Antinuclear

Australian news, and some related international items

Campaign to get more MPs to work for Australia to sign and ratify the Nuclear Weapons Ban Treaty

Gem Romuld, 25 Sept 17, Today marks the UN International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons. We took a big step towards that goal when the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons opened for signature last Wednesday, gaining 53 signatories within the first 3 days. Many of our regional neighbours have signed on, including New Zealand, Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines.

Unfortunately, while Julie Bishop was at the United Nations, she failed to sign Australia on to the Treaty. To shine a spotlight on Australia’s dismal record on nuclear disarmament, activists scaled the front awning of the Foreign Affairs Department in Canberra.

This peaceful action was reported on television news, print and online. You can see the full list on our media page.

A September ReachTEL poll commissioned by Greenpeace Australia Pacific shows that 72% of the public supports the ban treaty. In Bishop’s own electorate of Curtin, 70% want her to sign on for Australia. Activists in Perth delivered a giant copy of the treaty and a giant pen to Julie Bishop’s electorate office, to remind her of what to do.

Please help us build support for the Treaty within federal parliament by signing up MPs and Senators to the Parliamentary Pledge. So far, 54 parliamentarians from all sides of politics have pledged to work for Australia’s signature and ratification of the Treaty. Let’s get more on board. Please check the list here and reach out to those who haven’t yet signed on.

With sadness, we farewell the Sydney-based author and Hiroshima survivor, Junko Morimoto, who passed away on September 21. In her final month, she urged Prime Minister Turnbull to sign Australia on to the nuclear weapons ban treaty.

While the nuclear threat continues to escalate, we must call on our government to reject these weapons of mass destruction entirely. Please support our efforts to get Australia and our regional neighbours to sign and ratify this vital new treaty.

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September 27, 2017 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, opposition to nuclear | Leave a comment

Aborigines fight to block nuclear wastes from Scotland ending up dumped in rural South Australia

Australian Aborigines move to block shipments of Scottish nuclear waste http://www.heraldscotland.com/news/15554758.Australian_Aborigines_move_to_block_shipments_of_Scottish_nuclear_waste/?ref=fbshr 26 Sept 17,   ABORIGINES in South Australia are fighting a plan to ship nuclear waste from Scotland amid fears it will be dumped on land regarded as culturally and spiritually sacred.

Wallerberdina, around 280 miles north of Adelaide, has been earmarked as a possible location for Australia’s first nuclear waste dump despite claims that it is a priceless heritage site rich in archaeological treasures including burial mounds, fossilised bones and stone tools.

Some have claimed the impact would be similar to “building a waste dump at the heart of the Vatican”.

Now campaigners have appealed to the Scottish Government to halt controversial plans to ship nuclear waste processed at Dounreay in Caithness to Australia, amid concerns that it will eventually end up on the culturally sensitive land.

The waste transfer is part of a deal with saw spent fuel from nuclear reactors in Australia, Belgium, Germany and Italy processed at Dounreay – the nuclear facility in Caithness currently being decommissioned – to enable it to be safely stored after being returned to its country of origin.

The UK government has previously confirmed that “a very small quantity of Australian-owned radioactive waste” is currently stored in the country.

Scottish Government policy allows for the substitution of nuclear waste with a “radiologically equivalent” amount of materials from Sellafield in Cumbria.

The Herald understands that a shipment of such material is due to take place by 2020.

While the waste will be initially stored at a facility near Sydney, concern is growing that it could end up at Wallerberdina, one of two areas under consideration as a nuclear waste dump site.

As well as sparking anger over the site’s cultural and sacred connections, the proposed location has angered local people who still recall British atomic bomb tests in the area in the 1950s without permission from the affected Aboriginal groups.

Thousands were adversely affected with many Aboriginal people left suffering from radiological poisoning

Gary Cushway, a dual Australian/British citizen living in Glasgow, has now written to the First Minister asking that the Scottish Government review the agreement to transfer the material “until a satisfactory final destination for the waste is finalised by the Australian Government.”

He argues that doing so would allow the government to “take the lead in mitigating mistakes of the past that the UK government has made in regards to indigenous Australians.”

The proposed dump site is next to an Indigenous Protected Area where Aborigines are still allowed to hunt, and is part of the traditional home of the Adnyamathanha people, one of several hundred indigenous groups in Australia.

 

 

 

 

September 27, 2017 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Federal nuclear waste dump | Leave a comment

North Korea states that it has the right to Shoot Down U.S. Warplanes

North Korea Says It Has the Right to Shoot Down U.S. Warplanes, NYT, 25 Sept 17, 

查看简体中文版 
查看繁體中文版  North Korea threatened on Monday to shoot down American warplanes even if they were not in the country’s airspace, stating that President Trump’s comments suggesting he would eradicate North Korea and its leaders were “a declaration of war.”

September 27, 2017 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

Chernobyl’s radioactive puppies

The Puppies of Chernobyl

 

HUNDREDS OF RADIOACTIVE PUPPIES JUST GOT SPAYED, NEUTERED AT CHERNOBYL DISASTER SITE http://www.newsweek.com/hundreds-puppies-got-spayed-and-neutered-chernobyl-year-669093, BY KATE SHERIDAN An American nonprofit organization, Clean Futures Fund, has started a spay and neuter clinic for the four-legged descendants of survivors of one of history’s worst nuclear disasters.

After the Chernobyl nuclear reactor melted down on April 26, 1986, some dogs and cats left behind survived and began to breed. More than 400 animals were spayed and neutered in the first year of the clinic’s operation at the former reactor, which ended earlier this month.

The laws governing the exclusion zone around Chernobyl strongly advise people to avoid feeding or touching the dogs, due to the risk of contamination. Not only is the dogs’ fur potentially loaded with radioactive particles, but their food and water is contaminated. The radioactive molecules they ingest may also linger in their bodies.

“We could find areas in their bones where radioisotopes had accumulated. We could survey the bones and we could see the radioactivity in them,” a Clean Futures Fund co-founder, Lucas Hixson, told Newsweek. The program funds medical treatment for locals in addition to running the spay and neuter program at the power plant and in the neighboring city.

“These dogs run through [contaminated areas] and it gets stuck on their coat and on the end of their noses and their feet.”

There are nearly 1,000 dogs in the area around the power plant. Only a few dozen cats live in the highly contaminated areas that the dogs frequent.

Hixson has been traveling to Chernobyl for about five years, initially as a radiation specialist. “I go over there expecting to do my work, and I step off the train at the power plant and there’s a dog in my face. Honestly, it was one of the last things I expected to see at Chernobyl,” he said.

To keep the veterinary hospital as free from radioactive contamination as possible, dogs that come to the facility are examined and washed down until their levels of radioactivity are deemed safe.

Despite the potential risk, Hixson said he’s continued to interact with the dogs. “There is a fair amount of handling that happens. This is a natural reaction between humans and dogs,” he said. “You can’t help yourself.”

“They’re not hazardous to your immediate health and wellbeing. But anytime you go pet the dogs, go wash your hands afterwards before you eat.”

Clean Futures Fund got approval from the Ukranian government for its operations. Other partners include SPCA International, Dogs Trust and two U.S. universities, including Worchester Polytechnic Institute and the University of South Carolina.

Hixson also noted the local workers have welcomed the team. “I remember there was a lot of skepticism when we showed up,” he said. “But after about two or three days of us catching dogs, processing them, releasing them, the attitude immediately changed,” he said. “I can’t thank them enough for everything they did.”

Even if every dog and cat in Chernobyl is sterilized and vaccinated, the wider stray dog issue in Ukraine means that more dogs could move into the contaminated area and Clean Futures Fund’s efforts could be somewhat for naught. Ultimately, Hixson would like to work with the Ukranian government on a wider rescue program to get the dogs out of the area and into homes.

He will be returning in November to measure the impact of the program, which is expected to run for five years. The next spay and neuter clinic will happen next summer.

September 27, 2017 Posted by | Uncategorized | 1 Comment

France investing 20 billion euros in switch from nuclear power to renewables

France to invest 20 billion euros in energy transition, Reuters Staff, PARIS (Reuters) 26 Sept 17 – The French government plans to invest 20 billion euros in an energy transition plan, including 9 billion euros towards improved energy efficiency, 7 billion for renewables and 4 billion to precipitate the switch to cleaner vehicles.

The environment-related investments, drafted by economist Jean Pisani-Ferry and presented by Prime Minister Edouard Philippe on Monday, are part of a 57 billion-euro investment plan to run from 2018 to 2022.

Buildings are responsible for 20 percent of greenhouse gas emissions, so the government plans a 9 billion-euro thermal insulation programme that will focus on low-income housing and government buildings, the government said in a statement.

 “The number of badly insulated low-income housing and social housing will be divided by two, and a quarter of government buildings will be renovated in line with environmental norms,” it said.

The programme aims at financing the renovation of 75,000 dwellings per year, or 375,000 over the government’s five-year term.

The government will also invest 7 billion euros ($8.31 billion) to boost the growth of French renewable energies by 70 percent over the next five years.

Investments will include research and innovation to combat climate change, and will speed up France’s transition to low carbon and greater energy efficiency…… https://www.reuters.com/article/us-france-renewables-investments/france-to-invest-20-billion-euros-in-energy-transition-idUSKCN1C027P

September 27, 2017 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

1461 scientists speak up for saving Australia’ oceans

Conservationist and 1,461 other scientists release statement describing Australia’s oceans as a ‘global asset’ that must be protected,  https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/sep/27/david-suzuki-australia-sickening-threat-to-marine-reserves-undermines-global-protection

Guardian,Michael Slezak, 26 Sept 17, Growing global momentum to protect the world’s oceans from overfishing could be undermined by Australia, warns renowned conservationist David Suzuki and more than 1,461 other scientists.David Suzuki: Australia’s ‘sickening’ threat to marine reserves undermines global protection He said Australia needed to face up to the interconnected issues of climate change and ocean health, both of which it was failing to address.

“I’m sorry Australia, wake up,” Suzuki said. “The oceans are a mess and a great deal of the mess is a reflection of climate change. Climate change is the overarching issue that is hammering the oceans as well as terrestrial areas. And it is absolutely disgusting that coal is still considered a great economic input to Australia.

“When you’ve got something that [other countries] would die for – you’ve got sunlight up the ying yang, why isn’t Australia the world leader in this incredible form of energy? It makes me sick. You’ve got great research facilities. You’ve got great scientists. You’ve got everything going to be a world leader in the energy of the future and you’re not doing it. And it’s not surprising then that you are doing the same to the oceans. What is it going to take for Australia to wake up to the opportunities?”

Australia is currently considering the world’s biggest downgrading of a protected area with a reduction in the size of its network of marine reserves. Continue reading

September 27, 2017 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, environment | 2 Comments

Some recycling of lithium already going on in Australia

LITHIUM ION BATTERIES  ore http://www.batteryrecycling.org.au/recycling/lithium-ion-batteries The number of lithium-ion reaching end of life is expected to increase exponentially over the next 20 years. A report from Randell Environmental Consulting and Blue Environment can be downloaded here.

A report from Anna Boyden on the environmental impacts of lithium ion batteries provides useful background material and can be downloaded here.

Lithium-ion batteries (UN No. 3480) are classified as Dangerous Goods under the Australian Code for the Transport of Dangerous Goods by Road and Rail (ADG Code).

The ADG Code requires all dangerous goods, including lithium ion batteries, to be carried in a secure, safe and environmentally controlled manner. The carrier has the right to refuse carriage if dangerous goods are not packed in accordance with the regulations. There is a special provision (377) and packaging instruction (P909) for ‘lithium ion and lithium metal cells and batteries and equipment containing such cells and batteries transported for disposal or recycling, either packed together with or packed without non-lithium batteries…’

The following ABRI members provide a collection and recycling service for used lithium-ion batteries. Contact the company or check their web site for details. Continue reading

September 27, 2017 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, rare earths, storage | Leave a comment

Nuclear military terms in the media: what they mean

The military and North Korea: What you hear and what it means http://edition.cnn.com/2017/09/25/politics/korea-military-terms-glossary/index.html,   September 26, 2017

To help you cut through the verbiage and hyperbole, here’s a list of common terms and what they really mean.
NUCLEAR POWERED AIRCRAFT CARRIER  All active US Navy aircraft carriers are powered by nuclear reactors. They would not, however, typically carry nuclear weapons. US aircraft carriers have a displacement of about 97,000 tons. Japan and the US have smaller ships, with a displacement of 24,000 to 43,000 tons, which look like aircraft carriers but are considered helicopter destroyers and amphibious assault ships, respectively. Continue reading

September 27, 2017 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

27 September REneweconomy news

 RenewEconomy
  • Sonnen waives monthly fees for battery customers in new deal with installers
    Sonnen offers “free energy” for households using approved installers, and says it has 2,000 battery sales so far in 2017 and keen to play FCAS market.
  • ABB to acquire GE Industrial Solutions
    ABB today announced the acquisition of GE Industrial Solutions, GE’s global electrification solutions business.
  • Stunning tipping points mean coal will never be great again
    The global energy industry is experiencing two major tipping points for wind and solar that mean that coal will never be great again, no matter how much Conservative politicians and columnists may wish it to be so.
  • Why the Tesla truck will turn freight industry upside own
    Elon Musk prepares to unveil Tesla’s next big thing – the all electric truck. Analysts expect it to be the biggest thing in the trucking industry for decades, and will slash transport costs.
  • Origin and Santos: Australia’s bungling Gas Giants
    There is no easy answer to Australia’s gas shortfall and high prices – and certainly not Turnbull’s Venezuala-style solution. The best bets might be gas imports, and to build more renewables …

September 27, 2017 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, energy | Leave a comment