Australian news, and some related international items

New Crack Found in Delaware-Sized Chunk of Larsen C Ice Shelf as it Heads Toward Southern Ocean


A 2,000 square mile section of the Larsen C Ice Shelf is hanging by a thread as it continues to drift toward the Weddell Sea.

(A second crack develops in Larsen C Ice Shelf. Image source: Project MIDAS.)

The break-off section represents fully 10 percent of all the ice contained in the Larsen C system. It has been divided from the larger ice shelf by a 180 kilometer long crack that began to develop in 2009 and that swiftly lengthened during recent years. Now only a 10 kilometer wide bridge links the breaking section to the larger ice shelf. And considering the enormous stresses now being placed on this break-off section it is expected to go at any time.

Since January, according to researchers at Project MIDAS, the large crack has been widening but its length growth has stalled. However, recent reports out this week…

View original post 451 more words

May 5, 2017 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Warning that North Korea could ship a nuclear device to Western Australia

North Korea can ship nuclear device to WA Adshead, 4 May 2017 A Perth-based former Australian Federal Police officer has issued a chilling warning about a potential threat posed by North Korea to Australia that does not involve launching missiles.

Chris Douglas, who specialised in terrorism financing and organised crime, believes the rogue country is more than capable of smuggling a nuclear device into an Australian port via shipping routes.

“A fanatical regime facing extinction wouldn’t think twice about sending a container bearing a nuclear device to the US or an allied country and detonating it,” he said in an article published by the Australian Strategic Policy Institute.

Mr Douglas told The West Australian those ports could included Fremantle and that concealing the device would be easy and it would be foolish to focus only on the possibility of North Korea launching a missile into Australia if current tensions escalated.

“It’s time to check our thinking about what North Korea’s counter-attack response might be,” Mr Douglas said. “Nuclear weapons could be smuggled out of North Korea … and then be placed into containers on a cargo ship for transport to a port anywhere in the world.”

Last month, the state-run Democratic People’s Republic of Korea news agency warned Australia could hit by missiles. “If Australia persists in following the US moves to isolate and stifle the DPRK and remains a shock brigade of the US master, this will be a suicidal act of coming within the range of the nuclear strike of the strategic force of the DPRK, ” it said.

Mr Douglas suggested another terrifying scenario would involve several nuclear devices in different sea containers. “With over 17 million shipping containers in circulation, weaponised containers would be hard to detect,” he said. “A failure in imagination in any assessment of North Korea’s options to respond to a US attack could have a devastating impact not only on the US, but the rest of the world, involving significant loss of life and global economic ruin.”

A United Nations report in 2010, highlighted the lengths North Korea has gone to while pursuing its nuclear ambitions. A weapons expert doesn’t believe North Korea has capability to reach Darwin with one of their missiles

Private jets were hired through offshore companies and shipping containers were falsely labelled. In a separate UN report this year, North Korea was accused of “flouting sanctions through trade in prohibited goods, with evasion techniques that are increasing in scale, scope and sophistication”.  Mr Douglas said North Korean ships had been used previously to transport drugs near the Australian coast.

May 5, 2017 Posted by | weapons and war, Western Australia | Leave a comment

The Global Uranium Industry and Cameco’s Troubled History

The Global Uranium Industry & Cameco’s Troubled History, May 2017, Jim Green − Friends of the Earth, Australia

Table of Contents


Australia’s Uranium Volume and Exports – 2006-2015

Australia’s top export revenue industries – Compared to uranium

“It has never been a worse time for uranium miners”

If there is a recovery, it will be a long time coming

Explaining the uranium market’s malaise

1. INTRODUCTION This report covers two overlapping issues. 
Firstly: the miserable state of the global uranium industry. For several years, the uranium prices (the spot price and long-term contract price) has been well below the level that would incentivise new mines. There is no end in sight to the industry’s current malaise ‒ as acknowledged by numerous industry insiders and market analysts.
Secondly: the problems facing uranium mining company Cameco, which provides about 17% of the world’s production from mines in Canada, the US and Kazakhstan, and has two uranium projects in Western Australia ‒ Kintyre (70% Cameco / 30% Mitsubishi) and Yeelirrie (100% Cameco).
Cameco has been continuously downsizing for the past five years and the company acknowledges that the situation will get worse before it gets better.
Cameco has written off the entire value of its Kintyre project in Western Australia: a C$238 million write-down in 2016 following a C$168 million write-down in December 2012. Several other mines have been subject to production slowdowns or suspension, the company plans to sell its two uranium mines in the US (if it can find a buyer), and CEO Tim Gitzel said in February 2017 that Cameco is “very far from requiring any new greenfield uranium projects”.
Cameco is currently embroiled in a court case, accused of illegal profit-shifting by the Canada Revenue Agency using subsidiaries in Switzerland and Barbados. If Cameco is found guilty, it may have to back-pay taxes amounting to C$2.1 billion.
Finally, the report includes a table listing many of Cameco’s accidents and controversies since 1981 ‒ leaks and spills, the promotion of dangerous radiation junk science (in WA and elsewhere), appalling treatment of indigenous people, systemic and sometimes deliberate safety failures and breaches, etc………
Explaining the uranium market’s malaise There are numerous reasons why the uranium market is likely to remain depressed for the foreseeable future. The most important are briefly discussed here.
1. Nuclear power is unlikely to expand…..
2. Uranium is plentiful. …..
3. Stockpiles (inventories) are massive and still growing…….

May 5, 2017 Posted by | business, reference, uranium, Western Australia | Leave a comment


The Global Uranium Industry & Cameco’s Troubled History May 2017 Jim Green − Friends of the Earth, Australia

“…….. Kintyre (70% Cameco / 30% Mitsubishi) The Martu Aboriginal people have fought against this proposed uranium mine since the 1980s. The deposit sits between two branches of a creek called Yantikutji which is connected to a complex network of surface and groundwater systems. It is also in an area that was cut out of the Karlamilyi National Park, WA’s biggest National Park. Kintyre is home to 28 rare, endangered and threatened species. The project would include an open pit 1.5 km long, 1.5 km wide, it would use 3.5 million litres of water a day and leave behind 7.2 million tonnes of radioactive mine waste over the life of the project.

In June 2016, Martu Traditional Owners led a 140 km, week-long walk to protest against Cameco’s proposed uranium mine at Kintyre. Aboriginal Traditional Owners are concerned the project will affect their water supplies as well as 28 threatened species in the Karlamilyi National Park.

Joining the protest walk was Anohni, the Academy Award-nominated musician from Antony and the Johnsons. She said: “It’s a huge landscape – it’s a really majestic place. It’s really hard to put a finger on it but there’s a sense of presence and integrity and patience, dignity and perseverance and intense intuitive wisdom that this particular community of people have. There is almost an unbroken connection to the land – they haven’t been radically disrupted. They are very impressive people – it’s humbling to be around these women. In many regards, I think the guys who run Cameco are desolate souls, desolate souls with no home, with no connection to land, with no connection to country.”

Yeelirrie (100% Cameco) Yeelirrie in the local Wongutha Aboriginal language means ‘place of death’. The local community has fought against mining at Yeelirrie for over 40 years. There was a trial mine in the 1970s which was poorly managed: the site was abandoned, unfenced and unsigned with a shallow open pit and tailings left behind. The project would include a 9 km long, 1 km wide open pit, it would use 8.7 million litres of water a day and leave behind 36 million tonnes of radioactive mine waste over the life of the mine. There are many cultural heritage sites under threat from this proposal. The project was rejected by the Western Australian Environmental Protection Agency in 2016 because of the threat that 11 species of underground microfauna would become extinct. The WA Environment Minister ignored the EPA advice and approved the project anyway.

May 5, 2017 Posted by | aboriginal issues, Opposition to nuclear, reference, uranium, Western Australia | Leave a comment

China anxious as North Korea s ready to conduct another nuclear weapons test,

Meanwhile satellite images indicate activity has resumed at North Korea’s nuclear test site, US-based analysts said Tuesday, as tensions remain high over fears of an sixth atomic test by the reclusive state.

Monitor group 38 North warns North Korea is ready to conduct another nuclear weapons test, 4 May 17  Beijing regularly calls for parties to avoid raising tensions — remarks that can apply to both Washington and Pyongyang — and in February it announced the suspension of coal imports from the North for the rest of the year, a crucial foreign currency earner for the authorities.

Chinese state-run media have called for harsher sanctions against the North in the event of a fresh atomic test, urged Pyongyang to “avoid making mistakes”, and spoken of the need for it to abandon its nuclear programmes.

The KCNA commentary denounced the People’s Daily, the official mouthpiece of the Chinese Communist party, and the Global Times, which sometimes reflects the thinking of the leadership, as having “raised lame excuses for the base acts of dancing to the tune of the US”.

Chinese suggestions that the North give up its weapons crossed a “red line” and were “ego-driven theory based on big-power chauvinism” said the article, bylined “Kim Chol” — believed to be a pseudonym.

May 5, 2017 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

US tests nuclear-capable missile with the range to strike North Korea

Projectile blasts off just after midnight from Vandenberg Air Force Base, 150 miles northwest of Los Angeles – the second in a week, The Independent, Tom Batchelor  @_tombatchelor The US has test-fired a nuclear-capable intercontinental ballistic missile from a site in California, the second such launch in a week, amid rising tensions with North Korea.

The unarmed Minuteman 3 missile has a range of around 8,000 miles, putting it within striking distance of Pyongyang.

It blasted off just after midnight from Vandenberg Air Force Base, 150 miles northwest of Los Angeles, and delivered a single projectile to a target approximately 4,200 miles away at Kwajalein Atoll in the Pacific Ocean, US Air Force Global Strike Command said……..

Meanwhile, China has called on all parties in the standoff to stay calm and “stop irritating each other”.”We again urge all relevant parties to remain calm and exercise restraint, stop irritating each other, work hard to create an atmosphere for contact and dialogue between all sides, and seek a return to the correct path of dialogue and negotiation as soon as possible,” said Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang,

Rising tensions are also pushing Japan to consider dropping its pacifist charter.

May 5, 2017 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

All about renewable energy and climate in Australia

I can no longer keep up with this
“Nuts” electricity market drives new rooftop solar boom – with side of battery storage
An electricity market “about as bad as you can get” has helped put household solar – and storage – back in the spotlight of Australia’s renewables shift, prompting forecasts of “massive growth.”

Business Supports Mandatory Sustainability Reporting – CSR Survey
More than half of the respondents to an annual study of corporate social responsibility practices say sustainability reporting should be mandatory – and for the first time Australian banks have fallen off the list of top 10 CSR companies.

Cost of catastrophe
Climate change litigation is emerging as a significant risk for companies across all sectors of the economy.

Perth is about to become the first Australian capital city to have “smart benches”, where people can charge their phones and access wifi for free.
Electricity bills to fall thanks to renewable energy: forecaster
There could be relief in sight for households grappling with rising electricity bills, with a leading energy analyst forecasting new renewable projects will prevent more hikes in power prices within three years.

Australian households to install one million batteries by 2020
Morgan Stanley is still expecting around one million households in Australia will install battery storage by 2020.

Record $7.5bn renewables spend puts RET well within reach
Stunning $7.5 billion surge in investment in large scale wind and solar projects means Renewable Energy Target is well within reach, and could be filled by commitments this year.

Tables – large scale renewable energy projects being built, or about to start
A table summarising the large scale renewable energy projects completed, under construction, or about to start in 2017.

New solar will be cheaper than old coal by 2032
BNEF says falling solar PV costs mean it will be cheaper to build a new large-scale solar than to burn coal by 2032.
Report: Near-total renewable energy systems cheaper than gas in 2030
Christian Roselund
Climate Policy Initiative stresses flexibility and shows how energy storage and limited gas generation can support a power system dominated by renewables at a lower cost than conventional generation.
Playing to our natural advantages
Leanne Minshull
Tasmania is potentially set to become an energy superpower

May 5, 2017 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, climate change - global warming, energy | Leave a comment

All about the Adani coal mine expansion plan

I can no longer keep up with this
Adani admits overseas steel cheaper 

Green groups to target Commonwealth Bank over potential Adani financing
GREEN groups will go to war with the Commonwealth Bank this week after documents revealed a continuing relationship with Adani that helped the controversial Carmichael mine gain approval for a water licence.
Govt considers action against Adani
ADANI is facing a new investigation by the Queensland Government into its operations after water released at its Abbot Point facility was found to contain eight times the permitted level of sediment.
Westpac’s Adani decision finds public support, despite Canavan’s disapproval
Survey shows 41% of people support bank’s decision to rule out funding Adani’s Queensland mine, with only 14% against, as the resources minister vows to switch banks
Arrium deal ‘no saviour’ for Whyalla steelworks
A PROMISE to source $74 million worth of steel from Arrium has been welcomed by the State Government, but Treasurer Tom Koutsantonis warns it won’t be the “saviour” of the Whyalla steelworks.
Adani faces possible multi-million-dollar fine over Abbot Point sediment water discharge
Mining giant Adani faces a possible multi-million-dollar fine after sediment water eight times above authorised levels was discharged from the Abbot Point coal terminal last month, the ABC can reveal.
Politician slams anti-coal ‘latte sippers’
A QUEENSLAND politician has slammed opponents of coal power, claiming if you don’t support coal, you can “sit under palm trees and weave baskets for a living”.
The government is swimming against the tide on Westpac’s Adani decision
David Peetz, Griffith University and Georgina Murray, Griffith University
As the cost of renewable energy falls, funding a new mine is a risky investment.
South Australia
Adani wards off Whyalla wipeout
The proposed $16.5bn Adani Carmichael mine project has thrown a lifeline to South Australia’s steel industry.

May 5, 2017 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, business, climate change - global warming, politics | Leave a comment

France’s Presidential candidates disagree on nuclear energy

French Presidential Election: Nationalism Meets Environmentalism From International Environment Reporter Bloomberg, By Rick Mitchell, 5 May 17 


“………..While the campaign commitment documents of both candidates set out environmental and energy policies, independent candidate Macron—a former Rothschild banker who was minister of economy, industry and the digital economy in outgoing President Francois Hollande’s Socialist government when the country hosted global climate talks in 2015—offers more detail than does National Front candidate Le Pen…….

Divergence on Nuclear Energy

Le Pen, by contrast, “promises to preserve the environment by breaking with an economic model based on wild trade globalization,” asserting that “real ecology” consists in producing, processing and consuming close to home.

On energy, she promises to modernize and secure the country’s aging fleet of nuclear reactors, in particular through a program proposed by flagship energy company Electricite de France (EDF) that would spend tens of billions of euros through 2025 to extend reactors’ lives beyond 40 years.

Macron said a strategic decision on extending reactors’ lives should wait for a report by the country’s Nuclear Safety Authority (l’Autorité de Sûreté Nucléaire), expected in 2018.

Le Pen says she would reassert state control of EDF, which until 2004 was fully state owned, and would not allow the closing of the troubled Fessenheim nuclear power plant.

Closing Fessenheim is an unkept promise by Hollande that Macron has vowed to carry out. But Macron said he would wait until after the next-generation Flamanville European pressurized reactor (EPR) plant comes online.

Originally meant to be in operation by 2012, the Flamanville plant has suffered several construction delays and cost overruns due to safety and other problems.

Macron would continue the Hollande government’s plan, set out in the framework 2015 law on energy transition related to green growth, to reduce nuclear energy’s share of French electricity generation from the current 75 percent down to 50 percent 2025.

Renewables  Continue reading

May 5, 2017 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

China calls for all of its citizens to return from North Korea immediately

GET OUT: North Korea ‘ready’ for new nuclear test, Northern Star, 4th May 2017 CHINA has called for all of its citizens to return from North Korea immediately as a US citizen is detained for allegedly trying to overthrow the country’s regime……

May 5, 2017 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Australian Energy Market Operator chief, Audrey Zibelman on the urgent need for new energy business model

AEMO chief says clinging to old energy business models is “insane” By Giles Parkinson on 3 May 2017

The new head of the Australian Energy Market Operators says the notion that major energy industry players can hold on to their old business models is “insane”, and has described last year’s state-wide blackout in South Australia as a “wake-up” call for all in the industry.

In a speech to the Australian Solar Council conference in Melbourne on Wednesday, and in earlier in-depth interview with RenewEconomy, Zibelman says the pace of change in the energy industry would be rapid, would focus on consumers and their use of rooftop solar and battery storage, and on demand management.

Zibelman advocates major reforms in the market, particularly in the proposed 5-minute rule, which she says would help make wind and solar “predictable”. She says it is clear that Australia will lead the world in shifting from a grid focused on centralised generation and passive consumers to one based on distributed resources and two way system.

This, she says, will require a new approach from all involved, including incumbent utilities, network operators, regulators, and AEMO itself. Continue reading

May 5, 2017 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, energy | Leave a comment

Kimba District Council conducting ballot on National Radioactive Low/Intermediate Level Waste Management Facility.

Kimba District Council The District Council of Kimba is conducting a ballot in relation to the nomination for a site being progressed to Phase 2 for further consultation for a National Radioactive Low/Intermediate Level Waste Management Facility.

If you are not currently enrolled on the State Electoral Roll for this council area you may still be entitled to enrol to vote on the Chief Executive Officer’s roll if you own or occupy a property within the District Council of Kimba.
For further information on voting entitlements please contact the office on 8627 2026.

Applications close for the purposes of the ballot at 12 noon Monday 15th May, 2017.
Please share if you know of someone that maybe eligible.

May 5, 2017 Posted by | ACTION | Leave a comment

Lobby Labor to stop the four Western Australian uranium mines

  • Sign the Uranium Free Charter
  • Take a selfie – with the Ban Uranium Mining Permanently sign and post to social media #walabor #uraniumfreewa
  • Get in touch with Labor – see details below: – (08) 6552 5800 – (08) 6552 6700 – (08) 6552 5000
For your local member find:

Here is some draft text you could adapt to send to them or use as speaking points for a call: 

I’m contacting you to let you know I support the WA Labor policy to prevent uranium mining in WA and wish to see uranium mining banned permanently in this State. I am concerned by recent media statements that indicate Labor will let the four proposed uranium mines in WA go ahead. None of these projects have final approval none are under construction so they do not meet Labors criteria. These mines should not be allowed to proceed under a Labor Government.

After eight years of support and subsidies for uranium mining by the Barnett Government, our State remains nuclear-free. There are no operating uranium mines, no uranium projects with final approval to mine, and no proposals that are economically viable.

Now that Labor has won the State election, you and your party have a unique opportunity to prevent and ban uranium mining in WA and instead support a Renewable Energy Target and a clean energy future for West Australians.

Labor has been clear and consistent on their opposition to uranium mining and the party has a clear and strong policy against uranium, nuclear power, and nuclear waste that I support. This position should be clarified and re-affirmed given recent media reports that suggest otherwise.

I urge you to make quick decisive action to end uranium mining in WA once and for all. This will create certainty and relief for communities that have endured eight years of negotiating and fighting with uranium mining companies and the Barnett Government._____

May 5, 2017 Posted by | ACTION | Leave a comment

Western Australia anti nuclear action

US bases tour – WA – June 16th – 18th
Join us on a whirlwind tour of the US bases close to Perth. We’ll leave on a Friday head towards Geraldton and come back on Sunday evening. We’ll be camping in State Park so bring a swag or a tent.
$80 per person (includes food and fuel and no frills) – spaces are limited so book in fast!
For more info or to book your spot call 0415380808 or e-mail

This years Walkatjurra Walkabout dates are now set for the 4th of August leaving Fremantle and returning on the 3rd of September. We are hoping for a really good turn out this year and hopefully it will be a celebration of a Ban on uranium mining. If Labor have not done it by then we need lots of people to come and demand that they keep their promises. Register for the walk here or find our more Information for walkers here.

Sign the Uranium Free Charter
Don’t let WA become a radioactive quarry and waste dump! Western Australians face a choice about uranium mining. The current push to allow uranium mining is a direct threat to workers’ safety and the long term health of our environment and communities. Uranium mining does not make good economic sense and leaves behind a radioactive legacy.

May 5, 2017 Posted by | ACTION | Leave a comment

Donald Trump can neither think nor speak clearly

Americans have placed vast military power at the discretion of this mind, a presidential discretion that is largely immune to restraint by the Madisonian system of institutional checks and balances. So, it is up to the public to quarantine this presidency by insistently communicating to its elected representatives a steady, rational fear of this man whose combination of impulsivity and credulity render him uniquely unfit to take the nation into a military conflict.


Trump has a dangerous disability,  May 3 It is urgent for Americans to think and speak clearly about President Trump’s inability to do either. This seems to be not a mere disinclination but a disability. It is not merely the result of intellectual sloth but of an untrained mind bereft of information and married to stratospheric self-confidence.

In February, acknowledging Black History Month, Trump said that “Frederick Douglass is an example of somebody who’s done an amazing job and is getting recognized more and more, I notice.” Because Trump is syntactically challenged, it was possible and tempting to see this not as a historical howler about a man who died 122 years ago, but as just another of Trump’s verbal fender benders, this one involving verb tenses.

Now, however, he has instructed us that Andrew Jackson was angry about the Civil War that began 16 years after Jackson’s death. Continue reading

May 5, 2017 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment