Antinuclear

Australian news, and some related international items

Uranium to be transported across Nullarbor Plain all the way from Yeelirrie to Port Adelaide

They will ship uranium across the Nullarbor through Pt Adelaide. I understand that Pt Adelaide and Darwin are the only ports they can ship out of, as Fremantle refuses. That extremely long journey will put up the cost of the uranium which as I understand is still very low.

The yellowcake highway to Port Adelaide , The Adelaide Advertiser

Uranium produced from a controversial West Australian mine approved a day before the federal election was called will be exported from Port Adelaide……. (subscribers only)

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April 27, 2019 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, uranium | Leave a comment

Federal Environment Minister, Melissa Price, fails the environment with secretive Yeelirrie uranium approval.

April 27, 2019 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, environment, politics, uranium | Leave a comment

South Australian aborigines again face a nuclear threat – as Federal Government plans a nuclear waste dump

Trident celebrations ignore Aboriginal victims of British nuclear weapons testing, Green Left, Linda Pearson, April 26, 2019 Issue 1218, Scotland   New threat from nuclear waste dump

“………..Aboriginal communities in South Australia now fear that they will be forced to bear the risks of radioactive contamination again. The Australian government is currently considering three sites for the location of a national nuclear waste dump, two on Barngarla land, near Kimba, and one on Adnyamathanha land at Wallerberdina Station, near the Finders Ranges.

The dump will host nuclear material currently stored at different sites in Australia, plus waste from Britain pursuant to a 2012 agreement between the British and Scottish governments. The agreement relates to waste generated by the reprocessing of Australian nuclear fuel at Dounreay. However, that waste is to remain where it is and a substituted amount will be shipped from the Sellafield nuclear reprocessing and decommissioning site, located on the coast of the Irish Sea.

The views of traditional owners have been sidelined throughout the process for choosing the dump’s location and Adnyamathanha’s traditional owners say that federal government contractors have already damaged sacred sites. As a result, two separate human rights complaints are outstanding in Australian courts.

Campaigners have called on the British and Scottish governments to halt the shipment while there is a risk that it will end up dumped on Aboriginal land without the consent of the Traditional Owners. However, the British government said the shipment “will comply with all relevant international laws” and the eventual destination of the waste is “a matter for the Australian authorities”. The British Environment Agency has so far failed to respond to requests to halt the shipment of waste from Sellafield.

The Scottish government has also failed to act to stop the shipment, despite expert advice it commissioned, which states that the Scottish Environment Protection Agency and, ultimately, Scottish ministers could refuse to authorise the shipment on human rights grounds.

Britain’s plans to celebrate 50 years of at-sea nukes erases the experience of Indigenous people affected by nuclear weapons testing. Those experiences should be front and centre in any discussion about nuclear weapons, as ICAN recognised.

Instead of celebrating, we should be looking at ways to redress the past and prevent future harm. Britain should apologise for its nuclear weapons testing and pay adequate compensation to those affected. The shipment of nuclear waste from Sellafield should be stopped.

But there is only one way we can prevent more lives being destroyed by nuclear weapons and that is by eliminating them altogether. https://www.greenleft.org.au/content/trident-celebrations-ignore-aboriginal-victims-british-nuclear-weapons-testing

April 27, 2019 Posted by | Federal nuclear waste dump, South Australia | Leave a comment

UN global assessment of the state of Nature – it’s not good

April 27, 2019 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

Clandestine approval for controversial uranium mine is evidence Australia needs better environment laws

https://www.acf.org.au/clandestine_approval_for_controversial_uranium_mine, 26 APRIL 2019 

April 27, 2019 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, election 2019, uranium | Leave a comment

Coalition slammed over ‘misleading’ Adani billboard

Worse than GetUp’: Coalition slammed over ‘misleading’ Adani billboard, SMH, By Dana McCauley. April 25, 2019   The Morrison government has been accused of misleading Queensland voters in a seat set to benefit most from the controversial Adani coal mine, with a billboard that appears to show Labor leader Bill Shorten participating in a campaign to stop it.

The tightly cropped image, taken during Labor’s national conference in November, captures the moment when a protester stormed the stage to derail Mr Shorten’s opening address, and shows the Opposition Leader grasping a red Stop Adani flag as he tries to remove it.
But in the billboard – which places the photograph next to a quote in which Mr Shorten voiced his opposition to Adani’s Carmichael project – there is no sign of the protester, who moments later would be hauled out of the venue by security.  

Critics have condemned the billboard as a misuse of political advertising after Liberal National senator for Queensland Matt Canavan posted a photograph of it on social media, boasting it had “just gone up in Rockhampton to remind everyone – including Bill – what he actually said”.

“Labor just can’t be trusted,” Senator Canavan, who is federal Resources Minister, wrote.

The billboard is in the ultra-marginal electorate of Capricornia, held by Liberal National MP Michelle Landry, which would house the proposed mine.

It will be a key battleground at the federal election along with fellow north Queensland coal seats Dawson, Herbert and Flynn, as jobs, energy and environment policy firm up as key concerns for voters heading into the May 18 federal election.

Mr Shorten’s position on the controversial mine has shifted since March 2018, when he told reporters, “I don’t support the Adani project,” and, “This project just doesn’t stack up.”……..

Political advertising is covered by electoral rules that make it illegal to mislead citizens about how to cast their votes, such as in how-to-vote cards.

Progressive lobby group GetUp was forced to pull a satirical campaign advertisement depicting Tony Abbott as a lifeguard ignoring pleas to help someone drowning after a barrage of criticism.

Mr Shorten, who has previously said he did not support the Adani mine, repeatedly refused to explicity rule out a review of the project’s federal approval this week before firming up his position not to do so on Wednesday, saying: “We are not going to review Adani, full stop.”

The issue has caused ructions within the Labor Party and the unions that are bankrolling a multimillion-dollar advertising campaign to install Mr Shorten as prime minister, with those in north Queensland campaigning for mining development in the Galilee basin.

The Queensland branch of the powerful Construction, Forestry, Maritime, Mining and Energy Union is demanding that all candidates sign a pledge outlining their support for coal jobs, while more than 30 unions have endorsed strikes by school students demanding that the Adani mine be stopped.

Labor candidates campaigning in marginal seats in Queensland have expressed support for coal mining, while those in Sydney and Melbourne have opposed it.

Stop Adani campaigners have tallied almost 50 Labor branches and Labor-held councils across Victoria, NSW and Queensland that have passed motions in support of stopping Adani’s coal mine, while 24 Labor MPs and candidates have publicly expressed concern about the project.

The Coalition campaign has been approached for comment. https://www.smh.com.au/federal-election-2019/worse-than-getup-coalition-slammed-over-misleading-adani-billboard-20190425-p51h51.html

April 27, 2019 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

Morrison govt approved Yeelirrie uranium mine just the day before calling the election

April 27, 2019 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, politics, uranium | Leave a comment

Yeelirrie has a low grade of uranium, and Cameco has closed McArthur River mine with a much higher grade

It’s not worth wiping out a species for the Yeelirrie uranium mine, SBS,   BY GAVIN MUDD  “……. So are the economic benefits worth wiping out a species?

Short answer: no. But let’s, for a moment, ignore these subterranean animals and look at whether the mine would be beneficial.

Yeelirrie is one of Australia’s largest uranium deposits – and yet it has a low grade of 0.15 per cent (as uranium oxide). This refers to the amount of uranium found in rock. For comparison, the average grade of uranium mines globally is normally 0.1 to 0.4 per cent of uranium oxide (with some higher and others lower).

And Cameco’s Cigar Lake and McArthur River mines in Canada have typically been 15-20 per cent of uranium oxide. Despite such rich ore, McArthur River was uneconomic and closed indefinitely in early 2018.

What’s more, the future of nuclear power is not bright. According to the World Nuclear Industry Status Report, the number of nuclear reactors under construction around the world is at its lowest point in a decade, as renewable energy increases. The amount of nuclear electricity produced each year is flat. And nuclear’s share of global electricity is constantly falling behind renewables……..https://www.sbs.com.au/news/it-s-not-worth-wiping-out-a-species-for-the-yeelirrie-uranium-mine

April 27, 2019 Posted by | business, uranium, Western Australia | Leave a comment

Bill Shorten questions Environment Minister Melissa Price’s shonky Yeelirrie uranium deal

Labor questions ‘shonky’ WA uranium mine deal,  Federal Labor leader Bill Shorten wants to know why Environment Minister Melissa Price approved a controversial WA uranium mine, labelling it a “shonky deal”. SBS  26 Apr 19, Labor leader Bill Shorten says the government has to explain its “shonky” approval for a controversial uranium mine in Western Australia, which occurred the day before the federal election was called.

Canadian-owned Yeelirrie uranium mine, about 500km north of Kalgoorlie, was given the tick of approval by Environment Minister Melissa Price on 10 April, according to an Environment Department document.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison triggered the 18 May election on 11 April……

Labor’s environment spokesman Tony Burke says no detail is known about the approval and is accusing Ms Price of being in hiding.

“I want to find out what on earth has happened,” he told ABC radio……

Greens senator Jordon Steele-John is calling on Labor to tear up the “absolutely disgraceful” approval if it wins government. …..https://www.sbs.com.au/news/labor-questions-shonky-wa-uranium-mine-deal

April 27, 2019 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, climate change - global warming, politics | Leave a comment

Extinction Rebellion skillfully used civil disobedience to sound the alarm on the climate emergency

The Greta Thunberg effect: her visit to London in 2 minutes

Why the climate protests that disrupted London were different, Extinction Rebellion skillfully used civil disobedience to sound the alarm on the climate emergency., VOX By Thousands of activists unleashed strategic disorder in London for 10 days to draw attention to the accelerating climate crisis. In costume and in tents, they barricaded roads and bridges at major city landmarks, with more than 1,000 peacefully submitting to arrest.

The coordinated direct actions across the city were organized by Extinction Rebellion, a movement founded last year to demand a more aggressive climate target from the British government: net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2025.

With a core message that climate change is an “emergency” that threatens the survival of the human species, Extinction Rebellion sounded a shriller alarm than past climate protests. Members also deployed ostentatious, nonviolent tactics — such as gluing themselves to the Waterloo Bridge — at a scale that “has never been done before,” according to Alanna Byrne, a press coordinator with Extinction Rebellion.

“We know we have disrupted your lives,” the group said Wednesday in a statement. “We do not do this lightly. We only do this because this is an emergency.”

Extinction Rebellion’s urgency and energy on climate change is aligned with a wave of youth climate activism bubbling up in Europe, the United States, and beyond — including a series of student strikes, led by the riveting Greta Thunberg, a 16-year-old from Sweden……..

not all Londoners were unhappy with the disruption, and many tweeted about how much they enjoyed the opportunity to participate.

Extinction Rebellion protesters in London have three key demands

The protestors want three things from the UK government:

  1. For climate change to be treated as an emergency
  2. A commitment to net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2025
  3. The creation of a citizen assembly for climate action

“We don’t want to be doom and gloom, but we also think it’s really, really important to use emergency messaging,” said XR’s Byrne. “One of the major problems that we have is that so many people are not aware of the crisis we’re in and we want the government to be talking about it.”

While the UK government is already mired in Brexit negotiations that have continued to drag on, protestors argue that climate change poses an even bigger threat to the long-term health and security of the country and deserves the same, if not more, political attention.

Extinction Rebellion protesters in London have three key demands

The protestors want three things from the UK government:

  1. For climate change to be treated as an emergency
  2. A commitment to net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2025
  3. The creation of a citizen assembly for climate action

“We don’t want to be doom and gloom, but we also think it’s really, really important to use emergency messaging,” said XR’s Byrne. “One of the major problems that we have is that so many people are not aware of the crisis we’re in and we want the government to be talking about it.”

While the UK government is already mired in Brexit negotiations that have continued to drag on, protestors argue that climate change poses an even bigger threat to the long-term health and security of the country and deserves the same, if not more, political attention.

………in this moment of crisis, young leaders will keep reminding us of how resourceful humans can be in the face of a challenge. “Sometimes we just simply have to find a way. The moment we decide to fulfill something, we can do anything,” Thunberg said. “And I’m sure that the moment we start behaving as if we were in an emergency, we can avoid climate and ecological catastrophe. Humans are very adaptable: We can still fix this.”

Can the UK fix it to the tune of net-zero emissions by 2025? Why not try? https://www.vox.com/energy-and-environment/2019/4/24/18511491/climate-change-protests-london-extinction-rebellion

April 27, 2019 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

Government’s approval of Yeetlirrie uranium mine is bad news for the Liberal Coalition

Yeelirrie uranium mine approval all pain no gain for Coalition THE AUSTRALIAN, Nick Evans, 26 Apr 19, 

Environment Minister Melissa Price’s last-minute approval of a major West Australian uranium mine has bought the federal government a world of political pain over a mine that is unlikely to be built in the next decade….. (subscribers only) 

 

April 27, 2019 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

A Gripping History of the Nuclear Disaster at Chernobyl

April 27, 2019 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

UK nuclear testing in Australia – Trident anniversary – no cause for celebration.

Trident celebrations ignore Aboriginal victims of British nuclear weapons testing, Green Left, Linda Pearson, April 26, 2019 Issue 1218, Scotland   

THE Royal Navy’s plan to hold a “national services of thanksgiving” at Westminster Abbey to mark 50 years of Britain’s submarine-based nuclear weapons has provoked condemnation from senior clergy and peace campaigners.

Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND) General Secretary Kate Hudson said the plan is “morally repugnant” and the organisation is urging supporters to convey their opposition to Defence Secretary, Gavin Williamson. Two Bishops and more than 20 priests have called on Westminster Abbey to cancel the service, which is set to take place on May 3……

The rhetoric of “deterrence” and “defence” is routinely invoked by nuclear-armed states to obscure the horrifying truth about nuclear weapons and justify national security doctrines that rely on them. Nuclear weapons are unique in their destructive power; “designed to indiscriminately kill and destroy thousands of innocent civilians”, as the Bishop of Colchester told The Times last week. This reality was recognised by most of the world’s countries, which voted to ban nuclear weapons in 2017.

Britain’s nuclear weapons program has already destroyed the lives of countless innocent civilians. More than 1200 Indigenous Australians were exposed to radiation during British nuclear weapons testing in the 1950s and 1960s, while many others were displaced. The effects continue to be experienced by their families today. Some are now calling on the British government to apologise for the testing, instead of celebrating Trident.

Nuclear testing in Australia

Britain conducted 12 major nuclear weapons tests in Australia at the Montebello Islands, and at Emu Field and Maralinga in South Australia.

After securing the agreement of the Australian government, the British established a permanent test site at Maralinga in 1955. Seven major and several hundred “minor” tests were carried out there, releasing 100kg of radioactive materials into the surrounding area.

The British and Australian governments of the day demonstrated a callous disregard for the lives of Aboriginal people that is characteristic of the settler-colonial mindset. Permission to conduct the testing was not sought from Aboriginal landowners and the Australian government decided they should not be informed of the risks.

When an Australian scientist asked British authorities about the potential danger to local Aboriginal people, the response was that “a dying race couldn’t influence the defence of Western civilisation”.

Many Aboriginal people were forcibly removed from their land prior to the tests, destroying their way of life. Others experienced serious health issues as a result of their exposure to radiation.

Yankunytjatjara man Yami Lester went blind after a “black mist” from the explosions enveloped his country. Others experienced skin rashes, diarrhea and vomiting. Today, Aboriginal communities in the area experience high rates of diseases associated with the effects of radiation poisoning.

Yami Lester’s daughter, Karina Lester, and her family played a crucial role in the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN). They collected and shared stories from the survivors of nuclear weapons testing that were instrumental in convincing 122 states that the only safe way to deal with nuclear weapons is to eliminate them.

ICAN won the Nobel Peace Prize for its efforts to bring about the 2017 United Nations Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. The historic treaty recognises “the disproportionate impact of nuclear-weapon activities on Indigenous peoples”. The British and Australian governments boycotted the UN negotiations, however, and have ruled out signing the treaty.

No cause for celebration

Karina Lester said “survivors of the British Nuclear Tests carried out on Australian soil in the 1950’s and 1960’s in South Australia’s outback are still haunted. The Indigenous communities still suffer with high numbers of deaths, cancers, respiratory illnesses and autoimmune disease.”

Several attempts to clean up the Maralinga site have been made by British and Australian governments, thanks to the campaigning of survivors like Yami Lester, but contamination at the site remains. In 1995, Aboriginal peoples received just £7.5 million for the loss and contamination of their land. Only £110,000 has been paid to five Aboriginal people to compensate for their exposure to radiation. A class action was blocked by Britain’s Supreme Court in 2013.

Karina Lester said that the affected communities “have had no apology for the wrongdoings on our traditional lands to this day. As the British Government celebrates 50 years with nuclear weapons, Australia’s Indigenous communities in South Australia wear the scars.”

Instead of celebrating, Lester said, “we Indigenous South Australians urge the British government to own up and apologise for your actions…………”https://www.greenleft.org.au/content/trident-celebrations-ignore-aboriginal-victims-british-nuclear-weapons-testing

April 27, 2019 Posted by | aboriginal issues, AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Chernobyl at 33: More evidence of slow-moving ecological catastrophe    

Chernobyl at 33: More evidence of slow-moving ecological catastrophe, Beyond Nuclear , 26 Apr 19       
Following more than a decade of research indicating negative ecological impacts of low dose radiation, a new study points to reduced success in breeding among a type of rodent living in contaminated areas of Chernobyl. The more radiation, the greater the impact; and what would be normal interactions with the natural ecology can make this impact even worse, which is why lab experiments can’t replicate it fully. These impacts “can lead to significant consequences for individuals, populations, and likely even entire ecosystems.”
Such revelations bode poorly for people who might resettle in areas contaminated by radiological catastrophes. Discovering what happens to people in these areas has been made more difficult because whole databases of radiation doses to humans  have gone missing and research has focused mostly on catastrophic impacts rather than more subtle impacts. This is according to a new book “Manual for Survival: A Chernobyl Guide to the Future” by Kate Brown, interviewed on Nuclear Hotseat. Brown also reasons that before we think of using nuclear technology to address climate change, we need to figure out what radiation exposure from nuclear weapons and power has already done to our health.

April 27, 2019 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

Chernobyl, the biggest nuclear plant disaster in history, marks 33rd anniversary

April 27, 2019 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment