Antinuclear

Australian news, and some related international items

The world has just avoided nuclear conflagration between India and Pakistan

South Asia’s nuclear-armed neighbors pull back from the abyss…barely

India and Pakistan have created the most perilous place on Earth. Salon DILIP HIRO, APRIL 7, 2019 This piece originally appeared on TomDispatch.

It’s still the most dangerous border on Earth. Yet compared to the recent tweets of President Donald Trump, it remains a marginal news story.  That doesn’t for a moment diminish the chance that the globe’s first (and possibly ultimate) nuclear conflagration could break out along that 480-mile border known as the Line of Control (and, given the history that surrounds it, that phrase should indeed be capitalized). The casus belli would undoubtedly be the more than seven-decades-old clash between India and Pakistan over the contested territory of Kashmir. Like a volcano, this unresolved dispute rumbles periodically — as it did only weeks ago — threatening to spew its white-hot lava to devastating effect not just in the region but potentially globally as well.

The trigger for renewed rumbling is always a sensational terrorist attack by a Pakistani militant group on an Indian target. That propels the India’s leadership to a moral high ground. From there, bitter condemnations of Pakistan are coupled with the promise of airstrikes on the training camps of the culprit terrorist organizations operating from the Pakistan-controlled part of Kashmir.  As a result, the already simmering relations between the two nuclear-armed neighbors are quickly raised to a boiling point. This, in turn, prompts the United States to intervene and pressure Pakistan to shut down those violent jihadist groups. To placate Washington, the Pakistani government goes through the ritual of issuing banning orders on those groups, but in practice, any change is minimal.

And in the background always lurks the possibility that a war between the two neighbors could lead to a devastating nuclear exchange.  Which means that it’s time to examine how and why, by arraying hundreds of thousands of troops along that Line of Control, India and Pakistan have created the most perilous place on Earth.

How It All Began Continue reading

April 7, 2019 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

Environment Minister Melissa Price confirms Malaysia’s request for Australia to take back Lynas’ radioactive trash

Minister confirms Malaysian request on Lynas waste, Fin Rev 2 Apr 19   Brad Thompson   Environment minister Melissa Price has confirmed receiving a letter from her Malaysian counterpart requesting collaboration on the removal of low-level radioactive waste produced by Lynas Corporation.

Ms Price’s office said on Tuesday that it was premature to comment further until the request had been properly considered.

Malaysia wants Australia to accept 450,000 tonnes of waste created at the Lynas plant near Kuantan in the processing of rare earths from the company’s Mount Weld mine in Western Australia.

A spokesman for Ms Price said Australia’s Department of the Environment and Energy handled import permit applications for hazardous materials on a case-by-case basis.

Similarly, the Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency handled import permit applications for radioactive material on a case-by-case basis.

It remains unclear how the Lynas waste will be classified. It is understood West Australian authorities would also have to sign off on the transport of any waste within the state, possibly all the way back out to the remote Mount Weld mine.

Lynas refuses to concede it will have to find a way to remove low-level radioactive waste from Malaysia to keep its operations going, despite increasing political pressure.

The Wesfarmers’ takeover target said on Tuesday that it continued to engage productively with the Malaysian government over the waste issue.

Lynas remains optimistic it can resolve the issue within Malaysia despite an order to remove the waste by September if it wants to continue operating its $800 million Kuantan plant.

Lynas, led by Amanda Lacaze, declined to comment on the Malaysian minister’s formal request for the Australian government to collaborate on the waste removal………

Wesfarmers is reported to have told Lynas it is willing to build a first-stage processing plant at Kwinana, south of Perth, to overcome the waste issue.   Connect with Brad on Twitter.Email Brad at bradthompson@afr.com.au    https://www.afr.com/business/mining/environment-minister-confirms-malaysian-request-on-lynas-waste-20190402-p51a1x?fbclid=IwAR3P_yvHRTW0Z3LAj1bBwWTkFrfdiLP0S9wmykaxQoY-QZfymcRZXtG5U5g

April 7, 2019 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, politics international, rare earths, wastes | Leave a comment

How Sky News and Peter Ridd try to mislead Australians about the Great Barrier Reef

Great Barrier Reef: Sky News and Peter Ridd are deliberately misleading, Independent Australia, By Graham Readfearn | 6 April 2019According to misinformation from sources such as Sky News and scientist Peter Ridd, the Great Barrier Reef is in perfect health, writes DeSmogBlog’s Graham Readfearn.

AUSTRALIA’S GREAT BARRIER REEF is in some serious trouble, with the latest research in the journal Nature showing the number of new corals has dropped by 89%.

In 2016 and 2017, the Reef was smashed by back-to-back mass bleaching events and heat stress caused by global warming that killed about half the corals.

‘Dead corals don’t make babies,’ said James Cook University’s Professor Terry Hughes, the paper’s lead author.

‘We used to think that the Great Barrier Reef was too big to fail — until now,’ added colleague Professor Morgan Pratchett.

The paper was just the latest in a steady and, many would agree, depressing parade of findings for the World Heritage icon. And if the scientific papers don’t do it for you, then there are always the pictures.

But the release of the study served as a remarkable contrast to the way the Rupert Murdoch-owned Sky News, furnished with material from climate science denial think tank the Institute of Public Affairs, has been “reporting” on reef science in the past week.

On at least five occasions, the channel has interviewed the IPA’s policy director, Gideon Rozner, who has been updating the channel on the case of Dr Peter Ridd, a marine scientist specialising in sediments who was fired in March 2018 from James Cook University.

According to the various interviews, the Reef is in great shape, the science is probably wrong, and Ridd is a “world renowned” Reef expert in a historic fight for freedom. None of this is true, yet the claims have been allowed to stand unchecked.

The saga of Peter Ridd

Ridd’s saga is a long one, but here’s the short version (and, while we’re here, in the interests of full disclosure, in the time since I first started writing about Ridd’s case, I’ve taken a part-time job at an Australian marine conservation charity as a media adviser).

Ridd does not think that human-caused climate change is a problem and he thinks the Reef is in fabulous health. This has been his public position for at least a decade.

But in 2017, Ridd started to publicly accuse his scientific colleagues, some of who were based at his own university in Townsville, of being untrustworthy. This went against the university’s code of conduct. The university censured him. Ridd refused to back down and made more statements. He published “private” university correspondence on his website. He was further disciplined, so he sued his employer. Then they fired him.

Last week, Ridd’s case was finally heard in court with three days of hearings. A judgment is expected in the coming months.

Now, the IPA has gone all out to create a narrative around Ridd’s case. …….https://independentaustralia.net/business/business-display/great-barrier-reef-sky-news-and-peter-ridd-are-deliberately-misleading,12545

April 7, 2019 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, climate change - global warming, media, secrets and lies | Leave a comment

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg passes the buck on Adani coal mine to Minister For Coal , Melissa Price

Adani mine in minister’s hands: treasurer,  SBS News 7 Apr 19, Treasurer Josh Frydenberg says the final approvals for the Adani coal mine are in the environment minister’s hands, defending an apparent delay on the project.

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg has defended a hold-up in final approvals for the Adani coal mine in Queensland.

Mr Frydenberg said all major boxes had already been checked, and the environment minister was now working through “sub-approvals” in consultation with scientists.

“That’s in the hands of the minister,” he told the ABC’s Insiders on Sunday……https://www.sbs.com.au/news/adani-mine-in-minister-s-hands-treasurer

April 7, 2019 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, climate change - global warming, election 2019 | Leave a comment

 Australian Greens Platform for equality for First Nations Peoples 

 
greens.org.au/platform/equality#first-peoples
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April 7, 2019 Posted by | aboriginal issues, AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, politics | Leave a comment

Reflective roofs can reduce overheating in cities and save lives during heatwaves

 https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2019-04/uoo-rrc040519.php   UNIVERSITY OF OXFORD, 5 Apr 19,  A new modelling study from the University of Oxford and collaborators has estimated how changing the reflectivity of roofs can help keep cities cooler during heatwaves and reduce heat-rated mortality rates.

Cities are generally a few degrees warmer than the countryside, due to the urban heat island effect. This effect is caused partly by a lack of moisture and vegetation in cities compared with rural landscapes, and because urban building materials store up heat. During heatwaves, daytime temperatures can get dangerously high in cities, leading to serious health effects and increasing mortality risk.

The idea of ‘cool’ roofs is to make roof surfaces more reflective to sunlight (for example by painting roofs a lighter colour) thereby reducing local temperatures.

Scientists used a regional weather model to look at how temperatures changed across the study city of Birmingham and the West Midlands, depending on the extent of cool roof deployment. They looked at the hot summers of 2003 and 2006, and found that the intensity of the urban heat island (the urban-rural temperature difference) reached up to 9oC for Birmingham city.

Previous work has shown that the extra heat associated with the urban heat island is responsible for around 40-50% of heat related mortality in the West Midlands during heatwaves.

This latest study, published in Environment International, suggests that implementing cool roofs across the city can reduce peak daytime local temperatures by up to 3oC during a heatwave. This reduction in temperature could potentially offset around 25% of the heat-related mortality associated with the urban heat island during a heatwave.

The urban heat island effect is most pronounced at night time, because urban materials slowly release their stored heat overnight, however, the biggest benefits of cool roofs were seen to be during the hottest part of the day where sunlight was reflected away. The type of building made a difference too: modifying only half of all the industrial and commercial buildings had the same impact on lowering temperatures as modifying all the high-intensity residential buildings.

Co-author Dr Clare Heaviside, of the University of Oxford’s Environmental Change Institute comments: “Climate change and increasing urbanisation mean that future populations are likely to be at increased risk of overheating in cities, although building and city scale interventions have the potential to reduce this risk.

“Modelling studies like this one can help to determine the most effective methods to implement in order to reduce health risks in our cities in the future.”

April 7, 2019 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

U.S. Democratic candidate slammed the US for allowing firms to sell Saudi Arabia nuclear tech

‘How does this serve US interests?’ Gabbard slams decision to sell Saudi Arabia nuclear weapons tech  https://www.rt.com/usa/455279-gabbard-saudi-arabia-extremism-isis/  2 Apr, 2019 Tulsi Gabbard has slammed the US for allowing firms to sell Saudi Arabia nuclear tech despite its history of exporting extremism which inspires Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS) and Al-Qaeda, which she says the Kingdom supports.

The Hawaiian congresswoman and Democratic presidential candidate took aim at the Kingdom’s history of extremism in a Twitter video that criticized Energy Secretary Rick Perry’s secret authorizations, to six US companies, allowing for the sale of nuclear power technology and assistance to Saudi Arabia, as Reuters revealed last week. Gabbard said the move is “both mind-blowing and inexplicable.”

Saudi Arabia is the “primary exporter of jihadist ideology, Wahhabi Salafist ideology that is the motivation and inspiration for terrorist groups like ISIS and al Qaeda – groups that the Saudis both directly and indirectly support,” Gabbard said.

The kingdom has been tied to Al-Qaeda and extremism in the past, with 15 of the 19 9/11 hijackers coming from Saudi Arabia, according to the CIA. In 2015, one of the alleged hijackers, Zacarias Moussaoui, claimed several members of the Saudi royal family had been listed as Al-Qaeda donors in the database he worked on under orders of Osama bin Laden, US media reported.

WikiLeaks cables from the US State Department from 2009 revealed“donors in Saudi Arabia constitute the most significant source of funding to Sunni terrorist groups worldwide.” In a 2014 email, published by WikiLeaks, then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Saudi Arabia was “providing clandestine financial and logistic support to ISIL and other radical Sunni groups in the region.” It has also supplied weapons to IS in Syria.

Saudi Arabia is reportedly planning to create at least two nuclear power plants, but many are concerned that’s a precursor to developing nuclear weapons, which would further destabilize the region. It was also reported, last year, that Israel was selling Saudi Arabia nuclear secrets.

 

April 7, 2019 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

Small modular reactors want to make headlines — Beyond Nuclear International

Instead, they are already in the obituary column

via Small modular reactors want to make headlines — Beyond Nuclear International

April 7, 2019 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

April 6 Energy News — geoharvey

Science and Technology: ¶ “30% Fuel Savings When Flying UTC’s Hybrid-Electric Regional Planes (Soon)” • Imagine airlines saving 30% on fuel by switched to electric mobility? A hybrid-electric aircraft is one way to do that. United Technologies Corp wants us to use such airplanes based on hybrid electric turboprops for future regional, and it is […]

via April 6 Energy News — geoharvey

April 7, 2019 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

How sharing solar, batteries and EVs will make energy system more resilient — RenewEconomy

Electric vehicles and V2G technology will play a key role in helping consumers use their solar and batteries to make their grids more resilient. The post How sharing solar, batteries and EVs will make energy system more resilient appeared first on RenewEconomy.

via How sharing solar, batteries and EVs will make energy system more resilient — RenewEconomy

April 7, 2019 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Energy Insiders Podcast: Pilbara wind and solar will be cheapest power in Asia — RenewEconomy

CWP Renewables chair Alex Hewitt to discuss the need to accelerate policy, the wind, solar and battery project in NSW, and the giant Pilbara wind and solar plans. The post Energy Insiders Podcast: Pilbara wind and solar will be cheapest power in Asia appeared first on RenewEconomy.

via Energy Insiders Podcast: Pilbara wind and solar will be cheapest power in Asia — RenewEconomy

April 7, 2019 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

US President Donald Trump says wind “noise” causes cancer — RenewEconomy

The President needs to be reminded that wind power doesn’t causes cancer, but coal power does. The post US President Donald Trump says wind “noise” causes cancer appeared first on RenewEconomy.

via US President Donald Trump says wind “noise” causes cancer — RenewEconomy

April 7, 2019 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Daintree edges closer to Australia first renewable-only microgrid, with help from green hydrogen — RenewEconomy

Queensland’s Daintree region could soon host Australian-first solar to hydrogen microgrid, with federal funding tipped make the 100% renewable project shovel ready. The post Daintree edges closer to Australia first renewable-only microgrid, with help from green hydrogen appeared first on RenewEconomy.

via Daintree edges closer to Australia first renewable-only microgrid, with help from green hydrogen — RenewEconomy

April 7, 2019 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

SolarReserve abandons huge solar tower and storage plant near Port Augusta — RenewEconomy

Plans for the world’s biggest solar tower and molten salt storage plant near Port Augusta fall through after US company failed to secure funding. The post SolarReserve abandons huge solar tower and storage plant near Port Augusta appeared first on RenewEconomy.

via SolarReserve abandons huge solar tower and storage plant near Port Augusta — RenewEconomy

April 7, 2019 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment