Australian news, and some related international items

to 18 Sept – climate and nuclear news – Australia

a-cat-CANCLIMATE.  Approaching the First Climate Tipping Point — On Track to Hit 1.5 C Before 2035.   Low Arctic sea ice in 2016 – close to record low level. Marshall Islanders culture threatened: emigration as sea level rises.   Polar bears losing habitat as sea ice melting earlier, and refreezing later. Extreme drought: the impact of climate change and El Nino on the Amazon rainforest. Climate change endangers nuclear facilities, as water supplies heat up and evaporate.

NUCLEAR. In Britain, Prime Minister Theresa May finally gave the go-ahead for the Hinkley Point C nuclear power project. This decision, like New York’s decision to subsidise the nuclear industry, will have global effects.

The decision was probably inevitable, given the circumstances. The factors at play were:

For everyone else, especially the British public, it’s  a very bad deal. –  E3G, a leading climate change think tank sets out reasons why going ahead with Hinkley is a massive mistake. It is  a megaproject which could become a “stranded asset”.  After all, Hinkley still might not ever happen.  Renewables are faster and better.


SOUTH AUSTRALIA. Jay Weatherill dithering on when to make a decision about nuclear waste importing for South Australia.  South Australian Premier off to Finland to visit unfinished and costly nuclear waste facility. A nuclear -led economic recovery for South Australia starting 15 years away – no way! says Liberal leader. Taxpayers up for huge costs in South Australia – just for the PLANNING for nuclear waste importing, before any decision. .

Turnbull govt slashes half-a-billion dollars from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency,but doesn’t actually kill it.

September 17, 2016 Posted by | Christina reviews | Leave a comment

Could terrorists attack nuclear waste being transported to a South Australian dump?

A comment on today’s Advertiser article about Premier Weatherill’s jaunt to Finland 
Rohn 17 Sept 16 

 If we can accept, for sake of argument, that the proposed disposal of nuclear waste is ‘safe’, I doubt I will ever be convinced that the safe transport of such waste to the dump site is anything near likely to ever being made ‘safe’.
radiation-truckOne assumes that at some point the waste material after somehow being TRAIN-NUCLEARdelivered to our shores, has to be transported by road or rail. That being so, no precautions now or in the future are likely to ever be 100 percent safe from terrorist attack. Until that aspect is thoroughly and convincingly settled we would be foolhardy to give it the ‘Green Light’.
In fact before $600m, or whatever, is spent on any Report this aspect should be extensively researched and the results made public.

September 17, 2016 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

A sceptical view of the South Australian hype about nuclear waste importing

A comment on today’s Advertiser article about PremierWeatherill’s jaunt to Finland
Sanity1  17 Sept 16  in France you will see that they are shutting down a third of their reactors by 2025 and not replacing them. They found them too expensive and dirty to keep running and are replacing them with renewables.
scrutiny-Royal-CommissionNo one in the world has successfully run a long term high level nuclear waste storage facility. Visit Germany’s, where they are still trying to work out how to remove all their stored waste when it was overfilled because of greed, and is leaking into the watertable. Even the one at Onkalo, Finland hasn’t started burying waste and won’t until next decade. All this haste, to copy a system that hasn’t even stored waste for a single year!

I think that many  have been caught up in a nuclear sales pitch that has promised big returns, on a scheme that no-one else in the world has dared. Not even countries with reactors, who would (you think) have the expertise, are considering this scheme. Why?

September 17, 2016 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

Nuclear convoy held up by peace protestor – lucky he wasn’t an ISIS terrorist!

text-cat-questionThe holding up of a nuclear convoy by an elderly protestor has relevance for Australia. The Nuclear Fuel Chain Royal Commission craps on about how safe the waste dump will be.  But why are they so quiet about  quiet about the dangers in transporting the high level nuclear waste?

If just two peace protestors can get this close and hold up a nuclear weapons convoy why couldn’t ISIS?

  • 78-year-old anti-nuclear campaigner lies under military truck in Stirling 
  • The vehicle thought to be carrying nuclear warheads was part of a convoy
  • Police intervened and stopped traffic so it could continue trip to Scotland  


The incredible moment a 78-year-old retired teacher managed to hold up four military trucks thought to be carrying nuclear warheads has emerged online.

Shocking moment retired teacher, 77, holds up nuke convoy

The vehicles with their large police convoy were spotted passing through Raploch, in Stirling, at around 5pm yesterday after they had left the Atomic Weapons Establishment Burghfield near Reading on Wednesday to make their way up to Coulport, Scotland.

