Australian news, and some related international items

South Australian launch for Aboriginal owned solar energy storage system

The products are being launched at Tandanya Aboriginal Cultural centre in Adelaide on Wednesday 2 September. Ms Oberon said Adelaide was chosen for the launch because of the council’s Sustainable City Incentive Scheme, which provides up to $5000 towards the cost in installing solar PV storage across the residential, business, education and community sectors. Funding for the program also has financial support from the South Australian government.

“We felt it was important to acknowledge the South Australian government and the City of Adelaide for such a forward-looking and innovative scheme,” Ms Oberon said.

The company is also hoping other state governments and councils will be encouraged to take up the idea of supporting the uptake of renewable energy storage.

The company’s core mission is based on the fundamental Aboriginal approach of stewardship of the earth and its resources. This means needing to shift out of high-emissions fossil-fuel derived energy.

Aboriginal-owned energy company one-upping Tesla By Willow Aliento, The Fifth Estate Friday 8 January 2016 The renewable energy storage game is about to be disrupted, with Australian Aboriginal-owned company AllGrid Energy announcing the launch of WattGrid, a new 10kWh solar energy storage system it says is around 30 per cent cheaper than the Tesla Powerwall.

Customers also don’t have to wait until 2016. Spokeswoman for AllGrid, Deborah Oberon, said the company expected to be making its first deliveries in the next two to three months.

portable solar system AllGrid

The $11,999 WattGrid unit comprises an aluminium cabinet containing tubular lead acid gel batteries, and a hybrid 5kW solar inverter with battery management system that has load share capability with the grid and uninterrupted power supply capability.

The unit is also accompanied by a software app, WattsHappening, that allows users to view real-time information and interface with the system.

Beta testing has shown the unit can help solar owners maintain an energy supply profile that can be matched to the demand profile, potentially rendering drawing grid power unnecessary.

The Queensland-based company is also releasing another product it has developed, the PortaGrid. This is an independent unit comprising solar panels, storage, UPS, inverter and outlets that is suitable for remote and off-grid locations, as well as emergency situations.

The units can be supplied with an inbuilt weather station that will automatically close up the panels in the event of a severe weather hazard such as a cyclone. Continue reading

January 11, 2016 Posted by | aboriginal issues, Queensland, solar, South Australia | 2 Comments

Transport of radioactive trash – danger of accidents and terrorism



In this age of terrorism, is it a good idea for Australia  to set up a nuclear waste import business, involving transport of dangerous radioactive trash by sea, truck, train ?

antnuke-relevantStop Canada from trucking nuclear waste through area Susan Kims, 10 Jan 16

We’ve recently seen News articles highlighting the need for tighter regulations on shipping thousands of gallons of highly enriched liquid uranium from Canada to South Carolina.


The approved travel route uses the Peace Bridge, south on Niagara Thruway, then west on the mainline Thruway for shipments that started Jan. 1 and run through May 31, 2018. These materials will pass dangerously close, within hundreds of yards, to densely populated residential neighborhoods, with the only barrier being a guardrail or chain-link fence.

Congressman Brian Higgins has recently expressed concern, because terrorist and militant groups are interested in using highly dangerous weapons, especially those utilizing chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear materials. I have an additional concern – the amount of contamination and carnage that could occur if a vehicular accident resulted in a spill. Such a spill in close proximity to dense populations would be devastating.

As a nation, we are concerned that a pipeline transporting oil from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico might produce a spill. Yet we show little concern regarding the possibility of spills of highly hazardous liquid nuclear materials along roadways that abut our neighborhoods. Do we not foresee the possibility of the same impending dangers from transport of nuclear waste on our roads?

Canadian authorities approve nuclear facilities to operate within their borders and should take responsibility for the hazardous waste produced within their borders. Our citizens should not be exposed to possible harm as a result of their decisions.

This should be stopped before tragedy occurs!



January 11, 2016 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Drones could be used by terrorists to attack nuclear faciliies



In this age of terrorism, is it a good idea for Australia to set up a nuclear waste import, and storage business?

antnuke-relevantTerrorists could use drone bombs to attack nuclear power stations, experts warn, Ian Johnston 11 Jan 16 



Report recommends a licensing system for drones, using lasers and radio jammers to defend potential targets Drones that can be bought in High Street shops could be used by terrorists to attack nuclear power stations, major events like the G7 summit or even the Prime Minister’s car, according to a report.

The Oxford Research Group looked at more than 200 drones and concluded they “will be used as simple, affordable and effective airborne improvised explosive devices”, the Guardian reported.

“The UK government, police, military and security services will need to introduce countermeasures to reduce or mitigate the risk of commercially available drones being used for attack,” the security think tank warned. “Islamic State [Isis] is reportedly obsessed with launching a synchronised multi-drone attack on large numbers of people in order to recreate the horrors of 9/11.”

The report recommends a licensing system for drones, using lasers and radio jammers to defend potential targets and issuing guidelines to the security forces on when to shoot down drones.

It pointed to a number of incidents where drones were used by protesters, including when a football match between Albania and Serbia was interrupted by a drone flying an Albanian flag.

January 11, 2016 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Trans Pacific Partnership the Worst Trade Agreement in Decades

the chapter gives foreign investors the right to sue governments in private international tribunals when they believe government regulations contravene the TPP’s terms (inscribed on more than 6,000 pages).

even regulations protecting the planet from greenhouse gas emissions are vulnerable. The only regulations that appear safe are those involving cigarettes (lawsuits filed against Uruguay and Australia for requiring modest labeling about health hazards had drawn too much negative attention). But there remain a host of questions about the possibility of lawsuits in myriad other areas.

Furthermore, a “most favoured nation” provision ensures that corporations can claim the best treatment offered in any of a host country’s treaties. That sets up a race to the bottom

text TPP

In 2016, let’s hope for better trade agreements – and the death of TPP, Guardian, 
Joseph Stiglitz, 11 Jan 16 

“………The Trans-Pacific Partnership may turn out to be the worst trade agreement in decades   The most controversial geo-economic decisions last year concerned trade. Almost unnoticed after years of desultory talks, the World Trade Organization’s Doha Development Round – initiated to redress imbalances in previous trade agreements that favored developed countries – was given a quiet burial. America’s hypocrisy – advocating free trade but refusing to abandon subsidies on cotton and other agricultural commodities – had posed an insurmountable obstacle to the Doha negotiations. In place of global trade talks, the US and Europe have mounted a divide-and-conquer strategy, based on overlapping trade blocs and agreements.

As a result, what was intended to be a global free trade regime has given way to a discordant managed trade regime. Trade for much of the Pacific and Atlantic regions will be governed by agreements, thousands of pages in length and replete with complex rules of origin that contradict basic principles of efficiency and the free flow of goods.

The US concluded secret negotiations on what may turn out to be the worst trade agreement in decades, the so-called Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), and now faces an uphill battle for ratification, as all the leading Democratic presidential candidates and many of the Republicans have weighed in against it. The problem is not so much with the agreement’s trade provisions, but with the “investment” chapter, which severely constrains environmental, health, and safety regulation, and even financial regulations with significant macroeconomic impacts. Continue reading

January 11, 2016 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The privatization of nuclear war

the “privatization of nuclear war”. Corporations not only reap multibillion-dollar profits from the production of nuclear bombs, they also have a direct voice in setting the agenda regarding the use and deployment of nuclear weapons.

Flag-USANo Danger of Nuclear War? The Pentagon’s Plan to Blow up the Planet By Prof Michel Chossudovsky Global Research, January 11, 2016


“………….Nuclear war –which threatens life on planet earth– is not front page news in comparison to the most insignificant issues of public concern, including the local level crime scene or the tabloid gossip reports on Hollywood celebrities.

What we are dealing with is the criminalization of the State, whereby officials in high office are complicit in fostering the pre-emptive use of nuclear weapons. The media has camouflaged the implications of America’s post Cold war nuclear doctrine, which was formulated in a secret meeting at US Strategic Command Headquarters on Hiroshima Day, August 6, 2003.

On August 6, 2003, on Hiroshima Day, commemorating when the first atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima (August 6 1945), a secret meeting was held behind closed doors at Strategic Command Headquarters at the Offutt Air Force Base in Nebraska.

Senior executives from the nuclear industry and the military industrial complex were in attendance. This mingling of defense contractors, scientists and policy-makers was not intended to commemorate Hiroshima. The meeting was intended to set the stage for the development of a new generation of “smaller”, “safer” and “more usable” nuclear weapons, to be used in the “in-theater nuclear wars” of the 21st Century.

In a cruel irony, the participants to this secret meeting, which excluded members of Congress, arrived on the anniversary of the Hiroshima bombing (August 6) and departed on the anniversary of the attack on Nagasaki (August 9). (Michel Chossudovsky, Towards a World War III Scenario, The Dangers of Nuclear War, Global Research, Montreal, 2012)

The Hiroshima Day 2003 meetings had set the stage for the “privatization of nuclear war”. Corporations not only reap multibillion-dollar profits from the production of nuclear bombs, they also have a direct voice in setting the agenda regarding the use and deployment of nuclear weapons.

All the safeguards of the Cold War era, which categorized the nuclear bomb as “a weapon of last resort”, have been scrapped. “Offensive” military actions using nuclear warheads are now described as acts of “self-defense”. During the Cold War, the doctrine of Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD) prevailed, namely that the use of nuclear weapons against the Soviet Union would result in “the destruction of both the attacker and the defender”.

In the post Cold war era, US nuclear doctrine was redefined. There is no sanity in what is euphemistically called US foreign policy. At no point since the first atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima on August 6th, 1945, has humanity been closer to the unthinkable…

Stay informed, spread the word far and wide. To reverse the tide of war, the broader public must be informed. Post on Facebook/Twitter.

Confront the war criminals in high office.

What we really need is real “Regime Change in America”.

January 11, 2016 Posted by | Uncategorized | 1 Comment

High levels of birth defects in families of Britain’s atomic test veterans

Their wives have been found to have three times the usual number of miscarriagesand even their grandchildren have eight times the normal amount of birth defects.

antnuke-relevantNuclear test veterans bid for £1million to prove blasts caused cancer and birth defects 9 JAN 2016  BY  Britain’s nuclear heroes are bidding for a £1million research fund to finally prove the awful genetic legacy of the UK bomb tests.

Veterans are hoping the government cash will help them win a 60-year fight for justice after they were left with a crippling legacy of cancers , rare disease and 10 times the normal rate of birth defects in their children.

Nige Heaps of the British Nuclear Test Veterans’ Association said: “We hope that with this money we’ll be able to do the scientific work necessary to help prove the case, as well as improving the lives of survivors and their children.”

In his March budget Chancellor George Osborne praised the veterans’ campaign for recognition, backed by this newspaper, and announced a £25m fund to help all veterans over 60.

  • The BNTVA has spent the past nine months preparing a detailed bid which has already had draft approval and will be formally submitted on Monday. Continue reading

January 11, 2016 Posted by | Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Even America’s conservatives say nuclear energy is just too expensive

Flag-USAThe 2016 politics of nuclear energy, Washington Examiner By JOHN SICILIANO • 1/10/16 The presidential election may offer hope for a resurgence of interest in nuclear energy. And if a Republican wins the White House, it’s more likely that the centerpiece of that effort, a controversial nuclear waste site at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, will move forward.

Republicans stand for what they call the “law of the land,” referring to the fact that Congress chose Yucca Mountain to be the nation’s nuclear waste dump, and that has not changed despite President Obama’s and congressional Democrats’ success in upending the project and focusing instead on wind and solar power.

But even with a president who favors nuclear energy, it will still prove difficult to build the site to take radioactive waste from nearly 100 power plants…

…..opponents say it’s unsafe. But both sides agree that building more nuclear plants hinges on waste disposal.

It pits the administration against lawmakers……

…A big barrier to the nuclear option is price. Ben Zycher, senior energy fellow at the conservative American Enterprise Institute, said new nuclear reactors cost far too much, especially since natural gas is so cheap. That could sideline nuclear energy and Yucca Mountain this election year…….

January 11, 2016 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Hong Kong fears about China’s confusing nuclear safety standards

“In Daya Bay, we adopted French technology, but we now have multiple technologies and much of it is unproven,” says Lai, echoing the official findings reported to China’s State Council in 2012 as part of a nuclear safety review in the wake of Japan’s Fukushima disaster: “China has multiple types of nuclear reactors, multiple technologies and multiple standards of safety”.

Radiation fears in Hong Kong from China’s unproven and possibly faulty nuclear reactors nearby, Post Magazine, Stuart Heaver, 10 Jan 16  Unproven and possibly faulty nuclear reactors are being built on Hong Kong’s doorstep and throughout China, a country not known for its transparency or industrial safety, writes Stuart Heaver

Scientists and conservationists fear the ever-increasing commercial and environmental pressure to expand the nuclear power sector means not enough attention is being paid to safety. Within a couple of decades, Hong Kong could be in close proximity to as many as 39 reactors, spread across Guangdong province. Two of them are nearing completion just 140km west of Hong Kong, in Taishan, in what has been labelled by green groups as the “most dangerous nuclear power plant in the world”.

We are very worried about Taishan and the design flaws in the reactor vessel and we would like to know what [China General Nuclear Power Group] are doing

“China is developing its nuclear capability too fast; they just don’t have enough trained staff or adequate independent safety infrastructure,” says civil engineer Albert Lai Kwong-tak, convenor of Hong Kong think tank the Professional Commons and a long-standing opponent of nuclear energy. Yet, despite the reservations of campaigners, China is not only the world’s biggest market for nuclear technology but, according to the World Nuclear Association (WNA), it is set to “go global”.

“The only country that is building plants to a significant degree is China,” says nuclear industry analyst Mycle Schneider……..

there are still no proven safe means of disposing of radioactive waste and, despite pledges to build a dedicated facility, all of Daya Bay’s spent fuel rods are still in a temporary facility about 5km from the main plant. Continue reading

January 11, 2016 Posted by | Uncategorized | 1 Comment