Australian news, and some related international items

USA citizens well aware of dangers of transporting and dumping STRANDED nuclear wastes -(Why aren’t Australians aware?)

Dallas, Midland and San Antonio city councils have already made resolutions prohibiting railcars from coming through their towns and exposing the citizens of their towns to this deadly radioactive waste.

The site can be seen from the air and is a beautiful target for terrorists during transit and after arrival at the site.

Nukes are no good for this area, May 13, 2018   Karen Howard-Winters Odessa Online, 

I believe our livelihood is in great danger of becoming destroyed by a company named Holtec International. They have applied to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) for a 40-year license for an interim High-Level Radioactive Nuclear Waste Facility to be built between Carlsbad and Hobbs, New Mexico.

This is not the facility in Andrews. Although, now that Holtec has applied for their license, Waste Management Specialists (WCS) had placed their license request for the High-Level Radioactive Nuclear Waste on hold due to issues regarding the pending sale of their facility to Orano. However, now that the sale is complete and things have settled down, and they are watching what is going on with Holtec. Then, we fear, Orano is going to revise and reapply for a license requesting for the same as Holtec – high-level radioactive nuclear waste to be disposed of in the Andrews site, claiming it to be interim as well.

Why are we concerned and people in Midland and Odessa should be, too?

1. This is the first time anything of this gravity has ever been attempted in this country!

a. Radioactive waste has been moved around, but nothing remotely on this level of danger, nothing on this scope of magnitude and nothing on this level or for this interim duration.

b. Our deep concern is that no permanent site has even been discussed yet!!

c. By the time a “permanent” repository is found (which will probably be never) the canisters/casks will be too fragile to be moved due to deterioration from sun exposure/weathering or just time in general and the site will become a de facto permanent disposal site and another Super Fund site that New Mexico will have to try to maintain forever.

2. The Holtec site is on top of our Permian Basin oil reserves sitting directly on top of the Delaware Basin and our Olgalla Aquifer and don’t let any tell you they’re not as the old maps tell you they are.

3. This deadly waste is responsible for cancers, genetic birth defects and deaths as witnessed in the Tulrosa Basin Downwinders Claims after the atomic bomb experiments at the Los Alamos experimental site prior to the dropping of the bombs in Hiroshima and Nagasaki that ended WWII. The town of Trinity was never advised of these trials and the fallout affected the towns’ people with all kinds of different cancers that no one had ever had before.

4. This radioactive waste (even though they tell you it is in solid form and is more easily handled), is to be sent here by rail coming through Odessa. If that train wrecks on Faudree and Hwy 80 would have contained nuclear waste, it would have taken out the Odessa Country Club Golf Course and some of the richest real estate in Odessa as the land will become unusable for 25,000 years or more.

5. What’s going to happen if an accident leaves the land unable to be used for drilling for oil? The Fasken Oil Company came to Roswell to testify in front of the NRC to say that this is a bad idea and vowed to do everything they can to round up all the people in the Permian Basin Oil Industry to fight this licensing. Continue reading

May 13, 2018 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

Campaigners slam £1m incentive to store nuclear waste offered to encourage local communities to allow test boreholes is described as ‘completely inadequate’ 

MPs from both major parties have attacked the government’s latest incentive to entice communities into volunteering to host Britain’s first deep underground store for nuclear waste as “completely inadequate”.

Ministers have offered up to £1m per community for areas that constructively engage in offering to take part in the scheme, and a further sum of up to £2.5m where deep borehole investigations take place.

The aim is to find a permanent underground geological disposal facility (GDF) that could store for thousands of years the waste from Britain’s nuclear energy and bomb-making programmes. The scheme could involve building stores under the seabed to house highly radioactive material. It is predicted that the UK is likely to have produced 4.9m tonnes of nuclear waste by 2125.

But critics say the inducements offered by the government – part of the consultations it launched this year – to ensure local cooperation are “simply not good enough”, and point to the example of France, which has a similar amount of nuclear waste. It offers around €30m (£26.5m) a year as local support for districts neighbouring the site at Bure, in north-east France, and has also offered €60m in community projects.

“The government’s offer in its consultation is simply not good enough. These communities are being asked to perform an important public service and should be properly recompensed,” said Rebecca Long-Bailey, the shadow business secretary.

 In 2012 the government’s attempt to encourage local areas to host nuclear waste facilities ended in failure when councils in Cumbria and Kent rejected proposals for underground stores to be built within their boundaries. These were the only communities to show significant interest at the time and remain the main candidates for sites now that the government has relaunched its nuclear store programme.

However, local campaigners fear that a waste site could affect tourism, on which Cumbria is heavily reliant. “For the sake of a few hundred jobs and a few million pounds, we risk thousands of jobs in the tourism sector, which contributes £2.7bn a year to Cumbria’s economy,” said Geoff Betsworth, chairman of the Cumbria Trust. “Even a 10% dent in tourism would cost £270m a year. The offer of £1m in community benefits, rising to £2.5m when boreholes begin, is absurdly low.”

The government is seeking to dispose of the UK’s nuclear waste underground because current storage facilities are both ineffective and expensive to maintain. A GDF would involve sealing the waste in rock for as long as it remains a hazard.

The plan was also criticised by the Conservative MP Zac Goldsmith, who said the UK should stop making nuclear waste and stop building new reactors.

“We are still pouring untold billions of taxpayer money into propping up an industry that the free market would have killed off years ago,” he said. “In return, we will be compounding the catastrophe of a nuclear waste build-up, which we are no closer to solving than we were when the industry was born.”

Nina Schrank, energy campaigner at Greenpeace UK, added: “The lack of seriousness with which the UK government treats nuclear legacy issues makes it predictable that their quest for a suitable site has been so unsuccessful that they are looking again at the Irish Sea, which Sellafield turned into one of the most radioactively contaminated seas in the world.”

A government spokesperson said: “The GDF will be a multibillion-pound project that can provide substantial benefits to host communities. This includes skilled employment for hundreds of people for decades to come, spin-off benefits such as infrastructure investment, as well as positive impacts on local service industries that support the facility and its workforce.”

May 13, 2018 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

Iran seeks ‘clear future design’ for imperilled nuclear deal

Iran to negotiate with world powers to keep nuclear deal in place

 Aljazeera, 14 May 18   FM says Tehran is ‘ready for all options’ as he embarks on tour with pact’s other signatories in wake of US withdrawal. 

Iran’s foreign minister has held talks in China as he began a diplomatic tour with the remaining signatories of a multinational nuclear deal following the recent US withdrawal from the landmark 2015 pact.

Speaking on Sunday in Beijing, Mohammad Javad Zarif underlined Tehran’s readiness “for all options” but expressed optimism that this round of negotiations could save the 2015 deal.

“We hope that with this visit to China and other countries we will be able to construct a clear future design for the comprehensive agreement,” Zarif said, speaking alongside his Chinese counterpart, Wang Yi.

“[But] if the nuclear deal is to continue, the interests of the people of Iran must be assured.”

Earlier on Sunday, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said Iran would remain committed to the deal “if the remaining five countries abide by the agreement”.

Diplomatic tour

After the Chinese capital, Zarif will attend talks in Moscow and Brussels with representatives of the pact’s other signatories.

Under the deal signed in Vienna with six world powers – China, France, Russia, the UK, the US, Germany, and the European Union – Iran scaled back its uranium enrichment programme and promised not to pursue nuclear weapons in exchange for the lifting of economic sanctions.

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has repeatedly confirmed that Tehran has been meeting its nuclear commitments fully………


May 13, 2018 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

Book on the campaign against Adani coal megamine

Just four citizens’: the Australians who confronted Adani in India, and made a difference Guardian, Geoff Cousins, 12 May 2018

In this book extract, Geoff Cousins describes how the farmer, the activist, the tourism operator and ‘an old bald man with hope in his heart’ travelled to India to protest against Adani……..

The campaign against the Adani mine is unique in my experience of major environmental battles. Most are “place-based” campaigns in one way or another: “don’t dam this river”; “don’t pollute this groundwater reserve”; “build this gas hub somewhere other than in a wilderness area”. The Adani proposal is different and touches on all the major environmental issues of our time, from climate change to global warming, from shifting from fossil fuels to renewables to the direct and indirect impacts on the Barrier Reef.

It has become a symbol of what is wrong with so much of the government policy in this country and elsewhere and that is why the campaign has attracted such widespread and passionate support. The central question that has focused the minds of all involved has become: if we can’t stop this mine at a time in history when urgent action is needed on all these issues, what can ever be achieved by the environment movement?…….

In discussions with traditional owners in Australia, it has been powerful to be able to describe first-hand the mistreatment Adani has meted out to Indigenous groups in India. The same promises are being made here, of employment and funding, and Indigenous groups are increasingly disbelieving of them – even those who may have signed agreements with Adani before they knew the truth.

A farmer in a wide hat and a bright green shirt with a white map of Australia on the back; an experienced and brave Great Barrier Reef activist; a woman who left her tourism business to join us at the last minute; and an old bald man with hope in his heart and fear in his belly – this was the great Aussie delegation. The Indians loved us. “You’re just four citizens?” they asked. “You don’t represent any organisation or government?” “No, just four people,” we answered.

There are thousands now, all over our country. More than 130 Stop Adani groups and thousands more people join the cause every month, with only one aim: to protect the planet, our reef, our natural world and our way of life against the environmental rape and pillage being carried out by Gautam Adani and his band of brothers.

This is an edited extract from David Ritter’s The Coal Truth: The fight to stop Adani, defeat the big polluters and reclaim our democracy ($29.99, UWA publishing)

May 13, 2018 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, climate change - global warming | Leave a comment

Australia’s scarce water could be helped by solar and wind power

Solar and wind could ease Australia’s water shortage -By Cole Latimer, 

Australia is one the world’s top 20 water-stressed nations but a shift to more renewable energy could lessen the nation’s water pressure.

A report by the World Resources Industry identified Australia as one country vulnerable to water stress where the potential for cheap renewable energy, solar and wind as opposed to fossil fuels, could reduce water consumption country-wide as these technologies use minimal – or zero – water.

May 13, 2018 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, environment, solar, wind | Leave a comment

Mayor of London’s ambitious vision for a clean green city

Mayor of London 11th May 2018 ,The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has today set out his ambitious vision for London’s environment in 2050, presenting his Environment Strategy to the
London Assembly for consideration before final publication in the coming

The strategy outlines Sadiq’s plans for making the city a greener,
cleaner and healthier place by targeting London’s toxic air, increasing
its green cover and making London a zero-carbon city by 2050 with energy
efficient buildings, clean transport and energy and increasing recycling.

All this will boost London’s green spaces, clean up its air, and help
safeguard the health and wellbeing of all Londoners. For the first time,
this strategy brings together approaches to every aspect of London’s
environment in one integrated document. The publication follows one of City
Hall’s largest ever strategy consultations with almost 3,000 Londoners
and 370 stakeholders responding to the draft Strategy launched last August.

May 13, 2018 Posted by | General News | 1 Comment

Concern in Chile over environmental dangers of lithium mining and processing

Chile’s lithium – blessing or curse?, DW, 11 May 18  Salar de Atacama is rich in lithium, essential to electric cars and other low-carbon tech. But indigenous people are fighting its extraction, saying private interests are cashing in at the expense of their environment.

The Salar de Atacama’s geysers, volcanoes and flamingos attract tourists from around the world. But beneath its dramatic vistas, the Chilean salt flats hide something of far greater economic potential that’s drawing a different kind of interest – from the world’s chemical companies.

Lithium batteries are essential to all kinds of gadgets from laptops and mobile phones to the electric cars and power storage facilities that are to help wean the world of fossil fuels. As the world shifts to renewables, more and more sectors are to be electrified, and demand for lithium is expected to double by 2025.

Salar de Atacama contains some of the world’s richest lithium deposits. Which means Chile is sitting on a goldmine. But exploiting it could come at a terrible environmental cost, protestors say.

The Chilean government wants to boost lithium production and potentially manufacture batteries in the country, breaking classic supply model where Latin American countries provide materials for products produced elsewhere.

To this end, it signed over lithium concessions to Chilean mining company SQM in January – a deal that’s to see extraction triple by 2030.

But environmentalists and mining unions are outraged. “For us, the contract is illegal,” said Miguel Soto, chairman of the Lithium for Chile movement that organized demonstrations against it on the streets of Santiago de Chile.

……….The full extent of environmental damage mining operations could have is still unclear. Domingo Ruiz, a chemist at the University of Santiago who works on lithium-ion technology, says the government should make an environmental impact study and adopt regulations.

More research and regulation needed

“There are no regulations up to now. That is why a lot of people are worried about how the rising production quotas will impact the fragile ecosystem of the Salar de Atacama,” he told DW……..

May 13, 2018 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

Cheryl Axleby:  Budget ignores solutions and damages our communities

Author: Cheryl Axleby

Cheryl Axleby is a proud Narungga woman with family ties across South Australia.
Cheryl is the co-chair of the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Legal Services (NATSILS).’

‘Yet again, our people have been let down with this year’s Federal Budget.

‘The investment in our communities is more eroded,
our quality of life more diminished,
our voices and needs more blatantly ignored.

‘While the Budget seeks to commemorate colonisation,
it fails to address its ongoing consequences and the oppression
that our people continue to experience.

‘The most alarming aspects of the Budget further stack the system
against our people and punish people living in poverty.

‘As a co-chair of NATSILS, I have been actively involved in trying to engage with governments
to provide insight and solutions into justice and social issues we face,
and the need for greater investment. It is disheartening that they are not listening,
and actively doing damage to our communities. …

Time for change

‘We remain unheard.
Our national Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander representative bodies
are not invited to sit at the table with government.
Our communities are not meaningfully involved in the reform process.
And now the poorest amongst us will be punished for the ongoing effects of colonisation.

‘There are solutions.
Many of these were set out by our organisations in the 2016 Redfern Statement.
Now we continue to wait for the Government to act on their commitment to
“do things with us, not to us”.’

Read more of Cheryl Axleby‘s significant, comprehensive & thought-provoking article
under the following themes: HousingWelfare & CDPClosing the GapJustice:

May 13, 2018 Posted by | aboriginal issues, AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL | Leave a comment

Fracking Fluids Become More Radioactive Over Time — Mining Awareness +

Originally posted on Mining Awareness + : “the researchers estimated that the radioactivity concentration would increase by a factor of more than five within 15 days as a result of radioactive ingrowth. They measured an increase in the decay products 210 lead and 228 thorium in the closed system, and they predicted that radioactivity would continue to…

via Fracking Fluids Become More Radioactive Over Time — Mining Awareness +

May 13, 2018 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

May 13 Energy News



¶ “Cities, Villages as Fulcrum of Germany’s Energy Transition” • One feature of the German energy sector that is hardly likely to be ignored by visitors to the country is the localization of the electricity supply system. It focuses on bringing together people, villages, and municipalities to invest and own their power systems. [THISDAY Newspapers]

Windpark Wildpoldsried (Richard Mayer, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “Crumbling of nuclear deal boosts Iran hard-liners” • Across Iran, the hopefulness that followed the 2015 nuclear deal has been replaced by a rising hard-line fever with President Donald Trump’s decision to pull America from the accord. That is not to say Iran wants the deal to end. The Islamic Republic is still trying to salvage it. [Japan Today]

¶ “Withdrawing from Paris carbon emissions deal was a mistake” • Americans have long enjoyed a position of privilege as a global leader…

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May 13, 2018 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment