still, we have to watch out that he is not on the “nuclear for climate” bandwagon.

A good sign is that Gore has recently been criticised by the pro nuclear front group Breakthrough Institute for being “sceptical” about nuclear power’s future.


On Monday, Environmental Justice Australia will release a proposal for a Victorian Climate Charter, which it says is modelled on the state’s existing Human Rights Charter.

Gore,-Al-climateAl Gore flies into Australia to push momentum towards Paris climate summit July 27, 2015   Environment editor, The Age   Former United States vice-president Al Gore has flown into Australia for a whistlestop tour that includes meetings with state government ministers and senior business figures as part of efforts to build global momentum towards the Paris climate change summit later this year.

Mr Gore arrived in Melbourne on Sunday afternoon, heading to a speaking engagement and then dinner with Victorian ministers and senior executives from major companies, including BHP, National Australia Bank and Qantas, to discuss climate change and the importance of the Paris meeting, at which it is hoped a new international agreement to curb global warming will be signed……..

Ministers from Labor-led Victoria, Queensland and South Australia will attend Monday’s meeting with Mr Gore. Conservative-led NSW will send a senior public servant, as will Labor-led ACT. Tasmania, Northern Territory and Western Australia will not be represented. Continue reading

July 27, 2015 Posted by | climate change - global warming, politics, Victoria | Leave a comment

VICTORIAN Liberal MP Sarah Henderson breaks ranks, supports investment in renewables

Lib MP calls for rethink on renewables
VICTORIAN MP Sarah Henderson has broken ranks over the Federal Government’s ­directive for its green bank to stop investing in wind farms and rooftop solar.(subscribers only)

July 27, 2015 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

Ocean food chain affected as acidification impacts phytoplankton

phytoplankton diatomsOcean acidification is impacting phytoplankton now From: Steve Williams, Care2More from this Affiliate
Published July 26, 2015 Scientists are warning that ocean acidification is impacting microorganisms in our ocean known as phytoplankton and, as they pay a key role in ocean habitats, any future loss or change in species numbers could impact marine life in a big way.

Ocean acidification isn’t always mentioned in conjunction with phytoplankton blooms, and the U.S. Government has been slow to link the two, but MIT researchers say acidification of our oceans could impact phytoplankton in a big way, and that will be bad news for our marine life.

Publishing in the journal Nature Climate Change, the scientists say their research shows that ocean acidification–where our oceans absorb gasses like carbon dioxide and sulphor dioxide that are released during the burning of fossil fuels–will increase to such an extent that by 2100 several species of phytoplankton will die out, robbing several larger marine species of a vital food source, while other phytoplankton species will rapidly increase in number, threatening the delicate balance of marine habitats and even potentially threatening the bird populations that depend on marine life.

According to the National Ocean Service (NOAA), phytoplankton are organisms that function in much the same way as the plants we see around us. They contain chlorophyl and depend on sunlight. For that reason they tend to float close to the surface of the water where they can get as much sunlight as possible. They also take in nutrients like nitrates, phosphates and sulfur.

In marine environments phytoplankton play a key role and are a food source for a number of species, from tiny animals like shrimp and snails, all the way up to jellyfish and even whales.

July 27, 2015 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Climate change harming wine industry (nuclear power would, too)

a-cat-CANI think that it is criminal of Australia’s government to deny action on climate change. And for a “pro business” government, what can they be thinking? Abbott’s “go slow” policy on climate action is harming so many businesses, and so many jobs.  Now it’s the wine industry! Sacré bleu !

When Abbott finally decides that climate change matters, (i.e when he openly touts nuclear power), let’s not forget that nuclear power endangers the wine industry, too!

wine threat

Climate change hitting where it hurts: your wine, The Age, 27 July   BusinessDay contributing editor Spend a day at a wine grape growers’ summit and, among many other things, you’re left with no doubt about the reality of climate change.

Spend another day with a savvy grape grower touring the Barossa and you’re left with no doubt about the cost of it and the uncertainty about where it’s heading.

That’s not news for those who follow the wine industry closely at the production level, but for those of us who concentrate on consumption, the matter-of-factness of the change is rather startling.

Grapes ripening a month earlier, the compression of what were the usual different ripening times of different varieties, the search for varieties capable of handling hotter weather, the hunt for new terroir as climate bands move, the threat to traditional varieties in regions whose reputations depend on them.

 Would you believe French champagne houses are buying fields in Britain?

Sweden, an important customer for Australian wine makers, now has a fledgling wine industry as a result of longer, warmer summers.

But you don’t have to go to the other end of the earth to see the story. Turns out climate change is a force in developing the Tasmanian industry as warmer weather leads mainland producers to invest in the island’s cooler climate. There’s no end of science on the issue, if that counts any more……….

And this is climate change, not just global warming. The heat is there, but the Scholz fields copped a frost that they hadn’t seen before, wiping out the crop. OK, it was a 1-in-100-year event – except that it happened again the next year. Now giant $55,000 electric fans increasingly dot vineyards, automatically triggered into action by a thermometer to suck in higher, warmer air and blow it across the vines to fight the killing drop of cold air.

July 27, 2015 Posted by | climate change - global warming, South Australia | Leave a comment

Climate change proceeds apace – no ‘mini ice age’ coming

climate-changeIn plain English, the small change in sunlight reaching the Earth during a new Maunder minimum wouldn’t be enough to reverse climate change.
The ‘mini ice age’ hoopla is a giant failure of science communication, The Conversation, July 24, 2015 This month there’s been a hoopla about a mini ice age, and unfortunately it tells us more about failures of science communication than the climate. Such failures can maintain the illusion of doubt and uncertainty, even when there’s a scientific consensus that the world is warming.

Continue reading

July 27, 2015 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

History shows that cancer is caused by environmental factors

cancer_cellsScientists suggest that cancer is purely man-made October 14, 2010 ( –– Cancer is a modern, man-made disease caused by environmental factors such as pollution and diet, a study by University of Manchester scientists has strongly suggested.

The study of remains and literature from ancient Egypt and  and earlier periods – carried out at Manchester’s KNH Centre for Biomedical Egyptology and published in Nature Reviews Cancer – includes the first histological diagnosis of cancer in an Egyptian mummy.

Finding only one case of the disease in the investigation of hundreds of Egyptian mummies, with few references to cancer in literary evidence, proves that cancer was extremely rare in antiquity. The disease rate has risen massively since the Industrial Revolution, in particular childhood cancer – proving that the rise is not simply due to people living longer. Continue reading

July 27, 2015 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Earthquakes caused by oil and gas exploration, and nuclear tests

underground nuclear tests produce measurable seismic waves. In fact, much of what we know about the size and success (or failure) of North Korea’s nuclear tests comes from seismologists’ analysis of the small earthquakes the blasts triggered

Man-made earthquakes: Fact or fiction?, Reveal News By  and  / June 30, 2015 Scientists have known for a long time that humans can cause earthquakes, especially when we mess around with underground faults. The most dramatic example of this now can be found in the American Midwest.

Oklahoma has always had earthquakes, but they used to be rather rare – about one or two a year that people could feel. That started to change around 2009. And by 2014, things really went crazy.

The seismological community is pretty unified in concluding that the big increase in earthquakes in Oklahoma comes from injecting wastewater brought up by oil and gas exploration back into the earth. Read more about the link between wastewater disposal wells and earthquakes here. Continue reading

July 27, 2015 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment