Australian news, and some related international items

Nuclear, climate, pandemic news to 2nd June

The media’s, politicians’ and the public’s gaze has now shifted from the health aspects of coronavirus, to the economic effects of the pandemic, and of the response to it.

Which brings us to the question of – what should governments be doing with tax-payers’ money?

Well, one thing they shouldn’t be doing is wasting it.  Yet, in the case of the nuclear industry, that is what’s happening, and especially in the cause of nuclear weapons.   Alex Smith, of Radio Ecoshock covers not only the shocking economics of the nuclear industry, but its unsafety in this time of pandemic, the associated secrecy and bungling in America, Russia, Japan, China, Canada, Europe and beyond. And this includes the vulnerability of nuclear facilities to the effects of global heating.


And yes, so far, Australia is doing very well in its response to the pandemic.


Australian nuclear dump decision trashes indigenous peoples’ rights.

Submissions to Senate Committee on Radioactive Waste Management Amendment Bill:

BHP Olympic Dam copper-uranium mine operates on outdated 1991 era Occupational Radiation Exposure Limits.

A tribute to the Maralinga traditional owners.

Australia must not forget – the plutonium abuse of an Australian child, by Argonne National Laboratory.

ERA’s focus is now on rehabilitating the Ranger uranium mine site. Prospective Northern Goldfields uranium miner fails to submit environmental and mine closure plans on time.

Australia’s national environment laws ‘actually allow extinction to happen’.

CLIMATE.  The Australian government has officially given up on climate action.  Wind, solar and drought drive down emissions, but Australia still lags on targetsMorrison government has not modelled a zero emissions scenario.  Federal energy and emissions reduction minister Angus Taylor says higher emissions targets ‘not necessarily good policy’. Australia won’t budge on 2030 climate targets, keeps mum on longer term intentions.   Covert-19: Government stacks Covid Commission with oil and gas mates, cosy deals follow.

In 2019, fire chiefs were ‘gagged’ when trying to give climate change warnings to government.

 News Corp cuts represent an huge threat to Australian democracy ⁠- enormous power of Rupert Murdoch over Australia’s media.  Australian media is not doing its job to expose power and corruption.

RENEWABLE ENERGY. Networks can now replace costly poles and wires with solar and storage micro-grids.    Ausgrid seeks thousands of NSW homes to join expanded virtual power plant . NSW calls for wind, solar, storage ideas for first renewable zone in central west.  Huge Uungula wind project edges closer in NSW renewable energy zone.  Sun Cable’s solar and battery mega-project may be first of many.   Suntech’s 9.4MW Robinvale solar farm completed in Victoria.  Lawyers’ picnic, and $47m at play, as Sunraysia solar farm faces further delays.  “Once in a lifetime opportunity:” NSW farmer on why he wants to host a wind farm.


Eminent Persons Warn Against Any Demonstration Nuclear Test Explosion. – “grave challenge to global peace and security” – Nuclear watchdog on potential U.S. nuclear test.

The Environmental Legacy of Nuclear Weapons Production: Five Case Studies — HUMAN WRONGS WATCH

The Triumph of Doubt‘ – corporations’ war on science.

Research is needed into health effects of 4G and 5G [electromagnetic] radiation.

 Extreme heat, humidity, air pollution – combined threat to South Asia.

June 1, 2020 Posted by | Christina reviews | Leave a comment

Sebastian Tops: National Radioactive Waste Management Amendment Bill uses vague unspecified term “controlled material” FOR SECRET REASONS? “

Sebastian Tops to Senate Committee on National Radioactive Waste Management Amendment (Site Specification, Community Fund and Other Measures) Bill 2020 [Provisions] Submission 22   

Argument: This Bill involves possible Mutiny or even Treason. My argument here is that this Bill proposal is most disrespectful in several ways. To me this (amendment) Bill does involve democratic mutiny, Federal but also

The Bill has ignored fundamental recommendations and Verdicts from S.A.’s Citizen’s Jury (2016) entirely. Great disloyalty to Australian lands and citizens is also still optionally hidden inside this Bill, for ‘non-Commonwealth’ entities can also be ‘doing their thing’. That disrespectful proposal possibility presents the idea of treason. If (only) a military land zone is required – please say and do so – but that should follow a different process.

This Bill does state to rely on “The principle of voluntarism” (Explanatory Memo, p.1). This Bill therefore fails because it cannot be found reasonable or legal for only one, or even a few South Australian land owner(s) to decide to sell land for purposes that will impact an entire region’s State future outlook negatively in several ways. Could anyone find it democratically respectful and reasonable for one single landowner’s (temporary life) choice and this Bill, to impact an entire State, here possibly South Australia, to become the proposed nuclear victim, again?

There is no ‘voluntary principle’ apart from the one, or two apparent S.A. landowner(s). There might be an NSW heritage or family history link? It would then involve fraud (false declaration), and or treason, at least against S.A.. These are matters relating directly to ethics which have failed fundamental (Australian) morals.

The Bill here proposes to introduce possibly new payment categories for NAW, in Item 33 par. 34B(1)(b) and (c) (Expl. Memo, p.19) “payable to the Commonwealth”. England is part of the ‘Commonwealth’. Further, only a fee is payable “by non-Commonwealth and non-host State users”. Does this mean England can store their (nuclear active) waste in Australia at no cost? This Bill continues to be unspecific on proposals related directly to nuclear most hazardous topics.

With anything nuclear; any relevant information should have been part of, and timely provided to each of the applicable eligible voter prior a vote on the matter. That officially presented voter information determines what could only possibly be stored in an appropriately ‘selected’ region. Not what is possibly proposed in the Bill here, after the actual vote. Otherwise, again, no proper political processes have been applied in this matter (2015 – 2019).

Neither the AEC, nor the District Council of Kimba seem to be willing or able to inform the public what printed information was provided to each of those limited few local voters, prior considering their vote. It could explain why ballots were
not returned. Likely due to a lack of trust in the applied political processes.

Vague unspecified term uses regarding anything nuclear. Who considers that ethical? The term use of “controlled material” is extremely vague, and can involve “all types of waste” (Expl. Memo, Schedule 3, Other Amendments, point 132, p.25). It has unspecified additional unknown liabilities and outcomes, and involves other unspecified responsibilities. Within the JCV (1997). The term use of “controlled material” amends the Object of Act (Expl. Memo, p.12). Controlled
material remains secretive for dubious reasons, and did admittedly under Schedule 3, point 132 not form part at all of the applied vote processes. Were voters made timely aware of any “controlled material” involving “primarily” from “State and Territory Governments, industry, hospitals and universities” (Expl. Memo, part 6A, p.3) to which even “laws cannot apply to regulate, hinder or prevent the doing of a thing” (Expl. Memo, point 94, p.20)?

This Bill fails to specify a clear set of criteria, full accountabilities, appropriate specifications of various necessary kinds, or responsibilities for all parts of this proposal. The proposed long-distance transport of highly hazardous (nuclear active) waste products produced in another State is entirely unnecessary

The Bill proposes for the EPA to not be able to report on environmental matters regarding the proposals inside the Bill put. What is generally known is the necessity to protect life against any poison’s hazard life duration. NAW is supposed to be safely ‘managed’ to protect vital sources like water, esp. in drought affected regions. The lifetime involvement of the EPA would be an absolute minimum requirement as such for any Australian NAW proposal. By not explicitly stating any poison responsible needs for its still unknown hazard life duration, and all its necessary more costly safety requirements, seems rather unprofessional. This Bill presents its disregard for another’s (State or Territory) land, by meaning to apply intentional disrespect to another by not demanding compliance with fundamental NAW safety requirements.

Any hazardous material is to be maintained closest to its source (for safe containment reducing wider risk exposures), minimize handling, introduce future monitoring and re-packing facilities in NSW etc.. Otherwise, if this Bill was to pass then more fully operational regional hospitals would be needed prior commencement of introducing the spread of any hazardous substances etc.. No new strategically located regional fully operational hospitals are proposed in this Bill.

Democratic Human Rights – Self-Determination (not to ever have to endure another State’s own produced (nuclear active) wastes to at least prevent image impairment and future economic opportunity losses.)……

To claim that “The specification of the site … is supported by a comprehensive consultation process” (Explanatory Memo, p.4), is incorrect, as a similar (also foreign) NAW proposal was considered earlier in the process. That process did receive an official S.A. Citizens Verdict, stating: “Under no circumstances do we pursue the disposal of nuclear waste because the potential brand damage is too great a risk to the state”. “It is a threat to a $17.5billion/year (1) income to the state generated from tourism, international students, agriculture, food, wine, seafood, livestock, and this is just the beginning. This is a risk we are not willing to take”. One can suggest that related to foreign (nuclear active) wastes only but, RCNCJ reasons go much deeper into their debated, wider considered, and broader researched nuclear related findings than this Bill seemingly has.

The RCNCJ expressed the need to prevent a lasting State or Territory ‘image impairment’. Storing another’s (nuclear) wastes would have ramifications to South Australia’s economy and negatively impact future opportunities like trade. That particular finding received 82% support. That economic Verdict finding alone relates directly to this Bill amendment proposal. Like “The jury felt it was it was important for environmental impact studies to include impacts beyond radiation”. The reasons state that overall, no economic benefits are sufficient to lose or damage one’s clean and safe image which South Australia still has. The Gawler Ranges are still brilliant. Several other “No” reasons are expressed within that RCNCJ verdict. Another such example: “The project will have significant social costs. Particularly, through the divisiveness of the issue”. How true is that finding alone, and who did dictatorially decide to allow politicians to totally ignore those Citizens Verdict findings?

The (Two-third or three-quarter) majority requirement has not been achieved………
At least two non-compliant issues are present within this Bill as it fails:

1. The JCV (66.6% majority), respecting dubious vote result (under 55%).
2. The Consultation paragraph of the explanatory memo (K. Pitt), as well the Bill ignore South Australian RCNCJ (2016) Verdict. Misrepresentations regarding NAW, “controlled material”, or “doing a thing” do involve inappropriately controlled voting processes, contrary to a controlled RCNCJ (2016) “No” Verdict(s). Non-compliant issues described are to have immediate political ramifications for this (Amendment) Bill and should be denied any further considerations in its
entirety. I elaborate on (also other) reasons in the Appendix “No Because”.

Appendix “No Because”
Other additional reasons to stop this (Amendment) Bill entirely:
As this amendment Bill relates directly to (anything) nuclear,
1. it would be logical to be very specific, clear, and state exactly what will be included and excluded.
2. full professional and personal accountabilities are to apply at all times, under any of the applicable Laws (State or Federal), otherwise nuclear should finally admit that (anything) nuclear is actually the least regulated industry………

June 1, 2020 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Federal nuclear waste dump | Leave a comment

ERA’s focus is now on rehabilitating the Ranger uranium mine site.

ERA, operator of Jabiru’s Ranger uranium mine, has held its last AGM as shutdown date looms

The company behind a contentious uranium mine in Jabiru has held its final AGM before production grinds to a halt, telling shareholders its focus is now on rehabilitating the site.


THE company behind a contentious uranium mine in Jabiru has held its final annual general meeting before production grinds to a halt, telling shareholders its focus is now on the “successful rehabilitation” of the site. Energy Resources Australia, which has run the Ranger uranium mine since 1980, has seven months left to process remaining ore before it is legally required to shut down the site and commence a rigorous five-year rehabilitation program.Mining giant Rio Tinto, which this week made headlines for legally blasting an ancient Aboriginal heritage site in WA to expand a mine, owns a controlling 86.3 per cent stake in ERA. ERA chief executive Paul Arnold told shareholders on Friday the company had spent $92 million rehabilitating the mine in 2019, made $6 million in profit after tax, and $210 million from the sale of uranium oxide. In February, ERA finalised an offer from Rio Tinto to tip $476 million toward mine rehabilitation obligations in return for a larger shareholding slice, a deal that prevented ERA from collapsing financially.

“Expenditure on rehabilitation will only increase in coming years and this is a major Northern Territory project in its own right,” chairman Peter Mansell said in his address to shareholders. “The strategic priority for ERA now is the successful rehabilitation of the Ranger Project Area.”

Australian Conservation Foundation nuclear free campaigner Dave Sweeney said the rehabilitation standard set for Ranger mine was one “never previously attempted or achieved”, warning mining giant Rio Tinto and ERA that all eyes were on them to get this right. “The challenge is how to rehabilitate the heavily affected mine site and larger Ranger Project Area in a way that reduces adverse impacts and provides confidence that the living and peopled landscape of Kakadu is well protected, now and into the future,” Mr Sweeney said.

Rehabilitation of the mine must conclude in January 2026 and, according to ERA, it will include treating more than 16.5 gigalitres of water and planting 1.1 million trees on site.

June 1, 2020 Posted by | Northern Territory, uranium | Leave a comment

Australia’s national environment laws ‘actually allow extinction to happen’

Australia’s national environment laws ‘actually allow extinction to happen’
Carnaby’s black-cockatoo, the grey range thick-billed grasswren and the swift parrot just three species in deep trouble after laws fail them, 
Guardian, Lisa Cox, Sun 31 May 2020 Scientists and conservationists are calling for changes to Australia’s national environment law to urgently address failures in how it is protecting native wildlife, including bird species that have declined significantly over the past decade.

Samantha Vine, the head of conservation at BirdLife Australia, says: “Our laws are actually allowing extinction to happen.”

With the Environment Protection and Biodiversity (EPBC) Act under review by the businessman Prof Graeme Samuel, environmentalists have pointed to several bird species as examples of the inadequate protection provided by the legislation…….


June 1, 2020 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, environment, politics | Leave a comment

Lawyers’ picnic, and $47m at play, as Sunraysia solar farm faces further delays — RenewEconomy


The 200MW Sunraysia solar farm in NSW faces further delays as contractor reveals rare insight into nature of disputes that has afflicted the large scale solar industry. The post Lawyers’ picnic, and $47m at play, as Sunraysia solar farm faces further delays appeared first on RenewEconomy.

via Lawyers’ picnic, and $47m at play, as Sunraysia solar farm faces further delays — RenewEconomy

June 1, 2020 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

May 31 Energy News — geoharvey


Science and Technology: ¶ “New-Wave Urban Farming” • People continue to lose their jobs amid pandemic, raising concerns about whether farmers and growers in the production chain can still get their supplies to market. The question also arises as to whether consumers can afford to buy them. Some people have been developing ideas to address […]

via May 31 Energy News — geoharvey

June 1, 2020 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The Environmental Legacy of Nuclear Weapons Production: Five Case Studies — HUMAN WRONGS WATCH

Human Wrongs Watch By ICAN-International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons* Nuclear weapons production leaves a nasty legacy both for people and the environment. Around the world, nuclear weapons facilities have contaminated land and water with radioactive waste lasting at least 100,000 years. Efforts to clean up the sites have cost billions of dollars over decades […]

via The Environmental Legacy of Nuclear Weapons Production: Five Case Studies — HUMAN WRONGS WATCH

June 1, 2020 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment