Australian news, and some related international items

Australia follows nuclear weapons powers in boycotting UN treaty outlawing nuclear weapons

Australia joins boycott of UN treaty outlawing nuclear weapons

Foreign Minister Julie Bishop joined representatives from the US, Britain, France and others who were absent from the event at the annual United Nations gathering of world leaders overnight.

A total of 51 countries lined up to sign the new treaty.

 The treaty was adopted by 122 countries at the United Nations in July following negotiations led by Austria, Brazil, Mexico, South Africa and New Zealand.

None of the nine countries that possess nuclear weapons — the United States, Russia, Britain, China, France, India, Pakistan, North Korea and Israel — took part in the negotiations.

“There remain some fifteen thousand nuclear weapons in existence. We cannot allow these doomsday weapons to endanger our world and our children’s future,” UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said as he opened the treaty for signing.

NATO condemned the treaty, saying that it may in fact be counter-productive by creating divisions.

As leaders formally signed on the sidelines of the annual UN General Assembly, Secretary-General Antonio Guterres hailed as historic the first multilateral disarmament treaty in more than two decades.

But Guterres acknowledged that much work was needed to rid the world of its stockpile of 15,000 atomic warheads.

“Today we rightfully celebrate a milestone. Now we must continue along the hard road towards the elimination of nuclear arsenals,” said Guterres.

The treaty will enter into force when 50 countries have signed and ratified it, a process that could take months or years.

“At a time when the world needs to remain united in the face of growing threats, in particular the grave threat posed by North Korea’s nuclear program, the treaty fails to take into account these urgent security challenges,” the 29-nation Western alliance said.

It added: “Seeking to ban nuclear weapons through a treaty that will not engage any state actually possessing nuclear weapons will not be effective, will not reduce nuclear arsenals, and will neither enhance any country’s security, nor international peace and stability.

Rejecting need for nuclear weapons

Foreign Minister Sebastian Kurz of Austria, one of the few Western European nations that is not in NATO, rejected the idea that nuclear weapons were indispensable for security.

“If you look at the world’s current challenges, this narrative is not only false, it is dangerous,” he told AFP.

“The new treaty on the prohibition on nuclear weapons provides a real alternative for security: a world without any nuclear weapons, where everyone is safer, where no one needs to possess these weapons,” he said.

Brazilian President Michel Temer was the first to sign the treaty. Others included South African President Jacob Zuma and representatives from Indonesia, Ireland and Malaysia as well as the Palestinian Authority and the Vatican.

But even Japan, the only nation to have suffered atomic attack and a longstanding advocate of abolishing nuclear weapons, boycotted the treaty negotiations……

September 21, 2017 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, politics international, weapons and war | Leave a comment

At United Nations, dozens of countries signing up to the nuclear weapons ban treaty

50 signatories ink U.N. nuclear ban treaty opposed by major powers AP, KYODO, JIJI, 21 SEPT 17, AP, KYODO, JIJI  Dozens of countries on Wednesday signed a treaty to ban nuclear weapons, a pact that the world’s nuclear powers spurned but supporters hailed as a historic agreement nonetheless.

“You are the states that are showing moral leadership in a world that desperately needs such moral leadership today,” Beatrice Fihn, executive director of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons, said as a signing ceremony began.

 Before the day was out, 50 signatories as different as Indonesia and Ireland had put their names to the treaty; others can sign later if they like. Guyana, Thailand and the Vatican also have already ratified the treaty, which needs 50 ratifications to take effect among the nations that back it.

They would be barred from developing, testing, producing, manufacturing, otherwise acquiring, possessing or stockpiling nuclear weapons “under any circumstances.”

Seven decades after the United States dropped two atomic bombs on Japan during World War II — the only use of nuclear weapons — there are believed to be about 15,000 of them in the world today. Amid rising tensions over North Korea’s nuclear and missile tests, U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said Tuesday that the threat of a nuclear attack is at its highest level since the end of the Cold War.

“This treaty is an important step towards the universally held goal of a world free of nuclear weapons,” he said Wednesday.

Supporters of the pact say it is time to push harder toward eliminating atomic weapons than nations have done through the nearly 50-year-old Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

Under its terms, non-nuclear nations agreed not to pursue nukes in exchange for a commitment by the five original nuclear powers — the U.S., Russia, Britain, France and China — to move toward nuclear disarmament and to guarantee other states’ access to peaceful nuclear technology for producing energy.

More than 120 countries approved the new nuclear weapons ban treaty in July over opposition from nuclear-armed countries and their allies, who boycotted negotiations.

The U.S., Britain and France said the prohibition wouldn’t work and would end up disarming their nations while emboldening “bad actors,” in U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley’s words. French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian has called the treaty “wishful thinking” that is “close to irresponsible.” The nuclear powers have suggested instead strengthening the nonproliferation treaty, which they say has made a significant dent in atomic arsenals.

Absent from the signing ceremony were the five permanent U.N. Security Council seat holders — Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States — which all possess the destructive devices.

Nuclear umbrella nations, such as Japan and South Korea, and North Atlantic Treaty Organization members like Germany and The Netherlands did not endorse it either

“Although we share the same feelings about nuclear abolition, (the treaty) differs from Japan’s approach, so we will not be signing it,” Foreign Minister Taro Kono told reporters in New York.

“Unfortunately, the reality is that there are divisions between countries with nuclear weapons and those without, as well as between the countries without them, when it comes to recognizing (both) the inhumanity of nuclear weapons and the severity of the security environment,” he said, adding that Japan will try to bridge those gaps through existing frameworks.

Brazil was the first country to sign onto the ban Wednesday, followed by nations from Algeria to Venezuela.

“Those who still hold nuclear arsenals, we call upon them to join this date with history,” Costa Rican President Luis Guillermo Solis said as he prepared to sign.

In attendance at the signing ceremony were Japanese atomic bomb survivors and the mayor of Nagasaki.

The adoption of the treaty on July 7, when 122 countries voted in favor of banning atomic weapons for the first time after decades of prodding by atomic bomb victims — known as hibakusha in Japanese — and civil society.

The treaty’s backers believe that their path is the best option to prevent future nuclear catastrophes of the kind experienced by Japan in 1945 during the closing days of World War II. The bombings of Hiroshima on Aug. 6 of that year and Nagasaki three days later ushered in the nuclear era.

“The heroic survivors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki — the hibakusha — continue to remind us of the devastating humanitarian consequences of nuclear weapons,” Guterres said.

Also speaking was Peter Maurer, president of the International Committee of the Red Cross, who said the organization received a cable from Hiroshima on Aug. 30, 1945 describing a “city wiped out,” a great number of dead and over 100,000 wounded.

“The world today needs the promise of this treaty: the hope for a future without nuclear weapons,” he said. “Humanity simply cannot live under the dark shadow of nuclear warfare, and the immense suffering which we all know would result.”

In Hiroshima ahead of the signing, hibakusha and other citizens urged that all countries — including Japan — sign and ratify the treaty.

Close to 90 people gathered in front of the Atomic Bomb Dome. After observing a moment of silence, participants held up origami cranes and papers with messages demanding that countries sign the treaty.

The assembly was part of the Peace Wave 2017 campaign, in which citizens start a chain of movements from Japan in hopes of realizing a peaceful world free of nuclear weapons.

The event was planned by an organization of atomic bomb survivors in Hiroshima Prefecture and the Hiroshima Congress against A- and H-Bombs, or Hiroshima Gensuikin.

“If people believe that getting rid of nuclear weapons will lead to peace, a democratic government (sharing the belief) will be born, followed by the signing of the treaty,” said Kunihiko Sakuma, 72, head of the hibakusha organization.

“The governments of the nuclear nations will also change,” Sakuma added, emphasizing the importance of starting a civil movement.

As part of the campaign, more events will be held over the period through Tuesday, which has been set by the U.N. as International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons.


September 21, 2017 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull says there is no economic case for nuclear power

No commercial demand for nuclear power: PM

The prime minister says with electricity demand flat and even falling in Australia, he doesn’t see there being a commercial demand for expensive nuclear power. Roje Adaimy, 21 Sept 17, Malcolm Turnbull doesn’t see there being the commercial demand for nuclear power in Australia to warrant pushing its development.

The prime minister says that while the country has among the biggest uranium reserves in the world, building nuclear power stations takes a very long time.

China has a number of plants under construction but there is no “cookie cutter” design to help efficiently roll out the technology.

There also needed to be bipartisanship, which right now “is not even remotely there”, he told a ‘politics in the pub’ event on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast.

“The projects take so long to build that they would be very likely to span the lifetime of several governments,” Mr Turnbull said on Thursday night. “They’re all bespoke, so it takes a very long time to construct them and very expensive.”

On top of that, demand for electricity in Australia was flat or declining. “I don’t see there being the commercial demand for nuclear power,” he said. “That’s putting my businessman’s hat on rather than my politicians’ hat on.”

It comes just a few weeks after the Minerals Council released a paper setting out the case for nuclear power.

Nuclear power has relatively strong support among coalition MPs, but it remains a political hot potato and has been repeatedly ruled out by governments because of its cost.

September 21, 2017 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, business, politics | Leave a comment

Best selling author Junko Morimoto called on Turnbull to sign nuclear weapons ban treaty

Junko Morimoto, author of My Hiroshima, urged Malcolm Turnbull to sign nuclear weapons ban treaty, ABC, By political reporter Anna Henderson, 21 Sept 17,  Best-selling children’s author and Hiroshima bombing survivor Junko Morimoto urged the Australian Prime Minister to sign a treaty banning nuclear weapons before her death.

Key points:

  • Junko Morimoto wrote an eye-witness account of the dropping of the atomic bomb on Hiroshima
  • Morimoto urged Malcolm Turnbull to sign and ratify the new Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons
  • The author died on Thursday morning

Morimoto was the author of My Hiroshima, her eye-witness account of the dropping of the atomic bomb on Hiroshima in 1945, when she was a teenager.

Junko Morimoto: Remembering Hiroshima

Morimoto was in her 80s when she died on Thursday morning.

Last month Ms Morimoto sent a letter to Malcolm Turnbull calling on his Government to sign and ratify the new Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.

“When I was 13 years old, I survived hell on earth,” the letter said.

“Our home collapsed around us but my brother, sister, father and I managed to crawl out of the rubble and survive the horrifying days and months that followed.”……

September 21, 2017 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Opposition to nuclear | Leave a comment

South Korea and Japan alarmed at Donald Trump’s bellicose speech at UN

Jitters and surprise in South Korea and Japan over Trump’s speech to the U.N  WP 20 September 17  The United States’ closest allies in Asia seemed blindsided by President Trump’s latest outburst against North Korea, in which he threatened not just to act against Kim Jong Un’s regime, but also to destroy an entire country of 25 million people.

In his maiden speech to the United Nations General Assembly on Tuesday, Trump derided Kim as “Rocket Man” and said the United States would “totally destroy North Korea” if needed to protect its allies.Those allies, Japan and South Korea, were silent on Trump’s threat to bring war to their neighborhood, while China and Russia both warned that Trump risked fueling tensions.

China’s nationalist Global Times newspaper ran a cartoon captioned “Bully pulpit” showing Trump holding a megaphone, shouting “America First,” while the state-owned China Daily newspaper said Trump’s speech was “full of sound and fury.

“Today’s dangerous deadlock has been the result of Pyongyang’s and Washington’s persistent pursuit of their own interests in disregard of other countries’ efforts to persuade the two antagonists to talk,” the China Daily wrote in an editorial Wednesday morning. “His threat to ‘totally destroy’ [North Korea] if need be will, therefore, likely worsen the already volatile situation.”……..

September 21, 2017 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

Australians won over by cheapness and reliability of solar batteries, poll shows

Solar Batteries: Australians see energy storage as the future, poll finds, ABC By consumer affairs reporter Sarah Farnsworth and the National Reporting Team’s Rebecca Armitage, 22 Sept 17, As power prices continue to surge, Australians believe household solar storage batteries are the key to cheaper and more reliable energy, according to a new poll of 2,000 households.

Key points:

  • A survey found almost three-quarters of people believe solar batteries will become commonplace
  • 68 per cent of households with solar panels are considering purchasing a battery
  • The price of storage batteries in the first half of 2017 only dropped by 5 per cent

The Climate Council found nearly three-quarters of those surveyed believe batteries, coupled with solar systems, would become commonplace within 10 years.

Of those who already had solar systems, 68 per cent were considering adding a household storage battery.

Most said the primary motivation for buying a solar battery was to reduce power bills.

Only 6 per cent believed consumers were driven by the need to protect their homes from blackouts.

More than half said they expected large-scale batteries like the one being built by Elon Musk in South Australia would also become common in the next 10 years.

“It shows that Australians do understand that renewables — particularly solar and increasingly battery storage — provide a solution to high power prices,” the Climate Council’s Andrew Stock said.

“I think it’s very encouraging that Australians really do get the importance of new technology. There is very little appetite for keeping aging coal fire stations running in the Australian populace, frankly,” he said……..

Energy economist and director of Carbon and Energy Markets, Bruce Mountain, agreed South Australians would benefit from installing batteries sooner rather than later.

“That is simply because battery and solar prices have come down, and in South Australia energy prices have gone up so much,” Mr Mountain said.

Mr Mountain said he wanted the Federal Government to invest more in the local industry to bring down solar battery costs, instead of seeking to subsidise coal fire power generators like Liddell.

“They can accelerate the installation of these batteries, they can grow a local equipment suppliers and often than incentive creates new industry and scale economies,” Mr Mountain said.

“The household would benefit, but the system as a whole would benefit as well, because a household of battery and solar gives to the grid a far more stable demand,” he said.

September 21, 2017 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, storage | Leave a comment

Abbot Point spill further proof Adani can’t be trusted on coal, green groups say

Pollution of wetlands adjacent to Adani’s main coal export port in Queensland is proof the Indian-owned company can’t be trusted to operate a much larger operation should the Galilee Basin ever be opened up to mines, environmental groups said.

September 21, 2017 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

In Southern Australia, winters are becoming drier

Australia’s southern winters are drying out. Here’s why, ABC 20 Sept 17 ,By Ben Deacon and Kate Doyle Winter rains are in decline across southern Australia, and while it is too early to say beyond doubt it is due to climate change, scientists say it is not just about climate variability.

Key points:

  • This winter was particularly dry given there was no El Nino event
  • Winters in Australia’s south are drying out, affecting farmers
  • Scientists say it is not just due to climate variability

According to the Bureau of Meteorology, June was the driest on record for large parts of southern Australia, and the winter as a whole across Australia was the ninth driest on record.

“It’s actually quite unusual for us to get such a widespread dry through the winter without having an El Nino,” Bureau of Meteorology senior climatologist Blair Trewin said.

El Nino often brings dry conditions to Australia, but this year it is in neutral.

“It’s almost more about what hasn’t been happening,” Dr Trewin said.

Normally in winter, storms come up from the southern Indian Ocean and clip the bottom of Western Australia, delivering rain to the south of the country.

But until mid-July, the storms largely missed the continent………. Rainfall continues to decline in southern Australia. According to the Bureau of Meteorology, May to July rainfall has reduced by about 19 per cent since 1970 in the south-west of Australia.
There has been a decline of about 11 per cent since the mid-1990s in the April–October growing season rainfall in the continental south-east.

CSIRO Agriculture and Food senior principal research scientist Zvi Hochman said winter rain in Australia’s southern wheatbelt had declined by a whopping 28 per cent since 1990.

“I was surprised as anyone to find the extent to which that trend, across the 50 weather stations, is there,” Dr Hochman said.

“Yes, it varies geographically, but it is still a very strong trend……..

September 21, 2017 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, climate change - global warming | Leave a comment

Why Australia Should Sign The UN Nuclear Weapons Ban Treaty Now

It will help stigmatise nuclear weapons and change mindsets about retaining them, but our Government doesn’t support it.

 21/09/2017 Melissa ParkeFormer Member of Parliament for Fremantle and ICAN Ambassador


  Nuclear annihilation was the common childhood nightmare for those growing up in the late 20th century. When the Cold War ended, the issue dropped off the public radar, to be replaced by other existential concerns such as global warning.
 In the meantime, states with nuclear weapons got on with modernising their arsenals away from the glare of community awareness, and other states forged ahead with their own nuclear programs because, as noted by Australia’s former UN Ambassador Richard Butler, “as long as any state holds nuclear weapons, others will seek to acquire them”.

Now, two man-children possessed of odd hairdos, nuclear arsenals and twitchy fingers have brought the issue back to where it should have been all along. Uppermost in our minds.

Nuclear weapons are uniquely destructive to human health and the environment, because of the nature and extent of the devastation they cause and the ongoing radioactive fallout. Some nuclear weapons today are more than 3000 times more powerful than the atomic bombs that wiped out Hiroshima and Nagasaki 72 years ago. A single nuclear warhead, if detonated on a large city, could kill millions of people, with the effects lasting for decades.

 While other destructive weapons — land mines, cluster munitions, biological and chemical weapons — are already banned, the most powerful of all, nuclear weapons, remain the only weapons of mass destruction not yet explicitly prohibited under international law.

This year, more than 135 other countries came together at the United Nations to negotiate a nuclear weapons ban treaty. You’d think Australia’s participation in the negotiations would have been a no-brainer for the federal government, what with the Australian public being overwhelmingly supportive, with Australia’s proud record of advocacy of nuclear disarmament, and with the Labor Opposition expressing its strong support.

But no. Shamefully, the Australian Coalition government turned its back on the majority of the world’s nations and peoples by boycotting the nuclear ban negotiations. It claimed as justification that U.S. nuclear weapons are essential for Australia’s security.

This so-called ‘nuclear deterrence’ policy requires rational behaviour by all those who control nuclear weapons. Do we really have confidence that North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un and U.S. President Donald Trump will always behave rationally in not launching an attack on other nuclear states or their allies?

The nuclear deterrence policy also assumes that nuclear weapons make the world safer, not more dangerous. Patently, the reverse is true. The production, testing and possession, let alone the use, of nuclear weapons pose inherent risks.

There have already been a number of close calls (think Cuban Missile Crisis) and accidents, including last June, when a test missile involving the British Trident nuclear deterrence program malfunctioned and veered towards the U.S. coast before self-destructing. Luckily the missile was not armed with a nuclear warhead on that occasion but the British and U.S. governments did not reveal the incident when it happened, which incidentally, was just before the UK Parliament voted on renewing the Trident nuclear program.

Channeling Kath and Kim’s ‘I’ve got one thing to say to you’, the former UN Secretary-General was heard to say: “There are no right hands for wrong weapons.”

John Carlson, former head of Australia’s nuclear safeguards office for more than two decades, has pointed out in articles for the Lowy Institute that, as a party to the non-proliferation treaty, Australia is legally required to pursue negotiations in good faith on effective measures relating to nuclear disarmament.

It is difficult to see how Australia’s boycott of the nuclear ban treaty negotiations could be compatible with that obligation. Carlson also noted that:

“The world still has 15,000 nuclear weapons and the risk of nuclear war is increasing. A ban treaty is needed to re-energise disarmament efforts. The treaty will help to stigmatise nuclear weapons and change mindsets about retaining them”.

Notwithstanding Australia’s immoral (and likely illegal) boycott of the negotiations, the treaty text was finalised on July 7, and opened yesterday, September 20, for signature.

The treaty prohibits nations from developing, testing, producing, manufacturing, transferring, possessing, stockpiling, using or threatening to use nuclear weapons, or allowing nuclear weapons to be stationed on their territory. It also prohibits them from assisting, encouraging or inducing anyone to engage in any of these activities. Nations are obliged to provide assistance to all victims of the use and testing of nuclear weapons and to take measures for the remediation of contaminated environments. The preamble acknowledges the harm suffered as a result of nuclear weapons, including the disproportionate impact on women and girls, and on indigenous peoples around the world.

Many Australian indigenous and service personnel victims of British colonial nuclear testing at Maralinga, Emu Field and the Montebello islands in the 1950s and ’60s would no doubt attest to the importance of the treaty, which will come into force upon the ratification of 50 nations.

Just as it is time for Australia to have its own head of state, it is time for Australia to finally let go of our long-time strategic dependence on a great power, and to pursue fully independent foreign and defence policies.

Our ties with the U.S. will always be close — as Paul Keating said recently, “we couldn’t shake the Americans, even if we wanted to”. But surely, the time has come, particularly following the election of Donald Trump, to distance ourselves from counter-productive defence policies that are based on false assumptions, and take our place among the majority of nations as a constructive contributor to global peace.

I urge the Turnbull Coalition government to sign and ratify the UN nuclear ban treaty. If the present government fails to act, I urge the great Australian Labor Party of luminaries like Tom Uren, to convert its present support for nuclear ban treaty negotiations in Opposition into future support for the treaty in government, with a firm commitment at next year’s ALP national conference to ratify the nuclear ban treaty early in its first term.

September 21, 2017 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, weapons and war | Leave a comment

22 September More REneweconomy news

  • Solar sedan and sports coupe in race across Australia – and to commercial market
    A UNSW-built “solar sedan” is taking on a Brisbane-built solar sports coupe in a race across Australia – and to drive as registered vehicles on Australian roads.
  • Policy uncertainty is blocking investment in low carbon assets
    Australian institutional investors have a strong appetite for low carbon assets, but policy uncertainty and a lack of scalable deals are major barriers.
  • Whyalla’s not a ghost town, it’s the centre of a green industrial revolution
    Garnaut says renewables will cut energy costs to Whyalla steelworks by at least a third, and outlines plans for large scale solar, rooftop solar and pumped hydro and battery storage.
  • Solar boom underpins big surge in renewable energy jobs in August
    Large-scale power project construction work has broken through 10,000 jobs and rooftop solar installs almost broke 100MW for the month. Given they’ll deliver something close to $180m in bill savings the large lift in solar shouldn’t come as much surprise to anyone but Tony Abbott.
  • Commonwealth Bank acknowledges climate risk, shareholders discontinue proceedings
    Commonwealth Bank shareholders Guy and Kim Abrahams have discontinued their Federal Court proceedings against the bank for failing to disclose climate change risks in annual reports.
    Infigen Energy announces announces who will be appointed to the Boards of Infigen Energy Limited, Infigen Energy (Bermuda) Limited and Infigen Energy RE Limited (the Infigen Boards).
  • Want energy storage? Here are 22,000 sites for pumped hydro across Australia
    The race is on for storage solutions that can help provide secure, reliable electricity supply as more renewables enter Australia’s electricity grid.
  • Advisian hires global director for New Energy
    Advisian has appointed Tony Frencham as global director for new energy as it announces plans to scale significantly within the next five years.

September 21, 2017 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, energy | Leave a comment

22 September REneweconomy news

  • Battery ban off the table after industry roundtable “consensus”
    Standards Australia says industry roundtable has broadly agreed to “review” proposed rule banning li-ion batteries from being installed inside homes and garages. But rifts emerge in industry.
  • Back to 2009: Abbott declares war on everything
    Tony Abbott has drawn new battle-lines with interviews and an article that is a horror-show of ignorance, bias, conservative ideology and political dogma. Turnbull’s efforts to appease the right wing has gotten him and the Australian economy nowhere.
  • BHP under pressure to dump pro-coal lobby groups over climate policy
    A shareholder resolution highlighting the chasm between BHP’s stated climate policy and the pro-coal advocacy of its mining industry lobby has pushed the company to commit to reconsidering its membership of the hardline Minerals Council of Australia.

    • Off-grid solar + battery systems prove 15x more reliable than network
      Western Power pilot shows stand-alone solar + battery + diesel systems 15 times more reliable than grid, and could save $300 million in avoided network upgrade costs – but only if rules are change changed to allow the systems to be rolled out.
    • Battery storage uptake by households surges as grid costs soar
      New data shows home battery storage installations set to treble in 2017, even without a price fall. Once the technology gets cheaper, says SunWiz, batteries will be as ‘common as the backyard pool.’
    • ACT tips another $4m into home battery subsidy scheme
      ACT government opens third competitive grants round, in a $4m extension of its home battery storage subsidisation scheme.
    • The amazingly positive renewable story the Murdoch media won’t write
      The Australian buries its admission that Tuesday’s front page lead was fabricated, and still seeks to portray a cost saving to consumers as an extravagant “payday” for rich Saudi man.

September 21, 2017 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, energy | Leave a comment

Nuclear Fuel Retrieval Delayed

Fukushima 311 Watchdogs

Screenshot from 2017-09-20 22-26-54.pngA step in the decommissioning of Japan’s crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant could be delayed by 3 years.

Japan’s government and the plant operator say they need more time before they remove spent nuclear fuel rods in 2 of the reactors. The rods are in storage pools and now won’t be removed until fiscal 2023. They say they first need to remove rubble and radioactive substances.

The plan to remove molten fuel debris has not changed. This step is considered the biggest hurdle to decommissioning the plant.

The plant went into triple meltdown following the 2011 earthquake and tsunami. It’s expected to take 40 years to scrap the plant.

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September 21, 2017 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Stand in solidarity: Defend the human rights of Fukushima survivors

Fukushima 311 Watchdogs


Disasters like Chernobyl and Fukushima remind the world how dangerous nuclear power is. But right now, the nuclear industry is trying to downplay the risks of a nuclear disaster. In Fukushima radiation exposure is still a very real threat despite failed “decontamination”.

The Japanese government is set to lift evacuation orders in heavily contaminated areas around Fukushima. It will cut compensation and housing support to survivors, who are still struggling six years later.

Their basic rights to health, housing, and environment are being violated. The government is desperately trying to minimize the disaster at the expense of survivors in an attempt to revive the dying nuclear industry and suffocate other cleaner energy sources. We must say no!

Sign now to demand the government provides fair compensation, housing support, and is fully transparent about the radiation risks.

We’ll deliver your signature to the Prime Minister so he hears the global wave…

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September 21, 2017 Posted by | Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Cooling systems at five NRA-cleared nuke plants could fail if nearby volcanoes erupt

Fukushima 311 Watchdogs


Five nuclear power plants that have passed safety clearances may be at risk of having their cooling systems crippled during huge eruptions of nearby volcanoes, the nation’s nuclear safety watchdog said Monday.

The five plants are Kyushu Electric Power Co.’s Sendai and Genkai plants in Kagoshima and Saga prefectures, respectively, the Mihama and Oi plants, both in Fukui Prefecture and run by Kansai Electric Power Co., and the Ikata plant in Ehime Prefecture run by Shikoku Electric Power Co.

Additional research and data have revealed that the possible concentration of volcanic ash from huge eruptions could soar up to around 100 times that previously estimated. The findings emerged only after screenings of the plants by the Nuclear Regulation Authority.

According to the Federation of Electric Power Companies of Japan, the concentration of volcanic ash that would be spewed could exceed the limit of the plants’ air filters.

In the event…

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September 21, 2017 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment


WA Nuclear Free Alliance

Members from the Western Australia Nuclear Free Alliance (WANFA) have returned home this week from a weekend in Adelaide on Kaurna country for the Australian Nuclear Free Alliance annual conference to debrief and strategise for the struggles ahead.
At the core of Australian Nuclear Free Alliance (ANFA) are Aboriginal people living with nuclear projects on their lands, including uranium mines and the toxic legacy of nuclear weapons testing in the 1950s and 60s, and others trying to stop new uranium mines or nuclear waste dumps being imposed on their country.
This year marked the 20th annual conference; reflecting on the (many) wins of the past, the continued impact of nuclear projects past and present, and strategising on the future directions of the movement.
WANFA has come back from Adelaide, stronger, keener and more connected to continue fighting proposed uranium mines on their land.
We will take what we have learnt…

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September 21, 2017 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment