Australian news, and some related international items

Warm autumn likely to follow Australia’s hottest summer on record — RenewEconomy

Australia’s warmest summer on record – with extremes of drought, flooding, fire and heat – looks set to continue into autumn, with warmer temperatures and below average rainfall. The post Warm autumn likely to follow Australia’s hottest summer on record appeared first on RenewEconomy.

via Warm autumn likely to follow Australia’s hottest summer on record — RenewEconomy

March 2, 2019 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Unique to Australia – the use of climate funding for upgrading COAL -FIRED plants !!

Out on its own: Australia the only country to use climate funding to upgrade coal-fired plants, Guardian, Adam Morton  @adamlmorton 1 Mar 2019 

Green finance experts say Australia is out of step with World Bank, Europe and the US, which are using funding to combat global warming

Australia is the only developed country that allows climate change funding to be used to upgrade coal-fired power plants, green finance experts say.

Experts say allowing Vales Point coal-fired power station to register with the Morrison government’s emissions reduction fund, rebadged this week as a “climate solutions” policy, puts Australia out of step with the World Bank, Europe and the US, which have all rejected using climate financing for coal power retrofits.

The World Bank has issued US$13bn in green bonds since 2008 to stimulate spending to combat global warming.

China has used green bonds to help build new coal-fired plants to replace older, dirtier stations on the grounds it reduces nitrogen-based emissions causing the country’s oppressive air pollution. But it announced in Decemberit would no longer consider “clean coal” plants – which still emit significant amounts of greenhouse gas – investments in green technology.

Sean Kidney, chief executive of the London-based Climate Bonds Initiative, says China’s shift leaves Australia out on its own.

“If you were committed to meeting the goals of the Paris climate agreement, which the Australian government says it is committed to, this is just lunacy,” Kidney says.

“No investors in the western world will accept any green bonds that incentivise anything like coal station retrofits. From an investor’s perspective, coal is a dead duck.”

Emma Herd, chief executive of the Investor Group on Climate Change, says Australia is moving across the trend by considering giving taxpayer support to coal. In addition to the potential support through the climate solutions fund, the government is considering underwriting the cost of building new coal-fired power stations.

In the past fortnight, mining giant Glencore has said it will cap coal production in response to pressure from shareholders, while Rio Tinto stressed it was the only large mining company with no fossil fuel investments, having sold its final coal assets to Glencore last year……..

Even if Vales Point is not successful, critics such as the Australian Conservation Foundation say there is nothing preventing other coal-fired  plant owners from applying for a climate subsidy. Major companies are being paid from the fund for other fossil fuel projects: South African miner Gold Fields is getting $1m for a gas-fired plant the company says it would have built regardless; Rio Tinto has received $2m for a diesel-fired power plant at a bauxite mine.

With prime minister Scott Morrison announcing the Coalition would top up the $2.55bn fund with an additional $2bn over a decade, economists and environmentalists have called for emissions from fossil fuels to be dealt with through different policies and for the fund to focus on projects that restore or protect natural habitat……..

March 2, 2019 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, climate change - global warming, politics | Leave a comment

We cannot let nuclear waste come to the State of Utah, By Leslie and Gail Ellison,  Deseret News March 1, 2019  HB220 recently passed by our Legislature opens the door to allow Class B and Class C nuclear wastes to be stored at the EnergySolutions Clive Skull Valley repository. These wastes increase in toxicity over time. No matter one’s political persuasion, Independent, Republican, Libertarian or Democrat, this bill must be halted in its tracks.

March 2, 2019 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

Much higher radioactivity levels along the 2020 Olympics torch route

Atomic Balm Part 1: Prime Minister Abe Uses The Tokyo Olympics As Snake Oil Cure For The Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Meltdowns  Fairewinds Energy Education, By Arnie Gundersen “……….To determine whether or not Olympic athletes might be affected by fallout emanating from the disaster site, Dr. Marco Kaltofen and I were sponsored by Fairewinds Energy Education to look at Olympic venues during the fall of 2017.We took simple dirt and dust samples along the Olympic torch route as well as inside Fukushima’s Olympic stadium and as far away as Tokyo. When the Olympic torch route and Olympic stadium samples were tested, we found samples of dirt in Fukushima’s Olympic Baseball Stadium that were highly radioactive, registering 6,000 Bq/kg of Cesium, which is 3,000 times more radioactive than dirt in the US. We also found that simple parking lot radiation levels were 50-times higher there than here in the US.

Thirty of the dirt and fine dust samples that I took on my last two trips to Japan in February and March 2016 and September 2017 were analyzed at WPI (Worchester Polytechnic Institute. The WPI laboratory analysis are detailed in the report entitled: Measuring Radioactivity in Soil and Dust Samples from Japan, T. Pham, S. Franca and S. Nguyen, Worchester Polytechnic Institute, which found that:

With the upcoming XXXII Olympiad in 2020 hosted by Japan, it is necessary to look into the radioactivity of Olympic venues as well as tourist attractions in the host cities… Since thousands of athletes and millions of visitors are travelling to Japan for the Olympics, there has been widespread concern from the international community about radiation exposure. Therefore, it is important to investigate the extent of radioactive fallout from the Fukushima Dai-ichi incident.

The measured results showed a much higher activity of Cesium-137 in the proposed torch route compared to other areas. Overall, the further away from the Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Power Plant, the lower the radioactivity. The activity of Cesium-137 in Tokyo, the furthest site from the plant, was the lowest when compared to the other sites. Therefore, the activity of Cesium-137 in Tokyo sample was used as the baseline to qualitatively estimate the human exposure to radiation.

At the Azuma Sports Park, the soil and dust samples yielded a range of 78.1 Bq/kg to 6176.0 Bq/kg. This particular Olympic venue is around 90 km from the Nuclear Power Plant. The other sites that are closer to the Nuclear Power Plant like the tourist route, proposed torch route, and non-Olympic samples have higher amounts due to the close proximity to ground zero of the disaster.

… the proposed torch route samples had the highest mean radioactivity due to their close proximity to the plant. Based on the measurement, we estimated qualitatively that the radiation exposure of people living near the Azuma Sports Park area was 20.7 times higher than that of people living in Tokyo. The main tourist and proposed torch routes had radiation exposure of 24.6 and 60.6 times higher, respectively, than in Tokyo…. Olympic officials should consider using the results of this project to decide whether the radioactivity level at the proposed torch route and the Olympic venues are within acceptable level……

March 2, 2019 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

Three people treated at Sydney’s Lucas Heights nuclear facility after chemical spill

ABC News 1 Mar 19  Three staff at the Lucas Heights nuclear facility have been decontaminated after being exposed to a chemical spill.

Key points:

  • Australia’s only nuclear reactor is located at Lucas Heights, about 40km south of Sydney’s CBD
  • Two men and a women were decontaminated and taken to Sutherland Hospital
  • The facility has had several contamination scares in recent years

A spokesman for Australia’s Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO) said the workers were exposed to sodium hydroxide when a cap came off a pipe in the nuclear medicine manufacturing building…………

Contamination scares

The Lucas Heights facility, about 40 kilometres south of the Sydney CBD, has had several contamination scares in recent years.

In August 2017 a worker suffered blisters on his hands after he dropped a vial of radioactive material and was contaminated through two pairs of gloves.

The event was deemed the most serious in the world in 2017, according to the International Nuclear Event Scale — the global grading system for nuclear incidents.

ANSTO apologised to the worker who was exposed to the radioactive material and produced an “action plan”, in response.

An independent review of the facility was conducted in October 2018 and found that it failed modern nuclear safety standards and should be replaced.

In the same week ANSTO confirmed five workers had received a dose of radiation at the facility, but that the amount of radiation was “less than a chest X-ray”.


March 2, 2019 Posted by | - incidents, New South Wales | Leave a comment

Eight years after Fukushima nuclear meltdown, workers still facing radiation risk — Fukushima 311 Watchdogs

Workers at the Fukushima plant still don’t know how long they have to stay behind cleaning up the mess from the 2011 nuclear meltdown. February 22, 2019 TEPCO officials recently said to Akahata that high-risk zones in the Fukushima Daiichi plant have become smaller and that now workers do not need to wear a full-face […]

via Eight years after Fukushima nuclear meltdown, workers still facing radiation risk — Fukushima 311 Watchdogs

March 2, 2019 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Trump Ordered Officials To Give Kushner Security Clearance Despite FBI-CIA Concerns Re Kushner’s Foreign & Business Contacts With Israel, Russia; UAE; & Others — Mining Awareness +

According to the New York Times: “Trump Ordered Officials to Give Jared Kushner a Security Clearance – The president overruled concerns from intelligence officials and the top White House lawyer about giving his son-in-law access to sensitive information… The full scope of intelligence officials’ concerns about Mr. Kushner is not known. But the clearance had been held […]

via Trump Ordered Officials To Give Kushner Security Clearance Despite FBI-CIA Concerns Re Kushner’s Foreign & Business Contacts With Israel, Russia; UAE; & Others — Mining Awareness +

March 2, 2019 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

March 1 Energy News — geoharvey

Opinion: ¶ “Why Do Republicans No Longer Care About Democracy, The US Constitution, Christian Morals, National Security, The Rule Of Law, The FBI, The CIA, Honesty, And US Debt?” • Just about everything at the top of the ideological list for Republicans five to ten years ago is now trampled on by Republican leaders in […]

via March 1 Energy News — geoharvey

March 2, 2019 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Even a ‘Limited’ Nuclear War Could Wreck Earth’s Climate And Trigger Global Famine — SOMEONE SOMEWHERE

Deadly tensions between India and Pakistan are boiling over in Kashmir, a disputed territory at the northern border of each country. A regional conflict is worrisome enough, but climate scientists warn that if either country launches just a portion of its nuclear weapons, the situation might escalate into a global environmental and humanitarian catastrophe. On February […]

via Even a ‘Limited’ Nuclear War Could Wreck Earth’s Climate And Trigger Global Famine — SOMEONE SOMEWHERE

March 2, 2019 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

It’s time for Australia’s renewables industry to go all in — RenewEconomy

Given the rapidly falling cost of solar and wind, the renewables industry should be actively fighting for Australia to rapidly move to 100% renewables and beyond. The post It’s time for Australia’s renewables industry to go all in appeared first on RenewEconomy.

via It’s time for Australia’s renewables industry to go all in — RenewEconomy

March 2, 2019 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Dealing with the fallout in Fukushima – Part 1 — Soils Matter, Get the Scoop!

On March 11, 2011, Japan experienced the unprecedented Tohuku earthquake. It was the largest in Japan’s history, and created a massive tsunami that impacted Japan’s northeastern coast. A result of the earthquake and tsunami was the meltdown of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant. This meltdown had immediate and long-term impacts on the area. This […]

via Dealing with the fallout in Fukushima – Part 1 — Soils Matter, Get the Scoop!

March 2, 2019 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Trump-Kim nuclear summit – good for photo opportunity, but not for real negotiations

Making nuclear summits great again  The Saturday Paper, Jonathan Pearlman 2 Mar 19,  Vietnam: In Hanoi this week, Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un met for a second summit to address North Korea’s nuclear program. Trump revels in the theatrics of these summits, apparently overlooking that he is lending stature to a despot who holds power through mass enslavement, torture, imprisonment and murder.

“[You are] a great leader,” Trump told Kim after their dinner on Wednesday at the Metropole Hotel. “I think you will have a tremendous future with your country.”

Before the formal talks began on Thursday, journalists covering the event were advised of the expected outcome: there would be an “agreement signing ceremony” at the Metropole at 3.50pm.

By Thursday afternoon, the ceremony had been cancelled as the realities of trying to resolve this decades-old conflict overcame Trump’s apparent belief that a deal would flow from a “wonderful dialogue”.

The success of a potential deal will depend on detail, and on Kim’s predilections, not Trump’s jubilant tweets. This became clear in Hanoi, as the talks faltered over Kim’s demands that international sanctions should be entirely lifted.

“It wasn’t a good thing to sign anything,” Trump said. “Sometimes you have to walk.”

The Trump–Kim encounters, reminiscent of the great Soviet–American summits, are designed to be spectacles, yet the Hanoi meeting was quickly overshadowed by events in Washington……..

March 2, 2019 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

‘THE AUSTRALIAN’ journalist Chris Kenny swallows spin of dodgy nuclear propagandist Shellenberger hook line and sinker

Nuclear our energy panacea Chris Kenny, 1 Mar 19, We exaggerate the threat and despair about the future, when all the while there is a silver bullet waiting to be used…… (subscribers only) 


March 2, 2019 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

Choice of Tokyo for 2020 Olympics – a ploy to minimise the reality of Fukushima nuclear meltdowns

As we prepare for the eighth remembrance of the March 11, 2011 earthquake, tsunami and triple meltdowns at Fukushima Daiichi, Fairewinds is ever mindful of what is currently happening in Japan.

There has never been a roadmap for Japan to extricate itself from the radioactive multi-headed serpentine Hydra curse that has been created in an underfunded, unsuccessful attempt to clean-up the ongoing spread of migrating radioactivity from Fukushima. Rather than focus its attention on mitigating the radioactive exposure to Japan’s civilians, the government of Japan has sought instead to redirect world attention to the 2020 Olympics scheduled to take place in Tokyo.

Truthfully, a situation as overwhelming as Fukushima can exist in every location in the world that uses nuclear power to produce electricity. The triple meltdowns at Fukushima Daiichi are the worst industrial catastrophe that humankind has ever created.

Prior to Fukushima, the atomic power industry never envisioned a disaster of this magnitude anywhere in the world. Worldwide, the proponents and operators of nuclear power plants still are not taking adequate steps to protect against disasters of the magnitude of Fukushima!……….

……Are the Japanese government and the IAEA protecting the nuclear industry and not the people of Japan by claiming that Fukushima is stable when it is not? Fairewinds’ chief engineer Arnie Gundersen outlines major inconsistencies and double-speak by the IAEA, Japanese Government, and TEPCO claiming that the Fukushima accident is over. Dynamic versus static equilibrium, escalated dose exposures to the Japanese children and nuclear workers, and the blending of radioactive materials with non-contaminated material and spreading this contaminated ash throughout Japan are only a small part of this ongoing nuclear tragedy.

Later in 2013, Japan pressed the International Olympic Committee and bribed some of its members to accept the Olympics in 2020 according to an Associated Press article February 18, 2019 by Journalist Haruka Nuga.

Members of the JOC executive board are up for re-election this summer. There is speculation Takeda…[ Japanese Olympic Committee President Tsunekazu Takeda, who is being investigated for his part in an alleged bribery scandal] will not run, or could be replaced. French investigators believe he may have helped Tokyo win the 2020 Olympics in a vote by the International Olympic Committee.

Takeda has been JOC president since 2001. He is also a powerful IOC member and the head of its marketing commission. He has not stepped aside from either position while the IOC’s ethics committee investigates.

…French authorities suspect that about $2 million paid by the Tokyo bid committee — headed by Takeda — to a Singapore consulting company, Black Tidings, found its way to some IOC members in 2013 when Tokyo won the vote over bids from Istanbul and Madrid… Takeda last month acknowledged he signed off on the payments but denied corruption allegations. An internal report in 2016 by the Japanese Olympic Committee essentially cleared Takeda of wrongdoing.

Tokyo is spending at least $20 billion to organize the Olympics. Games costs are difficult to track, but the city of Tokyo appears to be picking up at least half the bill.

Much of Japan’s focus has been to show that the Fukushima area is safe and has recovered from a 2011 earthquake, tsunami, and the meltdowns at three nuclear reactors.

Here is what I said in a video on Fairewinds website in 2013, when the original Tokyo Olympic announcement was made.

I think hosting the Olympics in 2020 is an attempt by the Japanese to change the topic. I don’t think people around the world are going to care until 2020 approaches. There is a seven-year window for the Japanese government to work to make Tokyo a showcase for the entire world to view. I think the Japanese government wanted to host the Olympics to improve the morale of the people of Japan after the Fukushima Daiichi accident. Unfortunately, it’s taking people’s attention off of the true cost of the accident, in terms of both money and public health.

Placing the Olympics in Tokyo was and still is a ploy to minimize the consequences of the Fukushima Daiichi meltdowns and to take the public’s attention away from a pressing emergency that still needs resolution for the health and safety of the people of Japan.

Fairewinds Energy Education will keep you informed with Part 2, at

March 2, 2019 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

Nuclear war between India and Pakistan? – unlikely, but possible

COULD THE CONFLICT BETWEEN PAKISTAN AND INDIA LEAD TO NUCLEAR WAR? Experts say it’s unlikely, but Pakistan’s lack of a “No First Use” doctrine for nuclear weapons means it’s not impossible. Pacific Standard, JACK HERRERA, FEB 27, 2019 

When Indian war planes rocketed into Pakistani territory on Tuesday, unleashing an attack on what India claims were terrorist targets, it was the first time India had launched air strikes on Pakistani soil since 1971. In the 48 years since that time—when India entered the war that turned East Pakistan into the independent Bangladesh—something has changed between the two rival South Asian powers: India and Pakistan are both now armed with nuclear weapons. So, as Pakistan has returned fire, shooting down two Indian jets on Wednesday, one of the most important questions in the world has become: What stops this conventional conflict between the two nations from escalating into a nuclear war?
Since 1974, when India shocked the world with its surprise nuclear test of the “Smiling Buddha” weapon, South Asia has been a nuclear hot spot. However, like China, India maintains a “No First Use” doctrine, which states that India will only use its nuclear weapons in response to a nuclear attack. The policy was declared in 1999, a year after Pakistan successfully detonated five of its own nuclear weapons, deep inside a mountain in southern Pakistan. Since then, Pakistan has refused to issue any clear doctrine governing its own use of nuclear weapons. In other words, no one—outside of Pakistan’s highest command—knows what could provoke the nation to launch a nuclear strike.

In 1999, Pakistan’s foreign minister explained why the country refused to adopt a No First Use policy, declaring that Islamabad would use “any weapon” in its arsenal to defend the country. Today, experts believe that, unlike India, Pakistan could plausibly deploy a nuclear weapon in response to a conventional attack. Pakistan maintains a smaller army and less weaponry than India, and would likely be overwhelmed if the Indian military invaded Pakistani territory with its full force. Facing loss of territory and national collapse, Islamabad could decide to launch a nuclear weapon against India in an attempt to even the playing field………

. To this day, Pakistan’s nuclear doctrine remains ambiguous, in what many experts consider to be a deliberate choice.  ……..
Does that mean the current conflict between Pakistan and India could escalate into a nuclear confrontation? Commentators regard that possibility as unlikely. Pakistan first began developing nuclear weapons in response to its humiliating loss of territory in 1971. Thus far, the current conflict with India does not appear to be a land grab, which suggests Pakistan does not have reason to engage its nuclear option………

March 2, 2019 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment