Australian news, and some related international items

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull talks complete rubbish on climate policy

Turnbull’s two key political messages since Frydenberg’s unseemly capitulation to conservatives earlier in the week – that we won’t do carbon pricing lest it inflate power bills, and that governments have a fundamental obligation to keep the lights on – are entirely inconsistent with the actions the government is taking

Turnbull in hot panOn climate policy and power prices Turnbull is talking rubbish. Here are some facts, Guardian,  Katharine Murphy, 9 Dec 16 
An emissions trading scheme is the cheapest way meet Australia’s climate commitments – which will be news to anyone listening to the Coalition. 
I just want to be very, very clear that energy prices are too high already. We will do everything that we can to put downward pressure on energy prices. We will not impose a carbon tax, or an emissions trading scheme – that is our position.

This is the prime minister, Malcolm Turnbull, talking to the Melbourne radio host, Neil Mitchell, on Thursday, talking nonsense as it turned out – which is what the government has been doing all week on the subject of climate change.

How do I know he was talking nonsense?

There are any number of reports we can draw on to call out what can only be described as unmitigated, lowest common denominator, political crap emanating from the mouth of the prime minister – but I’ll just pick a couple.

Let me share with you the findings of a report that lobbed into the public domain at the start of the week, sandwiched between the government opening what could have been a rational and productive conversation about climate change and energy policy, and the government melting in a small puddle of panic. Continue reading

December 9, 2016 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, climate change - global warming, politics | Leave a comment

South Australian nuclear waste dump enthusiasts write to politicians

greed copyList of signatories:

Nuclear debate: Businessmen, academics, scientists call on SA politicians to keep discussion alive, ABC News, By political reporter Nick Harmsen, 9 dec 16,  A group of prominent South Australian business people, academics and scientists have signed an open letter to the state’s politicians urging them to keep discussion alive on the merits of an international nuclear waste dump. Continue reading

December 9, 2016 Posted by | politics, South Australia, wastes | 1 Comment

France’s nuclear giant EDF heads towards bankruptcy – taxpayers cop the bill

AREVA EDF crumblingFrench taxpayers face huge nuclear bill as EDF financial crisis deepens, Ecologist, Paul Brown 8th December 2016 
Nuclear giant EDF could be heading towards bankruptcy, writes Paul Brown, as it faces a perfect storm of under-estimated costs for decommissioning, waste disposal and Hinkley C. Meanwhile income from power sales is lagging behind costs, and 17 of its reactors are off-line for safety tests. Yet French and UK governments are turning a blind eye to the looming financial crisis.

The liabilities of Électricité de France (EDF) – the biggest electricity supplier in Europe, with 39 million customers – are increasing so fast that they will soon exceed its assets, according a report by an independent equity research company,

Bankruptcy for EDF seems inevitable – and if such a vast empire in any other line of business seemed to be in such serious financial trouble, there would be near-panic in the workforce and in governments at the subsequent political fall-out.

But it seems that the nuclear-dominated EDF group is considered too big to be allowed to fail. So, to keep the lights on in western Europe, the company will have to be bailed out by the taxpayers of France and the UK.

The French government, facing elections next spring, and the British, struggling with the implications of the Brexit vote to leave the European Union, are currently turning a blind eye to the report by AlphaValue that EDF has badly under-reported its potential liabilities. Continue reading

December 9, 2016 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Maralinga nuclear compensation cases blocked by Bob Hawke when PM

text-from-the-archivesHawke government schemed to stymie Maralinga nuclear test compensation, cabinet documents reveal  PETER JEAN POLITICAL REPORTER THE ADVERTISER JAN 1, 2015  THE statute of limitations was invoked by the Hawke Government to prevent hundreds of compensation actions being pursued in court by veterans of British nuclear tests in Australia.

Government documents from 1988 and 1989 released by the National Archives of Australia reveal that cabinet decided to try and invoke time-limit rules to fight court compensation actions launched after 1988. Continue reading

December 9, 2016 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, civil liberties, history, weapons and war | Leave a comment

According to Bob Hawke, Aborigines can get a decent life only if Australia imports nuclear waste?

Hawke,-bob-wastesFormer PM Bob Hawke wants Australia to become nuclear dumping ground ASHLEIGH GLEESON, The Daily Telegraph December 9, 2016  AUSTRALIA should become the storage ground for the world’s nuclear waste and pledge a percentage of the profits to helping the indigenous population, former prime minister Bob Hawke says.

December 9, 2016 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, politics, South Australia, wastes | Leave a comment

Lest we forget – the Hiroshima atomic bomb horror

text-from-the-archivesWho Will Drop the Next Nuclear Bomb? We ignore the ever-growing global arsenal of nuclear weapons at our peril. The Nation,  Nick Turse  May 13, 2013 “……..Nuclear Horror: Then and Now The first nuclear attack on a civilian population center, the U.S. strike on Hiroshima, left that city “uniformly and extensively devastated,” according to astudy carried out in the wake of the attacks by the U.S. Strategic Bombing Survey.  “Practically the entire densely or moderately built-up portion of the city was leveled by blast and swept by fire… The surprise, the collapse of many buildings, and the conflagration contributed to an unprecedented casualty rate.”  At the time, local health authorities reported that 60% of immediate deaths were due to flash or flame burns and medical investigators estimated that 15%-20% of the deaths were caused by radiation.

Witnesses “stated that people who were in the open directly under the explosion of the bomb were so severely burned that the skin was charred dark brown or black and that they died within a few minutes or hours,” according to the 1946 report.  “Among the survivors, the burned areas of the skin showed evidence of burns almost immediately after the explosion.  At first there was marked redness, and other evidence of thermal burns appeared within the next few minutes or hours.”


Many victims kept their arms outstretched because it was too painful to allow them to hang at their sides and rub against their bodies.  One survivor recalled seeing victims “with both arms so severely burned that all the skin was hanging from their arms down to their nails, and others having faces swollen like bread, losing their eyesight. It was like ghosts walking in procession…  Some jumped into a river because of their serious burns. The river was filled with the wounded and blood.”……

December 9, 2016 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Traditional Owners construct ‘legal line of defence’ against Adani and Qld Govt

legal actioncoal CarmichaelMine2 7 December 2016:

“Announce Full Bench Supreme Court Appeal – natural justice sought

“Express Anger at Gautam Adani’s Failure to Meet

“The Wangan and Jagalingou (W&J) Traditional Owners Council have today announced a further action in their legal line of defence of their lands and rights against the imposition of Adani’s “mine of mass destruction”.  They have also expressed offence at multi-billionaire Mr Gautam Adani’s failure to meet with them during his visit to Australia to spruik the Carmichael project.

“Leading Aboriginal rights advocate, primary W&J Traditional Owner and Council spokesperson, Mr. Adrian Burragubba, says,  “We are constructing a legal line of defence because the Queensland Government and Adani are trying to bulldoze us aside.  We will not stand by while they sing from the same song sheet about their grandiose but hollow plans.

We are acting in the courts to stop this destructive project.  Our people, the Australian community, and the world deserve better than this cavalier, unjust and outdated approach to our shared future” …

“W&J youth leader and council spokesperson, Ms. Murrawah Johnson, says,
“It is our obligation as Traditional Owners to safeguard the future for our people and secure our lands and waters against this ‘mine of mass destruction’.
The W&J Council members have vowed to do everything in our power to stop the mine proceeding,
and we will take our concerns to the High Court if necessary.

““We are not easily intimidated. We will fight this mine until Mr Adani and his people pack their bags and head home”, she said.

“Lawyer for the Supreme Court Appeal and other matters, Mr. Colin Hardie says,
“There are  reasonable grounds for my clients to argue that they were denied natural justice
by the Minister for Mines in the issuing of the mining leases for the Carmichael Mine.
The denial of natural justice can create significant costs and cause distress to Traditional Owners,
leading to a profound devaluing of their native title to land and waters. … “

December 9, 2016 Posted by | aboriginal issues, climate change - global warming, legal, Queensland | Leave a comment

France’s horrible problem of huge debt for its new nuclear power stations

plants-downFrench taxpayers face huge nuclear bill as EDF financial crisis deepens, Ecologist, Paul Brown 8th December 2016 “………New nuclear stations  Even more money is required to finish new nuclear stations EDF is already committed to building. The first, Flamanville in northern France, is five years late and billions over budget. Questions over the quality of the steel in its reactor are still not resolved, and it may never be fully operational.

Add to that the need for €12 billion (or potentially considerably more) capital to complete the two nuclear stations EDF is committed to building at Hinkley Point in southwest England, and it is hard to see where all the money will come from.

To help the cash-strapped company, its ultimate owner, the French state, has already provided €3 billion in extra capital this year, and decided to forego its shareholder dividend. But that is a drop in the ocean.

Mycle Schneider, a Paris-based independent international consultant on energy and nuclear policy, says: “The French company overvalues its nuclear assets, and underestimates how much it will cost to decommission them.

“However, EDF’s biggest problem is the cost of producing power from these ageing power stations. The cost is greater than the wholesale price, so everything they sell is at a loss. It is impossible to see how they can ever make a profit.”

He says that is not the company’s only problem: France has not dealt with the problem of nuclear waste, and has badly underestimated the cost of doing so: “With German electricity prices going down and production increasing in order to export cheap electricity to France, it is impossible to see how EDF can ever compete. It is really staggering that no one is paying any attention to this.”

Even former EDF director Gérard Magnin agrees. He resigned from the board in July as he thought the Hinkley Point project too risky for the company because of its already stretched finances. Now he says that, with the reactors closed for safety checks, the French nuclear industry faces “its worst situation ever”.

The company’s troubles do not stop in France, as EDF also owns the UK nuclear industry. Ironically, it took over 15 reactors in the UK after British Energy went bankrupt in 2002 because the cost of producing the electricity was greater than the wholesale price – exactly the situation being repeated now in France.

December 9, 2016 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Clean energy policies would create tens of thousands more Queensland jobs than Adani

The real jobs boom in Queensland is in clean energy and protecting the 70,000 jobs
that depend on a healthy Great Barrier Reef, not in Adani’s reef-wrecking coal mine.’  8 December 2016:

“New research shows strong clean energy policies would create 90,000 new jobs across Queensland by 2030
– many tens of thousands more than even the most bullish backers of Adani’s proposed Carmichael coal project say the mine would create.”

December 9, 2016 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

Barwon Water and the City of Greater Geelong investigate solar array for landfill site

solar-concentrated-PVGeelong solar array capable of powering 1000 homes proposed for old Corio landfill site  DECEMBER 8, 2016 A LARGE solar energy project with the potential to power 1000 homes is being explored at an old Corio landfill site.

December 9, 2016 Posted by | solar, Victoria | 1 Comment

Reclaimed Land for Okinawa US Base Filled With Fukushima Radioactive Waste?

Fukushima 311 Watchdogs


According to one of my Japanese contacts,  Ryouichi Kawaguchi,  the Fukushima’s radioactive waste accumulated in Chiba Prefecture is brought to the reclaimed land of Henoko, Okinawa, via Fukuoka.
Consequently, the U. S. soldiers who will be stationed at the Henoko new base will be exposed to radiation like the Fukushima population.
As substitute land of the Futenma base, Japan and the United States should build the new base on Nozakijima island which is uninhabited, offshore from Hirado city, in Nagasaki prefecture rather than reclaim the foreshore from the sea at Henoko, Okinawa. The Japanese Government could build a long bridge from Hirado-city of Nagasaki prefecture to the Nozakijima Island.
The fact that the Abe Administration would be using Fukushima’s radioactive waste to reclaim land from the sea at Henoko, Okinawa should be dug into, and if confirmed exposed to world public attention.
I do not think US needs more irradiated…

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December 9, 2016 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Japan to increase loan to Fukushima operator Tepco to $123 billion

Fukushima 311 Watchdogs

Question to ask: why call this a loan when the law, like USA Price Anderson Act, limits nuclear power co from liability and puts the govt on the hook for everything beyond that?
Answer: I’d say most likely simple propaganda. That’s the taxpayers TRILLIONS that’s going to a ‘forever’ nuclear power plant black hole. That money will never be paid back to govt. The only thing I can imagine is that the Govt reneges on the agreement and socializes utilities in Japan. Because either the corporation nor govt can survive unless they do that…. or they can play fictionalized accounting for public.
What do you think?


Japan will increase an interest-free loan to the operator of the wrecked Fukushima nuclear plant, Tokyo Electric Power, by more than a third to 14 trillion yen ($123 billion), a source familiar with the matter said on Thursday.

Spiraling costs from the world’s…

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December 9, 2016 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Australian govt’s honest advertisement on climate and Adani coal mine

Honest Government Advert – Carmichael Coal Mine

December 9, 2016 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, climate change - global warming, politics | Leave a comment

Australia’s gutless Minister for Environment and Energy – Josh Frydenberg

Frydenberg, Josh climateWhat an extraordinary, gutless capitulation by Josh Frydenberg   Forget climate policy intricacies – through this pathetic retreat the government has again revealed its true nature, Guardian,  , 9 Dec 16, What an extraordinary capitulation.

Just 24 hours of controversy from entirely predictable quarters and a carefully calibrated process to try to engineer a truce in Australia’s utterly wretched climate politics has been all but abandoned by its architects.

Josh Frydenberg has gone in the space of 24 hours from saying quite clearly the government would consider an emissions intensity trading scheme for the electricity sector to trying to pretend he said no such thing.

The retreat is, frankly, unseemly.

Actually, the retreat is more than unseemly, it’s pathetic – and the consequences of it stretch far beyond yet another apparent failure to do what needs to be done to ensure our economy makes an orderly transition to the carbon-constrained world that the Turnbull government willingly accepted when it signed Australia up to the Paris international climate agreement this time 12 months ago……

On climate policy the Coalition has backed itself into a tight corner of its own making – and it shows no sign of finding the courage, the steadiness or the integrity to try to manage its way out.

December 9, 2016 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, climate change - global warming, energy, politics | Leave a comment

Media secrecy allowed Australian territory to become highly radioactively contaminated

text-from-the-archivesDig for secrets: the lesson of Maralinga’s Vixen B The secret-agent-AustConversation, Liz Tynan, 26 July 13  “……lack of knowledge about the British nuclear tests in Australia is not surprising. The tests were not part of the national conversation for many years. Even when older people remember that nuclear tests were held here, no-one knows the story of the most secret tests of all, the ones that left the most contamination: Vixen B.

Maralinga is a particularly striking example of what can happen when media are unable to report government activities comprehensively. The media have a responsibility to deal with complex scientific and technological issues that governments may be trying to hide. While Maralinga was an example of extreme secrecy, the same kind of secrecy could at any time be enacted again. With the Edward Snowden case, we have seen what can happen when journalists become complicit in government secrecy, and we have learned the press must be more rigorous in challenging cover-ups.

At Maralinga, part of our territory became the most highly contaminated land in the world. But the Australian public had no way of granting informed consent because no-one knew it was happening. Remediating the environmental contamination was delayed for decades for the same reason. While arguments might be mounted for the need for total secrecy at the time (although these arguments are debatable in the case of Vixen B), there was no reason to keep the aftermath totally secret as well. Continue reading

December 9, 2016 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, history, media, reference, South Australia | 1 Comment