Australian news, and some related international items

Nuclear and climate news- Australia

International nuclear politics came to the fore this week. Trump says US will withdraw from nuclear arms treaty with Russia.  Trump threatens to build up U.S. nuclear arsenal against China, Russia.    Russia threatens to develop intermediate-range nuclear weapons in response to USA’s nuclear move.

Climate events are getting ever more complicated.  Polar jet circulation changes bring Sahara dust to Arctic, increasing temperatures, melting ice.   Arctic blast is set to sweep across Britain this week bringing sub-freezing temperatures of just 26F and wintery showers after an unseasonably warm autumn.


NUCLEAR. The nuclear lobby got into high gear this week with an extraordinary TV programme on Channel 9’s “60 Minutes”. The episode could be best described as a nuclear infomercial. Australia’s top nuclear propagandist Ben Heard was in full control, as the reporter Tom Steinfort seemed unable  (or unwilling?) to ask any difficult questions.  A great disappointment, if Channel 9 has sold out to the nuclear lobby, particularly as 60 Minutes previously had a fine record of journalism, covering the Fukushima nuclear disaster. 


Wentworth election – a preview of climate change issue for Australia’s coming federal election – Liberal Party moderates blame climate policy for Wentworth by-election debacle.  Australia’s Treasurer Josh Frydenberg sticks to his pro fossil fuel guns. Barnaby Joyce calls the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) “wrong and ridiculous” about coal.

Climate change now firing up raging fight in Australia’s Morrison govt, after Wentworth byelection fiasco.  Coalition fast-tracks proposal for new “firm” generation, open to coal plant extensionsPM admits Australia Paris target toothless, Coalition completely at sea on energy .  Australian govt abandons promotion for dubious climate group.

Liberal moderates to demand $1 billion for climate change fund.  Kiribati’s Anote Tong, (slighted by Minister Melissa Price) says Australia must act on climate change.

Aboriginal Traditional Owners launch campaign challenging Origin Energy over NT fracking consents.

IN New Zealand, both sides of politics agree on action against climate change.

RENEWABLE ENERGY. Australia large scale solar output breaks through 1GW on Sunday.  Free rooftop solar for low-income households in NSW govt deal .  Microgrid funding to help Yackandandah reach 100% renewables .



Gender and radiation impact project.  A false reference: “acceptable” radiation risks set as they affect adult men, not women, not children.

Nuclear weapons join the other cruel killing methods now pitched as games – entertainment.

October 23, 2018 Posted by | Christina reviews | Leave a comment

Has Channel 9’s “60 Minutes” sold its soul to the nuclear lobbby?

Last Sunday’s episode of “60 Minutes  was just an infomercial for the nuclear lobby.

But 60 Minutes can do real journalism. Here’s Liz Hayes with her investigation of Fukushima, a few years ago:

60 Minutes Fukushima report

October 23, 2018 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, media | 2 Comments

One of the many posts that responded to the 60 Minutes Fukushima programme

Trevor Wilson Great idea: Let’s build some nukes. After all, they’re cheap, convenient and quick to build. Oh wait a sec: They’re NONE of those things. And one more thing that none of the nuclear apologists ever mention. It was mentioned to me by a nuclear physicist working at ANSTO one day. WASTE. Yep that same waste which has a half life of up to 20 million years. The US has figured out what to do with 2 years’ worth of their nuclear waste. It’s taken them 60 years to do it. Only another 58 years’ of waste to deal with. Hey, here’s an idea: Let’s tap our nearby nuclear FUSION reactor. Some call it the Sun. Clean, no waste and abundant energy for the next 5 billion years. Just a thought.

October 23, 2018 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

A letter to “60 Minutes” by a very fed-up critic

My message to “60 Minutes”, ep 34, Australia

“I listened with great interest to Ben Heard’s narrative regarding conditions in living areas adjacent to the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant. The following academic paper which adds to the knowledge available to Australians and the world population regarding the Japanese nuclear event: “Exposure and current health issues in Minamisoma” by M. Tsubokura Minamisoma Municipal General Hospital, 2-54-6 Takamicho, Haramachi-ku, Minamisoma, Fukushima Prefecture, Japan; e-mail: Full paper here:

The whole paper needs to be read. The learned author of the paper says, among other things, that : “In September 2011, whole-body counters were installed in the (Minamisoma )hospital and have since been used for screening. In total, some 100,000 people have been screened. For approximately 99% of all children, including elementary and middle school students, in the city, internal exposure levels were below the minimum level for detection (Tsubokura et al., 2015a)…..”

However, the author also states that “More than 5 years since the disaster, internal exposure levels on the order of several thousand or several tens of thousands of becquerels are still being detected in those who regularly consume wild boar, wild birds, wild vegetables, or mushrooms that are highly contaminated, with a frequency of about several persons per 10,000 people (Tsubokura et al., 2014). However, internal exposure levels are not likely to increase for those who consume foods distributed through regular channels.” end partial quotes.

I topped my class in Agricultural Science and was trained by the Australian Army as a Radiological Safety NCO during the Cold War. The matters are complex and the exclusion zones in Japan are valid in my opinion from what I have read from the literature.

I have a question for the 60 minutes team, Ben Heard and viewers: Given the fact of bio-accumulation as proven by the dosimetry of those scanned Japanese people who hunt and collect their own food, including those who eat food obtained not from “official” supply chains, would you be happy to give up hunting, fresh water fishing (many papers on that one) and collecting edible plants and mushrooms as one’s ancestors have done since the dawn of time? Or is this a small matter in the context of the current 10 year window nuclear power has before it is rendered totally redundant in the Australian context. There is no need to panic. It’s all very interesting. Paul Langley.”

Of course Channel 9 Sydney will not be reading the above letter from a viewer during the 60 Minutes feedback segment anytime this side of the next ice age.

October 23, 2018 Posted by | media | 1 Comment

One critic sees reporter Tom Steinfort as being manipulated by nuclear propagandist Ben Heard

Steve Dale   Nuclear Fuel Cycle Watch South Australia That poor guy [ 60 Minutes reporter Tom Steinfort]- he has to learn that people can seem very nice and sincere but still be feeding you a load of crap.

Just watched a “60 minutes extra video” where he has an extended interview with Geraldine Thomas. He talks about his Geiger counter on the plane (a Safecast unit that Ben Heard is seen holding in the actual 60 minutes report) and says –

“…the Geiger counter is hovering around 3.5 to 3.6 micro Sieverts – that is about “50 times” the normal exposure you would get in Melbourne or Sydney…”

3.5 is 35 times the average background value 0.1 micro Sieverts. The nuclear propagandists exaggerate the effects of airflight non-contaminating radiation because it suits their agenda. Such dishonesty, such desperation..

It really seems like the nuclear propagandists have thrown everything at this poor unwitting journalist to get this segment – I wonder who actually paid for the airflights (which from the video looked like first/business class)

Oh – and from the display on the Geiger Counter we can say the date of the flight was 23rd of September – and I know Heard was also in Fukushima back in April, so this makes 3+ trips to Fukushima power station.

October 23, 2018 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, media | Leave a comment

Join in supporting the Radioactive Waste submission to Department of Industry, Innovation & Science

Jim Green   The federal government is accepting submissions about the hideous proposal to dump radioactive waste in SA. Unsafe, unwanted and unnecessary! We’re concerned that the government is trying to manufacture consent with this process, which makes it all the more important to send submissions opposing the dump. Please write your own submission or simply add you name to the submission drafted by the SA Conservation Council ‒ it will only take a minute of your time! Follow this link:  Radioactive Waste submission to DIIS

October 23, 2018 Posted by | ACTION | Leave a comment

Energy Insiders Podcast: Why big business is flowing into wind and solar — RenewEconomy

Flow Power is pioneering new retail model delivering renewable energy to big business consumes. We talk to CEO Matthew van der Linden. The post Energy Insiders Podcast: Why big business is flowing into wind and solar appeared first on RenewEconomy.

via Energy Insiders Podcast: Why big business is flowing into wind and solar — RenewEconomy

October 23, 2018 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Push for nuclear power in Australia – it’s all about money

Three key observations from Lazard’s LCOE 11.0 and LCOS 3.0

Paul Richards This whole nuclear push, is promoting nuclear sales channels, by those on the hard right who want to arm Australia with weapons.

It’s about the money.

The green or whitewashing done in this infomercial is pretty transparent to those following the long-term poor viability status of the nuclear industry.

All credit to past bipartisan governments for staying well out of this corporate state promoted 20 Century conventional energy system, as a cover for nuclear weapons production and military support.

The whole nuclear industry has up until the last two decades been the metaphorical “Golden Goose”, giving those in the corporate state, access, nations sovereign wealth, due to the National Security budgets.

Sovereign wealth, for the unaware, is often called national debt. In the case of weapons sales channels, we the people pay indefinitely for this spending.

As for energy production, that is now almost as expensive to produce as solar PV on householders own homes.

The nuclear industry needs funding indefinitely because of the subsidising of all their costs, including the pollution from;

* greenhouse gas emissions

and the vast amounts of

* nuclear waste,

as storage costs, to the voter, the environment, is for all intent an indefinite running cost in both social and financial capital.

October 23, 2018 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

A clever French way to transition smoothly from petrol-fuelled car to solar-fuelled

Oil company announces installation of solar panels at 5,000 gas stations, first step to convert them into EV charging stations?  Fred Lambert@FredericLambert

Total, the major French multinational oil and gas company, announced today a $300 million investment to install about 200 MW of solar capacity at 5,000 gas stations around the world. The investment is being presented as a way for Total’s operations to reduce its carbon footprint, but what if its the first step to convert the gas stations into electric vehicle charging stations?

As the global car fleet transition from being powered by gasoline and diesel to being powered by electricity, the refueling infrastructure is also bound to change. Gas stations have already mostly all become convenience stores, but they still depend on the traffic from drivers refueling their tanks.

Obviously, we will need less charging stations than gas stations when electric vehicles will be more common since the majority of the charging happens at home, but a significant number of stations will still be required for long distance travel and for EV owners without home access to charging, like apartment dwellers.

If you are to offer charging, you might as well produce the electricity from solar energy on location where it is economically viable, which is far from being everywhere yet, but it is quickly expanding in different markets.

Total didn’t specify where its new solar installations will be deployed other than at “5,000 of its service stations worldwide” including “800 in France” and they will be deployed over the next five years.

The panels will be supplied by Sunpower, which is owned by Total.

Philippe Sauquet, President of Gas, Renewables & Power at Total, commented on the announcement:

 “The project is fully aligned with Total’s ambition of becoming the responsible energy major and its commitment to developing solar power. It will reduce our carbon emissions by 100,000 tons per year and cut our electricity bill by $40 million per year. The panels will be supplied by our affiliate SunPower, which offers the world’s most efficient solar technology. This project demonstrates Total’s confidence in SunPower, especially its ability to bring our customers competitive, clean energy.”

Last month we reported on Tesla installing a Supercharger station at a Quick Check in New York. A first for a gas station in the US.

But it wasn’t a first globally. Last year, we reported that Tesla sold 12 Superchargers to the Manaseer Group to be installed at three of their gas stations in Jordan (pictured above). Those are privately held Superchargers and not officially part of Tesla’s network.

With charging stations and solar arrays being installed (separately for now) at gas stations around the world, I think we are seeing a glimpse of an important part of our future transport infrastructure starting to emerge. Soon enough, we should see stations with large solar arrays storing the electricity in battery packs and charging electric vehicles.

If you want to install a solar array at your home, business (or your gas station), you can see if it makes sense for your property and if you can be saving money on your energy bill with a free solar quote here.

October 23, 2018 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Safety concerns about Lucas Heights nuclear reactor: needs $210m tax-payer funded upgrade

Steve Dale According to the article below, this is referring to “Building 23” – which “operates a nuclear medicine production facility and is responsible for distributing “finished” products”. So it sounds like ANSTO have got their hands out again for more taxpayer money for their messy, high-volume waste producing nuclear medicine factory. ANSTO should be putting all their efforts into finding methods that minimise the waste eg. cyclotrons.

Unsurprisingly the article also mentions –

“A perception of widespread bullying also emerged, with about one in five ANSTO staff interviewed saying they had “experienced bullying” over a six-month period.” Seems like ANSTO is toxic in multiple ways…/lucas-heights-nuclear…/10403532


Sydney nuclear facility needs $210m revamp: report, SMH, 22 October 2018 The federal government’s ageing nuclear medical facility in southern Sydney should be replaced or rebuilt due to safety concerns, an independent report says.

The expert report published on Monday found there was a “make do and mend” culture at the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation site in Lucas Heights.

The report found the 1950s-era nuclear medical facility failed to meet modern nuclear safety standards.

A replacement facility has been in the pipeline for several years but plans have been hindered because of federal government budget restrictions, the report says.

The organisation’s boss on Monday argued if work started “today” on a new $210 million building, it could be up and running in five years.

While several modifications have been made to the facility, the report found upgrades cannot resolve all of its problems.

In August 2017, a technician at the facility was exposed to radioactive material that contaminated his hands through two pairs of gloves after he dropped a vial, exposing him to an elevated risk of cancer.

The incident was the most serious in the world last year – the only safety failure that was rated a “Level 3” event or above. It was followed by three other less-serious incidents – “near misses” – within the next 10 months.

“It should be noted that Level 3 events are regarded as serious events in the nuclear industry and any additional events at this level may result in loss of confidence in the organisation,” the report says.

……. The report made 85 recommendations, including that the Australian government commit to a replacement facility as soon as practicable and provide additional funding or find alternative funding for the new site.


October 23, 2018 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, safety | 1 Comment

Defence Department breached radiation regulations

Defence breached radiation regulations, THE AUSTRALIAN, By RORY CALLINAN, OCTOBER 22, 2018

The Defence Department has blamed poor record keeping for its failure to properly transport and dispose of small amounts of radioactive material contained in lighting systems accompanying old artillery pieces.

The Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency found Defence had breached licence conditions in relation to the material in lighting systems associated with the Hamel 105mm towed light howitzers that were phased out of operation in 2018

Defence failed to comply with regulations in regard to disposing of controlled material without prior approval and not following the transport code for radioactive sources, said ARPANSA’s recently released annual report.

……. The spokesman said after investigating the matter, Defence had acted to ensure that similar incidents would not occur.

He said ARPANSA had been satisfied with the action taken and it accepted no radiation safety impacts as a result of the incident. No fines or enforcement action was warranted, he said.

October 23, 2018 Posted by | - incidents, AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL | Leave a comment


The selection of a preferred site in rural South Australia for a national radioactive waste dump will likely be delayed until next year. …. (subscribersonly)

October 23, 2018 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Federal nuclear waste dump | Leave a comment

Liberal moderates to demand $1 billion for climate change fund

Liberal moderates concerned at the Coalition’s lack of climate change policy are set to demand Scott Morrison revitalise the ailing direct action policy with a $1 billion injection into the Emissions Reduction Fund.

Warning that the climate change lesson from Saturday’s Wentworth …. (subscribers only)

October 23, 2018 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, climate change - global warming, politics | Leave a comment

Traditional Owners launch campaign challenging Origin Energy over NT fracking consents

16 October 2018 ‘A group of Traditional Owners from the Northern Territory are in Sydney this week
to challenge Origin Energy over claims it has consent for controversial gas fracking plans
across some of the Northern Territory’s most pristine
landscapes, waterways and iconic tourism regions.

Traditional Owners, the Protect Country Alliance and supporters will address
a press conference prior to the AGM, coinciding with the launch of a national campaign
calling on Origin to drop plans to frack the Northern Territory. …

Stuart Nuggett [TraditionalOwner] has travelled from the remote township of Elliott
to attend the AGM on behalf of his community, a region at the heart of Origin’s fracking permit acreage:
‘“Our communities haven’t been given enough information about what Origin is planning for our region.
We are worried about the risks fracking brings.
I have concerns over what the impact could be on water. Water is life.
I want the company to listen to our concerns and act on them.”

May August is an Alawa grandmother and Traditional Owner
for land under the Origin exploration permits:
‘“We don’t want fracking to start in our area because we have seen
the damage Origin and other companies have done elsewhere in Australia. … ‘

October 23, 2018 Posted by | aboriginal issues, environment, Northern Territory | Leave a comment

Nuclear Power vs off grid homes and installations.

October 23, 2018 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment