Australian news, and some related international items

Why is Australia suddenly embracing both nuclear industry AND Green Climate Fund?

a-cat-CAN The Australian government and the subservient mainstream media have just kept mum for many months about South Australia and its rather disgusting Nuclear Fuel Chain  Royal Commission.

Now, suddenly, it’s all the rage with the Prime Minister,Liberal politicians, (and under news-nukethe cover – Labor, too) , and the new Chief Scientist Alan Finkel (who’s not even  a scientist anyway), and the media.

At the same time the government is trying to become co chair of the International Green Climate Fund.

There is  a connection.  At the December UN climate talks, the very powerful and well funded nuclear lobby wants to get nuclear power classed as a ‘low emission’ industry – qualifying for financial incentives and tax breaks.

Our government has been bought. Malcolm Turnbull or Julie Bishop will front up at the Paris Climate logo Paris climate1Conference, assisting the nuclear industry to push its barrow. They might even be able to hold out the hope that saintly Australia will charitably take in the world’s radioactive trash  – in the interests of resuscitating the nuclear industry (especially USA’s) by solving the industry’s trash problem.

If only the rest of the world would praise Australia’s ‘green credentials’!

They couldn’t do that while we had the  apparently half-witted Prime Minister, Tony Abbott.  Now we have  a much smarter PM Turnbull –  who is doing exactly the same things, but expressing it all more subtly.




October 31, 2015 Posted by | Christina reviews | Leave a comment

Australia has no environmental credibility, yet seeks to co-chair the Green Climate Fund

exclamation-Australia bids to co-chair the Green Climate Fund criticised by Tony Abbott, Canberra Times,  October 30, 2015  Foreign Affairs Minister Julie Bishop has launched a bid for Australia to co-chair the Green Climate Fund that former prime minister Tony Abbott once criticised as “a Bob Brown bank on an international scale”.

A decision on who the next two co-chairs of the fund will be is expected to be made in Zambia late next week. The co-chair positions are typically held by one developing and one developed country for a period of one year. Fairfax Media has learnt that Ms Bishop first proposed Australia put its name forward to co-chair the fund when Mr Abbott was still prime minister.

Final approval for the bid was not, however, forthcoming until the Liberal Party switched to Malcolm Turnbull last month…….

Greens climate change spokeswoman Larissa Waters, however, said the decision to nominate for the co-chair position was hypocritical given that, in her view, Australia’s estimated fair share contribution should be $350 million annually.

“Australia has no credibility in overseeing the Green Climate Fund when this government is simultaneously trying to open the southern hemisphere’s largest coal mine in Queensland,” she said.

“We are the largest per capita emitter of carbon pollution of any developed country and the Turnbull government’s measly reduction targets will keep it that way.”

The bid comes ahead of a crucial climate conference that will be held in Paris at the end of this year, which Ms Bishop, Environment Minister Greg Hunt and possibly Mr Turnbull will attend.

October 31, 2015 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, politics | Leave a comment

Malcolm Turnbull gets delivery of radioactive trash (fake) from Greenpeace

Greenpeace delivers fake nuclear waste to Malcolm Turnbull’s office, By Georgina Mitchell Celsius, 30 Oct 15The environmental group turned up to Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s electorate office in Sydney on Thursday equipped with a truck, white suits and six yellow barrels painted with radioactive symbols to deliver a message that nuclear waste is everyone’s problem.

On Wednesday, Mr Turnbull said Australia could plausibly mine uranium, sell it overseas for use in nuclear power stations, then take it back as waste.

This proposition was abhorrent to Greenpeace, who said the waste would impact Australia for “literally thousands of years”.

Wastes to Turnbull 15

“The new Prime Minister has given some significant signals that his government is more interested in science and good policy than his predecessor, but the nuclear thought bubble is just plain wrong headed,” said Emma Gibson, Greenpeace Australia Pacific’s head of program.

“If the government really wants to boost the Australian economy, how about making us a world leader in solar power and the renewables industry?

“Mr Turnbull has indicated that he wants to lead a government focused on innovation, but nuclear power is heavy old tech. We need to move towards clean, modern solutions to our energy needs, like solar power and other renewables,” she said…..


October 31, 2015 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Opposition to nuclear | Leave a comment

Nuclear waste dump idea is a political stinker: Liberal powerbroker Michael Kroger is worried

bad-smell-nukeMalcolm goes nuclear, Switzer, 30 Oct 15  Sir Humphrey might have called it a “courageous” suggestion. Determined to show everything is indeed on the table, the Prime Minister this week floated the idea of Australia storing nuclear waste. Not merely waste from the Lucas Heights scientific reactor, or indeed waste from a hypothetical Australian nuclear power industry down the track. No, Malcolm Turnbull is suggesting Australia welcome and store the nuclear waste shipped to us from other countries

After announcing a well-known nuclear advocate, Dr Alan Finkel, as Australia’s next Chief Scientist on Monday, the Prime Minister visited the South Australian Premier Jay Weatherill to congratulate him on his Royal Commission into the nuclear fuel cycle. Turnbull says he is a “bit sceptical” about the chances of a nuclear power industry stacking up financially in Australia (especially while coal is so cheap). But he does see a business case for digging up uranium, processing it here, shipping it off for others to use and then taking back spent fuel rods.

He spelt out his thinking on Adelaide radio: “We have got the uranium, we mine it, why don’t we process it, turn it into the fuel rods, lease it to people overseas, when they are done we bring them back and we have got stable, very stable geology in remote locations and a stable political environment. That is a business that you could well imagine here.”………

as anyone even mildly involved in the nuclear debate over the last twenty years will know, there’s no escaping the politics. Liberal powerbroker Michael Kroger was typically blunt about the Prime Minister’s idea. “We look like everyone else’s rubbish bin, quite frankly, and Australians will see it that way…they will say ‘why is this stuff being dumped here?’” Kroger, the Victorian Liberal Party President, has a sharp nose for a political stinker………..

October 31, 2015 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, politics | Leave a comment

#NuclearCommissionSA chief dismisses ‘overheated’ worries about #nuclear industry

Scarce blahNuclear inquiry head says objections to uranium ‘overheated’
by Simon Evans The former admiral overseeing South Australia’s nuclear inquiry says he is trying to be as straight as possible on what can be a divisive issue, but some concerns about the nuclear industry go too far.

Kevin Scarce, who was appointed by South Australian Premier Jay Weatherill this year to investigate if South Australia should go into nuclear enrichment, storage of waste and power generation, says he is on target to deliver preliminary findings by February before a final report by May. He says he is focused on objective evidence and tapping into global expertise, and accepts that many people have passionate views about the nuclear industry.

“Some of those concerns are overheated,” he told AFR Weekend. “I think it’s really important that we investigate all the issues and rely on fact-based evidence.”


Mr Scarce, who was governor of South Australia for seven years until mid-2014, has taken evidence from more than 60 witnesses. The latest on Friday was Eric Loewen, the chief consulting engineer at United States firm GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy.

Dr Loewen is an expert in the development of the company’s new generation of small, modular nuclear reactors designed to recycle spent nuclear fuel.

He was asked about the approximate costs of the new generation PRISM reactor, and said a United States Department of Energy report had estimated it at about $6 billion.


“We would describe that cost as very reasonable,” Dr Loewen said. Continue reading

October 31, 2015 Posted by | NUCLEAR ROYAL COMMISSION 2016 | Leave a comment

Matthias Cormann joins the Liberals’ pro #nuclear stampede

Corman,-Matthias-monsterNuclear could be lucrative: minister, 9 News, 31 Oct 15  A nuclear fuel industry could be potentially lucrative for Australia, Finance Minister Mathias Cormann says.

Senator Cormann says the government is keeping an open mind on any proposals put forward by a South Australian royal commission into the nuclear fuel cycle, which could identify opportunities to diversify the economic base on nuclear power.

“This could be potentially quite lucrative,” the minister told Sky News on Saturday, adding opposition to nuclear energy was often ideological.


October 31, 2015 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, politics | Leave a comment

At least one woman had the guts to confront Turnbull over his pro #nuclear stance

text-NoMalcolm Turnbull comes up against criticism over nuclear waste management stance, ABC News, 30 Oct 15  By political reporters Jane Norman and Anna Henderson  Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has been confronted by a woman questioning his stance on nuclear waste management, as the debate over nuclear energy in Australia heats up again.

Low and intermediate level waste from nuclear medicine and research is being held at more than 100 facilities around the country, and the Federal Government is set to release a shortlist of potential sites for a national radioactive waste dump by the end of the year.

During a trip to Tasmania, Mr Turnbull was asked why there were plans to have “spent uranium buried in our backyard”.

His questioner said Australia should not develop nuclear power, and should put more money into wind and solar energy instead……


Ziggy-spruikerMeanwhile, high profile nuclear energy advocate Ziggy Switkowski has lamented the time Australia is taking to establish a national radioactive waste dump, saying it “reflects poorly” on the nation………

October 31, 2015 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

Turnbull backs Sen Edwards plan to make South Australia the world’s radioactive trash toilet

Turnbull nuclearPM Turnbull backs nuclear in SA, economy may get $35b injection, greed copyAFR, by Phillip Coorey Laura Tingle  Simon Evans, 30 Oct 15 
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull is backing the creation of a nuclear fuel industry in Australia that experts say could be worth up to $35 billion for South Australia.

Mr Turnbull commended South Australian Premier Jay Weatherill for setting up an inquiry to consider if the state should have a nuclear industry. He said he was sceptical about the need for nuclear power, but Australia should become involved in the nuclear fuel cycle to produce fuel rods, export them and then transport them back home once used, and store them in outback nuclear waste dumps……

Assistant Science Minister Karen Andrews told The Australian Financial Review that developing a nuclear waste disposal industry was an option, and pointed out that there is currently Australian nuclear waste in transit from treatment in France which is expected to be stored by the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation.

Those fuel rods come from the scientific reactor at Lucas Heights in Sydney, whereas the proposal to manufacture and store spent rods from overseas concerns the high-level radioactive rods used to power nuclear reactors that generate electricity. Even after being reprocessed, they remain radioactive for many years.

Mrs Andrews referred to a proposal by South Australian Liberal senator Sean Edwards as an example of the sort of development that could emerge in the nuclear cycle industry in Australia and overcome concerns…..

toilet map South Australia 2


 Senator Edwards commissioned extensive research, for a submission to the South Australian Nuclear Fuel Cycle Royal Commission, which argued a large and growing market exists in Asia to provide “management services” for used nuclear fuel. Continue reading

October 31, 2015 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, politics | Leave a comment

Senator Sean Edwards wants the whole toxic nuclear chain here, as well as the radioactive trash dump

Edwards,-Sean-trashEdwards pushing forward on nuclear, Sky News, 30 October 2015 A government senator is upping the ante on the nuclear debate, saying a revamp of the industry could help deliver free energy to his fellow South Australians and reduce state taxes.

Unlike Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, who is open to a discussion on exporting fuel rods, Sean Edwards wants to see spent ones recycled here and generators installed.

‘We are looking for an energy that week can generate at low cost so we can foster industry and foster jobs and ensure we are not destroying the planet at the same time,’ Edwards told Sky News on Friday, spruiking the economic benefits of having a local industry…….– See more at:

October 31, 2015 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, politics, South Australia | Leave a comment

St Louis, USA, radioactive waste dump crisis

“Tonnage of radiological waste at the Bridgeton-Westlake landfill exceeds Fukushima over 20 fold, and Chernobyl by 163 times”

St. Louis Sacrifice Zone: Gov’t’s Secret ‘Catastrophic Event Plan’: Tons Radioactive Waste, 1000s Gallons Tainted Water-Spill, Fires, Before It’s News, October 29, 2015

landfill West Lake St Louis

Thousands of gallons of tainted water spilled Tuesday at the Bridgeton landfill near St. Louis, the second incident in days, as an underground fire could reach radioactive waste dump site in three to six months and seven churches have been set ablaze, increasing the development of another American sacrifice zone. Hundreds recently packed Bridgeton church, demanding to know why St. Louis County silently put an emergency plan for a potential “catastrophic event” at Bridgeton Landfill and adjacent West Lake landfill a year ago. Families are moving, becoming environmental refugees in their own country. Continue reading

October 31, 2015 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Nuclear Constipation: this is why USA #nuclear companies want to dump their radioactive trash in Australia

constipationBeyond Yucca Mountain: The present impasse and uncertain future of nuclear waste storage, SNL  By Andrew Coffman Smith, October 28, 2015

“If we don’t clean up the legacy of the past, there won’t be a nuclear future,” declared Mike Simpson, Idaho Congressman and chairman of the House Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development, during an Oct. 27 panel discussion on the issue….Thirty-three years after Congress passed the Nuclear Waste Policy Act and several years after the defunding of the proposed Yucca Mountain nuclear waste storage project, America has yet to find a permanent home for its nuclear waste, and a panel of experts said the future of nuclear storage lay with consenting communities.

Simpson said not having a solution for the long term storage of nuclear waste in the U.S. is “constipating” the nuclear energy sector….. Continue reading

October 31, 2015 Posted by | Uncategorized | 1 Comment

USA’s Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) worried about cyber sabotage

antnuke-relevantUS readies new rules for nuclear reactors, The Hill By Cory cyber-attackBennett – 10/30/15 The government is moving forward with new cybersecurity requirements for nuclear power plants. The rules will require greater reporting of cyber incidents in the hopes of better understanding the digital threats facing nuclear reactors…….

In an effort to get ahead of this threat, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), an independent regulatory agency, on Friday released a new set of reporting requirements. The increased information will aid in the NRC’s “analysis of the reliability and effectiveness” of cybersecurity programs for nuclear power reactors, according to a Federal Register notice.

Heightened awareness of this threat is increasingly important as governments start to target nuclear plants in their burgeoning offensive cyber programs. It’s widely believed the U.S. and Israel were behind a 2010 cyberattack that crippled nearly one-fifth of Iran’s nuclear centrifuges.More recently, South Korea accused North Korea of hacking into one of its nuclear plants. The intrusion exposed sensitive data, but didn’t endanger the plant’s reactors.

A recent report also warned that the nuclear industry is in a “culture of denial” over these hacking risks.

Chatham House, an international affairs think tank, spent 18 months interviewing top nuclear officials and investigating nuclear power plants around the world. The results were not comforting.

“Cybersecurity is still new to many in the nuclear industry,” Caroline Baylon, the report’s author,told the Financial Times earlier this month. “They are really good at safety and, after 9/11, they’ve got really good at physical security. But they have barely grappled with cyber.” Many plants still have control systems linked to the Internet, for example, exposing nuclear reactors to potential digital hijackings.

Overall, the report found 50 cyber incidents at nuclear plants, some of which nearly led to meltdowns. For instance, the safety system at an Alabama nuclear plant was overwhelmed with network traffic, almost triggering a catastrophe……

October 31, 2015 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

On uranium sales to India, Malcolm Turnbull should heed Parliament’s Joint Standing Committee on Treaties

Malcolm Turnbull should pay heed to the findings of the JSCOT report and not be rushed by those with poor track records and overt atomic agendas.

India-uranium1Nuclear ambitions must put safety first Dave Sweeney, It’s now three years since then-Premier Campbell Newman back-flipped on a ‘crystal clear’ commitment and opened the door for the uranium industry in Queensland. The decision, made without consultation, evidence or any independent analysis was explained on the basis of a potential uranium sales deal with India.

Since this time – and to their considerable credit – the re-elected Labor government has reinstated the state’s long-standing and popular ban on uranium mining.

As the uranium lobbyists and former LNP mines minister Andrew Cripps continue to beat the radioactive drum it is useful to look at the risks and roadblocks that mean there will be no smooth passage to India for any Australian uranium.

In September the federal Parliament’s Joint Standing Committee on Treaties completed a detailed examination of the proposed sales deal and its implications. Despite strong personal support for the sales plan by then PM Tony Abbot the government controlled committee took a far more considered and cautious approach.

The committee’s report identified a range of serious and unresolved nuclear safety, security and regulatory concerns with the proposed sales deal – as well as questioning its uncertain legal basis. Continue reading

October 31, 2015 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, politics, politics international | Leave a comment

World’s media and govts ignoring the climate catastrophe of Indonesia’s fires

media-propagandaGovernments ignore issues when the media ignores them.

one reason is the complete failure of perspective in a de-skilled industry dominated by corporate press releases, photo ops and fashion shoots, where everyone seems to be waiting for everyone else to take a lead. The media makes a collective non-decision to treat this catastrophe as a non-issue, and we all carry on as if it’s not happening.

Indonesia is burning. So why is the world looking away?, Guardian  George Monbiot, 30 Oct 15  A great tract of Earth is on fire and threatened species are being driven out of their habitats. This is a crime against humanity and nature “……A great tract of Earth is on fire. It looks as you might imagine hell to be. The air has turned ochre: visibility in some cities has been reduced to 30 metres. Children are being prepared for evacuation in warships; already some have choked to death. Species are going up in smoke at an untold rate. It is almost certainly the greatest environmental disaster of the 21st century – so far.

Indonesia smoke 15

And the media? It’s talking about the dress the Duchess of Cambridge wore to the James Bond premiere, Donald Trump’s idiocy du jour and who got eliminated from the Halloween episode of Dancing with the Stars. The great debate of the week, dominating the news across much of the world? Sausages: are they really so bad for your health?

What I’m discussing is a barbecue on a different scale. Fire is raging across the 5,000km length of Indonesia. It is surely, on any objective assessment, more important than anything else taking place today. And it shouldn’t require a columnist, writing in the middle of a newspaper, to say so. It should be on everyone’s front page. It is hard to convey the scale of this inferno, but here’s a comparison that might help: it is currently producing more carbon dioxide than the US economy. And in three weeks the fires have released more CO2 than the annual emissions of Germany. Continue reading

October 31, 2015 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

McKinley Shire, Queensland, promotes local business with renewable energy initiative

poster-renewables-rallyMcKinlay Shire in north-west Queensland sheds light on solar cost-saving plans for council, traders By Zara Margolis A north-west Queensland council has begun the second stage of a plan to help local businesses reduce their power bills. The McKinlay Shire has awarded a contract to a renewable energy company to install solar panels on nine local businesses and some council buildings.

Mayor Belinda Murphy said the company was finalising the solar designs, which should be installed by the end of the year. “The whole aim of council’s approach with this was really triggered by drought initially as well,” she said. “As I’ve said before, there is help for landholders but there has certainly been no direct help and support for businesses in these rural towns. “We identified this about 18 months ago and they were the ones who told us their biggest impacts are freight and power.”

Councillor Murphy said the panels would also be installed at a number of council assets. “Even just from a council perspective we’re going to have a projected power cost saving of around $60,000 per annum,” she said.

“Now we have a power cost annually of around $340,000, so that’s nearly a 20 per cent saving which council can then use to put back into other services, the community, other assets or into reserve.”


October 31, 2015 Posted by | Queensland, solar | Leave a comment