Australian news, and some related international items

The Australian government can still bully its way to imposing a Kimba nuclear waste dump

Today the Advertiser reports that the federal government does not have the numbers to get the draconian, racist National Radioactive Waste Management Bill passed in the Senate. Labor and most or all of the crossbench Senators oppose the Bill.
A big win … But the government can still try to bribe or bully Senators to pass the Bill, or the government could nominate the proposed nuclear waste dump site in SA and the dump would proceed unless blocked by a successful judicial review. A big win today, but the battle continues!
More information on the proposed nuclear dump:

November 12, 2020 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Federal nuclear waste dump | Leave a comment

Senate dumps on the Australian government’s radioactive waste plan

Senate dumps on government’s radioactive waste plan

The federal government should drop its plans for a national radioactive waste facility in regional South Australia after One Nation joined Labor, the Greens and others on the Senate crossbench in rejecting the government’s proposal for a site near Kimba.

One Nation confirmed it will not support the federal government’s bill to remove the right of affected communities to legally contest the decision to make Kimba the site for a radioactive waste facility and is instead seeking ‘to make the right decision for future generations’.

With Labor, the Greens, other crossbenchers and now One Nation opposed, the government appears to lack the numbers in the Senate to advance the plan.

“The federal plan is politically divisive, technically deficient and increasingly uncertain,” said the Australian Conservation Foundation’s nuclear campaigner Dave Sweeney.

“It has failed the test in the broader community and now also in Canberra.

“The government’s proposal is based on excluding people from consultation and review processes. It is based on the heavy handed overriding of legal principles and the unnecessary double handling of long-lived intermediate level waste.

“Access to a day in court is a fundamental democratic right that should not be jettisoned – especially on an issue with such significant and lasting impacts as radioactive waste.

“Many state and national civil society groups, Aboriginal and professional groups, the South Australian Upper House, SA Labor and Unions SA opposed the government’s approach.

“The government should now stop playing politics and start paying attention.

“This waste lasts longer that any politician and needs to be responsibly managed.

“We need a new approach that is based on evidence, inclusion and respect.”

Further information, context or comment: Dave Sweeney on 0408 317 812

Read ACF’s 3-page background brief on the federal radioactive waste plans

November 12, 2020 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, politics | Leave a comment

Australian govt’s Kimba nuclear waste dump plan will be torpedoed in the Senate

Pauline Hanson’s One Nation torpedoes Kimba nuclear waste dump in SA, Claire Bickers, Federal Politics Reporter, The Advertiser, November 11, 2020 

Pauline Hanson will torpedo the Federal Government’s bid to build a radioactive waste dump in regional South Australia.

The One Nation leader, who aims to win a seat in SA at the next federal election, has confirmed she will not back legislation to build the nuclear waste storage site at Napandee farm, near Kimba.

Without One Nation’s two crucial votes – and Labor, the Greens, and independent senator Rex Patrick not backing the Bill – the government does not have enough votes for it to pass parliament without changes.

Senator Hanson told The Advertiser she had serious concerns about the process to select Napandee, the level of community support, the waste site being built on farming land, and the facility storing intermediate radioactive waste above ground.

“I want to make the right decision, not for the interim, I want to make the right decision for future generations,” Senator Hanson said.

“I’m not going to be badgered or pushed into this.

“It’s about looking after the people of SA, but also the whole of Australia.”

Senator Hanson said One Nation wanted to win a seat in SA at the next election, and she hoped South Australians would take into account her strong stance on the waste site.

One Nation adviser Jennifer Game, who ran as the party’s SA Senate candidate at the 2019 election, has been leading research and consultation on the Kimba site.

“I think the government has rushed the decision to have it there,” Senator Hanson said.

Almost 62 per cent of 734 Kimba residents supported the facility in a postal vote in 2019 but Senator Hanson said locals had indicated to the party that closer to half of the town did not support the facility.

The region’s native title holders, the Barngarla people, were also not given a say in the official vote.

Senator Hanson was concerned other locations that may be suitable were not investigated, such as an old mining site in Leonora, in Western Australia, which may be able to store the waste underground.

“We don’t know what the future is going to hold, we don’t know if war is going to touch our shores,” she said.

“Do we really want a facility that is above ground that could be problems further down the track, if anything happens?”…


November 12, 2020 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, politics | Leave a comment

Karina Lester speaks out: ”Traditional owners’ voices not heard and rights stripped over nuclear waste dump”

”Traditional owners voices not heard and rights stripped over nuclear waste dump”


Chairperson of Yankunytjatjara Native Title Aboriginal Corporation (YNTAC) Karina Lester says, “The two key issues that I’m quite concerned about are the lack of consent from the traditional owners; and that they want to take away judicial review. No Barngarla person or anyone in that Kimba region can take it to the courts for it to be properly heard. That’s a given right for any Australian; to take an issue through a judicial process and they’re now trying to shift the goalposts away from Aboriginal people and people from the Kimba region so it can’t be challenged.”

Four Aboriginal groups submitted their concern about the lack of Indigenous community engagement in the consultation and selection process, as well as potential violation of those communities’ rights, these were the Yankunytjatjara Native Title Aboriginal Corporation (YNTAC), Tjayuwara Unmuru Aboriginal Corporation (TUAC), De Rose Hill-Ilpalka Aboriginal Corporation (DRHIAC) and the First Nations of South Australia Aboriginal Corporation (FNSAAC).

They acknowledged that the specified site has significance for a wider group of Aboriginal People than just the Barngarla, and that the proposed use is a matter of significance for Aboriginal People right across the state.

“They’ve been saying that this is just a Barngarla issue, just a Kimba issue – but it’s not. No, this is an issue for First Nations people everywhere. We need to stand in solidarity and send a strong message as the First Nations people of South Australia to say that no dump is wanted in our state,” said Ms Lester, who is the daughter of anti-nuclear and Indigenous rights advocate, Yami Lester.

“We have been pressured to be the ‘solution’ to waste management; it’s not been clear why the Federal Government keeps coming back to our state. I think that’s part of the problem.

“The process has been flawed from the very beginning. The risk is that if we open the door to this, we could well be opening the door to a permanent solution here in SA. Why put a temporary solution here when the facility says they can keep storing it at Lucas Heights in Sydney?

“There’s so much history of Aboriginal people’s activism against this in South Australia. For it to come back to our state, after leaving our state so many years ago, it feels like an ongoing generational battle for us to put an end to this issue in South Australia.”

November 12, 2020 Posted by | aboriginal issues, AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Federal nuclear waste dump | Leave a comment

Sneator Sam McMahon going all out for Small Nuclear Reactors

Senator McMahon is looking beyond currently commercialised nuclear technology, to Small Modular Reactors (SMRs). None of these exist in service anywhere in the world and as the WNISR2020 report points out, will cost more per kilowatt than conventional nuclear energy – and beyond a few prototypes SMRs are unlikely to come into play.

So, as renewables are perceived to be expensive when backed by storage, the solution is to shoot for a technology that may never hit prime time and even if it does, will be even more expensive than conventional nuclear, push up energy prices and erode carbon mitigation outcomes?

Senator Sam McMahon Still Backing Nuclear Power For NT

November 11, 2020 by Michael Bloch  Country Liberal Senator for the Northern Territory Dr. Sam McMahon has clarified her views on renewable energy, but remains steadfast in her support of nuclear power for the NT.

Perhaps channelling Senator Matt Canavan, this is some of what the senator had to say about renewables in late October:

“Renewables are the dole bludgers of the energy mix,” said Senator McMahon. “They are a great hoax perpetrated by the industry on the gullible.” Continue reading

November 12, 2020 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, politics | Leave a comment

Rolls Royce small nuclear reactors – not really feasible?

November 12, 2020 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

Previous Chief Scientist not a fan of Small Nuclear Reactors

Dr Finkel said it was “hard to see” small nuclear modular reactors being ready before 2040, and even after that Australia would have to monitor commercial installations overseas before allowing the technology.

“So, is it something we should be looking at hard at the moment? I am certainly not looking at it intensely at the moment,” he said.

November 12, 2020 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, politics | Leave a comment

Canada’s Greens call on federal government to abandon nuclear and invest in renewables 

November 12, 2020 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

Since Penny Sackett, Australia’s Chief Scientists have moved further towards the extractive industries

above –  new Chief Scientist Cathy Foley

Penny Sackett, Chief Scientist 2008 – 2011, was the first and clearest voice to speak out on climate change.

Then we had Ian Chubb, who was a lot quieter about this.

Then we got Alan Finkel, – who agreed that climate change was a threat, but thought that gas was a big solution.  However, he was very luke warm about nuclear power

Now we get Cathy Foley, a physicist with a background in the minerals industries, who talks about “no single solution” and ”a “whole range” of solutions ”.  Could that mean carbon capture,  and small nuclear reactors?   Watch this space.

November 12, 2020 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, politics | Leave a comment