Australian news, and some related international items

International nuclear security negotiations poorly managed – because they pretty much exclude women

The Limits of Orthodoxy: What Diversity Brings to Nuclear Security,   Council on Foreign Relations,   by Guest Blogger for the Women and Foreign Policy Program March 18, 2019
“…………Our new report, The ‘Consensual Straitjacket’: Four Decades of Women in Nuclear Security notes that “while women have been working in the nuclear policy field at leadership levels for decades, the space is still overwhelmingly white and male.” Through interviews with 23 women who have worked at senior levels in the nuclear, arms control, and non-proliferation fields from the 1970’s through the present day, we find that a lack of diversity is one critical factor impeding innovation in the nuclear policy security arena.  ……….

The “Consensual Straitjacket”

Our research also found that the nuclear security field tends to be insulated, hierarchical, and overwhelmingly male. The resulting emphasis on a shared “nuclear orthodoxy” limits policy design and invites groupthink. Ultimately, that nuclear orthodoxy leads to losses in talented personnel who are unable or unwilling to fit themselves in to this narrow paradigm. Individuals who might otherwise provide creative, alternative approaches instead struggle to fit into the stereotypical image of what a nuclear official should look and sound like.

Michèle Flournoy
 described this struggle, as well as the resulting lost creativity, as a “consensual straitjacket.” She told us, “I think women are socialized to sort of think outside the box to solve problems […] and to sometimes solve a problem by reexamining the basic assumptions and looking at it differently. And that just was not welcomed very much in the nuclear conversation.”

Participants described working very hard to learn the theory and technical details of nuclear policy and master the jargon used by this community. But they also described how they attempted to fit in to conventional modes of thinking, even as these conventions felt constraining.

Gender Diversity and International Negotiations

A lack of gender diversity at international nuclear negotiations like the Hanoi Summit could therefore limit their potential outcomes. In spite of the benefits that gender diversity brings, we found that women remain systematically under-represented in nuclear and non-proliferation international negotiations. Data developed by the International Law and Policy Institute (ILPI) and the United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research (UNIDIR) on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) Review Conferences shows that while the U.S. delegation was composed of 5 percent women in 1980, just 38 percent of U.S. delegates in 2015 were female.

U.S. delegations routinely interact with foreign counterpart delegations who also have few, if any, women delegates. At the 2015 NPT Review Conference, the Russian Federation delegation was 27 percent women, China was 30 percent, the UK 27 percent, South Korea 36 percent, and Iran did not have any women delegates.

The “Gender Tax”

Many of our interviewees also pointed out to us that much of the work of negotiations occurs through informal interactions. When they were the only or one of a few women present, women found that they were often shut out of gatherings where their male colleagues were building these social relationships. Although some women said representing the United States offered some protection and gravitas, sexist behavior and harassment were still common.

Christine Wormuth told us that in international situations, “in the early years, I certainly had lots of the whole kind of ‘are you the administrative assistant or are you the mistress?’ [Because] certainly you couldn’t be there for substantive reasons.” The women we spoke to recounted a myriad of anecdotes about the harassment and derogatory comments that they faced at work from male colleagues, through the present day.

On top of doing their already-difficult jobs, these women faced an additional “gender tax” that required them to expend additional mental and emotional energy to navigate these high-stakes situations safely and tactfully. Wormuth recounted her reaction to being asked out to dinner by a high-ranking foreign representative: “It was so deflating because I realized, oh, he wasn’t paying any attention to what I was saying, he was paying attention to how I looked.”…….

March 18, 2019 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

March 18 Energy News — geoharvey

Opinion: ¶ “The Answer To The UK’s Renewable Energy Future Is Blowing In The Wind” • The UK’s offshore wind sector is booming. Auctions for new capacity held in 2017 resulted in deals at half the price of those signed just two years prior, while we are seeing a steady drumbeat of new records relating […]

via March 18 Energy News — geoharvey

March 18, 2019 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Wind and solar farms to forecast their own output, in ARENA-backed pilot — RenewEconomy

ARENA funds AEMO-backed pilot to test potential for wind and solar farms to provide their own forecasts of generation output, and boost accuracy of market operations. The post Wind and solar farms to forecast their own output, in ARENA-backed pilot appeared first on RenewEconomy.

via Wind and solar farms to forecast their own output, in ARENA-backed pilot — RenewEconomy

March 18, 2019 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Senec to provide home batteries for W.A. solar + storage microgrid – Australia’s largest — RenewEconomy

German-based Senec chosen to supply home battery systems for Horizon Power’s solar and storage microgrid in coastal Pilbara town of Onslow. The post Senec to provide home batteries for W.A. solar + storage microgrid – Australia’s largest appeared first on RenewEconomy.

via Senec to provide home batteries for W.A. solar + storage microgrid – Australia’s largest — RenewEconomy

March 18, 2019 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Do we want another nuclear industry puppet in the South Australian federal seat of Grey?

There are 3 contenders for this electorate, for the coming Federal election.

ANDREA BROADFOOT for Centre Alliance “This election is for our grandchildren, and theirs. Energy security, reliability and affordability through renewable sources” 

Andrea stood for this seat in 2016, and came very close to winning it, moving it from a (safely ignored by government safe seat) – to marginal (1.9%), which has brought millions of dollars of Government investment into the regions.

ROWAN RAMSEY The current Liberal Federal Member of Parliament, Rowan Ramsey, is an enthusiastic mouthpiece for the nuclear industry. If you tap his name into the “Search” slot on this page, you will see his many efforts on behalf of the nuclear industry.

RICHARD CARMODY  – Independent .

Kazzi Jai  Fight To Stop Nuclear Waste Dump In Flinders Ranges SA, 17 Mar 19 writes: 

Richard Carmody originally from Cowell and now lives in Whyalla has tossed his hat into the ring as an Independent.

Purely ONLY so that people are informed of these candidates, here is his policy on Nuclear from his website – with an INTERESTING TWIST when it comes to his policy on Coal!!

Regardless, seems people are NOT HAPPY with Rowan Ramsey. I wonder why?….(rhetorical question of course!) – we must also be careful of EXACTLY what POLICIES these OTHER CONTENDERS PUT FORWARD!!!

“Nuclear Since I’ve worked at Roxby (a copper and uranium mine) and Beverley (a uranium leach operation) people wonder about whether I advocate for nuclear related things. I’m neutral on nuclear. I am not for it nor against it. I am concerned there is a really poor understanding of radioactivity, radiation and nuclear science amongst the public, thanks to many years of sensationalist media and documentaries, both for and against, with agendas to push. The first thing I’d like is for an education program for the public on radioactivity and nuclear science to be put out. Then after people are much better informed, then they can decide if they want nuclear energy or the waste dumps and once the people decide, then I’ll go along with what they want.”


Coal’s effect on climate emissions is much higher than that for oil and gas, roughly double to triple, depending on how you look at it. So it would be unwise to have any new coal power. That said, it is sensible to maintain the existing coal fleet until we have sufficient renewables / storage or other types of low carbon energy(ie nuclear) to support at least 50% of our energy usage.”

The fact that he wrote on his home page: “I will donate the other half to small parties that are going in the right direction (Sustainable Australia, Real Democracy, Reason etc)”…should have been a bit of a give away…..

Just realised his policy on COAL involves the use of NUCLEAR!!!!! How the hell can you be “neutral on nuclear” when you then advocate “low carbon energy (ie NUCLEAR) to support at least 50% of our energy usage”?????????????

Noel Wauchope  not for it nor against it” means pro nuclear – as it means – just letting it happen. Let us not forget the lie about nuclear curing climate change is still a LIE. Carbon-14 is produced in coolant at boiling water reactors (BWRs) and pressurized water reactors (PWRs). It is typically released to the atmosphere in the form of carbon dioxide at BWRs, and methane at PWRs. EPRI | Product Abstract | Impact of Nuclear Power Plant Operations on Carbon-14 Generation, Chemical Forms, and Release”.

Carbon emissions are released in lage amounts throughout the entire nuclear fuel chain – from uranium mining, milling, conversion, enrichment, fuel fabrication, through to radioactive trash management and eventual burial. AND all the transport involved in between these stages.. AND all the building of all the stages’ facilities, and eventual demolition thereof.

March 18, 2019 Posted by | Federal nuclear waste dump, South Australia | Leave a comment

It’s a global disgrace, that it’s been left to children to take the lead on climate action

“We are happy to be the driving force… because when our children ask us what have you done for our future, we will have an answer.”
The Observer view on the school climate strikes: it’s shameful that children need to take the lead, Observer Editorial, 17 Mar 19, 
Children are right to call politicians to account over a global crisis   For those who care passionately about our planet’s future, these are dispiriting times. Fossil fuel emissions, which are now causing our world to overheat dangerously, continue to rise despite scientists’ clear warnings about the likely consequences: melting ice sheets, rising sea levels, unprecedented storms, acidifying oceans and spreading deserts.

Such forecasts should have spurred global action a long time ago. Yet politicians across the world have consistently refused to act and for decades have procrastinated, discounting evidence that clearly shows global warming is already affecting our planet. Many factors account for this inaction. Lobbying by oil and gas companies obsessed with short-term gain has certainly been involved. Others have argued that only God can have a planet-wide influence and that humanity is being presumptuous in believing it could alter a global ecosystem. In addition, there are those who believe bids to introduce limits on coal and oil burning are simply the work of leftwing, anti-capitalist conspirators.

Such befuddled notions are no longer acceptable in an overheating world. In failing to act over climate change, our leaders are in real danger of betraying a generation of young people who, in a few decades, are likely to inherit a blighted world that has been denuded of much of its wildlife, coastline and fertile land. The future of our children is being stolen before their eyes.

In the face of this stark scenario, the decision by children round the planet to vent their anger and to stage an international campaign of protests and school walkouts last week is to be welcomed. It was a just response to a global injustice. Without a voice in a political debate in which their future is being threatened by the political inability of their elders, young people have had little choice. Teachers may complain that the disruption caused by last week’s protests only increases their workload and wastes lesson times, but it is clear the campaign is being driven by genuine outrage, a grievance that also explains the considerable breadth of these protests.

From Australia to America, pupils simply put down their books and took to the streets. More than 100 towns and cities in the UK saw protests. In Sydney, about 30,000 young folk held a climate march, while in Delhi more than 200 children walked out of classes.

Equally impressive were the comments and blogs. In India, 13-year-old Arya Dhar Gupta from Gurugram, whose air is some of the world’s most polluted, revealed it was no longer safe for her to play outdoors. Others called for a moratorium on all new coal, oil and gas plants. Some demanded massive investment in renewable energy projects.

But perhaps most telling were the words of Anastasia Martynenko from Kiev. She supported her actions in terms that starkly highlight the depth of her elders’ failures and underline the now desperate need for a reinvigoration of global climate policies. “We are happy to be the driving force… because when our children ask us what have you done for our future, we will have an answer.”

March 18, 2019 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

World wide climate protests, by hundreds of thousands of school students

Even in chilly Oklahoma, USA – Students rally for climate change

Hundreds of thousands leave schools world-wide to protest climate change inaction, SBS NEWS< 17 Mar 19, Hundreds of thousands of students in more than 2000 cities from Australia to Uganda and Germany left the classroom on Friday to protest government inaction on climate change.

March 18, 2019 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

New South Wales school students rallied for climate action, despite the Premier’s disapproval

Students defy warning from Premier Gladys Berejiklian and skip school to attend Sydney climate rally, ABC News 17 Mar 19  By Antonette Collins and Kevin Nguyen  Thousands of NSW students have skipped class to attend a protest in Sydney to call for action on climate change, defying calls from Premier Gladys Berejiklian and Education Minister Rob Stokes to stay in school.

The event at Sydney Town Hall was expected to be one of the largest of the nationwide climate rallies today.

The big crowd of young people, predominantly students, cheered loudly amid calls for an end to the Adani coal mine in Queensland and 100 per cent renewable energy by 2030.

Rock star Jimmy Barnes and Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore were among those who attended the rally, and were spotted alongside the students wielding colourful signs.

Many students were attending against the advice of the NSW Government’s leaders and conservative commentators.

Students have called on governments to do more to reduce fossil fuel emissions, but they have faced resistance from government leadership and conservative commentators.

Premier Gladys Berejiklian criticised Opposition Leader Michael Daley, who this week backed schoolkids planning to protest.

“I encourage young people to feel passionately about important issues including climate change,” she said.

“But to suggest that they should strike during school hours is grossly irresponsible. I want to encourage students during school hours to express their views, to discuss their views in the classroom or the playground.

“But to take time off to go to a protest is not acceptable…….

We’re here to make a change’

Around 2,000 students rallied in Newcastle, where many felt environmental issues were close to home.

“I can see the world’s largest coal port from my doorstep and it’s shameful,” said Miette Xenith, 17, from Newcastle High.

She said her generation was scared for the future “because at my age it’s kind of like staring down the barrel of a gun”.

“The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has said that we have 12 years to completely change what we’re doing, before the impact is irreversible, so yeah, I feel strongly about it, because it’s my future.”

Newcastle student Molly Highet said she was angry at the Government’s inaction on climate change. “It’s scary thinking that if they don’t do anything real soon that we won’t have a good future, or maybe won’t have one at all, and our children won’t.

“They’re the ones that can really make a change, but now they’ve left it up to us so we’re trying to make the change for them.”

March 18, 2019 Posted by | climate change - global warming, New South Wales | Leave a comment

India -Pakistan just that little bit closer to that nuclear war brink

Indian military confirms deployment of nuclear subs amid rising tensions with Pakistan, AMN By News Desk2019-03-17

Tensions between the two nuclear-armed Asian powers escalated last month, after an incursion into Pakistani territory in Kashmir by Indian Air Force warplanes to strike at Jihadist militants led to skirmishes in the air and small arms and artillery fire along the shaky Line of Control border.

Major combat units of the Indian Navy including the INS Vikramaditya aircraft carrier-led battle group, nuclear submarines “and scores of other ships, submarines and aircraft” were quickly shifted from exercises to operational deployment as tensions between New Delhi and Islamabad escalated, India’s Ministry of Defence revealed in a statement Sunday……..

Earlier Sunday, sources speaking to Reuters reportedly said that India and Pakistan had threatened to lob nuclear missiles at each other during the crisis and that only US officials’ intervention helped to defuse what may have well turned into a much deadlier conflict. ……

Tensions continue to smolder, with regular reports of airspace violations, military drills held in the sensitive border area, and back and forth allegations of ceasefire violations amid small arms and artillery fire along the Line of Control in Kashmir.

March 18, 2019 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

New South Wales Labor’s pledge for ‘solar schools’

Labor promises $100 million for ‘solar schools’, By Lisa Visentin, March 17, 2019 Labor leader Michael Daley has pledged to spend $100 million installing solar panels on hundreds of public schools across NSW.

Mr Daley linked his “solar schools package” to the recent student strike over climate change inaction, and said the policy would help teach students about renewable energy.

“As we saw at rallies across the country on Friday, the next generation is demanding real action on climate change,” Mr Daley said.

“Putting solar panels on schools will help students further their knowledge about renewable energy, as well as bring down their school’s power bills and reduce emissions.”

Under Labor’s plan, solar panels would be installed at 350 government schools. The $100 million package would be funded as part of the Labor’s $800 million “cool schools” policy to install airconditioning in every single classroom in the state.

Mr Daley’s announcement comes after he publicly backed the striking school students during a speech earlier in the week, describing their actions as a “demonstration of young leadership”.

His endorsement drew fire from Premier Gladys Berejiklian who said she was “appalled” the alternate premier was encouraging students to skip school.

It comes as a recent ReachTEL poll revealed climate change was a pressing concern for most NSW voters, with 57.5 per cent of voters saying it would influence the way they voted.

As part of the state election campaign, Ms Berejiklian has announced interest-free loans to 300,000 households for solar and battery systems while Labor has pledged to put solar on 500,000 homes over the next decade through rebates.

Labor has championed its policies on climate change as a key point of difference with the Coalition, with Mr Daley promising to appoint NSW’s first minister for climate change if elected premier.

Ms Berejiklian earlier this week restated her government’s support for action on climate change and said NSW had the largest renewable projects in Australia.

“We’ve had a consistent position since we’ve been in government, that climate change is real and that as a government we need to do everything we can to deal with it and we have been,” she said.

March 18, 2019 Posted by | New South Wales, politics, solar | Leave a comment

It’s time that the Liberal Coalition politicians stopped manipulating dissent about climate change – and apologised to the Australian public

Malcolm Farr: ‘The public debate on the existence of climate change is over and we are owed an apology’

Some elected politicians have been too frightened or deliberately manipulative to acknowledge this issue. It’s time, writes Malcolm Farr.   news.c Malcolm Farr@farrm51 17 Mar 19, The public debate on the existence of climate change is over and we are owed an apology from those who prolonged it for self-serving political purposes.

They might acknowledge their disrespect for science, or for driving rejection as a vehicle for “brutal retail politics”.

Voices as varied as the schoolchildren who marched on Friday, the top ranks of Australia’s central bank, and federal department chiefs are warning of the consequences of those changes.

The debate continues, but it now is centred on measuring the urgency of a response to increasing climate instability, and the detail of that response.

Emergency services, diplomats and farmers are all seeking the best answers to climate change effects — effects which some of their flecked representatives for the better part of a decade said didn’t exist.

Military and intelligence agency leaders have warned climate change is a national security threat to Australia.

There still are holdouts, including a few reactionary MPs who continue to embrace Tony Abbott’s belief   just over nine years ago that the science was “absolute crap”.  And there is a fringe which make cases which can only be resolved by outlandish conspiracy theories, often along the dubious lines of the United Nations and One World Government.

And there are credible sources moving in the other direction.

Deputy governor of the Reserve Bank of Australia Guy Debelle last week made clear climate change is now a factor in tracking and guiding the economy; he gave no hint it was a UN plot.

But he did stress the need for an orderly transition to clean energy; a need for greater backing of renewable energy projects; preparing for new ways we work and the jobs available to us; and the broader task of readying the entire economy for change.

“Financial stability will be better served by an orderly transition rather than an abrupt disorderly one,” he said.

Last week, secretary of the Department of Home Affairs Mike Pezzullo mentioned climate change in a speech — Seven Gathering Storms — to a think tank.

Mr Pezzullo warned of states which might become ungovernable and a possibility of “mass displacement of people”.

Contributions to this displacement could be “poverty, hunger, water and resource scarcity, and a changing climate, which will have to be thought of as a systemic risk factor”.

These are just a few elements of government which have appreciated the existence and impact of climate change in ways some elected politicians have been too frightened or deliberately manipulative to acknowledge.

These are the folk who might consider an apology.

Tony Abbott is not the only denier in parliament but over a decade he has been the pacesetter if not the leader of that block of ignorance.

“The argument is absolute crap. However, the politics of this are tough for us,” he told a regional audience in December 2009.

“Eighty per cent of people believe climate change is a real and present danger.”

Just as Mr Abbott scorned majority views on same sex marriage, he early on resolved to ignore voters on climate change.

He used that rejection of evidence and local opinion to wreck the carbon price policy of Labor Prime Minister Julia Gillard, his offensive from Opposition against the so-called “carbon tax”.

His chief adviser in Opposition and when he became prime minister, Peta Credlin, in 2017 put that campaign into context.

“That was brutal retail politics, and it took Abbott six months to cut through and when he did cut through Gillard was gone,” she told Sky News.

And, Ms Credlin said, “It wasn’t a carbon tax, as you know.”

However, Mr Abbott was “hugely unconvinced” in 2009 and continued to harness his rejection of climate change science in 2017 in a speech he made in along on.

“Primitive people once killed goats to appease the volcano gods. We are more sophisticated now but are still sacrificing our industries and our living standards to the climate gods to little more effect,” he said.

But something happened 10 days ago.

Mr Abbott abruptly endorsed the UN backed Paris agreement on emission reduction, a process aimed at limiting climate change.

A sudden convert, he has yet to say sorry for his past rejection.

— Malcolm Farr is’s national political editor. Continue the conversation @farrm51


March 18, 2019 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, climate change - global warming, politics | Leave a comment

Friday 22 March: “Facing Up to Federal Government -Targeting of South Australia for Nuclear waste Storage – What are the Options?”

By: David Noonan B.Sc., M.Env.St.
Independent Environment Campaigner

On: Friday 22 March, 6:45 for a 7:00 PM start

At: Public Schools Club, 207 East Terrace, Adelaide

Held by: MAPW (SA)

Talk to Scope Nuclear waste Plans, Responses and Options:

Federal gov. nuclear waste plans are prohibited under SA law, are contrary to Advice of Nuclear Safety Committee, arguably compromise Safety & Security in SA, disproportionately affect Indigenous people, intend to impose ANSTO nuclear fuel waste shipments through either Whyalla or Port Pirie and to indefinitely store irradiated nuclear fuel waste above ground at either Hawker in iconic Flinders ranges or Kimba on Eyre Peninsula agricultural region;

See Background Article & Briefer:
“ANSTO nuclear waste to compromise safety and security in SA” (FOE Aust News, Dec 2018)

Briefer (Nov 2018):

RSVP to Amanda Ruler –
by March 19 2019.

Dr Amanda J Ruler is SA Branch Co-coordinator, Medical Association for Prevention of War & National Vice President, Medical Association for Prevention of War (Australia).

Office Admin

March 18, 2019 Posted by | ACTION | Leave a comment

Roland Oldham, French Polynesia’s leading advocate for the victims of France’s nuclear weapons tests has died.

Leading Tahiti anti-nuclear advocate Roland Oldham dies,  18 Mar 19, French Polynesia’s leading advocate for the victims of France’s nuclear weapons tests has died.

Roland Oldham, who was the founder and president of the organisation Moruroa e tatou, died at the age of 68.

He had been a teacher and a unionist who had also lived in New Zealand.

Mr Oldham spearheaded Tahiti’s efforts to get France to pay compensation for those suffering ill health as a result of the weapons tests carried out between 1966 and 1996.

He was locked in a battle with the French state which only a decade ago admitted that the tests caused radiation-induced diseases.

In the face of France rejecting almost all compensation claims Mr Oldham pushed for a review of the law.

It has been amended and France now says more victims will be compensated.

Tens of thousands of military and civilian personnel were involved in the testing regime at Moruroa and Fangataufa where a total of 193 were carried out.

In the 1990s, Mr Oldham, whose organisation wasn’t affiliated to any political party, was under surveillance of the local intelligence agency.

March 18, 2019 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

March 17 Energy News — geoharvey

Opinion: ¶ “Tesla Model Y Will Be World’s Safest Crossover & Quickest Affordable Crossover Or SUV” • Tesla vehicles are designed and built to be the safest consumer vehicles on the planet. The Model 3 got the highest score ever from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. And the Model Y is expected to be […]

via March 17 Energy News — geoharvey

March 18, 2019 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Ralph Nader calls out FAA “tombstone mentality” — Beyond Nuclear International

If Boeing Max is now grounded, why aren’t the US Fukushima reactors?

via Ralph Nader calls out FAA “tombstone mentality” — Beyond Nuclear International

March 18, 2019 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment