Australian news, and some related international items

Salesman for Small Nuclear Reactors (SMRs) says Ipswich, Queensland, should have them operating by 2030

Ipswich ‘ticks the boxes’ for nuclear revolution,  by Hayden Johnson, 4 Dec 17  THE Ipswich region is well-suited to become the home of one of Australia’s first nuclear reactors according to an energy executive who wants the community to lobby for its construction.

As the nation’s energy future remains at the forefront of federal political discourse, SMR Nuclear Technology has reignited the nuclear debate. Robert Pritchard serves as chairman of the board at SMR Nuclear Technology and is executive director of the Energy Policy Institute. He is calling for communities across Australia to consider whether nuclear power could be generated in their area.

“Ipswich ticks the box. “Places like Ipswich, Mt Isa, Broken Hill, Olympic Dam in South Australia, somewhere up in the Pilbara – there are lots of places where this makes all sorts of sense in 10 years’ time.”

Mr Pritchard said the station would not be built tomorrow, but called for the community to envisage the future. “The first one that would ever operate would not operate until 2030 – you’ve got 13 years,” he said.

“We’ve got the timeline mapped out as to what would happen in those 13 years but the work has to start now. Where you start is not with the technology – that’s a given – you’ve got to start with the community support.”

Mr Pritchard said there was a growing interest in nuclear generation across the community, which would be vital to its future……..

Federal Member for Blair Shayne Neumann dismissed the call.

“I don’t think it’s in the best interests of Ipswich to have a nuclear power plant on the banks of the Bremer River,” he said.

“It’s got to be renewables – solar, wind and geo-thermal energy.”

He said the nation was moving away from a high-emissions-intensity economy towards a green future.

“I’ve come to the conclusion a long time ago, as far as I’m concerned, not for our future here,” he said.

The strong opposition from the Member for Blair does not discourage Mr Pritchard, who, although encouraged politicians to keep an open mind, said it was up to the people to decide. “I think this is going to capture the public’s imagination, mainly because it’s not being pushed by politicians,” he said.”If the community doesn’t want it, we’re not going to have it, that’s the end of the story,” he said.The energy policy executive said it was a matter of; “fly the kite and see what happens”.


Mr Neumann was “convinced” the majority of residents in Ipswich would be opposed to nuclear generation technology.

Mr Pritchard said it would take the community time to learn about nuclear power generation.

He pledged to set up a series of meetings around the country where people were expressing serious interest.”What we want to do over the next little while is start these dialogues with community people,” he said.”You’re not going to push anything down people’s throats – people just won’t cop that.”The vast majority of people will be interested.” revolution, 

December 4, 2017 Posted by | Queensland, spinbuster | 1 Comment

Over 1000 protest in Adelaide against Federal nuclear waste dump plan


1000+ at an Adelaide rally yesterday to protest Canberra’s plans to dump Sydney’s nuclear waste in SA … People travelled from Hawker and Kimba regions of South Australia today to come and protest about the Federal Government’s plans to dump nuclear waste around their land and farms. All the speakers were very angry and cynical about the way that the Federal Government was behaving towards the people in this State.

December 4, 2017 Posted by | Federal nuclear waste dump, Opposition to nuclear, South Australia | Leave a comment

A new medical warning on the consequences of nuclear war

NUCLEAR WAR WITH N. KOREA: WE’RE NOT PREPARED FOR THE SCALE OF CASUALTIES BY CHAM DALLAS The global impact of nuclear war—in perception and reality—took a significant, unprecedented and highly negative turn in the summer of 2017 with North Korea’s acquisition of a thermonuclear weapon.

Those of us in the field of emergency preparedness shudder with the realization that a growing number of nations are joining the global thermonuclear arms race.

This reality is fraught with consequences that most people do not recognize, and frankly do not want to know.

In a nutshell, thermonuclear weapons, colloquially known as H-bombs, produce much larger yields of destructive power than the nuclear weapons that countries tested in the early days of nuclear weapon development.

For example, the nuclear bombs that the U.S. dropped on Japan in 1945 were in the 15 to 20 kiloton yield. This means that they had the destructive power of an equivalent of 15,000 to 20,000 tons of dynamite.

In addition to killing about 100,000 people, these weapons cause thousands of traumatic injuries, thousands of radiation injuries and hundreds of thermal burn victims.

Compare that to a thermonuclear weapon which is in the range of 75 to 49,000 kilotons of destructive power. Used on a densely populated urban center like New York City or Tokyo, just one weapon would kill millions of people and produce millions of casualties.

Those numbers are devastating enough, but the real nightmare is that the number of thermal burn casualties greatly multiply with a thermonuclear weapon relative to a simple nuclear weapon.

A typical serious thermal burn injury in a well staffed hospital takes three to four medical personnel per patient to provide adequate care. When we have hundreds of thousands of surviving burn patients due to an urban thermonuclear detonation, we are not going to be able to treat even a tiny fraction of them.

Until now, only wealthy and advanced nations – the United States, Russia, China, the United Kingdom, France and Israel – were able to produce these massively destructive thermonuclear weapons.

Now, with poor and unstable North Korea joining the thermonuclear club, other small nations may realize that this previously difficult threshold may be within their technical reach.

Even worse, nations around the world know that the Earth is getting to be a much more dangerous place when a nation like North Korea has such weapons, and many will perceive that their national safety now depends on procuring these terrible devices as well.

In academic journals and in the media, there is talk of India acquiring thermonuclear weapons on the fast track, which will pressure Pakistan to do the same. The sense of urgency is even touching nations that previously eschewed the development of nuclear weapons.

Even Japan – which by its constitution is significantly restricted in its armaments and has no nuclear weapons at all –  could use its enormous stockpile of nuclear waste to rapidly develop an equally enormous stockpile of thermonuclear weapons.

Despite repeated headlines about the growing possibility of nuclear war, most people, curiously, avoid thinking or talking about it. In over a thousand lectures on nuclear war medical response, I find even medical audiences do not want to address the issue.

In fact, I recently published an assessment of U.S. and Asian emergency medical responders’ hypothetical response to a nuclear event which found a striking lack of knowledge about patients affected by radiation after nuclear war and a strong reluctance to treat them, even though it is far less dangerous than treating infectious disease patients.

This fear of radiation is just as pronounced in the general population. We had a very hard time getting the medical and public health community to adequately address this issue even when we were focused on the smaller, Hiroshima-sized weapons, where it is feasible to mount a credible response. Now, we have to discuss the grim prospect of responding to the global thermonuclear arms race that we are now in – and currently losing.

While nuclear nonproliferation remains a top priority, the preparation for responding to the actual use of these terrible weapons is now a regrettable necessity that we must confront.

Cham Dallas is the director of the Institute for Disaster Management at the University of Georgia.

December 4, 2017 Posted by | General News | 1 Comment

USA air drills over Korean peninsula – North Korea warns of nuclear war danger

Air drills put region on ‘brink of nuclear war’, warns North Korea, 9 News, By Richard Wood

The comments by North Korea represent rising escalation on the Korean peninsula and came as US National Security Adviser HR McMaster declared the possibility of war was “increasing” daily. Pyongyang described the drill as ‘warmongering’.

The five-day air drill called Vigilant Ace kicks off today over the Korean peninsula and involves 230 advanced warplanes from the South Korean and US air forces.

 Commentary by Pyongyang’s Rodong Sinmun newspaper, carried by North Korea’s state media agency, criticised the exercise as a “dangerous provocation” propelling the region to “the brink of nuclear war”.

A total of 12,000 US personnel from the marines, navy and air force will take part in Vigilant Ace, reports The Wall Street Journal.

The aircraft flying from eight bases include the hi-tech F-22 Raptor and F-35 Lightning.

Both aircraft are more than a match for anything in North Korea’s largely Soviet-era air force and are cloaked in stealth coating, making them virtually invisible to enemy radar. Flying at 1930km/h, the F-35s can carry nuclear bombs and bunker-busting munitions, regarded as vital for targeting and destroying North Korea’s complex of military tunnels…….

December 4, 2017 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

Climate change preoccupies the mind of Kevin Rudd.

Kevin Rudd: ‘I don’t know how Malcolm Turnbull faces his grandkids’ CLIMATE HOME NEWS 03/12/2017,  Australia’s former prime minister talks about the failure of his country’s climate policy, the rise of China and the Carmichael coal mine By Karl Mathiesen

Climate change preoccupies the mind of Kevin Rudd.

This week it will be ten years since he became prime minister of Australia, a little over ten years since he called climate change “the great moral challenge of our generation”.

It remains foremost in his thoughts and tweets. One of the “great global megatrends”, climate change will define our future as a species, he tells Climate Home News over scones, jam and tea in an Oxford hotel. But Rudd is also keen to deal with the past, where climate change also looms.

Rudd’s 2010 decision to defer an emissions trading scheme is widely seen as a high water mark for Australian climate policy. The point where the tide changed and a decade of lost opportunity began.

Rudd has blamed that decision on the cabinet forces, led by his deputy Julia Gillard, that eventually deposed him.

The current prime minister Malcolm Turnbull faces a similar revolt, led by the man from whom he took the leadership –  Tony Abbott. This has led Turnbull to retreat on climate policy, most recently ignoring the advice of his chief scientist to create a clean energy target.

Given he faces similar internecine tensions to those Rudd dealt with as PM, should Turnbull be cut some slack?

“No,” says Rudd………

he says. “He [Turnbull] choked on climate change, he choked on a whole range of policy measures, hence the collective disillusionment with him. Turnbull’s principle political and policy failing is that it became very clear he just wanted to be there.”…….

In his current life as peripatetic statesman, Rudd says he takes every opportunity to criticise the Australian government over its “inertia” on climate change.

“I don’t know how those guys face their kids and grandkids in the morning. I really don’t. I just genuinely don’t,” he said…….

December 4, 2017 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

The ignorance of Australia’s nuclear pushers – Cory Bernardi and co.

Paul Waldon Fight To Stop Nuclear Waste Dump In Flinders Ranges SA, 3 Dec 17, 

December the 4th, another red letter date in the nuclear arena.

On this day 37 years ago, at Cap La Hague, where a report of several litres of highly contaminated liquid containing one gram of Plutonium per litre leaked, this happened in part of their vitrification plant where Uranium, and Plutonium are separated from fission products. One gram of Plutonium per litre may not sound like much to the ignorant, but remember the contamination on a leg of a fly at the Hanford nuclear  installation initiated a shutdown and evacuation of 20 acres.

Australia has recently held France up as a poster child for the risky and dangerous nuclear industry, with DIIS, and ANSTO’s falsely claiming with their factoids that the French nuclear industry is one to be applauded.

There are many ignorant people in the political arena, like Cory Bernadi espousing to the production of nuclear waste with no understanding that electricity is only a costly “byproduct” of reactor generation that future generations and the environment will have to pay for, so we can indulge for a meagre time in their history.

 Some people embracing Thorium reactors do so without the understanding that such reactors share the same risky technology of a reprocessing plant on site to separate fuel and fission products to maintain a neutron moderator. This also opens another can of worms with the location of a site to abandon the radioactive waste, and the promotion of a reprocessing plant may dilute the Basel Convention which Australia signed in 1992 to keep all dangerous and toxic material as close as possible to the place of production.

December 4, 2017 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, spinbuster | Leave a comment

Adani mine: Traditional owners aiming to block native title ruling on mine site

ABC News, By Josh Robertson and Isobel Roe 4 Dec 17, A group of traditional owners fighting Adani’s central Queensland coal mine have filed a court injunction against both the mine owner and the Queensland Government, hoping to prevent a National Native Title Tribunal decision on the Carmichael mine site. The legal fate of Australia’s largest proposed coal mine hinges on the tribunal registering an Indigenous land use agreement (ILUA).

After months of pressure from Adani, it is understood the tribunal has moved to fast-track its ruling and was due to hand down its decision some time this week.

The move shocked mine opponents within the Wangan and Jagalingou (W&J) traditional owners, who fear having a huge swathe of their native title claim on Galilee Basin country irreversibly struck down before the Federal Court can rule on a separate challenge to the validity of the ILUA.

Some W&J claimants have alleged in the Federal Court that Adani paid certain people $2,000 to attend a meeting and vote in favour of a compensation deal that would allow the coal mine to go ahead.

Speaking in Brisbane on Sunday for the W&J group opposed to the mine, Adrian Burragubba said they were determined to stop the tribunal handing down a decision ahead of the court ruling……

December 4, 2017 Posted by | legal, Queensland | Leave a comment

Government rejects claim by former national servicemen involved in British nuclear tests

Former national servicemen involved in British nuclear test have gold card bids rejected ABC, 4 Dec 17, By political reporter Dan Conifer A former national serviceman involved in a 1950s nuclear test in Australia is pleading for his lifetime healthcare application to be reconsidered.

Key points:

  • Operation Hurricane was the first British nuclear test in Australia and took place at the Montebello Islands
  • Ken Palmer believes exposure to radiation from a nuclear blast contributed to his illnesses
  • The national servicemen are now pleading to have their cases reviewed by Dan Tehan

Ken Palmer, 83, believes exposure to radiation from the blast has contributed to illnesses, including cancers.

“Please Mr Minister … you’ll still be in the job for a little while, make a clean breast of things, let your guard down a bit,” he said, referring to Veterans’ Affairs Minister Dan Tehan.

Mr Palmer was a teenager aboard HMAS Murchison in October 1952 when he saw “a big mushroom cloud” form on the horizon.

Operation Hurricane was the first British nuclear test in Australia and took place at the Montebello Islands, off Western Australia’s coast.

“It’s about five operations I could safely put down to being at Montebello,” Mr Palmer said.

He attributed having both thyroid glands removed to the nuclear test, along two hip procedures, back surgery, and having his prostate removed.

This year’s federal budget included $133 million to give nuclear veterans gold cards, providing lifelong no-gap medical care.

But Mr Palmer’s application was rejected by the Department of Veterans’ Affairs…….

Those aboard the ship have long argued they were as close as nine kilometres away, saying photographs taken moments after detonation prove their claims.

To qualify for gold cards, the national servicemen had to be within 10 kilometres.

“Was there a curtain they put up to stop the radiation heading towards our ship? I doubt it. I didn’t see it,” Mr Palmer said.

Veterans advocates estimate about 60 national servicemen were on the navy ship.

Another former ‘nasho’ aboard the HMAS Murchison, who has also been knocked back, estimated fewer than a dozen of his crewmates were still alive.

Mr Palmer, who is in hospital ahead of surgery on Tuesday, said: “This is our last stand.”…..

December 4, 2017 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Even the possession of nuclear weapons is now irrational, says Pope Francis

Pope Francis says mere possession of nuclear weapons is now ‘irrational’  Telegraph UK Associated Press 3 DECEMBER 2017 

The Cold War-era policy of nuclear deterrence is no longer viable and that the mere possession of nuclear weapons is now “irrational”, Pope Francis has said.

“We’re at the limit of licitly having and using nuclear arms. Why? Because today, such sophisticated nuclear arsenals risk destroying humanity or at least a great part of it,” he said en route home following his trip to Bangladesh.

Amid increasingly heated rhetoric between the U.S. and North Korea, the Pope s told a nuclear disarmament conference last month that mere possession of nuclear weapons was to be condemned, given the risks, and that the only viable path forward was total disarmament.

He  said he wanted to pose the question as a pope: “Today, is it legitimate to keep nuclear arsenals as they are? Or to save creation, to save humanity today, isn’t it necessary to go back?”
Earlier he  defended his public silence in Myanmar over the plight of Rohingya refugees, saying a public denunciation would have “slammed the door in the face” of his hosts and prevented his overall message from being heard…….

December 4, 2017 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

Graph of the Day: Queensland’s biggest solar farm powers up — RenewEconomy

The first 50MW of Genex Power’s Kidston solar and “giant water battery” project has started sending electricity to the grid. Here’s what that looks like.

via Graph of the Day: Queensland’s biggest solar farm powers up — RenewEconomy

December 4, 2017 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Wangan and Jagalingou Aboriginal claim that Adani paid people to stack meeting

Adani accused of paying people to stack its meeting on crucial mine deal  By Josh Robertson Adani is accused of discreetly paying thousands of dollars to recruit people to vote on a crucial mining deal with traditional owners, including Aboriginal people with no link to its Queensland mine site.

A Wangan and Jagalingou (W&J) representative said he was paid $2,000 by Adani to boost numbers at the meeting, where he said many who were “not part of my mob” voted on the compensation deal.

Another W&J woman said her family of eight voted against the deal but the official vote recorded just one person against and 294 people in favour.

What’s the deal with the Adani deal?

  • Traditional owners need to sign off on a deal for compensation
  • Adani can’t get finance until the deal is done
  • The deal’s divided the W&J group
  • Last year’s meeting was to sign off on the deal
  • A trial next year will decide whether the meeting was legitimate

The claims are made in sworn statements filed in the Federal Court, ahead of a trial in March to decide whether the meeting legitimately endorsed the Adani deal, which has bitterly divided the W&J Continue reading

December 4, 2017 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, secrets and lies | Leave a comment

Chinese banks won’t fund Adani’s Carmichael coal mine

Adani: Chinese banks not interested in financing Carmichael mine project

Key points:

  • Two of China’s major banks have ruled out funding the Carmichael mine
  • This leaves Adani “increasingly reliant on public funding”, expert says
  • Adani previously claimed it would have finance in place by the end of this year

Industrial & Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) issued a statement to clarify it had no intention of funding Adani’s proposed mine in Queensland.

“ICBC has not been, and does not intend to be, engaged in arranging financing for this project,” ICBC said in a statement on its website.

“ICBC attaches great importance to its social responsibilities and keenly promotes green financing.”

While not mentioning coal, ICBC said it had provided finance in Australia “for a series of renewable energy projects”.

Earlier, China Construction Bank also rejected financing links with Adani saying it “is not involved with, nor considering involvement with, the Adani Carmichael Mine project”.

The anti-Adani lobby has hailed the rejection by two of China’s major banks as a significant development in blocking the construction of the mine.

Blow follows failure to secure finance from other banks

Market Forces executive director Julien Vincent said arranging finance from China was one of Adani’s last remaining hopes given that Australian banks had walked away.

“Having failed to secure finance from banks in the US, Europe and Australia, Adani has now seen the world’s largest and second largest banks by assets rule out support for its massive proposed coal mine,” Mr Vincent said.

“This leaves their attempts to open up Australia’s largest coal mine in tatters, and increasingly reliant on public funding.” Mr Vincent said Adani has been working to contract China Machinery Engineering Corporation (CEMC) into the Carmichael mine and rail project.

However, CEMC would potentially need to source credit and support from Chinese banks to participate in the Adani project.

Adani has, on numerous occasions, pushed back the start date for the mine.

Adani has previously claimed it would have finance in place by the end of this year and, later, said it expected to finalise finance by the end of the Indian fiscal year in March.

Global banks, including Australia’s major banks, have baulked at funding the Carmichael coal mine on concerns about its financial viability and the push towards renewable energy sources.

December 4, 2017 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, business | Leave a comment

Only The Greens opposed the Adani coal mine expansion

Adani looting Australia’s treasures: Gearing up the vox pops in Maiwar, Independent Australia,  Tess Lawrence Only one party, the Greens, oppose the looting of Australia’s natural treasures by Adani — and that may just be enough to get them their first ever seat in the Queensland Parliament. Contributing editor-at-large Tess Lawrence reports, along with exclusive vox pop interviews by Walkley Award winner Amanda Gearing.

THE OLD PARTIES just don’t get it. They’re both on the nose…….

The ALP, like the LNP have brazenly prostituted themselves and Australia’s environmental security to the appalling Adani coal mine operation in the Galilee Basin.

Once again, these two political behemoths have colluded to steal sacred land from traditional owners and the nation’s collective environmental inheritence to onsell/lease to economic carpetbaggers and environmental looters.

The Wangan and Jagalingou people, traditional owners of the land concerned, have been treated with contempt by Adani and the Queensland and Federal governments, in yet another shameful example of Indigenous elders abuse……,10990

December 4, 2017 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

W and J Aboriginal owners claimants again vote down Adani deal, seek Injunction

 Brisbane, 3 December 2017.  ‘For the fourth time since 2012, W&J Traditional Owners have voted unanimously at an authorisation meeting  to reject an Indigenous Land Use Agreement (ILUA) with Adani, underlining their sustained opposition to the mine.

‘Today the Traditional Owners also announced they have filed an injunction in the Federal Court
against Adani and the Queensland Government, to restrain them should they attempt to extinguish their native title. …

December 4, 2017 Posted by | aboriginal issues, AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL | Leave a comment

Genex achieves first revenue for Kidston solar stage 1 — RenewEconomy

Genex Power Limited is pleased to announce that, following successful transformer energisation of the Kidston Solar Stage 1 Project, Genex has now generated its first revenue from KS1.

via Genex achieves first revenue for Kidston solar stage 1 — RenewEconomy

December 4, 2017 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment