Australian news, and some related international items

The week to June 4 in nuclear and climate news

a-cat-CANIt’s SOUTH AUSTRALIA again. You might all be getting sick of hearing about South Australia’s nuclear woes. But, spare a thought for the indigenous people of South Australia!  They’ve been through all this before – and now again – the nuclear lobby planning to radioactively trash their homeland! And a thought for the decent, aware people of South Australia, who also fight to prevent their State, and their country being radioactively trashed.

It’s Submission Time Yet Again. Submissions about nuclear waste dumping will be received up until 1st July by the new JOINT COMMITTEE ON FINDINGS OF THE NUCLEAR FUEL CYCLE ROYAL COMMISSION , Parliament of South Australia.  Great timing, just the day before the federal election – so they hope that nobody will notice. Except perhaps again  for all those nuclear companies, who have already sent in their secret submissions to South Australia’s shonky Nuclear Fuel Chain Royal Commission.

South Australian ‘Citizens’ Jury’ to kick off expensive nuclear publicity juggernaut.  Nuclear ‘Citizens Jury’ will be a farce if it relies solely on that biased South Australian Royal Commission. However, New DemocracyCo’s co-CEO Emily Jenke says Citizens’ Jury not about manufacturing nuclear consent.

NORTHERN TERRITORY. Rum Jungle still polluted 45 years after uranium mine was closed


Globally unprecedented scale of Nuclear waste shipments target Australia. Nuclear Royal Commission recommends building special deep sea port to receive and store High level Nuclear Wastes.

Pro coal, pro nuclear John White still quietly running Liberal govt’s resources policy.

Australia’s Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce all for the full nuclear fuel chain   Senator Jacqui Lambie comes out fully supporting the nuclear industry.

Australia covered up plight of Great Barrier Reef, Tasmania wilderness and Kakadu in UN Report


Infrastructure Victoria draft report includes nuclear power as an option.

CLIMATE. Climate Council reports on Australia’s top solar states and suburbs. Despite our solar resources, Australia way behind Britain in solar energyCoober Pedy headed for 70% renewable energy.


June 3, 2016 Posted by | Christina reviews | Leave a comment

Submission time again – this time to South Australian Parliamentary Committee


A Joint Committee of the South Australian Parliament has been established to consider the findings of the Nuclear Fuel Cycle Royal Commission, focusing on the issues associated with the establishment of a nuclear waste storage facility, and to provide advice, and report on, any South Australian Government legislative, regulatory or institutional arrangements, and any other matter that the Committee sees fit.
Any person or organisation wishing to make a written submission to the Committee, or register an interest in presenting oral evidence to the Committee, is invited to do so by Friday, 1 July 2016.
Written submissions and expressions of interest should be addressed to the Secretary to the Committee, C/- Parliament House, GPO Box 572, Adelaide 5001, by telephone on (08) 8237 9498, or e-mail at Guy Dickson Secretary to the Committee

June 3, 2016 Posted by | NUCLEAR ROYAL COMMISSION 2016, politics, South Australia | Leave a comment

South Australian ‘Citizens’ Jury’ to kick off expensive nuclear publicity juggernaut

Citizens' Jury scrutinyJay Weatherill launches a nuclear propaganda juggernaut, Independent Australia   1 June 2016,  Noel Wauchope examines Jay Weatherill’s elaborate publicity campaign featuring so-called “citizens’ juries” ahead of a nuclear waste dump in South Australia.

SOUTH AUSTRALIAN Premier Jay Weatherill is launching an all out campaign to inform the public about the recent Nuclear Fuel Chain Royal Commission‘s plan for a global nuclear waste importing industry.

This is all going to be terribly democratic, we are told. There will be “citizens’ jury” meetings on 25-26 June and 9-10 July.

I am, in fact, in favour of the citizens’ jury idea. Instead of us being “talked down” to by experts (who are likely to have a vested interest in the nuclear waste import plan), ordinary non-experts hear all the evidence and opposing opinions, discuss these and come up with a sensible verdict……

My first problem with the South Australian citizens’ juries on nuclear waste importing is that the first jury isn’t given a true jury role.

The letter sent to potential jury participants says that their task will be to:

‘… produce an independent guide to help every South Australian understand the recommendations raised by the Royal Commission’s report.’

This jury will not produce a verdict on whether or not the jury thinks that the nuclear waste import plan should go ahead….It is going to provide material for the Nuclear Fuel Cycle Royal Commission‘s information campaign. And how will this jury gather this information? Well, it will presumably be informed by the newly created Nuclear Fuel Cycle Royal Commission Consultation and Response Agency — about which nobody seems to know anything. Who are the members?……

There are other questions as to its role. A citizens’ jury is supposed to have an independent advisory panel. Who will be on this panel? It’s also supposed to have an independent monitor supervising its meetings. Who will this be? The jury will hear expert witnesses. Who will they be? And where will the jury get its documentary information? How transparent will this citizens’ jury be?

One comforting thought is that newDemocracy’s reputation is at stake if their jury process is seen to be unfair. However, will they be able to withstand the pro-nuclear pressure from the Weatherill Government and Kevin Scarce‘s Royal Commission crew?……

Meanwhile, Jay Weatherill has wasted no time in setting out the rest of the process that will follow this first Citizens’ Jury meeting….

This again raises those questions about just who will be informing the public, with what materials and so forth. And there’s another great question that nobody seems keen to answer.

How much is this nuclear publicity juggernaut going to cost taxpayers?,9055

June 3, 2016 Posted by | politics, South Australia | Leave a comment

Globally unprecedented scale of Nuclear waste shipments target Australia:

ship radiationNuclear Waste Brief by David Noonan, Independent Environment Campaigner.  3 June 16   An un-declared Australia port is targeted to receive a globally unprecedented scale of high level nuclear waste transport and shipping, facing some 100 000 tonnes of SNF waste over a circa 33 year period of proposed peak Nuclear port operations from project Year 11 to Year 45 (Jacobs MCM, Executive Summary, Figure 3 Timeline of spent fuel transfers, p.5).

This is some 25 per cent higher than the global total of 80 000 tonnes of SNF waste shipped around the world in a 45 year period since 1971 according to the World Nuclear Association report “Transport of Radioactive Materials(Sept 2015) and the Jacobs MCM consultancy (p.152).

A total of 30 000 tonnes of high level nuclear wastes were shipped to the UK Sellafield reprocessing facility and a total of 40 000 tonnes was shipped to the French La Hague reprocessing facility, by far the world’s largest nuclear ports, in the 45 year period since 1971 (WNA report).

An undeclared Australian port is targeted to take over three times the total tonnage of high level nuclear waste shipped to Sellafield and two and a half times the total tonnage shipped to La Hague.

Some 400 waste ships of high level nuclear waste, totalling 90 000 tonnes SNF waste and requiring 9 000 transport casks, are to be brought into Australia in a 30 year period of peak port operations.

In a comparable 30 year period, there were some 160 high level nuclear waste shipments from Japan to Europe from 1969 to late 1990’s, totalling 7 040 tonnes SNF waste and involving some 4 000 nuclear waste transport casks (WNA report).

Sweden has shipped over 4 500 tonnes SNF waste around the Swedish coast to their CLAB central interim storage facility by mid-2015 (WNA report). Australia is proposed to do so every 18 months.

Questions on the location of a Nuclear port and on the safety of waste shipments:

The SA State government must publicly explain the basis for the farcical claim made by Jacobs MCM (Introduction p.11) of “an abundance of locations” suitable for deep sea Nuclear port sites in SA.

Is a new deep sea Nuclear port and high level SNF waste storage site to be imposed in the coastal region south of Whyalla? Or as reported in The Australian “World’s nuke waste may pass through NT, SA(12 May 2016): Is the Port of Darwin also in the Nuclear target range?

The Final Report Concludes: “…if a cask was lost at sea and was irrecoverable, there is a potential for some members of the public consuming locally sourced seafood to receive a very small dose of radiation”; and Concludes that terrorist attack scenarios are conceivable and rocket attack has the greatest potential to cause a release of radiation (Appendix L – Transport risk analysis p.312).

A further Jacobs MCM desk top Concludes that radioactivity that escapes from an unrecovered and degrading cask is expected “to be diluted in thousands of cubic kilometres of seawater” (“Safety and risks in the transportation of radioactive material to and from Australia”, April 2016, p.50). see



June 3, 2016 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, politics, reference, safety, wastes | Leave a comment

Nuclear ‘Citizens Jury’ will be a farce if it relies solely on that biased South Australian Royal Commission

a-cat-CANA big limitation of this so called first “Citizens’ jury is that it will take its information from the Nuclear Fuel Chain Royal Commission. But there are important aspects that are almost completely glossed over in that Commission. For example – they barely mention the dangers of transporting radioactive trash. That is an issue of high concern internationally.

Quoting a recent UK report on the dangers of a radioactive accident or of a radioactive attack – “The report on nuclear security, compiled by Dr David Lowry, a senior research fellow with the US Institute for Resource and Security Studies, argues that nuclear materials transported by road, rail, sea and air are also potential targets.”

If the “Agenda Setting Jury” is going to rely only on that biased pro nuclear Commission for the topics for discussion, then the whole thing will be a farce

June 3, 2016 Posted by | Christina reviews, NUCLEAR ROYAL COMMISSION 2016 | Leave a comment

British report warns on danger of transporting nuclear waste by road, rail, sea and air


 nuclear materials transported by road, rail, sea and air are also potential targets. 


Fears of nuclear terror attack grow amid call for UK homes to be sent anti-flag-UKradiation pills NUCLEAR safety experts are calling for households in the UK to be supplied with anti-radiation pills as fears grow of the potential for terrorists to strike highly-sensitive sites around the country. Express, By TOM BATCHELOR May 31 A new report warns British nuclear plants are at risk of mass drone strikes, sophisticated cyber attacks and terrorist infiltrators.

Analysis for the Nuclear-Free Local Authorities (NFLA) found nuclear facilities at Faslane – where the UK stations its Trident missile system – was vulnerable to attack. Sensitive nuclear sites at Hunterston, Torness and Dounreay are also at risk, the study claims. More worrying still, UK authorities were deemed to be underestimating the risk of devastating terrorist attacks.

The report demands urgent action from ministers as it warns governments and regulatory agencies are struggling to keep up with evolving threats. Such is the fear of an attack that the NFLA is demanding anti-radiation pills be distributed to households in Glasgow, Edinburgh and surrounding areas.

The medication is a preventative measure which would help protect people from a radiation leak – either accidental or a deliberate attack.

The report on nuclear security, compiled by Dr David Lowry, a senior research fellow with the US Institute for Resource and Security Studies, argues that nuclear materials transported by road, rail, sea and air are also potential targets. He said: “The main consequences would be, whatever the level of attack, mass public panic and sensationalist media reportage. “We would inevitably see total road gridlock, as everyone tries to flee by car en masse at once.”

drone-1Drones could carry shaped charges, poison gas, booby traps or decoys, and could come individually or in large groups. The report said: “One heavily laden small drone could probably travel at least 20mph with a load of 5-10kg. “Just one 5kg shaped charge can penetrate 0.75 metres of reinforced concrete, or 0.25 meters of steel.”

The second report for NFLA, written by Dr Ian Fairlie, an independent radiation scientist, focuses on the stable iodine tablets that can prevent radiation poisoning after some nuclear accidents.

Several other European countries distribute the pills across a wide area, but in Scotland they are only given to residents who live within two or three kilometres of nuclear plants……..

EDF Energy, the French company that runs nuclear power stations in Scotland, and the Ministry of Defence, which runs the Faslane nuclear base, declined to comment.

June 3, 2016 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

New DemocracyCo’s co-CEO Emily Jenke says Citizens’ Jury not about manufacturing nuclear consent

Nuclear jury about the big picture, not manufacturing consent. InDaily, Tom Richardson, 3 June 16 The citizens’ jury beginning this month to debate South Australia’s nuclear future is not an attempt to manufacture the “social consent” alluded to by Royal Commissioner Kevin Scarce, but a bid to establish whether it exists, says one of the architects of the forum.

InDaily can reveal that SA-based startup DemocracyCo has won the tender to deliver the first of the two planned Citizens’ Juries, to be held over two weekends, beginning on June 25.

Jenke, Emily New Democracy

The company, which also convened last year’s forum on dog and cat management, will oversee a randomly-selected congregation of 50 South Australians to ponder issues surrounding the prospective local establishment of a high-level nuclear waste dump. The jury selection process was conducted by a separate company, the Sydney-based New Democracy Foundation.

New DemocracyCo’s co-CEO Emily Jenke told InDaily the process was part of a broader body of work whose aim was not to engineer public support, but to “get an understanding by the end of the year as to whether the community are comfortable continuing this discussion”.

“This process… is about understanding; it’s not trying to build social consent, but understanding whether it’s there or not,” Jenke said. Continue reading

June 3, 2016 Posted by | politics, South Australia, wastes | Leave a comment

American Stay-at-Home Mums fighting the federal government over radioactive waste dump

antnuke-relevant“Just moms” have become a surprisingly powerful force, successfully lobbying the state health department to challenge some of the federal government’s findings that downplayed the site’s risks,

Just Moms continue to rally the public to demand tests from the state. The women also took trips, uninvited, to the state offices and asked for meetings so they explain why they believed the nuclear waste posed a threat. The aggressive community lobbying appeared to pay off: the state health department agreed to test the site for evidence that the radioactive waste has spread, and late last year, the Missouri State Attorney general finally released the findings. Among the disturbing conclusions: possible radioactive waste has in fact been found “off site” in the nearby foliage. What’s more, groundwater wells outside the perimeter of the landfill were found to be contaminated with carcinogens like benzene in “high concentrations,” the state said.

Community reacts to STL County’s emergency plan for looming #WestLakeLandfill disaster

Community reacts to STL County’s emergency plan for looming #WestLakeLandfill disaster Two Stay-at-Home Moms Are Waging War Against the Feds Over Illegal Toxic Waste Broadly, by Amy Martyn JUN 1 2016

What do you do when there’s 10,000 barrels of illegally dumped uranium two miles away from your home and the government tells you not to worry about it? Continue reading

June 3, 2016 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Senator Jacqui Lambie comes out fully supporting the nuclear industry

USA election 2016NUCLEAR POWER

JLN notes that should the majority of Australians agree to allow the establishment of a home-grown industry of nuclear power generation; this of course will significantly de-carbonise our base-load national energy supply and achieve the same purpose as a carbon tax or ETS for the environment, while keeping the cost of electricity low and competitive with our major trading partners.


JLN notes that Australia has more than 30% of the world’s known uranium resources and has the potential to become the new Saudi Arabia of the 21stCentury, which continues to embrace the rapidly advancing technologies and new safer methods of nuclear power generation.

June 3, 2016 Posted by | election 2016 | Leave a comment

Labor’s community solar hubs would benefit renters and pensioners

As of February this year, more than 1.5 million Australian homes had rooftop solar panels. But Labor believes gaps exist among households unable to access the technology, such as renters, public housing tenants and apartment dwellers.

The community power hubs would work with communities to develop renewable projects by providing legal and technical expertise and start-up funding.

solar microgrid

Projects might include community wind farms, “solar gardens” or shared arrays of solar panels for groups of renters, retrofitting social housing to promote energy efficiency and encouraging solar rooftop installations on social housing and aged-care properties.

The hubs may also provide finance for low-income earners and pensioners, such as by using council rates as financial contributions for projects.

USA election 2016‘Solar revolution’: Labor climate plan warms up to renters, pensioners  June 1, 2016  Environment and immigration correspondent Groups of renters could share a “garden” of solar panels and the technology would be encouraged in public housing and aged-care homes in a $98.7 million Labor push to bring the “solar revolution” to those who do not own their homes.

The details came as the Greens announced a plan to double the number of paid firefighters to battle extreme bushfires, saying renewable energy is important but the effects of global warming are already being felt.

Fairfax Media polling this month showed two-thirds of voters believe the federal government is doing “not very much” or “nothing at all” to combat climate change,  and Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s adherence to policies of the former Abbott administration has been interpreted as a trigger for a fall in his popular appeal ahead of the July 2 election.

In Brisbane on Wednesday, Opposition Leader Bill Shorten spruiked a Labor plan to create up to 10 “community power hubs” to allow more people to access renewable energy. Labor previously flagged the measure in the release of its broader climate election policies in April. Continue reading

June 3, 2016 Posted by | election 2016, solar | Leave a comment

Labor’s renewable energy plan won’t cost taxpayers – Shorten

USA election 2016No net cost for renewable plan: Labor, SBS News 2 June 16 Bill Shorten insists his plan to have government departments and agencies run on 50 per cent renewables won’t cost taxpayers. Bill Shorten insists a plan to force commonwealth agencies to run on 50 per cent renewable energy will have no net cost.

But the opposition leader won’t say if the policy has been costed, relying on a government-commissioned report that found renewable energy puts downward pressure on power prices. He’s also banking on technology getting cheaper before 2030. “There’ll be no net cost,” Mr Shorten told reporters in Sydney on Thursday. “I know if you want an economic plan you’ve got to have a plan for climate change.”……..

Mr Shorten referenced an Abbott-government initiated review into the Renewable Energy Target – which recommended the policy be pared back – as proof there would be no net cost.

The RET was subsequently slashed from 41,000 gigawatt hours to 33,500 by 2020, after a lengthy stand-off between the coalition and Labor. Investment in the sector fell 88 per cent last year as a result.

Labor wants half of all Australian energy to come from renewables by 2030, while the coalition is yet to reveal a goal past 2020.

Many commonwealth services were in the ACT, which was already sourcing renewable energy, Mr Shorten said.

June 3, 2016 Posted by | election 2016 | Leave a comment

Coalition electorates have highest proportion of solar powered homes

USA election 2016Liberal electorates have the highest proportion of voters who rely on solar power, and Australians using solar power are more likely to be in rural and regional marginal electorates…. (subscribers only)

June 3, 2016 Posted by | election 2016 | Leave a comment

Labor will not support Adani’s proposed $16 billion Carmichael coalmine

USA election 2016Not up to me to support $16 billion Adani coalmine: Shorten Opposition Leader Bill Shorten says it’s not up to him to support Adani’s proposed $16 billion Carmichael coalmine. SBS News, 1 June 16  Opposition Leader Bill Shorten has refused to throw his support behind the controversial Adani coalmine and says federal Labor would not spend any public money to help the massive project.

Mr Shorten said the future of the $16 billion Adani project in Queensland’s Galilee Basin was in the hands of investors.

“When you ask if I support it, it’s not up to me to support a particular business enterprise. Whether or not the Adani coalmine goes ahead will be up to the investors of Adani,” he told ABC radio in Brisbane.

“We won’t be expending any commonwealth resources on the Adani mine.”……

Labor on Wednesday pledged $100 million to help get community renewable energy projects off the ground…….

June 3, 2016 Posted by | election 2016 | Leave a comment

Infrastructure Victoria draft report includes nuclear power as an option

exclamation-‘Bicycle highways’ through Melbourne CBD backed by cycling advocate, ABC News, 2 June 16  “….Infrastructure Victoria has proposed the cycle “highways” at a cost of $100 million, one of more than 200 ideas put forward in an options paper looking at state projects for the next 30 years…..

Other ideas in the options paper included high speed rail from Sydney to Melbourne and building a nuclear power plant….
Infrastructure Victoria will release a draft report after public submissions later in the year.’bicycle-highways’-through-melbourne-cbd-idea-welcomed/7467380

June 3, 2016 Posted by | politics, Victoria | Leave a comment

Nuclear port in Australia to receive and store High level Nuclear Wastes

radioactive trashThe first high level nuclear waste shipment imposes untenable & unfunded liabilities on Australia, without a disposal capacity or even a site, and facing proposed decades of above ground storage. 

David Noonan, 3 June 16 Nuclear port in Australia to store High level Nuclear wastes and receive waste ships every 24 to 30 days for decades:

The SA Nuclear Royal Commission Final Report (9 May 2016, 16 Mb) recommends a deep sea Nuclear port in Australia to receive an average 3 000 tonnes of high level Spent Nuclear Fuel (SNF) waste per year throughout the first three decades of proposed operations.

ship radiation

“In summary, the report recommends: Management, storage and disposal of waste, Recommendation: Pursue a purpose-built waste storage and disposal facility for used nuclear fuel. … The Commission’s firm conclusion is that this opportunity should be actively pursued, and as soon as possible.” (Nuclear Commission, Report Delivered, 9 May)

The Nuclear Commission report is based on a desk top nuclear waste consultancy “Radioactive waste storage and disposal facilities in SA” (Feb 2016) by Jacobs MCM, stating baseline requirements for:

the proposed Nuclear port is to take a total of 138 000 tonnes of high level nuclear waste (equivalent to 1/3 of total global SNF waste) over some 70 years from Project Year 11;

 a “dedicated port facility specifically developed to transfer the canisters from the delivery ship to rail for transportation to the facility sitestating a “greenfield port is proposed, with an allowance of A$100 million in baseline costs for the development of the port.

(Jacobs MCM, Enabling infrastructure, Port facilities, p.136);

“…estimated receivals of 3,000 tonne of SNF per year. With typical capacity per cask of 10 tonnes , this translates as 300 casks per year, requiring 12-15 sailings (nuclear waste shipments) per annum, meaning one ship each 24-30 days on average.” At 200 – 250 tonnes SNF waste per ship.(Jacobs MCM, Immediate port receival laydown area, p.170);

the proposed Nuclear port is to store high level nuclear waste on site, with a “minimum immediate port storage capacity for casks unloaded from ships suggested as 28 waste casks” required a storage capacity of some 280 tonnes of high level SNF waste, at an average timeline of 10-12 days to clear a shipment of 20 waste casks from the port (p.170). A loaded high level nuclear waste transport cask weighs in range of 100 to 140 tonnes (by type);

In addition, the proposed Nuclear port is required to receive some 390 000 cubic metres of intermediate level nuclear wastes. At a rate of 10 000 m3 per year for the first 28 years of operations (equating to circa 600 x OSO shipping containers per year) stepping down to circa 4 000 m3 per year over the following proposed 24 years of port operations (p.161 and 172).

The proposed Nuclear port is itself to become a high level nuclear waste dump holding SNF wastes (280 tonnes) equivalent to some 14 years operations of a nuclear power reactor. “A typical nuclear power plant in a year generates 20 metric tons of used nuclear fuel” (US Nuclear Energy Institute).

The first high level nuclear waste shipment imposes untenable & unfunded liabilities on Australia, without a disposal capacity or even a site, and facing proposed decades of above ground storage. 

June 3, 2016 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, NUCLEAR ROYAL COMMISSION 2016, wastes | Leave a comment