Antinuclear

Australian news, and some related international items

Australia’s new weapons export industry – secret men’s business

Secret men’s business of the arms industry needs exposure The Age, Stephanie Dowrick, 5 Feb 18,   “…….. I woke to the news that the federal government had decided to unveil a new “defence export strategy” to propel Australia into the big league of global weapons exporters.

Then, in the wake of that news – which has left many speechless, even despairing – comes a newer announcement of a $3.8bn boost to the Export Finance and Insurance Corporation. This is a taxpayer-funded “national interest” loan facility that previously supported the exporting of wine and other relatively harmless products but is now set, with a massive boost to its funds, to finance loans to some of the world’s largest arms manufacturers. What’s more, those loans do not need to pass any test of “social risk evaluation” – a nod to caring for others – but can be approved at the discretion of Trade Minister Steve Ciobo.

Oddly enough, on the Blue Mountains drive my friend and I had discussed the weapons industries and the influence they have on the global economy. Their power to affect, even to drive governments’ policies, is immense. It is also profoundly undemocratic. Governments keep a tight grip on media revelations. The weapons world is “secret men’s business” from which the public is definitely shut out. My best sleuthing efforts came nowhere near discovering what this industry is really worth or who profits most.

 What we can know is that these industries – and the governments that applaud them – depend on actual and perceived enemies, a fairly hysterical narrative of “terror” and a disturbing acceptance of the inevitability of armed conflict and war. We can also know that the No.1 exporter of major arms is the USA, followed by Russia. It was easy, too, to discover that between 2001 and 2014, reported global military expenditure rose from US$1.14 trillion to US$1.711 trillion. In a world ruled by greed and highly vulnerable to corruption, what chance does peace have?

“This strategy is about job creation,” Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull assures us. His colleague Christopher Pyne, the Minister for Defence Industry in a cabinet lacking a minister for science, is already presiding over a submarine project set to cost us $50 billion. Pyne is promising “tens of thousands” of jobs could be involved in this weapons’ push. But the issue here is surely far less about job creation than it is about which industries the government, on our behalf, wishes to support. These opinions, these ideological choices determine where we are heading as a nation. This is where a government has huge power. It’s also where it most accurately reveals itself. ……

If “job creation” truly is our government’s motive, then let them choose honestly. The weapons industries lack accountability, transparency, moral and social value. They thrive in the presence or expectation of deadly conflict. Their cost to the world’s physical and social environments is incalculable.

There are many sectors in Australia and globally that produce jobs and social benefits. With generous investment, they could produce more. In land and agricultural regeneration alone, as well as high-tech research and manufacturing, in renewable energy, the arts, community development, health and education, defence-sized investment would undoubtedly pay employment dividends – while simultaneously boosting our social and moral wellbeing. These are choices that have profound consequences. They could make the world safer. Or not.  Reverend Dr Stephanie Dowrick is a writer and social commentator www.stephaniedowrick.com   www.facebook.com/StephanieDowrick http://www.theage.com.au/comment/secret-mens-business-of-the-arms-industry-needs-exposure-20180202-h0spx3.html

February 5, 2018 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, business, spinbuster, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Peace Boat with nuclear bomb survivors arrives in Sydney

Nuclear bomb survivors glide into Sydney on Japan’s Peace Boat  Japan’s 11-storey Peace Boat, that advocates for nuclear disarmament, has entered Sydney Harbour. https://www.sbs.com.au/news/nuclear-bomb-survivors-glide-into-sydney-on-japan-s-peace-boat 5 Feb 18, 

The 11-storey vessel is visiting Sydney as part of its ‘Making Waves’ tour, which is exploring the devastating humanitarian consequences of the use and testing of nuclear weapons.

Survivors from the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster were also onboard.

“The world is closer to nuclear war today than it has been in decades,” Greenpeace Australia Pacific Campaigner Alix Foster Vander Elst said in a statement .

The Peace Boat, welcomed by the Maritime Union of Australia and Uranium Free NSW, entered the harbour at 7am on Monday.

Later in the day, a rally will be held outside official government offices, urging the Australian and Japanese governments to sign the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.

The Japanese survivors and Indigenous survivors of the 1950s British nuclear weapons testing at Maralinga in South Australia will address the midday rally at the Australian Government offices and the Japanese Consulate-General.

February 5, 2018 Posted by | ACTION, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Once again – they talk about a WINNABLE NUCLEAR WAR !

They’re Talking About “Winnable” Nuclear War Again, February 03, 2018, By William Rivers Pitt, Truthout | “……… The missiles are still there. Thousands and thousands of them, marking time in their holes like funnel-web spiders. The astonishingly toxic byproduct left by their creation is still there, entombed in places like Yucca Mountain, and will be there for thousands of years unless it leaks or is stolen. The ability of a sitting president to use them is still there.

Some 25 years ago, we mostly broke the habit of building and testing more of these engines of annihilation, an absolute good in every sense. Not entirely, to be sure: The nuclear weapons program had its own gravity long before Trump came along, and it was President Obama who first put the trillion dollar weapons modernization program on the table. Still, it feels as if we’ve forgotten the things still exist and are existentially lethal…….

Not even Trump’s ongoing middle school shoving match with North Korea’s Kim Jong-un and his growing nuclear toybox appears to have ruffled a great many feathers around here. Perhaps it’s the surreal nature of this president and his administration that explains our national shrug at this incredibly dangerous, feckless faceoff. It’s a strange plot twist in a weird animation starring two cartoon characters ordering bombs from the Acme catalog. Who could take these guys seriously?

Enter Robert R. Monroe, Vice Admiral, US Navy (Ret.) and his recent article in The Hill titled, “Only Trump Can Restore America’s Ability to Win a Nuclear War.” Vice Admiral Monroe, former director of the Defense Nuclear Agency, is the kind of man Curtis LeMay would have recognized as a brother on sight. “When the Cold War ended in 1991,” laments Monroe in his opening line, “America made an unwise decision.”

It goes downhill from there. “Ongoing nuclear programs were stopped,” seethes Monroe. “Budgets were cut. New nuclear capabilities were prohibited by law. A presidential moratorium denied underground nuclear testing. No research into advanced nuclear technology was allowed. Essentially, America went into an unannounced a nuclear freeze, and we have progressively increased its restrictions and denials for a quarter-century.”

These are all good things, unless you are one of those interesting individuals who still believe a nuclear war can be won………

Donald Trump has already announced his desire to increase the massive US nuclear arsenal tenfold. The draft of his soon-to-be-released Nuclear Posture Review seeks significant production of so-called “low-yield” nuclear weapons, because our current weapons are theoretically too big to use with any degree of tactical success. It should be noted that, according to modern metrics, the bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki were also “low-yield.” An arsenal of smaller bombs is key to Admiral Monroe’s fever dream of a winnable nuclear war. It is a dream Trump appears to share.

The world is dangerous enough as it is, one would think. It is so dangerous, in fact, that a great many people are frozen to near-immobility by it, by the sheer immensity of the perils we face. Where to even begin?

If you seek a place to lay your chisel, I have two words: “No Nukes.”

Should you choose this path, your first task is to remind everyone that the threat not only still exists, but is growing again. White House officials were concerned about Richard Nixon’s mindset during the 1973 crisis, mired as he was in the Watergate scandal. Donald Trump makes Richard Nixon look like Marcus Aurelius. We are all in a great deal of trouble, and no one seems to care.

Make them care, please and thank you. Let’s go find that peace dividend they were talking about on my birthday. I think we’ve earned it. http://www.truth-out.org/opinion/item/43446-they-re-talking-about-winnable-nuclear-war-again

 

February 5, 2018 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

The nuclear industry lobbyists rule the Australian radiation regulator

Steve Dale Fight To Stop Nuclear Waste Dump In Flinders Ranges SA    https://www.facebook.com/groups/344452605899556/  So many words – just a lot of management speak. Not one mention of the words inhalation or ingestion (of radioactive particles). The nuclear industry/lobbyists rule the regulator. From their page – “Since the promulgation of the 1992 Code of Practice, there have been significant international advances in radioactive waste safety. For example, the International Commission on Radiological Protection (ICRP) has revised its radiation protection limits and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has published a range of revised waste safety standards. These changes have been progressively reflected in other Australian standards and codes.” – I think this is code for – international standards have been watered down, and it will be easier to get a nuclear industry going here if we wait

February 5, 2018 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Federal nuclear waste dump | Leave a comment

I will say NO to the waste dump

Regina McKenzie Fight To Stop Nuclear Waste Dump In Flinders Ranges SA, February 3, 2017  Back home on the Range, seeing it made a lump come into my throat, how can any one even think of putting a waste dump in such a beautiful ancient land?

We the people of this land comes from a group of nations, that were hunted in the past, the Government of them days actually supported the activity of early settlers, a five pound bounty, which was a lot of money in those days, was paid per scalp of Aboriginals, blankets that was exposed to small pox given out to unsuspecting yura’s, who then shared these gifts to the wider Aboriginal people, hence spreading the disease to people who had no immunity to it and can’t forget the water hole being poisoned, what I am getting at is back then, when we were hunted, this land was our sanctuary all the decimated nations fled into the hills, thus forming the Adnyamathanha people, adnya meaning rock and mathanaha meaning groups, it was the hills of this beautiful land that saved us,

I hear many say oh thank goodness for the missionaries they helped us ….. NO they only contained us on missions, taking control of our lives, banning the people to practice culture and making public enemies of the ones who stood strong, it was the land that gave us places to hide and why we are still here, so why do Yura’s take it for granted? why do they turn their back? why do they so cowardly bend their knee?

I will stand for the land, I will fight with every ounce of my strength, I live and breath this land, it is my solace, my love, the place where I am whole, I will say NO to the waste dump, I stand proud and I will protect my Mudah, my past, present and future  https://www.facebook.com/groups/344452605899556/

February 5, 2018 Posted by | aboriginal issues, Federal nuclear waste dump, reference, South Australia | Leave a comment

Radiation leaks at Fukushima pose a global threat 

Sunshine Coast Daily, by Jeff Farrell, The Independent  4th Feb 2018 LETHAL levels of radiation have been detected at Japan’s Fukushima nuclear power plant, seven years after its destruction by an earthquake and tsunami.

February 5, 2018 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

Like Australia? – “nobody in Sweden wants this nuclear fuel repository”

GDF Watch 2nd Feb 2018, A week on from the Environmental Court’s ruling, and it would seem nobody in Sweden is any the wiser about what happens next. The general view seems to be that this is a hiccup, and everything will eventually continue as planned.

But don’t expect that to happen anytime soon, and at least not until after this autumn’s national elections in Sweden. Anders Lillienau, who chaired the Court’s Hearings, is reported as saying that while they had significant concerns about the safety of the copper canisters, the Court did not otherwise see any barriers to the safety of the repository.

The Court has asked SKB, the organisation responsible for the repository, to provide further information on copper canisters to address their concerns. It is understood that SKB are preparing such information, and reportedly told a community meeting in Östhammar earlier this week that they intend to provide that information later this year.

Anders Lillenau has also made clear the ball is now in the Government’s court: “In the
end, it is still the case that the Government may make the overall assessment whether or not this will be allowed.” A Swedish Government spokesman, Magnus Blücher, explained that this was a complex issue and it was too soon to say what the Government might do, or when.

Back in Östhammar, the local referendum planned for 4 March has been postponed. The referendum was advisory, and any final decision on agreeing to host the repository has to be taken by the local council. A spokesman for Östhammar Municipality says that it is too soon to know when the referendum and council vote will now take place.

Local resident Åsa Lindstrand chairs a resident’s group opposed to the repository. She told the local newspaper that she was pleased but surprised by the Court’s decision, but feels little will change:

“Actually, nobody else in Sweden wants this nuclear fuel repository, so the rest of Sweden would probably be lucky if someone takes it. The municipality is so marinated by SKB that it is not easy to
say ‘no’. For us who live here, it’s more about noise and traffic than about the copper capsules, it’s happening before they get there at all.” Her sense of pyrhhic victory is shared by environmentalist Johan
Swahn, who added, “but only if the government stays passive and the copper canister issues raised by the Court become a matter solely for SKB.” His organisation, MKG, has raised concerns about the long-term
safety of copper canisters over many years.

While delighted that the Court accepted the case presented by leading corrosion scientists, he now wants
the Swedish Government to guarantee an open scientific re-evaluation of the issues relating to copper canister corrosion.  http://www.gdfwatch.org.uk/2018/02/02/sweden-update/

February 5, 2018 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

South Australia’s new solar energy plan – an international first

Reuters 4th Feb 2018, South Australia’s state premier Jay Weatherill announced a plan on Sunday to create a network of 50,000 home solar systems backed by Tesla Powerwall batteries, ahead of a state election in March.

“We lead the world in renewable energy with the world’s largest battery, the world’s largest solar thermal plant and now the world’s largest virtual power plant,” he said in a televised interview from the state capital of Adelaide. “The size of it is the reason why it’s going to be a success.” The project would begin with a trial on 1,100 public housing homes, the government said on its website.
https://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-australia-power-tesla/south-australia-promises-worlds-largest-virtual-power-plant-idUKKBN1FO029?rpc=401&

February 5, 2018 Posted by | solar, South Australia | Leave a comment

The Adani Carmichael coalmine will not receive federal funding from the Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility for a vital rail line

Adani coalmine won’t get federal rail funding, Liberal minister says Concessional $900m loan cannot proceed without Queensland government approval, Karen Andrews says, Guardian,  Paul Karp  , 4 Feb 18, 

The Adani Carmichael coalmine will not receive federal funding from the Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility for a vital rail line, a Turnbull government minister has said.

The announcement by Karen Andrews on Sunday is a major blow to Adani, which has sought a $900m concessional loan for rail to link the Carmichael mine to port – and could spell the end of the project entirely if it can’t secure private finance.

The Labor leader, Bill Shorten, stepped up the opposition’s rhetoric on the Adani mine last week, first refusing to rule out stopping the project on Tuesday and then on Friday threatening the mine’s licence in a bid to boost the party’s environmental credentials for the Batman byelection.  Before its re-election last year, the Queensland Labor government promised to veto Adani’s application for a loan from the Naif.

Federal Labor, which has already ruled out providing a public subsidy or loan to the Adani mine, is now looking at further measures to block it……https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/feb/04/adani-coalmine-wont-get-federal-rail-funding-liberal-minister-says

February 5, 2018 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, politics | Leave a comment

Slovakia Supreme Court upholds decision of Environment Minister against uranium mining

Slovak Spectator 1st Feb 2018, Uranium ore will not be mined in the Čermeľ-Jahodná locality in the Košice Region. This stems from the final ruling issued by the Supreme
Court, which decided not to extend a permit for a geological survey of
uranium ore at the site close to Košice, the TASR newswire reported. The
court has thus ended the legal proceedings and upheld a decision by the
Environment Ministry.
https://spectator.sme.sk/c/20751213/uranium-mining-near-kosice-definitely-rejected.html

February 5, 2018 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

The un-safety of France’s nuclear power plants

JDD 3rd Feb 2018, Nuclear: the book that undermines the safety of French power plants. The JDD publishes preview extracts of Nuclear, immediate danger , a survey book that challenges the dogma of the safety and profitability of French power stations.

At the forefront of concerns: the alarming state of severaltanks, which contain the heart of the reactors. “That’s it, we are there atthe age of 40. By 2028, 48 reactors [out of 58 in service in France] – those of the level of 900 MW and a part of the reactors of 1,300 MW – will reach this canonical age.

Since the mid-2000s, because of its financial difficulties that prevent it from investing in new means of production, EDF is asking for, calling for, even imposing, that all of its nuclear power stations be allowed to operate at the same time. beyond the age of forty, and prolonged by twenty years. […]

[Among the elements that will] determine the extension or the stop of the vats: do they have defects, of
origin or appeared with the time, which compromise the safety?

This is one of the biggest secrets of the nuclear industry in France. […] According to EDF, 10 tanks in operation have cracks that date from their manufacture. […] Tricastin, with its reactor 1, is the worst central of the country.

This reactor combines all the problems: defects under coating, no margin at break, and exceeding the fragility forecast at forty years! Not to mention the risk of catastrophic flooding in the event of an earthquake, as noted in September 2017 by the Nuclear Safety Authority (ASN), which has automatically stopped the operation of the four reactors of the plant while waiting for EDF finally, work to reinforce the dike of the Donzère-Mondragon canal. The plant is below the canal, 6 m below the water.

Pierre-Franck Chevet, the president of the ASN, told us’ that in the event of a strong earthquake we could go to a situation, with four simultaneous reactors merging, which potentially looks like a Fukushima type accident. EDF has found the immediate stoppage of the plant to carry out this unjustified work, I find it justified. ” http://www.lejdd.fr/societe/nucleaire-le-livre-qui-met-a-mal-la-surete-des-centrales-francaises-3564173

February 5, 2018 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

Australian uranium mining company Paladin: most shares in hands of creditors

Paladin to return to ASX, most shares in hands of creditors http://www.miningweekly.com/article/paladin-to-return-to-asx-most-shares-in-hands-of-creditors-2018-02-02/rep_id:3650 2ND FEBRUARY 2018 BY: MARIAAN WEBB CREAMER MEDIA SENIOR RESEARCHER AND DEPUTY EDITOR ONLINE JOHANNESBURG (miningweekly.com) – Uranium miner Paladin Energy will apply for its securities to be reinstated to official quotation on the ASX, the Australia-based company said on Friday, announcing the completion of its restructuring and the appointment of two new directors.

With the deed of company arrangement (DOCA) effected, deed administrators have retired and the day-to-day management and control of Paladin has reverted to the company’s directors. The two new board appointments are iCobalt MD David Riekie and former interim CEO and MD of Atlas Iron Daniel Harris.

The DOCA was put forward to the administrators of Paladinby a group of the company’s unsecured bondholders, known as the Ad Hoc Committee. The DOCA’s key terms included the debt-for-equity swap, the raising of $115-million pursuant to the issue of a high-yield secured note and the reinstatement of Paladin to trade on the ASX.

In terms of the DOCA, 98% of Paladin’s shares have been transferred to creditors and other investors and only 2% are retained by shareholders. If a shareholder held 10 000 Paladin shares before the restructuring, they will now hold 200 shares.

Creditors all agreed to a restructuring proposal in December, although major creditor Electricité de France (EDF) previously said that it may seek to have the DOCA terminated.

Paladin appointed administrators in July last year after the company was unable to agree a delay to the repayment of $277-million it owed EDF.

On Wednesday, Paladin published its quarterly activities reports for the June, September and December quarters, as well as its June 2017 annual report.

The most recent quarter’s results show that the Langer Heinrich mine, in Namibia, produced 873 107 lb of uranium oxide (U3O8), up 4% on the prior quarter. Sales were at 1.24-million U3O8 at an average selling price of $22.39/lb.

The Kayelekera mine, in Malawi, remains under care and maintenance

February 5, 2018 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, business, uranium | Leave a comment

Tesla to build 250MW “virtual power plant” in South Australia — RenewEconomy

South Australia unveils plans to build 250MW “virtual power plant”, linking household rooftop solar and battery storage, in what it says will be world’s biggest. It will involve 50,000 homes, each with 5kW rooftop solar and a Tesla Powerwall 2.

via Tesla to build 250MW “virtual power plant” in South Australia — RenewEconomy

February 5, 2018 Posted by | Uncategorized | 1 Comment