Australian news, and some related international items

Australian and other nuclear news this week

Climate ‘tipping points’ could push us past the point-of-no-return after less than 2 degrees of warming.

Some bits of good news – G7: World leaders promise one billion Covid vaccine doses for poorer nations.

Elimination of the Cold War’s Nuclear Heritage: 20 years of international cooperation.The G7 meeting of world leaders made some progress on action about the pandemic and climate change.  But they ignored that other global menace,nuclear weapons and the threat of nuclear war.  Well, not entirely –  as they managed to bring the world closer to war, with the focus on ”standing up to China”.



IT’S VERY PROFITABLE to prepare for omnicide,” A People’s Guide to the War Industry -5: Portfolio of Conflicts. Growing support for the nuclear ban treaty in public opinion polls , voters and lawmakers in NATO’s 30 countries. Nuclear energy – Nuclear weapons – the inseparable link. Nuclear weapons numbers building up again. The world’s narrow escape from nuclear war.

We don’t need nuclear power to tackle climate change – Jonoathon Porritt. Nuclear energy – The solution to climate change?

Pacific Ocean was once a garbage dump for nuclear waste, now Japan’s doing it again.

Is Bill Gates ‘a nice man in a jumper’ or a power-hungry egotist?   

ANTARCTICA. Fears Antarctic glacier could melt faster as it speeds up and ice shelf ‘rips apart’.

June 14, 2021 Posted by | Christina reviews | Leave a comment

Change in Resource Minister Keith Pitt’s strategy: what’s next for his Kimba nuclear dump project?

On Tuesday 15th June, Resources Minister Keith Pitt is introducing a revision to the the National Radioactive Waste Management Amendment (Site Specification, Community Fund and Other Measures) Bill 2020.

The purpose of the original Bill was to make sure that a site near Kimba, South Australia, would become the dump for nuclear waste from ANSTO’s nuclear reactor in Sydney. AND that there could not be any court action taken against it. That site would be ”set in stone”

Mr Pitt has chickened out a bit, seeing that the Senate was likely to reject that Bill. Hence the change – this new amendment The amendment restores the three shortlisted South Australian sites (Lyndhurst, Napandee, and Wallerberdina) as being open for consideration. (This is despite Wallerberdina (the Flinders Ranges site) having been ruled out of consideration in December 2019 by former Minister Canavan. )

”The Bill No longer specifies a site” – listed in supplementary explanatory memorandum

‘New section 34A ensures that the payment of the Community Fund is linked to a site declaration, rather than to a site specified in legislation” This would appear to cast some doubt on the ambitions of the Kimba District Council etc?

How does this amendment affect the chances of the Bill being passed in the Senate?

Well, Federal Labor being traditionally wishy washy on nuclear issues, this change might be enough to win the support of Labor, and thefore be passed.

Once the Bill is passed, what then?

Minister Pitt can then exercise his power to formally declare the site at Napandee, Kimba, as the site for the radioactive waste facility.

What then?

Well, various possibilities.

Concerned citizens in the the local Kimba community could seek some government grant to pay for their own independent assessment and review .

The plan still requires, and might not qualify for, a licence from ARPANSA, to ensure that the site meets the requirements, geological etc, for interim storage of nuclear wastes, and more permanent storage of low level radioactive wastes.

The Barngarla people, and perhaps others, will file a legal challenge to the site selection.

June 14, 2021 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Federal nuclear waste dump, politics | Leave a comment

An outline of the recent years in the history of South Australia targeted for an international nuclear waste dump.

Brett Burnard Stokes No nuclear waste dump anywhere in South Australia,14 June 21,
Some info on the nuclear waste importing plot. South Australia has been the target of nuclear fanatics for 25 years or more, with several serious attempts to make SA the nuclear waste dump for other states and also for the whole world. The history is long, with Mike Rann making “we won” noises in 2006.

There is a law in South Australia which is still on the books, specifying ten years jail for importing or plotting to import nuclear waste into SA,Nuclear Waste Storage Facility (Prohibition) Act 2000…/NUCLEAR%20WASTE…

In 2014 there was a state election and Jay Weatherill (Labor) won the election and quickly did a surprise announcement of a royal commission into nuclear “opportunities” for SA.The commission was headed by ex navy ex governor Kevin Scarce.There were dodgy “economic reports” saying we should import the world’s nuclear waste and make a fortune.There were propaganda campaigns and eventually a citizens’ jury in late 2016 which rejected the nuclear waste import plans and upheld the SA law.

Jay W was upset and mumbled about having a referendum and spent another million dollars on polling before shutting up about nuclear in the lead up to the 2018 state election.

(Liberal) Marshall promised to not support a nuclear waste dump.Marshall won the 2018 election.

Meanwhile the Aussie nuclear mob ANSTO were spending a lot of money and telling a lot of lies in two areas of the state, trying to manufacture community consent for import into SA of nasty nuclear waste from Lucas Heights in suburban Sydney.

The Flinders area soundly rejected the idea (after a lot of community conflict).

So ANSTO (and the fed gov department DIIS under Matt Canavan at the time) went hard on Kimba.A devious process followed where first nations people were excluded from voting and a few hundred people voted.A bare majority supported the plans and Canavan and co claimed they had community support.

Now we have had a weird year or so of waiting for the libs in federal parliament to put up a bill for voting, about the Kimba dump plans.And we have an office being established in Adelaide and ads for more jobs in the new bureaucracy.

And we still have the SA law specifying jail for plotting these things and for doing the things that are planned.There are several relevant people fighting the good fight — perhaps the best is Dave Sweeney at ACF.

There are many facebook groups.Premier Marshall promised to not support a nuclear waste dump in SANo Radioactive Waste Facility for Kimba DistrictNuclear Waste Information Sharing – WhyallaStop nuclear waste threats in South Australia

June 14, 2021 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Federal nuclear waste dump | Leave a comment

Remote communities affected by uranium in drinking water

Uranium in Australian Drinking Water Snapshot,
Friends of the Earth Australia, JUN 12, 2021

THOUSANDS OF REMOTE RESIDENTS EXPOSED TO LEVELS OF URANIUM ABOVE GUIDELINE LEVELS.   The recently published WA Auditor Report “Delivering Essential Services to Remote Aboriginal Communities” has raised more concerns regarding water quality in remote Aboriginal communities in three regions of Western Australia: The Goldfields, the Pilbara and Kimberleys……….

Uranium is a radioactive heavy metal where exposure has been associated with kidney damage. Uranium has also been linked to reproductive problems and DNA damage.

Impacted Western Australian communities

The total number of WA remote residents impacted by uranium above guideline levels in drinking water probably now totals around 500 people (with perhaps an additional 500 – 1000 people in the Northern Territory). There have also been hundreds more people in Queensland and New South Wales exposed to relatively high levels of uranium in their drinking water over the past few years. The majority of people impacted will be Aboriginal.

Uranium in drinking water can be difficult to treat if no alternative supplies can be found. The source of the uranium in impacted communities is sourced from local geological formations and groundwater………

Uranium breaches were confined to four communities in the Pilbara in 2018/20: Pia Wadjari (8), Burringurrah (5), Parngurr (3) and Kiwikurra (1). Crocodile Hole in the Kimberley also reported one breach. …..

Despite problems in Western Australia, the Northern Territory also continues to suffer from uranium in drinking water in a number of communities. Chronic breaches have occurred in 3 communities, Laramba, Willowra and Wilora over the past decade and probably much longer.

The three communities where uranium levels consistently exceed Australian drinking water guidelines in the Northern Territory. Laramba residents have most likely been exposed to uranium at levels 2-3 times higher than the Australian Drinking Water Guidelines for many years. The highest recorded levels at Laramba each year also appear to be increasing……

Uranium in drinking water has also recently occurred in three Queensland communities. The highest levels were detected in January 2021 at Dajarra (population 200 located 1000km west of Mackay) in western Queensland at 0.046mg/L, almost three times higher than the safe guideline…….

In October 2016 uranium above guideline levels was also detected in the New South Wales communities of Kootingal, Moonbi and Bendemeer. Tamworth Regional Council apologised for the “oversight”, which had left residents’ drinking water with high levels of uranium for at least two years…..

Radionuclides or radiating emitting elements in drinking water (breaching 1mSv/yr) over the past decade or so have included the communities Kings Canyon, Alice Springs, Borroloola and Binjari in the NT. The Victorian community of Goorambat also recorded levels of Alpha activity for radionuclides over guideline levels in 2012/13.

Wilmington SA, had radon (a radioactive gas produced from decay of radium 226 in soil and minerals) detected in the community above guideline levels of 500Bq/L in October 2018. In South Australia uranium guidelines were breached at Saltia Creek (October 2019) and Woolshed Creek over 2016/17, however at both of these locations water is deemed to be non-potable.

Existing and “Decommissioned” uranium mines also continue to leach radioactive water into the environment and will continue to do so for thousands of years. BHP’s Olympic Dam mine has a history including seepage from tailing impoundments into underlying groundwater. Ranger Uranium Mine (where toxic tailings are currently being dumped into pits) has leached contamination into Kakadu National Park, Rum Jungle uranium mine (1954-71) caused Acid Mine Drainage pollution to the East Finniss River where 640,000 tonnes of tailings were discharged damaging 100sqkm of floodplains. Mary Kathleen Mine and Ben Lomond Mine in Queensland have also caused downstream pollution. Anyone downstream of these leaking mine sites could also be jeopardised through exposure to waterways downstream of the mines. Nuclear blasts at Maralinga and Emu Field in the 1950’s also lead widespread contamination of Australia through nuclear fallout, including drinking water reservoirs and water tanks.

June 14, 2021 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, environment, health, uranium | Leave a comment

Australia’s News Corpse, Nine media, and Resources Minister Keith Pitt have been duped by the Minerals Council of Australia.

Australia’s major media organisations, News Corp and Nine Entertainment, have been duped by the mining lobby’s false claims about its contribution to Australia. The industry peak body, Minerals Council of Australia, has failed to include in its analysis the more than $72 billion in GST rebates the industry has received between 2010 and 2018, and an estimated $80.6 billion over the past 10 years.

The Australian, the Australian Financial Review, and the Minister for Resources Keith Pitt have consistently repeated the misleading claims provided to them by the mining lobby via the firm the MCA hired to conduct its reports, Deloitte Access Economics.

Deloitte found that the minerals industry had contributed more than $238 billion in company tax and royalty payments since 2010, with $132 billion from company tax alone.

However, the report avoids mentioning that the mining industry, as an exporting industry, receives a huge GST rebate every year………….

June 14, 2021 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, politics, secrets and lies | Leave a comment

Australian group writes to Japanese Ambassador, calls for halt to plan to empty Fukushima nuclear wastewater into the Pacific.

ACE Nuclear Free Collective . Friends of the Earth Australia, 14/06/21

To Ambassador YAMAGAMI Shingo,

We, the undersigned, are sending this letter to express our concern at the recent decision of the Japanese government to release around 1.25 million tons of treated wastewater from the Fukushima Daiichi site into the Pacific Ocean. Treatment cannot remove all radioactive contaminants from the wastewater. We join international calls for the Japanese government to reconsider its decision and pursue alternative options for long term storage.

We are concerned that Japanese government claims that the treated wastewater is “safe” enough to drink, ignores the inability of the Multi-Nuclide Removal Facility used for treatment remove radioactive materials such as tritium. Plans to dilute the wastewater to solve this issue do not change the amount of radioactive material that will be released and could accumulate in parts of the marine environment.

We are concerned about the effects of the wastewater on the wide Pacific region as the Pacific accounts for around 58% of the world’s fisheries, and many of the region’s nations are dependent on these resources. In addition, many of these states have long suffered from the effects of nuclear testing and illicit dumping of nuclear waste by wealthy nations.

We the undersigned call on the Japanese government to:

・Withdraws its plan to release wastewater from the Fukushima Daiichi site into the Pacific Ocean.

・Disclose all relevant information about the wastewater issue in a transparent fashion.

June 14, 2021 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, politics international | Leave a comment

The military-industrial-media complex renders the American populus ill-informed in matters regarding war .

[and – it’s the same i Australia C.M.]

“How real is all this influence? Does the military-industrial-media complex (MIMC) actually affect the information we receive and our perception of war?”

The military-industrial-media complex renders the American populus ill-informed in matters regarding war — Rise Up Times

“The media has been a major player in ‘hyping up’ the sense of danger and need for military action in many situations.”

By HELEN JOHNSON  The Miscellany News, Vassar College  May 20, 2021

This is the fifth article in a five-part series about the military-industrial-media complex. The fourth article,“The (im)proper meshing of the corporate media and the military-industrial complex,” can be found here.
I have now examined the military-industrial complex (MIC) and the corporate media each individually; explained how the MIC has expanded to include not only the arms makers, Congress and the military, but also oil companies, service and equipment providers, surveillance and technology companies and think tanks; examined how the consolidation of corporate power within the media industry has resulted in a handful of companies controlling 90 percent of our media, and how these huge corporations hold incredible political power, not just to influence politicians and legislation directly, but to subtly shape entire ideologies. In this installment, I illustrated how the corporate media is linked in many ways to the MIC, including through outright ownership, interlocking directorates, revolving doors and overreliance on the government and the military for information and access to the battlefield during war.

But how real is all this influence? Does the military-industrial-media complex (MIMC) actually affect the information we receive and our perception of war? In this article I’ll explain that yes, because of its enormous reach, the extreme consolidation of its power and its entanglement with the gigantic machine that is the MIC, the media today has failed to properly inform the American citizenry on matters concerning war. The MIMC manufactures pro-military opinion among the public; suppresses information relevant to military activities; provides a sanitized coverage of war; fails to investigate, criticize, or thoroughly debate issues of military involvement; too easily bends to pressure from government and military officials and sometimes even spreads outright lies and false information.

This has resulted in an American populus that, in general terms, is ill-informed, uneducated and misled in matters regarding military involvement, as well as overly militaristic and pro-war. Americans are thus unable to hold their government accountable for unnecessary or inappropriate use of military force, and are complicit in the perpetuation of American imperialism, colossal defense budgets that strip the country of severely lacking social programs and never-ending wars that kill and destroy while a handful of corporations reap immense profits.

The media has been a major player in ‘hyping up’ the sense of danger and need for military action in many situations. Douglas Kellner—American academic and sociologist—explains in his bookMedia Spectacle and the Crisis of Democracy: Terrorism, War and Election Battles, how Sept. 11 was a prime example of the media spreading hysteria and fear among an already panicked and traumatized nation. He notes how the media obsessively focused on terrorism, possible threats and retaliation in the weeks and months after Sept. 11. It also handed a megaphone to extremism and did little to weed out the potentially dangerous or incorrect information being spread on its platforms.

Spreading hysteria and panic throughout the population had two effects: First, it made Americans feel heavily reliant on the government for protection and, according to Kellner, made any disagreement with or questioning of the Bush administration seem “unpatriotic and even treasonous.” Second, it was extremely profitable for the media companies themselves; with millions of eyes glued to TVs, newspapers and other media platforms, media consumption spiked and profits went up. Thus, the corporate media and the military-industrial complex both benefited from this collaboration……………

An important note here is that this type of behavior is by no means limited to right-wing or conservative news outlets. In its analysis, FAIR cited The New York Times, The Hill, the Associated Press, and The Washington Post—in addition to Fox News—as all contributing to this culture of hysteria. A separate FAIR article’s headline directs a pointed accusation at CNN: “CNN’s Iran Fearmongering Would Make More Sense Coming Directly From Pentagon.” No mainstream media outlet is innocent of pro-war fear mongering.

The media has also suppressed or downplayed information relevant to military activity on multiple occasions. For example, although the media did everything in their power to vilify Iraq and Saddam Hussein in the lead-up to and during the Iraq war, they completely ignored how the United States backed Hussein in the past. The United States played an integral role in Hussein’s rise to power and actively supported Iraq during the Iran-Iraq War—including going along with Hussein’s use of chemical weapons. However, this seemed to be irrelevant once Bush Jr. had made up his mind to invade Iraq.

Another instance of the U.S. media suppressing or failing to report information came during the middle of the Iraq War in 2004. On Jun. 28, 2004, the United States transferred sovereignty of Iraq in a secret ceremony, immediately after which Paul Bremer—who had been seen by Iraqis as a dictator—left the country. Bremer had heavily controlled Iraqi politics and privatized a huge portion of the economy, including handing out contracts to American firms like Halliburton. However, Bremer’s replacement wasn’t much better. The U.S. chose Ayad Allawi, who had ties to the CIA, to serve as interim prime minister until elections could be held, and the U.S. handpicked the rest of the Iraqi council as well. The two months following the transfer of power saw escalated violence and a continuation of the chaos that had been produced by Bremer.

But watching the news in the United States, you would think “we had turned a corner,” as President Bush repeated over and over again. If the media had thoroughly reported on the situation in Iraq, it could have led to a nationwide understanding that the war was doing more harm than good and serving the interests of huge corporations at the expense of American and Iraqi lives. A truly informed citizenry could have put public pressure on the Bush administration to end the war, or an electorate dissatisfied with the situation could have voted him out of office. Instead, it would be seven more years before the withdrawal of American troops from Iraq.

Suppressing or downplaying information isn’t the only way the mainstream media—in complicity with the MIC—has warped our understanding of war. The media also produces an extremely sanitized coverage of war: it avoids printing and broadcasting images of death and destruction; sidesteps discussions of American casualties and almost entirely refuses to mention casualties on the other side (which are usually much higher); and uses euphemisms like “collateral damage” and “air campaign” that hold very different connotations from what these phrases actually mean—i.e., innocent civilian death and continuous bombing.

Kellner notes that during the Iraq war, “Entire networks like Fox and the NBC cable networks provided little but propaganda and jingoism, as did for the most part CNN. All of the cable networks, as well as the big three U.S. broadcasting networks, tended to provide highly sanitized views of the war, rarely showing Iraqi casualties, thus producing a view of the war significantly different than that shown in other parts of the world.”……………….

Not only do reporters and news anchors oftentimes receive direct instructions from higher-ups on what to and what not to say, but there is also careful screening of experts and guests brought onto the TV networks during wartime. And, as noted in my previous article, many of these “experts” are former generals and Pentagon officials, whose talking points have been carefully scripted and who have been trained on how to speak about matters of war in order to paint the U.S. military and government in the best possible light.

The U.S. corporate media has also chronically failed to properly investigate, criticize and debate issues of war and military involvement. It tends to take the current administration’s account of the situation as fact, and during times of war or military tension, it is branded unpatriotic to criticize the government. Although there are many examples of the media’s failure to investigate and report the truth when it comes to war, the most egregious case was in the lead-up to the invasion of Iraq.

George W. Bush and Dick Cheney had planned from day one of their administration to invade Iraq. As explained in this article, Bush and Cheney—as well as Paul Wolfowitz, Donald Rumsfeld and others in and around the Bush administration—were either directly a part of or tangentially related to the neoconservative think tank PNAC, which was advocating for a regime change in Iraq as early as 1998. The fact that Bush planned to invade Iraq from the get-go has been confirmed by multiple officials close to the administration.

From the immediate aftermath of Sept. 11 up until the 2003 invasion of Iraq, the Bush administration waged a propaganda war to convince the nation that Saddam Hussein was linked to Al Qaeda and that he possessed weapons of mass destruction (WMD). These claims turned out to be false. Not only did Saddam Hussein have nothing to do with the Sept. 11 attacks, but Iraq was not in possession of WMD nor were they in the process of making any.

Even so, these allegations were widely circulated in the mainstream media. The nonpartisan Center for Public Integrity documented a total of 935 false statements made by top administration officials regarding the threat from Iraq before the war, and the majority of these assertions “were broadcast widely by U.S. media with little or no investigation of their credibility, and few rebuttals from war skeptics or dissenters.”

Not only did the media outlets completely fail to properly investigate these claims before broadcasting them to the nation—even The Washington Post and The New York Times admitted that they had uncritically published information fed to them by the Bush administration—but they continued to circulate the misinformation long after it had been disproven. Even after ABC, NBC and The Washington Post reported that the claims were false, Fox Television and other U.S. cable networks continued to play the stories about Iraq’s alleged connection with Al Qaeda and supposedly threatening weapons program.

The Bush administration had accomplished its goal: to convince enough of the American population, still reeling and traumatized from Sept. 11, that Saddam Hussein was dangerous—so that they could have their war. The failure on the part of the corporate media to investigate and criticize the Bush administration’s claims, and the continued circulation of these claims even after they were proven false, would lead to a disastrous eight-year long conflict resulting in hundreds of thousands of deaths.

There are many, many more instances of skewed reporting when it comes to war and military involvement. Not all of these instances involve outright lying to the American public or regurgitating government pro-war propaganda; many of the ways in which the corporate media influences our perception of war are small and relatively unnoticeable……….. more

June 14, 2021 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

G7 fails on solid coal message but worries are building for Morrison — RenewEconomy

While the G7 meeting was unremarkable, there are growing signs of action on coal phaseout – particularly among Australia’s biggest coal customers. The post G7 fails on solid coal message but worries are building for Morrison appeared first on RenewEconomy.

G7 fails on solid coal message but worries are building for Morrison — RenewEconomy

June 14, 2021 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

NSW accepts thermal coal is set for major decline, now it needs to act — RenewEconomy

A moratorium on new thermal coal mining capacity is needed to avoid chaotic employment impacts. The post NSW accepts thermal coal is set for major decline, now it needs to act appeared first on RenewEconomy.

NSW accepts thermal coal is set for major decline, now it needs to act — RenewEconomy

June 14, 2021 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

June 13 Energy News — geoharvey

Opinion: ¶ “At G-7 Summit, World Leaders Must Commit To Increasing Climate Finance For Developing Countries” • The G-7 Leaders’ Summit is underway, from June 11–13, in Cornwall. There is one priority that must get urgent attention: Richer nations need to make concrete commitments to increasing climate finance for developing countries. [CleanTechnica] President Biden (White […]

June 13 Energy News — geoharvey

June 14, 2021 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment