Australian news, and some related international items

No sense in New Nuclear – Naomi Klein

Every time he (Prime Minister Tony Abbott) tells Australians that they need to choose between the economy and climate action, that is a lie,” she said. “The latest studies show we would create six to eight times more jobs if we invested in those sectors than if we invest the same amount of money in the extractive sectors (like mining).

“The problem we’ve had is only those extractive jobs have all too often been the only jobs on the table.”

“It is true that some of the most powerful actors in our current economic system … stand to lose a lot.” Naomi Klein will be appearing at the Festival of Dangerous Ideas on Saturday, September 5. The talk will also be streamed live online.


Naomi Klein says building new nuclear power plants ‘doesn’t make sense’  SEPTEMBER 04, 2015 BUILDING new nuclear power plants to create a carbon-free world “doesn’t make sense” and just serves as a distraction from the risks, Canadian author Naomi Klein says.

The activist and author of This Changes Everything, was asked what she thought about the possibility of building a nuclear power plant in South Australia, which a Royal Commission in the state is currently considering.

Backers of nuclear power often spruik it as an alternative to renewables because it does not produce greenhouse gases, unlike coal-fired power stations.

But Klein said building new nuclear plants did not make any sense to her.

“What’s exciting about this renewables revolution spreading around the world, is that it shows us that we can power our economies without the enormous risk that we have come to accept,” she told media on Thursday.

  • These risks are sometimes called “sacrifice zones” and this is actually a phrase that was used in government policy documents in the United States, Klein said. Continue reading

September 4, 2015 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

Wishful thinking by the nuclear lobby on “Generation IV” reactors

text-relevantNor should the industry look for help from the trendy new kids on the block: small modular reactors (SMRs) and Generation IV technologies. The report predicts that electricity costs from SMRs will typically be 50-100% higher than for current large reactors, although it holds out some hope that large volume production of SMRs could help reduce costs–if that large volume production is comprised of “a sufficiently large number of identical SMR designs…built and replicated in factory assembly workshops.” Not very likely unless the industry accepts a socialist approach to reactor manufacturing, which is even less likely than that the approach would lead to any significant cost savings.

As for Generation IV reactors, the report at its most optimistic can only say, “In terms of generation costs, generation IV technologies aim to be at least as competitive as generation III technologies….though the additional complexity of these designs, the need to develop a specific supply chain for these reactors and the development of the associated fuel cycles will make this a challenging task.”

So, at best the Generation IV reactors are aiming to be as competitive as the current–and economically failing–Generation III reactors. And even realizing that inadequate goal will be “challenging.” The report might as well have recommended to Generation IV developers not to bother……..

renew world 1

Nuclear advocates fight back with wishful thinking. Green World, Michael Mariotte September 3, 2015 It must be rough to be a nuclear power advocate these days: clean renewable energy is cleaning nuclear’s clock in the marketplace; energy efficiency programs are working and causing electricity demand to remain stable and even fall in some regions; despite decades of industry effort radioactive waste remains an intractable problem; and Fukushima’s fallout–both literal and metaphoric–continues to cast a pall over the industry’s future. Continue reading

September 4, 2015 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Walkatjurra Walkabout: Week two on the road

Env-AustAn update from week two walking on the special red-earth country of the Northern Goldfields
 By Marcus Atkinson, 2 Sep 15: “Hello again from the desert. …
The mine would bring devastation to the local environment which
would be catastrophic for the traditional custodians and local pastoralists.
We heard from linguists and anthropologists about the language
revival programs … We also heard from traditional owners and
politicians about the history of the government’s protection of
Indigenous sacred sites, … While the situation is very difficult, the
spirit of the people who are sharing their knowledge is strong
(and infectious). …
After those two days at Yeelirrie we were back on the road.
From Yeelirrie we walked South East toward Yakabinde. … ”

“This walk is a physical and spiritual journey.
We listen and reflect, we walk and rest, create and sing,
and we breathe in the air of the beautiful land.
We are sharing our skills with each other. … We are
privileged to be on this beautiful land and hearing from
the traditional custodians fighting to save it, learning culture
and watching the birds fly ahead. We will continue to walk
steadily for a future where this beautiful land is preserved and
the dangerous uranium is left in the ground.”

September 4, 2015 Posted by | ACTION | Leave a comment

Japan’s hope of nuclear revival have taken a blow

radiation-sign-sadflag-japanJapan’s nuclear revival in trouble

The Japanese Government’s plans to revive its nuclear power plants have taken a significant blow according to Reuters.

The news outlet reports that of the 42 still operable reactors in the country, just 7 are likely to return to service in the next few years, down from 14 that had been planned 12 months earlier. According to Reuters the halving in reactors planned for restart in the next few years is due to legal challenges and concerns about their ability to meet stricter safety standards imposed after the Fukishima nuclear plant explosion.

September 4, 2015 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Sept 16 Nuclear politics in the pub – Part.1 Royal Commission submission session


Wednesday 16 SEPTEMBER, 2015

Upstairs @ The Gov, Port Road, Hindmarsh.


Check out the fb event HERE

RSVP via eventbrite HERE – this help us with catering.

 While submissions are closed for the Royal Commission into the Nuclear Fuel Chain, the discussion is just getting started! 

 Come and hear a range of authors and contributors share in brief (5 mins!) the key point of their submissions, on a range of economic, cultural and environmental issues.

 Speakers include:

  •  Chris Hannaford, Prospect Local Environment Group
  • Karina Lester, YNTAC Chairperson
  • Rose Lester, from Walatina and committee member of the Australian Nuclear Free Alliance
  • Tauto Sansbury, SA Congress
  • Cr Michelle Hogan, Port Adelaide Enfield Council
  • Dr Philip White, Friends of the Earth Adelaide
  • Dr Jim Green, Friends of the Earth Australia (via Skype)
  • Mark Parnell MLA, South Australia Greens
  • Melissa Ballantyne, Environmental Defenders Office SA
  • Philippa Rowland, Re-power South Australia

 Special screening of short film ‘ Homelands’ with Bobby Brown .

 Free event

Light snacks provided.

Drinks at bar prices 

Hosted by the SA nuke free coalition – for more information call: Nectaria on: 0432 388 665 or Robyn on: 0423 219 096

September 4, 2015 Posted by | ACTION | Leave a comment

Canada’s PM in election trouble – an indication for Tony Abbott

Author Naomi Klein says she hopes Prime Minister Tony Abbott is still paying attention NEWS.COM.AU SEPTEMBER 03, 2015  PRIME Minister Tony Abbott is fond of describing conflicts as those between goodies and baddies — but this time he’s the one being labelled a villain.

Canadian author and activist Naomi Klein says it’s time to stop glossing over climate change and instead, accept it as a moral crisis and treat it that way.

“There are huge numbers of lives at stake, (Pope Francis) calls destabilising the planet’s life support system a sin, that’s not the language I use, I call it a crime but too often we use this very bloodless language, this very bureaucratic language that glosses over the huge moral crisis that we are in the midst of,” Klein told media ahead of her sold-out show at the Festival of Dangerous Ideas this weekend.

In her book This Changes Everything, Klein argues the human race has entered “Decade Zero”, during which it must act on climate change or lose its chance.

“Our economic system and our planetary system are now at war,” she writes.

“The International Energy Agency warns that if we do not get our emissions under control by a rather terrifying 2017, our fossil fuel economy will ‘lock in’ extremely dangerous warming.”

Last month the best-selling author described Abbott as a “climate villain”, a term she told media on Thursday that she stands by, saying “I stand by saying these are villainous acts, I believe criminal acts.” But she noted Mr Abbott was increasingly stranded on the wrong side of the battleground.

“Tony Abbott has talked openly about how he has learned from my Prime Minister Stephen Harper, (who) has acted like this malevolent older brother,” Klein said.

Harper offered tips on how to “vilify indigenous people and grassroots activists”, and how to market planet destabilising carbon as “something ethical and good for humanity”, Klein said.
He may now have a new lesson for Abbott.

  • In May, Canada’s resource-rich province Alberta turfed out a conservative government which had been in power since 1971.

    “Alberta, Canada … is ground zero of our carbon boom,” Klein said.

    “There has been 44 years of uninterrupted, conservative rule in Alberta, in May they voted in our third party, our left wing party the NDP (Alberta New Democratic Party) because Albertans were sick and tired of the boom, bust rollercoaster,” Klein said.

    “Now we have a federal election coming up in October (and) Stephen Harper is not doing well in the polls … I hope that Tony Abbott, having taken notes from Canada’s prime minister, is still paying attention.”…………



September 4, 2015 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

Solar power playing big role in Japan’s peak summer power

sunflag-japanSolar power supplies 10 percent of Japan peak summer power: Asahi–finance.html?utm_content=buffer78331&utm_medium=social&  September 2, 2015 TOKYO (Reuters) – Solar power generation contributed to about 10 percent of peak summer power supplies of Japan’s nine major utilities, equivalent to more than 10 nuclear reactors, the Asahi newspaper reported on Thursday.

Though solar power accounts for about 2 percent of annual generation of all power sources, summer’s favorable sunlight conditions increased power output, generating up to about 15 gigawatts of power in total in early August, the paper said.

Japan has been pouring billions of dollars in clean-energy investment after introducing a feed-in tariff (FIT) program in 2012, aiming to help the world’s third-biggest economy shift away from its reliance on nuclear power after the March 2011 Fukushima disaster.

Asahi’s survey showed that the ratio of solar power at peak hours was as low as Hokuriku Electric Power’s <9505.T> 5.9 percent and as high as Kyushu Electric Power’s <9508.T> 24.6 percent, depending on access to ample land with favorable sunlight conditions.

The installed capacity of solar power taking advantage of FIT scheme has reached more than 24 gigawatts at the end of April, government data showed, up from about 5 GW before the scheme started.(Reporting by Osamu Tsukimori; Editing by Gopakumar Warrier)

September 4, 2015 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Australia is “full of climate heroes” – Klein

Author Naomi Klein says she hopes Prime Minister Tony Abbott is still paying attention NEWS.COM.AU SEPTEMBER 03, 2015 “……….This Changes Everything argues there is a conflict between what the planet needs in order to continue supporting human life, and what the current economic system needs to thrive, which is short term growth and “putting profits above all else”.

Klein said she owed Abbott a “debt of thanks” because the PM was her book’s best marketer.

“This is a government (Abbott’s) that shows perhaps more than any other government on Earth what that conflict looks like and what the costs of that conflict actually are,” she said.

Abbott by Simon Letch

On this battlefield, corporations are the ones which are on a war footing as they have a lot to lose.

“We see that fossil fuel companies have five times more carbon in their proven reserves than is compatible with life on Earth,” Klein said.

“This is why so many young people, faith organisations (and) local activists are joining the fossil fuel divestment movement.

“Australia, by the way, has what appears to be the fastest growing fossil fuel divestment movement in the world … this is all because people have done the math.” he said 80 per cent of proven fossil fuel reserves needed to stay in the ground if the world was to meet the two degree warming target that governments agreed to inCopenhagen in 2010.

“That represents trillions of dollars to those companies so they are fighting hard to protect their future profits and I think we see the outlines of the struggle very, very clearly here in Australia.”

But she said those who were trying to get the country on to a safe path were winning, with victories including against the Carmichael coal mine and the decision ofNewcastle City Council and others to divest from fossil fuels.

Klein said Australia was filled with “climate heroes” including a powerful indigenous rights movement helping to protect land, air and water.

“In so doing, (it) is protecting the planet as a whole,” she said. “This is a tough place to be an environmental activist and because of that we see some of the most exciting campaigns, the Bentley blockade (against coal seam gas),Lock the Gate (and the) historic struggle against the Adani coal mine which the world is watching and cheering every victory,” she said……….

September 4, 2015 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

Nuclear news this week – and 3 months till Paris Climate Conference

a-cat-CANThree months until the Paris United Nations Climate Conference – November 30 to December 11

The cashed up nuclear lobby will be there promoting themselves as the world’s saviour from climate change, and pollution.

They will base this claim on 3 lies:

  1. that new nuclear power will solve the wastes problem
  2. that low dose ionising rdaiation is harmless, even healthy
  3. that nuclear power is essential to combat climate change

I would love it if people would join  in examining and exposing those 3 lies.

For September the focus is on Lie No. 1

I see that the Nuclear Information and Resource Center has already a website for this:

Much as I hate Facebook, I have started a Facebook Page: The more the merrier- perhaps.

Another area for study is – the Submissions to South Australia’s Nuclear Fuel Chain Royal Commission. As I plough through these at I find many excellent submissions for the public good.   I would be grateful to anyone who sends me a good extract from one of these. I publish selected extracts from the good ones on . For example – today’s –ADELAIDE HILLS CLIMATE ACTION GROUP  unanimously opposes all nuclear industries.

Nuclear wastes: Importing nuclear waste is illegal in Australia. The Lucas Heights returning waste is an exception, due to legal obligations of the contracts with UK, France and Argentina.  Abbott govt soon to give shortlist of sites for Lucas Heights nuclear waste dump. What’s the betting that it will be South Australia, as the nuclear lobby regards it as a foot in the door for making that State the world’s radioactive toilet?

Western Australian Labor holds firm to nuclear-free policies. Australian uranium company Paladin mothballing uneconomic project in Labrador, Canada. Rosatom now selling uneconomic Honeymoon uranium project in South Australia.

September 4, 2015 Posted by | Christina reviews | Leave a comment

Adelaide Hills Climate Action Group unanimously opposes all nuclear industries

submission goodADELAIDE HILLS CLIMATE ACTION GROUP -Submission Issues Paper 3 – Further processing and Manufacture


(Extract) The Adelaide Hills Climate Action Group reaffirms its commitment to eliminating the combustion of fossil fuels and our strong endorsement of clean, renewable energy systems.

The committee members of the Adelaide Hills Climate Action Group wish to record their unanimous opposition to all nuclear energy and nuclear weapons related industries – no uranium or thorium mining – no processing – no re-processing – no nuclear power stations – no high level nuclear waste dumps.

There are fundamental moral objections to imposing a burden of risk and the cost of perpetual maintenance, defence and surveillance of high level nuclear waste on to multiple future generations for geological time.

We acknowledge there is a valid role for a properly managed low level nuclear waste dump suitable for the safe long term storage of low level nuclear waste materials used for medical and research activities.

[ I was unable to copy the clear argument put here on the unfeasibility of siting nuclear facilities on the South Australian coast]

“……..There is no northern area suitable for the nuclear industry. Previous nuclear failures such as at Fukushima have demonstrated that when all systems break down, the fall back plan to deal with nuclear accidents is to cool and flush with water, despite this resulting in the spreading of pollution. In northern areas of South Australia, access to water is limited, even where this may be sourced from the Great Artesian Basin.

There is no agricultural region or southern area of South Australia suitable for nuclear power generation as no community would be prepared to tolerate nuclear power. Failures such as the Windscale fire, Chernobyl and Fukushima have shown that impacts on livestock and risk of picking up contamination result in the total shutdown of food and grown product industries in such regions with poor recovery prospects.

It is understood that approximately half of the electricity generated in South Australia is now coming from around $5 Billion of renewable energy investment made in the state since 2002. It is therefore reasonable to assume that further investment of another $5B would enable South Australia to produce towards 100% of its electricity from renewables for much of the time. Periods of shortfall would initially be made up by existing gas infrastructure and the interconnector (as they are now). However, increasing deployment of storage technologies and diversity in renewable sources will also significantly reduce the demand for gas and for electricity from other states.

Given that this is achievable at a cost that is below the cost of nuclear power, and that renewables do not have the inherent risks of contamination that nuclear technologies have, there is no financial place for nuclear power in South Australia.

The previous Uranium Mining Processing and Nuclear Energy Review referred to nonreferenced industry estimates that ”suggest wind could meet up to 20 per cent of demand without undue disruption to the network” (Commonwealth of Australia 2006). However, an example observed in Renew Economy – South Australia hits 100% renewables – for a whole working day (Parkinson, 7 October 2014), shows that South Australia regularly has periods where wind electricity is generating more than 80% of the state’s electricity needs. Contrary to the UMPNER Report, the management of the grid copes with the very high levels of renewables, and the coal fired power plants are not required as there is ample gas generation to meet residual needs. As other storage technologies are deployed, the dependency on gas generation can reduce even further.

The Royal Commission should investigate what level of gas generation would be required to back up renewables in South Australia should there be a doubling of wind capacity plus 100 MW of large scale Concentrated Solar Thermal capacity. The option for localised storage of thermal energy at the CST power plant should also be considered…..”

September 4, 2015 Posted by | Submissions to Royal Commission S.A. | Leave a comment