Australian news, and some related international items

After record, mind-numbing coral bleaching, what would it take to “Save the Reef”? #Auspol


Global warming impacts right now are beyond some of the worst scientific predictions, so what does that mean for aspirations to save the Great Barrier Reef?
On 6 July 2009, Australian Dr Charlie Veron — who has discovered, described and identified about a third of all known coral species — addressed the Royal Society in London and asked: “Is the Great Barrier Reef on death row?” His response: “The answer must be yes… a close look at this question from any rational perspective arrives at the same bottom line: the Great Barrier Reef can indeed be utterly destroyed, and this could easily happen in the lifetime of my children.”
It is a devastating answer because corals have been around for almost 500 million years and have formed more fossils than any other species, they are home to one-quarter of marine fish species, and tens of millions of people depend on…

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May 10, 2016 Posted by | Uncategorized | 1 Comment

No national referendum on nuclear waste importing? Just shonky “citizen juries”

brainwash1Citizen juries to weigh SA nuclear dump

AAP on May 10, 2016 South Australians will be asked to take part in citizen juries to help decide whether the state should host a high-level nuclear waste dump.

A jury of 350 voters will be asked to produce a report in November outlining the community’s views on the proposed dump and other nuclear issues, with the government to outline its decision by year’s end.

The government will also launch an advertising campaign encouraging people to “explore the facts” on the nuclear fuel cycle, Premier Jay Weatherill told reporters on Tuesday.

May 10, 2016 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, NUCLEAR ROYAL COMMISSION 2016, politics, South Australia, spinbuster | 1 Comment

These are the recommendations of the Nuclear Fuel Cycle Royal Commission South Australia

Former Governor Kevin Scarce recommends go ahead for nuclear storage in SA The Advertiser, May 9, 2016 DANIEL WILLSSTATE POLITICAL EDITOR

“……..The recommendations

1. Simplify approvals for radioactive ore mining, ending the duplication at state and federal processes

2. Make more SA geophysical data available publicly to aid exploration.

3. Undertake more geophysical surveys areas where mineral prospectivity is high.

4. Commit to increased, long-term government spending to search for new mineral deposits.

5. Ensure the full costs of closing down radioactive ore projects are secured before mining starts.

6. Remove state and federal bans on uranium processing activities.

7. Promote commercialisation of more research at the SA Health and Medical Research Institute.

8. End a national ban on nuclear power so it can be used to cut Australia’s carbon emissions.

9. Develop a national energy policy that considers all technologies, including nuclear.

10. Work with the Federal Government to better understand available nuclear power options.

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11. Pursue establishment of a used nuclear fuel waste storage and disposal facility in SA.

12. Abolish state laws preventing further taxpayer-funded investigations of the industry.

(Condensed from formal recommendations)

May 10, 2016 Posted by | NUCLEAR ROYAL COMMISSION 2016, reference | Leave a comment

Federal and South Australian govts underestimating people’s opposition to nuclear waste importing?

Fight looms over SA nuclear dump 9 News, 9 May 16  Environmentalists are threatening the fight of a lifetime over a proposal for South Australia to host a high-level nuclear waste dump.

text don't nuclear waste Australia

The state’s nuclear fuel cycle royal commission has called in its final report for SA to store the world’s nuclear waste in exchange for billions of dollars in revenue.

Royal commissioner Kevin Scarce on Monday said it could take up to 10 years to lock in public support for the proposed facility.

 But he urged SA’s government to seize the opportunity as soon as possible to prevent potential competitors from getting in first…..

conservationists accused Mr Scarce of down-playing the risks of nuclear storage and threatened to ramp up their campaign against the dump.

“We’ll be increasing our profile, our presence and our concerns,” Australian Conservation Foundation spokesman Dave Sweeney told AAP. “It might include protests, it certainly will include boots on the ground. “This is a serious threat from a resourced and long-standing industry. We’re taking it very seriously.”

Premier Jay Weatherill said a nuclear dump would have “extraordinary” economic benefits but required broad community support, although this is unlikely to be sought through a referendum.

The government has promised to work with the state opposition and will outline its consultation process in coming days before deciding how to proceed by year’s end…..

May 10, 2016 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Opposition to nuclear, South Australia | Leave a comment

Both Labor and Liberal supporting South Australian nuclear waste dump importing

Tweedle-NuclearSA nuclear royal commission sets 10-year timetable MEREDITH BOOTH THE AUSTRALIAN MAY 10, 2016 

South Australians could be ready in 10 years to accept nuclear waste from overseas for storage, royal commissioner Kevin Scarce said yesterday following the release of his final report.

The report, released 14 months after Mr Scare’s appointment, made 12 recommendations. It said the state could “safely increase its participation in nuclear activities”, with a storage facility generating more than $100 billion over a 120-year lifespan.

But Mr Scarce said there would be “10 to 15 years, 10 years I hope, to get to a point where we’ll make a decision’’, with ongoing community support required and consultation to start as soon as possible through an independent agency.

“I would hope that if there’s strong social consent, we might get there faster,” he said. “We need to take the time to explain the steps, to explain the safety concerns.’’

At the same time, the agency should also determine general ­criteria for an appropriate dump site, he said.

Labor Premier Jay Weatherill said the commission’s findings had bipartisan support­ but required strong public ­approval. A community engagement process would begin “within days” to inform the government’s response by the end of the year…..

Opposition Leader Steven Marshall said both sides of politics would need to work together……

May 10, 2016 Posted by | NUCLEAR ROYAL COMMISSION 2016, politics, South Australia | Leave a comment

What a waste: Royal Commission dumps on South Australia

A plan to store high level international nuclear waste in South Australia is dangerous and divisive and could turn remote SA into a permanent radioactive waste zone, the Australian Conservation Foundation said today.

“The Royal Commission’s final report is deeply disturbing in what it says and what it fails to acknowledge,” said ACF campaigner Dave Sweeney. “The promise of dollar signs seems to have blinded the Commission to the known danger signs. “The exaggerated economic benefits and under-analysed risks detailed in an Australia Institute critique of the Commission’s tentative findings in February have not been adequately addressed by today’s final report. “

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ACF urges Premier Jay Weatherill, who initiated this process in March 2015, not to use this flawed report to advance an irreversible and highly adverse nuclear dump plan. “The essential pre-conditions for storing high level international radioactive waste – bipartisan federal support and broad national community consent – are both missing.”

The Australian Greens have condemned the Royal Commission’s international dump plan and at its most recent National Conference federal Labor reaffirmed its ‘strong opposition’ to the importation and storage of overseas waste. Aboriginal people and the wider community are mobilising against federal plans for a national radioactive waste facility in the Flinders Ranges.

This opposition is likely to escalate in response to a move to dump high level international radioactive waste in SA. “High level radioactive waste is a long term environmental threat, not a short term business opportunity,” Dave Sweeney said. “The coal era has ended in SA today – it would be absurd and tragic to open the door to the dirty, dangerous and equally antiquated nuclear trade. “South Australians deserve better than to be told their best hope for the future is to house the world’s worst waste.”

May 10, 2016 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

SA’s agriculture reputation ‘will be totally destroyed’ – Caldicott

Caldicott,-Helen-4Anti-nuclear pioneer Helen Caldicott slams SA waste dump plans ABC News 10 May 16  A pioneer of Australia’s anti-nuclear movement has described the final report from South Australia’s Nuclear Fuel Cycle Royal Commission as a “snow job”.

The report says plans for a high- to intermediate-level waste dump should be actively pursued, if the public wants it.

The report by commissioner Kevin Scarce was handed to the SA Government at the end of last week and made 12 recommendations.

They include pursuing a waste dump, simplifying mining approvals processes and seeking a relaxation of federal restrictions on nuclear power generation in Australia.

Tentative findings released in February recommended the creation of a high-level waste nuclear dump that would store 138,000 tonnes of spent fuel from around the world, as well as a separate “above-ground interim storage facility”.

Doctor Helen Caldicott is a paediatrician who also helped found the organisation Physicians for Social Responsibility.

Her anti-nuclear work stretches back decades and includes playing a major role in Australia’s opposition to French atmospheric nuclear testing in the Pacific.

Dr Caldicott said in relation to the waste dump, no technology exists to safely store nuclear waste in the long term.

“It’s [the royal commission report] exactly as I expected. It’s really been a snow job, if you like,” she said.

“Paid for by the State Government, to the tune of millions of dollars, to set up a high level nuclear waste dump in SA for much of the world’s radioactive waste.”

SA’s agriculture reputation ‘will be totally destroyed’

South Australia nuclear toilet

Dr Caldicott said the state’s record as a centre of fine produce would be ruined by establishing a nuclear waste facility.

“SA has a great reputation for agriculture and I travel a lot overseas, particularly in the US,” she said.

“That extraordinary reputation will be totally destroyed and it will impact upon the agricultural facilities of SA it all seems quite absurd.”………

May 10, 2016 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

Turnbull government will back nuclear waste dump import plan

Turnbull nuclearFormer Governor Kevin Scarce recommends go ahead for nuclear storage in SA The Advertiser, May 9, 2016 DANIEL WILLSSTATE POLITICAL EDITOR  SOUTH Australia should immediately start talking to nuclear power nations about whether they would use an international storage facility in this state and seek an indication of how much they would be willing to pay, the Royal Commission has found.

Premier Jay Weatherill on Monday released the final findings of former governor Kevin Scarce’s Nuclear Fuel Cycle Royal Commission, which strongly backs an SA waste dump……….

Mr Scarce made 12 recommendations, which include ending bans on the use of nuclear power and enrichment of uranium. He finds only nuclear storage is likely to be viable in the medium term and that it “should be actively pursued, and as soon as possible”.

It is estimated to be about a decade before SA could host a storage facility, because it would need to win both state and federal approval as well as demand the construction of about $2 billion in new infrastructure including a port, rail and roads before waste arrived.

Mr Weatherill is expected to detail further steps later this week. However, Mr Scarce’s report says that should include seeking host community bids and identifying customers.

“A preliminary indication should be sought from potential client countries as to their interest in further discussions on their potential participation,” it states.

“To provide the SA community with more detailed information regarding economic viability and potential benefits, it is necessary to determine with more confidence whether potential client nations would be willing to use an international used fuel storage and disposal facility.”

Countries with large stockpiles include Korea, Japan, Germany, Spain and Belgium.

The report stresses that “from the outset, it should be acknowledged that there would be a substantial package of community benefits” and says there could be multiple bidders.

There would also need to be significant scientific studies of the Outback to find land which is dry and stable. Previous analyses have identified the Gawler Craton and Officer Basin, which cover much of the state west of Adelaide, as potentially viable regions….

Federal Resources and Energy Minister Josh Frydenberg said the report was a “sound basis” for further discussion and he would develop a thorough response.

election Australia 2016“A re-elected Turnbull Government stands ready to work with the SA Government if they choose to pursue any new economic opportunities in this area,” he said.

May 10, 2016 Posted by | election 2013 | Leave a comment