Antinuclear

Australian news, and some related international items

Lies and concealment – the French nuclear system over 50 years

Europe1 5th Feb 2018,[Machine translation] French nuclear park: “What we saw is catastrophic and  very disturbing”. For Thierry Gadault, co-author of “Nucléaire Danger immédiate”, the authorities are silencing the reality of the state of the French nuclear fleet, most of whose reactors are about to exceed 40 years.

The French nuclear system has developed a culture of lies and concealment for more than 50 years. Thierry Gadault points out the worrying state according to him of the power stations of Fessenheim, Bugey, Saint-Laurent-of-Waters, Gravelines and Blayais, but also more recent structures.

“On the following generations, we see that there are problems in Civaux, Chouzé-sur-Loire and Flamanville”. For him, the Nuclear Safety Authority contributes to fuel opacity on the state of these structures. “It is part of the French nuclear system that has developed a culture of lying and concealment for more than 50 years, which has resulted in information about what has happened around Chernobyl and about serious nuclear accidents. which took place in Saint-Laurent-des Eaux We had serious
nuclear accidents with the release of plutonium in the environment and in the Loire,

http://www.europe1.fr/societe/parc-nucleaire-francais-ce-que-nous-avons-vu-est-catastrophique-et-tres-inquietant-356528

February 7, 2018 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

Submissions by 3 April: Senate Committee of Inquiry into Selection Process for a National radioactive waste dump site in South Australia

Senate in push for state nuke dump voteThe Advertiser, Peter Jean , Political Reporter 7 Feb 18  All South Australians would vote on whether a radioactive waste dump should be built in the state, under options to be considered by  a federal parliamentary  committee.

The Senate yesterday voted to establish a committee inquiry into the process being used to assess whether the national centre for low level radioactive waste should be built at Hawker or at one of two sites outside Kimba. A majority of Kimba district residents last year voted in favour of the project.
Nick Xenophon  Team Senator Rex Patrick successfully moved for an inquiry into the appropriateness and thoroughness of the site selection process.
The Terms of Reference for the inquiry include consideration of whether the views of the entire Eyre Peninsula or SA communities on the waste dump should be considered.
The inquiry was backed by Labor, The Greens, and cross-bench senators including Derryn Hinch.
Assistant Minister to the Prime Minister James McGrath, said the inquiry was unnecessary because information on the assessment process was freely available.
“The Government’s focus is on local communities  and the, traditional owners,  but also includes the broader community.” Senator McGrath said.
Federal Cabinet is expected to make a decision this year, on where to site the dump.
Senator Patrick said he was not necessarily opposed to a waste dump, but local communities should be given a say.
Parliament is also considering a treaty that would allow high-level Australian nuclear waste to be reprocessed in France.

February 7, 2018 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Federal nuclear waste dump | Leave a comment

South Australia’s peak environment body welcomes Senate nuclear waste dump inquiry

South Australia’s peak environment body has strongly welcomed the establishment of a Senate Inquiry, proposed by NXT Senator Rex Patrick, into the controversial site selection process for the national nuclear waste dump.

The Federal Government’s plan to establish a Radioactive Waste Management Facility has deeply divided and caused undue stress to the affected communities of Kimba in the Eyre Peninsula and Hawker in the Flinders Ranges.

“The Turnbull Government’s flawed process to impose a nuclear waste dump on South Australia has been deeply distressing to the communities of Kimba and Hawker,” said Conservation SA Chief Executive Craig Wilkins.

“Of course we need an appropriate long term solution to the nuclear waste created at the Lucas Heights reactor in Sydney, but the process currently underway is clearly not the right one.

“We are very pleased that Senator Rex Patrick from the Nick Xenophon Team is standing up for South Australia and the affected communities, and this inquiry has received support from the federal senate” he continued.

The Full TOR for the Inquiry can be found here:

https://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Business/Committees/Senate/Economics/Wastemanagementfacility

South Australia has repeatedly said no to nuclear waste – from legislation banning dumps introduced by the state Liberal Government in 2000 to the recent defeat of plans to establish an international nuclear waste dump in SA to now, where communities are voicing loud and clear opposition to the Federal site selection process.

Mr Wilkins said “It’s clear that political and community opposition to the current federal nuclear waste dump process is valid and growing.

“We welcome the recent announcement by Premier Weatherill that his government would consider legal action to stop any attempt to impose a national nuclear waste dump on our state.

“South Australians have a right to know where all parties stand on the national nuclear waste dump issue ahead of the state election on March 17,” he concluded..

February 7, 2018 Posted by | Federal nuclear waste dump, South Australia | Leave a comment

American diplomat at UN in stunning verbal attack on North Korea, Russia AND China

US attacks North Korea, Russia AND China over nuclear ambitions in STUNNING tirade THE UNITED States has taken aim at North Korea, Russia and China and accused the countries of growing their nuclear stockpiles while “pursuing the development of new nuclear capabilities to threaten other peaceful nations”.   By WILL KIRBY, Express UK Feb 6, 2018

US disarmament ambassador Robert Wood, addressing the UN-sponsored Conference on Disarmament in Geneva, refused to mince his words as he hit out at Washington’s nuclear rivals and issued a terrifying warning and North Korea’s increasingly sophisticated weapons programme.  Continue reading

February 7, 2018 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

Australia’s geographic diversity provides reliability for renewable energy – Pat Conroy MP

Steve Dale Nuclear Fuel Cycle Watch South Australia, 7 Feb 18

Found this interesting bit from Labor MP Pat Conroy’s speech yesterday –
“The final thing in this report which is really important is the commentary around geographic diversity. We are an energy island, and some people say that, because we are an energy island, we can’t invest in renewable energy because we don’t have nuclear from France to draw upon or hydro from Canada to draw upon—as you can if you’re in New York.
But our geographic diversity and the sheer size of the land mass in this country means that that diversity provides reliability, north and south and east and west. If we invest in renewable energy with good planning, we can have solar going in western Queensland backed up by wind and wave power in Tasmania and great support in South Australia. These are things that can be provided—they occur in other countries—if we do the planning right.” (House of Representatives on 5/02/2018 COMMITTEES – Standing Committee on Environment and Energy – Report)

February 7, 2018 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, energy | Leave a comment

ICAN founder Tilman Ruff calls US’s new nuclear policy ‘a blueprint for war’

On Monday, Ruff was speaking aboard the Peace Boat, which was docked in Sydney Harbour.

US’s new nuclear policy ‘a blueprint for war’, Nobel peace laureate says https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/feb/06/uss-new-nuclear-policy-a-blueprint-for-war-nobel-peace-laureate-says

International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons founder describes weapons review as ‘a chilling document’ that echoes cold war era, Guardian,  Ben Doherty, 6 Feb 18, 

Australia’s Nobel peace laureate says America’s aggressive new nuclear policy is “a blueprint for nuclear war” that returns the world to a cold war mentality.

Tilman Ruff, the founding chair of the Melbourne-founded International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (Ican) said the newly released US nuclear posture review was “a chilling document”.

“This increases the danger of nuclear war … it clearly flags that great power confrontation with Russia is back on again. It essentially says, ‘we’re back in the cold war’.” Continue reading

February 7, 2018 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

The cold war is on again, with Trump’s nuclear policy

Ironically, an Obama-era nuclear agreement with Russia went into full effect Monday. It was aimed, like previous agreements forged by the Reagan and George W. Bush administrations, to defuse the possibility of just such a cataclysmic “Great Power” conflict. Under the terms of the New START treaty, as it’s known, both Russia and the United States are committed to deploying no more than 1,550 nuclear warheads. There’s a strict verification regime on both sides, and proponents of the pact say those inspections have built confidence in the otherwise severely strained U.S.-Russia relationship.

Trump’s nuclear policy is taking us back to the Cold War, WP   February 6 2018    The Trump administration has touted its new nuclear policy, released at the end of last week by the Pentagon, as a tough, realistic assessment of foreign threats and U.S. capabilities. The Nuclear Posture Review, the first to be conducted since 2010, purportedly describes “the world as it is, not as we wish it to be” — and calls for an expansion of America’s nuclear arsenal to confront the evolving capabilities of other nuclear powers.

If that is the administration’s view of the world, it is far from a consensus. A legion of critics blasted a potential nuclear buildup as dangerousfiscally ruinous and redolent of outdated Cold War thinking. Some pointed out that a coterie of nuclear hawks helped draft the NPR, including one academic who argued in 1980 that the United States could defeat the Soviet Union in a nuclear war, while stomaching “approximately 20 million” casualties, “a level compatible with national survival and recovery.” Continue reading

February 7, 2018 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

Atomic bomb survivors call on Australia and Japan to sign UN nuclear weapons ban treaty

‘End of nuclear weapons or end of us’: Survivors call on Australia,  As Japan’s Peace Boat arrives in Sydney, survivors of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings advocate for nuclear disarmament. https://www.sbs.com.au/news/end-of-nuclear-weapons-or-end-of-us-survivors-call-on-australia By Rachel Lockart , 6 Feb 18

February 7, 2018 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Australians demand lawmakers #StopAdani  from building the country’s largest coal mine

~ Brandon Jordan ‘Maggie McKeown, a community organizer for the Mackay Conservation Group
and a speaker at Monday’s demonstration, highlighted the
#StopAdani alliance as an example of resistance to the mine.

‘In March 2017, several groups, including McKeown’s, formed the coalition to stop the project.

‘“In the last 10 months, the #StopAdani alliance has grown
from a few groups to hundreds of groups and
to thousands and millions of supporters around Australia and the world,” McKeown said. …

‘With Monday’s demonstration as the official start to
further actions and demonstrations this year,
activists anticipate even more victories against the company and,
perhaps, an end to a near-decade conversation over the facility.

‘“We built a movement that nags politicians,” McKeown said.
“We want politicians to know that we’re not a movement that will go away.
We’re a movement that will keep lobbying until its stopped together.”’

Read more of Brandon Jordan‘s comprehensive, interesting & well-researched article:
wagingnonviolence.org/2018/02/australia-stop-adani-coal-mine/

February 7, 2018 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

Julian Assange remains stuck in London, still at risk of extradition to USA

Julian Assange ‘has suffered enough’, his lawyers tell British judge, SMH, Nick Miller, 6 Feb 18, London: Julian Assange has suffered enough and shouldn’t face prison for absconding from justice, his lawyers have told a court.

The Wikileaks editor is depressed, in constant pain from an infected tooth, and has been stuck in the Ecuador Embassy in London’s Kensington far longer than the maximum 12-month jail penalty for breaching bail, his barrister said.

On Tuesday Assange lost a legal bid at Westminster Magistrates Court to quash the arrest warrant that has awaited him since he entered the Ecuador embassy in June 2012.

However his lawyers immediately launched a new push to end the UK government’s attempt to bring him to justice – arguing that it is against the public interest to punish him for refusing to leave the embassy.

It is a criminal offence for someone on bail to refuse to surrender to police without “reasonable cause” – and Assange refused to leave the embassy despite a court order for his arrest.

 But Assange’s barrister Mark Summers QC told Judge Emma Arbuthnot that it was not in the interests of “justice and proportionality” to bring an action against Assange.

Assange went into the embassy after he exhausted his line of appeal against a decision to extradite him to Sweden to face rape allegations.  Sweden last year ended its investigation into the allegations, and the European arrest warrant against Assange was cancelled. However the British warrant for his arrest still stood – and judge Arbuthnot said she was not persuaded it should be quashed simply because the underlying investigation had stopped.

Mr Summers said Assange was not “thumbing his nose” at justice and his five and a half years in the embassy were “adequate if not severe punishment for the actions that he took”.

Assange had genuine fears – later proved correct – that the US were keen to prosecute him over his work with Wikileaks, Summers said.

If arrested he would face rendition to the USA, treatment similar to that meted out against Wikileaks whistleblower Chelsea Manning – and possible “persecution, indefinite solitary confinement and the death penalty”, Summers said in a written submission……….

Judge Arbuthnot said it was a “very interesting” case.

She will rule on the public interest application on February 13.

Outside court, Assange’s lawyer Jennifer Robinson said whether or not the warrant is quashed Assange would not leave the embassy until he had an assurance he wouldn’t be extradited to the US.

“Mr Assange remains willing to answer to British justice in relation to any argument about breaching bail, but not at the expense of facing injustice in America,” she said.

“This case is and always has been about the risk of extradition to the United States and that risk remains real.” http://www.smh.com.au/world/julian-assange-has-suffered-enough-his-lawyers-tell-british-judge-20180206-p4yzjt.html

February 7, 2018 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, civil liberties, politics international | Leave a comment

USA’s ‘temporary’ nuclear waste storage nightmare

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has given its permission to use the thin-wall canisters and to install more than 100 of them near the San Onofre State Beach. They are required to have a 40-year lifespan, which critics say is inadequate given that the spent fuel will remain there “indefinitely.”

the fact remains that the political will to transport such material is always out-of-reach. The radioactive used fuel thus remains on site

Spent Fuel Storage Still A Hot Topic in California’s Coastal Communities, Forbes, Ken Silverstein, 6 Feb 18 Radioactive material from the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station (SONGS) will be making a short trek from the now closed units to a spot next to the beach — a move that has outraged community activists, who fear it will remain buried there for decades to come.

The paradox is an obvious one: the spent fuel generated by nuclear energy can only be stored on site where the units are located, which leaves Edison International’s Southern California Edison few options over where on site it can go. Right now the “nuclear waste” is in “wet pools” inside the defunct plants. But the utility is beginning to transport it to dry storage where it will be put in thin canisters and encased in concrete before it is buried. The process could take 20 years. 

Continue reading

February 7, 2018 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

France going for wind energy in a big way, (turning away from nuclear)

 France Set to Become a European Offshore Wind Powerhouse by 2022 Bloomberg By Jeremy Hodges and Jess Shankleman, 

  • WindEurope sees French turbine orders passing U.K., Germany
  • Offshore wind investments to recover after contracting in 2017

Europe’s wind-power industry expects new French offshore turbine installations to overtake the U.K. and Germany by 2022, boosting President Emmanuel Macron’s pledge to increase renewable energy.

 Construction off the French coast is expected to ramp up from 2020 and turn the country in the fourth-biggest offshore wind generator with about 4.3 gigawatts capacity by 2030, according to the Brussels-based WindEurope industry group.
 Macron has repeatedly promised to turn France into a green energy leader and reduce the country’s reliance on nuclear power. He’s trying to cut through bureaucratic red tape that has delayed offshore wind projects tendered in 2012. His government said in November that it aims to trim offshore project development to less than seven years from more than a decade……..https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-02-06/france-set-to-become-a-european-offshore-wind-powerhouse-by-2022

February 7, 2018 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

Windlab’s new 100MW wind farm approved for Queensland’s north — RenewEconomy

Windlab’s 100MW, $200m Lakeland Wind Farm set to be built south of Cooktown in Queensland, after winning state government approval.

via Windlab’s new 100MW wind farm approved for Queensland’s north — RenewEconomy

February 7, 2018 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Ozone level drop in lower stratosphere – caused by climate change?

Ozone is missing from the atmosphere and scientists don’t know why  ABC Science, By science reporter Belinda Smith, 6 Feb 18

Key points:

  • In 30 years since the Montreal Protocol phased out CFCs, ozone at the poles and upper stratosphere has started to mend
  • New analysis shows ozone levels in the lower stratosphere have been in decline
  • Atmospheric chemists suspect climate change, volcanic activity and reactive compounds might be behind the drop

The ozone layer high above Antarctica might be mending nicely, but the rest of the world tells a different story.

A long-term overview of satellite data shows that ozone levels are actually dropping in the lower stratosphere: the layer of the atmosphere about 10 to 20 kilometres above Earth’s surface.

The effect was seen across most of the world, too: as far north as the Scottish highlands and as far south as the southernmost tip of Chile.

And while atmospheric chemists can’t yet put their finger on the ozone-draining culprit, global warming is likely playing a leading role, according to atmospheric chemist Stephen Wilson from University of Wollongong.

Overall, the total amount of ozone in the entire atmosphere appears to be holding steady, but that’s because ozone levels in the troposphere — the lower part of the atmosphere, where we live — are rising.

And that’s not good news.

Ozone doesn’t belong down here and the increase in tropospheric ozone is mostly due to air pollution, commented Robyn Schofield, an atmospheric chemist from the University of Melbourne.

“[Burning fossil fuels] produces nitrogen oxides and they go on to produce ozone,” she said.

Breathing ozone not only damages our lungs, it’s bad for crops too, she added…….http://www.abc.net.au/news/science/2018-02-06/lower-stratosphere-atmosphere-ozone-layer-decline-climate/9400164

6 Feb 18Key points:

  • In 30 years since the Montreal Protocol phased out CFCs, ozone at the poles and upper stratosphere has started to mend
  • New analysis shows ozone levels in the lower stratosphere have been in decline
  • Atmospheric chemists suspect climate change, volcanic activity and reactive compounds might be behind the drop

The ozone layer high above Antarctica might be mending nicely, but the rest of the world tells a different story.

A long-term overview of satellite data shows that ozone levels are actually dropping in the lower stratosphere: the layer of the atmosphere about 10 to 20 kilometres above Earth’s surface.

The effect was seen across most of the world, too: as far north as the Scottish highlands and as far south as the southernmost tip of Chile.

And while atmospheric chemists can’t yet put their finger on the ozone-draining culprit, global warming is likely playing a leading role, according to atmospheric chemist Stephen Wilson from University of Wollongong.

Overall, the total amount of ozone in the entire atmosphere appears to be holding steady, but that’s because ozone levels in the troposphere — the lower part of the atmosphere, where we live — are rising.

And that’s not good news.

Ozone doesn’t belong down here and the increase in tropospheric ozone is mostly due to air pollution, commented Robyn Schofield, an atmospheric chemist from the University of Melbourne.

“[Burning fossil fuels] produces nitrogen oxides and they go on to produce ozone,” she said.

Breathing ozone not only damages our lungs, it’s bad for crops too, she added…….http://www.abc.net.au/news/science/2018-02-06/lower-stratosphere-atmosphere-ozone-layer-decline-climate/9400164

February 7, 2018 Posted by | climate change - global warming | Leave a comment

Danger to communities along the path of nuclear waste transport

David Lowry, Watford Observer 5th Feb 2018 
Five years ago today Cumbria County Council,representing several Lake District and coastal communities, blocked Government attempts to develop a subterranean geologic repository for long-lived radioactive waste.

Last week the Government launched the latestattempts by ministers to resurrect this process, with a new 897 page public consultation, Working with communities: implementing geological disposal.

Ministers have now decided backing “communities” with significant
multi-million pound financial incentives or compensation is the new
approach.

In the consultation document, local MP and energy minister
Richard Harrington wrote: “We believe the best way to select a site for a
geological disposal facility is in partnership with communities.”

The hundreds of miles of ‘affected communities along road and rail routes
from radioactive waste stores, to any centralised repository are being
ignored.

Why does the Government believe people living in these communities
with multiple loads of radioactive materials coming past where they live
for many decades do not deserve significant financial compensation too?
Would Mr Harrington support Watford council inviting nuclear waste to the
area? If not, why is he encouraging others to endanger their own local
areas? http://www.watfordobserver.co.uk/news/15920008.letter-nuclear-waste-on-roa

February 7, 2018 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment