Australian news, and some related international items

Oil, gas and coal facing terminal decline and massive plunge in value — RenewEconomy

“We are witnessing the decline and fall of the fossil fuel system” as impact of Covid-19 pandemic to accelerate losses, write-offs and bankruptcies in coal, gas and oil. The post Oil, gas and coal facing terminal decline and massive plunge in value appeared first on RenewEconomy.

via Oil, gas and coal facing terminal decline and massive plunge in value — RenewEconomy

June 8, 2020 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

June 8 Energy News — geoharvey


Opinion: ¶ “1.35¢/kWh: Record Abu Dhabi Solar Bid Is A Sober Reminder To Upbeat Fossil Fuel Pundits” • The winning bid for a 2-GW solar power plant, the Al Dhafra Solar PV project, set the world’s most cost-competitive tariff for solar PV energy, at 1.35¢/kWh. Why would this news matter? Because it shows a worldwide […]

via June 8 Energy News — geoharvey

June 8, 2020 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The week in climate/nuclear news

Going back to “normal”? But “normal” IS the problem. The world waits, to see how the plans of nations to get over , recover, from the pandemic period are actually going  to work.  Not too well, in some cases.  New Zealand shines.

The nuclear lobby is enthusiastically promoting itself as a saviour in helping deal with the pandemic. Does anyone believe this spin? Meanwhile nuclear nations, led by USA, turn to a renewed burst of spending on nuclear wesapons.


NUCLEAR.   A reality check on the cost of nuclear power for Australia.

60 years ago, Aboriginal people’s land desecrated by nuclear bombs. Now a new desecration – nuclear wastes?

Submissions to Senate Committee on   National Radioactive Waste Management Amendment

National Radioactive Waste Management Amendment Bill aims to prevent Bangarla Aboriginal people from legal action against the nuclear dump.

Australia’s nuclear-free, anti-uranium movement adapts to this pandemic period – presenting a series of webinars – “Yellowcake Country“.

The  revolving door – another Australian former Senator, Stephen Loosely,  glides easily into the weapons industry.

Australian company Silex Systems involved in nuclear enrichment, in Kentucky’s radioactive disaster site Paducah.

CLIMATE  Southern Australia to be among the worst-hit by global heating.    Australia must plan for future disasters, bushfires, floods – NSW Resilience Commissioner.    COVID-19 Commission stacked with fossil-fuel bigwigs. Surprise surprise -they find gas is the answer. Gaslighting Australia: How gas industry is driving up emissions.

Why it’s time to get moving on decarbonising Australia’s transportElectric and hybrid car sales jump in Australia, as fossil fuel market plunges again.  Even with rooftop solar boom, households are paying dearly for what lies beneath.  Renewables jobs could boom to 44,000 by 2025, but only with the right policy support. Australian media watchdog found Andrew Bolt breached press standards by vilifying Greta Thunberg.

Order of Australia recipients for environment and conservation

Injustice of UK court process regarding Julian Assange. Assange too sick to attend.

RENEWABLE ENERGY.  Rooftop solar market powers on in Australia, despite Covid-19 blip.  Solar and wind’s stunning cost advantage sparks call for mass coal closure.  Australia’s first offshore wind project says it can cover early exit of Yallourn coal generator.  AEMO pushes for minimum standards for solar, battery storage and EVs.


Time to transfer funds from weapons to making vaccines.

The world is sleepwalking toward a period free of nuclear arms control.

New report calls out banks that make nuclear weapons investments.

Loophole in the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT): small military nuclear reactors lack safeguards.

Species are becoming extinct at an accelerating rate.

The most effective leader in the world – Jacinda Adern,  Prime Minister of New Zealand.

Some bits of good news – For the First Time, U.S. Renewable Energy Surpasses Coal Every Day For An Entire Month. Coronavirus Cooking Survey’ Finds That People Are Eating Healthier and Wasting Less


June 8, 2020 Posted by | Christina reviews | Leave a comment

Another Australian former Senator glides easily into the weapons industry



Stephen Loosley was a NSW ALP Senator from 1990 to 1995. From November 2012 to September 2016 he was Chair of the Woomera Prohibited Area Advisory Board, a role required to be independent, yet he concurrently sat on the Thales Australia Advisory Board. Thales is one of the world’s top 10 weapons-makers…..

June 8, 2020 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, politics, secrets and lies | Leave a comment

Nuclear waste in Paducah, Kentucky poses extra threat to region facing historic flooding

Nuclear waste in Paducah, Kentucky poses extra threat to region facing historic flooding, Southerly By For over half a century, the plant was Paducah’s main employer, providing up to 7,000 jobs in a place where nearly a quarter of people now live in poverty. But poor working conditions and unregulated waste disposal also harmed Paducah residents. The legacy of these problems have cost the town and taxpayers. Despite multiple recommendations from a watchdog government agency, the Department of Energy is decades behind schedule on cleanup efforts.

Some experts say the federal government doesn’t know the full cost or scope of what cleaning them up will entail, and that becomes more complicated with more frequent extreme weather.

It’s a problem Superfund sites — and especially nuclear waste sites — around the country face. ……

1999 investigation by The Washington Post revealed the federal government used the plant to illegally recycle over 103,000 tons of used nuclear reactor fuel containing plutonium and other transuranics — man-made heavy metals derived from splitting atoms. The same year, workers filed a $10 billion class action lawsuit against three federal government contractors that led to the passage of a federal law intended to compensate current and former employees (or their survivors) for exposure to cancer-causing radiation. ……

While there is no official estimation of how much contaminated material remains, at least 400 buildings — and everything inside them — still need to be decontaminated and demolished at the Paducah site. ……

cleanup isn’t expected to be completed until 2065, and the EPA has said it could take even longer because of the lack of knowledge about sources of contamination and the vast size of the facility. The waste at Paducah includes the gaseous diffusion plant, buried radioactive disposal sites, and waste leftover from neighboring nuclear sites in Ohio and Tennessee. It also includes over 52,000 cylinders of uranium hexafluoride, or spent uranium fuel, much of it from Oak Ridge. ……

The Paducah cleanup is now being managed by Four Rivers Nuclear Partnership, a conglomeration of companies hired by the DOE for soil and groundwater remediation. One of them is Jacobs Engineering, a contractor that was sued for exposing hundreds of workers to toxic substances during cleanup of the nation’s largest coal ash spill in Tennessee; more than 40 have died. At least three other nuclear sites — Oak Ridge, Hanford in Washington, and Savannah River in South Carolina — have also contracted with Jacobs. (Jacobs Engineering declined an interview for this story.)……

n February, Paducah put up its floodgates, families stacked sandbags, and the bridge over the Ohio River to Illinois closed as floodwaters as rains drowned the region. According to local news stations, highway crews reported so much water they had trouble setting up warning signs. Former Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin declared a statewide emergency due to heavy rainfall and flooding.

The Ohio River, three miles north of the Paducah plant, had record flooding in 2018 and 2019…….

Instead of focusing on cleanup plans, some state lawmakers and federal agencies are loosening regulations on hazardous sites. In 2017, Kentucky passed a bill lifting a nuclear moratorium, a move that some hope will turn the site into a research facility or nuclear reactor; the law loosens the requirements for toxic waste management. Last year, the DOE also moved to relax restrictions on the disposal and abandonment of radioactive waste…….

June 8, 2020 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

Australian company Silex Systems involved in nuclear enrichment, in Kentucky’s radioactive disaster site Paducah


SILEX SYSTEMS PRESSES AHEAD IN NUCLEAR ENRICHMENT, WILL AUSTRALIA FOLLOW?  AU Manufacturing, by Peter Roberts  8 June 20 Technology development company Silex Systems is pressing ahead with a uranium enrichment project that has implications for any future move by Australia into nuclear industries.

The Sydney company has signed a sales agreement with the US Department of Energy (DOE) to allow it to process stockpiles of depleted nuclear fuels as part of its Paduach Project in Kentucky

Silex plans to process the fuels using its proprietary laser enrichment process being commercialised in partnership with Canada’s Cameco Corporation, with the partners producing uranium equivalent to one of the world’s top ten uranium mines.

While the commercialisation of the Silex process has been troubled in the past, the implications of an Australian company with the capabilities to enrich uranium could be a building block to a future nuclear fuels industry in Australia.

……….. nuclear power is always high on the wish-list of many on the political right.

The Silex project involves the construction by GLE, a venture owned 51 per cent by Silex and 49 per cent by Cameco, of the Paducah Laser Enrichment Facility to process depleted uranium over a period of several decades.

Production would begin in the late 2020s of around 2,000 tonnes of natural uranium hexafluoride per annum, the equivalent of a mine producing 5.2 million pounds of uranum oxide.

This already enriched uranium would immediately give GLE capabilities in uranium production, as a uranium conversion supplier and enriched uranium supplier – three of the four production steps of the nuclear fuel cycle.

Silex was formerly developing the project in association with GE and Hitachi, who exited the project allowing Cameco, one of the world’s largest listed uraniium companies, to increase its holding.

Silex is based at Lucas Heights in New South Wales, the site of Australia’s only nuclear reactor, and works closely with the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO)……..

It has been estimated that to move into nuclear power Australia would need a concerted national effort over seven to 10 years to train nuclear technicians, perform the necessary science and construct facilities……  

also see .

June 8, 2020 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, technology | Leave a comment

Jacinda Adern – the world’s best leader

New Zealand’s Prime Minister May Be the Most Effective Leader on the Planet.  Uri Friedman 19 April 20  The Atlantic Amid the Trump administration’s calamitous response to the Covid-19 pandemic, media have been looking to other countries for inspiration in responsible leadership during a period of crisis. New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Arden has been one popular pick, having capably managed to limit the damage to only 1,504 infections and 22 deaths, as of June 5.

A widely shared article in the Conversation (4/5/20) described Ardern as putting on a “masterclass in crisis leadership.” The Washington Post (4/7/20) characterized her government’s response as a “triumph of science and leadership.” Elsewhere, she has been praised as “the most effective leader on the planet” (Atlantic4/19/20) who “should be teaching the rest of the world” (Guardian4/10/20). The Financial Times (4/19/20) unironically anointed her “Saint Jacinda.”

Despite its obvious geographical and economic advantages, New Zealand certainly deserves praise. But less deserving have been the European countries corporate media consistently highlight as outstanding performers. With over 185,000 cases and 8,763 deaths, Germany has one of the highest per capita fatality rates in the world. Yet Chancellor Angela Merkel has drawn effusive praise as somebody who “embraces science” (Atlantic4/19/20Guardian4/16/20Financial Times4/3/20). CNN (5/7/20) proclaimed her a “global leader on coronavirus”; Vox (5/21/20) said she’d been “praised for her clear and effective communication with her country — and the world.”

In its editorial on crisis leadership, the New York Times editorial board (4/30/20) also praised Merkel (while attacking China for supposedly covering up the outbreak). They highlighted and applauded the leadership of several other countries, including Denmark, Norway and Finland. Amazingly, the editorial also singled out and commended Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte, whose inept response has led to Italy having the third-highest number of deaths in the world at the time of its publication.

There was far less praise for leaders in the Global South. Indeed, the only one mentioned by name was Taiwan’s Tsai Ing-wen, and this was primarily because she “sent millions of face masks to the United States and Europe”—although with 443 total cases and only seven deaths, Taiwan has had a far more enviable record on Covid-19 than most of the countries featured in the editorial. True Asian leadership, according to the Times editorial board, is helping white people, apparently.

June 8, 2020 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

Order of Australia recipients for environment and conservation

from Maelor Himbury  (Apologies to any I may have missed), 8 June 20


Craig Kingston BUSH bMeerlieu VIC

 Erik DAHLbKersbrook SA

 Vera Frances DEACON Stockton NSW

Atticus Richard FLEMING NSW

Manfred Ernst HEIDE Teringie SA

 Noel HOFFMAN Gooseberry Hill WA

 Ross Edward LEDGER City Beach WA

 Colin James LIMPUS Capalaba QLD

 James Grant MUMME Rockingham WA

 Gretel Lees PACKER  NSW

 William Robert PATERSON Meningie SA

 Barry McGown SCOTT Sunnybank QLD

 Richard John THOMSON Templestowe Lower VIC

 Arron Richard WOOD Kensington VIC

 Mike WOOD North Beach WA

June 8, 2020 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, environment | Leave a comment

Legal challenge to “Interim” storage of nuclear wastes, before permanent disposal determined

Holtec’s interim nuclear waste application challenged in court, BY THERESA DAVIS / JOURNAL STAFF WRITER, AlbuquerquebJournal, June 6th, 2020 

Holtec International’s proposed nuclear waste interim storage facility in southeast New Mexico faces a new legal challenge.

Anti-nuclear group Beyond Nuclear filed a petition for review Thursday in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. The group asks for review of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s rejection of their petitions.

The group alleges that the NRC cannot issue Holtec a license because the company’s application includes a provision that the U.S. Department of Energy may be the owner of the facility’s nuclear waste. The group says approval would violate the Nuclear Waste Policy Act.

That law prevents the government from taking ownership of nuclear waste from private utilities before a permanent repository is in operation. The government has yet to open such a site.

“The reason that provision is in the NWPA is to protect a state like New Mexico from being forced to store this waste before a permanent repository is opened,” said Kevin Kamps, a radioactive waste specialist with Beyond Nuclear. “(Holtec has) now added a clause that includes ‘and/or nuclear utilities’ in the list of potential customers. That was good enough for the NRC, apparently.”

Beyond Nuclear presented its petition to NRC’s Atomic Safety and Licensing Board. In April, the NRC upheld that board’s dismissal of the petition.

An April 23 NRC order says Holtec “hopes Congress will change the (NWPA) law to allow DOE to enter into temporary storage contracts with Holtec.”………

The petition alleges that the NRC is also violating the Administrative Procedure Act.

“Agencies have to work with what Congress gave (them),” said Mindy Goldstein, an attorney for Beyond Nuclear and the director of the Turner Environmental Law Clinic at the Emory University School of Law. “We feel NRC is stepping around that requirement. Congress has said that DOE can’t own this waste.”

The proposed facility would store spent nuclear fuel in 500 canisters on a 1,000-acre site between Carlsbad and Hobbs. The full project could store 10,000


June 8, 2020 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

From uranium mining to Covid-19 — Beyond Nuclear International


Why aren’t we talking about Native Americans?

via From uranium mining to Covid-19 — Beyond Nuclear International

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Stop EDF’s silent spring! — Beyond Nuclear International



Wildlife will vanish in path of nuclear project

via Stop EDF’s silent spring! — Beyond Nuclear International

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June 7 Energy News — geoharvey

Opinion: ¶ “Bruno Latour: ‘This Is A Global Catastrophe That Has Come From Within’” • In the early days of the lockdown, philosopher Bruno Latour wrote, “The first lesson the coronavirus has taught us is also the most astounding: we have actually proven that it is possible, in a few weeks, to put an economic […]

via June 7 Energy News — geoharvey

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