But they were stopped by two activists including Brian Quail, an anti-nukes campaigner who is also believed to be a former teacher, and his younger colleague Alasdair Ibbotson, 21.

Speaking to the Mail Online Mr Ibbotson, who is a student and Green Party supporter, said: ‘I have been campaigning for nuclear weapon disarmament since I was 16. I am passionate about it because at the end of the day it causes the mass murder of millions of people, and is just wrong on every level.

‘The money spend on trident could be better spent on our NHS.

‘And if a pensioner and a student can stop them, anyone else with actually ill intent could do.

‘The MOD need to think about how this and whether they should use the road at all. Continue reading

September 17, 2016 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Cover-up of Australia’s Hiroshima -like story – Maralinga

This March, documents obtained exclusively by revealed that hundreds of children and grandchildren of veterans exposed to radiation were born with shocking illnesses including tumours, Down syndrome, cleft palates, cerebral palsy, autism, missing bones and heart disease.

Other veterans posted to the Maralinga nuclear test site blamed the British Nuclear Test for an unusually high number of stillbirths and miscarriages among the group.

“The rest of the Aboriginal people in this country need to know the story as well,”    “This one’s been kept very quiet.”

Nuclear will be on show at the National Aboriginal Cultural Institute in Adelaide, South Australia from 17 September to 12 November.

secret-agent-AustThe secret destruction of Australia’s Hiroshima,, SEPTEMBER 17, 2016 WHEN nuclear explosions tore through Australia’s vast, arid centre, some people living there didn’t even know it was coming.

It devastated the country for miles around, annihilating every bird, tree and animal in its path.

Even today, the effects of our very own Hiroshima are still felt by the families it ripped apart, and those suffering horrific health problems as a result.

The British military detonated seven nuclear bombs in remote Maralinga, around 800km north-west of Adelaide, plus two at Emu Fields and three off the coast near Karratha, Western Australia.

They also staged hundreds of minor trials investigating the impact of non-nuclear explosions on atomic weapons, involving tanks, gun, mannequins in uniforms and even tethered goats. In many ways, these smaller tests were equally dangerous, spraying plutonium in all directions.

Yet most Australians know very little about the blasts that shattered communities, and the dramatic story now buried under layers of dust. Continue reading

September 17, 2016 Posted by | aboriginal issues, health, history, secrets and lies, South Australia | Leave a comment

Nuclear power not help, but a barrier, to climate change action – climate experts

text-relevantIs nuclear crucial to climate change targets?, Japan Times,  AFP-JIJI, AP SEP 16, 2016 Paris– As Britain greenlights its first new nuclear power plant in more than 20 years, experts diverge on the role of nuclear energy in the quest to cap global warming at less than 2 degrees Celsius.

The broad challenge in meeting that goal — the cornerstone of the Paris Agreement inked in December by 195 nations — is decarbonizing the world economy as quickly as possible.

text-irrelevant“We need a global transition to primarily zero carbon energy sources by midcentury,” said Rachel Cleetus, lead economist and climate policy manager for the Washington-based Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS).

Along with other think tanks and advocacy groups sounding the climate change alarm, the UCS is not a champion of nuclear power……

Not all climate and energy experts are convinced that nuclear is crucial for keeping a lid on global warming.

“In fact, it’s a barrier,” said Tom Burke, chairman of London-based E3G, a climate change think tank.“It takes away capital from things that would deliver faster, cheaper and smarter low carbon electricity systems,” he said.

It also runs counter, he added, to a wider trend toward decentralized, flexible power generation.

For climate analyst Martin Kaiser of Greenpeace International, “the only feasible and secure way to keep global warming well below 2 degrees Celsius is a massive swing toward renewables.” A “100 percent” renewable energies revolution is still possible, he insisted.

For Williams, potential climate catastrophe trumps the risks associated with nuclear power — radioactive waste, accidents such as happened in Fukushima and Chernobyl — only with strict regulatory oversight in place.

He highlighted the contrast between gold-standard Switzerland and China, which has 30 nuclear plants built or under construction, and another 20 in the pipeline. “China has relatively understaffed and undertrained regulatory authorities — that is worrisome,” he said. “Would I live next to a nuclear power plant if I thought that was really important to mitigate climate change? “In the first case (Switzerland) I would, but in the second I wouldn’t.”

September 17, 2016 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Unpleasant consequences for Australia in setting up international nuclear waste dump?

Paul Richards No High Level International Nuclear Waste Dump in South Australia 17 Sept 16 
questionWhat are the probabilities this futurist scenario will unfold via TPP international treaties, setting up a nuclear industry here in Australia controlled by the United States?

1) Strip out State & Federal legislation prohibiting a nuclear industry
2) Legislate to allow US & foreign nuclear submarines to port
3) French Sf/Barracuda sub diesels drive swapped out for reactors
4) Stakeholders in sub reactors to train nuclear engineers
5) Sovereign Capital to fund waste repository and enrichment plant
6) Enrichment plant built next to waste storage [for the world’s unspent fuel including plutonium & weapons grade nuclear material]
7) Commission environmental reports for deployment of reactors
8) Fund reprocessing of unused fuel to fire experimental reactors

Be mindful, defunding of cheap alternative energy systems has already started, as the Federal Government has reduced the ARENA budget; while maintaining carbon energy subsidies and encouraging the nuclear industry sales executives to promote their product

A scenario where the acquisition of nuclear weapons is an obvious long-term objective of our government. Where Australia becomes a platform for not our own Foreign Policy or our sovereign interests, but US sovereign interests, deferring to US Foreign Policy
In doing so, becoming the 52 State of the United States of America by proxy for the Southern Hemisphere

Be aware, the UN Security Council P5; China, France, Russia, United Kingdom, United States and the International Atomic Energy Agency – IAEA police all international nuclear treaties on weapons & reactors

The IAEA answers nuclear weapons, energy and health issues only to the UN Security Council P5.

The World Health Organisation-WHO, sit’s below this chain of command. Since it’s inception in 1946 the WHO, has always sat outside the then WWII Allied “Big Four”; China, Soviet Union, the UK, the and the US hierarchical structure.

This information is on public record easily found scanning the United Nations Portal

September 17, 2016 Posted by | NUCLEAR ROYAL COMMISSION 2016, politics, South Australia | Leave a comment

Britain’s multi $billion nuclear power gamble

hungry-nukes 1The £18bn Hinkley gamble: Nuclear deal will cost every UK family an extra £1,000 as May signs off on the plans to protect Britain’s national security 

  • Prime Minister approved plans after restricting influence of Chinese state
  • Britain will guarantee EDF £92.50 per megawatt hour, up on current market price of £38.91
  • Tory MP Zac Goldsmith said the plant would generate ‘most expensive energy in the history of energy generation’

By JASON GROVES DEPUTY POLITICAL EDITOR FOR THE DAILY MAIL, 16 Sept 16 ……….ministers faced criticism as it emerged they had failed to reduce massive subsidies for French firm EDF, which is building the Hinkley plant, and its Chinese partners.Britain has agreed to guarantee EDF a price of £92.50 per megawatt hour of electricity, or £89.50 if another scheme at Sizewell, Suffolk, goes ahead. The current market price for a megawatt hour is just £38.91.

Electricity bill-payers will be forced to make up the difference once the plant in Somerset comes on stream in the 2020s.

The National Audit Office has warned these subsidies will add almost £30billion to electricity bills over the project’s lifetime. That is an extra £30 for the average annual bill over 35 years – totalling more than £1,000 per household. Continue reading

September 17, 2016 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Conservative MPs and business analysts warn on problems with UK’s Hinkley nuclear project

uk-subsidy-2016MPs and analysts issue fresh nuclear warnings over Hinkley Point project, Business Matters, 16 Sept 16   Fresh warnings have been triggered over the cost, security, and deliverability of Britain’s first new nuclear reactors for decades following yesterday’s green light for the £18bn build at Hinkley Point in Somerset.  Hinkley Point C will be built by France’s EDF with £6bn of Buy-China-nukes-1Chinese investment. It is effectively subsidised by the UK taxpayer under the terms of the guaranteed “strike price” that will be paid by consumers for the electricity generated, reports City AM.

This price is more than twice the current wholesale price of electricity, prompting the Energy Intensive Users Group to describe the subsidy as “astonishingly generous”.
Conservative MP Zac Goldsmith said the deal would produce “the most expensive energy in the history of energy generation”.

The Chinese state-backed firm that is investing in Hinkley, CGN, intends to take a majority stake in another reactor at Bradwell, in Essex. However, this has fuelled security concerns over Chinese involvement in UK strategic infrastructure.

“China has said it has ambitions to proceed with [Bradwell] but having China or a Chinese company running a nuclear reactor like that is always going to be difficult for national security concerns, so I’m not sure how you can bridge that gap,” said Alan Mendoza, executive director at The Henry Jackson Society……..There are also doubts over whether the reactors can be built in the allotted timeframe, and as to whether they can bridge the UK’s looming energy supply gap.

The new reactors are due for completion in 2023 but Whitman Howard utilities analyst Angelos Anastasiou believes a timescale of 2025 to 2030 is more realistic.

“Approval of Hinkley C is necessary but not sufficient to avoid a future supply crunch,” said Jeremy Nicholson, director of the Energy Intensive Users Group…….

the cost to billpayers will be substantial. It will be necessary to maintain a focus on cost for future plants,” Institute of Directors (IoD) chair Lady Barbara Judge said. She also said that despite the costs of the Hinkley project, the move signals a clear geo-political strategy being pursued in Whitehall.

She added: “Approving Hinkley shows that the government believes China is an important and strategic market for Britain.”……….

September 17, 2016 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

A nuclear -led economic recovery for South Australia starting 15 years away – no way! says Liberal leader

Daniel Wills: Final decision on nuclear waste repository in South Australia could be years away, Daniel Wills, The Advertiser, September 16, 2016 “……..there is an emerging degree of scepticism on the conservative side of state politics.

scrutiny-on-wastes-sa-bankruptOpposition Leader Steven Marshall said he feared the state risked being distracted by a far-off vision of economic utopia instead of focusing on immediate reforms to its economy.

The Liberals have also raised concerns about the cost to taxpayers of investigating nuclear storage without any certainty that international customers would want to use it.

Mr Marshall said the Opposition was open to developing the industry in SA but the Government had shown a lack of focus in examining critical and urgent aspects of the proposal.

“There is just no way that SA can wait 15 years to have a nuclear-led recovery,” he said………..


September 17, 2016 Posted by | politics | 1 Comment

South Australian Premier off to Finland to visit unfinished and costly nuclear waste facility

Weatherill glowSA premier in Finland to see nuclear dump SEPTEMBER 17, 2016  Australian Associated Press South Australian Premier Jay Weatherill has left for Finland to visit the world’s first deep disposal facility for used nuclear fuel as his government continues to grapple with the idea of establishing its own nuclear waste dump.

The facility at Eurajoki is still under construction and is due to open in the early 2020s……..

Mr Weatherill has pledged to outline the government’s final position on the proposal by the end of the year.

Greens MP Mark Parnell said as the premier visits the Finnish facility he should note that it is alreadyParnell, Mark nine years behind schedule and 300 per cent over budget.

 Mr Parnell said the dump was also 20 times smaller than the one proposed for SA and was not designed to make a profit as it will only take Finland’s own waste.

“Having already wasted $10 million of taxpayers’ money on this folly, the premier needs to seriously consider at what point he allows economic reality rather than fanciful dreaming to enter this debate,” Mr Parnell said.

September 17, 2016 Posted by | politics, South Australia, wastes | Leave a comment

USA recognising that Mixed Oxide Fuel nuclear reprocessing is an expensive failure

“The first question I asked was why if she mistakenly skipped over MOX. This is the largest federal construction project in the nation right now,” Jameson said. “The answer was no. She [National Nuclear Administration Principal Deputy Administrator Madelyn Creedon ]said they left it out on purpose, that they’re trying to get rid of it so they weren’t going to talk about it.”

to box up the project and move to another method of plutonium disposal known as dilute and dispose.

The NNSA has said the alternative is cheaper, citing life-cycle costs of MOX in the $50 billion to $60 billion range.

MOXAiken official: Savannah River Site’s MOX purposefully left out of NNSA discussion Thomas Gardiner  Email  @TGardiner_AS  The speaker from the National Nuclear Security Administration at the Energy Communities Alliance meeting in Arlington, Virginia, this week intentionally snubbed the Mixed Oxide Fuel Fabrication Facility, or MOX, under construction at the Savannah River Site, one Aiken official said. Continue reading

September 17, 2016 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

2016 Near-Record Low in Arctic Sea Ice

These Images Show Near-Record Low 2016 Arctic Sea Ice, Climate Central , By  September 15th, 2016   Arctic sea ice is one of the grandaddy’s of climate indicators. And this grandaddy isn’t doing so good these days.This year’s sea ice extent has bottomed out as the second lowest on record, according to the National Snow and Ice Data Center. It continues a troubling trend as rapidly warming air and water eats away at the briny, frozen mantle on the top of the planet.

 2016’s Arctic Sea Ice Melt Season in 9 Seconds

This year has been exceptional by many standards. March saw the lowest sea ice maximum ever recorded followed by a string of record low months. The Northwest Passage opened up, allowing a luxury cruise ship to travel from Anchorage to New York. And a freak storm in August turned ice thin and brittle near the North Pole.

Satellites show the last seven months of sea ice and reveal its steep decline this year. The late August breakup is particularly notable. Grist’s Amelia Urry compared the texture of sea ice near the North Pole to curdled milk or an exploded pillow (I’d go with broken glass personally, but to each their own)………

Most of what we tend to talk about with Arctic sea ice comes courtesy of satellites since they’re the most reliable way to monitor such a remote region. Recent research has reconstructed Arctic sea ice data back to 1850 using old ship logs, airplane survey and military records among other sources to provide a longer record than satellite data (though it does come with a little bit more uncertainty). What is certain is that there’s nothing in modern history like the recent string of low Arctic sea ice years we’ve seen.

Sea ice has declined precipitously across the Arctic, but particularly in the Beaufort and Chukchi Sea regions. In the coming decades, sea ice extent is only likely to keep shrinking and could reshape the region’s ecology, economy and ways of life for the plants, animals and people that call the region home.

September 17, 2016 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Jay Weatherill dithering on when to make a decision about nuclear waste importing for South Australia

Weatherill glowDaniel Wills: Final decision on nuclear waste repository in South Australia could be years away, Daniel Wills, The Advertiser, September 16, 2016 “………A year and a half ago, Mr Weatherill stunned the state and turned decades of Labor orthodoxy on its head by calling the Nuclear Fuel Cycle Royal Commission.

Four months ago, it delivered a final report that concluded an almost unimaginable amount of wealth could be bestowed on SA if it chose to take high-level nuclear waste from around the world and store it for all time.

If a decision to proceed is eventually taken, it would stand as second only to the arrival of whites on this land 180 years ago as the most dramatic moment in SA’s living history.

The first key date will be December this year, because Mr Weatherill has said the Government will reveal a position to State Parliament before the Christmas break. This week, some flesh was put on the bone about what that will be. Likely, a decision to keep talking, if everyone agrees. Continue reading

September 17, 2016 Posted by | politics, South Australia, wastes | Leave a comment

World Nuclear Association Symposium – gloomy about the nuclear industry’s prospects

radiation-sign-sadIn the news: The Nuclear Industry, Proactive Investors 16 Sep 2016 FROM THE BROKING DESK The World Nuclear Association (WNA) Symposium 2016 was held in London this week. Naturally, I took the opportunity to hop on the bus to the Park Plaza Hotel in Waterloo to gauge the mood. It was pretty sombre……….

Sadly, for the last five years this inflection point has always been ‘next year’. Utilities have not bought into the long-term contract market and will need to catch up quickly to rebuild their stockpiles. Large chunks of marginal production from majors such as Cameco have been shut down over the last two years, and the talk is that Cameco could cut supply further by closing its US operations. Kazakh production is surely peaking, potential new supply from Africa is not high enough grade and the possible new supply from the Athabasca Basin is too far off. The list of reasons why the uranium price will turn burial.uranium-industry‘next year’ goes on, and all of them make sense. But it hasn’t, has it?

Uranium executives radiate sunny optimism at the start of each year when pitching their new project. This then disappears by the summer after it becomes clear that it’s not in fact next year, but the year after that. This time even that optimism has gone. All the executives I spoke to looked about as miserable as England football fans in the second week of a major tournament. …..

Let’s just have a quick look at the Hinkley C announcement. …..the decision to go ahead is probably a mistake, but not one the new prime minister could get out of without starting a war with France and China. The problems with Hinkley C are multiple. Yes, it is probably too expensive, yes, we should be looking at new technologies that create decentralised power generation, yes, the Chinese are probably spying on us and could turn the lights off at any time, and, yes, it just props up an ailing French nuclear industry and stops EDF from going bankrupt. Also, the, ahem, elephant in the room is that there is no actual evidence that European Pressurised Reactors even work. Bonne chance.

September 17, 2016 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment