Australian news, and some related international items

Nuclear-powered submarines – fraught with legal and political problems

The article below is not about Australia, but it is about small nuclear reactors. Everybody knows, (just quietly) that Australia won’t be getting small nuclear reactors for providing electricity. The real aim is for nuclear-powered submarines.  So this article, about the legal and political problems of nuclear reactors for Defence is applicable to Australia, too


March 17, 2020 Posted by | General News | 2 Comments

The “reconstruction Olympics” will not hide the radioactive and social mess that is Fukushima

Forgetting Fukushima, Jim Green, Online Opinion, 17 March 2020,

Last Wednesday marked the ninth anniversary of the meltdowns, fires and explosions that destroyed the Fukushima nuclear plant in March 2011.

Two years after the disaster, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe assured the International Olympic Committee that “the situation is under control” in and around the stricken plant. Now, with the 2020 Summer Olympics approaching, and some events scheduled to be held in Fukushima prefecture, all sorts of irresponsible and cruel tactics are being used to bury a myriad of social and environmental problems associated with the nuclear disaster.

Most evacuation orders have been lifted around the Fukushima plant, but 337-371 sq kms remain classified as restricted entry zones or ‘difficult to return’ zones. There are hopes that all remaining evacuation orders could be lifted within a few years.

Lifting an evacuation order is one thing, returning the area to something resembling normality is quite another. Only 23% of those living in nine areas that were declared off-limits after the Fukushima disaster had returned as of March 2019, according to government figures. Most people aged under 50 who used to live in the towns of Futaba, Namie and Tomioka have no plans to return, an official survey found in early 2019.

The partial lifting of evacuation orders in the town of Okuma in April 2019 illustrates how the rhetoric of progress masks inconvenient truths. Even after the lifting of the order, about 60% of the town’s land area – covering 96.5% of the pre-Fukushima population – remains off-limits. A 2018 survey found that only 10% of respondents expressed a desire to return to Okuma, while 60% had no plans to return. Few people have returned since the evacuation order was lifted.

About 17 million cubic metres of contaminated waste material has accumulated during decontamination work according to the Japanese Ministry of the Environment. A new occupant in Okuma is a ‘temporary storage facility‘ for some of the contaminated waste.

Contamination Continue reading

March 17, 2020 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

USA’s nuclear weapons system woefully unprepared for climate change impacts

March 17, 2020 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

30,000 U.S. soldiers to Corona-infested Europe for “war games”

March 17, 2020 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

Legal challenge about Adani’s planned water use for giant coal mine

Morrison government faces legal challenge over Adani pipeline plan, Brisbane Times,  Peter Hannam, March 16, 2020 The Morrison government’s failure to activate the so-called “water trigger” when assessing the proposed Adani coal mine in Queensland will be challenged in the Federal Court.

Lawyers acting for the Australian Conservation Foundation will test the government’s decision not to refer Adani’s North Galilee Water Scheme, a pipeline supplying the mine, for a thorough assessment as intended by the law.

The water trigger, introduced by the Rudd-Gillard government in mid-2013, was meant to require the government to assess the impact on water of all large coal mines and coal seam gas developments.

However, the government treated Adani’s plan to draw 12.5 billion litres a year from the Suttor River in central Queensland as a pipeline that was not a “large coal mining development”, nor did it involve one.

Similarly, it viewed the pipeline proponent, Adani Infrastructure Pty Ltd, as “a different legal entity” from the coal mine proponent, Adani Mining Pty Ltd.

The foundation plans to test both reasons for the failure not to activate the water trigger in court, arguing that the government made an error in law by ignoring infrastructure that was critical for the coal mine to proceed.

Tony Windsor, the former independent MP who was a key architect of the trigger, said reliable long-term access to clean water was “vital for regional communities and demands that we sustainably manage our rivers and aquifers”.

“Allowing companies to split up mining projects and assess them in isolation makes a nonsense of the process,” he said. “You don’t see much looking at just one piece of the jigsaw – you need to look at the whole puzzle.”……..

March 17, 2020 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, environment, legal | Leave a comment

A radioactive waste dump will NOT unite the Kimba community

Paul Waldon   This Is Not Progress!

The socially, economically and environmentally blind radioactive waste embracing Mayor of Kimba is now calling for unification in a community that he helped divide, while proclaiming extra services for the dying towns hospital that may prove to be unattainable. He ignorantly goes on to imply that only a radioactive dump will give birth to upgraded communication network for the town.

Meanwhile the ignorant farmer come nuclear profiteer has falsely touted opportunities for the town of Kimba, a town now in decline, where property values are falling, people are vacating and its own people are driving outside the region to shop.

We have heard a speaker for the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science continually claim a “strong level of information,” if so why haven’t they answered questions pertaining to the lack of consultation regarding the determination of transport routes, availability of resources, training, infrastructure emergency preparedness, response and risk management for potential incidents during any shipment, this is but a few issues the DIIS have failed to address.

And let us not forget that Kimba’s unemployment @ 2%, minus those too old, too young, unable to work due to restraints and those opposed to the dump, makeup a number that could be a quarter of that 2%, which is likely to be insufficient to manage a radioactive dump.

The half full ANSTO facility at Lucas Heights which has seen recent upgrades costing the taxpayer millions of dollars is the most logistical centralized site for a radioactive dump when based on volume of waste per kilometer.

March 17, 2020 Posted by | Federal nuclear waste dump, South Australia | Leave a comment

COVID-19 cluster in the area – construction stalled at France’s Flamanville nuclear reactor

France’s EDF to reduce Flamanville nuclear plant staffing over virus,  PARIS, March 16 (Reuters) – EDF will reduce staff to around 100 from 800 at its Flamanville nuclear power plant in northern France due to coronavirus infections in the Cotentin region, a spokesman for the French utility said on Monday.

Only people in charge of safety and security will remain on-site.

The decision was made because of a cluster of COVID-19 infections in region, the spokesman said adding that some staff displayed signs of the virus.

“But today, it is no longer possible to carry out tests. There are too many cases,” he said. “As a preventive measure and because it is no longer possible to carry out tests to confirm cases, we have decided to only keep those in charge of safety and security,” the spokesman said.

While the two reactors have been offline for maintenance since January and September, respectively, major maintenance work was under way.

EDF also said construction work on a long-delayed third reactor on the site would be reduced.

The French government is preparing an order that would put its inhabitants under partial lockdown to combat the coronavirus epidemic, sources aware of the planning said on Sunday, a move that would tighten further restrictions on public life. (Reporting by Bate Felix; writing by Geert De Clercq; editing by Jason Neely and Louise Heavens) AT TOP

March 17, 2020 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

Out from under the uranium shadow — Beyond Nuclear International

How a community in Mali fought back and won

via Out from under the uranium shadow — Beyond Nuclear International

March 17, 2020 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Uranium. What is it? — Beyond Nuclear International

A new film and booklet explain

via Uranium. What is it? — Beyond Nuclear International

March 17, 2020 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Coronavirus Covid-19 Testing Per Capita By Country; The US Near The Bottom; India Worse — Mining Awareness +

Below is a screenshot from the Covid-19 Coronavirus tests article. It is sorted by tests per million people with the most tests per million on top. Unfortunately, it is already dated because the Coronavirus-19 pandemic is evolving so rapidly, but it gives a sense of how little testing is happening in the United States – […]

via Coronavirus Covid-19 Testing Per Capita By Country; The US Near The Bottom; India Worse — Mining Awareness +

March 17, 2020 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

March 16 Energy News — geoharvey

Opinion: ¶ “How A Virus Makes The Case For Renewable Energy” • In an interview with Forbes, Charles Donovan, executive director of the Center for Climate Finance and Investment at Imperial College Business School in London, explained how a global economy based on fossil fuels is more vulnerable to market disruptions like the one caused by […]

via March 16 Energy News — geoharvey

March 17, 2020 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment