Australian news, and some related international items

Paladin may shut loss-making Langer Heinrich uranium mine 

Paladin Energy has flagged the potential closure of its flagship Langer Heinrich uranium mine, just two months after it returned to the Australian Stock Exchange after an $800 million debt re­structuring. … (subscribers only)

April 26, 2018 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, business, uranium | Leave a comment

North Korea’s Most Recent Nuclear Bomb Test Collapsed a Mountain

That’s One Reason To Suspend Nuclear Tests: North Korea’s Most Recent Blast Collapsed a Mountain, By DAVID MEYER , April 25, 2018

Last weekend, North Korea suspended its nuclear tests and shut down the site where the last six detonations took place: underneath Mount Mantap, in the country’s northeast.

The reasons are ostensibly diplomatic, pointing to a thaw in relations between Kim Jong-un’s regime and South Korea and the West, but some noted that Pyongyang might have also been worried that the mountain was at risk of collapsing, as it visibly shifted during the last nuclear test. However, two separate groups of Chinese scientists now say Mount Mantap did in fact collapse after that detonation.

That means there’s a risk of radioactive contamination spreading not only within North Korea, but to other countries in the region. The site is not far from North Korea’s borders with China and Russia.

According to geologists from the University of Science and Technology of China, the collapse took place minutes after Kim Jong-un’s regime conducted its last nuclear test in September of last year.

The test of the 100-kiloton bomb, which led Chinese seismologists to register a 6.3 magnitude earthquake, apparently opened up a hole of up to 656 feet in diameter. Part of the mountain then fell into the hole.

The findings of the team, led by renowned seismologist Wen Lianxing, are set to be published next month in the journal Geophysical Research Letters.

According to the Hong Kong-based South China Morning Post, another team from the China Earthquake Administration reckons the collapse created a “chimney” that could allow the escape of fallout. The publication quoted researcher Zhao Lianfeng from the Chinese Academy of Sciences as saying the site was “wrecked” beyond repair.

So Pyongyang’s renouncement of land-based nuclear tests, for now, appears to be motivated by more than mere diplomatic concerns.

April 26, 2018 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

SAN ONOFRE’S NUCLEAR WASTE STORAGE TANKS ALREADY BREAKING  BUSTED BOLT FOUND IN NEW TANK MEANT TO HOLD SPENT FUEL,  BY JUSTIN HOUSMAN  Just a few months into Southern California Edison’s very controversial plan to relocate spent nuclear fuel to holding tanks on the beach at San Onofre, crews are finding the holding tanks aren’t working properly.

The LA Times reported last month that when workers tried to move spent fuel from a cooling tank to dry storage tanks–that are kept a mere 100-feet from the shoreline–broken bolts were found in the long-term storage tanks. Those tanks are meant to hold and stabilize the spent fuel rods indefinitely.

Work stopped for ten days after the bolts were found, but has since resumed, angering nearby residents and people opposed to the plan to store waste at San Onofre, who were already worried about the safety of keeping nuclear waste so near the ocean and major population centers.

Now that broken bolts have been found, those fears are heightening.

The broken bolts are part of a system that helps keep the rods balanced in the storage tanks. They’re apparently a new design, and four of them have already been filled with radioactive waste. Unfortunately, there’s no way for Southern California Edison to test the already-filled containers for the same issue.

Edison is trying to assuage fears and insists there’s no threat to the public. And they’ve resumed filling more storage tanks, but not the newly-designed tanks with bolt issues.

But for watchdog groups who were already warning that unforeseen problems made storing this waste highly dangerous, malfunctioning tanks so early in the relocation process isn’t sitting very well.

“We warned them that this was going to happen, and nobody listened to us,” Donna Gilmore of told the LA Times. “Now they are trying to tell us: ‘Everything is OK. Don’t worry.’ This is insane. Edison has proven they can’t keep us safe.”

As part of a lawsuit settlement, Edison has agreed to look into options to store the spent fuel permanently in New Mexico or Arizona, far from millions of Orange County and San Diego County residents.

For now though, the waste is still headed to San Onofre, busted bolts and all. All 3.6 million pounds of it.

April 26, 2018 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

Canada’s First Nations were not properly consulted about nuclear waste dump site

Toronto Star 23rd April 2018 ,Canada mishandling nuclear waste plans, Indigenous, environmental groups warn. First Nations leaders say they have not been properly consulted about
the prospect of a nuclear waste disposal site being established northwest
of Ottawa near a prominent nuclear research centre.

Environmental groups also say the controversy over the site near Chalk River, Ont., illustrates
the fact that the federal government lacks suitable policies to regulate
the handling of nuclear waste. Glen Hare, deputy grand chief of the
Anishinabek Nation, says his people were not consulted about the proposed
dump site, which is located less than a kilometre away from the Ottawa

April 26, 2018 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

Cumbria struggles with stranded nuclear wastes and flawed community consultation

Whitehaven News 26th April 2018 , Search to find nuclear waste storage site is ‘flawed’, Cumbria council chiefs claim. Cash incentives are being offered to communities that step forward to host an underground waste bunker.

A NEW search to find a community willing to host an underground nuclear waste storage bunker is based on ‘fundamentally flawed’ government policy, council officials in Cumbria have said.

The nationwide scheme to identify a location for a £12 billion geological disposal facility buried at least 200 metres below the surface was relaunched by the government in January and is expected to take
20 years to secure. It promises incentives including £1m per year for five
years for the five communities that volunteer to be on the shortlist – with
£2.5m a year for the two that go forward to the testing stage, which would
see deep boreholes dug underground.

But experts within Cumbria County Council have instead called for more clarity on how the high level waste -the majority of which is currently kept in storage vessels in west Cumbria
– will be kept safe if a suitable location is not identified within the time frame.

They also state the right of willing communities to withdraw from the process is not clear enough within the proposal.

The authority’s official response, expected to be adopted by members of its cabinet
committee in Carlisle today, states: “The county council believes the
policy on which this consultation is based is fundamentally flawed.

Having a plan B for the safe storage of this waste during the 15 to 20 year period
the government estimate this process, to identify and select a site, will
take is vital. “The waste is still in situ and needs safe surface or near
surface storage facilities in the intervening time, which cannot be of a
sub-standard quality.”

April 26, 2018 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

Indigenous Rangers left waiting for funding commitment

Indigenous rangers left out to dry, 26 Apr 18 
It’s been a long and anxious wait for indigenous ranger organisations in the Territory, as they hope for a formal funding commitment to arrive before deal expires in June …(subscribers only)

April 26, 2018 Posted by | aboriginal issues, Northern Territory | Leave a comment

Applause for Aboriginal veterans in ANZAC Day march

‘The wreath laying event yesterday at the cenotaph of the WarMemorial caught us by surprise  when we realised that many of the older veterans of the modern wars stood still as we passed and  applauded our entourage. People should not underestimate what this meant in the long term.

‘This is a monumental shift,  because now these veterans will take this back to their tables and begin to ask the right question:  What is the Frontier Wars commemorative presence all about?

‘This is a turning point.’

Ghillar, MichaelAnderson, Convener – SovereignUnion 26 April 2018

Ghillar, Michael Anderson, Convener of the Sovereign Union, last surviving member of the
founding four of the Aboriginal Embassy and Leader of the Euahlayi Nation said from Canberra

The success of the 2018 Anzac Day Frontier Wars March in Canberra has given great affirmation
to the old adage that if you say it long enough and represent your message by physically making
your presence known, people do begin to ask questions and begin to search inwardly within
themselves about the truth of the message that we seek to get through to them. … Continue reading

April 26, 2018 Posted by | aboriginal issues, AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL | Leave a comment

Climate refugees will be forced by sea level rise, from low-lying islands

Guardian 25th April 2018 ,Hundreds of thousands of people will be forced from their homes on
low-lying islands in the next few decades by sea-level rises and the contamination of fresh drinking water sources, scientists have warned.

A study by researchers at the US Geological Survey (USGS), the Deltares Institute in the Netherlands and Hawaii University has found that many small islands in the Pacific and Indian Oceans will be uninhabitable for humans by the middle of this century. That is much earlier than previously thought.

Experts say the findings underline the looming climate change driven migration crisis that is predicted to see hundreds of millions of people forced from their homes in the coming years. More than half a
million people around the world live on atoll islands, often extraordinary and beautiful structures based on coral reefs. Their closeness to sea level makes them particularly vulnerable to climate change.

April 26, 2018 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

New Zealand’s Prime Minister Just Stood Up to One of The Most Powerful Industries in The World

No more drilling. Af, CARLY CASSELLA, 13 APR 2018

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is doing everything in her power to wean New Zealand off fossil fuels.

This week, the New Zealand government announced it will no longer grant any new offshore oil exploration permits. The 22 permits that have already been issued are set to expire in 2030.

The new Prime Minister, who took office last year, says this is all part of her aggressive, long-term plan to move towards a carbon-neutral future.

“When it comes to climate change, our plan is clear,” said Ardern, according to The New York Times.

“We are committed to the goal of becoming a net zero emissions economy by 2050.”

Ardern added that her ultimate goal is to switch the country’s electricity system to 100 percent renewable energy by 2035.

….. Ardern’s government has promised that “no current” jobs will be lost as a result of the change, which still honors “all agreements with current permit holders.”

April 26, 2018 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

April 26 Energy News — geoharvey

Opinion: ¶ “Low Production Cost of Renewable Energy Will Drive Coal Production out of Business” • In last eight years, utility-scale solar costs have plummeted by 86% and wind energy prices have declined by 67%. Industry leaders expect significant decline in coal-fired and oil-fired generation, as solar power and storage grow. [Industry Leaders Magazine] ¶ […]

via April 26 Energy News — geoharvey

April 26, 2018 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Big Queensland business first to use Tesla Powerpack to go off-grid — RenewEconomy

An increasing number of Australian small and medium businesses are using solar and battery storage to go off-grid. But is it worth it? Here’s what one Queensland company has found.

via Big Queensland business first to use Tesla Powerpack to go off-grid — RenewEconomy

April 26, 2018 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Westpac joins growing corporate push into wind and solar — RenewEconomy

Westpac joins growing corporate push into wind and solar with a tender for 150GWh of renewable energy. It’s cleaner, and cheaper!

via Westpac joins growing corporate push into wind and solar — RenewEconomy

April 26, 2018 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

CO2 is Regularly Exceeding 410 Parts Per Million for First Time in Human History — robertscribbler

During May of 2018, average monthly CO2 values will likely range between 411 and 412 parts per million. A new record for a heat-trapping gas that is causing serious damage to both the Earth’s environment and human civilizations. (Atmospheric CO2 accumulation since 2007 as depicted by this animation of Mauna Loa Observatory CO2 measurements by […]

via CO2 is Regularly Exceeding 410 Parts Per Million for First Time in Human History — robertscribbler

April 26, 2018 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Australia’s First People to the UN: govt statements are ‘hypocritical in the extreme’

By Jackie Huggins • 24/04/2018 

National Congress of Australia’s First Peoples Co-Chair Jackie Huggins
delivered an intervention at the United Nations in New York on April 19
during the 17th Session of the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (UNPFII).

‘Last week, National Congress Co-Chair Rod Little emphasised the need for
the Australian government to implement UNDRIP during his
engagement with the Commonwealth People’s Forum in London.. …

‘ … we have reached a crisis point in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander affairs.

‘The recent Closing the Gap report reveals that only three of the seven targets are on track to be met.
Despite making up 3% of the population, First Peoples comprise 27% of the nation’s prison population,
making Australia’s Indigenous incarceration rates the worst in the world. ….

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women are 32 times more likely to be hospitalised
due to family violence than their non-Indigenous counterparts.

‘The most recent statistics on life expectancy reveal the gap between
First Peoples and non-Indigenous Australians is at 10.6 years for males
and 9.5 years for females. …

‘The national rate of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children in out of home care
is 9.8 times the national average. 50% of our people have a disability.

‘Despite widespread criticism, the paternalistic Northern Territory Intervention is continuing …
It has led to … quarantining of 50% of welfare,
the forced participation in work for the dole schemes which pay individuals
far less than an average reward rate …

‘Recently, after commissioning extensive consultations with First People’s
across the nation on constitutional reform, the government flatly rejected
our recommendations in The Statement from The Heart, from Uluru. … ‘

Read more of Jackie‘s comprehensive, informative & insightful article here:

April 26, 2018 Posted by | aboriginal issues, AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL | Leave a comment